Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Few Random Things about Simon Peter

In today's Gospel, Jesus refers to Peter as son of Jonah.  

Which got me thinking ... I know nothing about Jonah.  Well, I know about the Jonah of whale fame, but nothing about Jonah, (known as Jonas or John) the man that was the father of Simon Peter.  

I looked all over the internet for some information about this man, and the best I could find was that he was basically not the other Jonah.  

But I did come across some interesting information about St. Peter I thought I would share with you.  

  • For example, the house that he lived in is believed to still be standing today!  It is covered by a church but you can still see parts of it.
  • We know that Peter was from Bethsaida, of course, but I didn't realize how much Greek influence there probably was in that area at that time.  
  • Peter was, of course, a fisherman.  Fisherman back in Jesus' time often fished at night with torches.  They sometimes used dragnets - nets that were as long as 300 feet.  Two boats would go out to sea, each with an end of the dragnet, and then paddle in opposite directions to circle the fish and close up the net.  Alternatively they used cast nets - nets that had to be skillfully thrown so they landed open on the water.  This way, when they sunk down, they captured as many fish as possible.  (It is this method that Peter and the apostles were using on a few occasions in the Gospels)
  • It is possible that Peter, like his bother Andrew, was a disciple of John the Baptist.
  • Peter's name is mentioned in the new testament more than any other apostle - over 190 times.  That didn't surprise me, but the fact that that number is almost 4 times more than the next closest apostle (John) did.
  • Finally, Peter's name is almost always listed first when he is mentioned with anyone other than Jesus.  In fact, there is only one time it is not.  Galatians 2:9.

God bless.


Shirley said...

Interesting tidbits. I think people relate to Peter because of his weakness, as well as his strength. God didn't choose a holy, aesthetic apostle to lead his Church, he chose a manly man with human weakness, but one who repented of that weakness to become a strong leader.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

You really are a brilliant source of information, Michael. Thank you for researching all these facts and for sharing them with us. I didn't know most of them.

God bless you, friend.

Shirley said...

Coleen- that image is the one I use for my blog header on my Catholic blog. Love it!

Anne Bender said...


Most fascinating to me is the number of times that Peter's name is mentioned, even beyond that of the apostle whom Jesus loved. The fact that he was so well written about must surely have pointed to him being the Rock of the Church. Thanks for this post!

Michael said...

Shirley - I think you are spot on. I know I find it comforting to see Peter bounce back so many times. He is a great inspiration.

Victor - thank you for the kind words my friend.

Colleen - I love that scene! We should all show our love for Jesus as passionately as Peter!

Anne - That blew me away as well, and thanks for stopping by!

God Bless all of you.