Peter’s enormous influence, conspicuous absence, and deliberate concealment in the New Testament likens him to a black hole: When an important figure like Silas got near, he too was blacked out, impossible to locate, made invisible by Luke and Paul.
A Black Hole is “a celestial object that has a gravitational field so strong that light cannot escape it and that is believed to be created especially in the collapse of a very massive star.” (Merriam Webster)
According to my simplified definition, it is something so massive that its gravitational pull lets no light escape. It is there, but it cannot be seen. To the naked eye, it looks like nothing is there. But the absence is conspicuous. Anything around it disappears.
Sometime between September 2016 and July 2017 I began to map out every minor name in the New Testament, from Epaphras to Sosthenes. I wanted to know where every person was at what time. Who was with who?
I put it all into a spreadsheet. Then I started to map out the major names like Peter, & John.
I quickly noticed something of grand importance. Peter! Where did he go? Why does Paul not mention him by name except for his Aramaic title ‘Cephas’ and ‘Peter’ twice in Galatians?
It is like he just… disappears.
He wrote two books, yes?
Indeed I’m not the only one to notice this. Paul will go on to mention every associate he thinks necessary, but he WILL NOT use Peter’s name.
What’s the deal?
It is in fact a very big deal, and one that we should pay very careful attention to.
Peter became a fugitive in 42 A.D.
You’ll also notice that Silas, one of Paul’s traveling companions, also disappears.
Then Silas shows up…. as… guess who! Peter’s scribe. When Acts was written it was imperative that Peter’s role in Paul’s life be explained, but then his location… which included Rome at various times, had to be concealed, especially his involvement in Rome.
This is why I call Peter a ‘Black Hole’. He’s there with an enormous influence, but he cannot be seen. And when a star like Silas comes close, (Silas) he too–at least in Acts and Paul’s writing–disappears from view.