What Are Some Facts on Simon Peter?

Simon Peter was the son of Jonah and the brother of Andrew. He worked as a fisherman on the sea of Tiberias before becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.

Simon was born in Bethsaida in Galilee. He was one of the chief apostles of the Bible and the head of Jesus' 12 apostles. His initial name was Simon, which means "hearing." So firm was his faith that Jesus gave him the name Cephas, meaning "a rock" in the Syrian language. Peter is the Greek translation of Cephas.

Peter was a follower of John the Baptist and was the very first disciple that Jesus called, along with his brother Andrew. Peter was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the transfiguration. He was part of Jesus' inner circle and denied Jesus three times before his crucifixion. He was among the people who received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. He was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself as unworthy to die in the same way as Jesus. The gospels depict him as a spokesman of the apostles. Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches refer to him as chief of the apostles.