Myterdom of Peter


#1

Odes anyone know where I can find the story of Peters Myterdom? Thanks and God bless.


#2

You mean, Peter’s martydom? Well there’s Wikipedia:

After Acts turns its attention away from Peter and to the activities of Paul, Peter’s movements are not recorded. It is clear that he lived in Antioch for a while, for not only did Paul confront him there (Gal 2:11f), but tradition makes him the first bishop of that city, and thus the first Patriarch of Antioch. Some scholars interpret Paul’s mention of Peter in 1 Cor 1:12 as evidence that Peter had visited Corinth. A far more insistent tradition, at least as early as the first century, is that he came to Rome, where he was martyred during the time of burning of Rome, as Nero wanted to put the blame of fire on Christians. The Gospel of John may be interpreted as suggesting that Peter was martyred by crucifixion (“when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and take you where you do not want to go” John 21:18), and Clement of Rome in his Letter to the Corinthians placed his death in the time of Nero. Later traditions hold that the Romans crucified him upside down by his request, as he did not want to equate himself with Jesus. On the way to his execution, it is said he encountered Jesus and asked, “Domine, Quo Vadis” (“Lord, where are you going?”). Other versions of this story claim that this occurred as Peter was fleeing Rome to avoid his execution, and that Jesus’ response, “I am going to Rome, to be crucified again,” caused him to turn back. This story is commemorated in an Annibale Carracci painting. The Church of Quo Vadis, near the Catacombs of Saint Callistus, contains a stone in which Jesus’ footprints from this event are supposedly preserved, though this was actually apparently an ex-voto from a pilgrim, and indeed a copy of the original, housed in the Basilica of St. Sebastian.

This story is recorded in a number of places, notably the apocryphal Acts of Peter (35):

And as they considered these things, Xanthippe took knowledge of the counsel of her husband with Agrippa, and sent and showed Peter, that he might depart from Rome. And the rest of the brethren, together with Marcellus, besought him to depart. But Peter said unto them: Shall we be runaways, brethren? and they said to him: Nay, but that thou mayest yet be able to serve the Lord. And he obeyed the brethren's voice and went forth alone, saying: Let none of you come forth with me, but I will go forth alone, having changed the fashion of mine apparel. And as he went forth of the city, he saw the Lord entering into Rome. And when he saw him, he said: Lord, whither goest thou thus (or here)? And the Lord said unto him: I go into Rome to be crucified. And Peter said unto him: Lord, art thou (being) crucified again? He said unto him: Yea, Peter, I am (being) crucified again. And Peter came to himself: and having beheld the Lord ascending up into heaven, he returned to Rome, rejoicing, and glorifying the Lord, for that he said: I am being crucified: the which was about to befall Peter. (M.R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, Clarendon Press, 1924.)

The ancient historian Josephus describes how Roman soldiers would amuse themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions. This is consistent with the ancient traditions about Peter’s crucifixion.

From my own experience of doing the scavi tour underneath St Peter’s, I can tell you of some of the evidence which indicates the bones found there are actually St Peter’s. First of all, there was purple dye found with the bones. This indicates that the body was buried in purple fabric; which at the time was extremely rare and usually used only for the very high-ups. Secondly, there was an inscription on the replacement tomb (the tomb which was built in Constantine’s time I think it was) that says “Peter inside”. If you can find it, then it’s worth doing some research on this inscription itself as it said a lot more than just “Peter inside” even though it only said “Peter inside”. Do the research and you’ll see what I mean.

Finally and most importantly (imo), out of the bones found, there were bones found from every single part of the body except one: the feet. Not a single bone from either foot was found. There is a very simple explanation for this (and it’s not that the bones in the feet are smaller and hence decomposed faster, as there are other smaller bones that were still found when the bones were discovered in the 1950’s): if the tradition is true that Peter was crucified upside down during the time of Nero, then his followers probably had to sneak up to the cross (located in the circus of Nero, adjacent to the modern day St Peter’s) and get him down quickly and quietly. How to do this? Chop him off, by cutting off his feet, then wrapping him in purple cloth and carry him away.

Sorry for not giving you any more reliable references, and yeah my information comes from my memory (which is usually pretty poor) of what my tour guide told me. Good luck!


#3

But are there any ancient sources, preferrably first-hand, of Peter’s martyrdom? I’m skeptical about Acts of Peter because for whatever reason it didn’t make it into the Bible


#4

[quote=svoboda]I’m skeptical about Acts of Peter because for whatever reason it didn’t make it into the Bible
[/quote]

That’s a rather dubious reason to reject this writing. After all, NO Biblical source mentions Peter’s death, so ANY source you might find also didn’t make it into the Bible.

The earliest somewhat-specific reference I can find was in a letter of Caius of Rome. The letter (namely his Disuptatoin with Proclus) is lost, but parts of it were quoted by Eusebius in his Historae Eclesastica (book 2, chapter 25), so fragments of Caius have been preserved through incorporation in other surviving documents. The dating of the original Disputation letter is uncertain - maybe as early as 198 or as late as 220.

Caius (according to Eusebius) says:

It is recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and Peter likewise, was crucified, during the reighn of Nero. The account is confirmed by the names of Peter and Paul over the cemetaries there, which remain to the present time.And it is confirmed also by a stalwart man of the Church, Gaius by name, who lived in the time of Zephyrinus, Bishop of Rome. This gaius, in a written disputation with Proculus, the leader of the sect of Cataphyrygians, says this of the places in which the remains of the aforementioned Apostles were deposited: “I can point out the trophies [ie, relics] of the Apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies of those who founded this Church."


#5

So … does anyone know how the next Pope was elected? Did Peter choose him?


#6

[quote=Inquirer]So … does anyone know how the next Pope was elected? Did Peter choose him?
[/quote]

The next Pope, St. Linus, would have been chosen by the Church in Rome because the Pope is always the bishop or Rome.


#7

[quote=LatinCat]The next Pope, St. Linus, would have been chosen by the Church in Rome because the Pope is always the bishop or Rome.
[/quote]

Actually…

“The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus” (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189])."

Thus my main irreconcible difference with Catholicism…

who said the Bishop of Rome gets to lead the church???
Who said the Bishop of Rome is more important than the Bishop of Antioch?
Who said the the key could be passed to ONE PERSON?
Most imporantly, WHEN did they say it?
I know who didn’t say it…Christ Jesus.
etc
sorry to bump in on the thread :slight_smile:
BH


#8

[quote=DavidFilmer]That’s a rather dubious reason to reject this writing. After all, NO Biblical source mentions Peter’s death, so ANY source you might find also didn’t make it into the Bible.
[/quote]

You have a point, the reason I said that is that there were many heretical writings back in the day that did not make it into the canon. Just as there are Acts of Peter, there is also the Gospel of Thomas. That is why I question this source.

earlychristianwritings.com/ This has a chronological list of the many Christian writings from the first and second centuries. Acts of Peter is one of them and dates from 150 - 200 AD. Even if it is not heretical, it was still written too late to be a first hand source. Whoever wrote it was either going on a previous source (which needs to be found for me to believe this), or on oral tradition, or even LEGEND.

I guess the question that needs to be answered is why Acts of Peter is not in the bible. Is it in any way heretical?

earlychristianwritings.com/text/actspeter.html Here is the translation

The earliest somewhat-specific reference I can find was in a letter of Caius of Rome. The letter (namely his Disuptatoin with Proclus) is lost, but parts of it were quoted by Eusebius in his Historae Eclesastica (book 2, chapter 25), so fragments of Caius have been preserved through incorporation in other surviving documents. The dating of the original Disputation letter is uncertain - maybe as early as 198 or as late as 220.

Caius (according to Eusebius) says:

Unfortunately this is also too late to be a first hand source, and late enough to possibly be based on Acts of Peter, which is itself too late to be a first hand source.


#9

[quote=BrianH]Actually…

“The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus” (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189])."

Thus my main irreconcible difference with Catholicism…

who said the Bishop of Rome gets to lead the church???
Who said the Bishop of Rome is more important than the Bishop of Antioch?
Who said the the key could be passed to ONE PERSON?
Most imporantly, WHEN did they say it?
I know who didn’t say it…Christ Jesus.
etc
sorry to bump in on the thread :slight_smile:
BH
[/quote]

And that does not mean that Peter and Paul literally picked their successor in Rome. It just means that what they had was handed on to the the next person.
As to your second question Christ said, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I will give you (singular) the keys of the kingdom of heaven. What ever you bind on earth is bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.”


#10

[quote=BrianH]ActuallyThus my main irreconcible difference with Catholicism…

who said the Bishop of Rome gets to lead the church?
Who said the the key could be passed to ONE PERSON?

[/quote]

Jesus.


#11

[quote=Ignatius]Jesus.
[/quote]

NO.
You know what I am talking about.
BH


#12

Peter became Bishop of Antioch before he was ever Bishop of Rome and you guys know that.
You must know that you have no proof that the leadership of the church was handed over to Linus. You can prove that Paul AND Peter handed over the episcopate of ROME to Linus. You are so used to thinking of Peter and Bishop of Rome meaning the same thing you do not even think about it. Proof that the Bishop of Rome gets to lead the church…going once…
BH


#13

[quote=BrianH]Peter became Bishop of Antioch before he was ever Bishop of Rome and you guys know that.
You must know that you have no proof that the leadership of the church was handed over to Linus. You can prove that Paul AND Peter handed over the episcopate of ROME to Linus. You are so used to thinking of Peter and Bishop of Rome meaning the same thing you do not even think about it. Proof that the Bishop of Rome gets to lead the church…going once…
BH
[/quote]

Actually, just going from the source you gave, and I’m sure there must be more:

“The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus” (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189])."

They founded and built the church, and they handed it to one guy.

Is there any mention of the Bishop of Antioch being passed on to anyone … other than perhaps Peter passing it on to someone when he left for Rome? Probably not as compelling as the lineage of Rome.

That’s the first succession right there!


#14

[quote=Inquirer]Actually, just going from the source you gave, and I’m sure there must be more:

“The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus” (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189])."

They founded and built the church, and they handed it to one guy.

Is there any mention of the Bishop of Antioch being passed on to anyone … other than perhaps Peter passing it on to someone when he left for Rome? Probably not as compelling as the lineage of Rome.

That’s the first succession right there!
[/quote]

They(did Paul have his hand on the key as you guys understand it as well?) handed over the church of Rome, thats it, nothing more, nothing less. Nothing about THE CHURCH.
Yes, we do have the succcessors to the Bishop of Antioch.
Guys, this is one of the defining points in Christian history according to you. If the **lineage ** was intended to be the visible head of the earthly church, I would need some scriptural or church history.
BH


#15

I don’t follow this. “Lineage” isn’t a person.

As for Scripture:

‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. . . . But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you. . . . If he refuses to listen . . . tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector’ (Mt 18:15-17).

The Bible is very clear to me about what to do if we have a disagreement with one another over some issue pertaining to the Faith. And please remember: To lead someone into heresy is a grievous sin against your brother according to Galatians 5:19-21! The Bible tells us that the Church, not the Bible, is the final court of appeal.

Notice this scenario only works if the Church is singular and visible.


#16

Brian, you still act as if there was no need of a leader of the visible Church after Peter’s death.

As Acts well established, Peter was the leader of the Church. He proved numerous time to be the one who made momentous decisions and everyone else followed “without question”. You can ignore Sacred Tradition all you want. But We Can’t!!!

How are we to depend 100% on Church History when so much of it has been destroyed?

Peter was bishop of Rome. Why was the Bishop of Rome determined the head of the Church? Binding and Loosing is good enough for me. If it’s not good enough for you, well then I apologize.

Notworthy


#17

I don’t follow this. “Lineage” isn’t a person.

Inquirer first used lineage:
"Probably not as compelling as the lineage of Rome"
The lineage he, and I in respone, are referring to is the lineage of the bishops of Rome.
And that is the bottom line truly. One of the most important claims in Christian history is that the Bishop of Rome is the head of “the Church”. I am asking for scriptural proof of that lineage or early historical evidence as well. It is the heart of Catholicism.
Jesus never says it(he never said a word about it going to the bishop of Rome). He gave the key to a man who much later took that job.
Paul never says a word about it.
PETER never says a word about it.
John never says a word about it.
Tradition you say?
When is this first cited?
Clement never claims it either.

As for Scripture:
The Bible is very clear to me about what to do if we have a disagreement with one another over some issue pertaining to the Faith. And please remember: To lead someone into heresy is a grievous sin against your brother according to Galatians 5:19-21! The Bible tells us that the Church, not the Bible, is the final court of appeal.

Notice this scenario only works if the Church is singular and visible.

The Bible tell us the Bible is not the final court of appeal?
I am not sure whether to laugh or cry at this!!!
I notice you capitalize “Church”. Is that from the Bible as well friend?
NJ


#18

Brian, you still act as if there was no need of a leader of the visible Church after Peter’s death.

I ask for proof. I do not think that is unreasonable that such an important claim would have that.

As Acts well established, Peter was the leader of the Church. He proved numerous time to be the one who made momentous decisions and everyone else followed “without question”. You can ignore Sacred Tradition all you want. But We Can’t!!!

Goodness gracious. No one is saying Peter is not important. No one is saying that Jesus did not give him a key. I hope no one is saying that scripture does not clarify and define what happended throught the Book of Acts and Pauls letters!

How are we to depend 100% on Church History when so much of it has been destroyed?

Peter was bishop of Rome. Why was the Bishop of Rome determined the head of the Church? Binding and Loosing is good enough for me. If it’s not good enough for you, well then I apologize.

Yes yes. He gave that to PETER and the APOSTLES. We are talking about proof that the Bishop of Rome uniquely has a role that supercedes all of the other successors. Jesus did not give the keys to the Bishop of Rome. He gave the keys to someone who became the Bishop of Rome…after he was Bishop of Antioch of course. I do not think my request is unreasonable Notworthy.
Brian


#19

But Jesus gave the keys to a person, and in so doing, created an office. Just as in the previous kingdom of David, that position did not end with the person’s death, it was passed on.

Peter mentions that they hold offices in Acts 1:20.

Why didn’t they proclaim to the world that they were head of the church? Could it be because they would be killed by the Romans at the first opportunity? That would be understandable.

Why did they decide that the Bishop of Rome would always be the leader, when they could have held elections each time? I don’t know, but I get the feeling you would have questioned that method, too.

Notworthy


#20

But Jesus gave the keys to a person, and in so doing, created an office. Just as in the previous kingdom of David, that position did not end with the person’s death, it was passed on.

I understand, but this is not a good example, this office ceased to exist historically.

Peter mentions that they hold offices in Acts 1:20.

ok

Why didn’t they proclaim to the world that they were head of the church? Could it be because they would be killed by the Romans at the first opportunity? That would be understandable.

I am not interested in theories. I want early tradition or scriptural proof. Of course this could be a reason, and a thousand others. We are talking about one of, I think THE, most important claim made by the RC church. It is not too much to ask for scritptural or historical support.

Why did they decide that the Bishop of Rome would always be the leader, when they could have held elections each time? I don’t know, but I get the feeling you would have questioned that method, too.

I do not think they did decided the Bishop of Rome would always be the leader. There would be proof of that.
None of them mentioned it in scripture. Peter did not mention it in Acts or in 1st or 2nd Peter. My questioning this is reasonable.
BH


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