Friends of Paul: Peter

Peter and Paul could be considered the two most important leaders in the book of Acts. Peter was first a disciple of John the baptist, then of Jesus and was with Jesus during His life on earth. Paul described himself as “one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8). Jesus made a special miraculous appeared to him years later. Peter is the central figure in the first half of Acts. He is last mentioned in Acts in Acts 15, and the story is centered on Paul from that point forward.

Were Peter and Paul friends?

There is nothing in scripture that would really point to a “friendship” between Peter and Paul, other than the fact that they were brothers in Christ and would therefore committed to loving one another. Those facts alone would make you think they must have had some camaraderie, but the fact is there are no friendly salutations or expressions of love recorded.

Galatians 1 and 2 speaks about the 3 times Paul and Peter were together: These are (1) soon after Saul’s conversion, (2) at the Jerusalem meeting to discuss Gentiles, and (3) sometime later when Peter came to Antioch

  1. What knowledge of each other might Peter and Paul have had prior to Saul’s conversion?
  2. How would you describe their relationship in each of the 3 meeting.
    1. Soon After Saul’s conversion: Galatians 1:18-20
    2. At the Jerusalem Meeting: Galatians 2:1-10
    3. Later Peter comes to Antioch: Galatians 2:11-16

3. What has this study caused you to think about in a new way about the relationship between Peter and Paul?

Feel free to give your answers below. We will also review this study Wednesday night at 7 pm on Facebook Live and Zoom. Please ask if you would like to receive the zoom link.

3 thoughts on “Friends of Paul: Peter

  1. Q1. Before Saul’s conversion I suspect Saul knew of Peter as a leader in the church and Peter knew of Saul as one of the church’s chief opponents.
    Q2. In the first reference it seems that perhaps Paul and Peter had never met before as Paul mentions he wanted to become acquainted with Peter. In the second reference it appears a Paul recognizes Peter as a church leader and apostle to the Jews and seems to appreciate Peter’s endorsement. In the third reference Paul confronts Peter for his hypocrisy with regard to his relationship with the Gentiles.

    Although I believe each had respect for the other I don’t think Peter and Paul were together enough or traveled closely in the same circles to be friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul and Peter come from different backgrounds and are given different callings which may be why they do not interact a lot in the biblical writings. Paul to the uncircumcised and Peter to the circumcised, would have lead them to different locations, keeping them from spending a lot of time together.

    Paul used strong words uses to describe his interaction with Peter at Antioch. We do not know how Peter felt or if this was resolved. This isn’t the first time Paul used strong words, if we remember his time with Barnabas had a moment of contention which caused them to separate for a time due to Paul’s strong feelings toward John Mark.

    If Peter was the author of 2 Peter, the writing refers to Paul as a beloved brother, which would show that all was well between the two men.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had forgotten about Peter’s reference to Paul in 2 Peter 3, “just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him”. Thanks for reminding us. It’s an important part of what we know about their relationship.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.