134

5.9.11.
The deaths of James and Simon, continued (3): Did Peter survive? Did Luke have a motive for allowing Peter to survive

Ephesus, gate
Ephesus, gate

in his literary account? Yes: he needed Peter’s presence at the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem: Acts 15:1ff.

It is possible that the legend that Peter went to Rome and was martyred there may already have existed in Luke’s time.

The tradition that Luke found probably reported Peter’s death. After all, Luke only has very weak witnesses for his version that Peter was saved.

The doubt: Peter himself doubts; he believes he is seeing a vision rather than that he would actually be saved. The church community he approaches also doubts and initially refuses to open the door, because they think Peter is a ghost (his angel).

Luke’s only witness is Rhoda the slave. But women and slaves were bad witnesses in classical times, because it was assumed that they would always speak in favour of their husbands or masters. The fact that Luke quotes this witness shows how desperately weak his position is in this case.

According to the principle of Occam’s razor, Josephus’ version is the right one: Peter died with James and in the same way. This argument is also supported by the fact that Luke does not provide any more narratives about Peter after this event: the Peter tradition ends here.

And according to Paul in Gal. 2:9, it wasn’t Peter, but Cephas, Peter’s successor as leader of Peter’s church, who was present at the Apostolic Council.

Conclusion: Peter was crucified by the governor Tiberius Alexander in 46 AD alongside James.

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