Sunday, April 04, 2010



Christus geeft de sleutels aan de Heilige Petrus, by Peter Paul Rubens
(Christ hands the keys to Saint Peter - painting is in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin)

An appropriate painting, I think, since Easter is when Christians commemmorate the Resurrection of Christ and this scene depicts an event shortly thereafter, when the resurrected Jesus hands the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Saint Peter. Peter was Jesus' first and most important apostle. Peter is actually his "surname" since Jesus told him that "he would be the rock upon which he would build his church" [Peter stems from the Greek "Petros", which means stone, rock, and indeed he became the Christian's first pope]. And his first name was Simon, the son of Jonah, and he was a humble fisher at the Lake Gennesaret. So it is rather more correct to refer to him as Simon Peter (or Simon Cephas, since "cephas" is aramaic, Jesus' language, for "rock").


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