continuing. . .
- In 58 AD when Paul sent his epistle to Rome, he greeted 20 people, and 2 families, and the name of Peter was not among them which means that he (Peter ) was not there at that time.
Yes, we are agreed on that. In A.D. 56, Peter was based in Antioch.
- When St. Paul reached Rome at 60 AD, the Book did not tell us that he met with Peter, but rather Paul met the leaders of the Jews… thus proving that Peter did not preach them with the Lord Jesus.
The author is forgetting the historical scenario. The Jews who Paul meets in Acts 28 are not the same people who were expelled from Rome (a decade earlier in A.D. 49), but a newly-established Jewish community in Rome. Of course these people had never encountered Peter, since they would not have been there when Peter was there in the 40’s.
- St. Paul stayed in Rome for two years after preaching the Romans, (62/63 AD) meaning that if Peter reached Rome then, the church of Rome was founded, established and was strong by the works of the Holy Spirit and Paul.
Again, the author is ignoring the details of the Epistle to the Romans, in particular the fact that an organized Roman church existed before Paul ever showed up in Rome, and also Paul’s admission that this Roman church was founded by “another man.” What’s more, Acts 28 tells us that Paul was under house arrest for the two years that the author is referring to (Acts 28:30). Therefore, he was not the leader (the bishop) of the Roman church during those years, but merely someone who was consulted by Christian visitors and others who were interested in hearing the Gospel.
- Therefore we acknowledge what Origen said, that, St. Peter came to Rome before he died, about 65 AD, to chase Simon the sorcerer, who offered money to him (Peter) and John for the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:9-24), and Peter was crucified there and died.
I find it very funny that the author accepts what Origen says based on his reading of an apocalyptic book (the Acts of Peter), but does not pay attention to what canonical books (i.e., Acts and Romans) convey. What’s more, Origen did not exist in a vacuum but is referring to the common Tradition of all the city-churches of his day; and of this Tradition, we also have the witness of several of Origen’s contemporaries:
Dionysius of Corinth (c. 166):
“You have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similariy in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time.” (Epistle to Pope Soter of Rome, in a fragment from Eusebius, History of the Church, 2, 25:8).
Clement of Alexandria (c. 190):
“The circumstances which occasioned the writing of Mark (the Gospel) were these: When Peter preached the Word publicly at Rome, declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had been a long time his follower and who knew his sayings, should write down what had been proclaimed.” (Sketches, in a fragment of Eusebius, History of the Church, 6, 14:1).
Tertullian of Carthage (c. 200):
Let us see what milk the Corinthians drained from Paul; against what standard the Galatians were measured for correction; what the Philippians, Thessalonianss, and Ephesians read; what even the nearby Romans sound forth, to whom both Peter and Paul bequeathed the Gospel and even sealed it with their blood." (Against Marcion, 4, 5:1).
Gaius of Rome (c. 198):
“It is recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and Peter, likewise, was crucified, during the reign of the emperor Nero. The account is confirmed by the names of Peter and Paul over the cemeteries there, which remain to the present time. …I can point out the trophies of the Apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican hill (Peter’s grave site) or to the Ostian Way (Paul’s), you will find the trophies of those who founded thischurch.” (Disputation with Proclus, in a fragment found in Eusebius, History of the Church, 2, 25:5).
continued. . .