One of the first of Jesus' disciples to be called; originally Simon, but given the name Peter (Greek, ‘a rock’) or Cephas (Aramaic for ‘rock’, John 1: 42), he was a Galilean fisherman, owning a boat which was a handy pulpit for Jesus (Luke 5: 1–3) and a house at Capernaum (Mark 1: 29–31). He is called ‘Son of John’ in John 1: 42 but ‘bar’ = ‘son of’ ‘Jonah’ in Matt. 16: 17—perhaps because in Matt. 16: 16 he had spoken out in the manner of the sign of the prophet Jonah (Matt. 16: 4). He became a leader among the group and came nearer than most to recognizing Jesus' Messiahship (Matt. 16: 16–17). But when he deplored the notion of Jesus' suffering, he was sternly rebuked (Mark 8: 33). He was present at the Transfiguration (Mark 9: 2). During Jesus' trial, Peter three times denied any association with him, but after the resurrection he was accorded a special appearance of Jesus (1 Cor. 15: 3–5). He became willing to admit Gentiles into the Church (Acts 10–11). But under pressure he reneged, and Paul's anger against Peter for going back on his ‘liberalism’ is a main theme of Gal. 2. However, Peter is mentioned in more friendly terms as a visitor to Corinth (1 Cor. 1: 12) and there is a reliable tradition that he lived in Rome, presided over the Church there, and died as a martyr in the Neronian persecution in 64 CE. Excavations in the Vatican in 1948–9 and 1952 were intended to verify the accuracy of the belief held from the 2nd century about the site of the apostle's tomb. A priest (Gaius) wrote c. 200 CE about Peter's ‘trophy’ at the Vatican, over which Constantine built a great basilica, demolished in the 16th century for the construction of the present church. A simple shrine of about 200 CE was indeed discovered in a necropolis. Later an indistinct Latin graffito was discovered with a few Greek letters reading ‘Peter is inside’. Bones of an elderly 1st cent. man from earlier excavations were also discovered in a storeroom. An official announcement in 1968 that they were the relics of St. Peter did not however command the universal assent of archaeologists.