Confession of Peter

Giving of the keys to Saint Peter

In Christianity, the Confession of Peter (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: Confessio Petri) refers to an episode in the New Testament in which the Apostle Peter proclaims Jesus to be the Christ (Jewish Messiah). The proclamation is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–20.

The proclamation of Jesus as Christ is fundamental to Christology; the Confession of Peter and Jesus’ acceptance of the title “Messiah” form a definitive statement in the New Testament narrative regarding the person of Jesus Christ. In this New Testament narrative, Jesus not only accepts the titles Christ and Son of God, but declares the proclamation a divine revelation by stating that his Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter, unequivocally declaring himself to be both Christ and the Son of God.

In the same passage Jesus also selects Peter as the leader of the Apostles, and states: “Upon this rock I will build my church”. Most Christian denominations agree that the statement applies to Peter, but they diverge on their interpretations of what happens after Peter.

The Confession of Peter is also the name of a liturgical feast day celebrated by several Christian churches, often as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

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