My Dad is making some claims regarding Peter, and the early church. Can someone help please.
"If you read the epistles in the New Testament, most written by Paul or Peter, you WILL see there was much diversity in beliefs among the various churches. That was the reason the epistles were written. To keep the churches from being diluted by outside influences. Peter did assume leadership of the Apostles and the church of Jersualem. About 44ad he turned over leadership of the church to James, the brother of Jesus and went on mission trips. Peter arrived in Rome at the earliest in 65-66ad and was cucified about Feb68ad. (much of this info was obtained from various Catholic websites) The early churches established in Rome were established by Paul (the apostle to the gentiles), therefore, if anyone should be the 1st ‘pope’ of the Roman church it would be Paul. Peter might be considered the 2nd after Paul’s death in Jan67ad. The Bible never says Peter ever was in Rome.
- First we listen to the Christ Himself – Peter did not “assume leadership” he was commanded by Christ to lead His Church.
Jesus Himself mandated: “if he refuses to hear even the Church let him be like the heathen and a publican.” (Mt 18:17).
Jesus explicitly made four promises to Peter alone:
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven." (Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later to the Twelve, also].
**Sole authority: **
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).
Thus we see that no one else had the authority of Christ’s chosen, Peter, to lead His Church.
As Dr Warren H Carroll in *A History of Christendom, The Foundation of Christendom *Vol 1, testifies, in The Pontificate of St Peter, 30-67:
30-37 head of the Church in Jerusalem
42-49 first sojourn in Rome
49-50 in Jerusalem for the Apostolic Council
62-67 third sojourn in Rome; canonical Epistles of Peter; Mark with Peter in Rome
67 martyrdom in Rome and burial at the Vatican
St. Peter ends his first Epistle with the words, “The Church which is in Babylon salutes you, and so doth my son, Mark.” All reputable scholars admit that the first Christians called pagan Rome Babylon on account of its vices. St. Peter, therefore, was writing from Rome.
It is simple history that St. Peter went to Rome about the year 43 A.D., went back to Jerusalem after a few years for a short time, and then returned to Rome until his death, save for very short absences. He died about the year 67, during the reign of Nero. Papias wrote, about 140 A.D., “Peter came and first by his salutary preaching of the Gospel and by his keys opened in the city of Rome the gates of the heavenly kingdom.” Lanciani, the eminent archaeologist, wrote, “The presence of St. Peter in Rome is a fact demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt by purely monumental evidence. [See “The Pope” in Vol 1]
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Peter’s tomb has been found. It was found under the altar of St. Peters Basilica in Rome in 1965. The tomb is plainly marked with his name and there are human remains within it. Anyone who visits St. Peters can see the tomb for himself.
Tertullian, “The demurrer against the heretics”, chapter XXXII,1,
“…like the church of the Romans where Clement was ordained by Peter.”
Eusebius, “History of the Church”, 2,14,6, 300 A.D., J651dd
“In the same reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious providence which watches over all things guided Peter, the great and mighty one among the Apostles, who, because of his virtue, was the spokesman for all the others, to Rome."
Eusebius wrote in “The Chronicle” (Ad An Dom 42), that Peter, after establishing the Church in Antioch, went to Rome where he remained as Bishop of Rome for 25 years. We know from other early writings that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome in 67 A.D… That date, minus 25 years would put him in Rome in the year 42, during the reign of Claudius.
Who has the authority to ordain priests? Only Bishops do. Clement was ordained by the Bishop of Rome, Peter.