The Apostles

Does anyone know of a link where I can find biographies of the Apostles. Namely what they did and where they went after the death of Christ?

Is it so that St Peter originally founded the Christian Church in Antioch before going to Rome?


You might start with the free online Catholic Encyclopedia. There should be a pretty meaty entry on every Apostle.

Catholic Online has a biography of St. Peter and may likely have other Apostles listed.

Probably not. Paul seems to have already firmly established the Church in Antioch by the time Peter got there (and Paul had a bit of a dust-up with Peter - Gal 2:11-14). Later (Ninth Century) documents say that Peter served as Bishop of Antioch for some years before going to Rome, and even that Peter was the first Patriarch of Antioch (Paul was a transient Bishop, so he would not have been Patriarch).

It is likely that Peter served in some capacity as Bishop in Antioch before he went to Rome (and he probably left his family there), but the historic details are sketchy.

HI David: I am not so sure as I think that peter when he left Jerusalem and went to Antoich am thinking it was before Paul was there since it seems Peter left for there about late 30’s or early 40’s

Actually, according to Paul, it seems there was already a Christian Church in Antioch even before Paul arrived:

Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”[Gal 1:18-23]

So Paul left Peter in Jerusalem and went to Syria (where Antioch was), where there were already “churches of Judea that are in Christ” but Paul was known only by reputation.

Paul later says,

When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face. [Gal 2:11].

This English text implies that Paul was already there when Peter came (otherwise the normal use would be, “When I went to Antioch, I opposed Cephas to his face.”) I may be getting more context from the English text than was originally implied. But, besides that, the chronology of the Epistle recounts Paul’s arrival before it recounts Peter’s arrival.

Furthermore, the reason Paul confronted Peter was:

For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. [Gal 1:12]

So Paul went to Antioch, where there was already a Christian community, then Peter joined them. But, then, James sent some Jews who subscribed to the idea that gentiles had to be circumcised (this was the first real dispute among Christians). So the church at Antioch apparently had many Gentiles and not many Jews (before the delegation from James showed up). This further suggests that Paul was active there before Peter, since Paul preached to the Gentiles and Peter preached to the Jews.

If Peter established the Church at Antioch, and Galatians is correct, then Peter must have established it very early on and returned to Jerusalem (before Paul arrived there). If other historical accounts are correct, Peter later returned to Antioch and served as its Bishop.

Hi David: yes, there were Christians living in Antioch when Paul got there. I am thinking that when Peter escaped from prison he went to Antioch, but think he came back to Jerusalem from time to time so when Paul came to Jerusalem Peter was there. Peter went back to Antioch where Paul told him off for listening to the Jew who supposedly came from James and Peter decided not to eat with the Gentiles. I also think if memory severs me correctly Peter went to Jerusalem long before Paul started preaching.

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

The importance of the testimony of the Greek historian Eusebius (born A.D. 260) – who so clearly, in his “Chronicle” and “Ecclesiastical History,” asserts the Roman Episcopacy of St. Peter – can only be duly appreciated by those who consider the vast number of works by much earlier authors (most of which have long been lost) to which he had access, and of which he made use in compiling the works above mentioned.’

Thank you

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