Modern Christian Mythology: Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates

Modern Christian Mythology: Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates

Whenever a cartoon character dies, they goes to a comical version of heaven in which Saint Peter stands before the “Pearly Gates” of heaven, a key in his hand, and a large ledger book in from of him. As the dearly departed approaches, Pete checks for their name and, if they’re lucky, they’re on the list. If not, there’s a trap door underneath with their name on it.

The vision of Peter as a mystical gate keeper from from the Gospel of Mathew:

“I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven”
-Mathew 16:19a

The ledger is most likely a reference to the Book of Life from ancient Hebrew mythology, and the “Pearly Gates” comes from the strangest book in the Christian cannon, Revelations:

The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate being made from a single pearl.
-Revelation 21:21

These texts, literally read and pasted together with more than a little imagination, lead to a fanciful image of a long line of people stretched out along a  landscape of cloud, Peter at the head of the line for all eternity, allowing people in one at a time. Eternity’s bouncer.

Since the Christian church was founded in the midst of the Roman Empire, I suspect that the NT character of Peter was syncretized with the Roman god Janus, the god that opened and closed the gates of heaven every morning.

Explore posts in the same categories: Modern Christian Mythology

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

7 Comments on “Modern Christian Mythology: Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates”

  1. “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate being made from a single pearl.“

    One hell of an oyster to make such a large pearl. I wonder what they did with the meat.
    This kind of nonsense should have been relegated to the same fate as the greek and roman myths by now. Silly xtians and their idiotic beliefs.

  2. Philip Says:

    The belief of Peter keeping the gates of heaven stems from fundamentalist beliefs. Fundamentalist, spurned Catholicism for what they considered a more literal interpretation of the bible. While some Biblical texts were written during the time of the Roman Empire, the notion that Peter was up at the gates of heaven was ostensibly not held by Christians until much later.

  3. Ash Clayborne Says:

    Papa is a nice guy. He prevents the adjacent ‘higher realm’ from being contaminated and he also allows ‘spirits’ to pass through the gate of the overlap ‘astral’ spirit world and protects this planet. He has nothing.. zero/zilch to do with puritanism in the represses, anti-Nature puritanical sense. He often will trick humans into becoming religious fanatics, as a means to move individuals and tribes, eventually beyond it and to utilize controlled chaos, in order to purge it from us as individuals, cultures, relgions etc. If anything Peter is more like a divine trickster more than anything else. Perhaps the first created being by the Unknowable, distant and impersonal force within and simultaneously outside.

  4. Katherine Says:

    (rolls eyes)

  5. Katherine Says:

    P. S. The above comment is in response to the statement by Ash Clayborne.

  6. Christoper Says:

    Skype has opened up its web-structured buyer beta to the
    entire world, soon after launching it broadly in the United states and
    You.K. previous this calendar month. Skype for Web also now can handle Linux and
    Chromebook for instant messaging communication (no voice and video but, these demand
    a connect-in installation).

    The increase of your beta brings assist for a longer set of different languages to help bolster that
    international user friendliness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: