BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

The Apostle Peter in Rome

Jesus’ chief disciple examined

In this blog post, Brown University Religious Studies professor Nicola Denzey Lewis answers frequently asked questions about the apostle Peter. Denzey Lewis appears in the CNN series Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, which aims to investigate artifacts that shed light on the world in which Jesus lived.—Ed.


What traditions connect the apostle Peter to Rome?

peter-el-greco

The Repentant St. Peter by El Greco. Photo: The Phillips Collection.

Jesus’ chief disciple, Peter (also called Simon Peter or Cephas), has been associated with Rome for nearly 2,000 years. The earliest testimony to the apostle Peter’s presence in Rome is a letter from a Christian deacon named Gaius. Writing probably toward the end of the second century C.E.—so, around 170 or 180 C.E.—Gaius tells about the wondrous things in Rome, including something called a tropaion (see below for more) where Peter established a church—in fact, the Church, the Roman Catholic church at the site where St. Peter’s Basilica is today. But there are other traditions besides Peter’s tropaion. One early Christian text, the Apocryphal Acts of Peter, recounts many things that Peter did in the city. At one point in Acts of Peter, Peter is taunted by a flamboyant heretic, Simon Magus. Simon challenges Peter to a flying contest around the Roman Forum, but Peter’s prayers make Simon crash to the ground, proving that Simon’s powers are not as great as his own. At the end of this text, Peter, not wishing to be martyred for his faith, flees from Roman authorities on the Via Appia leading out of the city. Rather unexpectedly, Peter meets Jesus, who is traveling in the opposite direction. He asks Jesus, “Where are you going?” Jesus tells Peter that he is going to Rome “to be crucified again.” Peter realizes, from this, that he cannot flee from his fate. “Where are you going?” in Latin is “Quo Vadis?” and there’s a medieval church in Rome called the Church of Quo Vadis at the spot where Peter met Jesus. To prove that his vision was real, you can still see there a bit of marble pavement which the faithful say miraculously preserve Jesus’ footprints.

Is it likely that the apostle Peter went to Rome and founded the church there?

Interestingly, the Bible says nothing about Peter ever traveling to Rome. When the gospels end, Peter is in Jerusalem. It’s the same in the Book of Acts. The apostle Paul, in his letters, also talks about meeting Peter in the eastern Mediterranean. After Jesus’ death, Paul says that Jesus’ brother, James, and Peter are the co-leaders of the “church,” or assembly, of Jesus-followers in Jerusalem. In short, there is no early textual evidence for Peter in Rome, so for some people, 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.


In the free eBook Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity, learn about the cultural contexts for the theology of Paul and how Jewish traditions and law extended into early Christianity through Paul’s dual roles as a Christian missionary and a Pharisee.

Is there any evidence that the apostle Peter died in Rome?

st-peter-basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the traditional burial site of the apostle Peter.

There is no solid evidence—textual or even archaeological—that Peter died in Rome. Starting around the end of the second century, Christian pilgrims went to see Peter’s tropaion. But a tropaion is not a tomb. The word itself is very unusual; sometimes translated as “trophy,” it means something like a war memorial or a cenotaph (i.e., an empty grave). It’s not the word used in the Roman Empire for a burial place. Yet this spot—which was originally in the middle of an ancient cemetery—was quickly understood as the place where Peter was buried. When it was excavated in the 1950s, archaeologists were shocked to find that there was no grave and no bones under the tropaion. Only later were some bones produced from that excavation, and it’s a fascinating story we talk about in Finding Jesus. Are these Peter’s bones? That appears to be a matter of faith. The official Vatican position, first stated in 1968, is that they might be.

Why are there two places in Rome where the apostle Peter was supposedly buried?

This is another fascinating thing we explore in Finding Jesus. Most people know about Peter’s traditional burial site at St. Peter’s. But it turns out that there’s a second site in Rome where pilgrims went for hundreds of years, which was known as the Memoria Apostolorum (the Memorial to the Apostles). It’s off the Via Appia at the modern site of the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, and you can still go and visit it today, although the memorial itself is largely built over. What’s amazing is that the site preserves around 600 graffiti scrawled by Christian pilgrims in the early Middle Ages, most of them prayers to Peter and Paul, the joint patron saints of Rome. It certainly looks like people believed that Peter was buried there, but excavators found no evidence of a tomb there, either! As far as I can tell, this leaves us with two options: Either Peter’s body was at both these sites at one point and moved from one to the other, or Peter’s body was never at either site, but people still associated him with the site. It didn’t always take a body or a tomb for a site to be sacred, after all.


This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on March 31, 2017.


nicola-denzey-lewisNicola Denzey Lewis, Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University, specializes in Gnosticism, Late Antiquity, Roman social history, the history of Christianity, and women and gender. Her recent publications include Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and the Graeco-Roman World (Brill, 2013) and Introduction to “Gnosticism” (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013).


 

Related reading in the BAS Library:

Pheme Perkins, “Peter: How a Flawed Disciple Became Jesus’ Successor on Earth,” Bible Review, February 2004.

“Peter in Rome,” Bible Review, February 2004.

David R. Cartlidge, “The Fall and Rise of Simon Magus,” Bible Review, Fall 2005.

Not a BAS Library member yet? Join the BAS Library today.


 

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74 Responses

  1. I’d like to challenge the notion that Peter spoke only Aramaic. I suspect Aramaic was his native tongue, but that he was also reasonably comfortable in speaking Greek. As Hachlili demonstrated decades ago, there was a very high proportion of Greek speakers in Galilee—one of the highest in the eastern Mediterranean. Peter was from Bethsaida, which was a dual-town with the Greek city of Julias. He would have been hearing Greek alongside Aramaic as he grew up, so that I think it’s perhaps unrealistic that he was an Aramaic speaker only. His brother Andrew, and friend Philip (both disciples) were from the town and had Greek names. That’s not proof, but it’s suggestive. notice also that Philip speaks with Greeks (John 12:20–21). I think it highly probably that Jesus and most (if not all) of his disciples were at least functional in Greek, if not fluent.

  2. Henry Baldwin says:

    Rome was NOT a long way from Palestine. The trade routes were well established and there was vast overland and ship travel back and forth from the Levant. Every year Rome was absolutely dependent on the 40,000 – 135,ooo tons of grain (depending on whose calculations you follow) transported from Egypt to Rome alone. As for Peter being ignorant and only knowing Aramaic? BAR has extensive documentation of the Hellenistic nature of Galilee. Greek was spoken in and around the north shore of the Lake. Tradesmen could easily be expected to know Greek sufficiently to gain profit.
    Alas, the archaeological conclusions seem to be a bit stale, too. 1950? Have we paid attention to the fine archaeological work done in 2016??

  3. John Mc says:

    We are supposed to respect a professor’s lecture on the early Christian church, but yet she doesn’t even have the courage to buck the forces of political correctness and use A.D. instead of C.E. Why should we believe professors speaking on Christian history, when they don’t recognize the impact of Christ’s life on the world & admit the only reasons dates count backwards & then forwards is his birth.

    1. I doubt you’ll find anyone who employs the BCE/CE labels denying that Jesus is the crucial dividing point, or the impact he had. I am a believing Christian, and though I use the BC/AD labels, I have no problem with people employing the BCE/CE labels, especially if their personal convictions make them reticent to use the other labels. Not everyone in this world is a confessing Christian, though pretty much everyone agrees that Jesus had a profound impact on history. I fear the disrespect lies not with Prof. Denzey Lewis.

  4. John in PA says:

    History says is correct and I might also add the entire Chapter 14 of Book II of the historian EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA (from 340 AD) on Church History, if only the writer had a little more time and doggedness to look further.
    ” For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest
    of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome against this great corrupter (Simon Magus, an imposter) of life. He (Peter) like a noble commander of God, clad in divine armor, carried the costly merchandise of the light of the understanding from the East to those who dwelt in the West, proclaiming the light itself, and the word which brings salvation to souls, and preaching the kingdom of heaven.”

  5. Donna says:

    There was a time, when I really trusted articles from a university/professor. I myself very much appreciated my college education. However, when it comes to believers in Jesus Christ, the lukewarm are spit out. Jesus says this in Revelation 3:15-16. Also read Colossians 2:8-10 for yourself ” Beware lest any man spoil you through vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ”. There is a major difference between human education and Faith. Rely on God’s education through His Word to manifest your Faith and Trust in His Word, so that there is a purely distinguishable Truth. Everything else is irrelevant in the words of Paul (a very educated man):
    Please Read Phillipians 3:7-11.
    Also, 1 John 4 “Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God…”.
    We are in the end times as you can evidently see around you. This is the time for repentance and to walk out the scripture John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. These scriptures came to me after reading this article. My prayer is that this helps educate and bless many in Jesus name. Amen.

  6. GODWIN says:

    Thank you, Nicola Denzey Lewis.
    I really love your write up. May you remain blessed

  7. History Buff says:

    And… my favorite quote from antiquities:

    CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE
    “If anyone considers and examines these things, there is no need for a long discussion and arguments. There is easy proof of faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” he says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .” [Mt 16:18–19]. On him he builds the Church, and commands him to feed the sheep [Jn 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, by which it is made clear that there is one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he think that he holds the faith? If he deserts the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [c. A.D. 251]).

    “There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair founded upon the rock by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood be made, except the one altar and the one priesthood. Whosoever gathers elsewhere, scatters” [Letters 39:5 (A.D. 251)].

    Feel free to do further research:

    https://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=ante-nicene fathers

    1. John Baptist says:

      That Rock is Christ. He is the chief corner stone on which the Church is built, not Peter.

  8. History Buff says:

    Cont’d

    IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (Taught by the Apostle John.)
    “I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you [Romans]. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: They were free, while I am, even until now, a servant” [Letter to the Romans 4 (c. A.D. 110)].

    EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA
    “Victor . . . was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter” [Church History 5:28:3 (c. A.D. 312)].

    “And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son. 1 Peter 5:13” [Church History 2:15:2 (c. A.D. 312)].

    CYRIL OF JERUSALEM
    “[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius set up his statue. . . . As the delusion was extending, Peter and Paul, a noble pair, chief rulers of the Church, arrived and set the error right. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their prayers against Magus, and struck him down to the earth. And marvelous though it was, yet no marvel. For Peter was there, who carries the keys of heaven [Mt 16:19]” [Catechetical Lectures 6:14–15 (c. A.D. 350)].

    THEODORE ABU QURRAH
    “As for us, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, our sole goal is to build ourselves on the foundation of St. Peter, he who directed the six holy councils. These councils were gathered by command of the Bishop of Rome, the city of the world. Whoever sits on that city’s throne is authorized by Christ to have compassion on the people of the Church, by summoning the ecumenical council, and to strengthen them, even as we have demonstrated in other places. We ask Christ to confirm us in this forever, that we might inherit through it his kingdom, in that we have joined with it the doing of his commandments. To him be praise, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and forever.” (Theodore Abu Qurrah; On the Death of Christ [800 A.D.]).

  9. History Buff says:

    This is not a very well researched article/opinion piece.

    IRENAEUS (Irenaeus was taught by Polycarp. Polycarp was taught by the Apostle John.)
    “Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the churches, we put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vanity, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings, by indicating that Tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every church agree with this church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, in so far as the apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere” [Against Heresies 3:3:2 (c. A.D. 189)].

    “Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church” [Against Heresies, 3:1:1 (c. A.D. 189)].

    TERTULLIAN OF CARTHAGE
    “Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! Where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! Where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s! Where the apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island exile!” [Prescription Against Heretics 36 (c. A.D. 200)].

    PETER OF ALEXANDRIA
    “Thus Peter, the first of the apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into prison, and treated with ignominy, was last of all crucified at Rome” [Penance, canon 9 (A.D. 306)].

    LACTANTIUS
    “And while Nero reigned, the apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and steadfast temple unto the Lord. When Nero heard of those things, and observed that not only in Rome, but in every other place, a great multitude revolted daily from the worship of idols, and, condemning their old ways, went over to the new religion, he, an execrable and pernicious tyrant, sprung forward to raze the heavenly temple and destroy the true faith. He it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul” [Deaths of the Persecutors 2 (c. A.D. 318)].

    OPTATUS OF MILEVIS
    “You cannot then deny that you know that upon Peter first in the city of Rome was bestowed the episcopal cathedra, on which he sat, the head of all the apostles (for which reason he was called Cephas), that, in this one cathedra, unity should be preserved by all. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would [presume to] set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . . Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church” [Schism of the Donatists 2:2 (c. A.D. 367)].

  10. mary duke says:

    Birger A. Pearson documents “redactions”, “additions”, “deletions” in the “Acts of Mark”, in the 4th and 5th century by Rome and Paris. Said by Eusebius it was done by Rome. The Coptic church of Egypt says the same. Someone took the Acts and don’t know who took them. Peter was with Mark in Babylon Fortress, Cairo(now), Egypt with all the Apostles in the 3rd missionary journey to Egypt and all Africa. This is a hoax about Peter. He never left his Apostles.

  11. Iloveyeshua says:

    Satin is sifting everyone like wheat. Stick to the pure word of the Bible. Follow the commandments of Gods son Yeshua and ask for guidance, understanding and wisdom. Worship god in purity and obey him.

  12. GeorgeBower says:

    Many of the early traditions are oral history and some are eventually verified. As the leader of the Church on earth, Peter would have (and had to for safety) traveled extensively. There is no reason Peter would not have visited Rome. Paul expanded and existing church in Rome. With Paul off on whatever he did after his release from prison (I cannot dispute a western missionary expedition without Dr. Luke), there is no reason for Peter to not have gone to Rome. All we know for certain is that Peter didn’t return to Jerusalem (because people make a point of saying he didn’t).

    I encourage everyone to take my position: “If the Gospels were not written by the authors, I am happy to accept your claim if you can give me the name of the real author.” I sleep well at night.

  13. GeorgeBower says:

    Peter had to speak Greek because he worked to sell his harvest. Trade was in Greek. Peter had to speak some Greek. Over the decades of his ministry, I am sure he might have acquired a better understanding of that language but his Gospel is written by John Mark for him. Let us not forget this point.

  14. Mark says:

    Why cant we find Peter’s last words he spoke at his crucifixion. What happened to them? Too contradicting. I know that a roman scribe was supposed top be at his death and recorded his last words but now you can’t find them on the internet, WHY?

  15. (Acts 12:16-17) Meanwhile Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he added, “Tell this to James and to the believers.” Then he left and went to another place.

    This is the last mention of Peter in Jerusalem. So, what does “another place” mean? Why would Peter leave Jerusalem and never return? Read Acts 12 again.

  16. Pastor. Jose A. Druan says:

    Is interesting how religion takes advantage of the innocence of the spirit of the people, this is one more of the lies that we
    have been cherished in our lifetime. even when there is no evidence. it is to many lies that we have swallowed.

  17. wes says:

    Did we cover the apochryphal Acts of Peter in this discussion? That’s where the expression “Quo Vadis” comes from – and the notion that Peter was a martyr of Nero’s persecution. This story supposedly originated in the 2nd Century AD and was written originally in Greek by an anti-gnostic author in the early church.

    Of course, we can dismiss this writing because it is not Biblical, right? But it is not necessarily “Roman church” propaganda either since the presumed author was from Asia Minor.

    “Consensus among academics points to its being based on the Acts of John, and traditionally both works were said to be written by Leucius Charinus, whom Epiphanius identifies as the companion of John.”

    The biggest irony about all of this is that the idea of Peter in Rome is dismissed as too improbable to give any credence to

  18. Charles Miller says:

    Peter’s brother Andrew had a Greek name,as did the Apostle Philip. Galilee and Bethsaida had been under Hellenistic rule for over 300 years — Magdala (Tarichaeae) was a big fish business town for exports, quite likely where local fishermen sold their catches — and where Greek would have been a lingua franca like English in Europe today. And even Paul used scribes to write his letters — all the more likely for a Galilean fisherman to use one instead of trying to write without Google Translate.

    On the other hand, there is a Coptic tradition that Peter sent his First Epistle from Babylon, Egypt, an ancient military foundation near present-day Cairo.

    But then, there is no other place besides Rome that claims to be the burial place of Peter, at least that I am aware of.

  19. Jeff Ferrier says:

    In first Peter 5:13, Peter sends greetings from Babylon, which is the opposite direction from Rome. It was the home to a large Jewish community, so he had reason to go there.

    I don’t think it is correct to think of him as an simple uneducated fisherman. Fishing was a business, and peter was successful at it. Also from his name we can tell that there was some Hellenization. He is Simon Peter, Simon is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Simeon

  20. Iamcatholic says:

    For me, the presence of St Peter in Rome cannot be proved or disproved definitively from biblical testimony. We have to rely on post- or extra-biblical testimony to do so.

  21. Henry says:

    I am amused at the intent of most scholars associated with BAS research eventually is coloured by opinions to the negative to disprove the orthodox teachings of the Roman ans Eastern Othodox churches. One gers the impression the BAS is a society that typifies a ditched lover who seeks to discredit a former spouse to support their existance and very recent belief system and theology. Where is it written in the bible that all evidence should be in the bible. No experience is written and then lived- It is lived and the lived tradition is recorded as well as handed down by word of mouth. On a positive note i am surprised that Peter is refered to as St Peter in the article which is a very Catholic adress for those who died in the friendship of our Lord Chris Jesus.

  22. Jerry mcshan says:

    There is no evidence that Peter ever went to Rome. Paul was in Rome for two trials and he was the author of most of the new testament. Peter would have been lost in Rome as he tended to think Jew first and Christian second theology. Paul had to confront his on this one one occasion. peter in Rome was started long after he had died so it is just a fancy rumor.

  23. John says:

    One would have thought that Paul, who spent several years in Rome, would have mentioned Peter, if he gone to Rome……….he remained ‘silent’ on this matter.
    Peter’s own testimony puts him in Babylon with Mark, when he wrote his first letter, (1 Peter 5:13). This makes sense, because Paul was an apostle to the nations, while Galatians 2:7-9 show that Peter’s main role was to preach to those who were circumcised, i.e. the Jews…….there was a large Jewish population in Babylon, and it was a known centre of Judaism at this time.
    Also, when Paul, in his letters (from Rome), to the the various congregations, Peter’s name is not included among those sending their greetings……..this would have been extremely unusual, had Peter been in Rome at the time of Paul’s writing these letters, because Peter would have been known by many in those congregations.

  24. William says:

    Joe, I think you are way, way, way to dismissive and skeptical of my sources. Ignatius, Polycarp and Clement were direct companions/pupils of the apostles, what possible attestation could be better?? Furthermore, the traditions is both early, abundant, and unanimous. It could hardly get any better…
    Greek was quite abundant in Palestine/Israel too you know… There were many Romans and traders there, it’s not unreasonable to conclude Greek was a circulating language or that the common folk could understand some of it. Furthermore, Peter was well-acompanied by Paul and other provicient ‘Greek-speakers’. He had several decades to lear Greek anyway… 1 Peter was Greek and has great evidence of it being written by Peter… Jesus also taught the disciples/apostles to go out and spread the Gospel, so there’s no surprise Peter may have left Israel.
    ” the only document that ‘might’ be accurate is the first ”
    You sem to suggest that is questionable as well, of which I am quite astounded…
    You say the rest could simply be repeating. Joe, that’s not at all reasonable now is it… It’s mere speculation on your part. 🙁

  25. wes says:

    And by the way, reviewing the responses, I see why this made the list as one of the top ten. It’s compelling and made people reach.

  26. wes says:

    Acts 2:11 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice.”
    It would appear that the lack of evidence for Peter being the bishop of Rome is that the search for evidence was desultory or unenthusiastic.
    In a section of Church History by Eusebius (AD 260/265 – 339/340 ) concerned with both canon and leadership succession prior to his fourth century era, there are some interesting contributions to this discussion. With regard to the canon, many of his remarks modern disputes still echo the questions raised – and the skepticism Eusebius voiced about a 15th epistle of Paul ( Hebrews) and a second epistle of Peter. Evidently he disagreed with Athanasius on much. But it is also remarkable that Eusebius traces his arguments for Peter as leader in Rome to both tradition and other, earlier Church writers and historians such as Origen. Eusebius places no credence in the book, the Acts of Peter, yet he attests to Peter acting as the Bishop of Rome – from his perspective in Asia Minor.
    Whether we can pin Peter’s presence in Rome to any authenticated histories is admittedly still an open question, but Peter by the NT accounts was genuinely one of the leaders of the newly formed movement ( Christianity, if you will).There are several accounts within the NT that would lead a reader to judge him as such. In Matthew 16:13-19, when Jesus asks the disciples who do the people say the Son of Man is, others were confused, but Peter submits that they mean that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus lauds him and anoints him as Petros which means “rock and… well, we know the rest. That’s why his presence or absence in Rome is so contentious today.
    In addition, Luke of Antioch, in his account known as Acts, in chapter 2 seems to have a canonical antedote for Peter being a fisherman and only able to speak Aramaic (The speeches before the crowd and the gift of tongues). For in Acts 4:13, when appearing to the local authorities after arrest, Peter and John Luke’s account says that the two are thought of as “unlettered ( agrammatoi ) men”, the only time the term is used in the NT. After confinement in jail and escape, it is not a matter of controversy that Peter did travel and act as a leader in Asia minor, including positions of authority in Antioch and elsewhere. Why going to Rome is such a stretch, a bridge too far, despite such testimony as that below – is that it is one cherry that many do not want to pick.
    Church History (Book III)
    Chapter 1..
    Section(s)
    2. 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 Genesis.
    Chapter 2. The First Successor to St. Peter in Rome.

  27. Roman Osborn says:

    The evidence, both scriptural and historical, seems to give weight to the likelihood that the Apostle Peter was never in Rome.
    Firstly, he was uneducated and only spoke in Aramaic. He also had the God-given mandate to take the Gospel ONLY to the “Circumcision” (Jews).
    Viz:- “For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me [Paul] as an apostle to the Gentiles.” [Galatians 2:8-9].
    So, how does Peter’s
    ‘crowning’ as first pope stack up against this Biblical evidence, given that he would have died centuries before the Roman Catholic religion was beginning to form under Constantine and pagan elites of the era. Just forming such a religious system would have taken many more years again, just in the building of the mega-structures of Vatican City alone.
    Furthermore, Peter was married and probably had children. Viz:- “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.”
    [Matthew 8:14-15]
    These are questions that no Roman Catholic has been willing or able to answer to date.

  28. Ronnie says:

    The main point is the revelation of Who Jesus is, not who Peter is, It is also good to remember he was to his death, a Jew. Never a Catholic Bishop.

  29. Joe Sawyer says:

    William, the only document that ‘might’ be accurate would be the first. The rest could simply be repeating. Remember, Paul said the antichrist was already at work when he was alive, .. so false info or not? hard to prove.
    I believe the point is very good that a fisherman from Israel was not fluid in the languages of Rome. Wonderfully when Paul first got there, the ‘Christians’ were already there and happily met him. Furthermore, the miracle is that none of them knew anything about the problems he left behind. God didn’t allow that information to come and mar their thinking.
    Paul in Rome, definitely. Died in Rome, most likely.
    Peter, very very doubtful. But for ‘money’ sake and ‘popularity’ sake, it is very convenient to have Peter in Rome especially after thinking, as heathen did, that Jesus Christ going to build His Church on a man, Peter. The Scripture said He was/is going to build His Church on Revelation.. flesh and blood did not ‘reveal’ this to you… ‘Revelation’ is only given by God, so it can’t be duplicated.
    The Church is built on Revelation, not a man.. no Peter. But for heathens, they always need a man, and then a statue, and then a church building to collect more popularity and money.
    Peter would have stayed with his own people. That is obvious. Israel..

  30. Dr. Theology says:

    According to post-ascension Believers, Jesus was coming back to visit so many times after He’d already ascended, that it’s comical. Paul’s whole testimony rides on the fact that he saw Jesus (a few times actually – Acts 9:3, 23:11) in the flesh, just as the Apostles had when Jesus was still on earth (1 Cor 9:1, 15:8). It’s funny because Jesus warned His Disciples to not believe ANYONE who said that they saw Him after He had ascended, declaring that everyone will see His return all at the same time. -He won’t be making private visits. He even gave the very template Paul would be using in Matthew 24:26-27: The Desert (Acts 9:3 – the great Syrian desert) and an inner room (Acts 23:11 – within the walls of the castle the Roman’s were quartering in Jerusalem). Yet ironically you cannot attend a church service today without some type of tie-in about Paul…all because he claimed to have seen Jesus in the flesh. He’s not even the Apostle to the Gentiles as he claimed countless times…that was set straight at the Jerusalem Council by Peter in front of the who’s who of the Way in Acts 15:7. So this church Quo Vadis that has claimed to have the marblized footprint of Jesus (post-ascension) is built on a fallacy; not on the Truth. So many people claiming to have seen Jesus post-ascension is absolutely absurd (including Paul’s pathological lying)! The Holy Spirit must have been busy on those days that Jesus felt compelled to leave the Throne Room of His Father to talk to His servants, huh!? Afterall, it’s not like the Holy Spirit was sent in the place of Jesus until His return or nothing (John 14:26, 16:7, 16:13). -Oh yah, that warning in 2 Peter 3:15-16 (the ONLY place in the New Testament that talks about Paul outside of Paul himself and his Roman buddy Luke), isn’t written by Peter, although in the very first sentence (2 Peter 1:1) claims it is. It’s called a pseudonymous letter meaning nobody knows who wrote it…but it definitely wasn’t Peter. Therefore…isn’t that a lie in the New Testament?! Purge Paul’s works, don’t trust Luke’s gospel (The Q Source was Paul) and purge 2 Peter and you will see the Truth much clearer. Those who are BAPTIZED and BELIEVE are saved. -Mark 16:16.

  31. Manuel Perez says:

    The Early Church Father Irenaeus who was a disciple of St.Polycarp and heard St. John the Apostle preach wrote in “Against Heresies” in 190 AD that Matthew’s Gospel was written while Peter and Paul were in Rome evangelizing and laying the foundation of the Church. The Catholic Answers website has an excellent article under “Was Peter in Rome?”. This whole notion that the Roman Catholic Church made up the story that St. Peter was in Rome is nothing but rubbish. The article at Catholic Answers also points out that among others, St. Clement of Alexandria also wrote that Peter was in Rome. I suggest reading it.

  32. Ale Carranza says:

    When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4

  33. Amanda says:

    My 7th grade son just did a project on the spread of Christianity through the Roman Empire. Apostle Peter was never in Rome. Christianity was not spread through Rome until 50 A.D. and that was through Apostle Paul. Paul was responsible for spreading Christianity on 4 different journeys traveling aprox. 8000 miles(Rome being the last spot on the end of his fourth journey). Peter’s writings are said to have been written around 66 A.D.
    In 1953 Peter’s bones were found in Jerusalem….the name inscribed where his bones were found say ‘Shimon, Bar Yonah’ (Simon, son of Jonah). This is what Jesus called Peter when He fist met him (John 1:42). The church in Babylon that Peter writes about is in modern day Iraq (the remains of Babylon are there). The places the Bible says Peter traveled are: Antioch, which was located in Syria then, and is now in Turkey called Antakya (this is where Paul rebuked Peter because he would not sit with the Gentiles); Lydda and Joppa (now called Lod and Jeffa) both located in Israel; and Jerusalem and Caesarea (both located in Israel).
    In the Bible, Peter spreads Jesus’ word mainly to the Jewish, rarely ever to the Gentiles. The places Peter spread Jesus’ teachings definitely coincide with this.
    The first Roman-Jewish wars were between 66-73 A.D. and Romans captured Jews and brought them to Rome to be slaves. It would not make sense that Peter would have been in Rome then, nor would Peter’s church be in Rome.
    Also, Christianity was not accepted in Rome until 325 A.D. when Constantine wanted Rome under one religion, and made Christianity the official religion of Rome.
    Lastly, as stated above before, there is no record or Peter or Paul’s death in the Bible or anywhere else. It is a false teaching by the Roman Catholic church. Yes, Nero hated Christians, and accused them of burning Rome in 64 A.D. and punished them. Nero ruled Rome from 54 A.D.- 68 A.D.

  34. Jov says:

    where in the bible scriptures says peter can only speak armaic?

  35. Eugene says:

    Babylon is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Babylon several times in the Book of Revelation. One of those references is in Rev 16, “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the ctemple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each (the weight of a talent), came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.”(Re 16:17–21)

    During the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., The Romans surrounded the city. They launched giant stones from catapults at the city. Josephus records that the stones weighed a talent (100pounds) and that they were white.

    The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw darts and those that threw stones, were more forcible and larger than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions of the Jews, but drove those away that were upon the walls also. (270) Now, the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and farther. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. (271) As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brightness; (272) accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers gave them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone came from it, and cried out aloud in their own country language, “THE SON COMETH:” so those that were in its way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the ground; by which means, and by their thus guarding themselves, the stone fell down and did them no harm.

    Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 710). Peabody: Hendrickson.

    Another reference to Jerusalem being called Babylon is Rev 17:3-7, And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

    The woman sitting on the beast is dressed just like the priests of the Temple. She is wearing purple and scarlet and precious stones. This is what the priests wore. See Exodus 28:1-30.

    The Tabernacle and Temple were also adorned in purple and scarlet. See Exodus 25:1-9

    The great harlot is also drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus. It is the Jews of the First Century that first persecuted the Church and killed the Christians.

    Jerusalem is also called Sodom and Egypt, “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” (Rev 11:8) The Lord was crucified in Jerusalem.

    So Jerusalem is called the names of her enemies, Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon. Eight times Jerusalem is referred to as the “Great City” in Revelation. Several of those times the “Great City” is referred to as Babylon.

    So in I Peter 5:13 when Peter says that She who is in Babylon greet you, he is referring to Jerusalem. Peter was the Apostle to the Jews… “But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles)” Gal 2:7-8

    If Peter was the Apostle to the circumcised, why would Peter go to Rome? Emperor Claudius had expelled all the Jews from Rome. (Acts 18:2) Paul went to Rome, but there is no evidence in the Bible that Peter went to Rome.

  36. Gene R says:

    Written From Babylon. According to Peter’s own testimony, he composed his first letter while at Babylon. (1Pe 5:13) Possibly also from there he wrote his second letter. Available evidence clearly shows that “Babylon” refers to the city on the Euphrates and not to Rome, as some have claimed. Having been entrusted with ‘the good news for those who are circumcised,’ Peter could be expected to serve in a center of Judaism, such as Babylon. (Ga 2:7-9) There was a large Jewish population in and around the ancient city of Babylon. The Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971, Vol. 15, col. 755), when discussing production of the Babylonian Talmud, refers to Judaism’s “great academies of Babylon” during the Common Era. Since Peter wrote to “the temporary residents scattered about in [literal] Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1Pe 1:1), it logically follows that the source of the letter, “Babylon,” was the literal place by that name. Never does the Bible indicate that Babylon specifically refers to Rome, nor does it state that Peter was ever in Rome.

    The first to claim that Peter was martyred at Rome is Dionysius, bishop of Corinth in the latter half of the second century. Earlier, Clement of Rome, though mentioning Paul and Peter together, makes Paul’s preaching in both the E and the W a distinguishing feature of that apostle, implying that Peter was never in the W. As the vicious persecution of Christians by the Roman government (under Nero) had seemingly not yet begun, there would have been no reason for Peter to veil the identity of Rome by the use of another name. When Paul wrote to the Romans, sending greetings by name to many in Rome, he omitted Peter. Had Peter been a leading overseer there, this would have been an unlikely omission. Also, Peter’s name is not included among those sending greetings in Paul’s letters written from Rome—Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Philemon, Hebrews. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200274423

  37. William Pinson says:

    Please note that whether Peter handwrite or dictated the books attributed to him has nothing to do with his travels, anymore than his resting place indicates where he may have traveled during his lifetime. There is, jowever, no evidence of any trips made to Rome by him.

  38. Najib says:

    The Bible does not say Peter was NOT in Rome. So it can’t be used either way: to prove he was or he wasn’t. A lot of hot air from people who should know better.

  39. Wes Kelly says:

    As several above have noted, the tradition ( if not the evidence) of Peter passing time in Rome begins early in Christian letters. Some from the late first and early second century. And, it is also noted, that some of the same commentators who see Babylon and Rome clearly equated in Revelations are reluctant to make the same inference when Babylon is referenced in 1 Peter. There is another side of the Peter reference to Babylon, which has been noted by Prof. Bart Ehrman, if not among others. And that is that the metaphor drawn between Babylon for Rome is most likely a post-Jerusalem siege convention. But either way, the matter poses problems. Do we believe that Peter actually lived to a day when referring to Rome as Babylon would make any sense to a reader ( e.g. post 70. AD)? In fact from what has preceded, how can we tie down the date of his death – unless we assume it was the result of a particular persecution by Roman authorities or an emperor (Nero?). Are we to assume that Peter wrote letters in Greek from a Parthian metropolis rather than Rome? The ins and outs of such communication would definitely be a question within Biblical archeological review. Would he write them about church organization (2 Peter), an issue of more concern to the Gentile community?

    I am more inclined to believe that Peter reached and administered from Rome rather than did the same from Babylon based on patristic writings. But there are reasons to be skeptical that the epistles of Peter were written by his hand or during his lifetime.

  40. George May says:

    When the Pope found out that Peter was never in Rome (the Pope of the Sixth Century?) he had to find some way to get the papacy transferred to Jerusalem – either steal the city from the Arabs and Jews (what was left of it from its previous destruction by Titus), hence the seven ultimately failed crusades, or invent a religion and have the competing Donatist of North Africa destroyed as his pronounced heretics and make this new religion he invented (Islam) get it back for him. Either way, it backfired and now we have the fanatical mess we have to deal with today. The only one who visited the city as its star missionary was Paul. The papacy was nothing more than the Roman Empire going underground when it could no longer put up resistance against the Germanic invasions. It is not true Christianity because it puts a big “anathema” on the concept of the “righteousness of Christ alone imputed to the account of the one who believes it by faith alone and not by human reason.” Instead, it is a false religious institution that takes the words of Christianity and squeezes them into the framework of the false notion: “Where the bishop is, there is the church.”

  41. Jacob says:

    Also, Peter’s tomb in Jerusalem was proven to be nothing more that Anti-Catholic propaganda…like this article.

  42. Jacob says:

    Was Peter in Rome? Protestants are so eager to point out that Babylon in the Book of Revelation is Rome. Babylon is called the “7 hilled city” which is a clear reference to Rome. So when Peter says that he is in the Church of Babylon, why do Protestants suddenly retract to ultra-literalist state? Sure. Peter isn’t mentioned in the saint list in the Book of Romans. The Book of Romans, however, was written around 55 AD. Peter didn’t die until 64 AD. Now, let us see what the Church Fathers have to say.

    Clement of Rome:

    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. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience. (Letter to the Corinthians 90 AD)

    Ignatius of Antioch:

    Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you. They were apostles and I am a convict. They were free, and I even to the present time am a slave. —Letter to the Romans, Ch 4

    Irenaeus:

    Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also handed down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter (Against Heresies 3:1:1 [A.D. 189]).

    But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all Churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic tradition (ibid 3:3:2).

    Tertullian

    Let us see what milk the Corinthians drained from Paul; against what standard the Galatians were measured for correction; what the Philippians, Thessalonians, and Ephesians read; what even the nearby Romans sound forth, to whom both Peter and Paul bequeathed the Gospel and even sealed it with their blood (Against Marcion 4:5:1 [inter A.D. 207-212]).

    It should be noted that no early Church Father or early Christians claim that Peter went to Babylon in Iraq. And to any Apostolic Christians (Copts or Orthodox) who say that their Church does not teach that Peter went to Rome, one has not read their own bishop’s opinions nor those of the Church Fathers themselves.

  43. Jo says:

    In Galatians 2:7-9 The apostle Paul writes “On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, since the One at work in Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me for the Gentiles. When James, Cephas, and John, recognized as pillars, acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabus, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.”

    Yet Acts 15:7 says “After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe…” Maybe he was just referring to the incident with Cornelius?

    Of course whether Peter was preaching to Jews or Gentiles does not really prove whether he was the first Bishop of Rome, or even went there. The epistle to the Romans doesn’t clear up much. In chapter 15 Paul says he wants to preach where “Christ has not been named,” which is why he hasn’t come there, but plans to stop by Rome on his way to Spain. This implies someone is already teaching in Rome. In chapter 16 he sends greetings to 25 people, none of them Peter. You would think if Peter were head of the church in Rome he would send a greeting. Still the tradition that Peter was in Rome is early. Iranaeus wrote before 200 AD that the gospel of Matthew was written “while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome .” I believe he attributes that to Papius. I look forward to any future discoveries or news of this topic.

  44. Allan Gaekwad says:

    The analyses Babylon was symbolic is strengthen by accompanied name Marcus. Galilee was multicultural and Hellenised so everybody including Jesus knew Koine Greek with their own language Aramaic and even bit of Latin which was even written on the Cross in Jerusalem! Jewish boys are well trained whether you are a fisherman or a carpenter. St. Paul was an giant intellectual as well as great philosopher to articulate basics of Jesus’s teaching. If we compare St. Peter to him, it seems St. Peter is equally well articulated Christianity even criticizing Paul. I strongly believe St. Peter was in Rome, died in Rome on the cross as tradition indicates.

  45. Mark Svoboda says:

    Hello,
    The Roman church was clearly founded by Peter. However, he did as all churches are founded on the feast of Weeks (Shavuot) in 30 A.D. This fact is clearly recorded in Acts of the Apostles as recorded by Luke. See Acts chapter 2.

    Specifically the following.

    “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:9-11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    Specifically called out are the Jews and Proselytes from Rome who in return to Rome start the Roman church.

    Both

  46. Calvin Engime says:

    Ronald, I think it would not “make a lot of sense” for Peter to have gone to Babylon, because in his lifetime, it had not been a major urban centre since its inhabitants were deported to Seleucia over three hundred years earlier. Moreover, the Church of the East attributes the evangelisation of Mesopotamia to Thaddeus of Edessa and Thomas the Apostle; the early tradition connecting Peter with Rome is unrivalled.

    There was, however, a large Jewish community in Rome; we even read in Acts 18:2 that they had been expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius. (They had been expelled from Rome before by Tiberius, according to Josephus and Cassius Dio; probably on neither occasion did many people go very far.) Suetonius tells us Claudius did this because of disturbances caused by a Jew named “Chrestus,” which most historians take to refer to unrest caused in the Jewish community by the spread of Christianity.

    It is also possible that Paul implies Peter is in Rome in the Epistle to the Romans, if 15:20-21 means he is not going to minister in Rome because there is already an apostle there.

  47. Dean Haas says:

    It was not possible for Peter to have been in Rome, and it was never in recorded history, Biblical or Roman. And no, the reference in 1 Peter was not about Rome, but Babylon itself. The books of Peter were written during the fall of Jerusalem, in 65 A.D., from Babylon, where he was in exile. Babylon is modern day Iraq, where close to 2000 year old Christian villages exist, as they do in Syria. These villages spoke Aramaic as their native language, as did Peter. The connection to the RCC is virtually impossible, unless Peter could time travel. The Roman Empire was still very much in power, and remained in power until the end of the 2nd century. Peter was long gone when the RCC was established. That whole story of Peter being the ‘first pope’ never made sense, but was nevertheless taught by the RCC. There was the whole story of Peter being crucified upside down in Rome, which exists nowhere in actual history. Not bashing the RCC, but as a disciple of first century Christianity, and a long time student of Biblical and ancient history, it must be said.

  48. Jeff Ferrier says:

    Doesn’t Peter send greeting from Babylon in his letters? If so he moved east not west to the diaspora among the Parthians.

    Also any truth to the finding of a 1st century ossuary on the mount of olives with the name Simon Bar Joanna?

  49. Jaime GARCIA-RODRIGUEZ says:

    It is all a matter of Faith. Incorporating tradition within their religious “acquis” was a distinctive mark for the Pharisees. Jesus was, according to some scholars, a radical Pharisee. Or so once thought some Pharisees. Why, then, deny Christians the testimonies of tradition? Scholars notwithstanding, there is a strong & rich tradition for Peter being in Rome, in the company of his daughter (or someone converted by his direct teachings) Petronilla. Again, if you belive in Pentecost, the apostles started speaking in foreign tongues much to the amazing of the pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem from many provinces of the Roman Empire. Peter was there to take that very special language course. If you believe in Pentecost, that is. The cut feet bones in Rome point to the crucifixion that Peter may have chosen. I do not know how powerful is the Catholic Church, suspected by somebody here of hiding facts to disseminate myth. All I know is that I am a Catholic. I enjoy your analyses, but I believe, without actual evidence, that Peter was in Rome and his body lies there.

  50. Samy Nassif Amin says:

    As a Coptic Christian, we’ve always believed that St. Peter never preached in Rome. This fact is very clearly attested to in St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans and further testified to by the Acts of the Apostles. He might have gone to Rome towards the end of his life. This is a fact yet to be proved by history and archaeology. However, to reject the possibility of his ever going to Rome based on his simple status and not knowing Latin or Greek is far-fetched. We shouldn’t forget that St. Peter was invested with the Gift of Tongues by which he could bring 3000 people to the faith through one sermon on the day of Pentecost.

  51. Alexandre Carvalho says:

    The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son” (1 Peter 5:13) Marcus is a very typical Roman name, 1 Peter 5:12 mentions Silvanus, another typical Roman name.

    Irenaeus of Lyons wrote in the 2nd century:

    …by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul…

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.iv.html

  52. Ronald Kanagy says:

    @Keith I’m not sure where you got your “scientifically established” information that Peter did not write the two epistles ascribed to him, but I can tell you that by the scripture itself, it can be proven that the Apostle Peter did, indeed, write 1 & 2 Peter. I will believe Scripture over “science” any day.

    2 Peter 1:16-18 says:

    “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

    These verses are referring to the Transifuration of Jesus Christ, as recorded in Mathew 17:1-13 and Luke 9:28-36. There were only three other people present during the Transfiguration: Peter, James, and John. Also, these verses indicate that the writer of this epistle was an eyewitness to this event. Therefore, one can only conclude that it was Peter that wrote 2 Peter. And, due to the similarities between 1 & 2 Peter, one can only conclude that Peter was the writer of both epistles.

    Also, in 1st century Israel, Koine Greek was the common language due to the Hellenization of that region by the Roman Empire. So, one can only assume that Peter was fluent in Koine Greek, the language in which 1 & 2 Peter were written in.

  53. keithv5 says:

    My name is Peto Veritatem.
    With the absence of biblical as well as historical evidence, we are left with the Roman Catholic tradition of Peter being in Rome and his being the first pope. Since history has shown the RC church to be a lying church, we shall take its tradition with a ton of salt. In other words, it’s pure fantasy. As this article explains, Peter was a simple fisherman and could only speak–and probably not even write—Aramaic. It has been scientifically established that Peter never wrote the epistles ascribed to him. How could he have anyway not knowing the Greek language.

  54. John Barltrop says:

    From that verse at 1 Peter 5:13, it is apparent that Peter was in Babylon, at last when he wrote 1 Peter…………as the article stated the internal evidence in the Bible itself does not ever mention Peter going to Rome.

  55. Eric says:

    You failed to mention the evidence of Peter’s tomb being discovered in Jerusalem. There have been several archaeologists who have studied the ossuary and inscription originally discovered in the 1950s by Bellarmino Bagatti, but it hardly ever receives much notice. There are a few who claim that the inscription isn’t clear, but their motives are in question because of Roman Catholic links. An honest and objective analysis shows that it is most likely what it appears to be. The Roman Catholic Church is a very powerful religio-political institution and they have the ability to downplay such discoveries, and they have numerous times in the past with other discoveries. The Mount of Olives / Dominus Flevit tomb is a significant discovery which should not be overlooked.

  56. Ronald Kanagy says:

    It would make a lot of sense that Peter would be in the city of Babylon, and not in Rome, where a large Jewish population exists, due to the Jewish Exile during the later part of the Old Testament Jewish History. So, it is even more likely that Peter was talking about the actual city of Babylon and not its symbolic meaning.

  57. Ronald Kanagy says:

    There is no Scriptural evidence that Peter ever was in Rome. Paul’s letter to the Romans, in chapter 16, never mention Peter in the long list of people he mentions in that chapter. Also, in 1 Peter 5:13 it states “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.” This verse seems to imply that at the time that Peter wrote this letter, around 60-63 AD, he was in Babylon, in what is today Iraq, if one is to take Babylon in its literal sense. At some point, Babylon came to be symbolic of Rome, but there is no reason to believe that Peter would be so plain, with no symbolic language, in this letter, and then use a symbolic meaning for Babylon.

  58. Pam Cerullo says:

    Where is the BIBLICAL evidence that Peter was ever in Rome? Any other source of evidence that he was in Rome (or even died there) is otherwise fantasy perpetuated by Catholic tradition, not through Biblical evidence.

  59. PaulSacramento says:

    How do you address 1 Peter 5:13?

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74 Responses

  1. I’d like to challenge the notion that Peter spoke only Aramaic. I suspect Aramaic was his native tongue, but that he was also reasonably comfortable in speaking Greek. As Hachlili demonstrated decades ago, there was a very high proportion of Greek speakers in Galilee—one of the highest in the eastern Mediterranean. Peter was from Bethsaida, which was a dual-town with the Greek city of Julias. He would have been hearing Greek alongside Aramaic as he grew up, so that I think it’s perhaps unrealistic that he was an Aramaic speaker only. His brother Andrew, and friend Philip (both disciples) were from the town and had Greek names. That’s not proof, but it’s suggestive. notice also that Philip speaks with Greeks (John 12:20–21). I think it highly probably that Jesus and most (if not all) of his disciples were at least functional in Greek, if not fluent.

  2. Henry Baldwin says:

    Rome was NOT a long way from Palestine. The trade routes were well established and there was vast overland and ship travel back and forth from the Levant. Every year Rome was absolutely dependent on the 40,000 – 135,ooo tons of grain (depending on whose calculations you follow) transported from Egypt to Rome alone. As for Peter being ignorant and only knowing Aramaic? BAR has extensive documentation of the Hellenistic nature of Galilee. Greek was spoken in and around the north shore of the Lake. Tradesmen could easily be expected to know Greek sufficiently to gain profit.
    Alas, the archaeological conclusions seem to be a bit stale, too. 1950? Have we paid attention to the fine archaeological work done in 2016??

  3. John Mc says:

    We are supposed to respect a professor’s lecture on the early Christian church, but yet she doesn’t even have the courage to buck the forces of political correctness and use A.D. instead of C.E. Why should we believe professors speaking on Christian history, when they don’t recognize the impact of Christ’s life on the world & admit the only reasons dates count backwards & then forwards is his birth.

    1. I doubt you’ll find anyone who employs the BCE/CE labels denying that Jesus is the crucial dividing point, or the impact he had. I am a believing Christian, and though I use the BC/AD labels, I have no problem with people employing the BCE/CE labels, especially if their personal convictions make them reticent to use the other labels. Not everyone in this world is a confessing Christian, though pretty much everyone agrees that Jesus had a profound impact on history. I fear the disrespect lies not with Prof. Denzey Lewis.

  4. John in PA says:

    History says is correct and I might also add the entire Chapter 14 of Book II of the historian EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA (from 340 AD) on Church History, if only the writer had a little more time and doggedness to look further.
    ” For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest
    of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome against this great corrupter (Simon Magus, an imposter) of life. He (Peter) like a noble commander of God, clad in divine armor, carried the costly merchandise of the light of the understanding from the East to those who dwelt in the West, proclaiming the light itself, and the word which brings salvation to souls, and preaching the kingdom of heaven.”

  5. Donna says:

    There was a time, when I really trusted articles from a university/professor. I myself very much appreciated my college education. However, when it comes to believers in Jesus Christ, the lukewarm are spit out. Jesus says this in Revelation 3:15-16. Also read Colossians 2:8-10 for yourself ” Beware lest any man spoil you through vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ”. There is a major difference between human education and Faith. Rely on God’s education through His Word to manifest your Faith and Trust in His Word, so that there is a purely distinguishable Truth. Everything else is irrelevant in the words of Paul (a very educated man):
    Please Read Phillipians 3:7-11.
    Also, 1 John 4 “Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God…”.
    We are in the end times as you can evidently see around you. This is the time for repentance and to walk out the scripture John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. These scriptures came to me after reading this article. My prayer is that this helps educate and bless many in Jesus name. Amen.

  6. GODWIN says:

    Thank you, Nicola Denzey Lewis.
    I really love your write up. May you remain blessed

  7. History Buff says:

    And… my favorite quote from antiquities:

    CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE
    “If anyone considers and examines these things, there is no need for a long discussion and arguments. There is easy proof of faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” he says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .” [Mt 16:18–19]. On him he builds the Church, and commands him to feed the sheep [Jn 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, by which it is made clear that there is one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he think that he holds the faith? If he deserts the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [c. A.D. 251]).

    “There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair founded upon the rock by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood be made, except the one altar and the one priesthood. Whosoever gathers elsewhere, scatters” [Letters 39:5 (A.D. 251)].

    Feel free to do further research:

    https://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=ante-nicene fathers

    1. John Baptist says:

      That Rock is Christ. He is the chief corner stone on which the Church is built, not Peter.

  8. History Buff says:

    Cont’d

    IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (Taught by the Apostle John.)
    “I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you [Romans]. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: They were free, while I am, even until now, a servant” [Letter to the Romans 4 (c. A.D. 110)].

    EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA
    “Victor . . . was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter” [Church History 5:28:3 (c. A.D. 312)].

    “And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son. 1 Peter 5:13” [Church History 2:15:2 (c. A.D. 312)].

    CYRIL OF JERUSALEM
    “[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius set up his statue. . . . As the delusion was extending, Peter and Paul, a noble pair, chief rulers of the Church, arrived and set the error right. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their prayers against Magus, and struck him down to the earth. And marvelous though it was, yet no marvel. For Peter was there, who carries the keys of heaven [Mt 16:19]” [Catechetical Lectures 6:14–15 (c. A.D. 350)].

    THEODORE ABU QURRAH
    “As for us, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, our sole goal is to build ourselves on the foundation of St. Peter, he who directed the six holy councils. These councils were gathered by command of the Bishop of Rome, the city of the world. Whoever sits on that city’s throne is authorized by Christ to have compassion on the people of the Church, by summoning the ecumenical council, and to strengthen them, even as we have demonstrated in other places. We ask Christ to confirm us in this forever, that we might inherit through it his kingdom, in that we have joined with it the doing of his commandments. To him be praise, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and forever.” (Theodore Abu Qurrah; On the Death of Christ [800 A.D.]).

  9. History Buff says:

    This is not a very well researched article/opinion piece.

    IRENAEUS (Irenaeus was taught by Polycarp. Polycarp was taught by the Apostle John.)
    “Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the churches, we put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vanity, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings, by indicating that Tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every church agree with this church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, in so far as the apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere” [Against Heresies 3:3:2 (c. A.D. 189)].

    “Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church” [Against Heresies, 3:1:1 (c. A.D. 189)].

    TERTULLIAN OF CARTHAGE
    “Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! Where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! Where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s! Where the apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island exile!” [Prescription Against Heretics 36 (c. A.D. 200)].

    PETER OF ALEXANDRIA
    “Thus Peter, the first of the apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into prison, and treated with ignominy, was last of all crucified at Rome” [Penance, canon 9 (A.D. 306)].

    LACTANTIUS
    “And while Nero reigned, the apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and steadfast temple unto the Lord. When Nero heard of those things, and observed that not only in Rome, but in every other place, a great multitude revolted daily from the worship of idols, and, condemning their old ways, went over to the new religion, he, an execrable and pernicious tyrant, sprung forward to raze the heavenly temple and destroy the true faith. He it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul” [Deaths of the Persecutors 2 (c. A.D. 318)].

    OPTATUS OF MILEVIS
    “You cannot then deny that you know that upon Peter first in the city of Rome was bestowed the episcopal cathedra, on which he sat, the head of all the apostles (for which reason he was called Cephas), that, in this one cathedra, unity should be preserved by all. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would [presume to] set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . . Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church” [Schism of the Donatists 2:2 (c. A.D. 367)].

  10. mary duke says:

    Birger A. Pearson documents “redactions”, “additions”, “deletions” in the “Acts of Mark”, in the 4th and 5th century by Rome and Paris. Said by Eusebius it was done by Rome. The Coptic church of Egypt says the same. Someone took the Acts and don’t know who took them. Peter was with Mark in Babylon Fortress, Cairo(now), Egypt with all the Apostles in the 3rd missionary journey to Egypt and all Africa. This is a hoax about Peter. He never left his Apostles.

  11. Iloveyeshua says:

    Satin is sifting everyone like wheat. Stick to the pure word of the Bible. Follow the commandments of Gods son Yeshua and ask for guidance, understanding and wisdom. Worship god in purity and obey him.

  12. GeorgeBower says:

    Many of the early traditions are oral history and some are eventually verified. As the leader of the Church on earth, Peter would have (and had to for safety) traveled extensively. There is no reason Peter would not have visited Rome. Paul expanded and existing church in Rome. With Paul off on whatever he did after his release from prison (I cannot dispute a western missionary expedition without Dr. Luke), there is no reason for Peter to not have gone to Rome. All we know for certain is that Peter didn’t return to Jerusalem (because people make a point of saying he didn’t).

    I encourage everyone to take my position: “If the Gospels were not written by the authors, I am happy to accept your claim if you can give me the name of the real author.” I sleep well at night.

  13. GeorgeBower says:

    Peter had to speak Greek because he worked to sell his harvest. Trade was in Greek. Peter had to speak some Greek. Over the decades of his ministry, I am sure he might have acquired a better understanding of that language but his Gospel is written by John Mark for him. Let us not forget this point.

  14. Mark says:

    Why cant we find Peter’s last words he spoke at his crucifixion. What happened to them? Too contradicting. I know that a roman scribe was supposed top be at his death and recorded his last words but now you can’t find them on the internet, WHY?

  15. (Acts 12:16-17) Meanwhile Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he added, “Tell this to James and to the believers.” Then he left and went to another place.

    This is the last mention of Peter in Jerusalem. So, what does “another place” mean? Why would Peter leave Jerusalem and never return? Read Acts 12 again.

  16. Pastor. Jose A. Druan says:

    Is interesting how religion takes advantage of the innocence of the spirit of the people, this is one more of the lies that we
    have been cherished in our lifetime. even when there is no evidence. it is to many lies that we have swallowed.

  17. wes says:

    Did we cover the apochryphal Acts of Peter in this discussion? That’s where the expression “Quo Vadis” comes from – and the notion that Peter was a martyr of Nero’s persecution. This story supposedly originated in the 2nd Century AD and was written originally in Greek by an anti-gnostic author in the early church.

    Of course, we can dismiss this writing because it is not Biblical, right? But it is not necessarily “Roman church” propaganda either since the presumed author was from Asia Minor.

    “Consensus among academics points to its being based on the Acts of John, and traditionally both works were said to be written by Leucius Charinus, whom Epiphanius identifies as the companion of John.”

    The biggest irony about all of this is that the idea of Peter in Rome is dismissed as too improbable to give any credence to

  18. Charles Miller says:

    Peter’s brother Andrew had a Greek name,as did the Apostle Philip. Galilee and Bethsaida had been under Hellenistic rule for over 300 years — Magdala (Tarichaeae) was a big fish business town for exports, quite likely where local fishermen sold their catches — and where Greek would have been a lingua franca like English in Europe today. And even Paul used scribes to write his letters — all the more likely for a Galilean fisherman to use one instead of trying to write without Google Translate.

    On the other hand, there is a Coptic tradition that Peter sent his First Epistle from Babylon, Egypt, an ancient military foundation near present-day Cairo.

    But then, there is no other place besides Rome that claims to be the burial place of Peter, at least that I am aware of.

  19. Jeff Ferrier says:

    In first Peter 5:13, Peter sends greetings from Babylon, which is the opposite direction from Rome. It was the home to a large Jewish community, so he had reason to go there.

    I don’t think it is correct to think of him as an simple uneducated fisherman. Fishing was a business, and peter was successful at it. Also from his name we can tell that there was some Hellenization. He is Simon Peter, Simon is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Simeon

  20. Iamcatholic says:

    For me, the presence of St Peter in Rome cannot be proved or disproved definitively from biblical testimony. We have to rely on post- or extra-biblical testimony to do so.

  21. Henry says:

    I am amused at the intent of most scholars associated with BAS research eventually is coloured by opinions to the negative to disprove the orthodox teachings of the Roman ans Eastern Othodox churches. One gers the impression the BAS is a society that typifies a ditched lover who seeks to discredit a former spouse to support their existance and very recent belief system and theology. Where is it written in the bible that all evidence should be in the bible. No experience is written and then lived- It is lived and the lived tradition is recorded as well as handed down by word of mouth. On a positive note i am surprised that Peter is refered to as St Peter in the article which is a very Catholic adress for those who died in the friendship of our Lord Chris Jesus.

  22. Jerry mcshan says:

    There is no evidence that Peter ever went to Rome. Paul was in Rome for two trials and he was the author of most of the new testament. Peter would have been lost in Rome as he tended to think Jew first and Christian second theology. Paul had to confront his on this one one occasion. peter in Rome was started long after he had died so it is just a fancy rumor.

  23. John says:

    One would have thought that Paul, who spent several years in Rome, would have mentioned Peter, if he gone to Rome……….he remained ‘silent’ on this matter.
    Peter’s own testimony puts him in Babylon with Mark, when he wrote his first letter, (1 Peter 5:13). This makes sense, because Paul was an apostle to the nations, while Galatians 2:7-9 show that Peter’s main role was to preach to those who were circumcised, i.e. the Jews…….there was a large Jewish population in Babylon, and it was a known centre of Judaism at this time.
    Also, when Paul, in his letters (from Rome), to the the various congregations, Peter’s name is not included among those sending their greetings……..this would have been extremely unusual, had Peter been in Rome at the time of Paul’s writing these letters, because Peter would have been known by many in those congregations.

  24. William says:

    Joe, I think you are way, way, way to dismissive and skeptical of my sources. Ignatius, Polycarp and Clement were direct companions/pupils of the apostles, what possible attestation could be better?? Furthermore, the traditions is both early, abundant, and unanimous. It could hardly get any better…
    Greek was quite abundant in Palestine/Israel too you know… There were many Romans and traders there, it’s not unreasonable to conclude Greek was a circulating language or that the common folk could understand some of it. Furthermore, Peter was well-acompanied by Paul and other provicient ‘Greek-speakers’. He had several decades to lear Greek anyway… 1 Peter was Greek and has great evidence of it being written by Peter… Jesus also taught the disciples/apostles to go out and spread the Gospel, so there’s no surprise Peter may have left Israel.
    ” the only document that ‘might’ be accurate is the first ”
    You sem to suggest that is questionable as well, of which I am quite astounded…
    You say the rest could simply be repeating. Joe, that’s not at all reasonable now is it… It’s mere speculation on your part. 🙁

  25. wes says:

    And by the way, reviewing the responses, I see why this made the list as one of the top ten. It’s compelling and made people reach.

  26. wes says:

    Acts 2:11 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice.”
    It would appear that the lack of evidence for Peter being the bishop of Rome is that the search for evidence was desultory or unenthusiastic.
    In a section of Church History by Eusebius (AD 260/265 – 339/340 ) concerned with both canon and leadership succession prior to his fourth century era, there are some interesting contributions to this discussion. With regard to the canon, many of his remarks modern disputes still echo the questions raised – and the skepticism Eusebius voiced about a 15th epistle of Paul ( Hebrews) and a second epistle of Peter. Evidently he disagreed with Athanasius on much. But it is also remarkable that Eusebius traces his arguments for Peter as leader in Rome to both tradition and other, earlier Church writers and historians such as Origen. Eusebius places no credence in the book, the Acts of Peter, yet he attests to Peter acting as the Bishop of Rome – from his perspective in Asia Minor.
    Whether we can pin Peter’s presence in Rome to any authenticated histories is admittedly still an open question, but Peter by the NT accounts was genuinely one of the leaders of the newly formed movement ( Christianity, if you will).There are several accounts within the NT that would lead a reader to judge him as such. In Matthew 16:13-19, when Jesus asks the disciples who do the people say the Son of Man is, others were confused, but Peter submits that they mean that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus lauds him and anoints him as Petros which means “rock and… well, we know the rest. That’s why his presence or absence in Rome is so contentious today.
    In addition, Luke of Antioch, in his account known as Acts, in chapter 2 seems to have a canonical antedote for Peter being a fisherman and only able to speak Aramaic (The speeches before the crowd and the gift of tongues). For in Acts 4:13, when appearing to the local authorities after arrest, Peter and John Luke’s account says that the two are thought of as “unlettered ( agrammatoi ) men”, the only time the term is used in the NT. After confinement in jail and escape, it is not a matter of controversy that Peter did travel and act as a leader in Asia minor, including positions of authority in Antioch and elsewhere. Why going to Rome is such a stretch, a bridge too far, despite such testimony as that below – is that it is one cherry that many do not want to pick.
    Church History (Book III)
    Chapter 1..
    Section(s)
    2. 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 Genesis.
    Chapter 2. The First Successor to St. Peter in Rome.

  27. Roman Osborn says:

    The evidence, both scriptural and historical, seems to give weight to the likelihood that the Apostle Peter was never in Rome.
    Firstly, he was uneducated and only spoke in Aramaic. He also had the God-given mandate to take the Gospel ONLY to the “Circumcision” (Jews).
    Viz:- “For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me [Paul] as an apostle to the Gentiles.” [Galatians 2:8-9].
    So, how does Peter’s
    ‘crowning’ as first pope stack up against this Biblical evidence, given that he would have died centuries before the Roman Catholic religion was beginning to form under Constantine and pagan elites of the era. Just forming such a religious system would have taken many more years again, just in the building of the mega-structures of Vatican City alone.
    Furthermore, Peter was married and probably had children. Viz:- “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.”
    [Matthew 8:14-15]
    These are questions that no Roman Catholic has been willing or able to answer to date.

  28. Ronnie says:

    The main point is the revelation of Who Jesus is, not who Peter is, It is also good to remember he was to his death, a Jew. Never a Catholic Bishop.

  29. Joe Sawyer says:

    William, the only document that ‘might’ be accurate would be the first. The rest could simply be repeating. Remember, Paul said the antichrist was already at work when he was alive, .. so false info or not? hard to prove.
    I believe the point is very good that a fisherman from Israel was not fluid in the languages of Rome. Wonderfully when Paul first got there, the ‘Christians’ were already there and happily met him. Furthermore, the miracle is that none of them knew anything about the problems he left behind. God didn’t allow that information to come and mar their thinking.
    Paul in Rome, definitely. Died in Rome, most likely.
    Peter, very very doubtful. But for ‘money’ sake and ‘popularity’ sake, it is very convenient to have Peter in Rome especially after thinking, as heathen did, that Jesus Christ going to build His Church on a man, Peter. The Scripture said He was/is going to build His Church on Revelation.. flesh and blood did not ‘reveal’ this to you… ‘Revelation’ is only given by God, so it can’t be duplicated.
    The Church is built on Revelation, not a man.. no Peter. But for heathens, they always need a man, and then a statue, and then a church building to collect more popularity and money.
    Peter would have stayed with his own people. That is obvious. Israel..

  30. Dr. Theology says:

    According to post-ascension Believers, Jesus was coming back to visit so many times after He’d already ascended, that it’s comical. Paul’s whole testimony rides on the fact that he saw Jesus (a few times actually – Acts 9:3, 23:11) in the flesh, just as the Apostles had when Jesus was still on earth (1 Cor 9:1, 15:8). It’s funny because Jesus warned His Disciples to not believe ANYONE who said that they saw Him after He had ascended, declaring that everyone will see His return all at the same time. -He won’t be making private visits. He even gave the very template Paul would be using in Matthew 24:26-27: The Desert (Acts 9:3 – the great Syrian desert) and an inner room (Acts 23:11 – within the walls of the castle the Roman’s were quartering in Jerusalem). Yet ironically you cannot attend a church service today without some type of tie-in about Paul…all because he claimed to have seen Jesus in the flesh. He’s not even the Apostle to the Gentiles as he claimed countless times…that was set straight at the Jerusalem Council by Peter in front of the who’s who of the Way in Acts 15:7. So this church Quo Vadis that has claimed to have the marblized footprint of Jesus (post-ascension) is built on a fallacy; not on the Truth. So many people claiming to have seen Jesus post-ascension is absolutely absurd (including Paul’s pathological lying)! The Holy Spirit must have been busy on those days that Jesus felt compelled to leave the Throne Room of His Father to talk to His servants, huh!? Afterall, it’s not like the Holy Spirit was sent in the place of Jesus until His return or nothing (John 14:26, 16:7, 16:13). -Oh yah, that warning in 2 Peter 3:15-16 (the ONLY place in the New Testament that talks about Paul outside of Paul himself and his Roman buddy Luke), isn’t written by Peter, although in the very first sentence (2 Peter 1:1) claims it is. It’s called a pseudonymous letter meaning nobody knows who wrote it…but it definitely wasn’t Peter. Therefore…isn’t that a lie in the New Testament?! Purge Paul’s works, don’t trust Luke’s gospel (The Q Source was Paul) and purge 2 Peter and you will see the Truth much clearer. Those who are BAPTIZED and BELIEVE are saved. -Mark 16:16.

  31. Manuel Perez says:

    The Early Church Father Irenaeus who was a disciple of St.Polycarp and heard St. John the Apostle preach wrote in “Against Heresies” in 190 AD that Matthew’s Gospel was written while Peter and Paul were in Rome evangelizing and laying the foundation of the Church. The Catholic Answers website has an excellent article under “Was Peter in Rome?”. This whole notion that the Roman Catholic Church made up the story that St. Peter was in Rome is nothing but rubbish. The article at Catholic Answers also points out that among others, St. Clement of Alexandria also wrote that Peter was in Rome. I suggest reading it.

  32. Ale Carranza says:

    When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4

  33. Amanda says:

    My 7th grade son just did a project on the spread of Christianity through the Roman Empire. Apostle Peter was never in Rome. Christianity was not spread through Rome until 50 A.D. and that was through Apostle Paul. Paul was responsible for spreading Christianity on 4 different journeys traveling aprox. 8000 miles(Rome being the last spot on the end of his fourth journey). Peter’s writings are said to have been written around 66 A.D.
    In 1953 Peter’s bones were found in Jerusalem….the name inscribed where his bones were found say ‘Shimon, Bar Yonah’ (Simon, son of Jonah). This is what Jesus called Peter when He fist met him (John 1:42). The church in Babylon that Peter writes about is in modern day Iraq (the remains of Babylon are there). The places the Bible says Peter traveled are: Antioch, which was located in Syria then, and is now in Turkey called Antakya (this is where Paul rebuked Peter because he would not sit with the Gentiles); Lydda and Joppa (now called Lod and Jeffa) both located in Israel; and Jerusalem and Caesarea (both located in Israel).
    In the Bible, Peter spreads Jesus’ word mainly to the Jewish, rarely ever to the Gentiles. The places Peter spread Jesus’ teachings definitely coincide with this.
    The first Roman-Jewish wars were between 66-73 A.D. and Romans captured Jews and brought them to Rome to be slaves. It would not make sense that Peter would have been in Rome then, nor would Peter’s church be in Rome.
    Also, Christianity was not accepted in Rome until 325 A.D. when Constantine wanted Rome under one religion, and made Christianity the official religion of Rome.
    Lastly, as stated above before, there is no record or Peter or Paul’s death in the Bible or anywhere else. It is a false teaching by the Roman Catholic church. Yes, Nero hated Christians, and accused them of burning Rome in 64 A.D. and punished them. Nero ruled Rome from 54 A.D.- 68 A.D.

  34. Jov says:

    where in the bible scriptures says peter can only speak armaic?

  35. Eugene says:

    Babylon is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Babylon several times in the Book of Revelation. One of those references is in Rev 16, “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the ctemple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each (the weight of a talent), came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.”(Re 16:17–21)

    During the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., The Romans surrounded the city. They launched giant stones from catapults at the city. Josephus records that the stones weighed a talent (100pounds) and that they were white.

    The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw darts and those that threw stones, were more forcible and larger than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions of the Jews, but drove those away that were upon the walls also. (270) Now, the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and farther. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space. (271) As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brightness; (272) accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers gave them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone came from it, and cried out aloud in their own country language, “THE SON COMETH:” so those that were in its way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the ground; by which means, and by their thus guarding themselves, the stone fell down and did them no harm.

    Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 710). Peabody: Hendrickson.

    Another reference to Jerusalem being called Babylon is Rev 17:3-7, And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

    The woman sitting on the beast is dressed just like the priests of the Temple. She is wearing purple and scarlet and precious stones. This is what the priests wore. See Exodus 28:1-30.

    The Tabernacle and Temple were also adorned in purple and scarlet. See Exodus 25:1-9

    The great harlot is also drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus. It is the Jews of the First Century that first persecuted the Church and killed the Christians.

    Jerusalem is also called Sodom and Egypt, “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” (Rev 11:8) The Lord was crucified in Jerusalem.

    So Jerusalem is called the names of her enemies, Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon. Eight times Jerusalem is referred to as the “Great City” in Revelation. Several of those times the “Great City” is referred to as Babylon.

    So in I Peter 5:13 when Peter says that She who is in Babylon greet you, he is referring to Jerusalem. Peter was the Apostle to the Jews… “But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles)” Gal 2:7-8

    If Peter was the Apostle to the circumcised, why would Peter go to Rome? Emperor Claudius had expelled all the Jews from Rome. (Acts 18:2) Paul went to Rome, but there is no evidence in the Bible that Peter went to Rome.

  36. Gene R says:

    Written From Babylon. According to Peter’s own testimony, he composed his first letter while at Babylon. (1Pe 5:13) Possibly also from there he wrote his second letter. Available evidence clearly shows that “Babylon” refers to the city on the Euphrates and not to Rome, as some have claimed. Having been entrusted with ‘the good news for those who are circumcised,’ Peter could be expected to serve in a center of Judaism, such as Babylon. (Ga 2:7-9) There was a large Jewish population in and around the ancient city of Babylon. The Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971, Vol. 15, col. 755), when discussing production of the Babylonian Talmud, refers to Judaism’s “great academies of Babylon” during the Common Era. Since Peter wrote to “the temporary residents scattered about in [literal] Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1Pe 1:1), it logically follows that the source of the letter, “Babylon,” was the literal place by that name. Never does the Bible indicate that Babylon specifically refers to Rome, nor does it state that Peter was ever in Rome.

    The first to claim that Peter was martyred at Rome is Dionysius, bishop of Corinth in the latter half of the second century. Earlier, Clement of Rome, though mentioning Paul and Peter together, makes Paul’s preaching in both the E and the W a distinguishing feature of that apostle, implying that Peter was never in the W. As the vicious persecution of Christians by the Roman government (under Nero) had seemingly not yet begun, there would have been no reason for Peter to veil the identity of Rome by the use of another name. When Paul wrote to the Romans, sending greetings by name to many in Rome, he omitted Peter. Had Peter been a leading overseer there, this would have been an unlikely omission. Also, Peter’s name is not included among those sending greetings in Paul’s letters written from Rome—Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Philemon, Hebrews. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200274423

  37. William Pinson says:

    Please note that whether Peter handwrite or dictated the books attributed to him has nothing to do with his travels, anymore than his resting place indicates where he may have traveled during his lifetime. There is, jowever, no evidence of any trips made to Rome by him.

  38. Najib says:

    The Bible does not say Peter was NOT in Rome. So it can’t be used either way: to prove he was or he wasn’t. A lot of hot air from people who should know better.

  39. Wes Kelly says:

    As several above have noted, the tradition ( if not the evidence) of Peter passing time in Rome begins early in Christian letters. Some from the late first and early second century. And, it is also noted, that some of the same commentators who see Babylon and Rome clearly equated in Revelations are reluctant to make the same inference when Babylon is referenced in 1 Peter. There is another side of the Peter reference to Babylon, which has been noted by Prof. Bart Ehrman, if not among others. And that is that the metaphor drawn between Babylon for Rome is most likely a post-Jerusalem siege convention. But either way, the matter poses problems. Do we believe that Peter actually lived to a day when referring to Rome as Babylon would make any sense to a reader ( e.g. post 70. AD)? In fact from what has preceded, how can we tie down the date of his death – unless we assume it was the result of a particular persecution by Roman authorities or an emperor (Nero?). Are we to assume that Peter wrote letters in Greek from a Parthian metropolis rather than Rome? The ins and outs of such communication would definitely be a question within Biblical archeological review. Would he write them about church organization (2 Peter), an issue of more concern to the Gentile community?

    I am more inclined to believe that Peter reached and administered from Rome rather than did the same from Babylon based on patristic writings. But there are reasons to be skeptical that the epistles of Peter were written by his hand or during his lifetime.

  40. George May says:

    When the Pope found out that Peter was never in Rome (the Pope of the Sixth Century?) he had to find some way to get the papacy transferred to Jerusalem – either steal the city from the Arabs and Jews (what was left of it from its previous destruction by Titus), hence the seven ultimately failed crusades, or invent a religion and have the competing Donatist of North Africa destroyed as his pronounced heretics and make this new religion he invented (Islam) get it back for him. Either way, it backfired and now we have the fanatical mess we have to deal with today. The only one who visited the city as its star missionary was Paul. The papacy was nothing more than the Roman Empire going underground when it could no longer put up resistance against the Germanic invasions. It is not true Christianity because it puts a big “anathema” on the concept of the “righteousness of Christ alone imputed to the account of the one who believes it by faith alone and not by human reason.” Instead, it is a false religious institution that takes the words of Christianity and squeezes them into the framework of the false notion: “Where the bishop is, there is the church.”

  41. Jacob says:

    Also, Peter’s tomb in Jerusalem was proven to be nothing more that Anti-Catholic propaganda…like this article.

  42. Jacob says:

    Was Peter in Rome? Protestants are so eager to point out that Babylon in the Book of Revelation is Rome. Babylon is called the “7 hilled city” which is a clear reference to Rome. So when Peter says that he is in the Church of Babylon, why do Protestants suddenly retract to ultra-literalist state? Sure. Peter isn’t mentioned in the saint list in the Book of Romans. The Book of Romans, however, was written around 55 AD. Peter didn’t die until 64 AD. Now, let us see what the Church Fathers have to say.

    Clement of Rome:

    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. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience. (Letter to the Corinthians 90 AD)

    Ignatius of Antioch:

    Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you. They were apostles and I am a convict. They were free, and I even to the present time am a slave. —Letter to the Romans, Ch 4

    Irenaeus:

    Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also handed down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter (Against Heresies 3:1:1 [A.D. 189]).

    But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all Churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic tradition (ibid 3:3:2).

    Tertullian

    Let us see what milk the Corinthians drained from Paul; against what standard the Galatians were measured for correction; what the Philippians, Thessalonians, and Ephesians read; what even the nearby Romans sound forth, to whom both Peter and Paul bequeathed the Gospel and even sealed it with their blood (Against Marcion 4:5:1 [inter A.D. 207-212]).

    It should be noted that no early Church Father or early Christians claim that Peter went to Babylon in Iraq. And to any Apostolic Christians (Copts or Orthodox) who say that their Church does not teach that Peter went to Rome, one has not read their own bishop’s opinions nor those of the Church Fathers themselves.

  43. Jo says:

    In Galatians 2:7-9 The apostle Paul writes “On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter was for the circumcised, since the One at work in Peter for an apostleship to the circumcised was also at work in me for the Gentiles. When James, Cephas, and John, recognized as pillars, acknowledged the grace that had been given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to me and Barnabus, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.”

    Yet Acts 15:7 says “After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them “Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe…” Maybe he was just referring to the incident with Cornelius?

    Of course whether Peter was preaching to Jews or Gentiles does not really prove whether he was the first Bishop of Rome, or even went there. The epistle to the Romans doesn’t clear up much. In chapter 15 Paul says he wants to preach where “Christ has not been named,” which is why he hasn’t come there, but plans to stop by Rome on his way to Spain. This implies someone is already teaching in Rome. In chapter 16 he sends greetings to 25 people, none of them Peter. You would think if Peter were head of the church in Rome he would send a greeting. Still the tradition that Peter was in Rome is early. Iranaeus wrote before 200 AD that the gospel of Matthew was written “while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome .” I believe he attributes that to Papius. I look forward to any future discoveries or news of this topic.

  44. Allan Gaekwad says:

    The analyses Babylon was symbolic is strengthen by accompanied name Marcus. Galilee was multicultural and Hellenised so everybody including Jesus knew Koine Greek with their own language Aramaic and even bit of Latin which was even written on the Cross in Jerusalem! Jewish boys are well trained whether you are a fisherman or a carpenter. St. Paul was an giant intellectual as well as great philosopher to articulate basics of Jesus’s teaching. If we compare St. Peter to him, it seems St. Peter is equally well articulated Christianity even criticizing Paul. I strongly believe St. Peter was in Rome, died in Rome on the cross as tradition indicates.

  45. Mark Svoboda says:

    Hello,
    The Roman church was clearly founded by Peter. However, he did as all churches are founded on the feast of Weeks (Shavuot) in 30 A.D. This fact is clearly recorded in Acts of the Apostles as recorded by Luke. See Acts chapter 2.

    Specifically the following.

    “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:9-11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    Specifically called out are the Jews and Proselytes from Rome who in return to Rome start the Roman church.

    Both

  46. Calvin Engime says:

    Ronald, I think it would not “make a lot of sense” for Peter to have gone to Babylon, because in his lifetime, it had not been a major urban centre since its inhabitants were deported to Seleucia over three hundred years earlier. Moreover, the Church of the East attributes the evangelisation of Mesopotamia to Thaddeus of Edessa and Thomas the Apostle; the early tradition connecting Peter with Rome is unrivalled.

    There was, however, a large Jewish community in Rome; we even read in Acts 18:2 that they had been expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius. (They had been expelled from Rome before by Tiberius, according to Josephus and Cassius Dio; probably on neither occasion did many people go very far.) Suetonius tells us Claudius did this because of disturbances caused by a Jew named “Chrestus,” which most historians take to refer to unrest caused in the Jewish community by the spread of Christianity.

    It is also possible that Paul implies Peter is in Rome in the Epistle to the Romans, if 15:20-21 means he is not going to minister in Rome because there is already an apostle there.

  47. Dean Haas says:

    It was not possible for Peter to have been in Rome, and it was never in recorded history, Biblical or Roman. And no, the reference in 1 Peter was not about Rome, but Babylon itself. The books of Peter were written during the fall of Jerusalem, in 65 A.D., from Babylon, where he was in exile. Babylon is modern day Iraq, where close to 2000 year old Christian villages exist, as they do in Syria. These villages spoke Aramaic as their native language, as did Peter. The connection to the RCC is virtually impossible, unless Peter could time travel. The Roman Empire was still very much in power, and remained in power until the end of the 2nd century. Peter was long gone when the RCC was established. That whole story of Peter being the ‘first pope’ never made sense, but was nevertheless taught by the RCC. There was the whole story of Peter being crucified upside down in Rome, which exists nowhere in actual history. Not bashing the RCC, but as a disciple of first century Christianity, and a long time student of Biblical and ancient history, it must be said.

  48. Jeff Ferrier says:

    Doesn’t Peter send greeting from Babylon in his letters? If so he moved east not west to the diaspora among the Parthians.

    Also any truth to the finding of a 1st century ossuary on the mount of olives with the name Simon Bar Joanna?

  49. Jaime GARCIA-RODRIGUEZ says:

    It is all a matter of Faith. Incorporating tradition within their religious “acquis” was a distinctive mark for the Pharisees. Jesus was, according to some scholars, a radical Pharisee. Or so once thought some Pharisees. Why, then, deny Christians the testimonies of tradition? Scholars notwithstanding, there is a strong & rich tradition for Peter being in Rome, in the company of his daughter (or someone converted by his direct teachings) Petronilla. Again, if you belive in Pentecost, the apostles started speaking in foreign tongues much to the amazing of the pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem from many provinces of the Roman Empire. Peter was there to take that very special language course. If you believe in Pentecost, that is. The cut feet bones in Rome point to the crucifixion that Peter may have chosen. I do not know how powerful is the Catholic Church, suspected by somebody here of hiding facts to disseminate myth. All I know is that I am a Catholic. I enjoy your analyses, but I believe, without actual evidence, that Peter was in Rome and his body lies there.

  50. Samy Nassif Amin says:

    As a Coptic Christian, we’ve always believed that St. Peter never preached in Rome. This fact is very clearly attested to in St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans and further testified to by the Acts of the Apostles. He might have gone to Rome towards the end of his life. This is a fact yet to be proved by history and archaeology. However, to reject the possibility of his ever going to Rome based on his simple status and not knowing Latin or Greek is far-fetched. We shouldn’t forget that St. Peter was invested with the Gift of Tongues by which he could bring 3000 people to the faith through one sermon on the day of Pentecost.

  51. Alexandre Carvalho says:

    The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son” (1 Peter 5:13) Marcus is a very typical Roman name, 1 Peter 5:12 mentions Silvanus, another typical Roman name.

    Irenaeus of Lyons wrote in the 2nd century:

    …by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul…

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.iv.html

  52. Ronald Kanagy says:

    @Keith I’m not sure where you got your “scientifically established” information that Peter did not write the two epistles ascribed to him, but I can tell you that by the scripture itself, it can be proven that the Apostle Peter did, indeed, write 1 & 2 Peter. I will believe Scripture over “science” any day.

    2 Peter 1:16-18 says:

    “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

    These verses are referring to the Transifuration of Jesus Christ, as recorded in Mathew 17:1-13 and Luke 9:28-36. There were only three other people present during the Transfiguration: Peter, James, and John. Also, these verses indicate that the writer of this epistle was an eyewitness to this event. Therefore, one can only conclude that it was Peter that wrote 2 Peter. And, due to the similarities between 1 & 2 Peter, one can only conclude that Peter was the writer of both epistles.

    Also, in 1st century Israel, Koine Greek was the common language due to the Hellenization of that region by the Roman Empire. So, one can only assume that Peter was fluent in Koine Greek, the language in which 1 & 2 Peter were written in.

  53. keithv5 says:

    My name is Peto Veritatem.
    With the absence of biblical as well as historical evidence, we are left with the Roman Catholic tradition of Peter being in Rome and his being the first pope. Since history has shown the RC church to be a lying church, we shall take its tradition with a ton of salt. In other words, it’s pure fantasy. As this article explains, Peter was a simple fisherman and could only speak–and probably not even write—Aramaic. It has been scientifically established that Peter never wrote the epistles ascribed to him. How could he have anyway not knowing the Greek language.

  54. John Barltrop says:

    From that verse at 1 Peter 5:13, it is apparent that Peter was in Babylon, at last when he wrote 1 Peter…………as the article stated the internal evidence in the Bible itself does not ever mention Peter going to Rome.

  55. Eric says:

    You failed to mention the evidence of Peter’s tomb being discovered in Jerusalem. There have been several archaeologists who have studied the ossuary and inscription originally discovered in the 1950s by Bellarmino Bagatti, but it hardly ever receives much notice. There are a few who claim that the inscription isn’t clear, but their motives are in question because of Roman Catholic links. An honest and objective analysis shows that it is most likely what it appears to be. The Roman Catholic Church is a very powerful religio-political institution and they have the ability to downplay such discoveries, and they have numerous times in the past with other discoveries. The Mount of Olives / Dominus Flevit tomb is a significant discovery which should not be overlooked.

  56. Ronald Kanagy says:

    It would make a lot of sense that Peter would be in the city of Babylon, and not in Rome, where a large Jewish population exists, due to the Jewish Exile during the later part of the Old Testament Jewish History. So, it is even more likely that Peter was talking about the actual city of Babylon and not its symbolic meaning.

  57. Ronald Kanagy says:

    There is no Scriptural evidence that Peter ever was in Rome. Paul’s letter to the Romans, in chapter 16, never mention Peter in the long list of people he mentions in that chapter. Also, in 1 Peter 5:13 it states “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.” This verse seems to imply that at the time that Peter wrote this letter, around 60-63 AD, he was in Babylon, in what is today Iraq, if one is to take Babylon in its literal sense. At some point, Babylon came to be symbolic of Rome, but there is no reason to believe that Peter would be so plain, with no symbolic language, in this letter, and then use a symbolic meaning for Babylon.

  58. Pam Cerullo says:

    Where is the BIBLICAL evidence that Peter was ever in Rome? Any other source of evidence that he was in Rome (or even died there) is otherwise fantasy perpetuated by Catholic tradition, not through Biblical evidence.

  59. PaulSacramento says:

    How do you address 1 Peter 5:13?

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