Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|At the Council of Jerusalem as mentioned in Acts 15, who gets the final word of decision on the topic of circumcision of the Gentiles?||The Apostle Peter
Peter. "After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, 'My brothers...'" (Acts 15:7). Not only does Peter get the final word in this dispute, but he's widely acknowledged among his peers to have the authority to do so. After he's finished speaking, the Council switches gears and goes on to discuss other issues.
A large sheet covered with animals. This odd vision indicates to Peter that his mission is indeed meant to go to the ends of the earth, and not just among the people of the Jewish nation.
|After Peter's stirring speech at Pentecost, about how many persons were immediately baptized?||The Apostle Peter
Three thousand. Acts 2:41
|In the Gospel of John, after Jesus has resurrected and shown Himself to the Apostles, what is Peter's reaction?||The Apostle Peter
He goes fishing. Peter's odd action in John 21:3 shows clearly that even though he acknowledged Jesus as Messiah and believed totally in the resurrection, he erred nonetheless. Peter should have been beginning his mission, but instead falls back upon the life he knew before he met Jesus.
|How many times is Simon Peter's name mentioned in the New Testament?||The Apostle Peter
195. This is actually astoundingly high. The next most-mentioned apostle in the New Testament is John, with a mere 29 mentions. Again, we realize that there's something special about this gruff fisherman.
|Where (in what region) were Jesus and Peter when the latter had the startling revelation that Jesus is the Messiah?||The Apostle Peter
Caesarea Philippi. Matthew 16:13.
|Why did Peter begin to sink into the water even after Jesus had called him out to walk on it?||The Apostle Peter
He doubted. Jesus Himself provides us with the answer in this account in Matthew 14:22-33. Jesus catches Peter and says to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Even the honored apostle was lacking in faith at times.
|Peter had a brother, who was also an apostle. What was his brother's name?||The Apostle Peter
Andrew. Andrew and Peter seem to have a particularly close relationship, especially in the Gospel of John. In this account, Andrew actually brings Peter to Jesus in the first place. But in every Gospel their fraternal relationship is noted.
|When Peter interpreted the words of David in the Psalms that Judas Iscariot, Jesus's betrayer, should be replaced, what was the name of the man who became the 12th disciple in his place?||Simon Peter
Matthias. According to Acts 1, Peter spoke at a meeting of around 120 believers, reminding them of King David's words in Psalm 109:8 prophesying that another should take the place of leadership, interpreting this by deciding to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot. There were two believers proposed: Joseph called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Matthias. After praying and asking God to show them which of the two should become the new disciple, they drew lots and the lot fell on Matthias.
Had the disciples waited longer before deciding who the replacement for Judas should be, it is likely that they would have proposed Paul, the great missionary to the Gentiles. However, at the time when they made the decision, Paul was not a believer and was actually a persecutor of the early church. In fact, he was an observer at the stoning of Stephen, the first recorded Christian martyr (in Acts 7), watching the cloaks of the witnesses as they stoned him outside the city.
Matthias himself is believed to have been a missionary to regions of Armenia, travelling there with his fellow apostles Thaddaeus, Bartholomew, Simon the Zealot and Andrew. Armenian tradition states that he suffered persecution while spreading the gospel there, including in the great city of Sebastopol, a port on the Black Sea.
|What was the name of the girl who greeted Peter at Mary's house when he miraculously escaped from prison after being arrested by King Herod during the Feast of Unleavened Bread?||Simon Peter
Rhoda. Rhoda was a servant girl living in the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, one of the apostles who travelled extensively with Peter and Paul. According to Acts 12:13-15, when Rhoda saw Peter at the door she rushed back inside to tell Mary and the others in the house that he had arrived, but they did not believe her. It was only when they came to see him themselves that they realised she was telling the truth.
Priscilla was one of the early apostles in Corinth and was the wife of a man from Pontus, one of the provinces in Asia Minor, called Aquila. The pair had been exiled from Italy because Emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome, and were in the same trade as Paul as they were also tentmakers. According to Acts, they also travelled with Paul on some of his missionary journies, including to Ephesus and Syria. In fact, according to Acts 18:26, Priscilla and Aquila were instrumental in the life of Apollos, one of Paul's closest friends and colleagues. When they heard him preaching, they invited him back to their house and "explained to him the way of God more adequately". Many scholars believe that this means although Apollos was probably a passionate speaker and follower of the stories of Jesus, he did not know at that time the full meaning of grace and how salvation came not from works but only through Jesus's sacrifice. This showed their strength as Christian elders in the early church and, according to Romans 16:3-5, they also risked their lives for Paul and ran a church in their house.
Lydia was a businesswoman from Thyatira (in modern day Turkey) who traded in purple cloth according to Acts 16:14. When she heard Paul's message and became a Christian, she was baptized along with all of her household! She also invited Paul and Silas to stay in her house when they were in Philippi.
Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, who were all very close to Jesus during the time of his ministry. She is mentioned both in Luke and John's gospel as being a friend and follower of Jesus, and in John 11 is mentioned as being beloved to Jesus. In fact, when her brother Lazarus died, Jesus showed how close he was to the man as he returned to the place where Lazarus was and wept with grief at his death. When Jesus came back to raise Lazarus from the dead, he asked Martha if she believed that Jesus was the "resurrection and the life", to which she replied "Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
|What kind of spirit does Peter teach that wives should have in 1 Peter 3, which is what displays the "unfading beauty" of their "inner self"?||Simon Peter
Gentle and quiet. Peter writes about the marriage relationship in 1 Peter 3, and parts of the passage are often quoted at Christian marriage ceremonies (although perhaps not as much as the similar passage from Ephesians 5). He says of wives that "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
For all those women out there distressed about being forbidden to braid your hair, I should mention that the hairstyles that were worn by women in Peter and Paul's day were quite different to what we might call braids today. They often contained complex metal frames which the hair was woven around and took hours to prepare. Richer women also placed jewels in their hair, and the combination of these extravagant styles would clearly have been a distraction to the 1st century man!
|What is the Aramaic equivalent of the name Peter? This is arguably the actual name that Christ may have given him.||Simon Peter
Cephas. Cephas means 'Rock' in Aramaic, and it is the word used in John's gospel when the author retells the story of Jesus renaming Simon (in John 1:42). Peter is the name as it would be translated into Greek, and as Peter and the other residents of Galilee would have been more likely to speak Aramaic, it is this language that Jesus would most likely have used when renaming Simon.
Interestingly, the word used in Matthew's gospel when referring to the same situation is actually the Greek word Petros (Peter) rather than the Aramaic word Cephas. This has led some commentators to hypothesise that there were in fact two Cephases - Simon Peter and another Cephas whom Jesus appeared to just after his resurrection. However, the prevailing theory appears to be that these were one and the same person - the disciple Simon Peter.
|Why was Paul overtly critical of Peter when the two of them met in Antioch?||Simon Peter
Peter withdrew from the Gentiles when there were Jews around. According to Galatians 2:11-12, Paul opposed Peter when he arrived in Antioch as he "began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group." This group had come to Antioch from Jerusalem at the behest of James (Jesus's brother who, at the time, was the head of the church in Jerusalem) and still insisted on the necessity of circumcision, which Paul had vehemently spoken out against. Paul wanted to rebuke Peter and re-emphasise the fact that Christians have "died to the law" because of the new covenant established by the death of Jesus Christ.
Barnabas was a close companion of both Paul and Peter, and did in fact go to Cyprus to establish the church there. He is believed to have been martyred there in the city of Salamis in AD 61.
|Where is the famous church known as St Peter's basilica situated?||Simon Peter
Vatican City. The Vatican City is officially a city state in its own right, and is situated in the city of Rome, Italy. It is a mere 0.44km squared and has one of the highest population densities in the world as over 800 people live in the city at any one time. However, it is the smallest independent state in the world both by population and area (not including the micronation 'Sealand'!).
|What was the name of the man who had been bedridden for eight years but was healed by Peter in Lydda?||Simon Peter
Aeneas. According to Acts 9:32-34, Peter went to visit the members of the church in Lydda and met a paralytic named Aeneas there. Peter said to him "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." and the man got up and walked.
Lydda is the Greco-Latin name for the town of Lod, which still survives today in spite of having been burnt down by the Romans. It is situated very close to the administrative centre of Israel, Tel Aviv. Israel's main airport, the Ben Gurion International Airport, is situated in Lod.
Interestingly, tradition states that the patron saint of England, St George, was born in Lod. As a result, 11th and 12th Century crusaders regarded Lod as a place of great significance and King Richard the Lionheart was at great pains to ensure that the town remained under English control.
|What was the name of the servant of the High Priest whose ear Peter chopped off as Jesus was being arrested?||Simon Peter
Malchus. According to John 18:10, the man who was attacked by Peter was called Malchus and was a servant of the High Priest. Interestingly, only the gospel of Luke records that Jesus healed the man's ear after it had been chopped off, although all three other gospel writers record the attack.
John is the only gospel writer to record the name of the man who Peter attacked, and is also the only writer to name Peter specifically as being the actor (the other writers merely say it was one of Jesus's disciples).
|What is the Hebrew meaning of the name 'Simon'?||Simon Peter
'To hear/to be heard'. The name 'Simon' had a dip in popularity in the early-mid 20th century but had a resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s and is still in the top 250 most common baby names in the USA.
The African girls' name 'Julisha' means 'To make known'; the Indian boys' name 'Vilok' means 'To see' and the Irish name 'Sheridan' means 'to seek', for your information!
|What was the name of Simon's brother who was fishing with him when Jesus called upon them to leave their work and follow him?||Simon Peter
Andrew. According to Matthew 4:18-20, Simon and Andrew were fishing and Jesus came up to them saying "Come follow me...and I will make you fishers of men." The brothers' response was to immediately leave their nets and follow Jesus.
|What was Simon's profession when he encountered Jesus for the first time?||Simon Peter
Fisherman. According to the Bible, Simon (as he was then called), was a fisherman in Galilee.
In 2006, reports came out that the US television evangelist Pat Robertson was involved in negotiations to set up a Biblical theme park in Galilee, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Simon and his colleagues fished. However, these plans fell through when Robertson reportedly said that former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was a judgment from God for his removal of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip.