Peter in Early Christianity: New Book
I’m pleased to announce the new multi-author volume: Peter in Early Christianity (Eerdmans, 2015), eds. Helen K. Bond & Larry W. Hurtado. The online catalogue entry is here. This volume arose from our conference on Peter held here in Edinburgh under the auspices of our Centre for the Study of Christian Origins in July 2013.
Long overshadowed by the apostle Paul, especially in Protestant scholarship and in the “secularized” scholarship descended from it, in recent decades there has been a small but interesting surge of interest in Peter.
This collection of studies is impressively wide in coverage of data and issues. Margaret Williams focuses on the names assigned to him, Shimon (Simon), Kephas (Petros/Peter), in light of then-contemporary naming practices. Other essays address Peter as portrayed in various texts, including the Gospel of Mark (Bond), Petrine speeches in Acts (Jonathan Lo), the Synoptic tradition (John Markley), the Gospel of John (Jason Sturdevant), Luke-Acts (Finn Damgaard), traditions of Peter’s literacy (Sean Adams), Petrine epistles (Matt Novenson), Apostolic Fathers (Todd Still), 1 Clement and Polycarp (Paul Hartog), Kerygma Petrou (William Rutherford), “Gnostic” texts/perspectives (Tobias Nicklas), other noncanonical texts (Paul Foster).
Timothy Barnes examines traditions and evidence about Peter’s death. Paul Parvis explores traditions about Peter as bishop (in Antioch!). Markus Bockmuehl engages the treatment of Peter in von Baltasar (Roman Catholic theologian). My own contribution is an analysis of the treatment of Peter in three modern Protestant New Testament scholars: Oscar Cullmann, Martin Hengel, and Markus Bockmuehl.
For me personally, the largest essay in the volume is the most fascinating and informative: Peter Lampe, “Traces of Peter Veneration in Roman Archaeology.” Lampe is internationally respected for his previous work on textual and archaeological evidence of early Christianity in Rome, and this essay further demonstrates his control of this sort of data.