Saturday, November 06, 2010

The First Church of Rome

I recently did a somewhat tongue-in-cheek miniseries on the “papacy” of Aquila and Priscilla. Although I was spoofing the papacy, it also had a basis in fact. Now I’m going to make the same point sans the satire.

I’ll begin with a brief bibliographical précis. F. F. Bruce wrote a useful study of Aquila and Priscilla in chap. 6 of The Pauline Circle (Eerdmans 1985). Peter Lampe wrote a more expansive and up-to-date treatment of Aquila and Priscilla in chap. 18 of From Paul to Valentinus (Fortress 2003), in which he makes use of both Biblical and archaeological evidence. He also has additional background information in chap. 2. His treatment has been sifted, supplemented, and updated by Robert Jewett in his comments on Rom 16:3-5. Cf. Romans: A Commentary (Fortress 2003), 954-60.

Paul Barrett has a helpful analysis of Rom 16 in his commentary. Commentaries on Acts 18:1-3 (e.g. Darrell Bock; David Peterson), 1 Cor 16:19 (e.g. Joseph Fitzmyer; Brian Rosner/Roy Ciampa), and 2 Tim 4:19 (e.g. William Mounce; Philip Towner) provide collateral information.

Aside from the specifics of Aquila and Priscilla, there are general background studies on 1C house churches, 1C ecclesiology, and “urban elites” who patronized the nascent Christian movement. Cf. Cf. R. Beckwith, Elders in Every City (Paternoster 2003); W. Meeks, The First Urban Christians (Yale 1983); D. Gill, “Acts and the Urban Elites,” D. Gill & C. Gempf, eds. The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting (Eerdmans, 1994), 105-118; B. Blue, Acts and the House Church,” ibid. 119-222; B. Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows (Eerdmans 2003).

From this sort of information, we can draw the following conclusions:

1. The church of Rome wasn’t founded by Peter. Indeed, the church of Rome wasn’t founded by any apostle.

2. The church of Rome was informally founded by Roman Christians.

3. Aquila and Priscilla were among the founders (or cofounders) of the Roman church.

4. There was no single church of Rome in the 1C. Rather, the 1C church of Rome was a loose association of independent house-churches. As Barnett summarizes the data in Rom 16:

There are at least three house church groups:

Verse 5: “the church in the house [of Prisca and Aquila]”
Verse 14: “the brothers with [Asyncritus et al]”
Verse 15: “the saints with [Philologus and Julia et al]”

It is possible, however, that a dozen other “clusters” are implied by individuals, couples or groups named by Paul. Beyond that there may have been synagogue-linked groups to which Paul’s main opponent’s belonged.

As many as six Jewish-led house-groups are implied. These Jewish names [Rom 16:3,6-7,10-11,13] confirm that some Jews reentered Rome after the death of Claudius in AD 54 when his decree of AD 49 expelling Jews from Rome would have lapsed.


P. Barnett, Romans (Christian Focus 2003), 366-67.

5. Aquila and Priscilla probably hosted a church in Rome before the expulsion of Jews and Jewish Christians, then returned to Rome, after the Claudian edict had lapsed, to restore the church of Rome.

6. Priscilla was probably a Roman noblewoman who used her wealth and family connections to sponsor the nascent Christian movement. Priscilla and Aquila were Pauline missionaries and church-planters.

7. Given his role as a Pauline missionary, Aquila is probably a Christian elder or “bishop” (in the NT sense of the term). Indeed, he may have been a Jewish elder before he became a Christian elder–since Christian eldership is a carryover from Jewish eldership.

Since they hosted Christian gatherings in their various homes, they were in charge of the proceedings, in their head-of-household capacity. In addition, Priscilla was a Roman aristocrat, who outranked the plebian class. And, of course, they would have instructed the faithful in Christian doctrine and ethics.

As such, we could designate Aquila as the first pope and Priscilla as the popessa. Likewise, since they headed “the church of Rome,” this made them vicars of the heavenly head (Christ).

That usage is admittedly anachronistic, and I myself don’t subscribe to the papacy. Since, however, Catholic apologists never hesitate to retroject later unscriptural developments back into the 1C, I’m simply responding to them on their own grouds. If they reisist the application of papal terminology to Aquila and Priscilla, then they need to ditch the anachronism of a monarchical episcopate in 1C Rome.

Of course, if Peter came to town, there’s a sense in which he could pull rank on Priscilla and Aquila. But that’s true of any apostle who happened to be there.

BTW, mainstream Catholic scholars like Raymond Brown (Priest and Bishop) wouldn’t have any problem with what I’m saying. It’s only lay Catholic apologists, many of them converts to Rome, who resort to retrograde arguments for the papacy.

27 comments:

  1. "Although I was spoofing the papacy, it also had a basis in fact. Now I’m going to make the same point sans the satire."

    Yowsa! You really provided a wide assortment of scholarly, historical research and study to make your point.

    "From this sort of information, we can draw the following conclusions:

    1. The church of Rome wasn’t founded by Peter. Indeed, the church of Rome wasn’t founded by any apostle."


    Hello? Scot Windsor? Dave Armstrong? Matthew Bellisario? Catholic Nick?

    Oh dear, Steve. With such a grandiose conclusion that you've drawn, you'll probably have to shut down this blog by January 1st from all the embarrassment that you've brought upon yourself.

    "If they resist the application of papal terminology to Aquila and Priscilla, then they need to ditch the anachronism of a monarchical episcopate in 1C Rome."

    Fat chance.

    "BTW, mainstream Catholic scholars like Raymond Brown (Priest and Bishop) wouldn’t have any problem with what I’m saying."

    Raymond Brown, Priest and Bishop, is in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church, yes? Even appointed to a Pontifical Commission of some sort, if I recall correctly.

    "It’s only lay Catholic apologists, many of them converts to Rome, who resort to retrograde arguments for the papacy."

    Alas, an obviously wrong note is struck at the end. I'm sure that many, many Catholic clergy also resort to retrograde arguments for the papacy too.

    Otherwise, a very thought-provoking thesis with Biblical, Historical, and Scholarly warrant.

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  2. Steve, it is fantastic to see all of these resources in one place. Thanks for compiling this.

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  3. This is a good post.

    Steve wrote: "Of course, if Peter came to town, there’s a sense in which he could pull rank on Priscilla and Aquila."

    That is a BIG "IF".

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  4. Isn't "Roman noblewoman and aristocrat" at odds with "Jewish tentmakers"?

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  5. louis said "Isn't "Roman noblewoman and aristocrat" at odds with "Jewish tentmakers"?

    Not if tentmakers were in the same class as merchants and other freeman (i.e. the Roman middle class).

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  6. Louis,

    She probably married down.

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  7. Isn't "Roman noblewoman and aristocrat" at odds with "Jewish tentmakers"?

    The Apostle Paul was Roman citizen, Jewish tentmaker, Pharisee - probably a member of the ultra-exclusive Sanhedrin (see Acts) - and a highly trained scholar and intellectual.

    I don't see a conflict with the possibility of Priscilla being a Roman noblewoman-Jewess with a trade-skill.

    In Christ,
    CD

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  8. I read [Acts 28:21-22] to mean no one in Rome, at this point, had direct experience with anyone 'involved' with the sect of Christianity.

    If Peter had made it to Rome before Paul, the above would not be true.

    Also, that Paul just left Jerusalem, and the saints remained there, its hard to justify claiming that Peter was the first to Rome.

    There's a whole book about Paul's experience with the Romans, and its in the Bible. Nothing is said about Peter.

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  9. >1. The church of Rome wasn’t
    > founded by Peter. Indeed, the
    > church of Rome wasn’t founded by
    > any apostle."

    Hello? Scot Windsor? Dave Armstrong? Matthew Bellisario? Catholic Nick?


    Again with the straw man! Who here is claiming that St. Peter "founded" the Church at Rome? I, for one, have explicitly DENIED he did!

    AS I SAID BEFORE TOO: St. Peter's first see was likely at Antioch, but we don't trace THE Apostolic See (of the Vicar of Christ) to Antioch, but to Rome - where he was martyred and buried, his bones are there to this day.

    AS YOU WILL RECALL... I also asked, right up front, if you (Steve Hays) were being serious about this ludicrous claim of the "Bishop of Rome" being traced through Aquila and Priscilla - and while you said you were being satirical, you also said you were being serious in the satire (not quite a straight answer).

    NOW... you appear to be trying to save face (too late) with all this "historical research" (as one of your compadres has been quick to pat you on the back for) but NONE of it says these two were called "bishops" or even "overseers" - ALL we have as FACT is that they held church in their house. The rest of your conclusion is pure speculation.

    As an example in our hemisphere, Fr. Kino built several churches throughout the southwest - yet we do not call him a "bishop" or an "overseer." He was a priest who set up MISSIONS throughout the southwest. Based on the "evidence" provided here (Mr. Hays) we have nothing more to go on than they too were "missionaries" who established a "mission church" at Rome. It is quite plausible that Sts. Peter and Paul were the first bishops to arrive at Rome.

    As for the comment about (Fr.) Raymond Brown being a "mainstream Catholic scholar..." he WAS "mainstream" during a VERY liberal era for the Church, but he can HARDLY be considered "mainstream" when we look at the big picture here. He was a modernist and a revisionist and his commentaries, IMHO, are relatively worthless to one seeking orthodox Catholic teaching. Of course, NON-Catholics flock to his dissenting and revisionist views, so it's no surprise that we find him lauded in this forum.

    Scott<<<

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  10. CATHAPOL SAID:

    “Again with the straw man! Who here is claiming that St. Peter ‘founded’ the Church at Rome?”

    Irenaeus, for staters:

    “Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul.”

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm

    But if you wish to dismiss the testimony of Irenaeus, that’s fine with me.

    “I, for one, have explicitly DENIED he did!”

    You don’t speak for Rome Catholicism. You merely speak for Scott Windsor.

    “AS I SAID BEFORE TOO: St. Peter's first see was likely at Antioch, but we don't trace THE Apostolic See (of the Vicar of Christ) to Antioch, but to Rome …”

    Roman Catholics trace it through Rome. What a surprise!

    “But NONE of it says these two were called ‘bishops’ or even ‘overseers.’”

    They don’t have to be bishops. You’re framing the issue in Roman Catholic terms, which begs the very question at issue.

    “ALL we have as FACT is that they held church in their house.”

    Yes, a Roman house-church. That’s all the 1C church of Rome amounted to. The pope didn’t preside. Peter didn’t preside. Aquila and Priscilla did.

    “The rest of your conclusion is pure speculation.”

    i) Any historical reconstruction involves an element of speculation. Your assertion that Peter’s “bones” are there (in Rome) “to this day” is pure speculation. Do you have a sample of Peter’s DNA to ID the bones?

    ii) My conclusion was far from “pure speculation.” That is based on exegetical and archaeological evidence. You don’t even attempt to refute the evidence.

    “Based on the ‘evidence’ provided here (Mr. Hays) we have nothing more to go on than they too were ‘missionaries’ who established a ‘mission church’ at Rome.”

    In which case it wasn’t founded by Peter (pace Irenaeus). Rather, it was headed by Aquila and Priscilla.

    “It is quite plausible that Sts. Peter and Paul were the first bishops to arrive at Rome.”

    Peter and Paul were never bishops. They were apostles. You commit a category mistake.

    “As for the comment about (Fr.) Raymond Brown being a ‘mainstream Catholic scholar...’ he WAS ‘mainstream’ during a VERY liberal era for the Church, but he can HARDLY be considered ‘mainstream’ when we look at the big picture here. He was a modernist and a revisionist and his commentaries, IMHO, are relatively worthless to one seeking orthodox Catholic teaching. Of course, NON-Catholics flock to his dissenting and revisionist views, so it's no surprise that we find him lauded in this forum.”

    He was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission by two successive popes. It’s counterproductive for you to defend the papacy by distancing yourself from the papacy. But, of course, you’re hardly the first Catholic epologist who labors to save the papacy from the pope.

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  11. CATHAPOL SAID:

    On the one hand:

    "The rest of your conclusion is pure speculation."

    On the other hand:

    "It is quite plausible that Sts. Peter and Paul were the first bishops to arrive at Rome."

    Nothing like pure speculation.

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  12. Yes, I answered your speculation with plausible speculation. I've also given a fuller response to this nonsensical postulation of yours on my blog.

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  13. CathApol said: "It is quite plausible that Sts. Peter and Paul were the first bishops to arrive at Rome."

    Its quite plausible that St. Paul was the first bishop to arrive in Rome. Although it's plausible St. Peter made it to Rome, it isn't likely (absolutely no evidence).

    But since we're engaging in plausible speculation, here's some:

    Simon Magnus made it Rome (where he was known as 'Peter'), and was mistaken for the apostle Peter. If there's evidence Simon Magnus making it to Rome, this plausible speculation may be more than just plausible, it may also be possible.

    I leave it up to you to compare the historicity of Simon Magnus's journey to Rome against that of St. Peter.

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  14. Steve said: Peter and Paul were never bishops. They were apostles. You commit a category mistake.

    Let's see, per Acts 1:20...
    For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. (Acts 1:20 KJV)
    Judas Iscariot held an "office" called a "bishoprick" - so why would not St. Peter's and St. Paul's "office" not ALSO be called a "bishoprick?"

    No Steve, it is not I who has committed a "category mistake" here. The apostolic office is that of the bishop. Our bishops to this day hold an apostolic office, and every last one of them can be traced to a valid apostolic succession.

    I do understand your need to diminish the concept of apostolic succession for it undermines the very premise of Protestantism having ANY validity - which, in reality, it doesn't possess and most Protestants don't even try to argue for it. They tend to avoid it, deny it(against all pre-Protestant historic Christendom) or as we see you doing, diminish it and/or mock it.

    Scott<<<

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  15. Whether or not St. Peter was in Rome seems an argument many Protestants like to challenge - and we see it here on Triablogue as well. The fact of the matter is those ECFs who do say where Peter was at the end of his life - ALL of them say he was in Rome!

    Ignatius of Antioch
    "Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you [Romans]. They were apostles, and I am a convict" (Letter to the Romans 4:3 [A.D. 110]).

    Dionysius of Corinth

    "You [Pope Soter] 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 similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time" (Letter to Pope Soter [A.D. 170], in Eusebius, History of the Church 2:25:8).

    Irenaeus

    "Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church" (Against Heresies, 3, 1:1 [A.D. 189]).

    "But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the succession of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church [of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (ibid., 3, 3, 2).

    "The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the letter to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21]. To him succeeded Anacletus, and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that he still heard the echoes of the preaching of the apostles and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith. ... To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded . . . and now, in the twelfth place after the apostles, the lot of the episcopate [of Rome] has fallen to Eleutherius. In this order, and by the teaching of the apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us" (ibid., 3, 3, 3).

    More here: http://www.catholic.com/library/Peter_Roman_Residency.asp

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  16. CathApol said "ALL of them say he was in Rome!"

    ... so we can conclude he was in Rome by the law of (Argumentum ad populum) which says if everyone thinks something is true, it must be true.

    Everyone thought the world was flat too ... what can we conclude?

    Lets try a bit more plausible speculation but using your logic.

    Simon Magnus (also known as Peter) made it to Rome and everyone thought he was Peter ...

    .. by your logic, since everyone thought he was Peter, he must have been Peter!

    Does that work for you, since your logic suggests it?

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  17. ἐκκλησία said:
    >> CathApol said "ALL of them say
    >> he was in Rome!"
    >
    > ... so we can conclude he was in
    > Rome by the law of (Argumentum
    > ad populum) which says if
    > everyone thinks something is
    > true, it must be true.

    sw: I did not say "everyone thinks (Peter was in Rome) was true!" I said all those who spoke of St. Peter's martyrdom said it was in Rome. NOT ONE ECF contradicts that point while MANY CONFIRM IT!

    > Everyone thought the world was
    > flat too ... what can we
    > conclude?

    sw: We can conclude you're diverting the topic because you've lost the debate. Also, we're not talking about something which has been scientifically proven otherwise. Since we have such proof now, those "flat-earthers" have been proven wrong.

    > Lets try a bit more plausible
    > speculation but using your logic.
    >
    > Simon Magnus (also known as
    > Peter) made it to Rome and
    > everyone thought he was Peter ...
    >
    > .. by your logic, since everyone
    > thought he was Peter, he must
    > have been Peter!

    sw: Could you document where any ECF commented that "everyone thought he (Simon Magnus) was (St.) Peter (the Apostle)?" He was rebuked by St. Peter - so I'd say your "everyone" is a bit false.

    > Does that work for you, since
    > your logic suggests it?

    sw: My logic posits that EVERY ECF who mentions Peter's death says it was in Rome. You WIN this debate by presenting EVEN ONE who states he died elsewhere.

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  18. > .. by your logic, since everyone
    > thought he was Peter, he must
    > have been Peter!

    sw: By your logic, when Simon Magnus stood there in front of Simon Peter (Acts 8), Simon Peter must have said, "Dang! I thought you were me!"

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  19. CathApol said "You WIN this debate by presenting EVEN ONE who states he died elsewhere."

    You are the one who believes St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. Other than heresy and an appeal to Argumentum ad populum, which doesn't prove anything, you've not provided any substantiation for your position.

    (If Peter made it to Rome, shouldn't there be some record of it? Peter, himself says he wrote from Babylon [1 Peter 5:13], which was in the opposite direction.

    On the other hand, To refute that error, I need only contend Paul, or anyone else was there first. The Bible shows Paul made it there. Steve has shown the role of other early Christian's in Rome. Peter remains absent in all of this.

    I don't need to show Paul made it there before Peter, in the absence of evidence Peter made it there at all (remember, appealing to popular opinion doesn't count as evidence).

    Steve has frequently shown the poverty of Roman Catholic tradition. At this point, that is about all that's been presented to support a core Catholic belief.

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  20. You are the one who believes St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. Other than heresy and an appeal to Argumentum ad populum, which doesn't prove anything, you've not provided any substantiation for your position.

    I see, so you cannot produce even ONE ECF who testifies to St. Peter dying elsewhere, so rather than concede THAT point, you try to hang my arguments on a technicality? My point was that EVERY ECF who mentions where Peter died - it is in Rome. I will go further to state that EVERY lineage of successors for the Bishop of Rome is traced THROUGH ST. PETER. Nice try, but I doubt more than your "choir" is buying it.

    (If Peter made it to Rome, shouldn't there be some record of it? Peter, himself says he wrote from Babylon [1 Peter 5:13], which was in the opposite direction.

    I'm sure you're aware of the argument that "Babylon" was a codeword for "Rome." Seeing as how Rome was still pagan and the Ceasar saw himself as a god, bringing the God of Christianity into their city was a touchy thing, and Christians were persecuted for it. I'm quite certain you will dismiss the "codeword" argument for it does not fit your paradigm, nonetheless, the argument IS valid, whether you accept it or not.

    On the other hand, To refute that error, I need only contend Paul, or anyone else was there first. The Bible shows Paul made it there. Steve has shown the role of other early Christian's in Rome. Peter remains absent in all of this.

    Scripture says St. Paul made it there, it doesn't say he was there first. Steve has only shown that there were other Christians operating little "missions" out of their homes.

    I don't need to show Paul made it there before Peter, in the absence of evidence Peter made it there at all (remember, appealing to popular opinion doesn't count as evidence).

    I only said that ALL the ECFs who mention Peter's death say it was in Rome. You want DNA and/or something like photographic evidence - and I openly state, we have none of that. ALL I have said is the testimony of the Early Church Fathers (who mention it at all) is unanimous on this. You stand in opposition to their testimony. I understand why you do, but not how you can.

    Steve has frequently shown the poverty of Roman Catholic tradition. At this point, that is about all that's been presented to support a core Catholic belief.

    For the sake of argument, let's say St. Peter wasn't "the first bishop at Rome," (I'm not saying this), that doesn't change the FACT that HIS ROLE as SHEPHERD was given in primacy to HIM and BY JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF. The see he occupied and his successors who occupy it after him are endowed with a special vicarage unique to that see.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

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  21. CATHAPOL SAID:

    "I only said that ALL the ECFs who mention Peter's death say it was in Rome. You want DNA and/or something like photographic evidence - and I openly state, we have none of that."

    No. You indicated that it's possible to identify the "bones" of St. Peter. Okay, how do you propose to do that without a DNA test sample?

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  22. CATHAPOL SAID:

    "Steve has only shown that there were other Christians operating little 'missions' out of their homes."

    Which is what the church of Rome amounted to in NT times. That's it.

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  23. CathApol said...

    "The see he occupied and his successors who occupy it after him are endowed with a special vicarage unique to that see."

    Which begs the very question at issue.

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  24. CathApol said: "I see, so you cannot produce even ONE ECF who testifies to St. Peter dying elsewhere, so rather than concede THAT point, you try to hang my arguments on a technicality?"

    Ok, so at this point we have no evidence St. Peter was in Rome (popular opinion mistaking Simon Magnus for Peter notwithstanding). We also have no evidence St. Peter was in Madagascar.

    Lets say, for the sake of argument, I cannot prove St. Peter died elsewhere. You're arguing that means he must have died in Madagascar, or Rome (or some other place we have no evidence he reached).

    You're rejoinder is naturally going to exclude Madagascar, because you already presuppose Peter made it to Rome. Until you provide warrant for that presupposition however, it's unreasonable to prefer one location over another.

    CathApol said: "I'm sure you're aware of the argument that "Babylon" was a codeword for "Rome."

    Because you presuppose St. Peter made it to Rome, you conclude that when he says he was in Babylon he meant Rome.

    Let's look at this speculation logically.

    St. Peter makes a single unsubstantiated 'coded' reference to Rome in a single letter, presumably to hide the identify of His location, but provides no reason for speaking in code. Yet, Paul writes an entire book to, and about, the Romans, and he doesn't even bother to use the same code (not even once?). Why not?

    Why would Peter use a single coded reference in speaking of Rome, yet Paul made no effort to use the same code even once, in a whole book on Rome?

    Can you provide any evidence that warrants this speculation? Not only is the argument thus far, unsubstantiated, fallacious, exceedingly unlikely, but also unbelievable.

    On the other hand [Gal 2:7-8] says that Paul was the apostle to the uncircumcised, whereas Peter was the apostle to the circumcised.

    What does the Bible say about Babylon?

    [2 Kings 20:17-18] prophesies that the circumcised would be taken into captivity in Babylon

    [2 Kings 24:10-12] shows that the circumcised where taken to Babylon in fulfillment of this prophecy.

    [2 Kings 24:15-17] also shows the fulfillment of this prophecy.

    [2 Kings 25:6-8] also shows that the circumcised were taken en-mass to Babylon.

    Same with [2 Chron 33:11][2 Chron 36:6-7,18,20] etc. etc.


    Clearly there were uncircumcised in Rome, and equally clear, the place to find the circumcised was Babylon.

    So if you were St. Peter and appointed to minister to the circumcised, and the circumcised had been taken to Babylon, what's the likelihood you'd head to Rome, but pretend to be writing from Babylon?

    Respectfully CathApol, to support your unfounded presupposition, we simply need to accept too many unreasonable, and unBiblical things.

    Can I assume you believe if St. Peter made it to Rome, his bones must certainly still be there?

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  25. I am not alone, nor did I make up this information about Babylon being a code name for Rome for St. Peter:

    Likewise, Peter uses the term Babylon to refer symbolically to Rome in 1 Peter 5:13. He refers to the church in Rome as "she who is in Babylon." This verse makes it clear that Babylon was a code name for Rome among First Century Christians. http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_revelation13.php

    This Babylon the Great could be seen in John’s time as Rome or the Roman Empire, as a type. (The Christians who first read Revelation almost certainly understood it in that way.) http://www.gci.org/bible/rev/babylon

    http://focusonjerusalem.com/MysteryBabylonIdentified.htm

    http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a92.htm

    there is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome http://www.chick.com/information/religions/catholicism/sevenhills.asp

    It is easy to see why early Christians used “Babylon” as a code word or nickname for Rome, for there are many striking parallels between the twin cities of literal Babylon of ancient times and figurative “Babylon” or Rome. http://www.mystery-babylon.net/

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  26. No one said you made it up. And in the commentary by Jobes, which I referenced, she considers that interpretation. I also notice that you disregard her counterargument.

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