St. Peter the Apostle, original name Simeon or Simon, (died 64 ce, Rome [Italy]), disciple of Jesus Christ, recognized in the early Christian church as the leader of the 12 disciples and by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of its unbroken succession of popes. He certainly became one of the boldest witnesses for the faith. I asked him if he would write a statement to that effect. 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. The excavation under St. Peter's for the remains of St. Peter was still going on secretly, in spite of the Pope's declaration of 1950. There is no solid evidence—textual or even archaeological—that Peter died in Rome. 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. Copyright @ 2017 James Tabor | Design by NoLimitProductions.ca |SmartBlog by ThemeForest. It was then declared by Pope Paul as the Gospel truth that these now were the genuine bones of St. Peter, and most of the faithful accepted them as such. 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. Paul lived and wrote in Rome, but he declared, 'only Luke is with me.'". 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. This time, as fate would have it, the bones in connection with the skull which was guarded for centuries as that of St. Peter, were found incompatible to the more recent bones of St. Peter. I had hoped to see you and to compliment you on such a great discovery, but time would not permit. Strange it was, for since beginning to build the church in 1450 (finished in 1626) they erected St. Peter's Tomb (?) 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. However, he quickly recognized the Aramaic words to be “Simon Bar Jona”. 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. The fragment is now on display in the  Franciscan museum at the second station of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. According to later reports, in A.D. 65 Paul of Tarsus was imprisoned in Rome, beheaded, and then buried in the family tomb of a devout Roman … The dilemma was terrible.…It was a choice of claiming these bones championed by Prof. Margherita as fake, or claiming as fake the skull accepted by hundreds of Popes as that of St. Peter. 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. That Peter the apostle was ever Bishop of Rome has been proved again and again to be an arrant fable. It was Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and both history and the Bible tells of his being in Rome. In my 2006 book, The Jesus Dynasty, (pp. Also any scientist or chemist knows that you do not have to submit the whole skeleton for testing to determine the age. Great article, and only come upon it by chance looking for information that Peter was buried elsewhere such as Jerusalem. The Apostle Peter may have been the most outspoken of the twelve apostles in Jesus’ ministry on earth. Starting around the end of the second century, Christian pilgrims went to see Peter’s tropaion. 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. 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. I therefore went to Rome. According to some, the results of this archaeological research proved that Peter was really buried in the Vatican. Pfann’s latest thoughts are found on his University of Holy Land Studies Web site here. 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. 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. However, not everybody agreed. of Olives by the late great Franciscan priest and archaeologist Bellarmino Bagatti. 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. The most prominent of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Again they turned their thoughts to the filed-away bones, the only hope they had of success. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. In his letter one can see that he is careful because of the Pope’s admonition to keep this discovery quiet. (The Pope's statement that the remains of St. Peter were found under St. Peter's in Rome.) 359-375. Eusebius, one of the most learned men of his time, wrote the Church history up to the year 325 A.D. There was just one exception which is interesting and which only proves the point. The Vatican would seem to be on the monsignor's side because so far it has taken no steps to officially recognize the bones as St. Peter's,' continues the article. But he told us nothing of the discovery. 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 pictures show the story. The Roman Catholic Church declared him a saint, and refers to him as the first Bishop of Rome. I told him that a priest had told me. ." 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. 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. They were found in an ossuary, on the outside of which was clearly and beautifully written in Aramaic, “Simon Bar Jona”. In the year 57, Paul wrote his epistle to the Roman church but does not mention Peter, although he does name 28 leaders in the church at Rome (Rom. 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 had asked an elderly official guide where the tomb of St. Peter was. 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