It has been said that the apostle Peter was a slender person.  He was of a middle size, inclining to tallness, and that his complexion was pale (almost white.)  It has, also, been said that he had a short, thick, curled beard, thin eyebrows (or no eyebrows at all.)

Another description of the apostle Peter is that his eyes were black, but flecked with red due to frequent weeping.

Peter was born in Betsaida (in Galilee, Israel.)   By profession, he was a fisherman.  His father (also a fisherman) was named Jona; his brother, the apostle Andrew.  He and his brother (Andrew), along with their partners (the apostles James and John) were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.  Zebedee (the father of James and John) was also a partner.

So firm was Peter's faith that Jesus gave him the name of Cephas, meaning, in the Syriac language, a rock (Peter is the Greek translation of Cephas.)

The house in which Peter lived, in Capernaum, is still standing; in the 5th century AD, however, a Christian church was constructed over it.

It was Peter who preached to the masses in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (following Jesus' ascension to heaven.) His message is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, the book of Acts, chapter 2.

Peter is, also, the one who prompted the disciples to choose a replacement to take over the apostolic ministry of Judas Iscariot (after Judas' betrayal of Christ Jesus.)

It was, also, Peter who healed a man, who was over 40 years of age, who had been crippled from birth, with but the words, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

Peter was called by the apostle Paul a "pillar" of the Church.  It was, also, believed by the crowds that the mere casting of his shadow upon the sick was capable of bringing about miraculous healing.

Peter is the one who defended the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) into the Christian Church at the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem.  His ministry was primarily to the Jews, as the apostle Paul's was to the Gentiles.

After being imprisoned several times in Jerusalem (because of his faith), Peter left with his wife and possibly others.  It is believed that he ministered (in Babylon) to the Jewish colonists there.  It is, also, believed to be his location when he wrote his first epistle (1 Peter.)

Peter eventually went to Rome.  While there, it is believed that John Mark (the writer of the Gospel of Mark) served as his translator (as he preached.)  There is a Church tradition which says that "Mark the disciple and interpreter of the apostle Peter wrote a short gospel at the request of the brethren at Rome, embodying what he had heard Peter tell."  Thus Peter was the source of the Gospel of Mark.   

According to Church tradition, the Roman Emperor Nero, publicly announcing himself the chief enemy of God, was led in his fury to slaughter the Apostles.  Because of this persecution, Peter was crucified upside down while in Rome.

Concerning the last hours of his life, it is said that Peter, when seeing his own wife led out to die, rejoiced because of her summons and her return home.  He called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, "O thou, remember the Lord."

Of the final days of the apostle Peter in Rome, Italy, Jowett wrote that Peter was cast into a horrible prison called the Mamertine.  For nine months, in absolute darkness, he endured monstrous torture manacled to a post.  In spite of all the suffering Peter was subjected to, however, he converted his jailers, Processus, Martinianus, and forty-seven others.

Peter met his death at the hand of the Romans in Nero's circus, 67AD.

Purchase Online   (The Search for the Twelve Apostles)

The information above is compiled from the book "The Search for the Twelve Apostles" by William Steuart McBirnie Ph.D, Copyright 1973

Simon (Peter)


James (Son of Zebedee)






James (Son of Alphaeus)

Jude (Thaddaeus)

Simon (The Zealot)


Matthias (replaced Judas)

Saul (Paul)



John Mark


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.