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Hippolytus of Rome, a 3rd-century theologian, gave him the title of "Apostle of the Apostles".

According to Catholic teaching, Peter was ordained by Jesus in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew .

Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early church.

In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter (then Simon) was a fisherman along with his brother, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, James and John.

According to Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent pope, currently Pope Francis.

Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars generally reject the Petrine authorship of both.

Three of the four gospels – Matthew, Mark and John – recount the story of Jesus walking on water.

Matthew additionally describes Peter walking on water for a moment but beginning to sink when his faith wavers.

He was later given the name כֵּיפָא (Kepha) in Aramaic, which was rendered in Greek (by transliteration and the addition of a final sigma to make it a masculine word) as Κηφᾶς, whence Latin and English Cephas (9 occurrences in the New Testament); 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, particularly 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.

Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic cepha means "stone, ball, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; that in the Attic Greek petra denotes "grown rock, rocky range, cliff, grotto"; and that petros means "small stone, firestone, sling stone, moving boulder".

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.

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