How Should I Respond to Prot. Pastor Friend Who Claims "Peter was Not Even in Rome"


#1

How should I respond friends, to a Prot. pastor friend who claims “Peter was not even in Rome”?..WOW…how could he even doubt? even for one minute? The evidence is just so overwhelming with Rod Bennett’s book “Four Witnesses” among many other good ones and so many witnesses to early Christianity here. Guess with Prots…if it’s “not in the Bible”…it’s not valid. If there’s no “Chapter and Verse” explicitly saying: Peter witnessed Christianity in Rome and was persecuted and killed in ______ AD, well then they dispute it, and thus dispute the entire papacy. I’m at a loss.

I’m getting so tired of this same old stuff…and don’t have the energy for it any longer. Please help me here. I’m not an apologist, don’t want to be, but these things are coming up friends right and left from my Fundamentalist Evangelical Family (Dad and 6 cousins pastors). I MUST know what to say. I need something short, and succinct. Thank you all for your replies. I think churches should have classes on apologetics, don’t you? As we live in such an anti-Catholic society. We must know how to defend our faith, I firmly believe this, or we are just used up salt to be trampled underfoot–as yesterday’s Scripture tells.

Blessings~~


#2

Sparkle,

I’m sorry that you’ve encountered the kind of attitude that seems impervious to arguments.

I’m sure that some others here might have some specific references to offer, though there’s always the likelihood they won’t be accepted by your pastor friend. You mention that you’re getting tired of this “same old stuff”—I understand! Maybe, then, it would be less tiring if you were to give him the information (article, book, etc) in response and have him read it before arguing with you any further. Or, ask him to read what you have and write out his objections to them—be honest, and tell him that you’re just plain tired, but that you can take his objections here to the forum and see how they’re answered.

For a book, give him “Upon This Rock” by Stephen Ray.

Catholic.com has two short articles on the subject, and here are the links. The first features quotes from the Church Fathers.

catholic.com/library/Peter_Roman_Residency.asp

catholic.com/library/Was_Peter_in_Rome.asp


#3

Sparkle, the first thing I have learned to do when someone comes up to me and makes a statement similar to the one directed toward you is not to attempt to give evidence supporting my beliefs, I tell them to show me the evidence to support their statement. If they have some then I will be more then happy to show them the errors of their ways (or beliefs in this matter).


#4

The problem that lies in perception here is an easy trap to fall into if you don’t believe in 2000 years of Tradition and the historical evidence. As a convert who was formerly a Baptist minister put it on a recent episode of Marcus Grodi’s “Returning Home” on EWTN (which is an awesome show–great apologetics tool)

(I’m paraphrasing here)

Saying Peter never went to Rome based totally on Scriptural evidence is degrading Peter to a mere literary figure, just a character in a book. The Acts of the Apostles talks about Peter and Paul in great detail, but about midway through stops talking about Peter. Does this mean Peter didn’t do anything after he fell out of mention in the book? No. It simply means that Peter was a real man and did lots of other things than what was put in the Acts of the Apostles.

(now my own thoughts)

Peter’s own epistle says that he was in Rome, although not explicitly. When he says “The Church here at Babylon sends its greeting,” Babylon is referring to Rome. In those days, post was quite easily intercepted, and if Peter’s location would have been disclosed to the Empire’s authorities, he would have been executed (which he eventually was, but they took precautions like that.) Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire until the 300s when Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, and before the Edict was thought of as organized atheism–atheism in the Roman Empire meant not worshipping the Roman gods–and was punishable by death.

The Early Church Fathers attest to Peter’s being in Rome, as well as the reference to Rome as Babylon.

catholic.com/library/Peter_Roman_Residency.asp

It is important to remember though that his Roman residency matters little in what his authority was. Peter could have been Bishop somewhere else, and his successors establishing their See in Rome. If the current Pope does not wish to live in Rome while Pope, does that make him any less the Pope?

Hope this helps!

Veni Sancte Spiritus
-ACEGC


#5

[quote=edward_george]The problem that lies in perception here is an easy trap to fall into if you don’t believe in 2000 years of Tradition and the historical evidence. As a convert who was formerly a Baptist minister put it on a recent episode of Marcus Grodi’s “Returning Home” on EWTN (which is an awesome show–great apologetics tool)

(I’m paraphrasing here)

Saying Peter never went to Rome based totally on Scriptural evidence is degrading Peter to a mere literary figure, just a character in a book. The Acts of the Apostles talks about Peter and Paul in great detail, but about midway through stops talking about Peter. Does this mean Peter didn’t do anything after he fell out of mention in the book? No. It simply means that Peter was a real man and did lots of other things than what was put in the Acts of the Apostles.

(now my own thoughts)

Peter’s own epistle says that he was in Rome, although not explicitly. When he says “The Church here at Babylon sends its greeting,” Babylon is referring to Rome. In those days, post was quite easily intercepted, and if Peter’s location would have been disclosed to the Empire’s authorities, he would have been executed (which he eventually was, but they took precautions like that.) Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire until the 300s when Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, and before the Edict was thought of as organized atheism–atheism in the Roman Empire meant not worshipping the Roman gods–and was punishable by death.

The Early Church Fathers attest to Peter’s being in Rome, as well as the reference to Rome as Babylon.

catholic.com/library/Peter_Roman_Residency.asp

It is important to remember though that his Roman residency matters little in what his authority was. Peter could have been Bishop somewhere else, and his successors establishing their See in Rome. If the current Pope does not wish to live in Rome while Pope, does that make him any less the Pope?

Hope this helps!

Veni Sancte Spiritus
-ACEGC
[/quote]

Thank you so very much. Yes, this helps alot!!! Yes, I recently viewed what has come to be one of absolute favorite shows on EWTN, and needless to say one which has been instrumental in my conversion to the faith. I loved what Rod Bennett said on Monday nite.!!! He was so very helpful. And I loved his book “Four Witnesses”. I have recommended it to at least 6 friends and family. thx so very much! You are most helpful indeed!!!


#6

Does he deny that Peter was Peter?

The Bishop of Rome has been acknowledged as Peter’s successor from the earliest days – Clement exercised Peter’s office. Iraneaus recognized his authority.


#7

Sparkle,

The other posters on this thread are absolutely right; if the other guy is making the statement that Peter was never in Rome, then he needs to back it up.

For your part, you may want to mention that Peter’s tomb is in the basement of St. Peter’s Basilica. It seems that Jesus was being more literal even than usual when He said that He would build His church on Peter!

  • Liberian

#8

Buy him a used copy of Documents of the Christian Church, published by Oxford Press. You can get a used one cheap on Amazon.com

This should prove it to him.


#9

He could always go to Rome to see the remains. Most in the academic community agree that these remains are those of Peter.


#10

There are many articles about the Church being literally built on Peter. Here is an article about St. Peter’s burial grounds:

spiritdaily.org/New-world-order/truechurch.htm

ewtn.com/library/MARY/PETEPAUL.htm

An excerpt from the second link:

The body of St. Peter is said to have been buried immediately after his martyrdom, upon this spot, on the Vatican hill,[1] which was then without the walls and near the suburb inhabited by the Jews. The remains of this apostle were removed hence into the cemetery of Calixtus, but brought back to the Vatican. Those of St. Paul were deposited on the Ostian Way, where his church now stands. The tombs of the two princes of the apostles, from the beginning, were visited by Christians with extraordinary devotion above those of other martyrs. Caius, the learned and eloquent priest of Rome, in 210, in his dialogue with Proclus the Montanist,[2] speaks thus of them:** “I can show you the trophies of the apostles. (See excerpt from next article about “trophy”) For, whether you go to the Vatican hill (Peter), or to the Ostian road (Paul), you will meet with the monuments of them who by their preaching and miracles founded this church.”**

Another article excerpt:

mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/11595284.htm
**ROME - **There’s a reason St. Peter’s Basilica was built where it stands. A reason Michelangelo’s dome, Bernini’s spiral-columned canopy and the main altar are all precisely where they are.

It’s found in a single verse from the Gospel of Matthew: ``And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church.’’

For 1,700 years, dating back to the construction of the original St. Peter’s by the emperor Constantine, Roman Catholic tradition has held that the main altar stands directly over St. Peter’s tomb. Today, a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands who visit St. Peter’s each year are guided back through time, along an ancient subterranean path between two rows of fragile pagan and Christian tombs to view the evidence:** a small pillar reputed to be part of one of the earliest monuments over the saint’s grave,** a wall that once bore a faint Greek inscription sometimes translated as ``Peter is here,’’ and 18 small bones enclosed in two plastic glass boxes, viewed through a small ragged hole in a wall 33 feet below the floor of the modern basilica.

And…Near the end of the excavations, visitors come to a supporting wall for the left side of the spiral canopy over the main altar of St. Peter’s. Next to the supporting wall is the small white pillar that remains from the Trophy of Gaius.


#11

That Peter was in Rome is quite well established historically and even from ‘monumental’ evidence alone, as is recounted in Rod Bennett’s book “Four Witnesses,” which you mentioned. That is a great book about the early history of the Church.

If your friend is going to say that it is not sufficiently established by biblical evidence alone, I would disagree. But I would also have to say that if that is his standard of evidence for any historical event, then he is going to have a very limited knowledge of history.


#12

How Should I Respond to Prot. Pastor Friend Who Claims “Peter was Not Even in Rome”… ?

Buy 2 copies of “Upon this Rock-St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church”

Keep one, read it–it is amazingly scholarly and enlightening…
give the other copy to your friend (or loan him yours if you don’t want to buy two) encourage him to read it in the spirit of dialogue.


#13

How Should I Respond to Prot. Pastor Friend Who Claims "Peter was Not Even in Rome

Where, exactly, does Pastor Friend say Peter WAS? If Pastor Friend is so sure Peter was NOT in Rome, then Pastor Friend must have some idea of exactly WHERE he was. Where does Pastor Friend say Peter was, and what basis does he have for this belief?


#14

If the only evidence presented is that the Bible does not say that Peter was in Rome then the next question should be “Then where is he ?” for scripture does not say that he died. Tradition does.

st julie


#15

Ask your Prot. Pastor Friend for his interpretation of “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations,” in the Book of Revelation, chapter 17, the great city…on seven mountains…which has dominion over the kings of the earth. If the word “Rome” or “Roman” appears anywhere in his answer, that should be proof enough that when Peter says he is writing from Bablyon (1 Peter 3:15), he means he is writing from Rome.

.


#16

**St. Jerome: **“Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord” (Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396]).


#17

[quote=DavidFilmer]Where, exactly, does Pastor Friend say Peter WAS? If Pastor Friend is so sure Peter was NOT in Rome, then Pastor Friend must have some idea of exactly WHERE he was. Where does Pastor Friend say Peter was, and what basis does he have for this belief?
[/quote]

He just says “there is no concrete proof that Peter was ever even IN Rome”. Ridiculous! But then he’s part of a totally anti-Catholic church where “if it’s not in the Bible, it’s not accurate”. It’s amazing that someone this ignorant can be someone so highly regarded in the Protestant circle. I just can’t help thinking of the verse in the Bible that says “The first will be last, and the last will be first”. WOW. I think the basis for this belief of his is merely he was taught this in seminary, and it’s all he never has known. Very sad, huh? There are just so many like him.

Everyone’s response here is awesome! I should print out this thread. Yes, I will buy the book “Upon This Rock” today!!! THX


#18

[quote=sparkle]I’m getting so tired of this same old stuff…and don’t have the energy for it any longer. Please help me here. I’m not an apologist, don’t want to be, but these things are coming up friends right and left from my Fundamentalist Evangelical Family…I think churches should have classes on apologetics, don’t you? As we live in such an anti-Catholic society. We must know how to defend our faith, I firmly believe this, or we are just used up salt to be trampled underfoot–as yesterday’s Scripture tells.
[/quote]

As a side note, churches will have classes on apologetics when dedicated laymen step up to start and lead them. Waiting for an overworked priest to do it doesn’t fly. When someone (and I’m not picking on you, this is true generally) says “Someone ought to do something” they are usually talking about a someone other than themselves. I am leading an apologetics group right now at my parish. Our group is small, but enthusiastic. If your parish will give you a room and a spot in the bulletin, almost anyone can do it, if they’re willing to go the extra mile for the sake of the Gospel. This involves prayer, study, organizing and sacrificing a few nights of your life, but if you want to make an omelet, you’ve got to break some eggs. Even with a small turnout, just think of the lives you can touch indirectly!


#19

Sparkle,

You wrote: "But then he’s part of a totally anti-Catholic church where “if it’s not in the Bible, it’s not accurate”.

Well, a person could have a bit of fun with that…for instance, the word “Trinity” is nowhere in the Bible, yet your pastor friend probably (hopefully!) believes in it. I mentioned this to someone with a mindset similar to your friend’s, and they responded, “well, it’s easily inferred from Scripture”. No it’s not—the earlierst years of Christianity saw many heresies that were in conflict with the concept of Trinity (especially in the area of Jesus’ divinity) as we understand it today (as much as we can understand it).

Above all, don’t be intimidated. Remember that there IS an answer to his objections and challenges: none of this is new, and the answers are out there (this forum is a great resource for finding the answers, as are the materials at catholic.com). And if you don’t feel like arguing verbally, by all means just hand him the material that addresses his objections. Put the ball in his court. He’s the one with a man-made tradition of recent origin—he needs to provide reasons for believing in his shiny-new man-made theories, and not just vent his ideas to you about why he thinks Catholicism is wrong.

I’m glad you’re getting “Upon This Rock”—it’s excellent, and very thorough. “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating is also good.

God bless!


#20

[quote=sparkle]He just says “there is no concrete proof that Peter was ever even IN Rome”. Ridiculous! But then he’s part of a totally anti-Catholic church where “if it’s not in the Bible, it’s not accurate”. It’s amazing that someone this ignorant can be someone so highly regarded in the Protestant circle. I just can’t help thinking of the verse in the Bible that says “The first will be last, and the last will be first”. WOW. I think the basis for this belief of his is merely he was taught this in seminary, and it’s all he never has known. Very sad, huh? There are just so many like him.

Everyone’s response here is awesome! I should print out this thread. Yes, I will buy the book “Upon This Rock” today!!! THX
[/quote]

You might ask your friend how he knows that George Washington was ever in Philadelphia. It’s not in the Bible, after all. Ask him how he would determine other historical facts. If he is honest, he would say that he would use primary sources from unbiased historians, preferably as close to the events as possible.

So I would, therefore, recommend Eusebius’ History of the Church. Eusebius was a historian and his account of the first 300 years of Christianity is the only surviving record from the period. Most Protestants do not acknowledge the existence of the Catholic Church or the start of the “apostasy” until after Constantine legalized Christianity. Eusebius wrote this work during that period of transition, so hopefully your friend could not raise the objection that he was part of the errant, corrupted systems that he supposes Catholicism is.

The History of the Church indeed documents Peter’s ministry and death in Rome. The Gospel of Mark was written to the Roman Church. They were so enthusiastic about Peter’s account of Christs life, they asked Peter’s interpreter, Mark, to write the account down for them.

Hope this helps.


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