It is believed by some, mostly the Roman Catholic Church, that Peter went to Rome at an early date in the first century. It is believed that he remained there as the primary leader of the church until his death.

I have a well-written refutation of this theory, but do not know the author.


The chronology of the New Testament times is quite easy to establish from dates and events in the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles.  These dates are also reliably confirmed by secular history.  From dates that are easily established, it is evident that Peter was in certain places at certain times, which almost certainly eliminates the possibility that he ever went to Rome.

The earliest claim that Peter was in Rome is Ignatius 130 A.D., but his writings are so unreliable in other facts (eg. Luke succeeded Peter as the bishop of Antioch of Pyasidia), that he cannot be trusted.  The next clear claim is by Papias (ca. 150).  So Peter's supposed residence in
Rome is claimed only by unreliable writers who lived some 60 to 80 years after the Apostle's death.  And they do not consider the New Testament evidence against their claims.

Many of the facts that militate against Peter's Roman residence are most difficult to answer on the assumption that he was there.  For example: why did Paul, who both wrote to
Rome an epistle and wrote from Rome several epistles, totally ignore Peter's presence there?  Especially is this critical problem for you, since Paul does not hesitate to affirm Peter's presence in Antioch in Galatians 2:11, or Peter's presence in Jerusalem in Galatians 1:18.  Other chronological facts simply make it all but impossible that the Fisherman of Galilee was ever in Rome.

From several readings it appears that Catholics believe that Peter went to Rome in the year 42 AD and exercised his pontificate for 25 years in the city until he was killed by Nero in the year 67 AD.  Naturally your claim as a Catholic forces you to claim Peter's reference to "Babylon" in I Peter
5:13 is used symbolically of Rome.

Your Catholic Dogma is:

"By disposition of Christ Peter had to have perpetually a successor in position of supreme Pastor, and this successor is the bishop of Rome." (Denz. 1825)

"If anyone affirms that S. Peter did not have perpetual successor in the primacy over all the church; or that the Roman Pontifex is not the successor of S. Peter in this primacy, let him be anathema." (Conc. Vat.
Sec. 4, Chap. 2).  (sounds like a peace of Gal. Chap. 1).  Ouch!!!

"Two truths are here expressed: one dogmatic, that is that Peter must always have a successor; and one historical, that is that this successor is the pope in function.  These two truths are closely connected.  The thesis presupposes the historical fact that Peter exercised his ministry in Rome as Bishop and the he died there." (Denz. 1824-1825).

Biblical and Secular history refutes this theory.

33 AD, The Church was established on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, and Peter preached there that day.  Acts 2.

36 AD, The conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).
        a. Acts 9:23 together with II Cor. 11:32 tells us that King Aretas
        collaborated with the Jews of damascus who tried to  capture Paul,
        but he was "Let down from a window over the wall in a basket" &

        b. With the reign of Aretas, the date of Paul's conversion cannot
        be earlier than 36 or 38, and certainly not later than 40, because
        Aretas' reign ended in 40 AD.

39 AD, Paul went to
Jerusalem to visit Peter, Gal. 1:18, and this was "After three years" from his conversion.

44 AD, Herod died "eaten of worms" Acts 12:23.
        a. But Peter and James were imprisoned by this same Herod
Jerusalem shortly before his death, Acts 12:1-2.

        b. The Lord delivered Peter, and he was restored to the
        church because "prayers were made earnestly of the church unto
        God  for him." Acts 12:5.

44-48 AD, The famine prophesied by Agabus, that "would come over all the world:  which came to pass in the days of Claudius" Acts 

        a. This famine is also confirmed by the secular writers:
           1. Suetonius (Claud., xvii)
           2. Dio Cassius (1x. 11)
           3. Tacitus (Annals xii. 43)
           4. Orosius (vii. 6)
           5. Josephus (
Ant., xx, ii.5)

        b. These writers also relate the death of Herod in the same period
        of time.  They confirm New Test. chronology.  And  Peter was not
        imprisoned until Acts 12, which fits this  dating.

45-49 AD, The First Missionary Journey of Paul, Barnabas and John Mark, Acts 13-14.

46-47 AD, Sergius Paulus was Proconsul of Cyprus, Roman inscription  found on the island confirm this date.

        a. Annius Bassus became Proconsul in 52 AD during the 12th year of
        the reign of Claudius Caesar.

        b. So Sergius Paulus had to be Proconsul before then, which 
        easily fits the date presented for Paul's journey, Acts 13:7ff.

49-50 AD, The Edict of Claudius which commanded "ALL the Jews to depart from Rome" Acts 18:2, this does not mean that the edict was not issued until the time of Acts 18 in Luke's reference, but that the edict was the reason Aquila and Priscilla were then in  Corinth.

52-53 AD, The Jerusalem Conference about circumcision,
          Acts 15, Gal. 2:1-10.

        a. Paul's first visit to Jerusalem was "Three years after"
        his conversion, "then after space of fourteen years" he returned
       "by revelation" for the circumcision question, Gal. 2:1.

        b. That makes a total of 17 yrs after his conversion, & it  dates
        the Jerusalem meeting about 52 or 53 AD.

        c. But at that every time "James, Peter and John were reputed to
        be pillars in the church" at Jerusalem.

53-54 AD, Gallio was Proconsul in Corinth, and this date is confirmed by Roman historians and by a fragmentary inscription from Delphi containing a letter from the emperor Claudius in which mention of Gallio was made and it dated in the 26th year of his reign.

        a. Paul was in Corinth at that time, Acts 18:12, during his second
            Missionary Journey.

        b. From Corinth he wrote I & II Thess.

54-55 AD, Paul's third Missionary Journey, during which he spent two years teaching in the School of Tyrannus in Ephesus.

       a. From Ephesus he wrote I Corinthians and Galatians.

       b. He then went to Macedonia form whence he wrote II Corinthians
        probably the next year, about 57 AD.

58 AD, Paul returned to
Corinth where he "Spent three months" Acts 20:3.

       a. from Corinth he wrote the Roman letter.  That he is in Corinth
       at this writing is evident from the fact that he is a guest of
       "Gaius, my HOST," Rom.
16:23.  And "Erastus was the treasurer of
       the city." Gaius is the same as in I Cor. 1:14, Acts 19:29.

       b. In the 16th chapt. of Romans Paul mentioned some 35 different 
       brethren by name, to whom he sent salutations.  But there is no
       mention of Peter being in Rome.  And if he were then Paul totally
       ignored him. It is easier to believe Peter was not there.

59-60 AD, Festus succeeded Felix, Acts 24-27, and Eusebius in the Church History places this succession by Festus during the 2nd year of the reign of Nero.

       a. Paul had been a prisoner of Felix for almost two years when
       Festus succeeded him, Acts 24:27.

       b. Only "three days" after his ascension to office, Festus went to
       Jerusalem and the Jews tried to get him to send Paul to Jerusalem
       from Caesarea so they could kill him.

       c. But he stayed in Jerusalem "not more than eight or ten days", 
       Acts 25:6 and then the day after his return to
Caesarea he called
       Paul to stand trial, Acts 25:6.

       d. It was then that Paul "appealed to Caesar", Acts 25:11.

61-62 AD, Paul's journey to
Rome and his first imprisonment, during  which he stayed "in his own hired dwelling" for some two years,   Acts 28:30.

       a. During this time he wrote the book of Colossians.
          1. Timothy was with him at that time, Col. 1:1.
          2. Tychicua and Onesimus took the letter to Colossae, 4:7-9.
          3. Paul sends greeting from Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Luke, 
          and Demas, Col. 4:10-14.
          4. No mention of Peter being in Rome.

       b. He also wrote Ephesians.
          1. Tychicus delivered the letter to Ephesus, Eph. 6:21.
          2. No mention of Peter as Pope in the list of church
          offices listed in 4:11 "and he gave some to be apostles, and
          some  prophets, and some evangelists, an some pastors
          and teachers" BUT NO POPE!
          3. Peter is not mentioned as being in Rome.

       c. During this time he wrote Philemon.
          1. Timothy was with him, Phile. 1:1
          2. He also sends greetings from Epaphras, Mark,
             Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, Phile. 23.
          3. No mention of Peter being in Rome.

63 AD, Philippians was written during this time, later than the other   epistles, for time was required for Epaphroditus to be sent from  Philippi,to get sick "nigh unto death", Phil. 2:25-30, and then to return to Philippi.

        a. Timothy was with him, Phil. 1:1.

        b. Paul sends greetings from "the brethren" and "especially
        they that are of Caesar's household." Phil. 4:22.

        c. No mention of Peter being in Rome.

64-65 AD, Paul was released from Roman prison and returned to Greece  and Macedonia, I Tim. 1:3.

       a. He wrote I Timothy from Macedonia, note above.

       b. He wrote Titus also from Macedonia, after he had returned from 
, Tit. 1:5.

64-65 AD, Peter writes from '
Babylon' on the Euphrates river, as  indicated from "she that is in Babylon . . . Saluteth you." I Peter 5:13.

      a. There was a strong Jewish colony there in Babylon and Peter "Had
      been entrusted with the Gospel of the circumcision", Gal. 2:7.

      b. Since Claudius had commanded "all Jews to depart from
Rome", Acts
      18:3, it would be difficult to understand why Peter would go there
      to carry out his assignment to the Jews!

      c. There is absolutely no reason to suppose that Peter is speaking
      symbolically of Rome when he says 'Babylon', for there is no such
      symbolic usage ***UNTIL*** John's Revelation letter.

      d. After 96 AD, when Revelation was composed, the Imperial city of
was symbolically called 'Babylon' by both Christian and profane

      c. Catholic writers universally say that 'Babylon' of Rev. 17:5 is

67 AD, Paul's second imprisonment in

      a. II Tim. was written during this final imprisonment.
        1. He wants Timothy to "Come shortly to me", II Tim. 4:9.
        2. He named some: "Demas forsook me... and went to Thessalonica",
        II Tim. 4:10.
        3. "Crescens" went "to Galatia" verse 10.
        4. Titus went to "Dalatia" verse 10.
        5. "ONLY LUKE IS WITH ME" verse 11.
        6. "Erastus remained at Corinth" verse 20.
        7. "Trophimus I left at Miletus sick." verse 20.

      b. He then sends some salutations:
        1. "Eubulus saluteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia"
          verse 21.
        2. No salutations from Peter, no mention of him in Rome.

      c. If Peter was there he must have abandoned Paul, for "This thou
      knowest, that all that are in Asia turned away from me, of whom are
      Phygelus and Hermogenes. II Tim. 1:15.

      d. "Only Luke" stayed with Paul, and no great man named   
      "Onesiphorus, for he oft refresed me, and was not ashamed of my 
      chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found
      me..." II Tim. 1:1-4.

      e. If Peter were there, why didn't he "SEEK OUT PAUL"?

67 AD, Peter writes II Peter, and having the same tone of admonition as the first epistle, it must have been written to the same Jewish  Christians "of the dispersion" I Pet. 1:1-4.

Phil from this point, all inspired or secular history about either Paul or Peter come to an end. The next mention of Peter's whereabouts will not appear for another eighty years.  And for uninspired writers, whose writings are critically rejected for other reasons, such suggestions leave us in doubt.

Even if Peter were in
Rome, and even died there, such would not prove that he was the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and certainly not of the New Testament Church.  But since history available on his travels do not place in him Rome, but preclude his being there, then I REJECT even that possibility.

Peter's definite location in too many definite locations at too many other definite times definitely excludes the possibility that he spent 2 years in Rome or even went there!


Questions and comments are always welcome

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