St Peter's reputation

I always wonder why St Peter gets such a bad rap - when I read scripture I see two Peters - I see the flawed human being he was in the Gospels when the holy spirit was not with him but after the resurrection and the gift of the holy spirit there is a completely different Peter bold burning with faith and ready to die for it. People were scared to look him in the eye. The transition is there but some people don’t recognize it and always think of the Gospel Peter.

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I think because it gives people hope that they can mess up very badly but still be able to reconcile with Jesus.

Like the phrase “every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future “


When you think more about it when Jesus tells him get behind me Satan it was because he didn’t want Jesus to die he had no hindsight on what was to come - who would not say that to someone they love but that would be Satan’s work and temptation to Jesus - Peter had no idea. In a way its a paradox on one hand you certainly don’t want Jesus to die which is Satan’s work and on the other hand the sacrifice had to be made. Peter was in a bad spot and was likely temped by Satan to put the idea to Jesus but he was clueless. Jesus had just praised him for proclaiming him the Christ and then rebukes as him as the devil moments later

It goes to show that we all have our particular strengths and weaknesses. This is part of God’s plan, as it encourages us to work together and bring out the best in each other. Your strength makes my weakness irrelevant. Paul said it better: The Body of Christ is made up of various members each designed for its purpose.

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If the flawed human being of the Gospels could become the Church’s foundational stone, and not in spite of it his flaws, but with all his flaws (that “get behind me, Satan” episode follows directly after Jesus naming him Peter and promising to build His Church on him), then there’s hope for us all.


I think it’s because as others said, people relate to Peter. Sometimes he messes up, sometimes he’s overenthusiastic, sometimes he just doesn’t seem to understand what Jesus is saying, other times he totally gets it. He’s Everyman. After Jesus’ ascension, it seems like he continued to sometimes mess up, because St. Paul (who arguably was a rival of Peter’s for leadership) called him out.

I’ve heard a homily by a Pope or bishop (unfortunately can’t remember who) that said Peter was chosen to be the leader because, from a human perspective, he was the most relatable. He wasn’t a great theologian like St John the Evangelist, or a great writer like St Paul. He was just an ordinary working-class man.


People say that the main difference between Judas and Peter regarding their denial of Christ was that Judas saw what he had done and fell into despair, but Peter saw what he had done and wept at it - this is known as the repentance of Peter. Peter’s narrative isn’t “I’m perfect Peter. I’m so good and faithful, look at me. Jesus said that I’m the rock which He’ll build His Church on!!” He was only human, he made mistakes: he doubted Jesus about walking on water, he denied knowing Jesus, he fell asleep in the garden etc. But it’s what he became - look at Pentecost, the Council of Jerusalem, his martyrdom etc.

That’s the key to Peter becoming St. Peter, the Holy Spirit. It was after the resurrection and after he received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter’s transformation wasn’t done on his own.

Do you really think Peter and Paul were rivals? They had disagreements but are they really known in history as to be rivals?

Jimmy Akin has written tracts trying to claim they weren’t. I personally think Paul had a hard time humbling himself to Peter’s authority. Paul was a forceful personality, a gifted writer, and a Roman citizen. Peter was none of these things, and sometimes he didn’t act correctly in Paul’s opinion. Paul was trying to preach a particular set of teachings and Peter threatened to upset that applecart because the Jewish converts leaned towards his views.

Oh okay, I thought it was based on Catholoc teaching.

Interesting opinion but a sad one as well to think any of the apostles as rival to each other considering who they were, what they were doing and Who they doing it for.

Scripture does tell us that when Jesus was alive, they argued over which one was the greatest, and the mother of James and John tried to get Jesus to make her sons the top Apostles.
There are also some stories that St. James the Great challenged Peter’s leadership, but St. James the Great was the first of the apostles to be martyred, which ended the challenge.
It’s probably just human nature to be a little competitive.
I also think maybe that encouraged them to all split up and go evangelize different places, which was a good thing for the Church.

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You could make this argument with James but not with Peter.

Remember Paul met with him for 15 days. Remember they worked together in Antioch and Rome.

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The Gospels were written by contemporaries of the time but they were guided by the Holy Spirit for all time.

St Peter probably wasn’t a more flawed person than the other disciples, but he was the first Pope and it was important for us to see his formation from the beginning as a fisherman and eventually into the leader he was later on, and the way that he always picked himself back up. There’s so many other events during the life of Christ that aren’t recorded and the Gospels give us what is necessary.

Yes, especially since most of the other disciples are mentioned much less than Peter in the New Testament. Most of them only have one story or, in the case of Jude Thaddeus, one spoken line, and Simon the Zealot, James the Less, and Matthias don’t even have that much.

My recollection is that after the Ascension, Paul took Peter to task.

One can see Peter as having the flaws he did and still see him as on fire with the Holy Spirit. One does not preclude the other.

I guess of the 12 I identify more with Peter because of all his flaws and if I was there I would of been right beside him saying it was a bad idea of course not knowing what was coming or why and Jesus would rebuke me also as Satan and he would be right - its kind of hard to take.

I’m starting to ask myself and need to be clear, what exactly is the bad rap you are referring too when it comes to Peter? The man he was before the Holy Spirit compared to the man he became after the Holy Spirit?

Its starting to sound, as I read, there were arguments among the apostles with such strength, it was better for them to separate than unite. That’s a sad thought, those chosen to help spread the Word of God couldn’t even get along with each other. I don’t think that is what is being said but that’s how it reads.

I always thought Peter was great because of his flaws, before and after receiving the Holy Spirit. Well after receiving the Spirit, he became better but he was a pretty decent man before as well.

They probably got along with each other about as well as we get along with each other on this forum.

They were imperfect humans.

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Why I have heard people say terrible things about him - a failure , a horrible person , the worst pope in Catholic history some right here on this site I just wondered how some people got to that impression and why. I can see myself doing the same things Peter did so I certainly can’t judge him as a matter of fact I would of been much worse I am even more flawed. He is mentioned more than any other disciple Jesus obviously loved him very much and poor Peter always slipped on his tongue and Jesus always used it as a teaching moment .

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WOW, sounds like some people need to do some major research on Popes if they think Peter was so bad they’d consider him the worst Pope in Catholic history.

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