New Testament Facts About The Apostle Peter -- By: Julius R. Mantey

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 21:3 (Sep 1978)
Article: New Testament Facts About The Apostle Peter
Author: Julius R. Mantey


New Testament Facts About The Apostle Peter

Julius R. Mantey*

What Do The Gospels And Acts Say?

Jesus told Simon he was giving him the additional name of Peter, but there is only one record (Luke 22:34) of his ever calling him by that name. And he never conferred anything more on him than he did on all the other apostles. “Binding” and “loosing” was for all of them (Matt 18:18). All the apostles did so, and soulwinners now use “the keys” when they lead people to Christ. Peter claimed no superiority: “I am also an elder” (1 Pet 5:1). Would James and John have asked to sit at Jesus’ right and left if Peter had already been promised that highest of honors (Matt 20:21–24)? Gentile rulers exercised dominion over others, “but it shall not be so among you” (20:26). “One is your Master, even Christ, and all of you are brothers.” “Whoever humbles himself shall be honored” (23:10–12). There is nothing in the gospels to demonstrate Petrine primacy.

If Christ had appointed Peter over the Church, why did not Peter appoint Matthias as Judas’ successor instead of having the 120 Christians to vote on doing so (Acts 1:26)? The apostles appointed Peter and John to visit the Samaritan Christians that Philip had won to Christ (8:14). Peter was “called on the carpet” and had to defend himself before the apostles for baptizing Gentiles (11:1–3). And if Peter was the top mogul over Christians, how is it that James presided over the Jerusalem conference that decided about the status of Gentile believers and announced the decision they came to by saying: “My judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God” (15:19)? In the rest of Acts the Apostle Paul, not Peter, is the prominent person. Peter is not even mentioned again.

What Is The Picture In The Epistles?

In I Cor 1:12 Paul rebuked Christians for claiming that they belonged to “Paul, Apollos or Cephas [Peter].” Note that Peter was the third one named. And 12:28 states: “God has appointed in the Church first apostles”—not just one apostle. In Gal 2:9 the statement is made that Paul “should go to the Gentiles and they [James, Pet...

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