A Galilean and one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. The Gospels indicate that he was a resident of Capernaum and a fisherman by trade. His name was Simon, but Jesus gave him the symbolic name “Peter,” or “Rock” (Matt 10:2; Matt 6:14; Mark 3:16). Peter’s name always occurs first in lists of Jesus’s twelve disciples (Matt 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:16), and he often seems to serve as a spokesman for the group as a whole (Matt 10:28). He was privileged to be a part of certain events to which only a limited number of disciples were invited (Mark 5:37; Mark 9:2; Mark 14:33). Peter is also credited with being the first of the disciples to confess Jesus to be the Christ (Matt 16:13-16; Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20); Matthew’s Gospel indicates that in response to that confession Jesus promised to give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and identified him as the rock on which his church would be built (Matt 16:17-19). But Peter is also remembered as the disciple to whom Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan” (Matt 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33) and as the disciple who denied Jesus three times (Matt 26:69-75; Mark 14:29-31; Luke 22:56-62; John 18:25-27). The book of Acts includes numerous stories about Peter’s leadership in the early church (Acts 1-5; Acts 8:14-25; Acts 9:32-11:18; Acts 12:1-19). He is also mentioned as a missionary and pillar of the church in Paul’s letters (1Cor 9:5; Gal 2:9). The NT letters of 1 Peter and 2 Peter are ascribed to him.