The Epistles of Peter

By E. H. Plumptre

From the Book The General Epistles of St. Peter & St. Jude

The Training of the Disciple.

 

I. THE early years of the Apostle whose writings are now before us appear to have been passed in the village of Bethsaida (=Fishtown, or more literally Home of Fish), on the West coast of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Chorazin and Capernaum (John i. 44). Its exact position cannot be determined with any certainty, but it has been identified with the modern 'Ain et Tabigah, and must be distinguished from the town of the same name on the North-Eastern shore of the Lake, which, after it had been enlarged and rebuilt by Philip the Tetrarch, was known as Bethsaida Julias, the latter name having been1 given to it in honour of the daughter of the Emperor Augustus.

Among the fishermen from whose occupation the town derived its name was one who bore the name either of Jona (John i. 42; Matt. xvi. 17) or Joannes (in the best MSS. of John xxi. 15 - 17), as being a Grecised reproduction of the old Hebrew Jochanan, or Jehohanan (1 Chron. vi. 9, 10), and conveying, like its Greek equivalents, Theodorus or Dorotheus, the meaning of "the gift of God." An uncertain tradition (Coteler, Constt. Apost. II. 63) gives his mother's name also as Joanna. It is probable, but not certain, from the priority given to his name in all lists of the disciples, that the Apostle was their first-born son. The name which they gave him, Symeon (Acts xv. 14; 2 Pet. i. 1), commonly appearing-, like his father's, in an abbreviated form, as Simon, had been made popular by the achievements of the captain of the Maccabean house who had borne it (1 Macc. v. 17), and by the virtues of Simon the Priest (Ecclus. l. 1 - 20), and not to go further than the records of the New Testament, appears there as borne by Simon, or Symeon, the brother of the Lord (Matt. xiii. 55; Mark vi. 3), Simon the Canaanite (Matt. x. 4; Mark iii. 18), known also by the Greek equivalent of that name, Zelotes (Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13), Simon of Gyrene (Matt, xxvii. 32; Mark xv. 21; Luke xxiii. 26), Simon the leper (Matt. xxvi. 6; Mark xiv. 3; John xii. 1), Simon the Pharisee (Luke vii. 40), Simon the Tanner (Acts x. 6 - 32), and Simon the Sorcerer of Samaria (Acts viii. 9). The fact that his brother, probably his younger brother, bore the Greek name of Andreas, is significant, like that of Philippos, borne by another native of Bethsaida (John i. 44), as indicating the prevalence of that language along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and as making it probable that a certain colloquial familiarity with it was common both to the sons of Jona and the other disciples as to our Lord Himself.

The date of the Apostle's birth cannot be fixed with certainty, but as we find him married and probably with children (comp. Matt. xix. 29), about the year A.D. 27 or 28, we may fairly assume that his life ran parallel in its earlier years to that of our Lord and the Baptist. He was not sent to study the law or the traditions of the elders at the feet of Gamaliel or any other Rabbi of the Schools of Jerusalem, and when he appeared before the Sanhedrin was looked on as an "unlettered layman" (ἰδιώτης καὶ ἀγράμματος, Acts iv. 13). This did not imply, however, an entire absence of education. Well-nigh every Jewish Synagogue had a school attached to it, and there, as well as in the Sabbath services, the young Symeon may have learnt, like Timotheus, to know the Holy Writings daily (2 Tim. iii. 15). He was destined, however, to follow what had probably been his father's calling. The absence of any mention of that father in the Gospel history suggests the inference that the two brothers had been left orphans at a comparatively early age, and had be gun their career as fishermen under the protection of ZebedŠus and his wife Salome (Matt, xxvii. 56; Mark xv. 40, xvi. i), with whose sons, James and John (Joannes and Jac˘bus), find them in partnership, himself also probably of Bethsaida or of some neighbouring village. ZebedŠus appears to have been a man of some wealth. He had his " hired servants" to assist his sons and their partners (Mark i. 20). His wife ministered to the Lord out of her "substance" (Luke viii. 3). One of their sons was known (if we adopt the commonly received identification of the "other disciple" of John xviii. 15) to the high-priest Caiaphas. We cannot think, looking back from the standpoint of their later history, without a deep interest, of the companion ship thus brought about, the interchange of devout hopes, the union in fervent prayers, which bound together the sons of Zebedee and those of Jona in a life-long friendship. In their early youth they must have felt the influence of the agitation caused by the revolt of Judas of Galilee (A.D. 6), waking, as it did, Messianic expectations which it could not satisfy, and have been thus led to study the writings of Moses and the prophets for the outlines of a truer and nobler ideal (John i. 41). If the child is "father of the man" we cannot doubt that they were even then, before the preaching of the Baptist, among those who "looked for the consolation of Israel" and "waited" for its "redemption" (Luke ii. 25 38). John was apparently the youngest of the three friends, and, as will be seen in many instances as we proceed, the affection which bound him to Simon, each with elements of character that were complementary of those possessed by the other, was of a singularly enduring and endearing nature.

When the Gospel history opens Peter was living not at Bethsaida but at Capernaum, with his wife and his wife's mother (Matt. viii. 14; Mark i. 29; Luke iv. 38). That he had children is, perhaps, implied in the language addressed to him by our Lord in Matt. xix. 29, but if so, nothing is known of them. Of his wife too but little is known, but there are traces of her living with him during his work as an Apostle (1 Cor. ix. 5; and probably 1 Pet. v. 13), and an interesting and not incredible tradition makes her the companion of his martyrdom. The preaching of the Baptist drew three at least of the friends to take their place among the multitudes who came to him on the banks of the Jordan confessing their sins. Two of the four, Andrew and John, were present when he pointed to One whom they knew as Jesus, the son of the carpenter of Nazareth, as He returned from the Temptation in the Wilder ness, with the words, "Behold the Lamb of "God" (John i. 36). Their belief in their teacher led them to follow Him who was thus designated, and the interview which followed, the "gracious words" that came from His lips (Luke iv. 22), the authority with which He spoke (Matt. vii. 29), induced them, prior to any attestation of His claim by signs and wonders, to accept Him as the long-expected Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed of the Lord. Each apparently started in quest, the one of his brother and the other of his friend, to whom they knew that the tidings would be welcome, and Andrew was the first to find him and to bring him to the Teacher whom they had thus owned. As he drew near, the Rabbi whom he was henceforth to know as his Lord and Master, looked on him, and, as reading the latent possibilities of his character and determining his future work, addressed him in words which gave him the name that was afterwards to supersede that which he had received in infancy, " Thou art Simon, the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas" (John i. 40 - 42). The use of the Aramaic form seems to imply that the Lord spoke to him in that language, but the familiarity of the Galileans with Greek made the equivalent Peter the more familiar name, even during our Lord's ministry and still more afterwards2. It is probable that, as in the changes of name in the Old Testament, Abram into Abraham (Gen. xvii. 5), Jacob into Israel (Gen. xxxii. 28), both names were significant. He had been Simeon, a hearer only (comp. Gen. xxix. 33), knowing God as "by the hearing of the ear" (Job xlii. 5), Bar-Jona, the "son of Jehovah's Grace:" now he was to be as a "rock-man," a " stone" in the Temple of God, built up with other living stones (so he came afterwards to understand the mystic meanings of the name) upon Him who now spoke to him as the true rock, the firm and sure foundation (1 Pet. ii. 4, 5). (See Watkins Note on John 1.42, in Bishop Ellicott's New Testament Commentary.)

To the company of the four friends thus united in the fellow ship of a new faith were added two others, probably already within the circle of companionship, Philip, of the same town as the sons of Jona, and his friend Nathanael or Bartholomew of Cana3. With them we may believe, though he is not specially named, Peter was present at the marriage feast of Cana (John ii. 2), at the Passover feast in Jerusalem that followed shortly on it (John ii. 17), and in Judaea (John iii. 22), and in the journey through Samaria (John iv. 8). There is no trace, how ever, of their presence in the next visit of the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem at the unnamed feast of John v. i, and it was probably during His absence from Galilee on that occasion and because of it, that the four partners returned to their old calling on the Sea of Galilee, not that their faith in Him had grown weaker, but that they waited till He should declare Himself. In the mean time He went from Jerusalem to Nazareth (Luke iv. 14), and from Nazareth to Capernaum (Luke iv. 31), which was now the home of one of them, and possibly of all four. They had been fishing during the night, and without success. Their boats were drawn up to the shore that they might rest for the day. Two, Simeon and Andrew, were making a final attempt with the net, which they cast more cautiously into the water near the shore. The others were cleaning and mending their nets on the assumption that the day's work was over. The Teacher stepped into Peter's boat and taught the people, preaching, we may believe, the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness. Then followed the command to put out once again for another venture, and the draught of a great multitude of fishes, in which he could but see the working of a supernatural power; and the awe-stricken disciple, penetrated with a deeper consciousness of his own evil than he had felt even under the preaching of the Baptist, threw himself at the feet of Jesus with the cry, " Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." It was met, as all utterances of true repentance are met, with the assuring words, "Fear not;" with the announcement of a new life-work which was to take the place of the old, and of which that older work was to be as a parable full of meaning, " From henceforth thou shalt catch men." He and his friends were to be "fishers of men" in the world's stormy seas (Matt. iv. 18 - 22; Mark i. 16 20; Luke v 1 - 11)4. From that time he forsook all and followed Christ.

It was in almost immediate sequence to the call that the house in which he and Andrew and his wife and her mother dwelt was honoured by the presence of his Lord, and he witnessed, in the healing of the last-named and of many others, the " signs and wonders " to which he appeals in Acts ii. 22 as an attestation that Jesus of Nazareth was "a man approved of God." He and they learnt also what was the secret of that power to heal, how the life of daily ministration was sustained by the night of secret communing with God (Mark i. 35 - 39). The work to which he had been called went on. As contemplating a wider extension which should, symbolically at least, include all the families of Israel, the Twelve were chosen, after another night spent by the Lord Jesus on the mountain height in solitary prayer (Mark iii. 13; Luke vi. 12); and, if we may take the unvarying order of the names in all the four lists given in the New Testament as indicating an actual priority, the son of Jona found himself chosen as the Coryphaeus of the chosen band who were, though not as yet sent forth, chosen for the office of Envoys or Apostles of the King of Israel (Mark iii. 7 - 19). Confining our attention to the facts in which his name appears associated with some characteristic word or act, we note his presence with the two sons of Zebedee in the death- chamber of the daughter of Jairus (Mark v. 37; Luke viii. 51); the mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not as yet to the Gentiles or the Samaritans (Matt. x. 5), in which, as the Apostles were sent two and two together (Mark vi. 7), it is natural to infer from their earlier and later companionship (John xx. 3, xxi. 7, 20; Acts iii. 1, viii. 14) that he was associated with the beloved disciple; the intensity of faith which led him, after the feeding of the Five Thousand, when he saw his Lord's form drawing near the boat, walking in the darkness of the stormy night on the water of the sea of Galilee, to trust him self, at his Lord's bidding, to the tempestuous waves; the weak ness of that faith which shewed itself when he began to sink and called forth the cry "Lord, save me" (Matt. xiv. 28 - 33). The memory of that deliverance was, we may believe, still fresh in his mind when, after the hard sayings in the synagogue at Capernaum which had repelled many of the disciples, he met his Lord's appeal, "Will ye also go away?" with the question, "Lord, to whom shall we go?", with the confession "Thou hast the words of eternal life; and we have believed and have known that Thou art the Holy One of God5" (John vi. 66 - 71). The signs and wonders that followed, the healing of the Syro-Phœnician maiden (Matt. xv. 21 - 28; Mark vii. 24 - 30), of the blind man in the Apostle's own city of Bethsaida (Mark viii. 22 26), the feeding of the four thousand (Matt. xv. 32 - 38; Mark viii. i 9), deepened the faith which had been thus uttered. The disciples had been led beyond the limits of the chosen land, and of their usual work as preachers, through the regions of Tyre and Sidon, through the latter city itself (Mark vii. 31 in the best MSS.)? and were returning by the slopes of Hermon to the district round Caesarea Philippi. The question was put to them by their Lord, as if to test what they thought of the floating rumours that had met their ears in every town and village, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" They reproduced those rumours. Some said that He was John the Baptist, and some that He was Elias, and some that He was Jeremiah, and some, more vaguely, that one of the old Prophets was risen from the dead. It was given to Peter to make, in answer to the question that followed, " But whom say ye that I am?", a fuller confession of his faith than had yet been uttered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. xvi. 13 - 19).

The words that followed on that confession have been the battlefield of endless controversies between Romish and Protestant theologians. To discuss these lies outside our scope, but the promise thus made to him is too closely connected with the development of the Apostle's spiritual life, and, it may be added, with that spiritual life as seen in the teaching of the Epistle, to be altogether passed over. "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven." The words reminded him of the manner in which he had been received on his first call to the discipleship. Now, as then, it was not through any merely human influence ("flesh and blood"), the testimony of the Baptist, or his brother, or his friends, that he had been led to this confession. The "Father in Heaven," to whom his Master had taught him to pray (Matt. vi. 9), had brought that direct immediate conviction to his soul. One who had the " words of eternal life " could not be other than the Christ in all the fulness of the significance which that title had acquired.

And now he was to see the meaning of the new name Cephas, or Petros, that had been then given him. He was a stone, one with that rock with which he was now joined by an indissoluble union. As with the like utterance in John ii., "Destroy this temple," the words were either left to interpret themselves to the minds that thought over them, or were emphasized by tone or gesture. On that rock the new Society, the Ecclesia, the congregation of the faithful was to be built. As the rock-built castle of the Tetrarch Philip, which was then in view, might seem able to defy the legions of an earthly army, so of that Ecclesia it should be true that the gates of Hell, the forces of the unseen powers of Hades and of Death, should not prevail against it. And now, too, he was told that he was qualified for his admission to the office of a Scribe, instructed to the kingdom of Heaven (Matt. xiii. 52). The keys of that kingdom were to be given to him, as the keys of the treasures of the house of the Interpreter were given to the Jewish Scribe when he was admitted as a teacher of the Law. His power to bind and to loose, to declare this or that to be lawful or unlawful, obligatory or optional, was to be not less, but more authoritative than that of Hillel, or Shammai, or Gamaliel; for while their interpretations rested on conflicting, uncertain, and often ambiguous traditions, his would come from the insight given to him by the Father of lights, and so whatsoever he should bind on earth should be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever he should loose on earth should be loosed in Heaven (Matt. xvi. 19).

I have given what seems the most natural explanation of the memorable promise. There is not the shadow of a doubt that the distinction between πέτρος. and πέτρα. is such as has been indicated above6. If we turn to the Apostle's own language we find that he reproduced the leading thought of the words in his First Epistle. The disciples of Christ are as "living stones" built upon the chief corner-stone, and that corner-stone, in its unity, is identified with the "rock" on which the Church is built, though it is a rock of offence to those who stumble on it in their disobedience (1 Pet. ii. 4 - 8). And if he interpreted one part of the promise in his written teaching, he no less clearly interpreted the other by his spoken words in the case of Cornelius. It had been held unlawful by the Jewish Scribes for a Jew to feed with a man uncircumcised, or even to enter into his house. God had taught him, again we note the revelation that came not by "flesh and blood," but from his Father in Heaven, not to call any man common or unclean. Hillel and Shammai had "bound." It was given to him to "loose," and to declare that the restriction on which they laid stress had passed away for ever. The interpretation which has assumed (1) that the promise made the Apostle himself the "rock" on which the Church was built, (2) that it conveyed to him a permanent supremacy and infallible authority, (3) that the supremacy and infallibility were both transmitted by him to his successors, (4) that those successors are to be found in the Bishops of Rome and in them only, hardly deserves a notice, except as an instance of a fantastic development worthy of the foremost place in any exhibition of the monstrosities of exegesis.

How little the promise conveyed a personal freedom from error was seen but a few hours, or days, after it had been given. His Lord, as if recognising that he had reached a stage of spiritual education in which the mystery of victory won by suffering, and life rising out of death, might be made known to him and his fellow-disciples, had spoken to them of His coming sufferings. The eager, impetuous love of the disciple repelled the very thought with an indignant horror, and seems to have looked on the words as the utterance of a morbid depression, "God be gracious to thee, Lord. This shall not be to thee." It would not do for the other disciples and for the people to hear such disheartening words. The over-bold remonstrance drew from his Lord's lips a rebuke which has no parallel to its severity in the whole course of our Lord's ministry. He heard the very words which he then knew, or afterwards learnt, had been addressed to the Tempter, when he too suggested that the crown of the King was to be obtained without the cross, not by obedience to the Father's will, but by doing homage to the Power of evil. He had made himself as the rock of offence, a stumbling-block in the King's path. His mind was set, not on the things of God, but on the things of men; " Flesh and blood" were regaining their power over him (Matt. xvi. 22, 23). He needed to be taught that the condition of disciple- ship was that he must be prepared to deny himself and take up the cross and follow Christ. (Matt. xvi. 24.)

It would seem as if the next stage in the spiritual education of the Apostle came to strengthen the faith which had shewn itself so unstable and lacking in discernment. On the high mountain, which could scarcely be other than one of the peaks of Hermon, he and the two brother Apostles who with him were the chosen of the chosen ones, saw the vision of the excellent glory, and heard the forms in which they recognised the Law giver and the Tishbite speak of the " decease " which their Lord should accomplish in Jerusalem, and the voice which came from Heaven confirming the confession of his faith, "This is my beloved Son, hear him." The moment was one of ecstasy and rapture, and partly, therefore, one of a dream-like want of calm and reflective thought. He was heavy with sleep, and when he looked up and saw the bright forms in the act of departing, he sought to perpetuate that which was in its very nature but a transient manifestation. It was "good" for them to be there and thus. Would it not be well that Moses and Elijah should re main as witnesses to the Christ, and in their own persons take part in the establishment of His Kingdom; to set up three tabernacles, to which men might go, as the Israelites had gone of old to that in which Moses had communed with the Lord of Israel? He knew not what he said, and the Voice from the clouds, with its emphatic " Hear him," taught him that the work of Moses and Elijah belonged to the past, and not to the present or the future (Matt. xvii. 1 - 13; Mark ix. 2 - 13; Luke ix. 28 - 36). Assuming the genuineness of the Second Epistle which bears his name, it bears testimony to the indelible impression which that vision left upon his mind. It taught him, as he looked back on it, that he had not followed "cunningly- devised fables." He looked on it as an initiation into the higher mysteries of the Kingdom, as a pledge and earnest of the glory to be revealed hereafter. He learnt to think of his own death as being, like his Lord's, but a "decease" or "departure," not a destruction, or suspension, of the energies of life; of his own body as being, also like his Lord's, a "tabernacle" sanctified by the indwelling presence of the Eternal Spirit (see notes on 2 Pet. i. 16 - 21).

The next incident in which St Peter's name is brought before us presents a strange contrast to that which we have just been dwelling on. We are no longer on the "holy mount," but in the house at Capernaum. The question which presents itself is not as to the glory of the Kingdom, but the payment of the didrachma or Temple-rate (the half-shekel of Exod. xxx. 13) to its official collector. In answer to their question whether his Master would pay that rate, the disciple had given an un thinking answer in the affirmative. As the sequel shews, he was not wrong in so speaking, but he had not reflected on the nature of the payment, or on his Master's relation to the claim. He had not learnt the lesson that the children are free from the tribute which is taken as from strangers, that a compulsory payment to the Temple was at variance with the freedom of the new Kingdom, that the Lord of the Temple was of all those children the last from whom it could be claimed. That truth was one, which conveyed for the present in parables and dark sayings, was to sink into his heart as a new germ of thought. In the meantime, as the payment came under the head of "things indifferent" enforced by a legitimate authority, it was right to avoid the " offence " which would have been caused by a pre mature assertion either of the general principle, or of the special ground on which the Son of Man might have claimed exemption (Matt. xvii. 24 - 27). Taking this as the true reading of the teaching thus impressed on his mind, it is not too bold to trace its after influence in the disciple's own precepts to all who were placed in a like conflict between their own sense of the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, and their duty to earthly rulers, " Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake As free, yet not using your freedom for a cloke of baseness, but as the servants of God; (see notes on 1 Pet. ii. 13 - 16).

He had been taught to think of himself as connected with the Ecclesia, the Church, the Congregation, which Christ came to build on Himself as the one foundation. He was now to be taught what were the laws that were to govern that Society. Offences must need come. How were they to be dealt with? First, he was told, by personal, secret, loving remonstrance, then by a reference to two or three impartial and disinterested friends as arbitrators, then, if this failed, by the action of the Society as such, "If he neglect to hear them, tell it to the Church, and if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as the heathen man and the publican" Matt. xviii. 17). Its decision on what was right or wrong in such cases (it was assumed, of course, that the decision was not at variance with the Divine law), was to be a new example of the power to bind and loose of which he had heard before, exercised in this case collectively, as before individually. The power, whatever might be its nature or limits, was not his alone, but was extended to the whole society, of which he was but an individual member. The whole line of thought was clearly new to the disciple's mind. He mused on the responsibilities of which it spoke, and wanted further guidance. What was the limit of the forgiveness of personal wrongs? When was this to cease, and the judicial discipline of the Ecclesia to come into operation? He was disposed, after the manner of Jewish casuists, perhaps with the recollection of the " seven times" of Prov. xxiv. 16, of the "three" and the "four transgressions" of Amos i. 3, floating in his thoughts, to fix a quantitative, numerical standard, " How often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him: until seven times?" Again he was led onward, first by the direct answer, "I say not unto thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven," and then by the memorable parable of the Two Debtors, to see that no such quantitative measurement was applicable to the conditions of the case, that there is no fixed limit to the forgiveness of personal wrong, that that forgiveness must be in the heart of the members or representatives of the Ecclesia, even when they inflict their punishment, or exclude the offender from their fellowship. Their aim in all such discipline is to be that of "gaining" the brother whom they are compelled to condemn (Matt, xviii. 15). They are not even, in that case, to despair of his restoration. Though he may be to them as a heathen and a publican, they are to deal with him, not as the Scribes and Pharisees dealt with those who were so named, but after the pattern of Christ's dealing. Is it too much to think that we may trace the reflex of the lesson so learnt in the mingling of sternness and pity in the words spoken to the Sorcerer of Samaria, "Repent therefore, if haply the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee Thou art in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity" (Acts viii. 22, 23), in the counsel which he gives to the Christians to whom he writes to cherish in themselves that "fervent love" which "shall cover the multitude of sins" (1 Pet. iv. 8)? May we not venture to surmise even that he must have been reminded of the method of procedure thus set forth, when he himself came under its operation, when private remonstrance failed, and his brother Apostle had to tell his fault to the Church and become the mouth-piece of its judgment (Gal. ii. 11 - 14)? If this were so, it offers an adequate explanation of his frank acceptance of the rebuke, and how it was that St Paul also "gained his brother" by his righteous boldness.

Confining ourselves, as before, to incidents in which St Peter's name is mentioned, but not forgetting that he probably bore a leading part also in the words and acts with which the disciples were collectively connected, we note, as next in order, the question which he put after he had witnessed the failure of a bright promise in the young ruler who had great possessions, and had heard his Lord's warnings against the hindrances which wealth presented to any true entrance into the kingdom of God. He and his brother disciples look back on the day when they had abandoned their little stock-in-trade of boats and nets, their home and its settled life, and they seem to themselves entitled to some special reward. They state their claim and ask their question: " Lo, we have left all and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore?" (Matt. xix. 16 - 27.) The answer comes to them in words spoken as with a sad, serious irony, as being all that they were then able to receive, and waiting for the interpretation of experience, that their true meaning might be read clearly. Those who had "left house or wife (here we trace, probably, a special reference to the questioner), or brethren, or parents (here a special reference to the sons of Zebedee), or children," should "receive a hundredfold more in this present time." With this, indicating, as by one master-touch, that the picture drawn was not to be taken as implying a time of earthly prosperity and success, we find added in the report, which we may legitimately connect more closely than the other with St Peter's recollections, the significant words "with persecutions" (Mark x. 30). New homes there might be, but they were to be homes for the hunted exile; new kindred and friends in the fellowship of Christ, but they were to be given to those who had found that a man's foes were those of his own household. To this, in St Matthew's report (xix. 28) there was added the promise, mysterious and symbolical in its language, that the questioner and his fellow disciples " in the regeneration, when the Son of Man should sit on the throne of His glory," should share that glory with Him, and themselves "also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Here also we trace the impression left by the words in the later utterances of the disciple. That " regeneration," not of the individual soul only, but of the whole order of the universe, what was it but the "restitution of all things" which appears in St Peter's speech in Acts iii. 21, the "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" of 1 Pet. i. 5, the "new heavens and new earth" of 2 Pet. iii. 13? That promise of a kingly throne, do we not find its echoes in the " crown of glory which fadeth not away " of 1 Pet. v. 4, in the belief that he too would be " a sharer in the glory that was about to be revealed" (i Pet. i. 5)?

The next stage in the special education of the disciple meets us when the two sons of Jona and of Zebedee were with their Lord on the Mount of Olives. They had heard the words which must have dashed to the ground many of the hopes they had cherished when they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear, and told them as they looked with admiration on the stately buildings of the Temple that "not one stone should remain upon another which should not be broken down " (Mark xiii. 2; Matt. xxiv. 2; Luke xxi. 6). They came with their questions privately, as if half shrinking from the disclosure to others of what they yet longed to know themselves. "Tell us what shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?" They heard the great prophetic discourse which prepared them for a time of war and pestilence and earthquakes and tribulations, which told them that the Gospel must first be proclaimed to all the Heathen as well as to Israel (Matt. xxiv. 14), which gave them mysterious hints (these also to be interpreted by experience) as to the signs that were to precede the destruction of the holy city, which left them with no clearly marked note of time as to the interval which was to elapse between that destruction and the glorious Advent. Of that teaching we find traces alike in the certain expectation in 1 Pet. i. 13, of the "revelation of Jesus Christ;" in the prominence given in 1 Pet. iii. 20; 2 Pet. ii. 5, iii. 6, 7, to the "days of Noah," of which he had then heard as analogous to the days of the Son of Man (Matt. xxiv. 37); in the belief that the day of the Lord would come " as a thief in the night" (2 Pet. iii. 10); that "the heavens themselves" should pass away (2 Pet. iii. 10); and in the patient faith which saw in the delay of that Coming only a proof of the long-suffering of God, with whom "one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet. iii. 8).

It is not without significance, as indicating the apparent purpose to bring the two friends into closest companionship at a time when one was soon to stand in need of the comfort and sympathy of the other, that Peter and John were sent together to prepare the room in which the disciples were to eat their last Passover with their Lord before He suffered (Luke xxii. 8). We can picture to ourselves how they would commune together of all that they had seen and heard during the excitement of the previous days, with what vague expectations of suffering and of glory they would be looking forward to that Paschal meal. Peter's acts and words at that Last Supper were eminently characteristic. There had been a dispute among the disciples which of them should be accounted greatest, in which we can scarcely doubt that his claims were questioned, and, perhaps, also asserted. Again they heard the warning which told them that all such disputes were unseemly and out of harmony for those who were all alike called to eat at their Master's table and sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke xxii. 30). Words were followed by acts. The disciple saw his Master take on Himself the garb and the office of a menial slave. Girded with the towel of such a slave, holding the basin which was provided for the customary ablutions of the feast, He went from one disciple to another and washed the feet which had been soiled in the dusty roads and streets that led from Olivet to that upper chamber in Jerusalem. He came, apparently, to Peter last, and was met by words which recall to our memory the confession of his sinfulness in Luke v. 8. The Apostle shrank from allowing Him whom he had confessed as the Son of God to perform for him that humiliating office. Others might accept it, but not he. Not even the warning words, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter," restrained him from following up his first question of surprise, " Lord, dost thou wash my feet?" with the peremptory refusal, "Thou shalt not wash my feet while the world lasts." The symbolical, we may almost say the sacramental, character of the Act was suggested in words the meaning of which he was to learn by the light of what followed, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." And then, in the characteristic vehemence of one who sought above all things to avoid contact with any thing "common or unclean" (Acts x. 14), he went beyond the offered act, and, here again "not knowing what he said," asked that hands and head might share in that washing on which so much depended, and was met by the assurance that as having been plunged in the cleansing waters of Baptism (afterwards he might come to see the cleansing in the blood of Christ), he needed only that washing of the feet which represented the daily renewal of the soul from its daily stains, and would then be "clean every whit" (John xiii. 1 - 16). I do not think it is fanciful to see something like an allusive reference even to the outward incidents of this history in the remarkable word (ἐγκομβώσασθε) which St Peter uses when he exhorts those to whom he writes to be " clothed with humility," to gird themselves with that lowliness as his Lord had girded Himself with the towel on that night of sorrow (1 Pet. v. 5); or to its inner meaning in his declaration at the Council of Jerusalem, that the true purity is that which comes by faith (Acts xv. 9); or his teaching in 1 Pet. iii. 21, that the true idea of baptism (the "washing" of him who has bathed in the laver of regeneration, Tit. iii. 5) is more than the putting away of the filth of the flesh, and involves the answer (better, perhaps, the question and answer) of a good conscience towards God. The question put by Peter when he heard the words which struck terror into the hearts of the disciples, "Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me," and beckoning to the disciple whom Jesus loved, whispered to him that he should ask of whom He spake, is from our present point of view chiefly interesting as a token of the confidential intimacy between the two friends. What followed brought out at once the characteristic impulsiveness and weakness of the chief of the Apostles. He heard words hardly less appalling than those which had struck him with dismay, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night," and he rejected with indignant haste the thought that those words could ever be true of him, "Though all men should be offended in thee, yet will I never be offended." Startled by the mysterious words, "Whither I go ye cannot come;" he asked the question, " Lord, whither goest thou? J And the answer is as mysterious as before, " Whither I go ye cannot follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterwards." It seems to him that this implies a renewed doubt as to his steadfastness, and he asks yet again " Why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake." He was met (it is not easy to determine the exact sequence of the words recorded by the several Evangelists) by a whispered warning which told him that an hour of trial was near at hand, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you" (the whole company of the disciples) "as wheat:" followed by the tender loving assurance, "but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." It did but lead to re iterated protestations, " Lord, I am ready to go with thee, to prison and to death." And then, as if to fix the sense of his infirmity indelibly on his mind by predicting the very form it would take, he heard his own words repeated as with a sad irony, " Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow before thou shalt thrice deny me." The confident assurance, however, was not yet gone, and the warning voice did but call out a fresh burst of loud- spoken zeal, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee." Looking to the fact that he must, in all probability, as he afterwards used his weapon, have been one of the disciples who displayed the two swords they had brought with them in answer to the Lord's prophetic intimation that a time was coming when, from their earthly stand-point, the sword would at once be needed and be useless, it seems likely that he was eager to shew his prowess in defending his Master against the anticipated attack. (Matt. xxvi. 31 - 35; Mark xiv. 2 - 31; Luke xxii. 31 - 38; John xiii. 36 - 38.)

Here again we trace the effect of that crisis of his life in the teaching of his epistle. He had been taught by that terrible experience that the " adversary, the devil, goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour," that it was necessary therefore to " be sober and to watch, so as to resist him, steadfast in the faith" (1 Pet. v. 8, 9).

The night went on. The disciples listened, we may believe, with but little understanding, to the manifold promise of the other Comforter or Advocate, who was to take their Lord's place when He should have departed from them, to the great prayer of intercession which, as the true High Priest, He offered for His people (John xiv. xvii.). They crossed the brook Kidron, they followed Him to the Mount of Olives; they entered the garden of Gethsemane, weary, exhausted, stunned with the agitation and sorrow of the night. Once again the three, Peter, James and John were chosen from the rest as for a special nearness of companionship. Eight remained with their Lord's warning words, " Pray ye that ye enter not into temptation," falling on their ears, but heard as in a weary dream. They, the three, were taken with Him a few steps further, and saw and heard something, even in their drowsy exhaustion, of the mysterious hour of agony, the prostrate form, the cry "Abba, Father," the prayer "Let this cup pass away from me." The very intensity of their sorrow added to their weariness and they fell asleep. It is not without significance that when the Christ came to them, and spoke in tones half of sorrow and half of wonder, He addressed Himself primarily to Peter, "Simon, sleepest thou? Couldst thou not watch with me one hour?" Yet with the reproach were mingled words of gentlest sympathy. The Master recognised at once the strength and weakness of the disciple's character, " The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Eager, zealous, noble impulses were there, but they were lacking in stability. The lower nature could not sustain them. It gave way under the pressure, and brought them down with it in its fall. Sleep came on again, even after these stirring words, and it was broken only by the tread of the crowd and the glare of torches and lamps and the clashing of weapons A strange impetuous impulse came upon the ardent disciple as he shook off his slumbers, perhaps, not unconnected with the words which he had just heard The time had come when he could shew that though the spirit was eager, the flesh was not weak. Might he not now draw one of those two swords of which his Lord had said that they were "enough": He did draw it The one drop of blood shed in a conflict with earthly weapons on behalf of Christ was shed by Peter, and for this he gained not the praise and glowing thanks on which he had counted, but words of rebuke and caution " Put up thy sword into its place, for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword " He was taught the lesson, which his self-styled successors have but too often forgotten that it was not by such weapons that the cause of Christ and His kingdom was to be defended (Matt xxvi. 36 - 46; Mark xiv 32 - 42; Luke xxii. 40 - 46.

We need not follow in detail all the incidents of that terrible night and the early dawn that followed. Not one of all the Eleven had the courage to go with their Lord to prison and to death Two of them, however, were drawn partly, we may believe, by the love which, in spite of their lack of courage, was not extinct, partly by an eager anxious curiosity "to see the end," to follow the procession as it wound its way down the slopes of the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron, within the city gates, into the court of the High Priest's palace. And these two were they whom we have seen as all along associated by ties of closest friendship, Simon the son of Jona, and John the son of Zebedee. The latter had, in this instance, advantages which the former lacked. Possibly a slightly higher social status and culture, possibly some distant relationship, possibly again some casual contact in previous visits to Jerusalem had made him personally acquainted with Caiaphas or Annas. He entered the courtyard himself; he gained the right of entry for his friend, and the Galilean fisherman, after a hasty denial, as he entered, that he had been a disciple of Jesus, found himself in the crowd of soldiers and of servants, male and female, who were gathering round the charcoal fire. Questions were naturally asked as to who the stranger was. His provincial intonation betrayed that he was a Galilean. The light of the fire shewed to the soldiers the same features that they had seen by moonlight in the momentary scuffle, in which the High Priest's servant had lost his ear. The disciple, wearied and stunned with sorrow, could not bear the torrent of interrogation that fell upon him. The hasty words of denial escaped his lips, and he shifted his position, leaving the blazing fire for the comparative darkness of the porch. But there also he was pursued. Once and again, now with the aggravation of an oath rashly uttered, he asserted that he was not a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth, that he was altogether a stranger to him. On three several occasions, therefore, but with manifold variations and reiterations of denial in each, he had fulfilled his Lord's warning prediction. And then the cock crew, and that prediction smote upon his memory. Had it been left to do its work alone, it might well have driven him to a despair like that of Judas. As it was, the moment coincided with that in which Jesus was led from the room in which Annas had held his preliminary enquiry to the court in which the Sanhedrin was sitting, and " the Lord turned and looked on Peter" with a glance, we may well believe, of ineffable sadness and compassion. The heart of the disciple was stirred to its inmost depths, and he threw himself on the ground (I follow the most natural interpretation of Mark xiv. 72) and burst into a flood of bitter and repentant tears. (Matt. xxvi. 69 - 75; Mark xiv. 66 - 72; Luke xxii. 54  -62; John xviii. 15 - 27.)

We cannot read his Epistles without seeing that what the Apostle then witnessed left on him an ineffaceable impression. He had been an "eye-witness" of the sufferings of the Christ (1 Pet. v. i). He knew of those "bufferings" in the High Priest's palace which the sinless One had borne with such silent patience (1 Pet. ii. 19 - 23). He had found healing for his own soul in those livid marks which the scourge had then inflicted. He had felt that he too was a sheep that had gone astray, and that he had been brought back to the fold by Him who was the true Shepherd and Protector of his soul (1 Pet. ii. 24, 25). He had been taught by the terrible experience of his own weakness in "denying the Lord who had bought him" (2 Pet. ii. 1), the intensity of that sin when it was not the momentary failure of faith and courage, but the persistent apostasy of a life. He had learnt too that a " haughty spirit goeth before a fall," that " God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Pet. v. 5).

The records of the Evangelists leave the hours that followed, as far as Peter is concerned, under the veil of silence. We may infer from the fact that St John stood by the cross, and that he did not, that he had not the heart to look on the sufferings of the Master he had so deeply wronged, and that the day which followed was spent by him in the silent agony of contrition, in the birth-throes of a new life rising out of death. It is significant, however, that when he next appears, it is in company with the beloved disciple. It is no strained inference from that fact that he had sought him out as one to whom he could pour the grief and penitence of his soul without fear of being reproached or repelled. As if they had kept a vigil of sorrow and prayer together on the night that followed the Sabbath, they left their lodging in Jerusalem early on the next day's dawn, and went outside the gates of the city to the garden or orchard where, as St John knew, the body of their Lord had been entombed in the rock-hewn sepulchre (John xx. 3). It is clear that they went in the expectation of finding the body there, with the purpose, perhaps, of taking part in the funereal honours which they must have known that the two Maries and Salome (the mother of the beloved disciple), were about to pay to it, in completion of the hasty embalmment which had followed on the. Crucifixion (Luke xiv. 1). Their eagerness was shewn by the swiftness with which they ran. John was the first to reach the sepulchre and to see that it was empty, and that the winding-sheet and bandages were lying apart in the recess. Peter followed and looked in. The body was not there, and then a new faith and hope sprang up in their hearts. Words to which they had given little heed at the time came back to their memory (Matt. xvii. 9, xx. 19; Mark ix. 9, x. 34; Luke xviii. 33), and they now believed in their fulfilment. That faith was confirmed by sight in a manifestation which is not fully recorded in the Gospels but was received in the general traditions of the Church. The risen Lord "had appeared to Simon," "was seen by Cephas" (Luke xxiv. 34; 1 Cor. xv. 5). The absence of any further record suggests the inference that it was but as the vision of a moment, with few words or none, but, we may believe, with a look as full of pardoning pity as that which had fallen on him as he sat in the gate-way of the High Priest's palace. It follows from this that we must separate the two Apostles from the rest of the disciples, who could not bring themselves to receive the report of the Resurrection brought back by the two Maries and Salome. On the evening of that day, Peter shared with the others in the joy of hearing the familiar words of blessing " Peace be unto you," in the breath that must have thrilled through every nerve of their spiritual life, in the words which gave them the new mysterious power, not only as before, " to bind and to loose," to distinguish, i.e. what was or was not binding in the precepts of the Law, but to deal with those who had transgressed the great commandments by "forgiving" or "retaining" sins according as the prophetic insight which they would receive by the gift of the Spirit, enabled them to discern penitence from impenitence in the heart of the offender (John xx. 22, 23). Of the deliberate exercise of that power by Peter we have examples in the cases of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts v. 1 - 10), of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts viii. 20, 21), in his condemnation of the false teachers of 2 Pet. ii. 12. Less direct traces of it are found in his proclamation of the forgiveness of sins as following on repentance and faith and baptism, in Acts ii. 38, iii. 19, in the stress which he lays on the truth that Love is the great absolver, covering the multitude of sins (1 Pet. iv. 8).

The week that followed was spent, we may believe, as other devout Jews spent it, in the solemnities of the seven days of the great Paschal feast, probably in the services of the Temple, in recalling their Lord's words, in prayer and meditation, in searching the Scriptures with the new light thrown on them by the fact that their Lord had risen from the dead. The disciples, however, felt that they were now marked men in the midst of an unfriendly crowd. At the end of the week, as at the beginning, they were still meeting, most probably in the upper chamber belonging to one who was in secret a disciple, which had received them when they ate their last Passover, and were taught from henceforth to break bread and to drink wine as a memorial of their Lord. And "the doors were shut for fear of the Jews" (John xx. 19, 26). We can scarcely doubt that they were obeying that command, when for one brief moment they saw the beloved Form once more, and heard the words which rebuked the incredulity of Thomas, " Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believed." Of those we have an echo not to be mistaken in the words of 1 Pet. i. 8, " Whom having not seen ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

The Feast was over, and the disciples, having no call to any immediate work at Jerusalem, returned with the other pilgrims to Galilee. Their Lord had indeed bidden them so to return, and had, in a message sent specially, held out the hope to Peter that He would meet them there (Mark xvi. 7; Matt, xxviii. 7). There seemed no reason why they should not fill up the interval of expectation by honest labour, and they returned to the work of their earlier calling on the Sea of Tiberias. Peter and Thomas and Nathaniel and James and John and two other unnamed disciples were together, we may believe, in Capernaum or Bethsaida. An impulse came to Peter, not unconnected, it may be, with the many memories of the scene and the act, which led him to propose, as the sun was setting, that they should go out together in the boat and fish. Was he expecting once again to see that form of the Son of Man walking on the waters? Did he hope to shew that his faith and love were stronger than they had been of old? The night passed, the dawn was breaking. The morning mists were hanging over the shore. They saw the dim outline of a man's figure on the beach. They heard a voice, as of a passing traveller, hailing them in the familiar phrase which was used in speaking to those of their class, "Ho, lads, have you any food with you?" A command, given in reply to their negative answer, that they should cast the net to the right of the boat, did not suggest any other thought than that they were listening to the counsel of one more conversant than themselves with that region of the lake, who knew better where the fishes used to swarm in shoals. But when the nets were filled, so that they found it hard to draw them up, the disciple whom Jesus loved, recalling how once before they had taken such a draught of fishes after a night of fruitless toil, whispered to his friends that the stranger was none other than the Lord. The more impetuous Peter, as soon as he heard the words, girding his fisher's tunic round his loins, flung himself into the water, swam the two hundred cubits that lay between him and the shore, and reached his Master's feet. He and the other disciples drew the net to shore, counted the fish they had taken, and at His command prepared their simple meal with the wood fire which He had kindled on the beach. Few words passed between them, but once again, as before, when the Five Thousand and the Four had been fed by Him, it was He who gave them the bread and the fish which formed their repast. The meal was over, and then he heard the question, addressed to him as like words had been addressed before (John 1. 42; Matt. xvi. 17), by his earlier and earthly name, " Simon, son of Joannes (I give the reading of the best MSS.), lovest thou me more than these love me?" The question sounded to him almost like a reproach. It recalled the hour when he had boasted that he did love Him more, that though all others might deny Him, he would not deny, but was ready to go with Him to prison and to death. He made answer as in the fulness of the heart, changing the word which had been used, "Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee," as friend loves friend, as the scholar should love the Master7, and he was told how he was to shew that affection by the words "Feed my lambs." The question was put again, and answered as before, followed by the command pointing to a higher and a wider work, " Be the shepherd of my sheep." Yet a third time came the question, Peter's own word being now taken up by his Lord, as though his previous declaration had still left some lingering doubt, and, pained by the distrust which the words seemed to imply, there was something of impatient protest in his third answer, " Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." And still there came the same command, varied in its form, " Feed my sheep:" lambs and sheep alike (προβάτια in its diminutive force seems chosen to include both) were to be committed to his care. And then, as if to comfort him for the pain of the previous moment, he heard the prophetic words which shewed him that the Master, who "knew all things," had, in very deed, read the secrets of his soul, and now saw there the love which would endure through many long years of labour, and would make him faithful unto death, "Verily, verily, I say to thee, when thou wast younger thou wast wont to gird thyself, and didst walk whither thou wouldest, but when thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." The beloved disciple, who survived his friend many years, lived to record how these words had been fulfilled by the death by which Peter had glorified God. But for Peter himself, the first thought on hearing of his own future, was the strong desire to know his friend's also. Should they, whose friendship hitherto had been "lovely and pleasant" in its purity, be divided or united in their death? " Lord, and what shall this man do?" His desire was not to be gratified. He was to use the present and to leave the future in the Father's hands, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" (John xxi.)

Here, again, the feelings to which the words gave rise have left manifold traces in the Apostle's writings. As age was creeping on him, he remembered that the Lord Jesus Christ had shewed him that the putting off of the tabernacle of his flesh would not be by the slow decline of old age, but be quick and sudden in its character (see note on 2 Pet. i. 14). His charge to his fellow-workers in the ministry of the Gospel is that they too should be " shepherds of the flock," eager and ready as he him self had been in the service of Him who was the chief shepherd and guardian of their souls (1 Pet. v. 2, ii. 25).

The incident thus recalled is the last in which the name of Peter meets us in the Gospel records. We can only recall to mind that he was probably among the five hundred brethren who, drawn together, we may believe, by his witness to the Resurrection, from Capernaum and Bethsaida and Cana and Chorazin (the nucleus of the Galilean Churches which appear in Acts ix. 31), were permitted, as the Eleven had been, to see for a few moments the visible presence of their risen Lord; that he was a sharer in the mission which sent them to teach, not Israel only, but all the nations of the heathen world, and to baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that to him also was given the promise of signs that should attest his mission, casting out devils, speaking with new tongues, taking up serpents (Matt, xxviii. 16 - 20; Mark xvi. 17, 18). Four weeks passed away, and then they went up to Jerusalem, and met together as before. Once more they saw Him, and now the meeting was a longer one. Resuming His old character and work as a Teacher, a Rabbi instructing His scholars in the house of the Interpreter, He led them through Law and Prophecy and Psalm, and taught them to understand the meanings which had before been hidden, when they witnessed of Himself (Luke xxiv. 44, 45). They learnt from Him what was to be the outline of their future teaching, how they were to preach " repentance and remission of sins to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem," how He would send to them the promise of His Father, how they were to remain in the city, filled though it was with their foes, until that promise was fulfilled, and they should be endued, before not many days had passed, "with power from on high."

And then they took the self-same path, probably about the self-same hour, as that which they had trodden on the unforgotten night of sorrow, down to the valley of the Kidron, and up the slopes of Olivet, and past Gethsemane, till they came to Bethany. They had one more question to ask. He had one last word to speak. They wished, as before, to know whether the kingdom of God should immediately appear (Luke xix. 11), whether at that time He would restore again the Kingdom to Israel. They heard words, the last they were ever to hear from those divine lips, that it was not given to them to know the times and the seasons which the Father had fixed by His own supreme authority. In due course that restitution, not of Israel only but of the universe8, should come. Their task in the mean time was clear, "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high, and ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." And then all was over. " He was parted from them, and was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Two forms like those which the Maries had seen in the sepulchre stood by them, and bade them stand no longer gazing up into Heaven. As surely as they had seen Him go into Heaven, so surely should they see Him come again. Sorrowfully and silently, yet full of an exceeding joy, the Eleven retraced their steps to the upper chamber in Jerusalem. For Peter, as for the others, it was true that the training of the disciple was over, that the work of the Apostle was to begin (Acts i. 112).

 

 

1) The distinctness of the two places is seen in the record of the feeding of the Five Thousand, which took place near the Eastern Bethsaida (Luke ix. 10 - 17), and was followed by the passage of the disciples across the lake to that on the Western shore. (Mark vi. 45.)

2) "Cephas," however, appears to have retained its hold, as " Symeon" did, on the Church of Jerusalem, and was therefore adopted by those who looked to him as their leader in the parties at Corinth (1 Cor. i. 12), and is used of him by St Paul in writing to that Church (1 Cor. ix. 5, xv. 5). The Hebrew word, which meets us in Job xxx. 6, Jer. iv. 29, has the meaning of a projecting cliff or rock, and has affinities in non- Semitic languages, as in Sanscrit kap-ala, Greek κεφ-αλη, Latin caput, German Kopf and Giofel.

3) The assumption of identity rests on the facts (1) that the name Nathanael does not appear in the Synoptic Gospels nor Bartholomew in St John; (2) that the names of Philip and Bartholomew appear in the list of the Twelve in Matt. x. 3, Mark iii. 18, Luke vi. 14 in close combination, as if there were some special bonds of intimacy uniting them; (3) that Bar-tholomŠus is, like Bar-jona and Bar-timŠus, an obvious patronymic.

4) I have written on the assumption that the three Evangelists report the same incident. If the variations in St Luke's record lead to the conclusion that he speaks of a different call, we must infer that the disciples again returned to their employment after that narrated by the other Evangelists.

5) I follow the reading of the better MSS. rather than that of the Received Text.

6) See Liddell and Scott, s. v. πέτρος.

7) I have endeavoured to express by a paraphrase the undoubted distinction between ἀγαπῶ and φιλῶ, between βόσκω and ποιμαίνω.

8) The thoughtful student of the Acts cannot fail to recognise the connexion of thought between the ἀποκαθιστάνεις of i. 6, and the ἀποκατάστασις πάντων of iii. 21.