HOME  Why its a mistake to give the Catholic Church support via membership or donations

 

PETER Never Was Buried in Rome but in Jerusalem and so was not the first pope in Rome
 
MAIN POINTS

On the Vatican radio about Christmas 1950, Pope Pius XII declared that the remains of Peter and his tomb in Rome had been found.  Paul VI later made a statement saying the same thing.

What a coincidence that the tomb complete with grafitti supposedly speaking of Peter just happens to be below the Vatican high altar!  The Vatican was built on a pagan cemetery and when Old St Peter's basilica was being built many graves were disturbed.  So in this mess we are expected to believe Peter's tomb kept the same!

Early historian Eusebius claimed that Peter died under Nero and he was buried in Rome in a pagan cemetery but there is no reason to consider Eusebius to be telling the truth.  The place where “Peter” was found was a pagan cemetery and no man who attacked pagan religion would have been buried there and Peter being a Jew would not be going there anyway.  If he had been there there was good reason to spirit the body away.

And how many bodies did Peter have for there are plenty of bones etc that are allegedly his including a scull in St John Lateran.  The lack of concern for DNA testing speaks volumes about the Vatican's dishonesty. 

Bagatti found Christian ossuaries (coffins for holding the bones of the dead after they are left for a suitable time to decay) near the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem in a catacomb. Christian symbols were on them and even the name of Jesus. The name Sapphira which is only known to us from the New Testament was found.
 
An ossuary with an Aramaic inscription reads, Shimon bar Yonah - the name of Peter. His real name.
 
A monk called Paul Peterson testified that Bagatti told the Pope, Pius XII, who asked that the matter be kept quiet.
 
The ossuary proves Peter died in Jerusalem.
 
The evidence that he was buried in the Vatican is terrible.
 
A pagan shrine called an Aedicule was found. Bones thought to be Peter's were found there. But the bones were planted as they were not there when Padre Ferrua excavated from 1939 to 1951. They appeared as soon as the Padre confessed there was no sign of Peter's bones.
 
Margherita Gaurducci found an inscription saying Peter is within. It was not seen by the previous team so its authenticity is questionable. Plus she was hired by the Pope in his desperation to find evidence of Peter. She was under pressure to deliver.
 
A set of bones which again seem to have been planted for they were not found in Ferrua's archaeological effort were found to be the bones of a sixty to seventy year old man - possibly Peter. Their being overlooked was conveniently explained as being down to them having been taken away unknown to the team. The bones were not planted at the scene but in a box in a storeroom. There are no witnesses at all that they really came from the Peter is within site.

The authenticity of the photo of the remains has been questioned.  The bones were allegedly moved before it was taken.

A European Association for Biblical Studies conference took place in Rome 2001.  During it Jürgen Zangenberg noted: “Ever since the excavations under St Peter’s Cathedral started in the 1940s and culminated in the official announcement of Pope Pius XII in 1953 that the true remains of St Peter had been found, many scholars have remained skeptical about the significance of the discoveries...even the strongest proponents of the authenticity of the discovery cannot deny that little if anything about the earliest graves shows any clear Christian character. The first and second century CE graves very much resemble contemporaneous simple interments of common people from the neighbouring quarters of Rome..

Nobody in Rome gave a toss about the spot until 160 AD when a basic monument was erected - the Tropaion Gaii. Zangenberg says, "Peter’s original burial place was lost by the time the Tropaion was erected. The existence of the Tropaion did not result in the development of a Christian burial site, but was integrated into a middle-class non-Christian burial street.” Much much later “the site was firmly and finally taken over by Christians, thereby obliterating all earlier traces of burial activity apart from the immediate space around the Tropaion.”

By a process of elimination alone Peter ministered at Jerusalem and was buried there.  There is more than it to indicate that that is the truth.

 
“No one working from the first-century evidence alone can fail to be struck by the disparity between the unanimous teaching of the church, both East and West, and the lack of any ‘strictly historic proof’ that Peter was ever in Rome.”
—Markus Bockmuehl, “Peter's Death in Rome? Back to Front and Upside Down,”
with a reference to F.J. Foakes-Jackson, Peter: Prince of Apostles (1927)


“In the middle of the second century ce at the latest, . . . Christians identified a simple grave in the Vatican necropolis as the Apostle Peter’s burial place. This is all that can be said in a scientifically responsible way about the history of this tomb prior to 160 ce.”
—Peter Lampe, “Early Christians in the City of Rome,” in Christians as a Religious Minority in a Multicultural City

“Ever since the excavations under St Peter’s Cathedral started in the 1940s and culminated in the official announcement of Pope Pius XII in 1953 that the true remains of St Peter had been found, many scholars have remained skeptical about the significance of the discoveries.  Even the strongest proponents of the authenticity of the discovery cannot deny that little if anything about the earliest graves shows any clear Christian character. The first and second century CE graves very much resemble contemporaneous simple interments of common people from the neighbouring quarters of Rome.”- Jürgen Zangenberg, European Association for Biblical Studies, Rome, 2001

Scans from
Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit

Color Plate - Chi Rho inscription found in Site 79.

Page 7 - Fig. 3 Diagram of Catacomb - Site 79 contained Peter's ossuary [N. 19], site 70 contained Mary and Martha's ossuary [N. 27].

Page 83 - #11 text regarding Peter's inscription.

Page 86 - Fig. 22 Diagram of Peter's inscription (#1).

Table 3 - Photo Overview of site 79, Photo of Ossuary of Mary and Martha at site 70.

Table 4 - Ossuaries at site 79.  Photo 7 As discovered, Photo 8 After first row of ossuaries removed.

Table 29 / Photo 81 - Peter's inscription.

 

See also:

Jerusalem:
Jerusalem Burial Cave Reveals: Names, Testimonies of First Christians by Jean Gilman.
Dominus Flevit at ChristusRex.
A Typical Tomb Near Dominus Flevit at Holy Land Photos.
The Discovery of the Tombs of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus by Grant Jeffrey

Rome:
The Bones of St. Peter (in Rome)? at University College Dublin, Ireland.
Peter's Bones and Rome's Truth

Also of note:

According to the venerable Bede's (673-735 A.D.) Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, Book III, chapter XXIX, the bones (relics) of Peter and Paul were shipped by Vitalian, bishop of Rome, to Oswy, king of the Saxons in 665 A.D.  The librarian at Canterbury Cathedral has apparently confirmed that church inventories do record the arrival of the remains of Peter and Paul into the church's safekeeping, shortly after Pope Vitalian sent them to Britain. Unfortunately though, the remains were apparently lost, or record of their location was lost, probably in the aftermath of the Cromwellian Rebellion of the mid 17th century. (see this page).

 

 Richard J. Bauckham, “The Martyrdom of Peter in Early Christian Literature,” in Rise and Decline of the Roman World, vol. 2.26.1, edited by Wolfgang Haase and Hildegard Temporini (1992).

 Markus Bockmuehl, “Peter’s Death in Rome: Back to Front and Upside Down,” in Scottish Journal of Theology (2007).

 Oscar Cullmann, Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr (1953, 1962).

Michael D. Goulder, “Did Peter Ever Go to Rome?” in Scottish Journal of Theology (2004).

 Margherita Guarducci, The Tomb of St. Peter: The New Discoveries in the Sacred Grottoes of the Vatican (1960).

Edgar Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher, English translation edited by R. McL. Wilson (1965).

Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes (2000).

Carsten P. Thiede, Rekindling the Word: In Search of Gospel Truth (1995).

Jürgen Zangenberg and Michael Labahn, eds., Christians as a Religious Minority in a Multicultural City: Modes of Interaction and Identity Formation in Early Imperial Rome (2004).