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Posted on 10/28/2006 7:13:58 AM PDT by Petrosius

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1 posted on 10/28/2006 7:14:01 AM PDT by Petrosius
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To: Salvation; Mrs. Don-o; BurrOh; HarleyD; Gamecock; doc1019; Mad Dawg; Iscool

Say what you will about what authority St. Peter exercised at Rome, to say that he was never there and was not martyred and buried there is just pure foolishness.

2 posted on 10/28/2006 7:22:48 AM PDT by Petrosius
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To: Petrosius
If it matters ... the Bible states Peter was in Rome. There should be NO surprise that archaeological evidence validates this.
3 posted on 10/28/2006 7:24:54 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: Petrosius
"Since the reformation on of the oldest anti-Catholic "arguments" used by the Protestants in a attempt to discredit the position and authority of the Pope is the clame "Peter was never in Rome". Thanks to the extensive writings of the early church fathers and a exciting archeological discovery made in the last century ."

This is evily FALSE. First off, Protestants are Sola Scriptura - BIBLE ONLY - something Catholics DO NOT BELIEVE IN - and the Bible is CLEAR that Peter spent time in Rome. Secondly your link "on extensive writing" doesn't work because there are NO LEGITIMATE writing by Protestants stating such. There are NO extensive writing by Protestants that call God a liar by stating Peter was not in Rome. Thirdly, the Reformation was ALL ABOUT GETTING BACK the CATHOLIC chruch back to BIBLICAL TEACHINGS which would include things as PETER BEING IN ROME.

Now, the Catholic church is trying to have it both ways. They believe they've discovered "evidence" that Peter was in Rome, want to call Reformer liars even thought the REFORMERS wanted the CATHOLIC church to adhere to Biblical teachings which wasn't and still doesn't the Catholic church doesn't adhere to or teach this day - just a few things here and there that fits in to their ancient heresies ... .

4 posted on 10/28/2006 7:36:31 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: nmh

I have to disagree with what you are writing. There are many Protestants that claim there is no evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. This could mean simply that he could have been, but there's nothing conclusive to say so. A sort of "agnostic" thought on the topic. However, many will cite this lack of evidence to knock down the Catholic belief about the Papacy and Papal primacy.

5 posted on 10/28/2006 7:44:00 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Petrosius

The person who writes this is obviously a devout Catholic and therefore prejudiced. I would look for proof of Peter’s footsteps in Rome from a source without such a strong church oriented reason to put Peter in Rome.

6 posted on 10/28/2006 8:18:50 AM PDT by doc1019
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To: Petrosius

7 posted on 10/28/2006 8:19:20 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Petrosius
The writer presents an unsupported "straw man" argument to the effect that Protestants claim St. Peter was never in Rome.

Inasmuch as the overwhelming majority of real Protestants are pretty sure St. Peter is both a saint and was in Rome, I really don't where this guy finds his argument ~ maybe a rumor at the monestary or something?

Very strange way to begin a discussion of the archaeological authenticity of Peter's presence in Rome. It could be he's simply trying to distract us from some of the weaker threads of support.

8 posted on 10/28/2006 2:28:11 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Conservative til I die

Who you been talkin' to.

9 posted on 10/28/2006 2:29:41 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
I don't know what you mean by a "true" protestant but I have to say I have heard them making the argument that Peter was never in Rome. (and its not like I make it a point to get into theological arguments with many people)
10 posted on 10/28/2006 2:56:13 PM PDT by escapefromboston (manny ortez: mvp)
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To: muawiyah

Go read one of the two threads currently up today about this topic. Plenty of people questioning the idea that Peter was ever in Rome.

11 posted on 10/28/2006 3:16:32 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Conservative til I die

But are they "real Protestants"?

12 posted on 10/28/2006 3:20:12 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: nmh; muawiyah; doc1019; HarleyD; Uncle Chip; wmfights; Iscool
I started this thread to counter just such a claim that St. Peter never went to Rome made in an earlier thread: St. Peter and Rome. Here are some of those posts from that thread:
Historical fact that Peter ever went to Rome is missing. Show me any evidence that Peter was ever in Rome and I might reconsider my basic protestant argument. After many hundreds of years, Rome has yet to give any “proof” that Peter ever set foot in Rome.
--doc1019, post #5

Like most historians, I’m still waiting for proof that Peter ever ventured to Rome. Why would he, he had already shown that he was unworthy by denying Christ three times. And after denying Christ, we don’t hear about him much. So this has been , denier (sp) of Christ went on to Rome and became the first pope . Excuse me if I don’t buy into this whole thing.
--doc1019, post #5

Irenaeus tells us several things. First, Peter AND Paul established the Church of Rome. Second, when the Church of Rome was established they left it in the hands of Linus. Finally, they left Rome.
--HarleyD, post #27

Where is this "documentation from the earliest Christians" on this matter. Please post all that you have. Search the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and send them to me. We are doing a wonderful ecumenical treatise on the Evidence that Saint Peter was in Rome for that 25 year Bishopric as Saint Jerome pontificates and to date we have no evidence from Scripture or the "earliest Christians" or the Ante-Nicene Fathers, other than Jerome and Eusebius, of course, way off in the 4th century. But what were their sources????
They didn't pontificate on this matter without proof, did they? Or were their sources that thin over their heads there on Vatican hill or perhaps that ream of whole cloth down there in the basement that the magisterium have been using for years?
Please post all that you have from the Ante-Nicene Fathers that in the wildest imagination could be construed by the most rhetorical among us to possibly be some shred of evidence of that legendary Petrine Bishopric in Rome followed by upside down crucifixion under Nero. Just the words not the rhetoric.
--Uncle Chip, post #43

What proof is there that Peter was martyred upside down in Rome. We know Paul was because of the books he wrote.
--wmfights, post #59

This still does not answer my original question … were is there physical proof that Peter ever visited Rome?
--doc1019, post #61

Neither lived contemporaneous with Peter. Tertuillian AD 145-220, Ireneaus AD 120-202. So anything they have to report would be hearsay. They never claim to have actually seen Peter walking the streets of Rome.
--doc1019, post #62

This is the crux of the problem. St. Jerome lived from 347AD-420AD. How could he assert who was in Rome 300 years before? Did he have tangible proof?
--wmfights, post #64

If the 'pope' was in Rome, wouldn't the chief Jews already have heard of Peter, and been preached the Kingdom of God??? Of course they would... But the chiefs of the Jews knew nothing about the Kingdom of God other than the small talk and rumors they heard about another sect of religious nuts...And since the Jewish people were Peter's responsibility, that's a pretty good indication Peter was no where near the area...
--Iscool, post # 99

So if you think that some Protestants do not make this claim then your dispute is with those that do, not with me. Please be more retrospect before you charge someone with lying or creating a straw man.

13 posted on 10/28/2006 3:29:05 PM PDT by Petrosius
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To: Petrosius

Sounds like somebody is pulling your leg, or maybe we've finally identified the FR names of those strange people over at Westboro Baptist ~ they're not real Protestants either ~ not even Christian ~ just trash.

14 posted on 10/28/2006 3:34:57 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: nmh
If it matters ... the Bible states Peter was in Rome. There should be NO surprise that archaeological evidence validates this.

You're the last person I'd expect to post this, nmh! I about fell off my chair. :-)

But, I'm curious. What passage are you referring to? 1 Pt 5:13 greets the recipients in the name of "she who is at Babylon," the "she" probably being the church at "Babylon". Some people argue that this "Babylon" is the real Babylon, in Mesopotamia, but the historic Babylon had been abandoned about 2 centuries before. Besides, the Christians of Iraq have no corporate memory of St. Peter preaching to them; they consider their churches to have been founded by St. Thomas. So "Babylon" is probably a code word for somewhere else, perhaps Rome.

I'm unaware of any other Scripture passage placing St. Peter at Rome.

15 posted on 10/28/2006 3:36:35 PM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Petrosius
what you have there are people who don't accept assertions included in the Bible as having historic authenticity.

This puts them outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy, and unless you're "inside" the pale you can be neither Protestant nor Catholic.

Case closed.

16 posted on 10/28/2006 3:38:48 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
what you have there are people who don't accept assertions included in the Bible as having historic authenticity.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Every word in the Bible is true, but there are no words that state that Peter was ever in Rome.

The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy is written by Paul from Rome - most likely just prior to his death at the hands of Nero. At the close of this letter, in Chapter 4, Paul speaks of those that left him, and those that are with him ("...only Luke is with me."). Nary a word about Peter. I infer that Peter was not in Rome at this time - and if Peter was ministering to the Jewish-Christian community in Babylon, that would fit the greeting found in the 2nd Letter of Peter.
Now its certainly possible that Peter went to Rome after Paul's death -- but scriptures are silent on that point.

The net of all this? It doesn't matter to me whether or not Peter ever made it to Rome. He was an Apostle of the Lord and we are blessed to be built upon the foundation that they provided, purchased by the blood of Christ, and made alive by the Spirit

Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

17 posted on 10/28/2006 3:59:13 PM PDT by El Cid
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To: Petrosius

I'm a Protestant, and I have no problem whatsoever to believe that St. Peter was (or is) in Rome.

18 posted on 10/28/2006 4:03:30 PM PDT by paudio (Universal Human Rights and Multiculturalism: Liberals want to have cake and eat it too!)
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To: El Cid

1) "Babylon" was used as a code word in the NT to represent Rome. This is well known -- so well known that it crops up throughout Protestantism. Here's just one example:


"(3) That Rome was the city that was designated as Babylon. The Apocalypse would indicate that the churches would understand the symbolic reference, and it seems to have been so understood until the time of the Reformation. The denial of this position was in line with the effort to refute Peter's supposed connection with the Roman church. Ancient tradition, however, makes it seem quite probable that Peter did make a visit to Rome (see Lightfoot, Clement, II, 493 ff).

"Internal evidence helps to substantiate theory that Rome was the place from which the letter was written. Mark sends greetings (1 Pet 15:13), and we know he had been summoned to Rome by the apostle Paul (2 Tim 4:11). The whole passage, "She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you," seems to be figurative, and that being true, it is natural that Babylon should have been used instead of Rome. The character of the letter as a whole would point to Rome as the place of writing. Ramsay thinks this book is impregnated with Roman thought beyond any other book in the Bible (see The Church in the Roman Empire, 286)."

"It is generally agreed that "Babylon" in 1 Peter 5:13 is a cipher for the city of Rome. The great city in Mesopotamia was no longer such in the first century. Diodorus of Sicily (56-36 BCE) writes: "As for the palaces and the other buildings, time has either entirely effaced them or left them in ruins; and in fact of Babylon itself but a small part is inhabited at this time, and most of the area within its walls is given over to agriculture." (2.9.9) Strabo, who died in 19 CE, writes: "The greater part of Babylon is so deserted that one would not hesitate to say . . . 'The Great City is a great desert'." (Geography 16.1.5) Also, no church other than Rome was claimed in ancient times to be the resting place of Peter. The Sibylline Oracles (5.143-168; 5.434), the Apocalypse of Baruch (10:1-3; 11:1; 67:7), 4 Ezra (3:1, 28, 31), and Revelation (14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2-21) also refer to Rome as "Babylon." There was a reason for connecting the Babylonian and Roman empires, as Norman Perrin writes, "Rome is called Babylon because her forces, like those of Babylon at an earlier time, destroyed the temple and Jerusalem" (Jesus and the Language of the Kingdom, p. 58)."

It is only with the advent of Protestantism that some Christians began to routinely deny the commonly held belief that Peter had been in Rome.

19 posted on 10/28/2006 10:18:46 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: Petrosius

The Case of the Ossuary of Shimon bar Jonah
Filed under: Archaeology — James Tabor @ 10:16 pm
In all the controversy over whether or not the Talpiot “Jesus Family tomb” might have been that of Jesus of Nazareth there is another ossuary about which few outside the academic world have ever heard. Rather than stirring worldwide headlines and passionate debate, it has largely gone unnoticed, since it is not a part of the Israeli State Collection. It is presently on display in a small Franciscan museum along the Via Dolorossa that is open only odd hours during the week. As far as I know it has not drawn the attention of Christian pilgrims.

The ossuary was found in 1953 on the Mt. of Olives by the the Franciscan Fr. Bagatti. It was part of in a fascinating necropolis of over a five hundred burial tombs that some scholars have identified, in whole or in part, with the early pre-70 CE Jewish-Christian community–that is, Jewish followers of Jesus who lived, died, and were buried as good Jews. This ossuary is inscribed: Shimon bar Jonah, or in English, “Simon son of Jonah,” the name of the apostle Simon Peter (Matthew 16:17). This name is attested nowhere else, neither in inscriptions nor in literature. Further, the Simon, son of Jonah, ossuary was found just meters away from a tomb just outside of Bethany containing a single ossuary with two indviduals: Mary and Martha, and nearby another, inscribed Lazarus. I discuss these briefly in my book, The Jesus Dynasty (pp. 235-237), but a fuller treatment, accessible to the non-specialist, is available in Jack Fingegan’s The Archaeology of the New Testament (Princeton: Princeton University Press, reprt 1979), pp. 359-375.

With permission I reproduce this edited version of an article on this ossuary written in 1960 by F. Paul Peterson just when the discovery of the cemetery complex with its interesting clusters of names had caused a stir in certain quarters of the Protestant Christian world. For the most part the ossuary was marginalized and forgotten and the “standard defense” became operative–these names are common, they could have belonged to any Mary, Martha, Lazarus, or Simon son of Jonah we could identify from historical records. Indeed, there must have been another family, with those very names, buried very near “another” Simon bar Jonah. There seems to be a great aversion to ever thinking anything could be found that would directly connect to names of people we read about in our gospels.

The article is quite naive and tendentious, and very much a “period piece,” in terms of its style and approach, but it captures I think a moment in time, with some reflection of how the academic community, as well as different Christian communities, Catholic and Protestant, reacted to the discovery of the ossuary.

Peter’s Tomb Recently Discovered In Jerusalem

by F. Paul Peterson
Saint Peter’s Tomb: The Discovery of Peter’s Tomb in Jerusalem in 1953

While visiting a friend in Switzerland, I heard of what seemed to me, one of the greatest discoveries since the time of Christ—that Peter was buried in Jerusalem and not in Rome. The source of this rumor, written in Italian, was not clear; it left considerable room for doubt or rather wonder. Rome was the place where I could investigate the matter, and if such proved encouraging, a trip to Jerusalem might be necessary in order to gather valuable first hand information on the subject. I therefore went to Rome. After talking to many priests and investigating various sources of information, I finally was greatly rewarded by learning where I could buy the only known book on the subject, which was also written in Italian. It is called, “Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit”, printed in 1958 at the Tipografia del PP. Francescani, in Jerusalem. It was written by P. B. Bagatti and J. T. Milik, both Roman Catholic priests. The story of the discovery was there, but it seemed to be purposely hidden for much was lacking. I consequently determined to go to Jerusalem to see for myself, if possible, that which appeared to be almost unbelievable, especially since it came from priests, who naturally because of the existing tradition that Peter was buried in Rome, would be the last ones to welcome such a discovery or to bring it to the attention of the world.

In Jerusalem I spoke to many Franciscan priests who all read, finally, though reluctantly, that the bones of Simon Bar Jona (St. Peter) were found in Jerusalem, on the Franciscan monastery site called, “Dominus Flevit” (where Jesus was supposed to have wept over Jerusalem), on the Mount of Olives. The pictures show the story. The first show an excavation where the names of Christian Biblical characters were found on the ossuaries (bone boxes). The names of Mary and Martha were found on one box and right next to it was one with the name of Lazarus, their brother. Other names of early Christians were found on other boxes. Of greatest interest, however, was that which was found within twelve feet from the place where the remains of Mary, Martha and Lazarus were found—the remains of St. Peter. They were found in an ossuary, on the outside of which was clearly and beautifully written in Aramaic, “Simon Bar Jona”.

The charcoal inscription reads: “Shimon Bar Yonah” which means “Simon [Peter] son of Jonah”.

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

I talked to a Yale professor, who is an archaeologist, and was director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He told me that it would be very improbable that a name with three words, and one so complete, could refer to any other than St. Peter.

But what makes the possibility of error more remote is that the remains were found in a Christian burial ground, and more yet, of the first century, the very time in which Peter lived. In fact, I have a letter from a noted scientist stating that he can tell by the writing that it was written just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D.

I talked to priest Milik, the co-writer of this Italian book, in the presence of my friend, a Christian Arab, Mr. S. J. Mattar, who now is the warden of the Garden Tomb…This priest, Milik, admitted that he knew that the bones of St. Peter are not in Rome. I was very much surprised that he would admit that, so to confirm his admittance, I said, to which he also agreed, “There is a hundred times more evidence that Peter was buried in Jerusalem than in Rome.” This was something of an understatement, for he knew as I know that there is absolutely no evidence at all that Peter was buried in Rome

I have spoken on the subject to many Franciscan priests who either were or had been in Jerusalem, and they all agree that the tomb and remains of St. Peter are in Jerusalem. There was just one exception which is interesting and which only proves the point. The Franciscan priest, Augusto Spykerman, who was in charge of the semi-private museum inside the walls of old Jerusalem, by the site of the Franciscan Church of the Flagellation, was that exception. When I asked to see the museum, he showed it to the three of us, Mr. Mattar, who in addition to being warden of the Tomb of Christ, had been the manager of an English bank in Jerusalem, a. professional photographer and myself. But he told us nothing of the discovery. I knew that the evidence of Peter’s burial was there, for priests had told me that relics from the Christian burial ground were preserved within this museum. People who lived in Jerusalem all their lives and official guides who are supposed to know every inch of the city, however, knew nothing of this discovery, so well was it withheld from the public. I had asked an elderly official guide where the tomb of St. Peter was. He responded in a very profound and majestic tone of voice, “The Tomb of St. Peter has never been found in Jerusalem.” “Oh,” I said, “but I have seen the burial place of Peter with my own eyes.”…”What,” he replied, “you a foreigner mean to tell me that you know where the tomb of St. Peter is when I have been an official guide for thirty-five years and know every inch of ground in Jerusalem?” I was afraid that he would jump at my throat. I managed to calm him as I said, “But sir, here are the pictures and you can see the ossuary, among others, with Peter’s name in Aramaic. You can also see this for yourself on the Mount of Olives on the Franciscan Convent site called, “Dominus Flevit”. When I finished he slowly turned away in stunned amazement. A person who has seen this Christian burial ground and knows the circumstances surrounding the case could never doubt that this truly is the burial place of St. Peter and of other Christians. I, too, walked around in a dreamy amazement for about a week for I could hardly believe what I had seen and heard. Since the circulation of this article, they do not allow anyone to see this burial place.

Before things had gone very far, I had been quite discouraged for I could get no information from the many priests with whom I had talked. However, I continued questioning priests wherever I would find them. Finally one priest dropped some information. With that knowledge I approached another priest who warily asked me where I had acquired that information. I told him that a priest had told me. Then he admitted the point and dropped a little more information. It went on like that for some time until I got the whole picture, and I was finally directed to where I could see the evidence for myself. To get the story, it made me feel as though I had a bull by the tail and were trying to pull him through a key hole. But when I had gathered all the facts in the case, the priests could not deny the discovery of the tomb, but even confirmed it, though reluctantly. In fact, I have the statement from a Spanish priest on the Mount of Olives on a tape recorder, to that effect.

But here we were talking to this Franciscan priest in charge of the museum, asking him questions which he tried to evade but could not because of the information I had already gathered from the many priests with whom I had spoken. Finally after the pictures of the evidence were taken, which was nothing short of a miracle that he allowed us to do so, I complimented him on the marvelous discovery of the tomb of St. Peter in Jerusalem that the Franciscans had made. He was clearly nervous as he said, “Oh no, the tomb of St. Peter is in Rome.” But as he said that, his voice faltered, a fact which even my friend, Mr. Mattar, had noticed. Then I looked him squarely in the eyes and firmly said, “No, the tomb of St. Peter is in Jerusalem.” He looked at me like a guilty school boy and held his peace. He was, no doubt, placed there to hide the facts, but his actions and words, spoke more convincingly about the discovery than those priests who finally admitted the truth.

I also spoke to a Franciscan priest in authority at the priest’s printing plant within the walls of old Jerusalem, where their book on the subject was printed. He also admitted that the tomb of St. Peter is in Jerusalem. Then when I visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, I encountered a Franciscan monk. After telling him what I thought of the wonderful discovery the Franciscans had made, I asked him plainly, “Do you folks really believe that those are the remains of St. Peter?” He responded, “Yes we do, we have no choice in the matter. The clear evidence is there.” I did not doubt the evidence, but what surprised me was that these priests and monks believed that which was against their own religion and on top of that, to admit it to others was something out of this world. Usually a Catholic, either because he is brainwashed or stubbornly doesn’t want to see anything only that which he has been taught, will not allow himself to believe anything against his religion, much less to admit it to others. But there is a growing, healthy attitude among many Catholics, to “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” as the Master admonished us all.

Then I asked, “Does Father Bagatti (co-writer of the book in Italian on the subject, and archaeologist) really believe that those are the bones of St. Peter?” “Yes, he does,” was the reply. Then I asked, “But what does the Pope think of all this?” That was a thousand dollar question and he gave me a million dollar answer. “Well,” he confidentially answered in a hushed voice, “Father Bagatti told me personally that three years ago he went to the Pope (Pius XII) in Rome and showed him the evidence and the Pope said to him, ‘Well, we will have to make some changes, but for the time being, keep this thing quiet’.” In awe I asked also in a subdued voice, “So the Pope really believes that those are the bones of St. Peter?” “Yes,” was his answer. “The documentary evidence is there, he could not help but believe.”

I visited various renowned archaeologists on the subject. Dr. Albright, of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, told me that he personally knew priest Bagatti and that he was a very competent archaeologist. I also spoke with Dr. Nelson Gluek, archaeologist and president of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I showed him the pictures found in this article, but being with him for only a few minutes I therefore could not show him the wealth of material that you have before you in this article. However, he quickly recognized the Aramaic words to be “Simon Bar Jona”. (Aramaic is very similar to Hebrew). I asked him if he would write a statement to that effect. He said to do so would cast a reflection on the competency of the priest J. T. Milik, who he knew to be a very able scientist. But he said that he would write a note. I quote,

“I regard Father J. T. Milik as a first class scholar in the Semitic field.” He added, “I do not consider that names on ossuaries are conclusive evidence that they are those of the Apostles.” Nelson Glueck

I quote this letter of Dr. Glueck because it shows that priest Milik is a competent archaeologist. As I have mentioned, I was only able to be with him for a few minutes and was not able to show him but a very small part of the evidence. Anyone, including myself, would readily agree with Dr. Glueck that if only the name Simon Bar Jona on the ossuary was all the evidence that was available it would not be conclusive evidence that it was of the Apostle Peter, though it would certainly be a strong indication. The story of the cave and the ossuaries and the regular cemetery just outside of the Convent site is this: It was a Roman custom that when a person had died and…when the body had decomposed, the grave would be opened. The bones would be placed in a small ossuary with the name of the person carefully written on the outside front. These ossuaries would then be placed in a cave as in the case of this Christian burial ground and thus making room for others. But this cave or burial place where the ossuaries were found and which was created and brought about through the natural and disinterested sequence of events, without any reason to change facts or circumstances, was a greater testimony than if there were a witness recorded, stating that Peter was buried there. And yet, even that is unmistakenly recorded in the three words in Aramaic of the ossuary, Simon Bar Jona. Herein, lies the greatest proof that Peter never was a Pope, and never was in Rome, for if he had been, it would have certainly been proclaimed in the New Testament. History, likewise, would not have been silent on the subject, as they were not silent in the case of the Apostle Paul. Even the Catholic history would have claimed the above as a fact and not as fickle tradition. To omit Peter as being Pope and in Rome (and the Papacy) would be like omitting the Law of Moses or the Prophets or the Acts of the Apostles from the Bible.

Dr. Glueck, being Jewish, and having been to Jerusalem, no doubt, is fully aware of the fact that for centuries the Catholic Church bought up what were thought to be holy sites, some of which did not stand up to Biblical description. For instance, the priests say that the tomb of Jesus is within the walls of the old Jerusalem, in a hole in the ground; whereas, the Bible says that the tomb where Jesus was laid was hewn out of rock and a stone was rolled in front and not on top of it. The Garden Tomb at the foot of Golgotha, outside the walls of old Jerusalem, meets the Biblical description perfectly. In fact, all those who were hated by the Jewish leaders, as Jesus was, could never have been allowed to be buried within the gates of the Holy City. The tomb where Jesus lay was made for Joseph of Arimathaea. His family were all stout and short of stature. In this burial place you can see to this day where someone had carved deeper into the wall to make room for Jesus who was said to be about six feet tall.

When Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary to be an article of faith in 1950, the Catholic Church in Jerusalem then quickly sold the tomb of Mary to the Armenian Church. Ex-priest Lavallo told me personally that there is another tomb of St. Mary in Ephesus. But the tomb of St. Peter is altogether different for they would rather that it never existed, and to buy or sell such a site would be out of the question. It fell upon them in this manner, as I was told by a Franciscan monk of the monastery of “Dominus Flevit”. One of their members was spading the ground on this site in 1953, when his shovel fell through. Excavation was started and there, a large underground Christian burial ground was uncovered. The initial of Christ in Greek was written there which would never have been found in a Jewish, Arab or pagan cemetery. By the structure of the writings, it was established by scientists that they were of the days just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. On the ossuaries were found many names of the Christian of the early Church. It was prophesied in the Bible that Jesus would stand on the Mount of Olives at His return to earth. You can see then, how the Christians would be inclined to have their burial ground on the Mount, for here also, had been a favorite meeting place of Jesus and His disciples. In all the cemetery, nothing was found (as also in the Catacombs in Rome) which resemble Arab, Jewish, Catholic or pagan practices. Dr. Glueck, being Jewish, is not fully aware, no doubt, that such a discovery is very embarrassing since it undermines the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. Since Peter did not live in Rome and therefore was not martyred or buried there, it naturally follows that he was not their first Pope…

As I have mentioned, I had a very agreeable talk with priest Milik, but I did not have the opportunity to see priest Bagatti while in Jerusalem. I wrote to him, however, on March 15, 1960, as follows: “I have spoken with a number of Franciscan priests and monks and they have told me about you and the book of which you are a co-writer. I had hoped to see you and to compliment you on such a great discovery, but time would not permit. Having heard so much about you and that you are an archaeologist (with the evidence in hand), I was convinced, with you, concerning the ancient burial ground that the remains found in the ossuary with the name on it, ‘Simon Bar Jona’, written in Aramaic, were those of St. Peter.” It is remarkable that in his reply he did not contradict my statement, which he certainly would have done if he honestly could have done so. “I was very much convinced with you - … that the remains found in the ossuary … were those of St. Peter.” This confirms the talk I had with the Franciscan monk in Bethlehem and the story he told me of Priest Bagatti’s going to the Pope with the evidence concerning the bones of St. Peter in Jerusalem. In his letter one can see that he is careful because of the Pope’s admonition to keep this discovery quiet. He therefore wrote me that he leaves the whole explanation of the Aramaic words, “Simon Bar Jona”, to priest Milik…In priest Bagatti’s letter one can see that he is in a difficult position. He cannot go against what he had written in 1953, at the time of the discovery of this Christian-Jewish burial ground, nor what he had said to the Franciscan monk about his visit to the Pope. However, he does raise a question which helps him to get out of the situation without altogether contradicting himself and at the same time putting a smoke screen around the truth. He wrote,

“Supposing that it is ‘Jona’ (on the ossuary) as I believe, it may be some other relative of St. Peter, because names were passed on from family to family. To be able to propose the identification of it with St. Peter would go against a long tradition, which has its own value. Anyway, another volume will come soon that will demonstrate that the cemetery was Christian and of the first century to the second century A.D. The salute in God most devoted P. B. Bagatti C. F. M.”

As I have shown, after the admonition of the Pope to “keep this thing quiet,” priest Bagatti leaves the interpretation of the whole matter to priest Milik who offers several suggestions but in the end declares that the original statement of priest Bagatti may be true—that the inscription and the remains were of St. Peter. It is also very interesting and highly significant that priest Bagatti, in his attempt to neutralize his original statement and the consternation the discovery had and would have if it were generally known, says in reference to the name Simon Bar Jona (St. Peter), “It may be some other relative of St. Peter, because names were passed on from generation to generation.” In other words he says that Peter’s name, Simon Bar Jona, could have been given him from a relative of the same name of generations before him, or, could belong to a relative generations after St. Peter…First of all, it could not refer to a relative before St. Peter for the Christian burial ground could only have come into being after Jesus began. His public ministry and had converts; and therefore, could not belong to a relative before Peter’s time, since only those who were converted through Christ’s ministry were buried there. Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and left it desolate. Therefore, it is impossible that the inscription could refer to a relative after Peter’s time…

This ancient Christian burial ground shows that Peter died and was buried in Jerusalem, which is easily understandable since neither history nor the Bible tells of Peter’s having been in Rome. To make matters more clear, the Bible tells us that Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. It was Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and both history and the Bible tells of his being in Rome…

Scans from Bagatti’s offical excavtion report: Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit

20 posted on 04/03/2008 3:46:03 PM PDT by razorbak
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