Evidence about the fact that Peter didn’t go to Rome from 41 to 66, period when the Western theologians say that he had been Bishop there for 25 years

The Romans theologians place the trip to Rome made by Apostle Peter around the year 41 after Christ, meaning in the second year of the reign of Claudius, saying that he stayed in Rome for 25 years, till 66 when he suffered martyrdom under Nero.

Let’s see first if things are the way they say and if what they assert is in accordance with the facts related by the Holy Scripture. For proving the truth, we shall have recourse to the historical account of Luke the evangelist about the missionary trips of Apostle Paul where we come know the two apostles and their epistles. These epistles will reveal the time when the two apostles met, the places where took place their meetings and if Peter went to Rome or not in this period of time. Apostle Paul returned to Christ around 37, after three years (Galatians 1, 18) he went to Jerusalem to meet Peter and he stayed there 15 days; thus their first meeting took place in Jerusalem in 39. Apostle Paul undertakes a second journey to Jerusalem leaving Antioquia with Barnaba for bringing the alms of the Christians given to the poor from Judea The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.(Acts 11, 30; 12, 25).

This period coincides with the famine taking place during the reign of Claudius in the time of the governors of Judea, Cuios Fados and Tiberius Alexander, around 44-45. Forwards in the Acts are related the following facts (12, 1-3):

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

So around the year 45, Peter was still in Judea. Paul says in his epistle to the Galatians  (2, 1-2):

Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

In the Acts is related this trip undertaken by Paul to Jerusalem, account where it is mentioned its second reason: the issue of receiving the new adepts after being circumcised

 `After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.` (15, 7-21).

So Peter was in Judea even 14 years after his first meeting with Paul when Paul stayed at him for 15 days. Then he came to Antioch where he was rebuked by Paul. According to what it is related in the Acts (chapters 18-21), Paul went back to Jerusalem and embraced the Church but there it is not mentioned any apostle he could have met but it is accounted that he met the while Church. And since very reputed exegetes view the trip related in the Galatians (2, 1) identical with the trip from the Acts (18, 21), and since in the epistle to the Galatians 2,9 it is written

James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.

, it results the fact that Peter was in Jerusalem after 14 years from his first meeting with Paul. Thus according to the first and second account Peter was in Jerusalem around the year 53.

In addition to this, by the second variant of their previous meeting from the Acts 11, 30; 12, 25, it is testified the fact that Peter stayed permanently in Jerusalem and the area of Judea.

In 58 it is written the epistle to the Romans, where Peter is not mentioned at all, thing which might be unacceptable if we assume that Peter was in Rome. But it had been already proven that he wasn’t. In the year 60 Paul went to Jerusalem for the last time and he was there on  Pentecost and stayed till the spring of the third year 62-63. Here is what Luke writes about this in the Acts:

When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present.  (Acts 21, 17-18).

Here it is not related if there was any other apostle present in Jerusalem beside Jacob. Two assumptions can be made: either the apostles were in diaspora or they weren’t mentioned because there was no important reason to do so. A third hypothesis, the probability that Peter went to Rome it is not based on anything, the trip to Rome being rejected by the Acts (28, 20-31), thus Peter was not in Rome not even around 60.

Around 61-63, while Paul was in jail he wrote his epistle to the Ephesians (I specified before that this epistle to the Ephesians was written in Rome, because the evidence says that it was written in jail but Paul was in touch with Judea. But if we consider that Rome was the place where it was written then the dating goes farther .

Peter’s first epistle addressed to the Jews from the Diaspora of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia was written after Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians as it is indicated by the numerous lexical similarities and identities between them, which shows that Peter knew about it and it was received by all.

Peter’s epistle indicates Babylon as place of its writing, fact that proves that  Peter was in Babylon when Paul was in jail. The theologians of the West wanting to unite the divided and to annul the distances between Rome and Babylon interpreted Babylon as being Rome and by an innovative change they spoke about Rome instead of Babylon. It is a great achievement indeed and a wise fabrication but in the same time a futile waste of intelligence because the mismatches deriving from the text of the epistle rival with the difficulties implied by the cancellation of the distances between the two places.

It is true that Eusebius refers at a certain amended variant of the name of Babylon and this is caused by the fact that he took into account the references of certain Eastern theologians. But as we aim to prove Eusebius in his quality of chronicler and not of interpreter of the Scriptures relates the traditions. Babylon is Babylon and not Rome and this is proven by the content of the epistle itself. The Apostle writing to the Jews from Diaspora says in the end that he embraces the Churches: the exquisite Church of Babylon and Mark his son. And Mark was bishop of the Church from Egypt. But even if he hadn’t been then bishop of Egypt this fact doesn’t justify at all the replacement of Babylon with Rome. Thus in 63 Peter was in Babylon. And the fact that Babylon was Babylon and not Rome as some say is attested in Paul’s second epistle to Timotheus, where he writes to Timotheus saying: Take Mark with you and bring him here because he is useful to me in my office.  (4, 11).

This epistle was written in Rome – if we accept that Babylon is Rome and that Peter was in Rome, then Mark would have been with him. Then why does Paul write to Timotheus to bring Mark with him?

Thus as long as Mark was in the same place with Peter it results that Peter was not in Rome but in Babylon. No wonder that Mark was invited by Paul since the bishops were not bishops of a certain city and this epistle was written around 66 period when it was impossible for Mark to leave Babylon and go to Timotheus even if we consider Babylon as the great one. So Peter was not in Rome not even in 66. Thus the 25 years passed and Peter didn’t go to Rome in that period. If the holy relics of saint apostle Peter were moved to Rome or if he was brought and martyred in Rome we don’t know, because history is silent and from the excerpt written by Clement doesn’t result that he was martyred in Rome. But even if he was martyred there, he was brought there to be martyred and didn’t go to preach the divine Word nor was he founder of the Church of Rome.

Excerpt from saint Nektarios’ book – Why the Pope and his followers separated from the Church of Christ, Evanghelismos, 2011.

 

Historical Testimonies

Eusebius writes: And Paul preaching to those from the foreign peoples who were in Jerusalem and around it till in Illyria set the foundations of the Churches, this being evinced by the testimonies the churches can give and which were mentioned by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles; but Peter whose words announced Christ in so many dioceses preached as well the Word of the New Testament, thing which is obviously revealed in the epistle which was proven to be his and which he wrote to those Jews found in the Diaspora of Pontus, Galatia and Cappadocia of Asia and Bithinya. And from those who proved to be zealous indeed were considered worthy to lead the Churches founded for them. And we don’t say these with ease since they were gathered from saint Paul’s sayings (Ecclesiastical History, book 3, chapter 4)

Those stated by Eusebius show that he admits the interpretation given by us to saint Peter’s epistles and the fact that it was difficult to say who and how many were considered worthy for being entrusted as leaders of the Churches beside those whose names can be taken from saint Paul’s accounts, meaning from the Acts and from saint Paul’s Epistles. And he says this because he aims as he shows at the beginning of the chapter to relate those referring at the first succession of the Apostles.

Referring at this, at the end of this chapter he writes the following contradictory words: `And Linos, that one who was mentioned as being with saint Paul in Rome according to the Epistle to Timotheus, the first after saint Peter (although saint Paul was the one who wrote the epistle) was shown then by drawing lots as a successor at the Episcopate of the Roman Church, but Clement, who was named as the third bishop of the Roman Church as one who was confessed by this as being a fellow worker and fighter with saint Paul  (Ecclesiastical History, book 3, chapter 4,9)

It is surprising how in the same chapter Eusebius affirms and contradicts; the contradiction results from the alternation of a name, that of Peter instead of Paul. The substitution of the name is obvious, fact which we’ll prove by convincing evidence of the critics and historians

a) Clue: That Peter’s name was put instead of Paul’s it shows first because it was not possible that Eusebius contradicted himself, annulleing what he had just said in the same chapter, where he says that he accepts Peter as apostle of those who were circumcised (the Jews) and preacher of the Gospel in the territories mentioned by him in his epistle.

b) Clue: The fact that Peter’s name was put instead of Paul’s it shows in the fact that Linosthe first successor of the Apostle was not a disciple of Peter but of Paul who mentions him in the second epistle to Timotheus as being with him in Rome. This is the third of the persons mentioned as embracing Timotheus, without having any distinctive characteristics to prove that he had any rank. Eusebiu, Prudentiu, Linos, Claudia and all brothers are embracing you. Why doesn’t he mention among his companions the bishop of Rome who was designated by Peter as his successor? And why doesn’t he show him the honor for being the first among the Apostles, the only one on earth who was granted Peter’s throne, Christ’s throne? If the opinions of the papal Church referring at Peter were true Paul had to obey Linos because according to the pseudoclementine epistle all men have the duty to obey him in everything: `obey him in everything knowing that by saddening him you sadden Christ because this throne was entrusted to him who didn’t want to accept it…`no matter if this happened to be apostle Paul. Since Linos was appointed as having Peter’s chair (Christ’s) Paul had the duty to obey that. Why then he considers him as a simple companion from his circle? Why doesn’t he show the respect due to the one who sat on Christ’s chair and places him the third in the row of those who are embracing Timotheus when Linos was supposed to give his blessing due to his rank as popes do. Something like this is obscure and cannot be explained in another way than by accepting the truth testified by the facts themselves: that Linos at the time when Paul wrote his second epistle to Timotheus was nothing else than one of Paul’s disciples. If Linos at Peter’s hypothetical coming in Rome got a rank and when it took place that we aim to study and establish historically the time when Linos was ordained as Bishop of Rome. But it’s clear that Linos was not Bishop of Rome as Eusebius seems to say by the words: the first after Peter is shown by drawing lots as a asuccessor at the Episcopate of the Roman Church. (Eusebius – Ecclesiastical History, book 3, chapter 4)

c) Another hand is that which put Peter’s name instead of Paul’s because there is no historical evidence about his trip to Rome. On the contrary, this idea is rejected: the old testimonies preserved from Proclu and Dionysius of Corinth have already lost their authority being proved the fact that they had extracted their information because of their faith on turbid sources.

This conclusion is proven by their disagreement with the historical truth revealed by the Holy Scriptures and the Ecclesiastical history.

d) The fact that Peter didn’t go to Rome and much less probable before Paul is shown by those related by Luke in the Acts, with accounts full of meaning. Relating Paul’s welcoming by those from Rome, Luke tells the dialogue which took place and from which is revealed something else than Peter’s trip to Rome. Here is what they say in this dialogue:

`We neither received epistles from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.` (Acts 28, 21-22).

These words have a great significance because they clarify things referring at Peter’s trip to Rome, removing any doubt regarding the fact that he didn’t go there. How could have been possible that they didn’t know anything about Paul if Peter had preached Christianity before him there? How would they have defined Christianity as a Jewish heresy if they had previously been taught by Peter? How would they have said that `it is spoken against it everywhere`?

Wouldn’t they have dissimulated their opposition ? How would they have asked about this heresy that `it is spoken against it everywhere`?

Where was Peter? Where was Clement as his successor? Where was the Christian community? Where was the official Church to come and welcome Paul? How the Jews ran to Apius Forum and to Three Tavernas for welcoming Paul and the Christian Church, its leaders didn’t come to do this? From these questions without answer and which are clarified only by the fact that the evangelical truth hadn’t been spread until then in Rome by any Apostle, we deduce that Peter didn’t go to Rome.

e) We are led to the same conclusion by the fact that Peter’s name is never mentioned in Paul’s epistles written in Rome and where it is nothing mentioned about his arrival there. According to the preserved testimonies – their truth being validated by the critic commentators, Paul going to Rome wrote the following epistles: the epistle to the Ephesians sent through Tychicus, the epistle to the Philippians sent through Epaphroditus, the epistle to the Colossians sent through Tychicus and Onesimus, the second epistle to Timotheus, the epistle to the Jews and the epistle to Titus, although the last one according to studies has the note that it was written in Nicopolis and Macedonia. If Peter was in Rome Paul should have related this fact in one of his epistles: but his silence is in fact an evidence about Peter’s absence. The fact that the excerpt from the History of Eusebius is spurious is shown in chapter 13 of the 3rd book and we shall refer at this in what follows bringing history as evidence after we aim to present all the evidence found in the Scriptures.