The twelve apostles were not entirely obscure people.
As Jesus called them personally, he must have been acquainted with them in some way, even if we do not know exactly how in all cases. Like most human beings and this author personally , the twelve apostles were while carnal heavily focused on political positions, seeking to increase their status among the apostles. Furthermore, the Bible reflects that there were several divisions among the apostles. While, with certain exceptions, exact ranking is impossible, the twelve apostles were clearly ranked in sub-groups. We will discuss the three ranks among the apostles, as well as the inner 3.
However, first, before we go into that, we will discuss the political squabbles of the apostles, which is of great value to us today, as we resemble the pre-conversion apostles more often in issues of politics than the post-conversion apostles. I say this to our shame, both individually and collectively. The twelve disciples, during their period of learning at the foot of Jesus Christ, were constantly angling for position. While it may be unbelievable that a group of devoted, religious people would waste time they could be learning from God Himself in the flesh arguing about their ranking among the apostles, that is what they did.
From this vantage point, it is all too believable. In this section we will look at the ubiquity of the struggles for position between the twelve. Also, we will look at their attempts to use outside individuals to aid their cause. Finally, we will look at what Christ had to say about position within the twelve, and by extension to the rest of us as well. The struggles for position among the apostles are common in the Gospels. For example, in Matthew , Mark , and Luke , the apostles asked Christ who was the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven, expecting Christ to say one of them. First they had disputed the matter among themselves, probably very heatedly.
Not learning from that gentle rebuff, the disciples tried again. At the last supper in Luke , on the night Jesus was taken for crucifixion, the twelve argued about which of them was the greatest. This must have greatly distressed Jesus Christ, and his reply was a pointed one to us today, as well as to the apostles.
The disciples in Luke even forbade others to preach about Christ because it encroached on their territory, which Jesus Christ rebuked them for doing. It is a shame that the twelve were unable to focus on the heavenly and were instead focused on earthly position. It is likewise a shame when that happens to us, since we should know better. The disciples even occasionally used outside sources to influence Jesus Christ to consider them as greater than the other apostles. One particularly devious attempt is worthy of a close look. This, quite naturally, infuriated the other disciples, probably because they did not think of the idea first.
Of course, when Jesus corrected the apostles he corrected them all. One form is his telling them who they should model themselves after—humble and teachable little children. That must have been particularly stinging. A second way Jesus dealt with the squabbles about preeminence was to focus on the duties of service that leaders had rather than their prerogatives of office.
The Second Greatest Miracle in the Bible
This is too easily neglected today. The apostles themselves were linked in three groups in the various accounts they are listed. In the four listings of the apostles, the same four apostles appear in each of the three groups. This is noteworthy, and though the Bible does not say it explicitly, it appears that this marks a noted ranking within the apostles. It would be interesting to do a statistical analysis to see how often the disciples other than Judas from the last ranking are mentioned by name in the Bible. I would suspect that it is not often, but such research could wait until the future along with many other such interesting musings.
Following is a chart that shows the listing of the apostles in their groupings before we briefly discuss each grouping:. Determining the ranking of these disciples is not an unambiguous task. Three of the disciples were part of the select grouping to be discussed shortly , and hence Simon Peter, John, and James form the undisputed top 3.
Judging from a point system, it is clear that Peter was the chief of the twelve. A cursory look at the gospels will demonstrate his leadership ambitions. He is constantly striving to the top of the pack. James appears to be second, due to his prominence in the early church he is mentioned with Peter as a major leader of the Church in its early times.
John, the longest living apostle, appears to be the third ranking apostle, though Jesus seems to have loved him a great deal due to his mild personality but see Luke for evidence of his fiery temper. Andrew, a very attentive apostle, ranks fourth, since he was not invited to any of the special events that the other three were. However, he must be considered an important apostle due to his role in bringing the Gospel to others. The second group of apostles is made up of those apostles who were occasionally vital, but who were not as important as the first grouping.
As Philip leads all four lists, he appears to have the fifth rank among apostles, and is often grouped with Bartholomew. Bartholomew or Nathanael is second in three lists and third in one, and so therefore he would appear to be sixth among disciples. Thomas appears to have a slight edge over Matthew for the seventh spot, which would make Matthew barely the eight apostle. Considering the importance of these apostles, one of whom wrote a Gospel, these were still very important apostles, even if not as notable as the first four. The third group of apostles, with one dark exception, is rather obscure.
As James of Alphaeus leads all of the lists, he would appear to be the ninth ranking apostle. Thaddeus or Judas of James and Simon the Zealot , are both second and third on two lists. Since Luke records the same order on both of his lists, we will give the tiebreaker to Thaddaeus for the tenth position, and place Simon the Zealot in the eleventh position. There is, however, no dispute as to the twelfth position, which falls to Judas Iscariot. After his betrayal of Jesus and his suicide, he was replaced by Matthias, who will be discussed later as a replacement apostle.
Among the apostles of the third rank only Judas is prominent, and he is proof that not all fame is good. While it is impossible at this long remove, given the evidence in the Gospels, to determine the cliques within the twelve, there is one special grouping that Jesus Christ recognized as elite within the twelve, and that went with him on special missions.
First, we will look at the special treatment of these three disciples Peter, James, and John and then we will look at the likely results this treatment had on the rest of the twelve concerning the political rivalries among them. Whenever Jesus needed a smaller group to go along with him some place, it was these three that went.
It is unclear why at this early moment in His ministry that only those three were permitted, but it is likely that already they had shown leadership qualities. The next incident where these three apostles are separated from the pack is during the transfirguration described in Matthew , Mark , Luke , and 2 Peter Here Peter, James, and John were given a special vision, presumably a prophetic one, showing Elijah and Moses resurrected. Finally, the three were present at the dramatic and disheartening prayer in the Gethsemane when Jesus was taken prisoner by an armed guard recorded in Matthew , Mark , Luke , and John Apparently John was less sleepy than the other two because his memory of the prayer was better than those of other witnesses.
Therefore, it appears obvious that Jesus marked these three apostles as separate and special even among the twelve. This undoubtedly had major results among the twelve. Given the intense competition between the twelve for leadership roles and the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, it appears likely that the choosing of Peter, James, and John as special had serious consequences.
First, it appears that there were at least three groups among the disciples. There were those who supported Peter, those who supported James and John probably made up of James and John , and those who, like Judas, rankled under the favoritism. As Judas was the treasurer of the group, it seems likely that he considered himself a person of great ability and had financial acumen especially since he was chosen as the treasurer over a known, and presumably capable, tax collector, Matthew.
It also is quite possible that James and John, recognized leaders though marginalized in the twelve, used their mother to gain additional leverage given their unpopularity among the other apostles see Matthew , Mark All of this is conjecture, though given the account in the Gospels, at least it is plausible conjecture. After the suicide of Judas, the remaining eleven apostles were faced with the need to replace him.
Among the other followers of Jesus presumably among the personal witnesses of his resurrection, the at the first Pentecost, and the seventy who went out preaching the Gospel , two were considered as replacements for Judas. One was Matthias, and the other was Barsabas Justus. Besides their mention in the first chapter of Acts, nothing else is known of them. However, the two must have been disciples from the beginning, given the qualifications of a disciple to be shown later. Between these two, Matthias was chosen, and so he took the place of Judas Iscariot as an apostle.
The training of the apostles seems to have been a rather intensive, involving at least four different components. Elements of this training were given to others besides the twelve, since obviously some were considered qualified to step into the place of Judas Iscariot. Also, there was private instruction, either from parables or in a question and answer format.
There must have been some kind of textual study as well, or at least the review of different scriptures from the law and prophets, though the apostles seem somewhat ignorant of the traditions of the rabbis, probably to their credit. They were people of the land, after all. Fourth, there was the ability to learn from seeing the example of Jesus Christ, which is a great gift that we can gain mainly from reading and seeking to follow what the Bible instructs through His grace and the agency of His Holy Spirit.
Finally, there was the opportunity to learn through practice, and through instructing others. We will now look at how the apostles were able to learn from these methods and how others besides the twelve would have learned as well through these means in more limited ways. Included among this is the Sermon on the Mount, and the slightly different Sermon on the Plain, which may represent two deliveries of the same sort of sermon in two different locations to two different audiences. There also would have been other discourses, such as in the synagogues and to the crowds of people who flocked after Jesus Christ.
Much of what was taught in these public discourses would have been relatively obscure, but a great deal of it would have been readily accessible to the crowds that followed Him, understanding that He spoke a message of righteousness and social justice that the elite preachers of the Pharisees and the Saduccees did not. It was the public instruction that drew so many people to follow Christ in the beginning. The private instruction was given mainly, though not exclusively, to the twelve.
It included the parables, and explanation of the parables, given to the apostles, as well as their own private questions to Him. It also included the semi-public questioning by the scribes and Pharisees who sought to entrap Jesus. Finally, such private instruction also included the teaching of those secret disciples of Jesus, like Nicodemas, who came unannounced to learn from Jesus even as they publicly maintained a neutral stance towards Him.
Through this private discussion and teaching disciples came to a greater understanding of the Gospel message and had their own personal questions answered. Obviously, personal conversation with Jesus Christ was a treasure to be prized. While the Bible does not explicitly show Jesus Christ opening up the scriptures then in scroll form and reviewing them with the disciples, it seems likely that the disciples had some form of scriptural instruction.
This can be demonstrated in part by the various books of the NT. For example, Matthew extensively quotes OT prophecies in his gospel, meaning he probably learned them from Christ Himself. The Bible tells of Jesus Christ performing exegesis on a passage of Isaiah concerning the jubilee year, showing His knowledge of scripture. It only makes sense for Christ to have passed on that knowledge to the apostles. The apostles also got to learn from following the personal example of Jesus Christ.
The apostles, and some of the other believers, followed Jesus Christ for three and a half years. Some of them probably knew him and watched His example for even longer. Since Christ was a perfect human being being in the nature of God as well , the apostles had the perfect example to follow, never having to do as Jesus said but did not do.
This was another priceless gift that many of us wish we could have. The apostles would have seen Jesus deal with adversity, praise, hunger, exhaustion, stress, and so on. This example would be important in allowing the apostles to show a good example themselves in their lives. Finally, the apostles learned through teaching.
This is an often underrated form of instruction, but is rather important. For example, a recent Norweigian-US study found that firstborns were more intelligent than younger children in part because they learned through instructing their younger siblings . In like manner, the apostles learned through instructing the people, performing low level healings, and so forth. Even before the giving of the Holy Spirit the apostles were well-trained leaders.
The seventy, who were also sent out to instruct and explore the depth of true religion in the Holy Land, must also have received some form of leadership training as well as their practice. And the need for deacons as well as the practice of fairly free speaking and of course the ability all have to set good examples gave many people the ability to learn from practice, and that is a great way to learn for us all, even today.
In this section we will look at the role and authority of the apostles. The ever-increasing number of the faithful caused the Jewish supreme council to adopt new measures against the Apostles , but "Peter and the Apostles " answer that they "ought to obey God rather than men" Acts sqq. Not only in Jerusalem itself did Peter labour in fulfilling the mission entrusted to him by his Master.
He also retained connection with the other Christian communities in Palestine, and preached the Gospel both there and in the lands situated farther north. When Philip the Deacon had won a large number of believers in Samaria , Peter and John were deputed to proceed thither from Jerusalem to organize the community and to invoke the Holy Ghost to descend upon the faithful. Peter appears a second time as judge, in the case of the magician Simon , who had wished to purchase from the Apostles the power that he also could invoke the Holy Ghost Acts On their way back to Jerusalem, the two Apostles preached the joyous tidings of the Kingdom of God.
Subsequently, after Paul's departure from Jerusalem and conversion before Damascus , the Christian communities in Palestine were left at peace by the Jewish council. Peter now undertook an extensive missionary tour, which brought him to the maritime cities, Lydda , Joppe , and Caesarea. In Lydda he cured the palsied Eneas, in Joppe he raised Tabitha Dorcas from the dead; and at Caesarea , instructed by a vision which he had in Joppe , he baptized and received into the Church the first non-Jewish Christians , the centurion Cornelius and his kinsmen Acts On Peter's return to Jerusalem a little later, the strict Jewish Christians , who regarded the complete observance of the Jewish law as binding on all, asked him why he had entered and eaten in the house of the uncircumcised.
Peter tells of his vision and defends his action, which was ratified by the Apostles and the faithful in Jerusalem Acts A confirmation of the position accorded to Peter by Luke , in the Acts , is afforded by the testimony of St. Paul Galatians After his conversion and three years' residence in Arabia , Paul came to Jerusalem "to see Peter". Here the Apostle of the Gentiles clearly designates Peter as the authorized head of the Apostles and of the early Christian Church. Peter's long residence in Jerusalem and Palestine soon came to an end.
Herod Agrippa I began A. Peter, however, was freed in a miraculous manner, and, proceeding to the house of the mother of John Mark , where many of the faithful were assembled for prayer , informed them of his liberation from the hands of Herod , commissioned them to communicate the fact to James and the brethren, and then left Jerusalem to go to "another place" Acts Concerning St. Peter's subsequent activity we receive no further connected information from the extant sources, although we possess short notices of certain individual episodes of his later life.
Missionary journeys in the East; Council of the Apostles St. Luke does not tell us whither Peter went after his liberation from the prison in Jerusalem. From incidental statements we know that he subsequently made extensive missionary tours in the East, although we are given no clue to the chronology of his journeys.
It is certain that he remained for a time at Antioch ; he may even have returned thither several times. The Christian community of Antioch was founded by Christianized Jews who had been driven from Jerusalem by the persecution Acts sqq. Peter's residence among them is proved by the episode concerning the observance of the Jewish ceremonial law even by Christianized pagans , related by St.
Paul the false apostle
Paul's Apostolate to the Gentiles , while they themselves intended to labour principally among the Jews. While Paul was dwelling in Antioch the date cannot be accurately determined , St. Peter came thither and mingled freely with the non-Jewish Christians of the community, frequenting their houses and sharing their meals. But when the Christianized Jews arrived in Jerusalem , Peter, fearing lest these rigid observers of the Jewish ceremonial law should be scandalized thereat, and his influence with the Jewish Christians be imperiled, avoided thenceforth eating with the uncircumcised.
His conduct made a great impression on the other Jewish Christians at Antioch , so that even Barnabas, St. Paul's companion, now avoided eating with the Christianized pagans. As this action was entirely opposed to the principles and practice of Paul , and might lead to confusion among the converted pagans , this Apostle addressed a public reproach to St.
Peter, because his conduct seemed to indicate a wish to compel the pagan converts to become Jews and accept circumcision and the Jewish law. The whole incident is another proof of the authoritative position of St. Peter in the early Church , since his example and conduct was regarded as decisive. But Paul , who rightly saw the inconsistency in the conduct of Peter and the Jewish Christians , did not hesitate to defend the immunity of converted pagans from the Jewish Law.
Concerning Peter's subsequent attitude on this question St. Paul gives us no explicit information. But it is highly probable that Peter ratified the contention of the Apostle of the Gentiles , and thenceforth conducted himself towards the Christianized pagans as at first. As the principal opponents of his views in this connexion, Paul names and combats in all his writings only the extreme Jewish Christians coming "from James" i.
While the date of this occurrence, whether before or after the Council of the Apostles, cannot be determined, it probably took place after the council see below. The later tradition , which existed as early as the end of the second century Origen , "Hom. This latter view would best explain the tradition referring the foundation of the Church of Antioch to St. It is also probable that Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of Asia Minor for it can scarcely be supposed that the entire period between his liberation from prison and the Council of the Apostles was spent uninterruptedly in one city, whether Antioch, Rome , or elsewhere.
And, since he subsequently addressed the first of his Epistles to the faithful in the Provinces of Pontus , Galatia, Cappadocia, and Asia , one may reasonably assume that he had laboured personally at least in certain cities of these provinces, devoting himself chiefly to the Diaspora. The Epistle, however, is of a general character, and gives little indication of personal relations with the persons to whom it is addressed. Even though the tradition should receive no support from the existence of the "party of Cephas", which Paul mentions among the other divisions of the Church of Corinth 1 Corinthians ; , still Peter's sojourn in Corinth even in connection with the planting and government of the Church by Paul is not impossible.
That St. Peter undertook various Apostolic journeys doubtless about this time, especially when he was no longer permanently residing in Jerusalem is clearly established by the general remark of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians , concerning the "rest of the apostles , and the brethren [cousins] of the Lord , and Cephas", who were travelling around in the exercise of their Apostleship.
Peter returned occasionally to the original Christian Church of Jerusalem , the guidance of which was entrusted to St.
James , the relative of Jesus , after the departure of the Prince of the Apostles A. The last mention of St. Peter in the Acts ; cf. Galatians occurs in the report of the Council of the Apostles on the occasion of such a passing visit. In addition to James, Peter and John were then about A. In the discussion and decision of this important question, Peter naturally exercised a decisive influence. When a great divergence of views had manifested itself in the assembly, Peter spoke the deciding word.
Long before, in accordance with God's testimony, he had announced the Gospels to the heathen conversion of Cornelius and his household ; why, therefore, attempt to place the Jewish yoke on the necks of converted pagans? After Paul and Barnabas had related how God had wrought among the Gentiles by them, James, the chief representative of the Jewish Christians , adopted Peter's view and in agreement therewith made proposals which were expressed in an encyclical to the converted pagans.
The occurrences in Caesarea and Antioch and the debate at the Council of Jerusalem show clearly Peter's attitude towards the converts from paganism. Like the other eleven original Apostles , he regarded himself as called to preach the Faith in Jesus first among the Jews Acts , so that the chosen people of God might share in the salvation in Christ , promised to them primarily and issuing from their midst.
Some Character Traits of Paul, the Apostle
The vision at Joppe and the effusion of the Holy Ghost over the converted pagan Cornelius and his kinsmen determined Peter to admit these forthwith into the community of the faithful , without imposing on them the Jewish Law. During his Apostolic journeys outside Palestine, he recognized in practice the equality of Gentile and Jewish converts , as his original conduct at Antioch proves.
His aloofness from the Gentile converts , out of consideration for the Jewish Christians from Jerusalem , was by no means an official recognition of the views of the extreme Judaizers , who were so opposed to St. This is established clearly and incontestably by his attitude at the Council of Jerusalem. Between Peter and Paul there was no dogmatic difference in their conception of salvation for Jewish and Gentile Christians.
The recognition of Paul as the Apostle of the Gentiles Galatians was entirely sincere, and excludes all question of a fundamental divergence of views. Peter and the other Apostles recognized the converts from paganism as Christian brothers on an equal footing; Jewish and Gentile Christians formed a single Kingdom of Christ. If therefore Peter devoted the preponderating portion of his Apostolic activity to the Jews , this arose chiefly from practical considerations, and from the position of Israel as the Chosen People. Baur's hypothesis of opposing currents of "Petrinism" and "Paulinism" in the early Church is absolutely untenable, and is today entirely rejected by Protestants.
Activity and death in Rome; burial place It is an indisputably established historical fact that St. Peter laboured in Rome during the last portion of his life, and there ended his earthly course by martyrdom.
- Great Commission - Wikipedia!
- Twelve Apostles.
- Mary of Magdala: the Great Apostle | FutureChurch.
As to the duration of his Apostolic activity in the Roman capital , the continuity or otherwise of his residence there, the details and success of his labours, and the chronology of his arrival and death, all these questions are uncertain, and can be solved only on hypotheses more or less well-founded. The essential fact is that Peter died at Rome : this constitutes the historical foundation of the claim of the Bishops of Rome to the Apostolic Primacy of Peter. Peter's residence and death in Rome are established beyond contention as historical facts by a series of distinct testimonies extending from the end of the first to the end of the second centuries, and issuing from several lands.
That the manner, and therefore the place of his death, must have been known in widely extended Christian circles at the end of the first century is clear from the remark introduced into the Gospel of St. John concerning Christ's prophecy that Peter was bound to Him and would be led whither he would not — "And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God " John , see above. Such a remark presupposes in the readers of the Fourth Gospel a knowledge of the death of Peter.
Peter's First Epistle was written almost undoubtedly from Rome , since the salutation at the end reads: "The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark " Babylon must here be identified with the Roman capital ; since Babylon on the Euphrates , which lay in ruins, or New Babylon Seleucia on the Tigris, or the Egyptian Babylon near Memphis , or Jerusalem cannot be meant, the reference must be to Rome , the only city which is called Babylon elsewhere in ancient Christian literature Revelation ; ; "Oracula Sibyl.
Geffcken, Leipzig , , From Bishop Papias of Hierapolis and Clement of Alexandria , who both appeal to the testimony of the old presbyters i. In connection with this information concerning the Gospel of St. Mark , Eusebius , relying perhaps on an earlier source, says that Peter described Rome figuratively as Babylon in his First Epistle. Another testimony concerning the martyrdom of Peter and Paul is supplied by Clement of Rome in his Epistle to the Corinthians written about A. Let us place before our eyes the good Apostles — St. Peter, who in consequence of unjust zeal , suffered not one or two, but numerous miseries, and, having thus given testimony martyresas , has entered the merited place of glory ".
He then mentions Paul and a number of elect , who were assembled with the others and suffered martyrdom "among us" en hemin , i. He is speaking undoubtedly, as the whole passage proves , of the Neronian persecution , and thus refers the martyrdom of Peter and Paul to that epoch. In his letter written at the beginning of the second century before , while being brought to Rome for martyrdom , the venerable Bishop Ignatius of Antioch endeavours by every means to restrain the Roman Christians from striving for his pardon, remarking: "I issue you no commands, like Peter and Paul : they were Apostles , while I am but a captive" Epistle to the Romans 4.
The meaning of this remark must be that the two Apostles laboured personally in Rome , and with Apostolic authority preached the Gospel there. Bishop Dionysius of Corinth, in his letter to the Roman Church in the time of Pope Soter , says: "You have therefore by your urgent exhortation bound close together the sowing of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both planted the seed of the Gospel also in Corinth , and together instructed us, just as they likewise taught in the same place in Italy and at the same time suffered martyrdom " in Eusebius, Church History II.
John , passed a considerable time in Rome shortly after the middle of the second century, and then proceeded to Lyons , where he became bishop in ; he described the Roman Church as the most prominent and chief preserver of the Apostolic tradition , as "the greatest and most ancient church , known by all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles , Peter and Paul " Against Heresies 3. He thus makes use of the universally known and recognized fact of the Apostolic activity of Peter and Paul in Rome , to find therein a proof from tradition against the heretics.
Like Irenaeus , Tertullian appeals, in his writings against heretics , to the proof afforded by the Apostolic labours of Peter and Paul in Rome of the truth of ecclesiastical tradition. How fortunate is this Church for which the Apostles have poured out their whole teaching with their blood, where Peter has emulated the Passion of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John ".
In Scorpiace 15 , he also speaks of Peter's crucifixion. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross".
As an illustration that it was immaterial with what water baptism is administered, he states in his book On Baptism 5 that there is "no difference between that with which John baptized in the Jordan and that with which Peter baptized in the Tiber"; and against Marcion he appeals to the testimony of the Roman Christians , "to whom Peter and Paul have bequeathed the Gospel sealed with their blood" Against Marcion 4. If you care to go to the Vatican or to the road to Ostia , thou shalt find the trophies of those who have founded this Church ".
By the trophies tropaia Eusebius understands the graves of the Apostles , but his view is opposed by modern investigators who believe that the place of execution is meant. For our purpose it is immaterial which opinion is correct, as the testimony retains its full value in either case. At any rate the place of execution and burial of both were close together; St. Peter, who was executed on the Vatican , received also his burial there. Eusebius also refers to "the inscription of the names of Peter and Paul , which have been preserved to the present day on the burial-places there" i.
There thus existed in Rome an ancient epigraphic memorial commemorating the death of the Apostles. The obscure notice in the Muratorian Fragment "Lucas optime theofile conprindit quia sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur sicuti et semote passionem petri evidenter declarat", ed. The apocryphal Acts of St. Peter and the Acts of Sts. Peter and Paul likewise belong to the series of testimonies of the death of the two Apostles in Rome. In opposition to this distinct and unanimous testimony of early Christendom , some few Protestant historians have attempted in recent times to set aside the residence and death of Peter at Rome as legendary.
These attempts have resulted in complete failure. It was asserted that the tradition concerning Peter's residence in Rome first originated in Ebionite circles, and formed part of the Legend of Simon the Magician , in which Paul is opposed by Peter as a false Apostle under Simon ; just as this fight was transplanted to Rome , so also sprang up at an early date the legend of Peter's activity in that capital thus in Baur, "Paulus", 2nd ed.
But this hypothesis is proved fundamentally untenable by the whole character and purely local importance of Ebionitism , and is directly refuted by the above genuine and entirely independent testimonies, which are at least as ancient. It has moreover been now entirely abandoned by serious Protestant historians cf. Literatur", II, i, , n. A more recent attempt was made by Erbes Zeitschr.
Peter was martyred at Jerusalem. He appeals to the apocryphal Acts of St. Peter, in which two Romans, Albinus and Agrippa, are mentioned as persecutors of the Apostles. These he identifies with the Albinus, Procurator of Judaea , and successor of Festus and Agrippa II , Prince of Galilee , and thence conciudes that Peter was condemned to death and sacrificed by this procurator at Jerusalem.
The untenableness of this hypothesis becomes immediately apparent from the mere fact that our earliest definite testimony concerning Peter's death in Rome far antedates the apocryphal Acts; besides, never throughout the whole range of Christian antiquity has any city other than Rome been designated the place of martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul. Although the fact of St. Peter's activity and death in Rome is so clearly established, we possess no precise information regarding the details of his Roman sojourn.
The narratives contained in the apocryphal literature of the second century concerning the supposed strife between Peter and Simon Magus belong to the domain of legend. From the already mentioned statements regarding the origin of the Gospel of St. Mark we may conclude that Peter laboured for a long period in Rome. This conclusion is confirmed by the unanimous voice of tradition which, as early as the second half of the second century, designates the Prince of the Apostles the founder of the Roman Church.
It is widely held that Peter paid a first visit to Rome after he had been miraculously liberated from the prison in Jerusalem ; that, by "another place", Luke meant Rome , but omitted the name for special reasons. It is not impossible that Peter made a missionary journey to Rome about this time after 42 A. At any rate, we cannot appeal in support of this theory to the chronological notices in Eusebius and Jerome , since, although these notices extend back to the chronicles of the third century, they are not old traditions , but the result of calculations on the basis of episcopal lists.
Into the Roman list of bishops dating from the second century, there was introduced in the third century as we learn from Eusebius and the "Chronograph of " the notice of a twenty-five years' pontificate for St. Peter, but we are unable to trace its origin. This entry consequently affords no ground for the hypothesis of a first visit by St. Peter to Rome after his liberation from prison about We can therefore admit only the possibility of such an early visit to the capital. The task of determining the year of St. Peter's death is attended with similar difficulties.
In the fourth century, and even in the chronicles of the third, we find two different entries. In the "Chronicle" of Eusebius the thirteenth or fourteenth year of Nero is given as that of the death of Peter and Paul ; this date , accepted by Jerome , is that generally held.
The year 67 is also supported by the statement, also accepted by Eusebius and Jerome , that Peter came to Rome under the Emperor Claudius according to Jerome , in 42 , and by the above-mentioned tradition of the twenty-five years' episcopate of Peter cf. Bartolini, "Sopra l'anno 67 se fosse quello del martirio dei gloriosi Apostoli", Rome, A different statement is furnished by the "Chronograph of " ed.
Duchesne, "Liber Pontificalis" , I, 1 sqq. This refers St. Peter's arrival in Rome to the year 30, and his death and that of St. Paul to Duchesne has shown that the dates in the "Chronograph" were inserted in a list of the popes which contains only their names and the duration of their pontificates, and then, on the chronological supposition that the year of Christ's death was 29, the year 30 was inserted as the beginning of Peter's pontificate, and his death referred to 55, on the basis of the twenty-five years' pontificate op.
This date has however been recently defended by Kellner "Jesus von Nazareth u. Bearbeitung u. Legende in der Chronologie des apostol. Zeitalters", Bonn, Other historians have accepted the year 65 e. Foggini, "De romani b. Petri itinere et episcopatu", Florence, ; also Tillemont. Harnack endeavoured to establish the year 64 i. II, "Die Chronologie", I, sqq. This date , which had been already supported by Cave, du Pin, and Wieseler, has been accepted by Duchesne Hist. Erbes refers St. Peter's death to 22 Feb. Paul's to 64 "Texte u.
Paulus u. The date of Peter's death is thus not yet decided; the period between July, 64 outbreak of the Neronian persecution , and the beginning of 68 on 9 July Nero fled from Rome and committed suicide must be left open for the date of his death. The day of his martyrdom is also unknown; 29 June, the accepted day of his feast since the fourth century, cannot be proved to be the day of his death see below. Concerning the manner of Peter's death, we possess a tradition — attested to by Tertullian at the end of the second century see above and by Origen in Eusebius, Church History II. Origen says: "Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downwards, as he himself had desired to suffer".
As the place of execution may be accepted with great probability the Neronian Gardens on the Vatican , since there, according to Tacitus, were enacted in general the gruesome scenes of the Neronian persecution ; and in this district, in the vicinity of the Via Cornelia and at the foot of the Vatican Hills, the Prince of the Apostles found his burial place. Of this grave since the word tropaion was, as already remarked, rightly understood of the tomb Caius already speaks in the third century. For a time the remains of Peter lay with those of Paul in a vault on the Appian Way at the place ad Catacumbas , where the Church of St.
Sebastian which on its erection in the fourth century was dedicated to the two Apostles now stands. The remains had probably been brought thither at the beginning of the Valerian persecution in , to protect them from the threatened desecration when the Christian burial-places were confiscated. They were later restored to their former resting-place, and Constantine the Great had a magnificent basilica erected over the grave of St.
Peter at the foot of the Vatican Hill. This basilica was replaced by the present St. Peter's in the sixteenth century. The vault with the altar built above it confessio has been since the fourth century the most highly venerated martyr's shrine in the West. In the substructure of the altar , over the vault which contained the sarcophagus with the remains of St.