Only in the Gospel of John is there a clear statement that the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, and Philip was in Bethsaida (1:44). There is no such statement in Matthew, Mark, or Luke, which has led some scholars to identify their home with Capernaum, where Jesus enters the “house of Simon”—often interpreted as the house of Simon-Peter, the chief apostle—to heal his sick mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14–17; Mark 1:29–31; Luke 4:38–39). Indeed, it is this event that many believe is commemorated by the octagonal Byzantine church excavated at Capernaum.

However, variations in the wording of the account of the healing at Capernaum show signs of literary development between the Gospels, including a shift from the use of general to more specific names for individuals. Luke’s account, for example, speaks only of the home of a man named Simon (4:38), a name that belongs to several Gospel figures (e.g., Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15). Simon—Shimon in Hebrew—was the most common name for Jewish males in the Second Temple period.

Mark’s Gospel, on the other hand, specifies that upon leaving the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus “entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John,” clearly with the apostles in mind (1:29). However, the reference to Andrew may have been a later editorial addition in Mark’s Gospel, as neither Matthew’s nor Luke’s account mentions him or James and John. It seems, rather, that Mark’s additions were influenced by the appearance of Simon and Andrew together a few lines earlier (Mark 1:16–20).

If this understanding is correct, then the earlier tradition received by Mark about the house in Capernaum more closely resembles the report in Luke that simply identified the house with a man named Simon, with no explicit mention of the apostle. For its part, the Gospel of Matthew appears to follow Mark’s identification of the house with Simon-Peter, but it omits Simon to speak instead of the “house of Peter” (Matthew 8:14). Given these literary developments, our only direct New Testament reference to the location of Peter’s house remains John’s Gospel, which placed it in Bethsaida, not Capernaum.