Was Peter a member of the Jerusalem church?

  • Clarifying the question

    Question: The Jerusalem church was the church of the apostles, formed shortly after Jesus's death. Was Peter a member of this church?

  • Scholars say "yes"

    • John Painter: "There is no doubt that Peter has a leadership role in the Jerusalem church." [“Who was James?” in The Brother of Jesus eds. Chilton & Neusner (Westminster, 2001), 31.]
    • Bart Ehrman: “…it is clear that in the beginning months of the church, soon after Jesus' death, it was Peter who took charge and began the mission to convert others to faith in Jesus. Some twenty years later the apostle Paul could still speak of Peter as one of the 'pillars' of the Jerusalem church, along with John, the son of Zebedee, and James, the brother of Jesus (Ga. 2:9).” [Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene (Oxford, 2008), 81.]
“Yes, after all…
  • Paul reports this in Galatians

    Paul reports in his letter (Galatians) that Peter is a member of the Jerusalem church.1 This is relevant because there is no good reason to doubt Paul's testimony here.

    1. Galatians 1:18-20 -- “Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas [Peter], and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.”
      Galatians 2:1 -- “…I went up again to Jerusalem… James and Cephas [Peter] and John… gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship,… asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.”
  • It is reported in Acts that Peter was a member

    It is reported in the book of Acts that Peter was a member of the Jerusalem church.1 This is relevant because the book of Acts is generally historically reliable. [Forthcoming]

    1. Acts 2:5-47 -- “ …in Jerusalem… Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice… '…all you who live in Jerusalem,… repent' …that day there were added about three thousand souls. …many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles ...[converts] began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all… the Lord was adding to their number day by day.
      Acts 5:1 -- “Ananias… sold a piece of property,… bringing a portion of [the money], he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said,… Peter… when Peter… [people all over from] the vicinity of Jerusalem… stood them before the Council… 'you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching'… But Peter and the apostles answered…
      Acts 8:13-15, 25 -- “Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John,… [afterwards Peter and John] started back to Jerusalem…
      Acts 15:2f -- “ …the brethren determined that Paul [should] go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue… at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders… The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them…