Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,


I just wanted to share with you a couple of brief passsages from the book I'm currently reading, Why I Am a Catholic by acclaimed historian Garry Wills. In these passages he discusses how the Gospels painstakingly create a very real and very human character in Peter.

'His fourth-century cultists, as we shall see, tried to make him the new Moses. But the Gospels make him less a Moses than Mister Magoo. A man of action, he invariably takes the wrong action. In the garden where Jesus is arrested, he is not only inept but ridiculous. With armed soldiers collaring his leader, he attacks a nearby servant -- in the ear. As a journalist I know would say, this does not show an instinct for the jugular but an instinct for the capillary. It is as if Peter said, "I am so mad at you that I am going to shoot your dog -- in the paw." Pure Dostoevski.'

'He likes to offer his leader suggestions, even to contradict him. When he tells Jesus not to wash his feet and Jesus insists anyway, he says, "Okay, then, not only my feet but my head and hands, too" (Jn 13.8). He luckily stops short of ordering a shave and a manicure.'

'The Gospels seem to have created their only realistic figure just to place unrealistic demands on him. The least provident of the disciples is made a provider for the others. Or was Jesus teasing Peter when he called him "Rocky," naming him ab opposito, as when one calls a not-so-bright person Einstein?'
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