Peter never went to Rome

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Church fathers are not acceptable evidence. They are full of errors on historic facts, exaggerations and hearsay. Apocrypha also is not evidence. Book of Acts shows where Peter was and what he was doing. He wasn't in Rome for 20 years building the papacy.
The Book of Acts on Peter ends very early and then he isn't mentioned again. So, one needs to go beyond it. To say "Church Fathers are not acceptable evidence" fails to understand how we do history, and claiming the many, many early Church documents from outside the canon "are full of errors on historic facts, exaggerations and hearsay" doesn't impugn the class of evidence, only individual documents (furthermore, some historians and theologians say the same thing about the biblical texts). There is a consensus in the Church Fathers that Peter was in Rome and died there, so that is a strong piece of evidence.
Paul went to Rome because no one was there to lay a foundation.

Romans 15:20
Paul is writing to a church in Rome that is already established, that much is clear from Rom 1:7.
Alone in the Roman prison he writes to Timothy:

2 Timothy 4


At his first trial Paul is alone. No pope Peter.

2 Timothy 4
As I said above, maybe Paul was there before/after Peter, was not imprisoned with him and/or didn't know Peter was there. As they say, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Can you explain why would expect Paul to be imprisoned with Peter or know about Peter's whereabouts and mention them in the letter?
Rome is not Babylon. Why would it be? Old Testament prophets referred to Jerusalem as being a spiritual harlot. Book of Revelation calls Jerusalem the Whore of Babylon. God made Hosea marry a prostitute to prove a point. Peter was touring the Middle East.
It is very possible that "Babylon" here refers to Jerusalem if you take 1 Peter to be referring to Babylon in a sense of an adulterous city that betrays her husband (God), as we see in Revelation. However, I think the letter is more focused on persecution and suffering - as the Jews suffered exile in Babylon - and so conforms more to the idea that "Babylon" is a distant place (from Israel) where Christians are suffering too, and Rome would fit nicely.
 

Septextura

Well-known member
Paul is writing to a church in Rome that is already established, that much is clear from Rom 1:7.

There certainly were saints there after Pentecost but that's different from an apostle with his ministers coming over to teach and establish an organized structure, pass oral tradition, do miracles etc.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
There certainly were saints there after Pentecost but that's different from an apostle with his ministers coming over to teach and establish an organized structure, pass oral tradition, do miracles etc.
Why do you think there was no established church in Rome before Paul?

He says in Romans 16:
Greet Prisca and Aq'uila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I but also all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks; greet also the church in their house.
 

Septextura

Well-known member
Why do you think there was no established church in Rome before Paul?

He says in Romans 16:
Greet Prisca and Aq'uila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I but also all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks; greet also the church in their house.

Different quality of established. Would you agree having an apostle of God coming over makes a difference in laying a foundation?

Either way, no pope Peter mentioned. Pietro was touring the Middle East.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Different quality of established. Would you agree having an apostle of God coming over makes a difference in laying a foundation?

Either way, no pope Peter mentioned. Pietro was touring the Middle East.
I don't know, possibly. One of the Church Fathers (Irenaeus?) says the Roman church was founded by Peter and Paul.
 

Septextura

Well-known member
I don't know, possibly. One of the Church Fathers (Irenaeus?) says the Roman church was founded by Peter and Paul.

He also said Jesus was 50 when crucified. I don't interpret Scripture with church fathers. I interpret church fathers with Scripture.

And don't get me started on Eusebius.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
He also said Jesus was 50 when crucified. I don't interpret Scripture with church fathers. I interpret church fathers with Scripture.

And don't get me started on Eusebius.
I don't think that's what Irenaeus is saying in Against Heresies. He seems to be arguing against the Gnostic belief that Jesus preached for only one year after he was baptised (and so died at basically 30). To do so, he argues that there are parts of John's Gospel that indicate Jesus was older (and so preached for longer), e.g. that the Jews say Jesus is not yet fifty years old. It doesn't sound like he is claiming that Jesus was fifty but that he was older than the Gnostics thought.

However, even if he was, it doesn't make all his material useless, especially if there is a common core with other Church Fathers.

You don't find the Church Fathers of any use?
 

Septextura

Well-known member
The not yet 50 years old comment from the Pharisees refers to their understanding on human maturity with age. 40, 50, 60 being the age of spiritual growing, not biological, growing in wisdom.

Irenaeus did think Jesus was 50. https://orthodoxchristiantheology.c...irenaeus-thought-jesus-lived-to-50-years-old/

You don't find the Church Fathers of any use?

As theologians, yes. There's plenty of edifying teachings in church history, as well as plenty of heresies. The facts on events and people are like a broken telephone chain, unreliable to say the least. These are fallible men that I don't blindly trust like I do with God's inspired word.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
The not yet 50 years old comment from the Pharisees refers to their understanding on human maturity with age. 40, 50, 60 being the age of spiritual growing, not biological, growing in wisdom.

Irenaeus did think Jesus was 50. https://orthodoxchristiantheology.c...irenaeus-thought-jesus-lived-to-50-years-old/
Okay, maybe he did.
As theologians, yes. There's plenty of edifying teachings in church history, as well as plenty of heresies. The facts on events and people are like a broken telephone chain, unreliable to say the least. These are fallible men that I don't blindly trust like I do with God's inspired word.
Oh gosh... "The facts on events and people are like a broken telephone chain" - that's what atheists say about the New Testament!

You don't have to blindly trust them. But when they are all relatively unanimous in their witness to something, that's pretty good evidence. What evidence do you have to support that Peter was preaching in the Middle East apart from the reference to "Babylon", which we also know is used as code in the Bible? What is said in that letter, and being with Mark, and the witness of the Church Fathers (even as early as Clement), and the archaeological evidence, are all strongly pointing to Peter being in Rome. Is it conclusive? No. Evidence from this period rarely is. However, I'd like to see some evidence to support the Iraq theory?
 

Septextura

Well-known member
You don't have to blindly trust them. But when they are all relatively unanimous in their witness to something, that's pretty good evidence. What evidence do you have to support that Peter was preaching in the Middle East apart from the reference to "Babylon", which we also know is used as code in the Bible? What is said in that letter, and being with Mark, and the witness of the Church Fathers (even as early as Clement), and the archaeological evidence, are all strongly pointing to Peter being in Rome. Is it conclusive? No. Evidence from this period rarely is. However, I'd like to see some evidence to support the Iraq theory?

Galatians 2
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Even Eusebius/Clement/Papias say Peter met Mark during his tour in the Middle East before going to Rome, so he passed on the gospel for Mark to write into Scripture.

1 Peter 5:13
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

Peter and Mark were a pair like Paul and Luke. The first toured from Alexandria to Asia Minor, the second unto the Gentiles in the Balkans and Rome. Peter and Mark were tight, he calls him his son in jewish mentorship tradition. Mark went to Egypt. Why would Peter go alone in Rome before anyone else and it's all secretive, not even hinted in the Bible.

Acts 12
12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
 

jonathan_hili

Well-known member
Galatians 2


Even Eusebius/Clement/Papias say Peter met Mark during his tour in the Middle East before going to Rome, so he passed on the gospel for Mark to write into Scripture.
I don't get it. Where does Galatians 2 say that Peter was in the Middle East? Antioch? That's not in the Middle East (and nowhere near Babylon).

Can you quote where Papias, Clement or Eusebius say that Peter was in the Middle East, please?

1 Peter 5:13


Peter and Mark were a pair like Paul and Luke. The first toured from Alexandria to Asia Minor, the second unto the Gentiles in the Balkans and Rome. Peter and Mark were tight, he calls him his son in jewish mentorship tradition. Mark went to Egypt. Why would Peter go alone in Rome before anyone else and it's all secretive, not even hinted in the Bible.

Acts 12
Where's the evidence of this tour from Alexandria to Asia Minor to the Balkans and Rome? And then, that Mark stayed or went to Egypt? And, if he did, couldn't he have gone to Egypt after Rome (and Peter's death)?
 

Septextura

Well-known member
I don't get it. Where does Galatians 2 say that Peter was in the Middle East? Antioch? That's not in the Middle East (and nowhere near Babylon).

Can you quote where Papias, Clement or Eusebius say that Peter was in the Middle East, please?


Where's the evidence of this tour from Alexandria to Asia Minor to the Balkans and Rome? And then, that Mark stayed or went to Egypt? And, if he did, couldn't he have gone to Egypt after Rome (and Peter's death)?

When I say Middle East, I didn't mean Iraq, I meant Israel and its neighborhood along the Mediterranean coastline. Sorry if that confused the discussion. I believe Babylon refers to Jerusalem and not as a code word, just a common spiritual reference for the unfaithful Israel. I'd still say Iraq is more likely than Rome for the location of that epistle.

1 Peter 1
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

If anything, Peter is the 'pope of Antioch' and Paul is the 'pope of Rome'. If any primacy is to be had via Peter, it's at Antioch, where the followers of Christ were known as Christians for the first time. Second in line would be James and Jerusalem. Next is Asia and so on. Rome is the last hole on the fiddle.

“‘Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord’s discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.’ These things are related by Papias concerning Mark,” Eusebius

According to Origen (184–253) and Eusebius, Peter "after having first founded the church at Antioch, went away to Rome preaching the Gospel, and he also, after [presiding over] the church in Antioch, presided over that of Rome until his death". After presiding over the church in Antioch for a while, Peter would have been succeeded by Evodius and thereafter by Ignatius, who was a student of John the Apostle.

According to Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1–4), Herod Agrippa I, in his first year of reign over the whole of Judea (AD 41), killed James, son of Zebedee and arrested Peter, planning to kill him after the Passover. Peter was saved miraculously by angels, and escaped out of the realm of Herod (Acts 12:1–19). Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor (visiting the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, as mentioned in 1 Peter 1:1), and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (AD 42; Eusebius, Eccl, Hist. 2.14.6). Somewhere on the way, Peter encountered Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter. Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark (Eccl. Hist. 15–16), before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius (AD 43).
 

Septextura

Well-known member
I also found these nice articles on the topic that sum it way better than I can. Ironically written by a man called Peter himself.

Was Peter Ever in Rome?

The Birth of a Legend

P.S. @jonathan_hili

Paul and Luke went on to the Aegean region and Rome. You can see Peter's dominion in his epistle address (Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia). We know he was in Israel, Antioch, and according to tradition that Mark went to Alexandria (but who knows).

Romans 15:19
Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
 
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Arch Stanton

Well-known member
If anything, Peter is the 'pope of Antioch' and Paul is the 'pope of Rome'. If any primacy is to be had via Peter, it's at Antioch, where the followers of Christ were known as Christians for the first time. Second in line would be James and Jerusalem. Next is Asia and so on. Rome is the last hole on the fiddle.
The Holy Spirit thought it best to call Peter 'first'.

Mt 10:2-4 The names of the twelve apostles are these: FIRST, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Peter made his way throughout the church.

Acts 9:31-32 The CHURCH THROUGHOUT all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

As PETER was passing THROUGH EVERY REGION, he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda.
 
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