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Origin of the name PETER.
Etymology of the name PETER.
Meaning of the baby name PETER.


PETER.  Biblical.  From Greek Petros (q.v.), meaning "a piece of rock," "a stone."  Usage: America, England, Germany.

PETER.  [Greek Petros = "a piece of rock," "a stone"; thus distinguished from Petra = "a rock" (Liddell and Scott)].
    The most eminent of Christ's apostles, with the single exception of Paul.  His original name was not Peter, or Cephas, its Aramaic equivalent (John i. 42), but Simon (Matt. iv. 18; Mark i. 16; iii. 16; Luke vi. 14).  This is the New Testament way of writing Simeon = "hearing," "hearkening to," "granting a request;" indeed once in the A.V. Peter is actually called Simeon (Acts xv. 14).  Sometimes the two names Simon and Peter are combined, and the apostle becomes Simon Peter (John xxi. 15).  His father was named Jona, of which the Greek form was Jonas (John i. 42; xxi. 15, 16, 17).  Hence he was once called Bar-jona, an Aramaic designation, meaning son of Jona (Matt. xvi. 17).  But for Jona the R.V. substitutes "John," though it retains "Bar-jonah."  Simon Peter had a brother called Andrew.  Both were fishermen belonging to Bethsaida, or one of the Bethsaidas, if there were two.  They were following their occupation on the Lake of Galilee when they were called by Jesus to the apostleship.  They promptly obeyed the summons, abandoning their work, of which apparently their father took charge (Matt. iv. 18, 19; Mark i. 16-18; Luke v. 1-9).  When the names of the twelve apostles were read off, Peter invariably headed the list (Matt. x. 2; Mark iii. 16; Luke vi. 14; Acts i. 13).  He was a married man (Matt. viii. 14; Mark i. 30; 1 Cor. ix. 5), and had not long been an apostle when his mother-in-law fell sick of a fever; but Jesus touched her hand, and lifted her up, on which she was cured instantaneously (Matt. viii. 14, 15; Mark i. 30, 31; Luke iv. 38, 39).  Peter was naturally impulsive, rash, and somewhat forward both in speech and action.  It was quite characteristic of him that when he saw Jesus walking on the waters of the the lake towards the ship he should request his Lord to bid him also walk on the water, and then should show failing faith, and begin to sink (Matt. xiv. 24-31).
  When, in the course of the missionary itineracy of Jesus, He and His disciples were at Cæsarea-Philippi, the town near which the main stream of the Jordan bursts forth from a cave, our Lord asked His disciples their opinion as to who He was, Peter, as usual the first to answer, nobly replied: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
     After the ascension of Jesus, Peter, who had returned to Jerusalem, stood forth as the leader of the infant Church, the metropolitan membership of which amounted to 120 persons.  
     Two books of the New Testament claim to have had Peter as their author (1 Peter i. 1; 2 Peter i. 1-7 [ (1) and (2)].  It has long been known that there were apocryphal writings issued in the name of Peter, especially an Apocalypse, or Revelation, referred to by various early fathers.  This was found in Upper Egypt in the winter of 1886, along with fragments of a gospel of Peter.  In A.D. 190 this gospel was alluded to by Serapion in terms which show that it was composed as early as 150, if not even 130.  It is based mainly on Matthew and John, but refers also to Mark and Luke.  Of no authority in itself, it is nevertheless valuable as affording proof that the whole four gospels were widely known in the first half of the second century. (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894)


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