Every now and again I browse various Protestant and even some anti-Catholic websites just to see what the other guys are up to, and what they’re saying about us. Of course, I would never encourage anyone here to do so; and I will not violate this forum’s clearly stated rule of NOT posting links to anti-Catholic websites by posting the link to where I found this. I have also deleted an even worse link cited in the article. I have cut-and-pasted only what was needed for this particular thread.
I am asking my fellow Catholics to help me understand how this can be refuted. I am VERY strong in my Catholic Faith; but those who oppose the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and hate it for no good reason have their own apologetics; and if we are going to stand toe-to-toe with them and defend Holy Mother Church; we MUST have a ready defense, right? (see 1 Peter 3:15)
I am NOT asking for help with this so I can scurry back there and smite them with it. That would be a violation of this forum’s policy also; and I am convinced that nothing I or anyone else could tell them would ever sway them. I am asking so that I may be better armed to evangelize the “undecided”, the “unsure”, and especially the “misinformed” who have open minds - the most basic mission of Catholic Answers.
Let me write the case against the claim of Rome that Peter was there for 25 years. I have used sources for research, mainly this site ******* but where these points are found are in scripture.
Around 45 AD, Peter was put into prison in Jerusalem (Acts 12:3-4).
Around 50 AD, Peter is at the Council of Jerusalem. (Acts 15 and possibly Galatians 2).
Peter was also involved in the Incident at Antioch (Galatians 2:11-12). It is not made clear whether this is after or before the Council at Jerusalem but I personally think that it is after 50 AD.
The church in Rome was already flourishing when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans about AD 57, he greets some fifty people in Rome by name, but not Peter whom he knew. Surely if Peter was the bishop and was busy building the church then Paul would had greeted the disciple.
When Luke writes about Paul’s two year stay in Rome for two years (Acts 28) there is no mention of Peter. Again, if Peter was being an important and busy bishop then surely there would be at least one mention of his name.
We hear of Peter in the city of Babylon (1 Peter 5:13). As you have read in my previous post that I speculate that Babylon is a codename for Rome. Now, I am of this opinion, but if this is true then that would make it the only mention of Peter in Rome in the whole of scripture. If my position is wrong then that makes the Papist claim even less supported.
Four years after Paul wrote Romans he was imprisoned Rome in order to stand trial before Caesar, and Christians at Rome came to meet him (Acts 28:15). Peter is not mentioned.
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 (Romans 15:20).
When Paul arrived in Rome he called together the chief Jews (Acts 28:17), and taught them about Christianity (Acts 28:22-23). 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). Now, what does all of this mean? How could the Jewish leaders know so little about the Gospel, if Peter, who was himself a strongly partisan Jew, had been preaching constantly in Rome for 20 long years before this time? This again is clear proof Peter had not been in Rome prior to 59 A.D.
Paul remained in Rome, 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.
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 2nd Timothy. Paul said that no man came to him and that they forsook him. Would the bishop of Rome forsake the apostle Paul?
Before Paul died in 65 AD, he tells us that the only one who was with him was Luke (2 Timothy 4:11).
So, with all this knowledge it makes the claim seem rather unlikely. Now, the question is why would Rome make up a lie? I say that they needed it to legitimize the church that was governed by the Roman Empire, an enemy that persecuted many Christians both before and after conversion.
So… Can anyone help me with this?
Thank you all!