Confession of Peter

Stained glass window of the Confession of Peter in Luke 9:20: "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered: "The Christ of God".[1]

In Christianity, the Confession of Peter refers to an episode in the New Testament in which Apostle Peter proclaims Jesus to be Christ - the expected Messiah. The proclamation is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–20.[2][1]

The proclamation of Jesus as Christ is fundamental to Christology and the Confession of Peter, and Jesus' acceptance of the title is a definitive statement for it in the New Testament narrative.[3][4] In this New Testament episode, 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.[4]

In this episode Jesus also selects Peter as the leader of the Apostles, and states that "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.[5]

The Confession of Peter is also the name of a liturgical feastday celebrated by several Christian churches, often as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.[6][7]


Gospel accounts

Background and setting

In the New Testament, this pericope and the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus which follows it appear towards the middle of the Gospel narrative and jointly mark the beginnings of the gradual disclosure of the identity of Jesus to his disciples.[8][9]

The setting is near Caesarea Philippi in northern Palestine and is at the beginning of the final journey to Jerusalem which ends in the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus.[2]