SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
Peter, and Paul
One of the pillars that the Rome Catholic Church states that they are the first and true church of Christ that had there beginning from the apostle Peter. They claim that the line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. In its concrete form, apostolic succession is the line of bishops that goes from Rome stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all Catholic bishops claim to have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles; specifically the apostle Simon Peter who is stated to be the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The role of apostolic succession in preserving true doctrine is illustrated in The Bible.
Today, as we look at The Bible and the Roman Catholic Church we can see that there are many differences concerning doctrine. These differences are not a simple misunderstanding but at times appear to be the complete opposite of The Bible. When one studies out the major differences between the Church of Rome and The Bible it is not difficult to see that they have not preserved the doctrine of Christ or The Bible. If anyone were to study such subjects as infant baptism, the mass, Immaculate Conception of Mary, engraved images, or the Sunday Sabbath they would not be able to support these ideas from The Bible. In fact, as stated earlier, these doctrines are completely opposite of The Bible. These ideas and practices have their roots in Paganism and Babylonian religions.
Where did the departure of simple Bible truth enter the church? Like any seeker of truth, let's go back to the beginning to see where these false doctrines came into the church. With the claim of apostolic succession, we'll go back to the apostle Peter himself and see how the departing of the truth came to be. When we look in The Bible there is no record of the apostle ever being in Rome much less being the head of the church. There are countless supposed historical accounts that Peter was in Rome but they all come from Catholic sources and are not first hand accounts. The earliest accounts are of Catholic fathers but even they do not agree with The Bible. So let's look to The Bible and see why the apostle Peter was never in Rome and couldn't be the founder of the Roman Catholic Church.
Below are eleven major New Testament proofs, which completely disprove the claim that Peter was in Rome from the time of Claudius until Nero. These biblical points speak for themselves and ANY ONE of them is sufficient to prove the ridiculousness of the Catholic claim. Notice what God tells us! The truth IS conclusive!
We should consider Christ's commission to Peter. This is often very embarrassing to Catholics, because Christ commissioned Peter to become chief minister to the CIRCUMCISED, not to uncircumcised Gentiles.
"The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)" (Gal. 2:7-8).
Here we have it in the clearest of language. It was Paul, NOT Peter, who was commissioned to be the chief Apostle to the Gentiles. And who was it that wrote the Epistle to the ROMANS? It certainly WASN'T Peter! "And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace [i.e., the gift or office] that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision" (Gal. 2:9). Paul further mentioned his special office as the Gentile Apostle in II Timothy 1:11: "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."
PETER is NOWHERE called the Apostle to the Gentiles! This precludes him from going to Rome to become the head of a Gentile community.
Paul specifically told the Gentile Romans that HE had been chosen to be their Apostle, not Peter.
"I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable" (Rom. 15:16). How clear! Paul had the direct charge from Christ in this matter. He even further relates in Romans 15:18 that it was Christ who had chosen him "to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed."
PAUL Established The Only TRUE Church at Rome
We are told by Paul himself that it was he -- not Peter -who was going to officially found the Roman Church. "I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" (Rom. 1:11). Amazing! The Church at Rome had not been ESTABLISHED officially even by 55 or 56 A.D. However, the Catholic Church would have us believe that Peter had done this some ten years before -- in the reign of Claudius.
Of course you understand that NEITHER Peter nor Paul established the Catholic Church! But these proofs are given to illustrate that it is utterly impossible for PETER to have been in any way associated with ANY Church at Rome.
We find Paul not only wanting to establish the Church at Rome, but he emphatically tells us that his policy was NEVER to build upon another man's foundation.
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, LEST I SHOULD BUILD UPON ANOTHER MAN'S FOUNDATION"(Rom. 15:20). If Peter had "founded" the Roman Church some ten years before this statement, this represents a real affront to Peter. This statement alone is proof that Peter had never been in Rome before this time to "found" any church. Peter Not in Rome
At the end of Paul's Epistle to the Romans he greets no fewer than 28 different individuals, but never mentions Peter once! See Romans 16 --read the whole chapter! Remember, Paul greeted these people in 55 or 56 A.D. Why didn't he mention Peter? -- Peter simply wasn't there!
Some four years after Paul wrote Romans, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Rome in order to stand trial before Caesar. When the Christian community in Rome heard of Paul's arrival, they all went to meet him. "When THE brethren [of Rome] heard of us, they came to meet us" (Acts 28:15). Again, there is not a single mention of Peter among them. This would have been extraordinary had Peter been in Rome, for Luke always mentions by name important Apostles in his narration of Acts. But he says nothing of Peter's meeting with Paul.
Why? Because Peter was not in Rome!
When Paul finally arrived at Rome, the first thing he did was to summon "the chief of the Jews together" (Acts 28:17) to whom he "expounded and testified the kingdom of God" (Verse 23). But what is amazing is that these chief Jewish elders claimed they knew very little even about the basic teachings of Christ. All they knew was that ``as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against" (Verse 22). Then Paul began to explain to them the basic teachings of Christ on the Kingdom of God. Some believed -- the majority didn't.
Now, what does all this mean? It means that if Peter, who was himself a strongly partisan Jew, had been preaching constantly in Rome for 14 long years before this time, AND WAS STILL THERE -- how could these Jewish leaders have known so little about even the basic truths of Christianity? This again is clear proof Peter had not been in Rome prior to 59 A.D. No Mention of Peter in Paul's Letters
After the rejection of the Jewish elders, Paul remained in his own hired house for two years. During that time he wrote Epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, Philemon, and to the Hebrews. And while Paul mentions others as being in Rome during that period, he nowhere mentions Peter. The obvious reason is -- the Apostle to the circumcision wasn't there!
With the expiration of Paul's two year's imprisonment, he was released. But about four years later (near 65 A.D.), he was again sent back a prisoner to Rome. This time he had to appear before the throne of Caesar and was sentenced to die.
Paul describes these circumstances at length in II Timothy. In regard to his trial, notice what Paul said in II Timothy 4:16. "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men [in Rome] forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge." This means, if we believe the Catholic Church, that Peter forsook Paul, for they tell us Peter was very much present at Rome during this time! Peter once denied Christ, but that was before he was converted. To believe that Peter was in Rome during Paul's trial, is untenable!
The Apostle Paul distinctly informs us that Peter was not in Rome in 65 A.D. -- even though The Roman Catholic Church says he was. Paul said: "Only Luke is with me" (II Tim. 4:11). The truth becomes very plain. Paul wrote TO Rome; he had been IN Rome; and at the end wrote at least six epistles FROM Rome; and not only does he NEVER mention Peter, but at the last moment says: "Only Luke is with me." Peter, therefore, was never Bishop of Rome!
Peter's death is foretold by Christ himself (John 21:18-19.) ". When you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Hmm, it sounds like Christ himself said that Peter would die of old age. Why would Peter's death in old age glorify God? Peter was the one that ran from Christ the night of his trial and crucifixion. This exchange is after Christ rose from the tomb and Peter was forgiven three times, just as he denied his master three times before the cock crowed that fateful night of Christ's trial.
Where was Peter the apostle of Christ?
At the times the Catholic Church teaches Peter was in Rome, The Bible clearly shows that he was elsewhere.
The evidence is abundant and conclusive. By paying attention to God's own words, no one need be deceived. Peter was NEVER the Bishop of Rome!
Near 45 A.D., we find Peter being cast into prison at Jerusalem (Acts 12:3, 4). In 49 A.D., he was still in Jerusalem, this time attending the Jerusalem Council. About 51 A.D., he was in Antioch of Syria where he got into differences with Paul because he wouldn't sit or eat with Gentiles. Strange that the "Roman bishop" would have nothing to do with Gentiles in 51 A.D.! Later in about 66 A.D., we find him in the city of Babylon among the Jews (I Pet. 5:13). Remember that Peter was the Apostle to the CIRCUMCISED. Why was he in Babylon? Because history shows that there were as many Jews in the Mesopotamian areas in Christ's time as there were in Palestine. It is no wonder we find him in the East. Perhaps this is the reason why scholars say Peter's writings are strongly Aramaic in flavor, the type of Aramaic spoken in Babylon. Why of course! Peter was used to their eastern dialect.
At the times the Catholics believe Peter was in Rome, The Bible clearly shows he was elsewhere. As previously mentioned there are many supposed historical accounts of Peter in Rome but none of them are first hand accounts and should not be put above the many accounts of The Bible.
We know from The Bible that the apostle Peter was not in Rome. There was a Simon Peter in Rome after the death of Christ but it is not the apostle Peter that was a fisherman from Jerusalem. Who is this Simon Peter that was in Rome during the middle of the first century? This is how the great false Church of Rome got its start; along with the first leader Simon Peter Magus not the apostle Peter.