Recently a box of bones went on display as Pope Francis assured the gullible that the bones are the remains of the Apostle Peter, “the first bishop and pope of the Catholic Church.” Well, there were only eight (some reported nine) bone pieces each about one inch in size! Peter must have been a little dude, not the “Big Fisherman.” The pope has some problems with his display, not the least is that some of the archeologists who dug up the bones in 1939 refused to sign on to the ruse. Even Jesuit leaders are not convinced!
First of all, there is no way to support the silly possibility that the bones are the remains of Peter. That is simply wishful thinking by the Catholic hierarchy as they add to their dubious list of relics. The Church has thousands of bogus relics that help prop up its weak, wavering, wondering, wandering, and wobbly adherents.
The chest in which the bones were cased is more interesting than the bone fragments. The bones rested on an ivory bed in a bronze chest. The chest was decorated with a carving of Peter “who was a fisherman before becoming the Church’s first pope, casting his nets into the sea.” But then no one on earth knows what Peter looked like and, for sure, he was not the first pope, or second pope. He may have been executed in Rome but there is no proof for that. The church in Rome existed before Peter or Paul got there so neither was the church founder. The Catholic Church is built upon a shaky, sandy, spurious foundation and is held together by wishful thinking.
The affable Pope has recently confused many people with some public statements dealing with homosexuality and atheists going to Heaven. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church has insisted very strongly for hundreds of years that only Catholics were going to Heaven! So Francis is rocking the church-boat. It may be that the Pope does not know what he believes. Anyway, his handlers must be in panic about what he may say next.
Honest historians, even Catholic historians, admit that Peter was not the first pope. Eusebius was Bishop of Caesarea about 314 A.D. and suggests in his classic and ground-breaking Church History that Paul and Peter were founders of the church in Rome. However, a footnote corrects the record: “Neither Paul nor Peter founded the Roman Church in the strict sense for there was a congregation of believers there even before Paul came to Rome, as his Epistle to the Romans shows, and Peter cannot have reached there until some time after Paul. It was, however, a very early fiction that Paul and Peter together founded the church in that city.” The possibility of Peter founding the church in Rome and serving as its pastor is a fiction, fib, fable, falsehood, and fraud.
Rome would rather discuss whether Peter was a founder (with Paul) of the church in Rome instead of supporting their assertion that he was the first pope exercising central control of all churches. No one was the pope for hundreds of years although each succeeding Bishop of Rome gradually grabbed power for his office. During those hundreds of years all priests in small villages were called, “papa” or pope.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Peter’s successors to the papacy were Linus (A.D. 67 to 79), Cletus (A.D. 79 to 91) and Clement I (from A.D. 91 to 100), all three of whom were bishop of Rome during the time that the Apostle John was still alive. In other words, each of the three pastors at Rome would have had a higher pecking order than the Apostle John who was still alive! Does anyone, not blinded by fanatical religion, believe that is possible?
When the Apostle Paul wrote his church epistles giving the offices and duties and qualifications for various church offices, he never mentions a pope! Not one New Testament author refers to the Pope or one-man rule or papal succession. Paul greeted 26 people in his epistle to the Romans without mentioning the alleged top honcho, Peter! Paul wrote four letters from his Roman prison without mentioning that Peter came by to visit him. In fact, Paul said that he was “alone.” If Peter was in Rome, he had cowardly abandoned his friend and Apostle who was Nero’s prisoner! I believe Christ said something about visiting those in prison.
It seems that the first definite report that Peter and Paul founded the Roman Church was made by Dionysius of Corinth about 170 A.D. Historians Shotwell and Loomis declared, “That is a long way from contemporary evidence. We have no lists of the early bishops of Rome until about the same period, and those we have do not quite agree.”
Gibbon clearly disposed of the Roman Catholic’s position as to the founders of the Roman Church: “It is quite clear that, strictly speaking, the Church of Rome was not founded by either of these apostles. St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans proves undeniably the flourishing state of the Church before his visit to the city; and many Roman Catholic writers have given up the impracticable task of reconciling with chronology any visit of St. Peter to Rome before the end of the reign of Claudius or the beginning of that of Nero.” Peter was definitely in Israel during the time Catholics teach that he was in Rome. Even Peter couldn’t be in two places at the same time no matter how much “holy” water he had.
Knowing of the prestige of Peter, some people in Rome began giving him credit for being the first bishop at Rome and others picked up on that and continued to circulate that fabrication until the fable became a fact. Since then, Roman Catholics have taught the fiction rather than the fact since it plays better in Peoria and Pisa.
No bones about it: Peter’s bones have not been found and he was not the first pope. My critics will no doubt smell anti-Catholic bigotry as they read this, but facts are the facts: the Pope is wrong. Peter was not the first Pope and it was the Roman Catholic Church that broke away from the Church that Christ built.
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY Eight minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota.
Copyright 2013, Don Boys, Ph.D.
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.