In John chapter 20, we see the disciples going into the tomb where Jesus was lain. In verse 6,7: "Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, also the cloth that had been upon his head not lying with the bandages but separately rolled up in one place." (KJV)
In different translations/versions the words "rolled up" are translated as "folded up" (NLT, ESV, CSB, etc.) or "wrapped together" (KJB). Strong's Concordance 1794 defines "entulisso" as "to wrap up" and usage as "I wrap up, roll round, envelop."
From what I gather, Peter saw the headcloth still wrapped but lying off to the side as if whatever was inside had been removed. The best example I can think of is a balloon that is wrapped in bandages, then the air is let out of the balloon.
Would this understanding lead Peter to finally recognize Jesus as being resurrected and as final proof that Jesus is the Messiah?

  • The point is that there is a covering for the head and a covering for the body. One garment was removed, intact (and gambled for) in crucifixion. In resurrection, there are two coverings : the Head and the Body. Welcome to BH. Please see the Tour and the Help as to the purpose and the functioning of the site. Good question. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 18:58
  • Good Q!Peter received divine revelation of Jesus being the Messiah prior to Christ's transfiguration (Matthew 16:15-17 & 20). To call Jesus "the Christ" is equivalent to calling him the Messiah. Despite Peter's lapse shortly thereafter, he believed Jesus to be the Messiah before he entered the empty tomb. Despite there being no body, John states in vs 9 that it took their examination of the scriptures for that 'lightbulb' moment, for the full impact of the resurrection to hit them. Are not details about the headcloth beside the point, really, as Peter already believed in Christ as the Messiah?
    – Anne
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 7:30

2 Answers 2


Peter was a vacillating man before his final conversion. Let me illustrate.

  • John 6:67-69 - So Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”
  • Matt 16:16 - Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” A truly astonishing declaration that caused Jesus to call him "blessed" (v17); but only a few verses later (V23) Jesus calls Peter the great deceiver, "Satan"!
  • John 18:10 - Peter drew his sword and was prepared to defend Jesus, but only removed a servant's ear which Jesus immediately healed.
  • Peter then became frightened and fled, Matt 26:56, Mark 14:50.
  • John 18:15-18, 25-27 - Peter denies Christ three times.
  • Luke 22:60-62 - While he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word that the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. This was probably the turning point for Peter - Jesus looked straight at Peter who then went and wept bitterly.
  • Mark 16:7 - the angel at the tomb gives clear instructions to the women: "But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you."
  • John 20:6, 7 - Peter sees the linen burial wrappings and is clearly confused.

However, somewhere between this and Acts 2, Peter had become fully convinced about Jesus because his Pentecost sermon resulted in the conversion of 3000 people.

Peter remained as much human as the rest of us. Paul found it necessary to rebuke Peter for his duplicity as recorded in Gal 2:11-14.


Before Jesus was crucified, in Matthew 16

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, b and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades c will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be d bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be e loosed in heaven.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

This was a momentous occasion for Peter.

  1. It was a miraculous moment. The Father inspired Peter.
  2. Peter outdid the other disciplines in his declaration.

It was a lightning moment for Peter. Immediately afterward,

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Matthew clearly saw this as Peter's moment of recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.

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