In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Peter

  • Introduction

Biblical Studies Peter
Barry S. Crawford
  • LAST REVIEWED: 11 January 2018
  • LAST MODIFIED: 11 January 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195393361-0048


The literature on the apostle Peter, as it relates to the study of the New Testament and early Christianity, is vast. In addition to a sizable collection of ancient writings, in which Peter is either a principal character or the alleged author, it includes an extensive library of scholarly works on a range of topics: reconstructions of the historical Peter, examinations of the various images of Peter in the sources, and studies of the literary tradition Peter is thought to have left behind, both in the New Testament and in Christian apocryphal texts. The bibliography offered here, arranged in terms of these categories, focuses, with a few exceptions, on the most recent literature, works published within the last two or three decades.

Peter in History and Imagination

The quest for the historical Peter is beset with the same kinds of problems that plague the quest for the historical Jesus: the figure sought is buried under layers of tradition the historical reliability of which is uncertain at best. Many scholars, therefore, focus on one or another of the various images of Peter preserved in Christian texts, both canonical and noncanonical. This section of the bibliography deals with both types of studies, those attempting to recover Peter as a historical figure in emerging Christianity and those concentrating on portraits of Peter in the developing Christian tradition, especially in the New Testament and other early Christian literature.

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