Peter in Rome(part 1)
Aug 31, 1996 11:07 AM
We are discussing the truth about historic Jesus, as written in Toldoth,
that refers to him as living around 1BC. HPB refers to Peter and
Jesus living at the same time. So if Peter really lived under the
first century, then we have here a contradiction in HPB`s argument
about the historicity of Jesus. In this e-mail I bring some
references that states that 1) Peter lived under first century and
2) Peter founded the church in Rome. Both these assertions are
contested by HPB.
HPB try to prove that Peter never founded the church in Rome. Dr. Alan Bain
also wrote:<There is NO historical evidence that the apostle Peter was ever
in Rome outside of *later* Church history claims made by the Roman Church>.
At startings pages of BOOK III chapter III, HPB follows Dr. Lardner and
recognices that the first epistle of Peter was written about 64AD, and
states that at this time Peter was in Babilony. There is a misconception
here. Maybe HPB is referring to 1Peter5:13 where Peter states that composed
his epistle in Babilony. But Rome, was also referred as Babylon by ancient
christians, for instance at Revelatinos 18:2 and 14:8. So Babilony here
means Rome. Enc. Brittanica writes: (vol9 p332 <Peter>) <the absence of any
reference in Acts or Romans to residence of Peter in Rome gives pause BUT
is not conclusive. If Peter did write 1 Peter, the mention of babylon in
5:13 is fairly reliable evidence that Peter resided at some time in the
capital city. If Peter was not the author of the first epistle that bears
his name, the presence of this cryptic reference witnesses at least to a
TRADITION OF THE LATE 1st OR EARLY 2th century. Babylon is a cryptic term
indicating Rome, and it is the understanding utilized in Rev14:8, 16:19
and 17:5-6 and in the works of various jewish seers> So HPB probably commits
an error concluding that Peter was really in Babylon, and not in Rome.
HPB cites a work called <The Christ of Paul> and states that no church
was founded before the reign of Antonino Pius (138-161AD). Again a
misconception from HPB: she herself recognices that Linus was the
bishop of Rome during 69-81AD.
Suposing that Linus received the bishopric of Rome in 69AD, HPB
concludes that he could not receive this bishopric from Peter, because
Eusebius and Irineaus mentions that this moment occurred around 64-68AD
during the Nero`s persecution under the fire of Rome at 67AD.
But here there is no contradiction. It`s perfectly possible that this
difference of only two years, can be explained by some error in dates given
by Eusebius or Iraenaeus.
The important point, I repeat, is that historians recognices that Peter founded
the church in Rome. Daniel Rops in his book <Leglise des martyrs et apotres>
p94 mentions that even protestants like Lietzmann (Petrus und Paulus in Rom,
Berlim,1927) and the liberal Harnack recognices that Peter founded the church in Rome.
Enc. Brittannica continues: <further early evidence for the tradition is
found in the letter to the romans by Ignatius, the early 2nd century bishop
of Antioch> Observe that Ignatius wrote to Romans and says <I do not, as
Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you> indirectly referring that these
two apostles preached in Rome, and then were very respectable among romans.
This is opinion of Duchesne (histoire ancienne de leglise,1)
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE ROMANS,CHAP. IV.
..Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall
not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments
I may be found a sacrifice [to God]. I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue
commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they
were free, while I am, even until now, a servant. But when I suffer, I shall
be the freedman of Jesus, and shall rise again emancipated in Him. And now,
being a prisoner, I learn not to desire anything worldly or vain.
<the strongest evidence to support the thesis that Peter was martyred in Rome
is to be found in the letter to the corinthians AD96) of Clement of Rome>
Clement was the fourth bishop of Rome, and in his letter talk about some
martyrs (including Peter and Paul) that suffered his martyrdom in Rome
<under prefects (of Rome)>
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF CLEMENT TO THE CORINTHIANS,CHAP. V.
But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent
spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own
generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous
pillars[of the Church]have been persecuted and put to death. Let us
set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous
envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length
suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to
envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven
times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned.
After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious
reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole
world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom
under the prefects.
Dionisius, bishop of Corinth (165AD) is described by Eusebius, Hist.
Eccl. II,XXV,8 mentions also that peter and Paul <both suffered martyrdom
at the same time is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his
epistle to the Romans, in the following words: "You have thus by such
an admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul at Rome and
Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth.
And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at
the same time.">
Origen, egyptian theologian (185-254AD) is described by Eusebius, Hist.
Eccl. III,I <Parthia,according to tradition, was allotted to Thomas as his
field of labor, Scythia to Andrew,and Asia to John,who, after he had lived
some time there,died at Ephesus. Peter appears to have preached in Pontus,
Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia to the Jews of the dispersion. And
at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards;for he had
requested that he might suffer in this way. What do we need to say
concerning Paul, who preached the Gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to
Illyricum, and afterwards suffered martyrdom in Rome under Nero? These
facts are related by Origen in the third volume of his Commentary on
Some more later comments of Iraenaeus (180AD) and Eusebius (263-340AD) also
must be taken in question, because they reflect ancient traditions, and
were not contested by any christian writer of their time.
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