The Wife of Peter

The wife of Peter is never explicitly mentioned in the Bible. We have evidence of her existence due to the Bible mentioning Jesus healing Peter’s mother in law, and also because of other early non-Biblical sources.

Luke 4:38-39*

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

Matthew 8:14-15

14 And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.

Mark 1:29-31

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

We cannot glean much information from this. We can learn that Peter did in fact have a wife due to the language used, but other than that we cannot get anything from these passages. We can be fairly confident that she did in fact exist however, because this story is recorded in three of the four gospels, and they all refer to Peter’s mother in law using the greek word penthera(πενθερά), implying that this is not just a fluke with the language. Another verse that passingly mentions the wife of Peter is 1 Corinthians 9:5.

1 Corinthians 9:5(NLT)

5 Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does?

This verse explicitly mentions that Peter does have a wife, and also implies that some of other apostles are married too. While the Bible does not give much information on the wife of Peter, we can glean some more information about her from non-biblical scholars. Clement of Alexandria(150AD-215AD) was a Christian theologian. He was quite educated, and produced a trilogy on theology. We are interested in his owrk, Stromata, where he mentions that Peter’s wife was martyred:

They say, accordingly, that the blessed Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home, and called very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, “Remember thou the Lord.” Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect disposition towards those dearest to them.

From this we can glean that Peter’s wife was put to death before Peter. Another scholar from around the same time period as Clement of Alexandria was Eusebius. He quoted Clement of Alexandria in his work Church History[5]:

In the seventh book of his[Clement of Alexandria] Stromata, he writes as follows: “They say, accordingly, that when the blessed Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, ‘Oh thou, remember the Lord.’”

Eusebius most likely published Church History in 313AD[2]. Clement of Alexandria’s work, Stromata most likely came almost a century before this work as he died in 215AD, but we have no accurate date for when Stromata was written, other than that it was written sometime in the lifetime of Clement of Alexandria. The account from Clement of Alexandria was written almost a century after Peter and his wife were martyred, which does not help its claim to being highly reliable. However, this source is believed to be reliable, and it is close enough to the original event in which the events recorded in it are most likely true, or very close to the truth. In conclusion, we can glean a couple of things from the Bible on Peter’s wife. We can see in four different passages that Peter did in fact have a wife, and we can see through early non-Biblical sources that she was killed for her faith with Peter encouraging her as it happened.


  1. Clement of Alexandria. Miscellanies. Bottom of the Hill Publishing, 2012.

  2. Louth, Andrew. “The Date of Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica.” The Journal of Theological Studies, vol. 41, no. 1, 1990, pp. 111–123, 10.1093/jts/41.1.111. Accessed 11 Nov. 2019.

  3. Bibles, Crossway. ESV : Study Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton, Ill., Crossway Bibles, 2016.

  4. House, Tyndale. NLT Study Bible : New Living Translation. Carol Stream, Illinois, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 2017.

  5. Eusebius. Eusebius: The Church History. Kregel Academic, 2007.


  1. All verses are in the English Standard Version(ESV) unless otherwise noted.