In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar, including the choir and the sanctuary, at the liturgical east end of a traditional Christian church building. It may terminate in an apse, it is the area used by the clergy and choir during worship, while the congregation is in the nave. Direct access may be provided by a priest's door on the south side of the church; this is one definition, sometimes called the "strict" one. In smaller churches, where the altar is backed by the outside east wall and there is no distinct choir, the chancel and sanctuary may be the same area. In churches with a retroquire area behind the altar, this may only be included in the broader definition of chancel. In a cathedral or other large church, there may be a distinct choir area at the start of the chancel, before reaching the sanctuary, an ambulatory may run beside and behind it. All these may be included in the chancel, at least in architectural terms. In many churches, the altar has now been moved to the front of the chancel, in what was built as the choir area, or to the centre of the transept, somewhat confusing the distinction between chancel and sanctuary.
In churches with less traditional plans, the term may not be useful in either architectural or ecclesiastical terms. The chancel may be a step or two higher than the level of the nave, the sanctuary is raised still further; the chancel is often separated from the nave by altar rails, or a rood screen, a sanctuary bar, or an open space, its width and roof height is different from that of the nave. In churches with a traditional Latin cross plan, a transept and central crossing, the chancel begins at the eastern side of the central crossing under an extra-large chancel arch supporting the crossing and the roof; this is an arch which separates the chancel from the transept of a church. If the chancel defined as choir and sanctuary, does not fill the full width of a medieval church, there will be some form of low wall or screen at its sides, demarcating it from the ambulatory or parallel side chapels; as well as the altar, the sanctuary may house a credence table and seats for officiating and assisting ministers.
In some churches, the congregation may gather in a semicircle around the chancel. In some churches, the pulpit and lectern may be in the chancel, but in others these the pulpit, are in the nave; the word "chancel" derives from the French usage of chancel from the Late Latin word cancellus. This refers to the typical form of rood screens; the chancel was known as the presbytery, because it was reserved for the clergy. In Early Christian architecture the templon was a barrier dividing off the sanctuary from the rest of the church. In the West the ciborium, an open-walled but roofed structure sheltering the altar, became common, was fitted with curtains that were drawn and pulled back at different points in the Mass, in a way that some Oriental Orthodox churches still practice today. A large chancel made most sense in monasteries and cathedrals where there was a large number of singing clergy and boys from a choir school to occupy the choir. In many orders "choir monk" was a term used to distinguish the educated monks who had taken full vows, or were training to do so, from another class, called "lay brothers" or other terms, who had taken lesser vows and did manual tasks, including farming the monastery's land.
These sat in the nave, with any lay congregation. Following the exposition of the doctrine of transubstantiation at the fourth Lateran Council of 1215, clergy were required to ensure that the blessed sacrament was to be kept protected from irreverent access or abuse; this distinction was enforced by the development of canon law, by which the construction and upkeep of the chancel was the responsibility of the rector, whereas the construction and upkeep of the nave was the responsibility of the parish. Barriers demarcating the chancel became increasing elaborate, but were swept away after both the Protestant Reformation and the Counter-Reformation prioritized the congregation having a good view of what was happening in the chancel. Now the low communion rail is the only barrier; however the screen enjoyed a small revival in the 19th century, after the passionate urgings of Augustus Pugin, who wrote A Treatise on Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts, others. After the Reformation Protestant churches moved the altar forward to the front of the chancel, used lay choirs who were placed in a gallery at the west end.
The rear of deep chancels became little used in churches surviving from the Middle Ages, new churches often omitted one. With the emphasis on sermons, their audibility, some churches converted their chancels to seat part of the congregation. In 19th-century England one of the battles of the Cambridge Camden Society, the architectural wing of the Anglo-Catholics in
Heaven in Christianity
In Christianity, heaven is traditionally the location of the throne of God as well as the holy angels. In traditional Christianity, it is considered to be a physical place in the afterlife. In most forms of Christianity, Heaven is understood as the abode for the righteous dead in the afterlife a temporary stage before the resurrection of the dead and the saints' return to the New Earth. In the Book of Acts, the resurrected Jesus ascends to heaven where, as the Creed states, he now sits at the right hand of God and will return to Earth in the Second Coming. Various people have been said to have entered heaven while still alive, including Enoch and Jesus himself, after his resurrection. According to Roman Catholic teaching, the mother of Jesus, is said to have been assumed into heaven and is titled the Queen of Heaven. In the Christian Bible, concepts about the future "Kingdom of Heaven" are professed in several scriptural prophecies of the new Earth said to follow the resurrection of the dead—particularly the books of Isaiah and Revelation and other sources of Christian eschatology.
Heaven is therefore spoken of in rather different senses: as another dimension, as the physical skies or upper cosmos, as the realm of divine perfection in existence, or as the "coming world" at the return of Christ. The earliest of the Apostolic Fathers, Clement of Rome, does not mention entry into Heaven after death but instead expresses belief in the resurrection of the dead after a period of "slumber" at the Second Coming. A fragment from the early 2nd century of one of the lost volumes of Papias, a Christian bishop, expounds that "heaven" was separated into three distinct layers, he referred to the first as just "heaven", the second as "paradise", the third as "the city". Papias taught that "there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundredfold, that of those who produce sixty-fold, that of those who produce thirty-fold". According to some views, some Christians in the 1st century believed that the Kingdom of God was coming to Earth within their own lifetimes and looked forward to a divine future on Earth.
When the Kingdom of God did not arrive, according to this hypothesis, championed by Bart Ehrman, Christians refined their hopes so that they came to look forward to an immediate reward in heaven after death, rather than to a future divine kingdom on Earth–despite the churches' continuing to use the major creeds' statements of belief in a coming resurrection day and world to come. In the 2nd century AD, Irenaeus wrote that not all who are saved would merit an abode in heaven itself; the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox communions regarding the Kingdom of Heaven, or Kingdom of God, are taken from scripture, thus many elements of this belief are held in common with other scriptural faiths and denominations. Eastern Orthodox cosmology perceives heaven as having different levels, the lowest of, Paradise. At the time of creation, paradise touched the earth at the Garden of Eden. After the Fall of man, paradise was separated from the earth, mankind forbidden entry, lest he partake of the Tree of Life and live eternally in a state of sinfulness.
At his death on the Cross, the Orthodox believe Jesus opened the door to Paradise to mankind again, the Good Thief was the first to enter. Various saints have had visions of heaven; the Orthodox concept of life in heaven is described in one of the prayers for the dead: "…a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of repose, from whence all sickness and sighing are fled away". However, in the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, it is only God who has the final say on who enters heaven. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, heaven is part and parcel of deification, the eternal sharing of the divine qualities through communion with the Triune God; the Catholic Church teaches that "heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness". It holds that, "by Resurrection, Jesus Christ has ` opened' heaven to us; the life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ...
Heaven is the blessed community of all who are incorporated into Christ." "In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. They reign with Christ. All of those who have made it to Heaven, recognized by the Church or not, are Saints or the Church Triumphant. Heaven is considered a state, a condition of existence, rather than a particular place somewhere in the cosmos. Pope John Paul II declared: "The'heaven' or'happiness' in which we will find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity, it is our meeting with the Father which takes place in the risen Christ through the communion of the Holy Spirit." Those Christians who die still imperfectly purified must, according to Catholic teaching, pass through a state of purification known as purgatory before entering heaven. Pope Benedict XVI gave this explanation of what is meant by heaven: We all experience that when people die they continue to exist, in a certain way, in the memory and heart of those who knew and loved them.
We might say that a part of the person lives on in them but it resembles a "shadow" because this survival in the heart of their loved ones is destined to end. God, on the contrary, never passes away and we all exist by virtue of his love. We exist because he loves us
St Mary's Church, North Leigh
The Parish Church of Saint Mary, North Leigh is the Church of England parish church of North Leigh, a village about 3 miles northeast of Witney in Oxfordshire. The bell tower is late Anglo-Saxon built in the first half of the 11th century. There was an Anglo-Saxon nave west of the tower, an Anglo-Saxon chancel east of it. In the latter part of the 12th century the nave was abandoned and its arch in the west wall of the tower was blocked up. A new nave was built east of the tower in place of the Anglo-Saxon chancel, with north and south aisles flanking it and a new chancel extending further east, all in the Early English Gothic style. Early in the 13th century the arch between the tower and the new nave was enlarged, a third chancel was built east of the 12th-century one, the 12th-century chancel was made part of the nave. Early in the 14th century both aisles were extended westwards, flanking the tower on both sides, arches were cut in the tower to link with the aisle extensions. New Decorated Gothic style windows were inserted in the east end of the chancel, the west end of the nave and along the south aisle.
In the middle of the 14th century the division between the nave and chancel was moved back to where it had been in the 12th century. The 13th-century chancel arch was removed, but its imposts remain in the north and south walls of the chancel. An arch was cut in the north wall of the chancel to connect with a new chapel. After 1439 this chapel was replaced with a new Perpendicular Gothic style chapel, which has fine fan vaulting of unusually high quality for a parish church, it was built for Elizabeth Wilcote, widow of the Lord of the Manor. She had been widowed twice and lost two of her sons, had ordered the chapel as a chantry to offer Mass for them. Parts of the chapel's original 15th-century stained glass survive in its windows. In the 15th century, new Perpendicular Gothic windows were inserted in the north and south aisles; the parents of the Civil War Speaker of the House Commons, William Lenthall, came from North Leigh and are buried in the church. A memorial tablet in the Wilcote chantry chapel commemorates them.
In 1723, John Perrott, Lord of the Manor, engaged Christopher Kempster of Burford to refit the church and build a burial chapel for the Perrott family to the north of the north aisle. Kempster was a mason. Kempster linked the north aisle by an arcade of Tuscan columns; the chapel is lit by round-headed Georgian windows with plain glass. On the walls are several large, ornate 18th-century memorials to members of the Perott family. In 1864 the Gothic Revival architect GE Street restored the church. Street unblocked and re-glazed windows that Kempster had blocked up for Perrott, reinstated the Norman font that Perrott had had removed to the churchyard for use as a water butt. Kempster had inserted round-headed Georgian windows in the south walls of the chancel. Street replaced these with ones to match the restored Decorated Gothic east window. During the works a 15th-century Doom painting at the east end of the nave was uncovered and restored. Street had the south porch rebuilt. There are records of the church tower having bells since the 16th century.
By 1875 there was a ring of five, hung for change ringing, which that year were recast by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry to make the current ring of six bells. Crossley, Alan. A History of the County of Oxford. Victoria County History. 12: Wootton Hundred including Woodstock. London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. Pp. 231–235. ISBN 978-0-19722-774-9. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Long, ET. "Medieval Wall Paintings in Oxfordshire Churches". Oxoniensia. Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society. XXXVII: 106–107. ISSN 0308-5562. Sherwood, Jennifer. Oxfordshire; the Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Pp. 719–720. ISBN 0-14-071045-0. 360 Panorama showing the 15th-century Doom painting in nave, above entrance to chancel 360 Panorama showing the Perpendicular Gothic fan-vaulted ceiling of Wilcote chantry chapel
The Counter-Reformation called the Catholic Reformation or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic resurgence, initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent and ended with the 1781 Patent of Toleration, although smaller expulsions of Protestants continued into the 19th century. Initiated to preserve the power and material wealth enjoyed by the Catholic Church and to present a theological and material challenge to Reformation, the Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort composed of apologetic and polemical documents, ecclesiastical reconfiguration as decreed by the Council of Trent, a series of wars, political maneuvering including the efforts of Imperial Diets of the Holy Roman Empire, exiling of Protestant populations, confiscation of Protestant children for Catholic institutionalized upbringing, heresy trials and the Inquisition, anti-corruption efforts, spiritual movements, the founding of new religious orders; such reforms included the foundation of seminaries for the proper training of priests in the spiritual life and the theological traditions of the church, the reform of religious life by returning orders to their spiritual foundations, new spiritual movements focusing on the devotional life and a personal relationship with Christ, including the Spanish mystics and the French school of spirituality.
It involved political activities that included the Roman Inquisition and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Protestants. One primary emphasis of the Counter-Reformation was a mission to reach parts of the world, colonized as predominantly Catholic and try to reconvert areas such as Sweden and England that were at one time Catholic, but had been Protestantized during the Reformation. Various Counter-Reformation theologians focused only on defending doctrinal positions such as the sacraments and pious practices that were attacked by the Protestant reformers, up to the Second Vatican Council in 1962–1965. One of the "most dramatic moments" at that council was the intervention of Belgian Bishop Émile-Joseph De Smed when, during the debate on the nature of the church, he called for an end to the "triumphalism and juridicism" that had typified the church in the previous centuries. Key events of the period include: the Council of Trent; the 1530 Confutatio Augustana was the Catholic response to the Augsburg Confession.
Pope Paul III is considered the first pope of the Counter-Reformation, he initiated the Council of Trent, a commission of cardinals tasked with institutional reform, addressing contentious issues such as corrupt bishops and priests, the sale of indulgences, other financial abuses. The council upheld the basic structure of the medieval church, its sacramental system, religious orders, doctrine, it rejected all compromise with the Protestants. The council upheld salvation appropriated by grace through faith and works of that faith because "faith without works is dead", as the Epistle of James states. Transubstantiation, according to which the consecrated bread and wine are held to have been transformed and into the body, blood and divinity of Christ, was reaffirmed, as were the traditional seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. Other practices that drew the ire of Protestant reformers, such as pilgrimages, the veneration of saints and relics, the use of venerable images and statuary, the veneration of the Virgin Mary were reaffirmed as spiritually commendable practices.
The council, in the Canon of Trent accepted the Vulgate listing of the Old Testament Bible, which included the deuterocanonical works on a par with the 39 books found in the Masoretic Text. This reaffirmed the previous Council of Rome and Synods of Carthage, which had affirmed the Deuterocanon as scripture; the council commissioned the Roman Catechism, which served as authoritative church teaching until the Catechism of the Catholic Church. While the traditional fundamentals of the church were reaffirmed, there were noticeable changes to answer complaints that the Counter-Reformers were, willing to admit were legitimate. Among the conditions to be corrected by Catholic reformers was the growing divide between the clerics and the laity; these rural priests did not know Latin and lacked opportunities for proper theological training. Addressing the education of priests had been a fundamental focus of the humanist reformers in the past. Parish priests were to be better educated in matters of theology and apologetics, while Papal authorities sought to educate the faithful about the meaning and value of art and liturgy in monastic churches
Christian views on Hell
In Christian theology, Hell is the place or state into which by God's definitive judgment unrepentant sinners pass in the general judgment, some Christians hold it happens after death or at a. Its character is inferred from teaching in the biblical texts, some of which, interpreted have given rise to the popular idea of Hell. Theologians today see Hell as the logical consequence of using free will to reject union with God and, because God will not force conformity, not incompatible with God's justice and mercy. Different Hebrew and Greek words are translated as "Hell" in most English-language Bibles, they include: "Sheol" in the Hebrew Bible, "Hades" in the New Testament. Many modern versions, such as the New International Version, translate Sheol as "grave" and transliterate "Hades", it is agreed that both sheol and hades do not refer to the place of eternal punishment, but to the grave, the temporary abode of the dead, the underworld. "Gehenna" in the New Testament, where it is described as a place where both soul and body could be destroyed in "unquenchable fire".
The word is translated as either "Hell" or "Hell fire" in many English versions. The Greek verb "ταρταρῶ", which occurs once in the New Testament, is always translated by a phrase such as "thrown down to hell". A few translations render it as "Tartarus". In ancient Jewish belief, the dead were consigned to Sheol, a place to which all were sent indiscriminately. Sheol was thought of as a place situated below the ground, a place of darkness and forgetfulness. By the third to second century BC, the idea had grown to encompass separate divisions in sheol for the righteous and wicked, by the time of Jesus, some Jews had come to believe that those in Sheol awaited the resurrection of the dead either in comfort or in torment. By at least the late rabbinical period, Gehinnom was viewed as the place of ultimate punishment, exemplified by the rabbinical statement "the best of physicians are destined to Gehinnom.". The term is derived from Gei Ben-Hinnom, a valley near Jerusalem used as a location for human sacrifices to the idol Moloch: And he defiled the Tophet, in the valley of Ben-hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech.
And they built the high places of the Ba‘al, which are in the valley of Ben-hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech. In the Greek Septuagint the Hebrew word Sheol was translated as Hades, the name for the underworld and abode of the dead in Greek mythology; the realm of eternal punishment in Hellenistic mythology was Tartarus, Hades was a form of limbo for the unjudged dead. Three different New Testament words appear in most English translations as "Hell": The most common New Testament term translated as "Hell" is γέεννα, a direct loan of Hebrew גהנום/גהנם. Apart from one use in James 3:6, this term is found in the synoptic gospels. Gehenna is most described as a place of fiery torment. Apart from the use of the term gehenna the Johannine writings refer to the destiny of the wicked in terms of "perishing", "death" and "condemnation" or "judgment". Paul speaks of "wrath" and "everlasting destruction", while the general epistles use a range of terms and images including "raging fire", "destruction", "eternal fire" and "blackest darkness".
The Book of Revelation contains the image of a "lake of fire" and "burning sulphur" where "the devil, the beast, false prophet" will be "tormented day and night for and ever" along with those who worship the beast or receive its mark. The New Testament uses the Greek word hades to refer to the abode of the dead. Only one passage describes hades as a place of the parable of Lazarus and Dives. Jesus here depicts a wicked man suffering fiery torment in hades, contrasted with the bosom of Abraham, explains that it is impossible to cross over from one to the other; some scholars believe that this parable reflects the intertestamental Jewish view of hades as containing separate divisions for the wicked and righteous. In Revelation 20:13-14 hades is itself thrown into the "lake of fire" after being emptied of the dead. In the eschatological discourse of Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus says that, when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate people from one another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats, will consign to everlasting fire those who failed to aid "the least of his brothers".
This separation is stark, with no explicit provision made for fine gradations of merit or guilt: Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was
Hellmouth is the entrance to Hell envisaged as the gaping mouth of a huge monster, an image which first appears in Anglo-Saxon art, spread all over Europe, remaining common in depictions of the Last Judgment and Harrowing of Hell until the end of the Middle Ages, still sometimes used during the Renaissance and after. It enjoyed something of a revival in polemical popular prints after the Protestant Reformation, when figures from the opposite side would be shown disappearing into the mouth. A notable late appearance is in the two versions of a painting by El Greco of about 1578. Political cartoons still showed Napoleon leading his troops into one. Medieval theatre had a hellmouth prop or mechanical device, used to attempt to scare the audience by vividly dramatizing an entrance to Hell; these seem to have featured a battlemented castle entrance, in painting associated with Heaven. The oldest example of an animal Hellmouth known to Meyer Schapiro was an ivory carving of c. 800 in the Victoria and Albert Museum, he says most examples before the 12th century are English.
Many show the Harrowing of Hell, which appealed to Anglo-Saxon taste, as a successful military raid by Christ. Schapiro speculates that the image may have drawn from the pagan myth of the Crack of Doom, with the mouth that of the wolf-monster Fenrir, slain by Vidar, used as a symbol of Christ on the Gosforth Cross and other pieces of Anglo-Scandinavian art. In the assimilation of Christianised Viking populations in northern England, the Church was ready to allow the association of pagan mythological images with Christian ones, in hogback grave markers for example. In the Anglo-Saxon Vercelli Homilies Satan is likened to a dragon swallowing the damned: "... ne cumaþ þa næfre of þæra wyrma seaðe & of þæs dracan ceolan þe is Satan nemned." - " never come out of the pit of snakes and of the throat of the dragon, called Satan."The whale-monster Leviathan has been equated with this description, although this is hard to confirm in the earliest appearances. However, in The Whale, an Old English poem from the Exeter Book, the mouth of Hell is compared to a whale's mouth: The whale has another trick: when he is hungry, he opens his mouth and a sweet smell comes out.
The fish are tricked by the smell and they enter into his mouth. The whale’s jaws close. Any man who lets himself be tricked by a sweet smell and led to sin will go into hell, opened by the devil — if he has followed the pleasures of the body and not those of the spirit; when the devil has brought them to hell, he clashes together the gates of hell. No one can get out from them. In the Middle Ages the classical Cerberus became associated with the image, although it is hardly that the Anglo-Saxons had him in mind. Satan himself is shown sitting in Hell eating the damned, but according to G. D. Schmidt this is a separate image, the Hellmouth should not be considered to be the mouth of Satan, although Hofmann is inclined to disagree with this; the Hellmouth never bites remaining wide open, ready for more. In late medieval works by Hieronymous Bosch and his followers, where the wide interior of Hell is shown, there is a Hellmouth leading to some special compartment; the Hellmouth appears, swallowing a bishop, at bottom left in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a famous woodcut by Albrecht Dürer.
G. D. Schmidt, The Iconography of the Mouth of Hell:Eighth-Century Britain to the Fifteenth Century, 1995, Selinsgrove, PA, Susquehanna University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-945636-69-5 Austin Simmons, The Cipherment of the Franks Casket Hellmouth is inferred in the inscription on the front side of the Franks Casket
Saint Peter known as Simon Peter, Simon, or Cephas, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Great Church. Pope Gregory I called him the "Prince of the Apostles". According to Catholic teaching, Jesus promised Peter in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18 a special position in the Church, he is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome—or pope—and by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors; the New Testament indicates that Peter's father's name was John and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Andrew was an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples.
A fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, preached on the day of Pentecost. According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero, it is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds, his remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced in 1968 the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery; every 29 June since 1736, a statue of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica is adorned with papal tiara, ring of the fisherman, papal vestments, as part of the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. According to Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent pope Pope Francis.
Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name—the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Judgment of Peter—are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, are thus not included in their Bible canons. Peter's original name, as indicated in the New Testament, was "Simon" or "Simeon"; the Simon/Simeon variation has been explained as reflecting "the well-known custom among Jews at the time of giving the name of a famous patriarch or personage of the Old Testament to a male child along with a similar sounding Greek/Roman name". He was given the name כֵּיפָא in Aramaic, rendered in Greek as Κηφᾶς, whence Latin and English Cephas; the precise meaning of the Aramaic word is disputed, some saying that its usual meaning is "rock" or "crag", others saying that it means rather "stone" and in its application by Jesus to Simon, "precious stone" or "jewel", but most scholars agree that as a proper name it denotes a rough or tough character.
Both meanings, "stone" and "rock", are indicated in dictionaries of Syriac. Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic cepha means "stone, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; the combined name Σίμων Πέτρος appears 19 times in the New Testament. In some Syriac documents he is called, in Simon Cephas. Peter's life story is told in the four canonical gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, New Testament letters, the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews and other Early Church accounts of his life and death. In the New Testament, he is among the first of the disciples called during Jesus' ministry. Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early church. Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida, he was named son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum. 1 Cor. 9:5 has been taken to imply that he was married. In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter was a fisherman along with his brother and the sons of Zebedee and John.
The Gospel of John depicts Peter fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be "fishers of men". A Franciscan church is built upon the traditional site of Apostle Peter's house. In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesu