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The Life and Witness of Peter

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Who was Peter and what was his true stature in the early church? For Protestants at least, Peter seems caught between two caricatures: the rustic fisherman of Galilee and the author of two lesser New Testament letters. And in both cases he is overshadowed by Paul.

In The Life and Witness of Peter, Larry Helyer seeks to reinstate this neglected and underestimated apostle to his rightful stature as an early Christian leader and faithful witness to Christ.

Reconstructing Peter’s life, theology and legacy from evidence in 1 and 2 Peter, the Gospels, Acts, Paul’s letters, and texts from the early church, Helyer renders a great service for students of the New Testament. We are introduced to Peter the eyewitness who stands behind much of Mark’s Gospel, Peter the preacher who lends deep credibility to the account of Acts, and Peter the letter-writer whose words glow with spiritual intelligence. Along the way we are rewarded with a careful analysis of prominent theological themes in Peter’s letters. And we learn much about the traditions, legends and legacy of Peter in the post-apostolic era.

  • Focuses on the content of Peter’s two epistles
  • Examines Peter’s role as a major contributor to the theological message of the New Testament
  • Explores theological themes of the cross, hope, and the coming judgment of God
  • Background of Simon Peter
  • Peter in the Gospels: Part One: Call to Confession
  • Peter in the Gospels: Part Two: Transfiguration to Resurrection
  • Peter and the Early Church: The Book of Acts
  • Peter in Paul’s Letters
  • 1 Peter: Encyclical to Exiles
  • Peter’s Christology
  • Christ and the Spirits, Christ and the Holy Spirit
  • Suffering for Jesus
  • The People of God
  • 2 Peter: Introductory Questions
  • Theological Themes in 2 Peter
  • The Character and Destiny of the False Teachers
  • Eschatology of 2 Peter
  • The Rest of the Story: Tradition
  • The Rest of the Story: Legends About Peter
  • The Rest of the Story: Peter?s Legacy
Larry Helyer’s thorough survey of Peter as disciple, church leader and pastoral theologian offers fresh perspective on many familiar New Testament passages. It also serves as a reliable guide into some of the less known territory found in the Petrine epistles. Helyer’s faithful Bible exposition is enhanced by his knowledge of ancient Jewish, Greco-Roman and early Christian literature. He has produced a study that is both informative and rich in practical application.

—Timothy Wiarda, professor of New Testament studies, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Seasoned biblical scholar Larry Helyer has produced a wide-ranging, synthetic and theologically rich exploration of Petrine themes in the New Testament and the early church. Written from a standpoint of faith and commitment, and with a clear desire to hear the texts, this book is at once informative and edifying.

—Donald A. Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

Larry Helyer’s book on the life and theology of Peter fills a recognized gap in scholarship. Under one cover we are treated to the story of Peter in the New Testament and accounts about Peter in postcanonical documents. In addition, Helyer’s study of the theology of Peter is both scholarly and accessible to readers, showing that he is concerned about the message of Peter for today’s reader. Helyer’s scholarship, fairness and devotion to the message of Peter all shine through in this volume.

—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Product Details

Larry Helyer is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, and currently resides in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. He is the author of Exploring Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period (2002), Revelation for Dummies (2008), The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John (2008), The Life and Witness of Peter (2012), and The Good News of Revelation (2014). He and his wife Joyce regularly host Bible Lands tours.

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    Digital list price: $31.99
    Save $6.00 (18%)