chapter  4
34 Pages

Reinventing a Paradigmatic Disciple

The Figure of Peter in the Gospel of John

This chapter examines the continuities and discontinuities between the portrayal of Peter in John and in each of the synoptic gospels in greater detail. The figure is deliberately added to several Peter passages in John and a special concern of this chapter explains why the Beloved Disciple is associated with Peter. According to Alan Culpepper, Peter is, next to Jesus, the most complex character in John. Like Mark and Luke, John here portrays Peter as a paradigmatic disciple, unlike in Mark and Luke, Peter is not exemplary because of his reversal, it is rather due to his love of Jesus that Peter serves as a model. When Mark and Matthew use the shepherd and the sheep image as a prophecy about falling away, John reinterprets the image and develops it creatively. The most important novelty in John's portrayal of Peter is the association of Peter with the Beloved Disciple, a genuine Johannine character.