There are few more complex figures in the New Testament than Saint Peter, known as "the apostle Peter" to Protestants. Born in a fishing town on Lake Gennesaret, he likely expected to live and die a simple working man. Instead, he became one of the founding figures of Christianity. The first disciple to declare to Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," he was also the one who denied knowing Jesus three times on the night of Jesus's arrest. A rash, impulsive man in the gospels, Peter grew to be the thoughtful leader and spokesperson of the apostles in the church's earliest years. He was the leader in the decision-making process that chose a new apostle to replace the traitor Judas. He was the one who rose and preached a stirring open-air sermon on Pentecost. Later, he brought Jesus's message to Jews and Gentiles alike.
Today, St. Peter is venerated by Catholics and Protestants, by the Eastern Orthodox church (where he is known as the first Patriarch of Antioch), and by Islam. He is honored by one of Christendom's most beloved churches, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He is said, today, to have the very keys to heaven. How much do you know about his life and works? Find out now, with our quiz!