The most common account, though, is that he was martyred. The editors of CIIP were apparently unaware of Pfann’s alternative suggestion. Nonetheless, given the rather narrow chronological window represented by limestone ossuary use in Jerusalem in the one hundred year period before its destruction in 70 CE such identifications with personages mentioned in our New Testament records are possible if not probably. 2:11. Check out this timeline and biography of the life of Peter. Peter is not mentioned again until the Jerusalem conference in 49 AD (Acts 15:7). The primacy of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church, based on the apostle Peter founding the church in the city and later being martyred and buried there, has certainly been challenged since medieval times. 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. 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. T he Apostle Peter is one of the great stories of a changed life in the Bible. 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. Therefore, it is impossible that the inscription could refer to a relative after Peter’s time…. Saint Peter's tomb is a site under St. Peter's Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of Saint Peter's grave. 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. 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. Is human life the end result of blind evolution, devoid of any purpose? Christians recovered his body and buried it in a nearby cemetery. It is called Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit printed in 1958 at the Tipografia del PP. Jesus, shortly after his resurrection, told the apostle he would die as a martyr (John 21:18 - 19). The fragment is now on display in the Franciscan museum at the second station of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. Excavation was started and there a large underground Christian burial ground was uncovered. We're now offering the book with four accompanying CDs, "God’s Plan for Mankind Revealed—by His Sabbath and Holy Days" at no charge and with no obligation. Then the article continues, 'The hundreds of Popes and millions of Roman Catholics who have accepted and venerated the other skull were innocent victims of another early tradition.'. Francescani, in Jerusalem. 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. 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 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. I therefore went to Rome. Box 1442 Hollister, California 95024-1442 Phone: 1-831-637-1875 Fax: 1-831-637-9616truthofgod.org, "God’s Plan for Mankind Revealed—by His Sabbath and Holy Days", Free Book: Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah, Holy Bible In Its Original Order, 2nd Edition. It must, therefore, be concluded that if the whole subject is faced with detached objectivity, the conclusion must inevitably be reached that Peter was never in Rome. "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. Volume I: Jerusalem: Part 1. For Catholics, St. Peterâs Church in the Vatican has a special significance. These ossuaries would then be placed in a cave as in the case of this Christian burial ground and thus making room for others. We lack historical proof. 235-237) I published a photo of an fragment of an 1st century CE limestone ossuary, or burial box, inscribed with the name “Simon bar Jonah,” a rare patronym used by Jesus one time in Matthew 16:17 to refer to Simon Peter: And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! The manner of his death is the only discrepancy. It is this very tropaion of Peter which excavators believe they have found buried under St. Peterâs Basilica in Rome during an archaeological dig that lasted from 1939 to 1949. Soon after, about the year 44 A.D. (Acts 12), Peter was cast into prison in Jerusalem by Herod, but he was released by an angel. Soon after that he met Peter in Antioch, and as Paul says he 'withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed,' Gal. of Olives by the late great Franciscan priest and archaeologist Bellarmino Bagatti. Even though he was a Christian, it was possible to bury the Apostle Paul in a Roman necropolis, due to his Roman citizenship. The tomb dates between 130 and 300. (Smith's Bible Dictionary). The charcoal inscription reads: “Shimon Bar Yonah” which means “Simon [Peter] son of Jonah”. It contains 704 inscriptions, on ossuaries and other surfaces, that date to the area of Jerusalem in the 1st century BCE/CE. It appears that she was protecting her 'Peter's bones' from another possible disaster, which a wrong age would have caused. The evidence is abundant; the truth is clear from the Scriptures … Very few, if any, have withstood a Pope and lived (except in these days when everybody seems to withstand him). Catholic Saint. One of the most important books we've yet published. Finally one priest dropped some information. The Holy Bible In Its Original Order is the only complete Bible ever published that follows the original inspired manuscript order of all the books of the Old and New Testaments. Churches were built over the graves of famous people; and the Apostle Peter is buried in this churchâs basement, with a supposedly legible and unambiguous inscription, and no one knows about it for nearly 2,000 years until a dude from Indiana gets upset about it? 'A thorough account in English of the discoveries beneath St. Peter's was now available … by British archaeologists Jocelyn Toynbee and John Ward Perkins. Saint Peter (r. AD 30; died between AD 64 and 68) also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon (/ Ë s aÉª m É n / ()), Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and one of the first leaders of the early Church. Francescani, in Jerusalem. Or, is human life a special creation of an all-powerful God? 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 firsthand information on the subject. We Have Seen His Star in the East: What Was the Christmas Star? It was Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and both history and the Bible tells of his being in Rome. THE VATICANUS -- Keller ought to have better logic to know that this Peter buried in this cemetery, of all places, could NOT be the Apostle Peter. "But the most astounding statement in the long article found in the above-mentioned newspaper was, 'The professor did not submit them to modern scientific tests, which would have determined the approximate age, because, she feared the process would have reduced them to dust.' "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. 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. According to some, the results of this archaeological research proved that Peter was really buried in the Vatican. 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. To make matters more clear, the Bible tells us that Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. Pfann reads the name of the father as BarZillai, the name of a priestly family known to us from the time of David and mentioned in Ezra 2:61. Strange it was, for since beginning to build the church in 1450 (finished in 1626) they erected St. Peter's Tomb (?) Pfann’s latest thoughts are found on his University of Holy Land Studies Web site here. 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. 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. Then there is a discrepancy in the date, for Peter was martyred around the year 62 A.D. and not 160 A.D. Thirdly, why is it that they mention nothing about finding bones under or around the sign? More recently, various scholars, including Emile Puech and most lately Stephan Pfann have questioned the suggestion by Bagatti and Milik (who was a bit more cautious) that the reading of this ossuary fragment is indeed: Shimon bar Jonah–presenting the possibility that Simon Peter, who is known by this rather unusual name in Matthew 16:17, may have been buried in Jerusalem rather than Rome. But when the first set of Peter's bones turned out so tragically, there was a vacuum left, and something had to be done. When I finished he slowly turned away in stunned amazement. 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 Peterâs having been in Rome. 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. However, he quickly recognized the Aramaic words to be “Simon Bar Jona”. Then when I visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, I encountered a Franciscan monk. To make matters more clear, the Bible tells us that Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. Even the Catholic history would have claimed the above as a fact and not as fickle tradition. But he told us nothing of the discovery. The authors were not members of the excavating team, but scholars Toynbee (a Roman Catholic) and Perkins (an Anglican) pored over the official Vatican reports painstakingly and examined the diggings. Email addresses are confidential. In them there was a ray of hope for the bones were minus a skull, which could go along with the story of the supposed skull of St. Peter which had for centuries been guarded in the church of St. John Lateran in Rome. 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. 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. That Peter the apostle was ever Bishop of Rome has been proved again and again to be an arrant fable. Starting around the end of the second century, Christian pilgrims went to see Peterâs tropaion. âSt. 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. About the year 64, St. Peter was crucified head downward in the Circus, or Arena, of Nero on the Vatican Hill. 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. 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. The most prominent of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. (Excerpts from personal account by F. Paul Peterson). "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 after about ten years when the body had decomposed, the grave would be opened. "Mark you, all the priests agree that the Vatican and St. Peter's were built over a pagan cemetery....You realize surely that Christians would never bury their dead in a pagan cemetery, and you may be very sure that pagans would never allow a Christian to be buried in their cemetery. He also admitted that the tomb of St. Peter is in Jerusalem. The Apostle Peter may have been the most outspoken of the twelve apostles in Jesusâ ministry on earth. 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 Sword of the Spirit: On the Apostles Peter and Paul. 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. were placed there centuries after the early Christian era. …. The ossuary was found in 1953 on the Mt. It is called, “Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit”, printed in 1958 at the Tipografia del PP. The remains of Peter and Paul, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, were removed secretly by night and hidden in the Catacombs of Saint Sebastiano in 258 AD (There are a lot of references to Paul and Peter in the walls of this catacombs), and later they were returned to their original tombs after Valerianâs reign ended. The source of this rumor, written in Italian, was not clear; it left considerable room for doubt, or rather wonder. However, but it captures “a moment in time,” in terms of how the academic community, as well as different Christian communities, Catholic and Protestant, reacted to the discovery of the ossuary. The Archaeology of Earliest Christianity: The First Hundred Years, The Best Survey I Know of the Jewish Roman World of Jesus, My University Web Site Available to All: The Jewish Roman World of Jesus, Bible & Interpretation: A Richly Informative Resource, Sorting out the Jesus Family: Mother, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. 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. The following article article, written in 1953, is somewhat naive and tendentious, and it is very much a “period piece,” in terms of its style and approach. Peterâs sepulchral chamber is located at the bottom of the exedra, in a niche decorated by a mosaic from the ninth century with âChrist in the middle of the Princes of the Apostles,â and closed by a gilded bronze gate flanked on the sides by two metal statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. 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. Was Peter buried in Rome? 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. There is no solid evidenceâtextual or even archaeologicalâthat Peter died in Rome. No other book has all of the correct dates concerning Jesus’ life and ministry. According to Catholic legend, seven of the Apostles are buried at Rome. Here are the final resting places of the relics of the Apostles. 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. Indeed, according to this way of thinking there must have been another family, with those very names, buried very near “another” Simon bar Jonah. I had hoped to see you and to compliment you on such a great discovery, but time would not permit. 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. Origen says that Peter felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master . You can also see this for yourself on the Mount of Olives on the Franciscan Convent site called, “Dominus Flevit”. Other names of early Christians were found on other boxes. 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. 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. It fell upon them in this manner, as I was told by a Franciscan monk of the monastery of “Dominus Flevit”. However, I continued questioning priests wherever I would find them. The Vatican and others have calculated through all existing evidence that Peter lived to be around 80 and 82 years and that he died around the years 62 to 64 A.D. I also spoke with Dr. Nelson Glueck, archaeologist and president of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I visited various renowned archaeologists on the subject. 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. 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. I asked him if he would write a statement to that effect. While visiting the Catacombs, one sees a few things which are not becoming to Christians but which tend to indicate that the Christians had some pagan practices similar to those of Rome today. Peter had to die and be buried somewhere; and the OVERWHELMING CHRISTIAN TRADITION has been in agreement, from the EARLIEST TIMES, that it was actually in Rome that Peter died. One of their members was spading the ground on this site in 1953, when his shovel fell through. God or No God? Peter’s Tomb Recently Discovered In Jerusalem, by F. Paul Peterson John is traditionally regarded as the only apostle to die of old age. I agree that there should be a “high threshold” of evidence to suggest positive identifications between known individuals in our literary records and material remains such as ossuary inscriptions. Since then multiplied millions were thereby deceived into believing that the remains of St. Peter were there, which the hierarchy had all along known was not true, as is proven by the late Pope's declaration. Excavation was started and there, a large underground Christian burial ground was uncovered. The Baptism Series Booklet is available on request or via download. Also any scientist or chemist knows that you do not have to submit the whole skeleton for testing to determine the age. This Aramaic father/son name is attested nowhere else, neither in inscriptions nor in literature. The story of the discovery was there, but it seemed to be purposely hidden for much was lacking. BARTHOLOMEW,* at Rome, in the church of Bartholomew Island, on the Tiber. Other names of early Christians were found on other boxes. In his letter one can see that he is careful because of the Pope’s admonition to keep this discovery quiet. The source of this rumor, written in Italian, was not clear; it left considerable room for doubt or rather wonder. The tomb in which the ossuary was found 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. Did John the Baptist Eat Bugs, Beans, or Pancakes? 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….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. 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 Peterâs having been in Rome. They were found in an ossuary, on the outside of which was clearly and beautifully written in Aramaic, “Simon Bar Jona”. Paul does not only withstand Peter but he rebukes him and blames him of being at fault…. With a generous mixture of ideas, suppositions, theories and wishful thinking, a fairly logical story emerged. 359-375. Paul tells us that three years after his conversion in 36 A.D., he 'went up to Jerusalem to see Peter' (Galatians 1:18), and in 49 A.D., fourteen years later, he again went up to Jerusalem (Gal. 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. 16:7). "… But they have said that after all these years of excavation under the Vatican, they have discovered Greek words which read, 'Peter is buried here,' and it gives the date 160 A.D. First of all, the very structure of the sentence immediately gives one the impression that either quite recently or long ago, someone put the sign there hoping that it would be taken as authentic in order to establish that which then, and even now, has never been proven. 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. "Saul was converted in 33 A.D. and became Paul the Apostle (Acts 9). ." 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. These figures go along perfectly, as does everything else in the case, with the remains found in the Christian burial ground on the Mount of Olives and in the ossuary on which was clearly and beautifully written 'Simon Bar Jona' in Aramaic…. I therefore went to Rome. It was written by P. B. Bagatti and J. T. Milik, both Roman Catholic priests. St. Peter's tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. The bones would be placed in a small ossuary with the name of the person carefully written on the outside front. Eusebius the liar tell us that Peter was bishop of Antioch, and the Catalogus Liberianus of 354 CE tell us he served 25 as bishop of Rome, which was it? So, even if Peter died in Rome, which is out of the question, surely the pagan cemetery under St. Peter's Basilica would be the last place in which he would have been buried…. They rejected the past rather than expose themselves to the ridicule of the present.' The bones would be placed in a small ossuary with the name of the person carefully written on the outside front. The Garden Tomb at the foot of Golgotha, outside the walls of old Jerusalem, meets the Biblical description perfectly. Tradition has that Peterâs body is contained in a crypt below St. Peterâs Basilica in Rome. 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. The initial of Christ in Greek was written there which would never have been found in a Jewish, Arab or pagan cemetery. The tomb where Jesus lay was made for Joseph of Arimathaea. The book of the Acts of the Apostles (in either the Catholic or Protestant Bible) records the following: Peter was preaching the Gospel to the circumcision (the Jews) in Caesarea and Joppa in Palestine, ministering unto the household of Cornelius, which is a distance of 1,800 miles from Rome (Acts 10:23, 24). under the large dome and Brandini serpentine columns. The first show an excavation where the names of Christian Biblical characters were found on the ossuaries (bone boxes). 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. To make matters more clear, the Bible tells us that Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. He acknowledged this prophecy in the last epistle he wrote (2Peter 1:14). To be able to propose the identification of it with St. Peter would go against a long tradition, which has its own value. Before Jesus died, he entrusted his mother Mary to the beloved disciple (John 19:26â27), who is most widely believed to be John.. I had asked an elderly official guide where the tomb of St. Peter was. Since the circulation of this article, they do not allow anyone to see this burial place. 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. 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