Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Biography Of The Apostle Peter (Part 3) - 30-67 AD - Church History

This is the third part in a three part series, click here to go to part one.

Peter is one of the most well-known apostles for many reasons. Not only is he the apostle that speaks the most in the gospels, but he also dominates the content in the first half of Acts. He is the one who visited Cornelius, spreading the good news even to the Gentles (Acts 10:25). He is the one who miraculously escaped prison (Acts 12:7), delaying the death sentence that he knew he would face for the sake of the gospel—the death sentence that he had known he would eventually face ever since that morning when he had eaten breakfast with the risen Christ (John 21:18-19).

As the years passed, Peter, as had happened so many times earlier in his life, almost completely fell again. He became so caught up in hypocrisy that the Apostle Paul had to condemn him to his face (Galatians 2:11-14).

We would be left wondering at this awkward conclusion to the life of one of the central figures of the New Testament if it were not for the two books that Peter wrote later in his life: 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Both books mention little about the author himself, but they do assure us of this fact: after hearing Paul’s rebuke, Peter must have repented—for he still proclaims himself as an apostle and slave of Jesus Christ his Lord (2 Peter 1:1).

In 1 Peter, Peter writes about trials, a topic which he had dealt with extensively first-hand (that stare that he saw after denying Jesus three times must have still been etched in his memory). In 2 Peter, Peter writes of his quickly approaching death (2 Peter 1:14). Yet, even knowing that the end was near, he had not lost his passion—he had not lost his boldness. After so many trials and temptations, after so many prideful moments, he was still a believer in Jesus Christ—he was still eager to minister to fellow believers.

The exact age that Peter lived to is unknown. He probably met Jesus in 30 AD (about three years before the crucifixion in 33 AD). James Ussher puts the date of Peter's martyrdom in 67 AD. According to Origen, Peter was crucified upside down in Rome (for more information on the persecutions in Rome at this time click here).

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