No evidence for Peter in Rome

Hvizsgyak

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Shalom,

I've been thinking about this for years, and this explains so much... Many Protestants idealise Peter and turn towards the RCC, quoting the pope, become ecumenical, boasting of having visiting Rome and the Vatican 'in awe', having seen the pope, etc. What I've noticed is that and it's almost always founded on a claim (a dogged insistance) that Peter was the first pope, bishop of Rome, 'the rock' (petra), the foundation of the church, etc... Even the most ardent Reformed scholars and ministers I know do this in one way or another...

Yet, "There is no early textual evidence for Peter in Rome"...

See William Marrion Branham (2005), An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages,
http://download.branham.org/pdf/ENG/BK-AGES An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages VGR.pdf


Quote: "They claim that Peter was their first pope, and that he resided in Rome when there is ABSOLUTELY NO HISTORICAL FACT FOR IT" (Branham, p. 121)

See Nicola Denzey Lewis (8 May 2019), The Apostle Peter in Rome: Jesus’ chief disciple examined, The Apostle Peter in Rome

Quote: "There is no early textual evidence for Peter in Rome... it’s very hard to believe that he ever traveled there. Not only is it a very long way, according to the New Testament, Peter was a fisherman who was not very educated and who spoke only Aramaic; he was not the type of person that might travel widely across the Roman Empire to a large city where Latin and Greek were the dominant languages. The absence of connection between Peter and Rome in the New Testament, the lack of references to him in our earliest Roman Christian literature, and what we know of Peter’s background and character all combine to make it unlikely, to my mind, that he ever went to Rome. ...There is no solid evidence—textual or even archaeological—that Peter died in Rome."

Anyone with more info and detail to shed light on this would be much appreciated. Please, comment with academic resources and references, books, articles, etc, and of course Scripture, manuscript evidence etc. Especially in the area of Early Church History, the (in-) validity of the Apostolic (Roman Catholic) Church, the execution of Early Church martyrs like Polycarp etc by Romans, Jews, and others. - No belligerent quips or ad hominem, thank you.

Thank you and blessings :)

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn. 8:32)



Was Peter in Rome?

Are These the Bones of Saint Peter? | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine

I threw that last one in so you can see that even a scientific magazine really doesn't know if St Peter's remains are in Rome. They are relying on the verbal and physical circumstantial evidence that has been around since the early Christians. Have faith my friend until something comes along to prove other wise, yeah or nay.
 
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Hawkins

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History can hardly be proved. When your own grandpa visited a foreign country, what proof do you have as evidence that he's really there?

It is very possible that Mark and Peter are in Rome that the book Mark is very much shortened as publishing cost in Rome is extremely high. As the capital of the whole empire which is not totally stable, it is expected that there must be large volumes of documents, articles, news, books and etc. waiting to be published, that is, to be scribed manually on ancient scrolls.

In a nutshell, history is for something extremely meaningful to be written in an extremely limited space. History is about how 0.0000000000000000000000000000001 portions of human activities are recorded. So it means nothing if you found something missing from that 1 in a zillion recorded activities. For that matter, the cities ever visited by your own grandpa (and mine as well) are off the record.

The second factor is, even when it was ever recorded down that Peter was in Rome, how well humans are capable of keeping the record? Mind you, we humans don't even have the biblical manuscripts written in the first two centuries. Most of the content of the Bible we read today is from manuscripts written in the 4th century and after. In the first several centuries there are waves of persecution of Christians, including the burning of Christian books and documents.
 
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Mosheli

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The bible prophesies that the Vatican will move to Babylon, and I can imagine that in future one reason they will give is because Peter was in Babylon not Rome.

It is highly unlikely that the Messianic-Jewish Peter was ever in Rome. The bible would surely say so if he was but it doesn't. (The reference to Babylon in Peter's letter is not proof he was in Rome because (1) it may just mean he was passing on greetings received/heard from "Babylon" but was not also there himself. (2) If he was also there himself Babylon might really be Babylon not "Babylon"/Rome.)
 
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tz620q

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The bible prophesies that the Vatican will move to Babylon, and I can imagine that in future one reason they will give is because Peter was in Babylon not Rome.

It is highly unlikely that the Messianic-Jewish Peter was ever in Rome. The bible would surely say so if he was but it doesn't. (The reference to Babylon in Peter's letter is not proof he was in Rome because (1) it may just mean he was passing on greetings received/heard from "Babylon" but was not also there himself. (2) If he was also there himself Babylon might really be Babylon not "Babylon"/Rome.)
One thing that always has me scratching my head on these topics is why we assume the Bible is an exhaustive history textbook. I don't know of many history classes and I've taken a lot where the Bible is used as the textbook. So why ignore the non-Biblical historical references? Ask yourselves these questions. Were there Jews in Rome at the time of Peter? Was it possible for Peter to go to Rome? What would have been his motivation for going to Rome and does that fit into what we know about Peter's other activities? What would have been his motivation for going to Babylon in Persia? All of these questions point to Peter having the motivation and the means to go to Rome and this is backed up with early historical references to that event.
 
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Mosheli

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One thing that always has me scratching my head on these topics is why we assume the Bible is an exhaustive history textbook. I don't know of many history classes and I've taken a lot where the Bible is used as the textbook. So why ignore the non-Biblical historical references? Ask yourselves these questions. Were there Jews in Rome at the time of Peter? Was it possible for Peter to go to Rome? What would have been his motivation for going to Rome and does that fit into what we know about Peter's other activities? What would have been his motivation for going to Babylon in Persia? All of these questions point to Peter having the motivation and the means to go to Rome and this is backed up with early historical references to that event.

The bible may not be "an exhaustive history book" but surely it would say something about something as important as Peter being in Rome and the popes being Peter's successors.
And the fact is there is zero biblical evidence for Peter being in Rome except that one Babylon verse which depends on its correct interpretation. There are also zero historical books evidences for Peter being in Rome outside of "early" Roman "christian" "church" writings.
In my life in many disputes like for example this constant ringing sound from neighbours heat pumps the status quo always play the "you can't prove it game" with anyone elses "theories" except their own reigning theories. There is extremely little quality historical evidence for Peter "possibly" being in Rome. No contemporary reliable evidence outside of Roman christian church writings. So although it is possible it is not very possible. Even his motives and means are not so sure as you imply. Babylon in Iraq (not in Persia, though it was under Parthians at the time) is right next door to Palestine. And I never said he was there either anyway. I said I think he was only passing on greetings from Babylon/"Babylon" he had received but was not there himself. Revelation 1-3 implies Jerusalem was the centre of the 1st church age because Ephesus has many analogous parallels with Jerusalem. Rome as the centre of the church does not fit with the nature of the entire bible from Genesis to Revelation or fit with Peter's activities (the last we heard of him in Acts or Paul's letters he was in Israel). Rome was called "Babylon" (a bad name not a good one). For example it would be like saying the garden of Eden or ark of the covenant was in Rome/Italy.

Rome & Babylon: Zechariah 5:5-11 & Revelation 17.
 
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philadelphos

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There are also zero historical books evidences for Peter being in Rome outside of "early" Roman "christian" "church" writings.

It's possibly mistaken or fraudulent identity in Simon Magnus instead of Simon Peter. Per Acts 8 and Justin Martyr.

Acts 8:9-25 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. ...Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

Justin Martyr's account is scathing, himself also a Samaritan.

Justin Martyr said:
And, thirdly, because after Christ’s ascension into heaven the devils put forward certain men who said that they themselves were gods; and they were not only not persecuted by you, but even deemed worthy of honours. There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in him. He was considered a god, and as a god was honoured by you with a statue, which statue was erected on the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this inscription, in the language of Rome:—“Simoni Deo Sancto,”1818 “To Simon the holy God.” And almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him. And a man, Menander, also a Samaritan, of the town Capparetæa, a disciple of Simon, and inspired by devils, we know to have deceived many while he was in Antioch by his magical art. He persuaded those who adhered to him that they should never die, and even now there are some living who hold this opinion of his. ...

Chapter XXVI.—Magicians not trusted by Christians.
justin_martyr: First Apology - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Ofc, echoing papal primacy, papal infallibility, papal supremacy, etc. That Peter allegedly has power over death etc. Peter never wrote this.

So although it is possible it is not very possible. Even his motives and means are not so sure as you imply. Babylon in Iraq (not in Persia, though it was under Parthians at the time) is right next door to Palestine. And I never said he was there either anyway. I said I think he was only passing on greetings from Babylon/"Babylon" he had received but was not there himself. Revelation 1-3 implies Jerusalem was the centre of the 1st church age because Ephesus has many analogous parallels with Jerusalem. Rome as the centre of the church does not fit with the nature of the entire bible from Genesis to Revelation or fit with Peter's activities (the last we heard of him in Acts or Paul's letters he was in Israel). Rome was called "Babylon" (a bad name not a good one). For example it would be like saying the garden of Eden or ark of the covenant was in Rome/Italy.

Rome & Babylon: Zechariah 5:5-11 & Revelation 17.

Peter at the "Church of Babylon" (1 Pet 5:13) itself alludes very clearly to any Judaic audience to mourning of Babylonian captivity and destruction of Jerusalem (then subsequent invasion by Romans, Muslims, Crusaders, etc). But it goes further back to the origin of all nations, the original scattering, due to empire building, self idolatry, fame and fortune, then the formation of all language groups and all nations. This duality between Judah and "all nations" is mentioned in Mat 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" and a theme throught SImplying error in all nations. It also relates to judgement in the valley of death, or valley of Jehoshephat, Gehenna, or "Hell", as this is prohesied in Joel. Joel 3:2, "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."

Peter being named "the rock", or rocky, may be a reference to Babylonian empire building (construction, development) that all nations do nowadays, our metropolises are ginormous by ancient world population standards. His character too was hard-hearted and carnal (somewhat aggressive or violent), in that he'd make big public pledges but was criticised for having "little faith" when he walked and fell into the Sea of Galilee. Which mirrors prophecy in Revelation that Babylon will be "cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (Rev 18:21)

Babylon being synonymous with Rome makes that possible. Rome practiced the same empire building, whereever Romans went construction went (crude construction methods). A difference however is that instead of scattering people linguistically Rome united numerous nationalities, captives, conquered states, first paraded as slaves, and then after some time became legitimate Roman citizens. The same metaphor/allegory is used by Christ, e.g. parable of shrewd steward in Luke 16, "If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" A lesson about lesser and greater wealth, crude building methods versus an everlasting kingdom of heaven and new creation. Almost all Roman citizens, at least in later generations, would have understood this. Even Luke was slave, a doctor. And the same is experienced by most nowadays living in multicultural Western cities. We are all like Joseph, sold into slavery in Egypt, someway of another let down and betrayed by our families. Thus the need for our Messiah. Does then Peter have the "keys" to life according to papal tradition and the promise of Rome? Not according to Rev 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." It is through Christ alone. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Col 3:4).

"early" Roman "christian" "church" writings.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness". And the Lord did warn about traditions of men, that there would be fraudulent misuse of the name "Christ" in deceiving many. "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am (the) Christ; and shall deceive many." (Mt 24:5) This is the problem of Christ-endom, having hundreds of thousands of denominations all claiming to be "Christ-ian", that salvation or Christ is to be found exclusively (correctly) there. But God is one.

1 Cor 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

This I believe is achieved through God's way alone, by his word in Torah/Tanakh/Scripture and New Testament. A correlation of all Moses's work, Psalms, past prophecy, and Christ's work. Mk 13:31 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."

In my life in many disputes like for example this constant ringing sound from neighbours heat pumps the status quo always play the "you can't prove it game" with anyone elses "theories" except their own reigning theories. There is extremely little quality historical evidence for Peter "possibly" being in Rome. No contemporary reliable evidence outside of Roman christian church writings.

Onus of proof shift facts to suit an argument, which is a legalistic approach. To argue from a shadow of doubt. The same approach was used to deceive Eve. Mindful that the state or the institution is not for believers, exempt under God's law which is the highest power.

1 Cor 6:6-10, "But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

It implies the fraud in Peter's papal authority, and the cult of Peter, apostolic tradition, etc. Because the apostolic purpose is for "12 disciples" to be appointed to judge the "12 tribes of Israel. Judas being replaced How then can Peter be for Rome, pontiff of Christendom etc?

Mt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

That's all for now,
Blessings and shalom to all
 
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