Lucas Banzoli’s 205 “Petrine Potshots”, Part IV

Lucas Banzoli’s 205 “Petrine Potshots”, Part IV May 30, 2022

Lucas Banzoli is a very active Protestant evangelical apologist in Brazil, who writes quite a bit in opposition to the Catholic Church and Catholic doctrine. He has a Master’s degree in theology, a degree and postgraduate work in history, a license in letters, and is a history teacher, author of 25 books, as well as blogmaster for six blogs. He’s also active on YouTube.


The words of Lucas Banzoli will be in blue. I used Google Translate to transfer his Portugese text into English.


See other installments:

Part One: “Disproofs” #1-50

Part Two: “Disproofs” #51-100

Part Three: “Disproofs” #101-15o


Continuing response to his article, “205 Provas Contra O Primado de Pedro” (no date) [205 Proofs Against the Primacy of Peter]. 

151. Paul continues to “glory” (2 Cor.12:1) in this, defending his authority as an apostle. He passes on the “visions and revelations of the Lord” (2Co.12:1), having been “caught up to the third heaven, and hearing unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for man to speak” (2Co.12:4). Paul was the only apostle who, in life, was caught up to the third heaven!

St. John (while still in this life) was caught up to the very throne of heaven:

Revelation 4:1-6 After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this.” [2] At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! [3] And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. [4] Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. [5] From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; [6] and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

The prophets Daniel (ch. 7) and Isaiah (ch. 6) had also been ushered into the presence of God in what appears to be heaven, too: both before their deaths.

152. Paul asserts that he should be “praised by you” (2Co.12:11), since he was in no way inferior to the most excellent apostles (2Co.12:1).

Basically a repeat of #66, #125, and #149.

153. After defending the authority of his apostolate, comparing himself with even the most excellent apostles and not finding himself in an inferior position to them (on the contrary, he claims that he suffered and went through experiences that none of them did), he ends saying that he could be “strong in the use of the authority which the Lord has given me to build you up and not to tear you down” (2 Cor.13:10).

See my reply to #150 and #152. Again, he’s talking about the Corinthian congregation, as to his “authority.” This has no relation to whether Peter was the leader of the early Church.

154. Paul affirms that the gospel he preached “is not of human origin” (Gal.1:11), for “I received it from no one, nor was it taught to me; on the contrary, I received it from Jesus Christ by revelation” (Gal.1:11,12). This shows us that Paul was not indoctrinated in the doctrine of Peter, as in submission to him as “pope”, but only and directly from Jesus Christ, without dependence on the other apostles.

It does not at all. That’s how he first received it. When he visited Peter for fifteen days at the outset of his ministry (Gal 1:18: the verse that Lucas totally ignores throughout his entire article), they weren’t talking about the weather . . .

155. This explains why, when he was converted, he did not consult anyone (Gal.1:15-17), nor did he go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before him, but went straight to Arabia. : “When it pleased him to reveal his Son in me so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I consulted no one. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, but immediately I departed for Arabia, and returned to Damascus” (Gal.1:15-17). Paul’s ministry was independent, not dependent on Peter or the authority of any “pope” or other apostles. If Peter were pope and leader of Christians, it would be Paul’s responsibility to consult him immediately, as the supreme and ecclesiastical authority that he would be.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be immediately, but it was early on. Again, Lucas ignores Galatians 1:18: the very next verse after the ones he brings up, and extremely relevant to the discussion.

156. It was through Paul that the Ephesians received the dispensation of God’s grace (Eph.3:2,3).

Being an evangelist . . . St. Peter did the same with the 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and Cornelius and his kin and friends (Acts 10). With St. John he converted 5,000 in Jerusalem, at the temple (Acts 4:1-4), and a bunch of other people soon after (4:31), and many in Samaria (8:14-17).

157. If anyone thinks he has reason to trust the flesh, Paul even more so (Phil.3:4).

And how is this related to our topic, pray tell?

158. Paul tells the Philippians to be imitators of him (Phil.3:17), following the example they have in him (Phil.3:17).

This repeats #137 from Part Three. Sloppy . . . Either Lucas has a bad memory or lousy organizing / editing skills. This is now maybe the tenth time (?) he has done this.

159. Paul could do everything in Him who strengthened him (Phil.4:13).

Of course; so can anyone if they will have faith and cooperate with God’s grace. That’s the whole point of Paul being a model to imitate (#137 and #158). He wrote these letters for our instruction as Christians.

160. The word which the Thessalonians received from Paul “was not the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God” (1 Thess.2:13). In no other apostle do we see a statement like this!

Nonsense. John the Baptist wasn’t even an apostle, and the Bible says, “the word of God came to John the son of Zechari’ah in the wilderness” (Lk 3:2). A whole room full of people in Jerusalem “were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). Christian leaders spoke “the word of God” (Heb 13:7). Peter told believers in five different areas: “You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet 1:23). St. John said “the word of God abides in” young Christian men (1 Jn 2:14).

But the real “fun” for Protestants comes in realizing that “word of God” in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 is not the Bible, but oral teaching. This is consistent with Paul’s teaching throughout. Even more “surprising” for Protestants is to understand that Paul thought that apostolic tradition was synonymous with the “word of God” and the Bible and the gospel and overall Christian message:

1 Corinthians 11:2  Maintain the traditions . .  . . even as I have delivered them to you.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  Hold to the traditions . . . .  taught . . . by word of mouth or by letter.

2 Thessalonians 3:6  . . . the tradition that you received from us.

1 Corinthians 15:1  . . . the gospel, which you received . . .

Galatians 1:9  . . . the gospel . . . which you received.

1 Thessalonians 2:9  We preached to you the gospel of God.

Acts 8:14 Samaria had received the word of God.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 You received the word of God, which you heard from us, . . .

2 Peter 2:21  . . . the holy commandment delivered to them. (cf. Jude 3: “the Faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”).

It is obvious from the above biblical data that the concepts of tradition, gospel, and word of God (as well as other terms) are essentially synonymous. All are predominantly oral, and all are referred to as being delivered and received. Tradition is right in there with them, without distinction. In St. Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians alone we see that three of the above terms are used interchangeably.

In 2 Thessalonians “gospel” is mentioned twice (1:8 and 2:14), “tradition” twice (2:15 and 3:6), but neither “Scripture” nor “Scriptures” appears. “Word of the Lord” appears once (3:1), but it appears not to refer to the Bible. Likewise, in 1 Thessalonians “Scripture” or “Scriptures” never appear. “Word,” “word of the Lord,” or “word of God” appear five times (1:6,8, 2:13 [twice], 4:15), but in each instance it is clearly in the sense of oral proclamation, not Scripture.

Clearly then, tradition is not a dirty word in the Bible, particularly for St. Paul. If, on the other hand, one wants to maintain that it is, then gospel and word of God are also bad words! Thus, the commonly asserted dichotomy between the gospel and tradition, or between the Bible and tradition is unbiblical itself and must be discarded by the truly biblically minded person as (quite ironically) a corrupt tradition of men. Paul is elsewhere almost unanimously positive about tradition. In the one place where he wasn’t (Col 2:8), he made a contrast of good and bad tradition, just as Jesus did:

Philippians 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me . . . guard the truth which has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

2 Timothy 2:2 And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

161. Paul gave “commandments by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1 Thess.4:2). There is no record – biblical or historical – of any other apostles giving commandments by the authority of Christ.

This ground was already covered in #138 and #145 in Part Three, so this is now the third time Lucas has made this argument in the same list. It’s embarrassing. He needs an editor if he can’t properly edit his own writings. I sure hope he has one for his books.

162. If anyone does not obey Paul’s letters, he is marked and no one associates with him, so that he will be ashamed (2 Thess.3:14).

That’s right. All Christians should obey their bishops or pastors / priests. Does Lucas obey his bishop? Oh wait: does he even have one?

163. The Sound Doctrine is seen in the gospel that God entrusted to Paul (1 Tim.1:11).

The gospel is entrusted to all Christians to share:

Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. [15] Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Luke 9:6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Acts 15:7 And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.”

2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season . . .

1 Peter 3:15  but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;

Jude 3 . . . contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints

164. Paul is the only apostle who had the authority to deliver two blasphemers – Hymenaeus and Alexander – to Satan, so that they would learn to blaspheme no more (1 Tim.1:20).

St. Peter delivered Ananias and Sapphira to death (Acts 5:1-10). And he acted essentially the same as St. Paul did, with Simon (simony):

Acts 8:17-23 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. [18] Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, [19] saying, “Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” [20] But Peter said to him, “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! [21] You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. [22] Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. [23] For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

165. Paul recognizes Luke’s gospel as Scripture divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Tim.5:18).

Good for him. The Catholic Church did that with regard to the entire Bible.

166. The model of the Sound Doctrine that we must retain was found in what was taught by Paul (2 Tim.1:13).

Yes, it was the tradition and gospel and word of God and the faith and the truth that he received (1 Cor 11:23; 15:3) and was “entrusted” with (2 Tim 1:12), and was a “steward” of (1 Cor 4:1; Eph 3:2).

167. Paul wrote in such a way that even Peter himself considered certain things “hard to understand” (2Pe.3:16). In other words, the “infallible pope” did not have the full understanding and understanding of Paul’s writings, and yet Catholics insist that the pope is the only one who knows how to correctly and perfectly interpret the Bible!

Infallibility (applicable in very specific laid-out conditions) doesn’t entail knowing everything about everything. As for Bible interpretation, Lucas’ last statement above is equal parts asinine and purely ignorant. In fact, the Catholic Church at Trent taught that all of seven Bible passages must be interpreted one way. Beyond that, everyone is free to engage in exegesis and interpretation of the Bible.

168. God did extraordinary miracles and wonders through Paul’s hands (Acts 19:11).

St. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead and healed others.

Even handkerchiefs and aprons were taken from their bodies to the sick, and the diseases fled from them, and the evil spirits fled from them (Acts 19:12). Nowhere in the New Testament is there an apostle with such power and authority that the demons themselves are cast out through his handkerchiefs and aprons!

This is an argument for second-class Catholic relics (items that come into contact with a saint), by the way. I’m glad that Lucas is obviously enthralled with and excited about our theology of relics. Nowhere in the New Testament is there an apostle with such power and authority that people are healed by his shadow! (Acts 5:15)

169. When God wanted to bring his word to light, he did so through the preaching entrusted to Paul (Titus 1:3).

Lots of people preached the gospel. I went through that in my reply to #163. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether Peter was the first pope.

170. Luke, the Church historian and writer of the book of Acts, did not bother to record anything about the “prince of the apostles” in his episcopate in Rome, but returned exclusively to Paul’s ministry among the Gentiles.

He had a lot to write about, but he chose to have Peter be the main figure in the first part of the book and Paul in the second. Sounds about right to me. These were the most important things going on in the early Church, both instances.

Although Peter appears frequently in the first chapters of Acts (while Paul was not yet converted), from the moment Paul enters the scene and becomes converted on the road to Damascus (and until the end of the book) Luke is exclusively concerned in narrating the acts of the apostle Paul, and leaves Peter for second or third hand! The logic is really very simple: When Paul enters the scene, Peter leaves the scene!

So what? Luke covers the momentous events with Peter in the very earliest times of the Church, then goes to Paul because his ministry was important and exciting too. This proves nothing whatsoever as to our topic

Evidence against the primacy of Peter in Rome

171. Jesus does not single out Rome as the main or one of the main centers of early Christianity. On the contrary, it affirms that the gospel would be preached “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). If Rome were the main seat of the Christian faith, it would certainly be included by name by Jesus (as Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were), and not just by way of generalization (“ends of the earth”). Rome only became the matrix of Christianity centuries later, not by order of Christ, but by the Roman political domination.

Jesus didn’t have to mention it. Those things worked out naturally. Rome was the center of the empire, so Christians were soon going to become involved there. As it is, both Peter and Paul died in Rome, and surely this is significant. God’s plan was to transform the pagan (and often wicked) Roman Empire. It took about 280 years until it legalized Christianity.

172. The apostles were not scattered along with the others in the Acts 8:1 episode. Therefore, Peter did not go to Rome, but remained in Jerusalem.

173. When Peter and John were sent to Samaria (Acts 8:14), they returned preaching the gospel in “many Samaritan villages” (Acts 8:25), without passing through Rome.

174. Peter, acting as an itinerant missionary, went to Lydda, where he preached the gospel (Lat.9:32). Again Rome is far from Peter’s destiny!

175. Still on his missionary journeys, Peter went to visit Cornelius in Caesarea (Acts 10:1). Again very, very far from Rome!

176. Before arriving in Caesarea, Peter was in Joppa (Acts 10:5). That is, Peter was neither in Rome when he went there, nor was he in Rome when he left there.

177. As early as Acts 11, the Judean brothers criticized Peter when he returned to Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-3) after preaching the gospel in Lydda, Joppa, and Caesarea. Therefore, after his evangelistic missions, Peter again takes his place as an apostle in Jerusalem, not Rome.

So what? It was early on. He gets there in due course.

178. Peter did not occupy the “chair of Rome”, but, on the contrary, “traveled everywhere” (Acts 9:32)!

At that time, he was a traveling evangelist, yes. Man, these are silly items. Utterly ridiculous . . .

179. In the Acts of the Apostles we see the historian of the early Church, the physician Luke, writing in detail about the various places where Peter was. Among them are Jerusalem (Acts.8:1), Samaria (Acts.8:25), Lydda (Acts.9:32), Caesarea (Acts.10:1), Joppa (Acts.10:5), and also other places that we see through the Pauline epistles, such as Antioch, according to Galatians 2:11, where Paul rebuked Peter to the face. Now, why does the Bible show Peter in so many places, but about Rome, however, he insists on not saying anything?! Even more considering that Peter’s time and ministry in Rome would be – for Catholics – of much more importance and relevance than simple “apostolic journeys” here or there, it would be absolutely indispensable that Peter be mentioned at least in Pomegranate!

It doesn’t because Acts was written before the time that Peter went to Rome.

1 Peter 5:13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark.

Several Protestant commentaries think that this is a code word for “Rome”:

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers:

It may be called the established interpretation that the place meant is Rome. We never hear of St. Peter being in the East, and the thing in itself is improbable, whereas nothing but Protestant prejudice can stand against the historical evidence that St. Peter sojourned and died at Rome. Whatever theological consequences may flow from it, it is as certain that St. Peter was at Rome as that St. John was at Ephesus. Everything in the Letter also points to such a state of things as was to be found at Rome about the date when we believe the Letter to have been written. It is objected that St. Peter would not gravely speak of Rome under a fanciful name when dating a letter; but the symbolism in the name is quite in keeping with the context. St. Peter has just personified the church of the place from which he writes, which seems quite as unprosaic a use of language as to call Rome “Babylon.” And it seems pretty clear that the name was quite intelligible to Jewish readers, for whom it was intended. The Apocalypse (Revelation 17:18) is not the only place where Rome is found spoken of under this title. One of the first of living Hebraists (who will not allow his name to be mentioned) told the present writer that no Hebrew of St. Peter’s day would have had need to think twice what city was meant when “Babylon” was mentioned. . . . Finally, as M. Renan suggests, there were reasons of prudence for not speaking too plainly about the presence of a large Christian society in Rome. The police were still more vigilant now than when St. Paul wrote in guarded language about the Roman empire to the Thessalonians. (See Excursus on the Man of Sin, after 2 Thess.) It might provoke hostilities if the Epistle fell into the hands of a delator, with names and places too clearly given.

MacLaren’s Expositions:

[It is] my own opinion that ‘Babylon’ means Rome. We have here the same symbolical name as in the Book of Revelation, where, whatever further meanings are attached to the designation, it is intended primarily as an appellation for the imperial city, which has taken the place filled in the Old Testament by Babylon, as the concentration of antagonism to the Kingdom of God.

Meyer’s NT Commentary:

According to Eusebius (H. E. c. 15), Papias already was of opinion that the name Babylon is here used figuratively, and that by it Rome is to be understood. The same view is adopted by Clemens Alex., Hieronymus, Oecumenius, Beda, Luther, and by most of the Catholic interpreters; in more recent times by Thiersch, Ewald, Hofmann, Wiesinger, Schott, etc. The principal reasons brought forward in support of this view are—(1) The tradition of the primitive church, which speaks of the apostle’s stay in Rome, but makes no mention of his having lived in Babylon; (2) The designation of Rome as Babylon in Revelation, chap. Revelation 14:8, Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:10; (3) The banishment of the Jews from Babylon in the time of the Emperor Claudius, according to Joseph. Ant. i. 18, c. 12.

180. It was the church in Jerusalem (not Rome) that sent missionaries such as Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 11:22). If Peter was pope in Rome, which was the seat of apostolic Christianity, one would expect that it was from there that missionaries were sent and the gospel was centralized.

Once again, he simply wasn’t there yet. He ended up there. Why is this so hard to grasp?

181. It was not in Rome that Christians were called by this name for the first time, but in Antioch (Acts 11:26).

This has absolutely nothing to do with our topic.

Ignatius of Antioch, a first-century bishop, adds that it was right there in Antioch – and not in Rome – where the apostles laid the foundations of the Church: “This was first fulfilled in Syria, for “the disciples were called Christians in Antioch” “, when Paul and Peter laid the foundations of the Church” (Ignatius to the Magnesians, Long Version, Cap.10).

Some very early things happened in Antioch. I don’t see how this affects the Catholic argument. Peter later went to Rome and began an unbroken succession of popes that has lasted until this day.

182. There are strong indications that Peter was only in Rome to die in martyrdom, arriving there at the end of his life. For example, Origen (2nd century) sheds a lot of light on this and states: “Peter, having finally gone to Rome, was there crucified upside down.” This “finally” makes it clear that Peter did not stay in Rome for 25 years, years as Catholics want, but only at the end of his life, FINALLY, and with the purpose clearly stated right there – to be crucified upside down (martyred).

The Catholic Encyclopedia (“St. Peter”), way back in 1910 or so, stated:

As to the duration of his Apostolic activity in the Roman capital, the continuity or otherwise of his residence there, the details and success of his labours, and the chronology of his arrival and death, all these questions are uncertain, and can be solved only on hypotheses more or less well-founded. . . .

Although the fact of St. Peter’s activity and death in Rome is so clearly established, we possess no precise information regarding the details of his Roman sojourn.

It provides early historical evidence for the belief that St. Peter died in Rome:

  • From Bishop Papias of Hierapolis and Clement of Alexandria , who both appeal to the testimony of the old presbyters (i.e., the disciples of the Apostles ), we learn that Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome at the request of the Roman Christians, who desired a written memorial of the doctrine preached to them by St. Peter and his disciples ( Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.”, II, xv; III, xl; VI, xiv); this is confirmed by Irenaeus (Adv. haer., III, i). In connection with this information concerning the Gospel of St. Mark , Eusebius, relying perhaps on an earlier source, says that Peter described Rome figuratively as Babylon in his First Epistle .
  • Another testimony concerning the martyrdom of Peter and Paul is supplied by Clement of Rome in his Epistle to the Corinthians (written about A.D. 95-97), wherein he says (v): “Through zeal and cunning the greatest and most righteous supports [of the Church ] have suffered persecution and been warred to death. Let us place before our eyes the good Apostles — St. Peter, who in consequence of unjust zeal, suffered not one or two, but numerous miseries, and, having thus given testimony . . ., has entered the merited place of glory ” . . .
  • Bishop Dionysius of Corinth, in his letter to the Roman Church in the time of Pope Soter (165-74), says: “You have therefore by your urgent exhortation bound close together the sowing of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both planted the seed of the Gospel also in Corinth, and together instructed us, just as they likewise taught in the same place in Italy and at the same time suffered martyrdom ” (in Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.”, II, xxviii).
  • Irenaeus of Lyons, a native of Asia Minor and a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna (a disciple of St. John), passed a considerable time in Rome shortly after the middle of the second century, and then proceeded to Lyons, where he became bishop in 177; he described the Roman Church as the most prominent and chief preserver of the Apostolic tradition , as “the greatest and most ancient church, known by all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul ” (Adv. haer., III, iii; cf. III, i). He thus makes use of the universally known and recognized fact of the Apostolic activity of Peter and Paul in Rome, to find therein a proof from tradition against the heretics.
  • In his “Hypotyposes” ( Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.”, IV, xiv), Clement of Alexandria , teacher in the catechetical school of that city from about 190, says on the strength of the tradition of the presbyters : “After Peter had announced the Word of God in Rome and preached the Gospel in the spirit of God , the multitude of hearers requested Mark, who had long accompanied Peter on all his journeys, to write down what the Apostles had preached to them” (see above).
  • Like Irenaeus, Tertullian appeals, in his writings against heretics, to the proof afforded by the Apostolic labours of Peter and Paul in Rome of the truth of ecclesiastical tradition. In De Prescriptione 36, he says: “If thou art near Italy, thou hast Rome where authority is ever within reach. How fortunate is this Church for which the Apostles have poured out their whole teaching with their blood, where Peter has emulated the Passion of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John”. In Scorpiace 15, he also speaks of Peter’s crucifixion. “The budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross”. As an illustration that it was immaterial with what water baptism is administered, he states in his book (On Baptism 5) that there is “no difference between that with which John baptized in the Jordan and that with which Peter baptized in the Tiber”; and against Marcion he appeals to the testimony of the Roman Christians, “to whom Peter and Paul have bequeathed the Gospel sealed with their blood” (Against Marcion 4.5).

183. The ecclesiastical historian of the Church, Eusebius of Caesarea (3rd and 4th centuries), sheds even more light and states with the greatest possible clarity: “Peter, it seems, preached in Pontus, Galatia and Bithynia, in Cappadocia and in Asia, to the Jews of the Diaspora; at last he reached Rome and was crucified with his head down, as he himself asked to suffer” (HE, Book III, 1:2). Therefore, the places where Peter preached the gospel the most were in Pontus, Bithynia, Cappadocia and Asia.

So what? Eusebius obviously drew this from the First Epistle of Peter:

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappado’cia, Asia, and Bithyn’ia,

Eusebius verifies what Catholics believe. On what basis should he be doubted?

Paul states that he was an itinerant missionary (1 Cor.9:5). He did not exercise a primacy in Rome!

At that time he was, yes.

In the same way, he preached “to the Jews of the Diaspora”, not “to the Romans”!

At first, that’s what he primarily did.

Finally, Eusebius states the time when Peter arrived in Rome – “at last” – and with the purpose of dying in martyrdom, just as Origen said. It was only towards the end of his life that Peter came to Rome, not to exercise primacy or to act as “pope”, but with the clear purpose of being martyred. This completely eliminates the Romanist pretensions of placing Peter 25 years in Rome, and on top of that as pope!

Which Catholics say that Peter was in Rome for 25 years?

184. Paul writes to Philemon directly from Rome in AD 60, where Peter is supposed to have been (according to the Catholic gospel). However, Paul cites four companions with him in Rome. They are: (1) Epaphras, (2) Mark, (3) Aristarchus, (4) Demas, and (5) Luke. At no point does Paul quote Peter in Rome! This fact makes it clear that Peter was not there, or, if he was, his presence would be indispensable, along with the other five names that were with Paul (Phil.1:23-25). Paul would not ignore Peter’s authority. If Peter were there, the denial of his presence would be a clear sign of insubordination.

Epaphras was his “fellow prisoner” (1:23), and Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, his “fellow workers” (1:24). As Lucas said, they were his “companions.” They all sent “greetings” (1:23). This has nothing to do one way or another with whether Peter was there.  This was standard practice for Paul at the end of his letters (it’s almost always the people who are “with” him):

“All who are with me send greetings to you” (Titus 3:15).

“Eubu’lus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren” (2 Tim 4:21)

“The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household” (Phil 4:21-22)

“All the saints greet you” (2 Cor 13:13)

“The churches of Asia send greetings. Aq’uila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brethren send greetings” (1 Cor 16:19-20)

Colossians 4:10-14 Aristar’chus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions — if he comes to you, receive him), [11] and Jesus who is called Justus. . . . [12] Ep’aphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always remembering you earnestly in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. [13] For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in La-odice’a and in Hi-erap’olis. [14] Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.

Romans 16:21-23 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosip’ater, my kinsmen. [22] I Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord. [23] Ga’ius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Eras’tus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.

185. To the Philippians, also in Rome, A.D. 61, Paul mentions special greetings from those in “Caesar’s palace” (Phil.4:21-23), but again he does not mention Peter or the papal see, which would be much more important if it really existed!

186. Writing to the Colossians, still in Rome (AD 60), Paul this time mentions several names. They are: (1) Tychicus, (2) Onesimus, (3) Aristarchus, (4) Mark, (5) Jesus, (6) Epaphras, (7) Luke, and (8) Demas. Again, the complete silence about Peter is embarrassing to papists. It’s incredible that Paul gave eight names, but he “forgot” exactly the most important of them: Peter!

187. To the Colossians, Paul writes that Mark and Jesus were “the only ones of the circumcision who are my co-workers for the Kingdom of God” (Col.4:11) in Rome. Interestingly, Peter was precisely “apostle of the circumcision” (Gal.2:8,9), as were Mark and Jesus the Just. But only these last two who collaborated with Paul in Rome, and he is accurate in saying that “these are the only ones who are my co-workers” (Col.4:11). By saying “unique”, he excludes the possibility of “someone else”. So either Peter didn’t really hold any “chair of Rome,” or he didn’t collaborate with Paul!

188. Writing his second epistle to Timothy in Rome (AD 67), Paul again cites several names as being with him in that city (2 Tim.4:9-12,21,22). These are: (1) Luke, (2) Eubulus, (3) Prudente, (4) Linus, (5) Claudia. Again, Paul does not quote Peter! We don’t know if Paul was “in a quarrel” with Peter and that’s why he always omitted his name, just to give the false impression that he was with him. In any case, the most likely alternative remains that Peter was actually not there!

189. In that same epistle, in chapter 4 and verses 9-12, there is a precious statement from Paul. He claims that Demas had left him, as well as Crescent and Titus. He again does not quote Peter. In other words, Peter had not left him, nor was he with him. Everything leads us to believe that he was not even in Rome, which needs no further comment and clarifies all things.

190. Still in this final greeting, Paul quotes that “only Luke is with me” (2 Tim.4:11), that is, closest to him in that city. By saying “only Luke”, he excludes the chances that Peter was also there, incognito, invisible, or on a secret mission. It was Luke – and only Luke – who was with him!

191. Finally, Paul states that “at my first defense, all forsook me” (2 Tim.4:16). Now, if there was any Christian leader for Catholics who could “save the skin” of Paul, it would certainly be the Pope, Peter. Yet again Peter doesn’t show up doing anything for Paul in Rome! Could it be that Peter was in Rome, always being so indifferent to the apostle Paul?

Mark Shea wrote:

[M]y basic response would be, “Who says Peter was there when Paul wrote the Romans?”  It seems to me he could have been anywhere.  Just as Paul founded Churches and moved on so Peter may have founded the Church at Rome and then gone on and been anywhere in the Empire when Paul wrote.  The apostles tended to get around.  As far as I know, the only thing solid we have from the Tradition is that Peter founded the Church at Rome and that both Peter and Paul were martyred there. I know of nothing in the Tradition which demands we believe Peter remained in Rome from the time he founded the Church until his death and can think of lots of reasons for presuming Peter was on the move like the other apostles till he returned to Rome to meet his destiny. The archeology that supports the fact that the tomb of Peter below the basilica of St. Peter is rather impressive. It is backed by the memoirs of apostolic Fathers who also remember Peter and Paul dying at Rome.  Against this, the argument that Paul doesn’t mention Peter in his letter is essentially an argument from silence—and a silence that can be accounted for in other ways than by supposing that the witness of the entire early Church and the bones of a crucified man (in a tomb bearing the inscription “Peter is within”) are somehow an elaborate fraud. (“Where Was Peter When Paul Wrote Romans?”, National Catholic Register, 4 March 2013)

I think the simpler explanation, though, is that Paul was simply mentioning his immediate companions. They had to be with him in order to convey to him the notion that they wanted to send greetings along in his epistle. It would obviously have been dangerous for Peter to visit Paul in prison. Or he may have also been “underground” and Paul didn’t want to reveal that he was there by mentioning him.

192. For a long time, the Christians who were scattered did not preach the gospel to anyone, but “only to the Jews” (Acts 11:19). As the Romans were not Jews, it is difficult to reconcile the idea that Peter quickly settled there, looking for a Jew to preach the gospel!

For the umpteenth time: one need only believe that Peter (for a sustained time), was only there later in his life.

193. The Roman Emperor Claudius had expelled all Jews from Rome in AD 41 to AD 54. This was the reason why Aquila and Priscilla had to leave there, “for Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome” (Acts 18:1,2). As Peter was a Jew, he would not be there alone. Claudius was not going to expel all the Jews but to leave precisely one of the “principals” there, alone. Therefore, at this time Peter could not have been in Rome at all.

Then that fits in with my repeatedly expressed scenario that Peter was only there later in his life.

194. In Galatians 1:13-18, Paul claims to have gone to Jerusalem and met Peter, having been with him for fifteen days. Therefore, since Peter was still in Jerusalem at this time, it is a fact that he was not holding any professorship in Rome.

That’s correct. Here’s a shocking revelation to Lucas: people move around a lot . . .

195. Peter was “an apostle to the circumcised” (Gal.2:8), not to the Gentiles. If Peter occupied the See of Rome, he would be an apostle to the Romans (Gentiles), consequently he would be an apostle to the uncircumcised, as well as Paul (Gal.2:9,10), for he acted among them. Paul was a Jew, but because he had a ministry among the Gentiles, he was considered an apostle to the uncircumcised (Gal.2:7,8). Peter, also being a Jew, was nevertheless considered “an apostle to the circumcised” (Gal.2:8), for his ministry was not among the Gentiles (as was Paul’s), but among the Jews themselves! Therefore, Peter was not predominantly active in Jerusalem (Jews) and not in Rome (Gentiles).

196. Paul affirms that “the gospel of the uncircumcision was entrusted from outside, as to Peter the gospel of the circumcision” (Gal.2:7). If Peter acted as bishop in Rome, he would be the chief apostle of the uncircumcision (Gentiles), not Paul! Therefore, one of two: Either Paul was greater than Peter, so that he was the chief apostle to the Gentiles, even though Peter was also turned to the Gentiles of Rome(!); or else Paul was one of the chief of the Gentiles because he was among them (Gentiles), while Peter was one of the chief of the circumcision because he was among them (Jews). Therefore, it is logical to say that Peter was predominantly in Jerusalem (even though he had missionary journeys like that of Acts 8:14), while Paul was predominantly among the Gentiles. Once again, “Peter, Bishop of Rome” is a much more invented myth.

197. In Galatians 2:9, Paul is in Jerusalem with James, Peter and John (Gal.2:9), which shows us that Peter (as well as James and John) were still in Jerusalem. Furthermore, we see that Paul would continue to address the Gentiles, while they would continue to address the circumcised: “They agreed that we should address the Gentiles, and they the circumcised” (Gal.2:9). 198. Already in Acts 23:11, we see the Lord Jesus telling Paul to have courage, for “as you testified about me in Jerusalem, so shall you testify also in Rome” (Acts 23:11). Now, where was Peter, the pope, who for so many years in that city did not make the name of Jesus known there?

I’ve been through this before and at this point I’m too lazy to look it up. Both men did both things.

199. In Acts 11:2, Peter returns to Jerusalem, and for this time Herod arrests him (Acts 12). Since this king died a short time later (Acts 12:23) and Josephus Flavius ​​claimed that such an event (of Herod Agrippa’s death) took place during the fourth year of Claudius’ reign (in 45 AD), it logically follows that at this time Peter was still in Jerusalem.


200. In Galatians 2:11, Peter appears in Antioch, already in 45 AD, which is very, very far from Rome, in the middle of the East!

Indeed it is. No problem for our view.

201. The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), which was attended by Peter, took place in this city and not in Rome. If Peter had been pope in Rome, such a Council might well have taken place there, and if he was really in Jerusalem, it follows that in AD 49 Peter was still in Jerusalem, and therefore not in Rome.

Correct. This ain’t rocket science.

202. At the end of the Acts of the Apostles, around 60-61 AD, Paul arrives in prison in Rome (Acts 28:11), and Luke records that the brothers of faith went to him (Acts 28:15). Interestingly, Peter does not show up to receive his ministry colleague, nor does Luke bother to narrate Peter there, which would be of the utmost importance! Peter again keeps his mystery “hidden” in Rome!

203. When Paul arrived in Rome, around AD 60-61, a fact recorded in the last chapter of Acts, the Romans needed information about the Christians, as they had no further information about it. They needed to hear from Paul what he thought (Acts 28:22), having to gather on a certain day to hear the gospel message (Acts 28:23). If Rome were the seat of the Pope or the center of Christianity, this would not be necessary, since they would already know very well who Christians are!

Dealt with in my reply to #191 above.

204. Peter, in writing his first epistle, claims to be writing from “Babylon” (1Pe.5:13). There are several reasons to believe that this place is not Rome, as Catholics preach.

And there are several reasons to believe it does stand for Rome, as explained in my reply to #182 above.

A. First, because if Babylon is an enigmatic language for Rome, then Catholics will have to admit that Rome is Babylon, thus dismantling their belief that Jerusalem is the Babylon of the Apocalypse. Since almost all Catholics preach that Babylon is Jerusalem, it logically follows that if the passage here is cryptic or figurative, it must be Jerusalem, not Rome!

Rome was already called “Babylon” in the book of Revelation.

B. But there are several reasons to believe that Peter was not using mysterious or enigmatic language in 1 Peter 5:13. For example, the apostle Paul writes openly to the Romans, without riddles (Rom.1:7). He doesn’t need to say he was writing “to the Babylonians”, he simply says he was writing to the Romans! In the same way, Luke, writing Acts at about the same time as Peter’s epistle, spares no words to address Rome. . . (Acts.28:14; Acts.28:16; Acts. 19:21; Acts.23:11; Acts.18:2; etc.). He writes openly about this city several times. Therefore, there would be no reason for Peter to break the entire biblical rule and use such differentiated language, whose context itself does not support it, since the context is not at all “gimmicky” or “mysterious”!

There must have been danger involved or he wouldn’t have done it.

C. The reference, therefore, concerns the city of Babylon situated by the Euphrates. There was a considerable Jewish population in the vicinity of Babylon in the early centuries of the Christian Era. It remained a focus of Judaism for centuries and therefore a suitable place for Peter, who was “the apostle to the circumcised” (Gal.2:8), to preach the gospel. Reading 1 Peter 1:1 and 1 Peter 5:13, we see that Peter did not write either from Rome or to the Romans!

Since Rome was already called “Babylon” in the book of Revelation it seems plausible that Peter would have done the same thing.

205. Finally, there is nothing better than analyzing Paul’s own letter to the Romans. If there was a more than perfect opportunity to name the “Pope Peter” who was supposed to be there, this would be the perfect chance! However, Peter is not even mentioned throughout all sixteen chapters of Paul’s epistle to the Romans! And worse: It does not even appear in the list of extended greetings that the apostle passes on in the last chapter, where he nominally greets twenty-seven brothers from Rome, and does not quote Peter from beginning to end! Why, if Peter were the pope there, being one of the most important figures in all of Christianity, he should be the first to be greeted by Paul! But this one, from start to finish, writes perfectly as someone who has no idea that Peter was there. He doesn’t remember his name at the beginning of the letter, nor in the middle, nor in the final greetings. This, however, does not prevent his saluting another twenty-seven persons whom he remembered, nor does it prevent Catholics, even in the light of all this, from preferring to continue in the most vigorous ignorance, rather than confessing all the obvious and self-evident points. – evident throughout this study, and free themselves from their historical errors that are easily refuted.

If St. Peter simply wasn’t there yet at the time St. Paul wrote this letter, that would easily explain it.



Go to Part One (#1-50)

Go to Part Two (#51-100)

Go to Part Three (#101-150)


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Photo credit: Detail of Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter (1481-82) by Pietro Perugino (1448-1523) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


Summary: Brazilian Protestant apologist Lucas Banzoli takes on my “50 NT Proofs for Petrine Primacy”, with his 205 “Petrine Potshots”. This is Part IV of my replies (#151-205).

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