a fishing family and their associates
Peter, named Simon at birth, originally came from the tiny fishing village of Bethsaida, located further up the coast of the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps drawn by the better fishing grounds around Capernaum and its commercial advantages, his family moved there when Peter was young.
His father, Jonas, was a fisherman, and Peter and his brother Andrew became fishermen, too.
Another family was a partner in their fishing: Zebedee and his sons, James and John. The two families' business was so good, in fact, that they needed some hired hands to help them with their boats.
Simon married as a young man and, with his wife and mother-in-law, lived in a set of family houses grouped together in a walled compound near the lake. Some say his wife died not long after they were married. If she did, and whether the couple had any children, is not known.
For all their hard work, Simon and his friends were faithful Jews, who kept the Sabbath and the Jewish law and made yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the solemn feasts. On one of those pilgrimages, a dramatic meeting occured that changed their lives.
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