Christian History Project. This site contains the text of 12 volumes on the history of mankind over the last 2,000 years written from a 'collectively-denominational' Christian perspective.

Why St Peter |
Why Peter?

Why St Peter is drawn from Chapter Two, beginning on page 61, of Volume One, The Veil is Torn of the twelve-volume historical series The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. If you would like to order this book please visit

He was undependable and cowardly, and he lied. Why not John?

Why St Peter - Why Peter?

Why St Peter - Why Peter?
Artist Richard Sparks envisioned Peter (above), with the face of a fisherman, focused on the laying of the nets, eyes squinted as the sun glints off the water.

Why Jesus conferred a position of leadership on the uncertain person of the apostle Peter has puzzled Christians for two thousand years.

In her play The Zeal of Thy House, the twentieth-century detective story writer and Christian apologist Dorothy L. Sayers tackles the puzzle head-on. She puts into the mouth of the fictional abbot of the twelfth-century Catholic cathedral at Canterbury, the following lines:

God founded his church, not upon John,

The loved disciple, that lay so close to his heart

And knew his mind–not upon John, but Peter,

Peter the liar, Peter the coward, Peter

The rock, the common man. John was all gold,

And gold is rare; the work might wait while God

Ransacked the corners of the earth to find

Another John; but Peter is the stone

Whereof the world is made. So stands the Church,

Stone upon stone, and Christ the corner-stone,

Carved of the same stuff, common flesh and blood,

With you, and me, and Peter; and he can,

Being the alchemist’s stone, the stone of Solomon,

Turn stone to gold, and purge the gold itself

From dross, till all is gold.

This is the end of the Why St Peter category article drawn from Chapter Two, beginning on page 61, of Volume One, The Veil is Torn. To continue reading more about Why St Peter from The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years we suggest experiencing the rest of the book, complete with hundreds of magnificent illustrations, by ordering it at