St. Peter in Jerusalem?


Someone directed me to this site which claims Peter’s bones were found in Jerusalem. I am not familiar with it, but being that I have never heard this, nor seen any scholastic work reference it, I highly doubt the reliability of such a claim.

Can anyone comment on this who has knowledge regarding the issue?


Since I don’t see any references to indicate this 1960 article came from any reputable publication, I think it’s safe to assume it was an unscholarly self-published tract with an obvious agenda. Forgetaboutit. :cool:


[quote=michaelgazin]Someone directed me to this site which claims Peter’s bones were found in Jerusalem. I am not familiar with it, but being that I have never heard this, nor seen any scholastic work reference it, I highly doubt the reliability of such a claim.

Can anyone comment on this who has knowledge regarding the issue?

I just took a quick read over it, and this guy can’t wait to sprinkle his little anti-Catholic diatribes over the thing. A few short points:

  1. It is very possible that Peter was referring to Rome in code word in his first epistle:

“The Church here in Babylon, united with you by God’s election, sends you her greeting, and so does my son, Mark” (1 Pet. 5:13)

The tract quotes Eusebius as saying:

Eusebius Pamphilius, in The Chronicle, composed about A.D. 303, noted that “It is said that Peter’s first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon.”

Note how the article brazenly claims:

Eusebius, one of the most learned men of his time, wrote the Church history up to the year 325 A.D. He said that Peter never was in Rome.

We seem to have a discrepancy between the article’s claim, and Eusebius’ claim.

Furthermore, the tract notes:

Consider now the other New Testament citations: “Another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion’” (Rev. 14:8). “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath” (Rev. 16:19). “[A]nd on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations’” (Rev. 17:5). “And he called out with a mighty voice, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great’” (Rev. 18:2). “[T]hey will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, ‘Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come’” (Rev. 18:10). “So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence” (Rev. 18:21).

Revelations extensively uses Babylon as codeword for Rome.

Let’s not even start with the author’s false impression that early Christians didn’t think Peter was in Rome. Again, the tract quotes it, but I’ll select some certain ones that are particularly relevant:

Tertullian, in The Demurrer Against the Heretics (A.D. 200), noted of Rome, “How happy is that church . . . where Peter endured a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned in a death like John’s [referring to John the Baptist, both he and Paul being beheaded].” Fundamentalists admit Paul died in Rome, so the implication from Tertullian is that Peter also must have been there. It was commonly accepted, from the very first, that both Peter and Paul were martyred at Rome, probably in the Neronian persecution in the 60s.

In the same book, Tertullian wrote that “this is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrnaeans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John; like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter.” This Clement, known as Clement of Rome, later would be the fourth pope. (Note that Tertullian didn’t say Peter consecrated Clement as pope, which would have been impossible since a pope doesn’t consecrate his own successor; he merely ordained Clement as priest.) Clement wrote his Letter to the Corinthians perhaps before the year 70, just a few years after Peter and Paul were killed; in it he made reference to Peter ending his life where Paul ended his.

In his Letter to the Romans (A.D. 110), Ignatius of Antioch remarked that he could not command the Roman Christians the way Peter and Paul once did, such a comment making sense only if Peter had been a leader, if not the leader, of the church in Rome.


Irenaeus, in Against Heresies (A.D. 190), said that Matthew wrote his Gospel “while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church.” A few lines later he notes that Linus was named as Peter’s successor, that is, the second pope, and that next in line were Anacletus (also known as Cletus), and then Clement of Rome.

Clement of Alexandria wrote at the turn of the third century. A fragment of his work Sketches is preserved in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History, the first history of the Church. Clement wrote, “When Peter preached the word publicly at Rome, and declared the gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had been for a long time his follower and who remembered his sayings, should write down what had been proclaimed.”

So, to put that to rest.

And finally, if you’re looking where to go to confirm whether or not St. Peter’s bones are in Rome, apparently there was a book:

The story of how all this was determined, with scientific accuracy, is too long to recount here. It is discussed in detail in John Evangelist Walsh’s book, The Bones of St. Peter. It is enough to say that the historical and scientific evidence is such that no one willing to look at the facts objectively can doubt that Peter was in Rome. To deny that fact is to let prejudice override reason.

So, perhaps you should seek out The Bones of St. Peter. It doesn’t seem easy to find on Amazon, but, good luck. The reviews seem to echo what the article says about it, though.


Thank you for your insight RobNY.
I’ve read a bit in Tertullien myself and hoping to keep reading into realy church fathers and the likes and being able to rebute such claims (that Peter’s bones where found in Jerusalem) is one of the most important reasons why I started reading those texts.

Thanks again.


disregard that website, that author is a friend of Jack Chick, full of fictional characters, that’s why nobody can ask any person from that site coz its a pure work of fiction, like adding the fake priests in it. the fake site could have just been taken in the US


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit