Peter in Rome?

    Meanwhile, the church at Rome continued to grow in power, influence and number.  Early in the second century A.D., they began to dictate policy and doctrine to all other congregations, asserting their Bishopric as "in authority", since (they claimed) it's lineage was in direct succession from the apostle Peter, of whom Jesus said: "upon this little rock I will build my church".  Another popular belief is that Peter actually stayed in Rome for twenty five years.  

    However neither of these claims are borne out historically -   
    As Robert M. Grant in his book "Second-Century Christianity: a collection of fragments" makes clear -   

    "...while Clement [the 3rd Bishop of Rome] regards the Roman church as apostolic, it is not clear that he bases it's succession on Peter.  To be sure he mentions Paul and Peter as the great modern examples of endurance; but he refers only to Paul as a martyr or as having been to Rome." (page 12) 
    In "The Early Church", by Henry Chadwick, Chadwick who seems to accept the popular belief that Peter was in Rome at some point in time, even concedes that -   
    "...We have no information whatever about his [Peter's] activity or the length of his stay there.  That he was in Rome for twenty five years is third century legend."   (page 18) 
    Another interesting take on this, is that Paul's epistle to the Romans was written during the years when Peter was supposed to be residing in Rome.  Yet, in his salutation to the bretheren there, he greets Prisca, Aquila, Mary, Ampilatus, Urbanis, Stachys, Apelles and many more - but nowhere does he mention Peter. 

    The only way this could be so - is if Peter wasn't there.

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The Great Falling Away by Joseph Santora --- ©1998-2002 True Christian Ministries