Jan 30, 2013
M. M. NINAN
JAMES THE LESS
Simon the Zealot
How did the 12 apostles die?
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
That was the declaration Manifesto of Jesus and the beginning of his ministry. Jesus indeed was the King of the Jews in the Davidic line both through Legal Royal line as well as by direct blood line. No one else would have that double right.
Matt.2  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Matt.27  And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Mark.15  And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.
 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
The triumphal entry was the entry of the King of the Jews. But the mesia was not just the King of the Jews. He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lord in a system where the one who serves is greater than one who is being served. It was a difficult concept which even his chosen disciples missed.
In the revolution of establishment of the Kingdom, Jesus chose his disciples (his ministers and ambassadors) who were mainly close to him and to his family within the royal line. Thus an analysis of the disciples clearly shows that most of them were from his own close family. Here is one such result in the next page..
The exact meaning of the word Apostle is Ambassador. The term "apostle" is derived from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος (apóstolos), meaning "one who is sent away", from στέλλω ("stello", "send") + από (apo, "away from"). The literal meaning in English is therefore an "emissary", from the Latin mitto ("send") and ex ("from"). The general meaning of the word is translated into Latin as 'missio', and from this word we get 'missionary.
' Six out of the
twelve Apostles were cousins of Jesus, who themselves would fall second in line
to the Kingship position to Jesus himself. The fore runner John the
Baptist who was to pave the way to the Kingdom himself was probably a not so
distant uncle or cousin. There is no doubt it all started as a regular
conspiracy to rebuild the Jewish Davidic line. Jesus went around and
began to recruit his Apostles. Jesus knew that his role was not just to
be king of
Jesus went round rounding up his cousins and friends.
went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And
when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples. And of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles:
Simon (whom he also named Peter) and Andrew, his brother;
James and John,
Phillip and Bartholomew,
Matthew and Thomas,
James the son of Alphaeus, Simon called Zelotes,
Judas the brother of James and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor" (Lk. 6:12-16).
"He ordained twelve
that they should be with Him,
that He might send them forth to preach
to have power to heal sickness
to cast out devils."
Here are the names as given in the Synoptic Gospels.
Simon, who is called Peter
Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter)
Simon, whom he named Peter
Andrew, his brother
Andrew his brother
James the son of Zebedee
John, his brother
John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges)
Matthew, the tax collector
James the son of Alphaeus
James the son of Alphaeus
Judas (interpolated as "son")of James
Simon the Zealot
Simon who was called the Zealot
Within the twelve we have an inner trinity of close disciples of Jesus. Peter, James and John
Gospel of John does not offer a formal list of apostles, although it refers to "the twelve" (Only the following disciples are mentioned:
Nathanael is traditionally been identified with Bartholomew. The three not mentioned at all in John are James son of Alphaeus, Matthew and Simon the Canaanite/Zealot.
Matthew only describe the recruitment of Simon and Andrew first and on the next day of James, and John. All three Synoptic Gospels imply that these four were the first recruits.
Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself was about to come.
Here is the complete text of Hippolytus' On the Seventy Apostles of Christ:
1. James the Lord’s brother, bishop of
2. Cleopas, bishop of
3. Matthias, who supplied the vacant place in the number of the twelve apostles.
4. Thaddeus, who conveyed the epistle to Augarus.
5. Ananias, who baptized Paul, and was bishop of
6. Stephen, the first martyr.
7. Philip, who baptized the eunuch.
8. Prochorus, bishop of
9. Nicanor died when Stephen was martyred.
10. Timon, bishop of Bostra.
11. Parmenas, bishop of Soli.
12. Nicolaus, bishop of
13. Barnabas, bishop of
14. Mark the evangelist, bishop of
15. Luke the evangelist. These two belonged to the seventy disciples who were scattered by the offence of the word which Christ spoke, “Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he is not worthy of me.” But the one being induced to return to the Lord by Peter’s instrumentality, and the other by Paul’s, they were honored to preach that Gospel on account of which they also suffered martyrdom, the one being burned, and the other being crucified on an olive tree.
16. Silas, bishop of
17. Silvanus, bishop of Thessalonica.
18. Crisces (Crescens), bishop of Carchedon in
19. Epænetus, bishop of
20. Andronicus, bishop of
21. Amplias, bishop of Odyssus.
22. Urban, bishop of
23. Stachys, bishop of
24. Barnabas, bishop of
25. Phygellus, bishop of
26. Hermogenes. He, too, was of the same mind with the former.
27. Demas, who also became a priest of idols.
28. Apelles, bishop of
29. Aristobulus, bishop of
30. Narcissus, bishop of
31. Herodion, bishop of
32. Agabus the prophet.
33. Rufus, bishop of
34. Asyncritus, bishop of Hyrcania.
35. Phlegon, bishop of
36. Hermes, bishop of
37. Patrobulus,1 bishop of Puteoli.
38. Hermas, bishop of
39. Linus, bishop of
40. Caius, bishop of
41. Philologus, bishop of Sinope
42, 43. Olympus and Rhodion were martyred in
44. Lucius, bishop of
45. Jason, bishop of
46. Sosipater, bishop of Iconium
47. Tertius, bishop of Iconium.
48. Erastus, bishop of Panellas.
49. Quartus, bishop of Berytus.
50. Apollo, bishop of Cæsarea.
52. Sosthenes, bishop of Colophonia.
53. Tychicus, bishop of Colophonia.
54. Epaphroditus, bishop of Andriace.
55. Cæsar, bishop of Dyrrachium.
56. Mark, cousin to Barnabas, bishop of Apollonia.
57. Justus, bishop of Eleutheropolis.
58. Artemas, bishop of Lystra.
59. Clement, bishop of
60. Onesiphorus, bishop of Corone.
61. Tychicus, bishop of
62. Carpus, bishop of Berytus in
63. Evodus, bishop of
64. Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea.
65. Mark, who is also John, bishop of Bibloupolis.
66. Zenas, bishop of Diospolis.
67. Philemon, bishop of
68, 69. Aristarchus and Pudes.
70. Trophimus, who was martyred along with Paul.
There are many other lists found some of them are given below:
The following list gives a widely accepted canon. Their names are listed below, along with the areas of the Bible in which they can be viewed:
1. James "the Lord's brother" (James the Just), author of the Epistle of James, and first Bishop of Jerusalem (sometimes is replaced by Jacob Joses Justus, who was also a brother of Jesus, since James the Just is identified as one of the twelve apostles Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3, Acts 12:17, 15:13; Epistle of James.
2. Agabus. Reference to in Acts 11:28; 21:10.
3. Amplias. Reference to in Romans 16:8
4. Mark the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Mark and Bishop of Alexandria
5. Luke the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Luke
7. Simeon, son of Cleopas, 2nd Bishop of Jerusalem
8. Barnabas, companion of Paul
9. Justus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis
Ananias, Bishop of
12. Stephen, one of the Seven Deacons, the first martyrPhilip the Evangelist, one of the Seven Deacons, Bishop of Tralles in Asia Minor
Prochorus, one of the Seven Deacons, Bishop of Nicomedia in
14. Nicanor the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons
15. Timon, one of the Seven Deacons
16. Parmenas the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons
Timothy, Bishop of
Titus, Bishop of
Philemon, Bishop of
20. Onesimus (Not the Onesimus mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon)
21. Epaphras, Bishop of Andriaca
Silas, Bishop of
Crispus, Bishop of
Epenetus, Bishop of
Andronicus, Bishop of
Stachys, Bishop of
30. Amplias, Bishop of Odissa (Odessus)
Urban, Bishop of
Narcissus, Bishop of
33. Apelles, Bishop of Heraklion
Aristobulus, Bishop of
35. Herodion, Bishop of Patras
36. Agabus the Prophet
Rufus, Bishop of
38. Asyncritus, Bishop of Hyrcania
Phlegon, Bishop of
40. Hermes, Bishop of Philippopolis
41. Parrobus, Bishop of Pottole
Hermas, Bishop of
Pope Linus, Bishop of
Gaius, Bishop of
45. Philologus, Bishop of Sinope
Jason, Bishop of
48. Sosipater, Bishop of Iconium
50. Tertius, transcriber of the Epistle to the Romans and Bishop of Iconium
51. Erastus, Bishop of Paneas
52. Quartus, Bishop of Berytus
Euodias, Bishop of
Onesiphorus, Bishop of
Clement, Bishop of
Sosthenes, Bishop of
Apollos, Bishop of
Tychicus, Bishop of
Carpus, Bishop of Beroea in
John Mark (commonly considered identical to Mark the Evangelist: see 4 above),
63. Zenas the Lawyer, Bishop of Diospolis
Aristarchus, Bishop of Apamea in
67. Mark, Bishop of Apollonia[disambiguation needed]
68. Artemas, Bishop of Lystra
71. Achaicus 1 Corinthians 16:17
72. Tabitha, a woman disciple, whom Peter raised from the dead
Matthias, who would later replace Judas Iscariot as one of the twelve apostles, is also often numbered among the seventy, since John Mark is typically viewed as Mark the Evangelist.
Also, some lists name a few different disciples than the ones listed above. Other names commonly included are:
• Another Stephen
• Cephas, Bishop of Iconium
• Caesar, Bishop of Dyrrhachium
• Another Mark, Bishop of Apollonias
Another Tychicus, Bishop of
These are usually included at the expense of the
aforementioned Timothy, Titus, Archippus, Crescens, Olympas, Epaphroditus,
Solomon, Nestorian bishop of
"The names of the seventy.
1. James, the son of Joseph;
2. Simon the son of Cleopas;
3. Cleopas his father;
8. Manaeus (?);
9. Ananias, who baptised Paul;
Cephas, who preached at
11. Joseph the senator;
12. Nicodemus the archon;
13. Nathaniel the chief scribe;
14. Justus, that is Joseph, who is called Barshabbâ;
17. John, surnamed Mark (John Mark);
18. Mnason, who received Paul;
19. Manaël, the foster-brother of Herod;
21. Jason, who is (mentioned) in the Acts (of the apostles);
24. Simon the Cyrenian, their father;
25. Lucius the Cyrenian;
26. another Judah, who is mentioned in the Acts (of the apostles);
27. Judah, who is called Simon;
28. Eurion (Orion) the splay-footed;
29. Thôrus (?);
30. Thorîsus (?);
A more concise and acknowledged list is below:
1. Archaicus. Reference to in 1 Corinthians 16:17
2. Agabus. Reference to in Acts 11:28; 21:10
Amplias, appointed by St. Andrew as bishop of Lydda of Odyssopolis (Diospolis)
Ananias, who baptized
Andronicus, bishop of
Apelles, bishop of
Apollos. He was a bishop of several places over time: Crete (though this is
9. Archippus. Reference to in Colossians 4:17; Philemon 2
Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea in
Aristobulus, bishop of
Artemas, bishop of Lystra in
Aristarchus, bishop of Hyracania in
Barnabas. “A Jew of the Tribe of Levi, was born in
15. Caesar, bishop of Dyrrhachium (in the Peloponnese of Greece)
Carpus, bishop of Berroia (Verria, in
Clement, bishop in
18. Cephas, bishop of Iconium, Pamphyllia.
19. Cleopas, was with the Lord on the road to Emmaus. Reference to in Luke 24:18; John 19:25
Crescens, later bishop of
Crispus, bishop of
22. Epaphras. Reference to in Colossians 1:7; 4:12; Philemon 23
Epaphroditus, bishop of the Thracian city of
Epaenetus, bishop of
Erastus. He served as a deacon and steward to the
Euodias(Evodius), first bishop of
27. Fortunatus. Reference to in 1 Corinthians 16:17
Gaius, bishop of
29. Hermas, bishop in Philipopoulis. He wrote The Shepherd of Hermas. he died a martyr. Reference to in Romans 16:14
Hermes, bishop of
Herodion, a relative of the Apostle Paul, bishop of Neoparthia. He was beheaded
32. James, brother of the Lord(also called "the Less" or "the Just"). He was a (step-)brother to Jesus, by Jesus' Father Joseph, through a previous marriage. James was the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Reference to in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Acts 12:17; 15:13; Epistle of James
Jason, bishop of
34. Justus, brother to the Lord and bishop of Eleutheropolis. He was the half-brother of Christ(as was Sts. James, Jude, and Simon) through Joseph's previous marriage to Salome. He died a martyr. Reference to in Acts 1:23; 18:7; Colossians 4:11
Linus, bishop of
Lucius, bishop of
37. Luke the Evangelist. He is the author of the Gospel of Luke, and the founder of Iconography(Orthodox Icon-writing). Reference to in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24
Mark the Evangelist (called John). He wrote the Gospel of Mark. He also founded
Narcissus, ordained by the Apostle Philip as bishop of
41. Nicanor, one of the original seven deacons. He was martyred on the same day as the Promartyr Stephen. Reference to in Acts 6:5
42. Olympas, beheaded with St. Peter under Nero. Reference to in Romans 16:15
Onesimus. Onesimus preached the Gospel in many cities. He was made bishop of
Onesiphorus, bishop of
Parmenas, one of the original seven deacons. He preached throughout Asia Minor,
and later settled in
Patrobus, bishop of Neapolis (
47. Philemon. He, with his wife Apphia, and the apostle Archippus, were martyred by pagans during a pagan feast. Reference to in Philemon 1
Philip the Deacon (one of the original seven). He was born in
Philologus, ordained bishop of Sinope (near the
Phlegon, bishop of Marathon, in
Prochorus, one of the original seven deacons. He was made bishop of
52. Pudens (Pastorum). He was an esteemed member of the Roman Senate, then received Sts. Peter and Paul into his home, and was converted to Christ by them. He was martyred under Nero. Reference to in Acts 6:5
Quadratus, bishop of
Quartus, bishop of
Rufus, bishop of
Silas (Silvanus), bishop of
Simeon, son of Cleopas. “Simeon, son of Cleopas (who was the brother of Joseph,
the betrothed of the Virgin Mary), succeeded James as bishop of
Sosipater, ordained bishop of Iconium by the Apostle Paul, his relative. With
St. Jason, he converted the king of
Sosthenes. “…became bishop of
Stachys, ordained by St.Andrew to be bishop of
61. Stephen the Promartyr and Archdeacon(one of the original seven deacons). Reference to in Acts 6:5-7:60; 8:2 (Acts 6:5-8:2); 11:19; 22:20
Tertius, bishop of Iconium (after Sosipater). He wrote down
Thaddaeus. He was baptized by John the Baptist (John the Forerunner). He later
preached, and founded a Church in
Timon,one of the original seven deacons, and later
bishop of Bostra (in
Timothy. He accompanied
Titus. “ Among the more prominent of the seventy was
the apostle Titus, whom Paul called his brother and his son. Born in Crete,
Titus was educated in Greek philosophy, but after reading the prophet Isaiah he
began to doubt the value of all he had been taught. Hearing the news of the
coming of Jesus Christ, he joined some others from Crete who were going to
67. Trophimus, disciple of St.Paul, and martyred under Nero. Reference to in Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Timothy 4:20
Tychicus. “…succeeded him (Sosthenes, as bishop) in that city
Urbanus, ordained by the Apostle Andrew as bishop of
70. Zenas, (called 'the lawyer') bishop of Diospolis (Lydda), in Palestine Reference to in Titus 3:13
1. Alphaeus, father of the apostle James and Matthew.
2. Apphia, wife to the Apostle Philemon. The Church had gathered in her home for liturgy, while pagans who had been celebrating a pagan feast broke in and raided her home. They took Apphia, Philemon, and Archippus to be killed. She suffered martyrdom, and is commemorated by the Church on February 19.
Junia, accompanied Andronicus in preaching all over
Silvan, bishop of
Zacchaeus, appointed by St.Peter to be bishop of
And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise hurt you. Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
The Great Commission
Soon after the resurrection Jesus appeared to all the
disciples together at the
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen. "
Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen:
But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
The Kingdom is in place. His ambassadors are left in the world as his representative.
Peter's actual name was Symeon rendered in English as Simon. Ac 15:14
Simon. or, Symeon (Greek Σιμων;
The name is derived from Simeon, son of Jacob and Leah, patriarch of the Tribe of Simeon. The text of Genesis (29:33) argues that the name of Simeon refers to Leah's belief that God had heard that she was hated by Jacob, in the sense of not being as favored as Rachel.
כִּי־שָׁמַע יְהוָה כִּי־שְׂנוּאָה אָנֹכִי וַיִּתֶּן־לִי גַּם־אֶת־זֶה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמֹו שִׁמְעֹון׃
"Because the LORD had heard that I was hated, he had therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon."
implying a derivation from the Hebrew term shama on, meaning "he has heard". In classical rabbinical sources, the name Symeon is interpreted as "he who listens to the words of God." (Genesis Rabbah 61:4)
father was Jona.
Hence he was called Simon bar-Jona Σιμων Βαριωνας
from Šim`ôn bar-Yônâ, 'Simon son of Jonah,' or Son of John. Mt. 16:17
Neither name John or Jona exists in Hebrew or Aramaic, as in the name Jesus. All of these "J" names are our English rendering for the Hebrew sound Y.
" First, it must be understood that names held great meaning in the Bible. Names often conveyed the nature or intended nature of a person given by relatives or even God Himself. For example, the Hebrew name "Abraham" was given to him by God to reveal his future nature-a father to a multitude-yet he didn't have any children when God changed his name. Indeed, biblical names hold great significance, from Adam ("From the ground") to Zurishaddai ("the Almighty is a rock") and every name in between.
... there are idioms, figures of speech and modes of expression that are unique to the Hebrew and Greek languages respectively. The Hebrew colloquialisms are called Hebraisms. Hebraisms are words that were common expressions or idioms that do not translate literally into English. ...... Peter was addressed as Simon, Bar-Jonah; and although there is a name involved, in this case it is actually a title. The Hebrew prefix bar means "son." .....
But the common figure of speech expression has nothing to do with coldness by degree; it in fact, means that something is very admirable or excellent. One such Hebraism, or Hebrew idiom, is the partial phrase, "son of [something]" or "child of [something]."
The Hebrews would call someone who had a certain characteristic, feature or destiny, a son of that thing. This is evident in several scriptures:
1. Son of Perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; John 17:12
2. Children of transgression; Isaiah 57:4
3. Sons of the kingdom; Matthew 8:12
4. Sons of the wicked one; Matthew 13:38
5. Sons of the bridechamber; Matthew 9:15
6. Son of hell; Matthew 23:15
7. Children of wrath; Ephesians 2:3
8. Sons of disobedience; Ephesians 2:2
9. Sons of Belial; 1 Samuel 2:12
...... Hebraisms in the Scriptures it is apparent that Jesus was identifying Peter as "a" person with an assignment similar to Jonah's, not "the" literal son of Jonah-his supposed father......"
interpretation Jesus took Simon, the rolling stone for the specific purpose of
an assignment similar to that of Jonah. As Jona was reluctant to go and
give the message to the gentile nation of
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst
whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy
hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest
not." John 21:18 KJV
Just as Jona was taken to
After the resurrection when Jesus came to Peter and told him to feed His flock, He used two separate terms to indicate two different types of people. He used the term lambs (John 21:15) and the word sheep (John 21:16; 17). Jesus was referring to the flock of the Jews. But then Jesus tells Peter to "tend" His sheep. because Jesus had to use a fish - in this case a vision to go against his jewish egoing to reach out to the centurion and open the door to the gentile world evangelism. Thus the name Simon bar jona would simply mean, the reluctant messenger. Simon certainly was deep rooted in Judaism that Paul had to confront him to come clean.
Taken in this sense Jesus was calling him as "The reluctant Missionary" knowing his character as one willing to take risk.
Cephas. Peter Πετρος
Cephas is a Syriac surname which was given to Simon by Jesus Christ. ( Mt 4:18; 10:2 ; Lu 22:31-34 ; Joh 1:42 21:15-17; 1Pe 1:1)
The Greek translate Cephas as Petrus.
(http://jimmyakin.com/2009/09/the-petrine-fact-part-5.html gives the best explanation of the problem)
"(Matthew 4:18-20). In Jesus time Greek was the popular language . In Greek Πετρος (Petros) means "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Jesus gave Simon (Peter) the name of Cephas. What meaning did he attach to the word Cephas? "Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone" (John i, 42).
In the Attic Greek
of classical poetry, petros is
sometimes used in the sense of a stone or movable rock, perhaps more or less
synonymously with lithos, in
“So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Kephas (which means Petros)” (John 1:42).
In due course of Christianity this name became popular inthe Christian world in various spellings. In
Simon Peter was probably first called Kepha (in Aramaic ), then Kephas (in Greek ), and finally Petros (again in Greek). Adding the final “s” or sigma for the Grecized form Kephas was to convert the female form Kepha to a Masculin form Kephas In the same way, Greek petra is feminine (first declension), and so was convertedd into Petros to make it masculine."
STRONGS NT 2786: Κεφας Chaldean כֵּיפָא, a rock, Cephas equivalent to Πέτρος Petros
However in the Old Testament the worlds tsûr and sela‘ are, metaphorically applied exclusively to God alone and particularly in Psalms and Isaiah. Thus the “Rock” came to denote a divine title refrerred as “the Rock,” “our Rock,” “my Rock,” “the Rock of Israel,” “the Rock of your refuge,” etc. (e.g., Deut 32:4,15-18,31; 2 Sam 22:2,32,47; Psa 18:2,31,46; Isa 17:10). As a result most protestants would translate Peter as "the stone" rather than "the rock". This takes its importance when related to the Primacy of Peter and the Papacy controversy.
Rock and Stone
Jesus the Rock on which the Church is built and Peter one of the main stones used
Ephesians 2:20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.
The combined name, Simon Peter, is found Luke 5:8; John 13:6; John 20:2; John 21:15, and elsewhere, though in these instances it is given as Simon; Symeon occurring only in Acts 15:14.
He was born in
Bethsaida (John 1:42, 44), a town on Lake Genesareth,
Today it is also known as et-Tell, Beth-Saida, Bethsaida Julia, Julia, Julias, Julias-Bethsaida
There is lot of confusion regarding the meaning of the township.
"Beth," obviously, means "house." But what about the "Saida"?
Austin Farrer gives the meaning as "House of Provisioning" and John Donahue & Daniel Harrington says "House of Fishermen"
There is a Hebrew noun tsedah, which is parallel with lexem (bread) in Psalm 78:25. In other places it means provision Gen. 42:25; 45:21; Exod. 12:39; Jos. 1:11; 9:11; Jdg. 7:8; 20:10; 1 Sam. 22:10. It is related to tsayid "game" and tsud "hunt." It is often assumed that Beth-saida means "House of the hunters", with the form being Aramaic rather than Hebrew. Assuming the site to be on or near the
Sea of Galilee, the "hunters" would actually be hunting for fishes giving the meaning "House of Fishermen."
literally means "house of fishing" which implies that it was a
"...Bethsaida Gaulonites is evidently spoken of, the ruins of which have been recognized by Dr. Eli Smith and other travelers on a hill called et-Tell, on the east bank of the Jordan, close to the northern shores of the lake. Josephus calls this Bethsaida-Julias, and informs us that Philip the Tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonites gave it this epithet in honour of Julias, having enlarged the town, and adorned it with public buildings." Julias may have been named after Augustus' daughter.
(1) A city
East of the
This is doubtless to be identified with the
To this neighborhood Jesus retired by boat with His disciples to rest awhile. The multitude following on foot along the northern shore of the lake would cross the
On the rocky
promontory, however, East of Khan Minyeh we find Sheikh `Aly ec-Caiyadin,
"Sheikh Aly of the Fishermen," as the name of a ruined weley, in
which the second element in the name
Peter and Andrew
Icon of the Holy Brothers :Apostles Peter and Andrew
Andrew and Peter were both disciples of Jesus. Andrew was indeed the first of Jesus's disciples.
When John Baptist began to preach the good news of the coming messiah and called for repentance in the desert, Andrew became a disciple of John. He was with John the Baptist, when seeing Jesus pass by the day after he had been baptized by him, said, "Behold the Lamb of God."
Joh 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
Joh 1:39-42 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.
From this time they became Jesus’ disciples, not as full time followers but as ardent students. They plied their trade and followed him as was able. They were the fans of Jesus the Rabbi.
(Luk 5:10)And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon
Simon Peter, Andrew
and Philip were from the city of
(Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16) However it appears that others within the fishing company continued the business even after the major partners went into fultime Ministry that Peter would consider taking it up again later in his life when the hope of a future with Jesus as king looked bleak.
(Luk 5:1-11) And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him (Jesus) to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Luke 5 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
After his discourse, Jesus decided to pay for his rental of the ship in fish. He bade Peter to cast his nets into the sea. Simon and Andrew had toiled all the last night but did not have any fish for their labor. They were fishermen and knew about the fish catching techniques and the behaviour of fishes.
(Luk 5:4-5) Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
He had scarcely done this, when such a shoal of fishes was caught by the first draught, as filled not only their own boat, but also that of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were fishing near them, and were forced to come and help them to drag in the net, which was ready to break with the load; yet the boats were not sunk.
Go away from me, I am a sinful man
Notice Peter is depicted as the oldest disciples in all portrayals
Painting by Jacopo Bassano, 1545
(Luk 5:8) When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
It was only after
the imprisonment of John the Baptist and the beginning of the declaration of
the Gospel of the
Mat 4:17 -20 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. They left their nets, and followed Jesus.
Now on it was a full time ministry for both Peter and Andrew.
Though not clearly stated it appears that Peter grew in prominence among the chosen twelve.
· There are four lists of the Apostles in the New Testament — one in each of the Synoptic Gospels containing the names of the Twelve, and one in the Book of Acts giving those of the Eleven only. ( Mark 3: 16—19; Matt: 10. —4; Luke 6: 14-16; Acts 1: 13.) Each list differs from the others in some respects. Peter always stands first in each of the New Testament lists, and Judas Iscariot comes last when he is mentioned at all. As I have mentioned it is probably because he was the oldest among them. It is certain that NT places emphasis on Peter as first among the Apostles if we go by the listings
· On various occasions Peter speaks in the name of the other Apostles (Matthew 15:15; 19:27; Luke 12:41, Matthew 16:16 etc.).
o the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51); The gospel of Mark says about that: "And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James" (Mark 5:37).
o the Transfiguration of Christ (Matthew 17:1; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:28),
the Agony in the
Peter the Moving Stone,
built into the Body of Christ
Peter is portrayed in the bible was a rash, outspoken and impulsive man bent on doing things as he saw fit without resoning out its consequences. Neverthless he did what is needed immediately without hesistation. He had a definite rebellious streak that posed hard to tame and willing to take risk. He was what we will always remember as an ardent activist who despite oppositions and problems dared to do it all inspite of them.
Peter had the peculiar characteristics of being impetuous on occasions and that tended to get him in trouble almost all the time. He seemed uncomfortable when an a courageous statement was needed and he would speak up when others hesitated. In the midst of all this vacilating situations, Jesus encouraged him and reinstated him as part of His Eternal Purpose.
1. Peters Leap of Faith
Peter was the only disciple who dared to walk on water on the commandment of Jesus. But as soon as he saw the waves his faith faded and he began to sink. Jesus pulled him out and said:"why did you doubt."
2. Peter's declaration of faith
Peter had fervent faith and strong zeal. When the Lord asked His disciples:
"Who do men say that I am?" So they answered, "Some say John the
Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." ... Simon Peter answered and said, "You are
the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Mat. 16:13-20)
The apostle saint Peter loved the Lord Christ very much. He loved His words and His instruction. Accordingly when some disciples returned back; and the Lord said to the twelve: "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6: 66-68).
love for Him was manifested in his words on the Great Thursday night.
When the Lord said to His disciples: "All of you will be made to stumble
because of Me this night", Peter with his
well-known impulsiveness answered and said to Him: "Even if all are made
to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble ....... Even if I
have to die with You, I will not deny You" (Matt. 26: 31-35).
"I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death" (Luke 22:33).
On one occasion Jesus even had to call him or this spirit Satan. This was soon after the great confession of Peter that Jesus was indeed Christ. When Jesus began to explain His forthcoming death on the cross, Peter could not understand Him. It went against all his understanding about the coming mesia which he just proclaimed who Jesus was. (Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33).
Mat 16:22 -23 And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from you, this shall not be unto you. Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, you are a scandal unto me: because you savour not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.
Peter was the only
person whom Jesus called "Satan".
Later Jesus told Peter that Satan had desired him that he might sift him as wheat. But he had interceded for him that his faith fail not, and, being once converted, he confirms his brethren (Luke 22:31-32).
4. Peter and the washing of feet
During the last supper when Jesus proceeded to wash the feet of His disciples when he came to Peter, he vehemently opposed this menial act as he was to be the mesia. But when Jesus explained that without that he cannot be his servant (in direct opposition to the worldly order of master servant relationship) Peter immediately said: "Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head" (John 13:1-10).
5. Peter did not give the moral support at the critical time of the agony of Christ at Gathsemene.
6. Peter uses violence at the time of arrest of Jesus
they seized Jesus, Peter was the first to act in an attempt to use
Jn 18;10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus.
7. Peter denied Jesus three times.
He at first took to flight with the other Apostles (John 18:10-11; Matthew 26:56); but regained courage and dared to enter into the courtyard of the High Priest. Peter's assurance that he was ready to accompany his Master to prison and to death, elicited Christ's prediction knowing the fickle rolling nature of Peter that he will deny Him three times before the cock crows two times. (Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-34; John 13:33-38). Peter indeed denied Christ not once but three times as Jesus well knew ahead. On realizing his weakness when the rooster crew the second time, "he went out and wept bitterly" (Matt. 26:75).
However Jesus after his resurrection on hearing Peters repentence "You know that I love you" (John 21: 17) reestablished him in his apostleship and said to him: "Feed My lambs", "Tend My sheep" (John 21: 15,16); but not without reminding him his betrayal number three.
8. Resurrection events:
The women, who were the first to find Christ's tomb empty, received from the angel a special message for all disciples with special mention of Peter (Mark 16:7).
16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that
he goes before you into
On hearing the news Peter and John ran to the tomb. John being younger and faster than Peter out runs him and arrives at the tomb first, but does not go in and waits for Peter to come. John peeped into the tomb and found the linen clothes lying in place. It was Peter who first entered inside tomb to become the first witness to the empty tomb. However as for John, “he saw and believed.” (pisteuo) It was John who understood the meaning of the positioning and tallit folded at the head as the sure sign of resurrection. Peter could not get this in at this point.
came to the empty tomb and examined the very same evidence. One “saw and
believed” while the other at this point did not.
Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)
Apart from the ladies Jesus' first appearance among the disciples was indeed to Peter alone on the first of after the resurrection. (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
9. Post Resurrection Events
Peter goes back to Fishing
Even after the resurrection and Jesus confirming it by his appearances alone Peter, Peter failed to see the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. He found himself without purpose and decides to go back to his old job. It was on one these fishing trips with other disciples that Jesus re-enter the life of Peter. He appeared at the
(Joh 21:2-4) There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called
Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in
But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
21;15-17 When therefore they had dined, Jesus says to
Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?
He said to him: Yea, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my lambs.
He says to him again: Simon, son of John, do you love me? He said to him: yea, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my lambs.
17 He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time: Do you love me? And he said to him: Lord, you know all things: you know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my sheep.
Come and have breakfast with me.
Eating the fish by James Tissot, 1886-94.
Peter became the feeder of the sheep only after the Pentecost. The Holy Spirit made him strong as he was being built into the house with Jesus as the rock
10. The vision of Peter
The vision Peter
received in Acts 11: 5 - 18 changed the entire outreach of early Christians, as
God revealed to Peter that none of his creation nor
any of the people on earth were ritually unclean. They were all part of
his creation and part of the Kingdom. This vision changed Peter's
understanding of God as a tribal of
The continued story gives us the story of Peter traveling outside of the Jewish area from Joppa to Casesarea to the house of a gentile - of Ceturion Cornelius - and starting the first gentile Church.
Peter's first sermon to the gentiles.
Act 10 (28-29)
Entering Cornelius’ house, Peter explains why he came.
And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
Act 10 (34-43) Peter’s short sermon to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that
God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works
righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the
children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ; He is Lord of all;
that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from
Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of
Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and
healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are
witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in
the Keys of the Kingdom
16:13-20 When Jesus came into the coasts of
Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the
Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
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.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. (Compare Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21).
The Roman Claim of Supremacy
the word "rock" the Saviour cannot have meant Himself, but only
Peter, as is so much more apparent in Aramaic in which the same word (Kipha) is
used for "Peter" and "rock". His statement then admits of
but one explanation, namely, that He wishes to make Peter the head of the whole
community of those who believed in Him as the true Messias; that through this
foundation (Peter) the Kingdom of Christ would be unconquerable; that the
spiritual guidance of the faithful was placed in the hands of Peter, as the
special representative of Christ. This meaning becomes so much the clearer when
we remember that the words "bind" and "loose" are not
metaphorical, but Jewish juridical terms. It is also clear that the position of
Peter among the other Apostles and in the Christian community was the basis for
The Protestant Interpretation
Cardinal Gibbons, a Catholic Archbishop said, "Jesus our Lord, founded but
one Church, which He was pleased to build on Peter. Therefore, any church that
does not recognize Peter as its foundation stone is not the
Col. 1:18, speaking of Christ, says, "And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy..." Thus, with reference to the authority in the church, the Lord Jesus Christ holds the primacy in all things. This leaves nothing for the Pope!
One of the greatest arguments against the primacy of Peter is the fact that the apostles had an argument among themselves as to which of them should be the greatest. Notice the following:
"Now there arose a dispute among them, which of them was reputed to be the greatest. But he said to them, 'The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and they who exercise authority over them are called Benefactors. But not so with you. On the contrary, let him who is greatest among you become as the youngest, and him who is chief as the servant.'" (Luke 22:24-26).
The very fact that the apostles had an argument among themselves shows they did not understand that Peter was to be prince. Also, the occasion of the argument was the night of the betrayal--the last night of the Lord's earthly ministry--and yet the apostles still did not understand that Christ had given Peter a position of primacy. The Lord settled the argument, not by stating that He had already made Peter head, but by declaring that the Gentiles have their heads, "But not so with you." Thus, Jesus very plainly taught that no one would occupy any such place as a Benefactor (or Pope) to exercise authority over the others.
The best explanation is found in http://carm.org/is-peter-the-rock
Is Peter the rock on which the Church is built?
by Matt Slick
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it," (Matt. 16:18).......
There are problems with the Roman Catholic position. First of all, when we look at the Greek of Matthew 16:18 we see
something that is not obvious in the English.
"...you are Peter (πέτρος, petros) and upon this rock (πέτρα,
In Greek nouns have gender. It is similar to the English words actor and actress. The first is masculine and the second is feminine. Likewise, the Greek word "petros" is masculine; "
The feminine "
• Matt. 16:18, "And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it."
• Matt. 27:60, "and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock (petra); and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away."
• 1 Cor.
10:4, "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from
a spiritual rock (petras) which followed them; and the rock (
• 1 Pet. 2:8, speaking of Jesus says that he is "A stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed."
We can clearly see that in the three other uses of the Greek word
In addition, Greek dictionaries and lexicons give us further insight into the two Greek words under discussion:
stone, distinguished from πέτρα
(Source: Liddell, H., 1996. A lexicon : Abridged
from Liddell and Scott's Greek-English lexicon (636).
Πέτρος, Peter, meaning stone. The
masc. of the fem. pétra (4073), a massive rock or cliff.” (Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New
Testament, electronic ed., G4074,
3. Petros, Πέτρος, “a noun akin to 4073, used as a proper name; “a stone” or “a boulder,” Peter, one of the twelve apostles:— Peter(150), Peter’s(5).” (Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition, H8674, Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998, 1981).
3. Petra, πέτρα, ας, ἡ (1) literally, living rock, bedrock (MT 7.24), in contrast to πέτρος (isolated stone); (Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg and Neva F. Miller, vol. 4, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Baker's Greek New Testament library, 311, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2000).
this rock (ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ
πέτρᾳ). The word is feminine, and means a rock, as
distinguished from a stone or a fragment of rock
(πέτρος, above)." (Marvin Richardson
Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, 1:91,
stone, distinguished from πέτρα.
A stone is movable,
unstable and this is exactly what we see with Peter, who doubted when he walked
on water, who denied Jesus, and who was rebuked by Paul at
Matt. 14:29-30, "And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
Luke 22:57-58, "But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him." 58 And a little later, another saw him and said, "You are one of them too!" But Peter said, "Man, I am not!"
Gal. 2:11,14 "But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned...14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"
Jesus, who knew the heart of Peter, was not saying that Peter, the movable and unstable stone, would be the immovable rock upon which the Church would be built. Rather, it would be built upon Jesus and it was this truth that Peter had affirmed what he said to Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," (Matt. 16:16). This is consistent with scripture elsewhere where the term rock is sometimes used in reference of God, but never of a man.
Deut. 32:4, "The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways
are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice."
2 Sam. 22:2-3, "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge."
Psalm 18:31, "And who is a rock, except our God."
Isaiah 44:8, "Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none."
Rom. 9:33, "Behold, I lay in
It should be obvious from the Word of God that the rock Jesus was referring to was not Peter, but himself. After all will God build his Church on a Man?
is that Jesus was referring to the confession of faith Peter just made.
It is on these confessions that the Kingdom is built upon.
Rom 10:9-10 If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved
Study By: Brittany C. Burnette
From the Series: "Upon This Rock": an Exegetical and Patristic Examination of Matthew 16:18
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The examination will now focus upon the patristic writers who have a Christological interpretation of Matt 16:18. Unlike the writers in the previous chapter, these church fathers believe that the “rock” in question refers to Jesus. These fathers would not use Matt 16:18 to affirm a permanent Roman see with Petrine authority because in their understanding, Jesus, not Peter, lies at the heart of the verse. The writings of Paul (particularly 1 Corinthians) were a great influence on the Christological school. Thanks to Paul, the theology of some of the writers was so Christocentric that it was difficult for them to envisage a foundation other than Jesus ; therefore, when these authors approach Matt 16:18, they may find a degree of primacy being bestowed to Peter, but the real “rock” in question is Jesus. This interpretation would dominate the Western exegesis of the Middle Ages, and it would greatly influence the writings of the Reformers as well. Between the third and fifth centuries, this view can be seen in the writings of three major fathers: Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Augustine.
Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, c. A.D. 260-340219
judgment on Eusebius’ interpretation of Matt 16:18 is somewhat difficult to
ascertain because he expresses different views. First, in his
Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius states: “Peter, on whom the
For instance, when He prophesied that His doctrine should be preached throughout the whole world inhabited by man for a testimony to all nations, and by divine foreknowledge declared that the Church, which was afterwards gathered by His own power out of all nations, though not yet seen nor established in the times when He was living as man among men, should be invincible and undismayed, and should never be conquered by death, but stands and abides unshaken, settled, and rooted upon His own power as upon a rock that cannot be shaken or broken …”
Here, Eusebius states that the Church is rooted upon the power of Jesus. This power is likened to a “rock that cannot be shaken or broken.” Again, he does not even mention successors of Peter or the authority that comes from such an office. In fact, he speaks of Christ as the foundation of the Church in such a way that almost seems to exclude the primacy of Peter. Therefore, it seems highly unlikely that Eusebius used Matt 16:18 to support an argument for the apostolic authority of the papacy.
Cyril also understood Jesus to be the “rock” of Matt 16:18. In his Catechetical
Lectures, he writes: “Of old the Psalmist sang, Bless ye God in the
congregations, even the Lord, (ye that are) from the fountains of
Augustine of Hippo, A.D. 354-430241
Few scholars would
argue the monumental impact of Augustine on Western theology. He was one of the
most prolific writers in the history of the Church, and his abiding importance
rests upon his keen, penetrating understanding into Christian truth.
Aurelius Augustinus was born in Thagaste of a pagan father and a Christian mother,
Monica. When Augustine was seventeen years old, his parents sent him to
Like many others
before him, Augustine strongly believed in apostolic succession. He did believe
that the bishop of
For if the lineal succession of bishops is taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: ‘Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!’ The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: - Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiads, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present bishop Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found.
Here, Augustine is
arguing much like Tertullian in his treatise Prescription Against
Heretics. Augustine is challenging the Donatists to prove their credentials. He
is basically stating that the church of Rome has
apostolic roots; he can trace the current bishop of
In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built.’… But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received the ‘keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For ‘Thou art Peter’ and ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is more probable.
Although Augustine leaves the final decision to the reader, his preference regarding the rock seems clear. According to Augustine, Peter represents the Church and Jesus is the “rock” of the Church. Peter is chief among the apostles because he serves as the figure of the church, but he is not the “rock” in question. That “rock” is Jesus. This is seen yet again in Augustine’s Tractate on the Gospel of John. There, he writes:
And this Church,
symbolized in its generality, was personified in the Apostle Peter, on account
of the primacy of his apostleship. … For petra (rock) is not derived from
Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the
Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord
said, 'On this rock will I build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art
the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which
thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (
Again, Peter is representative of the universal Church and Jesus himself, as rock, supports that Church. The rock did not take its name from Peter, but Peter had his name taken from the “rock”; this interpretation expressed Augustine’s doctrine of grace, because Peter, and in him the whole church, is built upon Christ alone.255 The “foundation” reference clearly echoes the writings of Paul. It appears that Augustine is using 1 Cor 3:11 to substantiate his reading of Matt 16. Church historian Karlfried Frhlich adds:
In harmony with his ecclesiology, but against the meaning of the text, Augustine rigorously separated the name-giving from its explanation: Christ did not say to Peter: ‘you are the rock,’ but ‘you are Peter.’ The church is not built upon Peter but upon the only true rock, Christ. Augustine and the medieval exegetes after him found the warrant for this interpretation in 1 Cor. 10:4. The allegorical key of this verse had already been applied to numerous biblical rock passages in the earlier African testimonia tradition. Matt. 16:18 was no exception. If the metaphor of the rock did not refer to a negative category of ‘hard’ rocks, it had to be read christologically.
Therefore, Peter served as a great prototype for the Church because in many ways, he was representative of the everyday Christian: sometimes he is strong (confessing that Jesus is the Christ); at other times he is weak (rebuking Jesus about his imminent death). Like everyone else, he is fallible, and needs to be grounded upon something stronger than himself, namely Jesus.
For Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Augustine the rock of Matt 16:18 was neither Peter nor his confession, but Jesus himself. It appears that the Pauline epistles, particularly 1 Corinthians, greatly influenced the writings of these fathers. The rock metaphor of Matt 16:18 stressed the strength of the Church’s foundation, but the foundation image itself was seen in 1 Corinthians 3, and that foundation is Jesus. Thus Jesus builds the church upon the firm rock, himself. Augustine, Cyril, and Eusebius all held a very high view of Peter, but they interpret the rock of Matt 16 to be Jesus, not the apostle. For Augustine, in particular, Peter and the popes are representatives of the entire Church; Jesus, though, is the firm rock upon which that Church rests, and it is he who supports and sustains the Christian body.
Finally here is what Peter himself will have to say about the rock in his first Epistle.
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the goodness (chrestos) of the Lord. Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (‘Iesou Christou). For it stands in scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,’ and ‘A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall’; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” 1 Peter 2:2-8
It is clear that Peter was refering to Jesus as the living stone / corner stone into which the church is built by each believer as living stones.
St. Peter in
Soon after the ascension of Jesus, Peter all of a sudden
leaves behind all his fickleness and is ready to take over the small community
of Christians in
The first act was the filling of vacancy due to the death of Judas. (Acts 1:15-26).
After the descent of the Holy Spirit on those who waited in the Upper Chamber on the feast of Pentecost, in accordance with the promise of Jesus everything changed not only for Peter , but for every disciple. Peter as the head of the Apostles delivers the first public sermon proclaiming Salvation through Jesus (Acts 2:14-41).
Acts 2: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 2:32 -33 This Jesus has God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has poured forth this which you see and hear.
The power of the witness of Peter was an immediate formation of the early Church when three thousand men who "were cut to the heart" (Acts 2:37), were baptized.
The rest of the story is filled with miracles. First of the Apostles, he worked a public miracle, when with John he went up into the temple and cured the lame man at the Beautiful Gate. To the people crowding in amazement about the two Apostles, he preaches a long sermon in the Porch of Solomon, and brings new increase to the new church. (Acts 3:1-4:4).
In the subsequent examinations of the two Apostles before the Jewish High Council, Peter defends in undismayed and impressive fashion the cause of Jesus and the obligation and liberty of the Apostles to preach the Gospel (Acts 4:5-21).
When the early Christian Commune which shared everything together was betrayed by the selfish Ananias and Sapphira Peter deals with the situation with seriousness. Peter appears as judge of their action, and God executes the sentence of punishment passed by the Apostle by causing the sudden death of the two guilty parties (Acts 5:1-11).
words of Peter were confirmed by signs and miracles every where he went.
The effect was so dramatic that the inhabitants of
This great outbreak and growth of the Jesus cult put the Jewish Temple authorities mad and they took the law in their hands and put the Apostles in jail. Here again Peter defends the case saying they "ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29 sqq.).
the faith began to spread into the neighboring countries of
now undertook an extensive missionary tour, into the coastal cities of Lydda, Joppa, and
· In Lydda he cured the palsied Eneas,
· in Joppe he raised Tabitha (Dorcas) from the dead; and
at Caesarea, instructed by a vision which he had in Joppe, he
baptized and received into the Church the first non-Jewish Christians, the
centurion Cornelius and his kinsmen (Acts 9:31-10:48). On Peter's return to
conversion took place on the road to
1:17 -19) Neither went I to
Soon Herod Agrippa I a grandson of Herod the Great and Mariamne, son of Aristobulus, and brother of Herodias, a prisoner in Rome under Tiberius; released by Caius when he came to power in A.D. 37, began (A.D. 42-44) a new persecution of the Church in Jerusalem. He executed James, the son of Zebedee, and put Peter in prison, intending to have him executed soon after the Jewish Passover. Peter was miraculousle released and went to the home of John Mark, where the whole asssembly was waiting and praying for liberation from the hands of Herod.
It appears that soon after Peter's mission was to the gentiles or perhaps mainly to the jews in dispersion as Bible stops at this point and we have very little documentation to go by.
Ss. Peter and Paul: Having the Rock of Faith Holding Up the Church
The founding of the
The later tradition, which existed as early as the end of the second century (Origen, "Hom. vi in Lucam"; Eusebius, Church History III.36), that Peter founded the Church of Antioch, indicates the fact that he laboured a long period there, and also perhaps that he dwelt there towards the end of his life and then appointed Evodrius, the first of the line of Antiochian bishops, head of the community. Church tradition maintains that the See of Antioch was founded by Saint Peter the Apostle in A.D. 34 . Peter was either followed or joined by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas who preached there to both Gentiles and to Jews,
The Cave Church of St. Peter (also the Grotto of St. Peter; Turkish Sen Piyer Kilisesi) is an ancient
cave church with a stone facade, located just outside
The attractive stone façade of the church was built
by Crusaders, who identified the grotto during their rule of
The aerial view of the cave church
Facade of the
Inside the Church and the altar (dated 4th c AD)
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch is the most ancient Christian church in the world. According to Saint Luke:
disciples were first called Christians in
St. Peter and
Grecian "Ancient Synagogal" priestly rites and hymns have survived
partially to the present in the distinct church services of the Melkite Greek
Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities of the Hatay Province of Southern
Turkey, Syria and
Paul's Confrontation with Peter
While Paul was
Paul seeing the error in placing salvation through works stood against the great senior Apostle and condemned him. We do not know how Peter dealt with the situation. The rest of the Christian history carries the outcome that declared Peter wrong and Paul right that Salvation is through faith in Jesus and not in obeying laws which are cultural. Works are the expressions of faith in the context of the culture in which the Christian live.
(Gal 2:11-16) But when Peter was come to
also probable that Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of
Asia Minor which might have included
is a tradition related by Bishop Dionysius of
last mention of St. Peter in the bible is in Acts
(15:1-29; cf. Galatians 2:1-10) regarding the Council of the
Apostles to decide the issue of jewish and gentile Christians regarding
Judaizers. The council was chaired by James the
brother of Jesus who headed the
Activity and death
Post Biblical Activities of Peter.
Catholic tradition holds that Peter was the first Pope of the
St. Peter's First Epistle starts with the following statement:
that is in
If we take the statement
on face value literally, Peter was in
There are three
First one is the small Egyptian town on the outskirts of
Pr-Hapi-n-Iwnw (Nile house of
It was on the
In the "A Historical Atlas of the Jewish People" edited by Eli Barnavi and published by Schocken Books we see this statement:
Long after the
ancient city of
The third choice is
Thus we have these choices.
There are large number of traditions which support this last point of view. Among them are:
of Rome (d A.D. 97) wrote that Peter and Paul were martyred together at
· Tertullian, writing about A.D. 200 also state the same.
the fourth century church historian, cites as
his authority Caius, a Roman writer of the early third century, who said that
Peter was buried in a shaft grave in
In this issue here are some Bible commentaries:
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
The church that is
at Babylon, elected together with you - It will be seen at once that much of
this is supplied by our translators; the words "church that is" not
being in the original. The Greek is, ἡ ἐν
συνεκλεκτὴ hē en
Babulōni suneklektē; and might refer to a church, or to a female. Wall,
Mill, and some others, suppose that the reference is to a Christian woman,
perhaps the wife of Peter himself. Compare 2 John 1:1. But the Arabic,
Syriac, and Vulgate, as well as the English versions, supply the word
"church." This interpretation seems to be confirmed by the word
rendered "elected together with" -
This word would be properly used in reference to one individual if writing to
another individual, but would hardly be appropriate as applied to an individual
addressing a church. It could not readily be supposed, moreover, that any one
And so doth Marcus my son - Probably John Mark. See the notes at Acts 12:12; Acts 15:37. Why he was now with Peter is unknown..... It is possible, however, that some other Mark may be referred to, in whose conversion Peter had been instrumental.
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
The Church that is at Babylon - After considering all that has been said by learned men and critics on this place, I am quite of opinion that the apostle does not mean Babylon in Egypt, nor Jerusalem, nor Rome as figurative Babylon, but the ancient celebrated Babylon in Assyria, which was, as Dr. Benson observes, the metropolis of the eastern dispersion of the Jews; ......
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The church that is
and so doth Marcus, my son; either, in a natural sense, his son according to the flesh; since it is certain Peter had a wife, and might have a son, and one of this name: or rather in a spiritual sense, being one that he was either an instrument of converting him, or of instructing him, or was one that was as dear to him as a son; in like manner as the Apostle Paul calls Timothy, and also Titus, his own son. This seems to be Mark the evangelist, who was called John Mark, was Barnabas's sister's son, and his mother's name was Mary; see Colossians 4:10. He is said (Papias apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39. Tertullian. adv. Marcion, l. 4. c. 5. Hieron. Catalog. Script. Eccl. sect. 2. 18. ) to be the interpreter of Peter, and to have wrote his Gospel from what he heard from him; and who approved of it, and confirmed it, and indeed it is said to be his.
Vincent's Word Studies
The word is not in the Greek, but is supplied with the feminine definite article ἡ. There is, however, a difference of opinion as to the meaning of this feminine article. Some suppose a reference to Peter's own wife; others, to some prominent Christian woman in the church. Compare 2 John 1:1. The majority of interpreters, however, refer it to the church.
Some understand in
a figurative sense, as meaning
In favor of the former view are the drift of ancient opinion and the Roman Catholic interpreters, with Luther and several noted modern expositors, as Ewald and Hoffmann. This, too, is the view of Canon Cook in the "Speaker's Commentary."
In favor of the
literal interpretation are the weighty names of Alford, Huther, Calvin,
Neander, Weiss, and Reuss. Professor Salmond, in his admirable commentary on
this epistle, has so forcibly summed up the testimony that we cannot do better
than to give his comment entire: "In favor of this allegorical
interpretation it is urged that there are other occurrences of Babylon in the
New Testament as a mystical name for Rome (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 18:2,
Revelation 18:10); that it is in the highest degree unlikely that Peter should
have made the Assyrian Babylon his residence or missionary centre, especially
in view of a statement by Josephus indicating that the Emperor Claudius had
expelled the Jews from that city and neighborhood; and that tradition connects
Peter with Rome, but not with Babylon. The fact, however, that the word is
mystically used in a mystical book like the Apocalypse - a book, too, which is
steeped in the spirit and terminology of the Old Testament - is no argument for
the mystical use of the word in writings of a different type. The allegorical
interpretation becomes still less likely when it is observed that other
geographical designations in this epistle (1 Peter 1:1) have undoubtedly the
literal meaning. The tradition itself, too, is uncertain. The statement in
Josephus does not bear all that it is made to bear. There is no reason to
suppose that, at the time when this epistle was written, the city of
of Peter and
from Early Church Fathers
Thus we have no
scriptural confirmation as to Peter's presence in
"Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. " (The First Epistle of Clement,5,in Ante-Nicene Fathers,I:6)
'You have thus by
such an admonition bound together the plantings of Peter and Paul at
issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and
Paul were preaching at
"As Peter had
preached the Word publicly at
'We read the lives of the Caesars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising blood. Then is Peter girt by another, when he is made fast to the cross." Tertullian, Scorpiace,15:3(A.D. 212),in ANF,III:648
"[W]hat utterance also the Romans give, so very near (to the apostles), to whom Peter and Paul conjointly bequeathed the gospel even sealed with their own blood." Tertullian, Against Marcion,4:5(inter A.D. 207-212),in ANF,III:350
therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in
last, having come to
the first of the Apostles, having been often apprehended, and thrown into
prison, and treated with igominy, was last of all crucified at Rome."
and Paul preached at
"Peter...coming to the city of
"This man [Simon Magus], after he had been cast out by the Apostles, came to Rome...Peter and Paul,a noble pair, chief rulers of the Church, arrived and set the error right...For Peter was there, who carrieth the keys of heaven..." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures,6:14-15(c.A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VII:37-38
In the study "The Bones Of Peter" by Dr. W. A. Criswell gives a summary arguments
(http://www.mtc.org/bones_p.html) why Peter could not have been in
Peter in the Early Churches
Was Peter ever the
ruler of the church? Of any church any time, any place? Not that anybody knows
of. The pastor and leader of the church at
Notice in Acts 8:14
that Peter is "sent" by the apostles along with John to
Notice in Acts
15:14-21 that at the
Was Peter Ever in
The second avowal
of the Roman hierarchy concerning Peter is that he was bishop at
1. Paul was
converted about 37 A.D. He says in the first chapter of Galatians (Gal.
1:13-18) that after his conversion he went into Arabia, "then after three
years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen
days." This takes us to 40 A.D., and Peter is still in
2. Sometime during
those days Peter made his missionary journey through the western part of Judea,
to Lydda, to Joppa, to Caesarea, and back to
3. Paul writes in
the second chapter of Galatians that fourteen years after his first visit to
4. Peter returns
the visit and goes to
5. After 54 A.D.,
and after the
6. In about 58 A.D.
Paul wrote a letter to the church at
1:13 shows that the church at
The gospel ministry
of Paul was motivated by a great principle which he clearly repeats in Romans
15:20: "Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was
named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation." A like avowal
is made in I Corinthians 10:15,16. Where no other
apostle has been, there Paul wanted to go. Having written this plainly to the
7. Paul's first Roman imprisonment took place about 60 A.D. to 64 A.D. from his prison the Apostle to the Gentiles wrote four letters - Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. In these letters he mentions many of his fellow Christians who are in the city, but he never once refers to Simon Peter.
8. Paul's second Roman imprisonment brought him martyrdom. This occurred about 67 A.D. Just before he died Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, our "II Timothy." In that final letter the apostle mentions many people but plainly says that "only Luke is with me." There is never a reference to Peter.
We have gone
throughout those years of 42 A.D. to 67 A.D., the years Peter is supposed to
have been the prince and bishop and ruler of the church at
gives eleven reasons that proves Peter was never been in
let’s look to The Bible and see why the apostle Peter was never in
Below are eleven major New Testament proofs, which completely disprove the claim that Peter was in
........ Christ commissioned Peter to become chief minister to the CIRCUMCISED, not to uncircumcised Gentiles.
"The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)" (Gal. 2:7-8).
Here we have it in the clearest of language. It was Paul, NOT Peter, who was commissioned to be the chief Apostle to the Gentiles. And who was it that wrote the Epistle to the ROMANS? It certainly WASN’T Peter! "And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace [i.e., the gift or office] that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision" (Gal. 2:9). .......
PETER is NOWHERE called the Apostle to the Gentiles! This precludes him from going to
Paul specifically told the Gentile Romans that HE had been chosen to be their Apostle, not Peter. "I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable" (Rom. 15:16). How clear! Paul had the direct charge from Christ in this matter. He even further relates in Romans 15:18 that it was Christ who had chosen him "to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed."
PAUL Established the Only TRUE Church at
We are told by Paul himself that it was he -- not Peter –who was going to officially found the Roman Church. "I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" (Rom. 1:11). Amazing! The Church at
We find Paul not only wanting to establish the Church at
At the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he greets no fewer than 28 different individuals, but never mentions Peter once! See Romans 16 --read the whole chapter! Remember, Paul greeted these people in 55 or 56 A.D. Why didn’t he mention Peter? -- Peter simply wasn’t there!
Some four years after Paul wrote Romans, he was conveyed as a prisoner to
When Paul finally arrived at
Now, what does all this mean? It means that if Peter, who was himself a strongly partisan Jew, had been preaching constantly in
After the rejection of the Jewish elders, Paul remained in his own hired house for two years. During that time he wrote Epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, Philemon, and to the Hebrews. And while Paul mentions others as being in
With the expiration of Paul’s two year’s imprisonment, he was released. But about four years later (near 65 A.D.), he was again sent back a prisoner to
The Apostle Paul distinctly informs us that Peter was not in
Peter’s death is foretold by Christ himself (John 21:18-19.) “. When you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Hmm, it sounds like Christ himself said that Peter would die of old age. Why would Peter’s death in old age glorify God? Peter was the one that ran from Christ the night of his trial and crucifixion. This exchange is after Christ rose from the tomb and Peter was forgiven three times, just as he denied his master three times before the cock crowed that fateful night of Christ’s trial.
Where was Peter the apostle of Christ at the times the Catholics believe Peter was in
Near 45 A.D., we find Peter being cast into prison at
In 49 A.D.,
he was still in
About 51 A.D., he was in Antioch of Syria where he got into differences with Paul because he wouldn’t sit or eat with Gentiles. Strange that the "Roman bishop" would have nothing to do with Gentiles in 51 A.D.!
Later in about 66
A.D., we find him in the city of
At the times the Catholics believe Peter was in
We know from The Bible that the apostle Peter was not in
The task of determining the year of St. Peter's death is attended with similar difficulties. In the fourth century, and even in the chronicles of the third, we find two different entries. In the "Chronicle" of Eusebius the thirteenth or fourteenth year of Nero is given as that of the death of Peter and Paul (67-68); this date, accepted by Jerome, is that generally held.
year 67 is also supported by the statement, also accepted by Eusebius and
Jerome, that Peter came to Rome under the Emperor Claudius (according to
Jerome, in 42), and by the above-mentioned tradition of the twenty-five years'
episcopate of Peter (cf. Bartolini, "Sopra l'anno 67 se fosse quello del
martirio dei gloriosi Apostoli", Rome, 1868) . A different statement is
furnished by the "Chronograph of 354" (ed. Duchesne, "Liber
Pontificalis", I, 1 sqq.). This refers St. Peter's arrival in
Duchesne has shown that the dates in the "Chronograph" were inserted in a list of the popes which contains only their names and the duration of their pontificates, and then, on the chronological supposition that the year of Christ's death was 29, the year 30 was inserted as the beginning of Peter's pontificate, and his death referred to 55, on the basis of the twenty-five years' pontificate (op. cit., introd., vi sqq.).
earliest reference to Peter's death (outside the New Testament: see John
21:15-19) is 1 Clement (a.k.a. Letter to the Corinthians), written c. 96. In
that letter, Clement, the bishop of
The manner of death of
Peter is again based on tradition and held firmly by the Roman Catholics.
(Alternate explanation is found in XI where it is shown that Peter died in
historian Eusebius, a contemporary of
St. Peter "came to
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter (Italian: Crocifissione di san Pietro; 1600) is a work by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painted for the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome.
says: "Peter was crucified at
that assumption the place of execution is placed in the
He was buried , in the vicinity of the Via Cornelia and at the foot of the Vatican Hills.
Built over Peter's tomb
This is how the catacombs, the early christian cemetery in Rome looked like where the bodies of Apostles Peter and Paul were laid, according to the tradition of Rome.
of third century says:
For a time the remains of Peter lay with those of Paul in a vault on the Appian Way at the place ad Catacumbas, where the
The remains had probably been brought thither at the beginning of the Valerian persecution in 258, to protect them from the threatened desecration when the Christian burial-places were confiscated.
They were later restored to their former resting-place, and Constantine the Great had a magnificent basilica erected over the grave of St. Peter at the foot of the Vatican Hill.
This basilica was replaced by the present St. Peter's in the sixteenth century. The vault with the altar built above it (confessio) has been since the fourth century the most highly venerated martyr's shrine in the West. In the substructure of the altar, over the vault which contained the sarcophagus with the remains of St. Peter, a cavity was made. This was closed by a small door in front of the altar. By opening this door the pilgrim could enjoy the great privilege of kneeling directly over the sarcophagus of the Apostle. Keys of this door were given as previous souvenirs (cf. Gregory of Tours, "De gloria martyrum", I, xxviii).
Peter in the words of some Fathers
of the Church
"The blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly grasped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? `Behold, we have left all and have followed you'" [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28] (Who Is the Rich Man That is Saved? 21:3-5 [A.D. 200]).
"For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him if he has been questioned and made a confession [of faith]" (Antidote Against the Scorpion 10 [A.D. 211]).
"The Lord said to Peter, 'On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven' [Matt. 16:18-19] . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed" (Modesty 21:9-10 [A.D. 220]).
· The Letter of Clement to James
"Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus Himself, with His truthful mouth, named Peter, the first-fruits of our Lord, the first of the apostles; to whom first the Father revealed the Son; whom the Christ, with good reason, blessed; the called, and elect" (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221])
"If we were to attend carefully to the gospels, we should also find, in relation to those things which seem to be common to Peter . . . a great difference and a preeminence in the things [Jesus] said to Peter, compared with the second class [of apostles]. For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).
"The Lord says to Peter: 'I say to you,' he says, 'that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church' . . . On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).
"The Lord is loving toward men, swift to pardon but slow to punish. Let no man despair of his own salvation. Peter, the first and foremost of the apostles, denied the Lord three times before a little servant girl, but he repented and wept bitterly" (Catechetical Lectures 2:19 [A.D. 350]).
Magus] so deceived the city of
"In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis" [Acts 9:32-34] (ibid., 17:27).
· Ephraim the Syrian
"[Jesus said:] Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on Earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the first-born in my institution so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures" (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).
"[Christ] made answer: 'You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church . . .' Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).
· Pope Damasus I
"Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: 'You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ' [Matt. 16:18-19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).
"'But,' you [Jovinian] will say, 'it was on Peter that the Church was founded' [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division" (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]).
"Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to over-throw Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396]).
· Pope Innocent I
"In seeking the things of God . . . you have acknowledged that judgment is to be referred to us [the pope], and have shown that you know that is owed to the Apostolic See [Rome], if all of us placed in this position are to desire to follow the Apostle himself [Peter] from whom the episcopate itself and the total authority of this name have emerged"
· (Letters 29:1 [A.D. 408]).
"Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear 'I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]).
"Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure on account of the primacy which he bore among the disciples. Such is 'I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,' and other similar passages. In the same way, Judas represents those Jews who were Christ's enemies" (Commentary on Psalm 108 1 [A.D. 415])
"Who is ignorant that the first of the apostles is the most blessed Peter?" (Commentary on John 56:1 [A.D. 416]).
"Philip, presbyter and legate of [Pope Celestine I] said: 'We offer our thanks to the holy and venerable synod, that when the writings of our holy and blessed pope had been read to you . . . you joined yourselves to the holy head also by your holy acclamations. For your blessedness is not ignorant that the head of the whole faith, the head of the Apostles, is blessed Peter the Apostle'" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 431]).
· Council of Effuses
"Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome] said: 'There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors'" (ibid., session 3).
· Pope Leo I
"Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the apostles, and from him as from the head wishes his gifts to flow to all the body, so that anyone who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery. He wished him who had been received into partnership in his undivided unity to be named what he himself was, when he said: 'You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church' [Matt. 16:18], that the building of the eternal temple might rest on Peter's solid rock, strengthening his Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it" (Letters 10:1 [A.D. 445).
· Pope Leo I
"Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . established the worship belonging to the divine [Christian] religion . . . But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the apostles. And he wanted his gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as if from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he was himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery" (ibid., 10:2-3).
"Although bishops have a common dignity, they are not all of the same rank. Even among the most blessed apostles, though they were alike in honor, there was a certain distinction of power. All were equal in being chosen, but it was given to one to be preeminent over the others. . . the care of the universal Church would converge in the one See of Peter, and nothing should ever be at odds with this head" (ibid., 14:11).
"The blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he understood. ( He is still with us) For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the rock, from his being pronounced the foundation, from his being constituted the doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the umpire to bind and loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ" (Sermons 3:2-3 [A.D. 450]).
Tracing the original tombs
of Corinth mentions the burial place of Peter as
Fourth century mosaic of St. Peter, Catacombs of St. Thecla
Catholic tradition holds that the bereaved Christians followed their usual custom in burying him as near as possible to the scene of his suffering. According to Catholic lore, he was laid in ground that belonged to Christian proprietors, by the side of a well-known road leading out of the city, the Via Cornelia (site of a known pagan and Christian cemetery) on the hill called Vaticanus. The actual tomb was an underground vault, approached from the road by a descending staircase, and the body reposed in a sarcophagus of stone in the center of this vault.
The Book of Popes mentions that Pope Anacletus built a "sepulchral monument" over the underground tomb of St. Peter shortly after his death. This was a small chamber or oratory over the tomb, where three or four persons could kneel and pray over the grave. The pagan Roman Emperor, Julian the Apostate, mentions in 363 A.D. in his work Three Books Against the Galileans that the tomb of St. Peter was a place of worship, albeit secretly.
is evidence of the existence of the tomb (trophoea, i.e., trophies, as signs or
memorials of victory) at the beginning of the 2nd century, in the words of the
presbyter Caius refuting the Montanist traditions of a certain Proclus:
"But I can show the trophies of the Apostles. For if you will go to the
These tombs were the objects of pilgrimage during the ages of persecution, and it will be found recorded in certain Acts of the Martyrs that they were seized while praying at the tombs of the Apostles.
During the reign of the Roman Emperor Valerian, Christian persecution was particularly severe. The remains of the dead, and particularly the Christian dead, had lost their usual protections under Roman law. The remains of Peter and Paul may have been removed temporarily from their original tombs in order to preserve them from desecration by the Romans. They may have been removed secretly by night and hidden in the Catacombs of S. Sebastiano in 258 AD, being returned to their original tombs in 260 when Valerian's reign ended.
When the Church was once more at peace under Constantine the Great, Christians were able at last to build edifices suitable for the celebration of Divine Service. The resting places of the relics of the Apostles were naturally among the first to be selected as the sites of great basilicas. The emperor supplied the funds for these buildings, in his desire to honor the memories of the two Apostles.
the Vatican Hill was leveled to provide a firm foundation for the
Book of Popes details certain adornments that
skull of St. Peter is claimed to reside in the Basilica of St. John Lateran
since at least the ninth century, alongside the skull of
1939 and 1949, the Vatican-led archaeological team overseen by Monsignor Ludwig
Kaas, who had overall authority over the project, had uncovered a complex of pagan
mausoleums under the foundations of St. Peter's Basilica (the so-called Vatican
Necropolis), dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Construction of
Bones transferred in 1942
In 1942, the Administrator of St. Peter's, Monsignor Ludwig Kaas, found remains in a second tomb in the monument. Being concerned that these presumed relics of a saint would not be accorded the respect they deserved, and having little understanding of correct archeological procedures, he secretly ordered these remains stored elsewhere for safe-keeping.
After Kaas's death, Professor Margherita Guarducci discovered these relics by chance. She informed Pope Paul VI of her belief that these remains were those of St. Peter. Bone testing revealed that the remains belonged to a man in his sixties. On June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI announced that the relics of St. Peter had been discovered.
Possible ossuary of Peter in Jerusalem
Roman traditions are all contravened by the discovery of Peter's tomb in
The 43 inscriptions discovered in the Dominus Flevit cemetery between May 1953 and June 1955 were published with photographs by P. B. Bagatti and J. T. Milik in 1958. The inscriptions on the ossuaries also included the names Jesus, Joseph, Judas, Mathew, Martha, Mary and Mariame - with the inscriptions of the latter two names being written in Greek.
Here is the relevant quote from the source
Peter's Tomb Discovered in
by F. Paul Peterson
While visiting a friend in
Peter. They were found in an ossuary, on the outside of which was clearly and
beautifully written in Aramaic,
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
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
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, where Jesus was buried and
rose again. This priest, Milik, admitted that he knew that the bones of St. Peter
are not in
I have spoken on the subject to many
Franciscan priests who either were, or had been in
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 was trying to pull him through a keyhole. 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
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
I also spoke to a Franciscan priest in
authority at the priest's printing plant within the walls of old
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)
I visited various renowned archaeologists
on the subject. Dr. Albright, of the
"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 after about ten years 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 was 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
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 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
When Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption
of Mary to be an article of faith in 1950, the Catholic Church in
The Catholic Church says that Peter was
This reminds me of my visit to the St.
Angelo Castle in
All this explains why the Catholic Church has been so careful to keep this discovery unknown. They were successful in doing just that from 1953, when it was discovered by the Franciscans on their own convent site, until 1959. Having succeeded for so long in keeping this thing quiet, as the Pope had admonished, they were off guard when a fellow at that time came along who appeared harmless but persistent. Little did they know that this fellow would publish the news everywhere. Their position in the world is shaky enough without this discovery becoming generally known.
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
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 was 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. Both speculations are beyond the realm of
the possible. 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
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 tell of his being in
Eusebius, one of the most learned men of
his time, wrote the Church history up to the year 325 A.D. He said that Peter
never was in
The secrecy surrounding this case is
amazing, and yet understandable, since Catholics largely base their faith on
the assumption that Peter was their first Pope and that he was martyred and
buried there. But I am somewhat of the opinion that the Franciscan priests,
those who are honest, would be glad to see the truth proclaimed, even if it
displeased those who are over them. While visiting with priest Milik, I told
him of the highly educated priest with whom I had spoken just before going from
Mark you, all the priests agree that the
In 1950, just a few years prior to the discovery of the Christian burial ground in Jerusalem, the Pope made the strange declaration that the bones of St. Peter were found under St. Peter�s in Rome. Strange it was, for since beginning to build the church in 1450 (finished in 1626) they erected, St. Peter's Tomb (?) under the large dome and Bernini's serpentine columns. 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. The following was published in the Newsweek of July 1, 1957:
It was in 1950 that Pope Pius XII in his Christmas message announced that the tomb of St. Peter had indeed been found, as tradition held, beneath the immense dome of the Cathedral (there was, however, no evidence that the bones uncovered there belonged to the body of the martyr). The parentheses are Newsweek's.
To make an announcement of such importance when there is absolutely no evidence is rather ridiculous as is also brought out in the Time Magazine of October 28, 1957 (as in above, we quote the article word-for-word).
A thorough account in English of the
discoveries beneath St. Peter's is now available . . . by British
archaeologists Jocelyn Toynbee and John Ward Perkins. The authors were not
members of the excavating team, but scholars Toynbee (a Roman Catholic) and
Perkins (an Anglican) poured over the official
Then in 1965, an archaeologist at
The intelligent priest whom I have mentioned, said that Peter's bones were found and he was a man who died of about 62 years of age, the tests indicated. Pope Pius XII declared these bones were the bones of St. Peter, in his Christmas message of 1950. These were the same as claimed by Newsweek, there was, however, no evidence that the bones uncovered there belonged to the body of the martyr (Peter), as well as the above doubtful statements of the archaeologists working on the case. The Pope, notwithstanding, was overjoyed to think they had found the bones of St. Peter until further examination proved that these bones were those of a woman. This fact came out in an article on the subject in the S. F. Chronicle of June 27, 1968.
To continue the history of another case in
which they have erred: In spite of the statements by the high Papal authority
above, and the resultant lesson that should have been learned, the Pope, a year
later claimed the Prof. Margherita bones as his very own, that is, those of St.
Peter. When the bones were found there was little importance placed upon them
and they were filed away as such. But when the first set of Peter's bones
turned out so tragically, there was a vacuum left and something had to be done.
Again they turned their thoughts to the filed-away bones, the only hope they
had of success. 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.
With a generous mixture of ideas, suppositions, theories, and wishful thinking,
a fairly logical story emerged. It was then declared by Pope Paul VI as the
Gospel truth, that these now, were the genuine bones
of St. Peter, and most of the faithful accepted them as such. For a while all
was well until another hitch developed. 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. The
dilemma was terrible. They were between the Devil and the deep blue sea. They
have juggled around the skulls of St. Peter causing confusion. 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. They
rejected the past rather than expose themselves to the ridicule of the present.
Prof. Margherita claims in this article which appeared in the Manchester
But the most astounding statement in the
long article found in the above-mentioned newspapers is, The
professor did not submit them (Peter's bones?) to modern scientific tests,
which would have determined the approximate age, because, she feared, the
process would have reduced them to dust. How could any scientific study of
bones be carried out without first scientifically determining the age of the
person, or bones? This would be of the greatest interest and the most important
for further research. Also any scientist or chemist knows that you do not have
to submit the whole skeleton for testing to determine the age. A part of the
shin bone or of a rib would be sufficient. It appears that she was protecting
her Peter's bones from another possible disaster, which a wrong age would have
Strained attempts to have Peter, the
Apostle to the Hebrews of the East, in Paul's territory at
The great historian, Schaff, states that
the idea of Peter being in
Paul lived and wrote in
Copyright 1960 by F. Paul Peterson.
Copies may be obtained from your local bookstore or from the author and
publisher, F. Paul Peterson, P.0. Box 7351,
St. Andrew the First-called Apostle
Saint Andrew (Ἀνδρέας, Andreas;
from the early 1st century – mid to late 1st century AD), called in the
Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos, or the First-called, is
a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. Byzantium
Churches hold that he was the elder brother of Saint Peter. Andrew was the
brother of Simon Peter and son of Jonah. The name of Andrew's mother was
traditionally Joanna, and according to the "Genealogies of the Twelve
Apostles" (Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 49) he belonged to the
tribe of Reuben, the tribe of his father. He was born in
"Andrew" in Greek means "manly,
brave" and is derived from ἀνδρεία,
Andreia, "manhood, valour" No Hebrew or Aramaic name is
recorded for him. This probably indicate he was
a Hellenized Jew who had returned to Palestian from
The Gospel of John states that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him, and another unnamed disciple of John the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce him to his brother Peter saying "We have found the mesia". Thenceforth, the two brothers were disciples of Christ. Later they were called together into the full time ministry when Jesus said that He will make them "fishers of men" (Greek: ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων, halieĩs anthrōpōn) instead of being fishermen, on which they left their boats and net to the family and followed Jesus.
In two of the four lists of the Apostles in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2-4 and Luke 6:14-16) Andrew comes second only to Saint Peter, and in the other two (Mark 3:16-19 and Acts 1:13) he is numbered among the first four.
Most of what we know about Andrew comes from the Gospel of John. It is very surprising that Andrew remains silent throughout the Gospels. In addition to the occasion on which he was called to the apostolate, he is mentioned only three other times in the Gospels. He occupies a more prominent place in the Gospel of Jn than in the synoptical writings, and this is explicable at least in part from the fact that Andrew was Greek both in language and sympathies (compare infra), and that his subsequent labors were intimately connected with the people for whom Jn was immediately writing
The first occured on the shores of the
A second appearance of Andrew is mentioned by John.
There were certain converts from among the pagans who had come to
The third incident occurred connected with the prophesy of
the destruction of
He is not even mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. None of his works are known. No Epistles he wrote has been preserved. This is not because Andrew was not an active Apostle but because the Bible is essentially codified from the point of view of Greco-Roman culture and its interaction with the Gospel. So we have to go by the traditions. These were handed down by word of mouth and rituals and songs.
A fragment of a Coptic gospel of the 4th or 5th century tells how not only Thomas (Jn 20:27), but also Andrew was compelled, by touching the feet of the risen Saviour, to believe in the bodily resurrection (Hennecke, Neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, etc., 38, 39).
These are referred to by early fathers.
(Church History III.1), relying, apparently, upon Origen, assigns
Gregory of Nazianzus (Oration 33) mentions
(on Ps. cxvi)
Origen as saying Andrew preached along the Black Sea and the Dnieper and Volga
rivers as far as
to Hippolytus of Rome, he preached in
of Seleucia also knew of Apostle Andrew's mission in
Founder Apostle Andrew
II:39), relying upon early writers, states that "Andrew preached in
Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, then in the land of the anthropophagi and
the Scythian deserts, afterwards in Byzantium itself, where he appointed St.
Stachys as its first bishop, and finally in Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and
Achaia." Thus according to tradition, he founded the See of
The Apostle Stachys was one of the Seventy Apostles of the Lord. In 38 AD Apostle Andrew appointed him first bishop of the city of
AD 330 that the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great moved his residence to
George Alexandrou, international reporter, writer, and political commentator, on his thousand-page book in Greek, "He Raised the Cross on the Ice", explores the sources, traditions, routes and cultures of St. Andrew’s apostolate and makes mention of Andrew's four missionary journeys using the then existing trade routes of the world. It would give the vast area covered by Andrew. The following description follow Alexandrou's description closely.
THE FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY:
St. Andrew first
preached in Judea to the Samaritans and in
A tenth century icon of the Image of
Note how the face of Jesus is in the centre of a cloth with a
clear border (with tassels) at the bottom.
A Russian icon, here showing the cloth as a square on which the
face is imprinted. We cannot know for certain whether these
pictures represented the Image of Edessa as it actually was, but ALL
show it as a single unfolded cloth with space around the face and
the outer limits of the cloth.
the sources, this may have been the first Christian kingdom on earth, perhaps
as early as 35 or 36 A.D. just a few years after the Crucifixion. After
THE SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY:
The second trip was
quite different. He followed the same route from
Cynocefaloi translates literally as “the dog-head people.”
Cynocephali the Indian
illustrated in the Kievan psalter, 1397
They are also spoken of in the Life of Saint Makarios,
which locates the tribe in a desert far beyond
a Byzantine historical commentator, refers to them as inhabitants of
Greek Life of
Polo mentions them as inhabitants of the
So they could be
the same primitive tribes that Alexander the Greek found on his way to the sea
coast of the
According to the Syriac text, when St. Andrew went to these people they were transformed into normal human beings.
The Syriac sources say that when St. Andrew first saw them he was horrified. He panicked and fled back to the shore to jump into the boat, but as he reached the shore he smelled incense and realized that the Lord Himself had guided the boat there. He even questioned God at first, “Why did you bring me to this place?” But when the people came to him, they were kind, they gave him hospitality.
Cynocephalus St. Christopher
So, from this place
some sources say that St. Andrew went back through
began as a union of largely East-Iranian tribes which became the initial ethnic
stratum of the Pashtun ethnogenesis, dates from the middle of the first
millennium CE and is connected with the dissolution of the Epthalite (White
Huns) confederacy. [...] Of the contribution of the Epthalites (White Huns) to
the ethnogenesis of the Pashtuns we find evidence in the ethnonym of the largest
of the Pashtun tribe unions, the Abdali (Durrani after 1747) associated with
the ethnic name of the Epthalites — Abdal. The Siah-posh, the Kafirs
(Nuristanis) of the
could also have been ancestors of the Abdal tribe which has assimilated into
the Turkmens and Kazakhs. In
It is very
important to understand that there are three separate traditions of St.
Andrew’s missionary journeys to western
One of these traditions is from
· another is Syriac,
· and the third is from the Bulgars of the Russian steppes, who migrated through Greece and eventually settled in Italy, filling their villages with churches dedicated to St. Andrew.
According to Epiphanius, a ninth-century monk historian of Constantinople, St. Andrew also went north of China, to the land of the Scythian Massagetae and Masakas (the cradle of the Bulgarians and Turks at the junction of present day Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Altai), the Proto- Bulgarian tribes, the Ungric and Trocharians, and also to the mountains of Kalbin in Altai, Siberia.
Siberian tradition that St. Andrew preached as far north as the present-day
St. Andrew returned
from Altai, and, still following the footsteps of local traditions, he would
have taken a different route to the
THE THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY:
Coptic Ethiopian Traditions
missionary journey, if we accept the traditions, began after the first
apostolic synod in 49 A.D. This is the only point time-wise when he possibly
could have gone to
Now these Coptic
traditions say that he made a trip to the Berber (meaning “Barbarian”) lands,
but we don’t know exactly where this was because the Berbers were living from
the Siwa Oasis in Egypt to Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, and were the
ancestors of the present-day Kabyls (the Turaregs) in Algeria. Perhaps he
simply went to a place in modern-day
the Coptic “Acts of St. Andrew and St. Matthias (Matthew),” an extremely
colorful and fantastic apocryphal story, on his third missionary journey St.
Andrew was commanded, either from heaven or by the apostles, to go and help St.
Matthew because he had been captured by the Anthropofagi, who were man-eaters,
cannibals. These traditions say that St. Matthew was captured by
cannibals and St. Andrew was sent to rescue him?! Some traditions say
that it was St. Matthias, the majority of the sources
think it was St. Matthew because Matthias went to
"In Sinope [Pontos, St. Andrew] prayed for the imprisoned Matthias, his chains fell from him, and the cell door opened. The people beat Andrew, breaking his teeth and cutting his fingers, and left him for dead in a dung heap. Jesus appeared to him and healed him, telling him to be of good cheer. When the people saw him the next day, they were amazed and believed. In Patras, Andrew healed the wife of the proconsul Aegeates of an incurable disease of the eyes. He healed a paralytic, lepers, and all manner of disease. Aegeates heard all of this and arrested Andrew. He tried to compel him through beatings to sacrifice to idols and so restore idolatry in his country. When Andrew refused, he was tied to a cross upside down so that he would live longer and suffer more. Twenty thousand of the faithful stood by and mourned. Even then, Andrew taught them and exhorted them to endure temporary sufferings for the kingdom of heaven. Out of fear of the people, Aegeates came to remove Andrew from the cross. Andrew, however, said that Aegeates could still become a Christian, but that he had already seen Jesus and he would not allow himself to be removed from the cross. Suddenly, a heavenly light illumined Andrew for about half an hour, and then he gave up his spirit."
(Excerpt from the 2005 Daily Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints by Tom and Georgia Mitrakos)
could have returned through
THE FOURTH MISSIONARY JOURNEY:
To the North
After the dormition
of the Mother of God, St. Andrew began his final journey from
The trail of
tradition says that he went back to
narratives no longer exist, but this is a very likely route because the river
trade from Crimea to northern
Although we don’t
have extremely early texts, the accounts from
Finally, he went
back to Sebastopol (Crimea) to Sinope, and then to
We can trace his
return route on this fourth journey because we have traditions for him during
this time in Poland, Byelorussia, and even in Germany, although this is
doubtful. We also have solid traditions for him in the lands of the Goths,
although before the Goths moved into the
It was on his
return south that he settled in
Romanian cave is still kept as a holy place and Romanian Orthodox have gone
there on pilgrimage for almost two thousand years. We also know the locations
of other caves he lived in: in
tradition also describes St. Andrew as a very strict vegetarian. This is
possible because, although most of the other apostles were married, both he and
John the Evangelist were virgins. They had been disciples of
You can imagine, he was tired of living with this, and when he came to the Dacians, who had no slaves, where men and women were equal, where Jews and Greeks were accepted in the same manner, and where there were ascetic hermit-priests, you can understand how easily he fit in. He was able to teach, he was happy there. In fact, they thought that the religion he brought was not only better than theirs, but was a continuation of their old religion. They saw their native religion as a foreshadowing of Christianity. Twenty years is a long time, and you can understand why the Romanians remember more of him than any other tradition.
The Syriac Teaching
of the Apostles (ed Cureton, 34) mentions
Fragment relates that John wrote his gospel in consequence of a revelation
given to Andrew, and this would point to
The Contendings of the Twelve Apostles (for historicity, authorship, etc., of this work, compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, Intro; Hennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, 351-58; RE, 664-66) contains several parts dealing with Andrew:
Preaching of Andrew and Philemon among the Kurds" (Budge, II 163 ff)
narrates the appearance of the risen Christ to His disciples, the sending of
(2) The "Preaching of Matthias in the City of the Cannibals" (Budge, II, 267 ff; REH, 666) tells of how Matthias, on being imprisoned and blinded by the Cannibals, was released by Andrew, who had been brought to his assistance in a ship by Christ, but the two were afterward again imprisoned. Matthias then caused the city to be inundated, the disciples were set free, and the people converted.
(3) "The Acts of Andrew and Bartholomew" (Budge, II, 183 ff) gives an account of their mission among the Parthians.
(4) According to
the "Martyrdom of Andrew" (Budge, II, 215) he was stoned and
According to the surviving fragments of "The Acts of Andrew," a heretical work dating probably from the 2nd century, and referred to by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, ii, 5), the scene of Andrew's death was laid in Achaia. There he was imprisoned and crucified by order of the proconsul Eges (or Aegeates), whose wife had been estranged from him by the preaching of Andrew (compare Hennecke, 459-73; Pick, Apocryphal Acts, 201-21; Lipsius, I, 543-622). A so-called "Gospel of Andrew" mentioned by Innocent I (Ep, I, iii, 7) and Augustine (Contra Advers. Leg. et Prophet., I, 20), but this is probably due to a confusion with the above-mentioned "Acts of Andrew."
St. Andrew in Patras - Martyrdom
" In the city of
St. Andrew preaching
Among the first who
believed was the Proconsul Lesvios himself after witnessing the healing of the
Roman ruler Maxmilla who managed one of the provinces. A large number
joined the baptism. But when this became known in
Apostle Andrew met everyday with Lesvios and taught him the Way. Large numbers of people from all over the Achaia believed and joined the Church. Among them were the wife of Aegeatis herself by the name Maximilla whom Andrews healed, Stratoklis the brother of Aegeatis, a mathematician.
St. Andrew healing Maximilla
the arrest of Apostle Andrew and was put in
prison. Angered by the refusal of his wife to leave the
new found faith Aegeatis finally ordered the execution by crucifixion.
The cross was in the shape of the letter X, which had been set up in the
"mouth of the
The circular letter of Clerus of Achaia which portrayed the death scene of this brave Apostle in stirring and impressive phrases:
When Andrew was led to martyrdom, he looked up at his cross and cried out loudly and clearly, "O good cross! From the limbs of the Lord you have received your eternal form, the long awaited, ardently loved, constantly sought cross! Now my yearning soul is ready. Take me away from mankind and give me to my Master. Through you may He receive me Who has redeemed me through you."
The crucifixion was carried out on an X-shaped cross,known today as the St Andrew's cross,( some tradition describe the crucifixion as upside down so that he saw only the sky). He preached for two days before he died.It was Andrew's request that he should be crucified on such a cross because he believed he was unworthy to die on the same type of cross as the Lord.He was not nailed to the cross. He was bound on it.
Twenty thousand stood by and mourned.Out of fear of the people Aegeates came to remove Andrew from the cross. Andrew told him that he could still become a Christian but that he would not permit his removal from the cross as he had seen Jesus. Many tried to untie the knots but their hands became numb. There then appeared a heavenly light which covered Andrew for about half an hour.When it left, Andrew was dead.The crucifixion occured in about the year 70. Andrew was 80 years old when he died.
He was removed from the cross by Bishop Stratoklis and Maximilla and buried with honour. Many came to Patras to pay their respects. When Aegeates realised that he had killed a man of God, he committed suicide.
Andrew's body was
removed from Patras in 357 under the orders of the Emperor Constantine (son of
King Constantine the Great) and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in
Constantinople.The skull of St Andrew was kept in Patras until 1460.It was then
taken to Rome by Thomas Paleologos, the last ruler of Morea.In 1967 it was
returned to Patras. The Christians with their bishop Stratoklis, the first
bishop of Patras, then received the the Sacred Relic and
buried it with great honor. Later, when the throne of
The holy of Skull
of Apostle Andrews seems to have remained in Patras. But when the Turks were to
occupy the city in 1460, Thomas Paleologos,
brother of the last emperor Constantine the last Master of Moria, took it
Reliquary of St. Andrew at Patras.
The statue of Saint Andrew in St.
Relics of the
Apostle Andrew are kept at the Basilica of St Andrew in
In 1208, following
the sack of Constantinople, those relics of St Andrew and St Peter which
remained in the imperial city were taken to
Cypriot tradition holds that a ship which was transporting Saint Andrew went off course and ran aground. Upon coming ashore, Andrew struck the rocks with his staff at which point a spring of healing waters gushed forth. Using it, the sight of the ship's captain, who had been blind in one eye, was restored. Thereafter, the site became a place of pilgrimage and a fortified monastery stood there in the 12th century, from which Isaac Comnenus negotiated his surrender to Richard the Lionheart. In the 15th century, a small chapel was built close to the shore. The main monastery of the current church dates to the 18th century.
Fifth-century mosaic of St. Andrew
The official stance
of the Romanian Orthodox Church is that Andrew preached the Gospel to the
Daco-Romans in the
Alexandrou research, St. Andrew spent 20 years on the Dacian territories
preaching and teaching. Alexandrou also supposed that
Christian History in
The monument in
The Saltire (or
"St. Andrew's Cross") is the national flag of
St Andrew on the seal of the Guardians of Scotland, 1292.
The seal included the inscription: "Andrea Scotis dux esto compatriotis" (Andrew be leader of the compatriot Scots)
St. Andrew carving c.1500 in the National Museum of Scotland
About the middle of
the 10th century, Andrew became the patron saint of
surviving manuscripts ( is among the manuscripts collected by
Jean-Baptiste Colbert and willed to Louis XIV of France, now in the
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the other in the Harleian Mss in the British
Library, London) state that the relics of Andrew were brought by one Regulus to
the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa (729–761). The only historical Regulus
(Riagail or Rule) whose name is preserved in the
legend, in 832 AD, Óengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against
the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford,
with Scotland may have been reinforced following the Synod of Whitby, when the
Celtic Church felt that Columba had been "outranked" by Peter and
that Peter's brother would make a higher ranking patron. The 1320 Declaration
of Arbroath cites
Andrew is the
patron saint of
James the Greater
Jacobus Major; James the Great
This James is the brother of John the Evangelist and the son of Zebedee and Salome.
James is called James the Greater (meaning “The Older” or “The Taller”or "Big") to distinguish him from all the other Jameses in the Bible, especially from fellow-apostle James who is called "the Less" (meaning “The Younger” or “The Shorter” or "Small"). There are at least five Jameses in the New Testament and this appellation was necessary to distinguish between others. Here are the five:
1. James Son of Zebedee: Early Disciples of Jesus (This is James the Great, James the Major)
2. James Brother of
Jesus: Leader of the church in
3. James Son of Mary: The Marys at the tomb.
4. James Son of Alphaeus: A Tax Collector?
5. James Son or Brother of Judas/Jude
Hans von Kulmbach, Mary Salome and Zebedee with their Sons James the Greater and John the Evangelist, c. 1511.
The name James
The English name
"James" comes from Italian "Giacomo", a variant of
"Giacobo" derived from Iacobus (Jacob) in Latin,
Greek Ἰάκωβος (Yaacob).
In French, Jacob is
in Catalunya, it became Jaume,
"Tiago" is also spelled "Diego", which is also the Spanish name of Saint Didacus of Alcalá.
The Spanish form of "James" is "Diego" or "Iago".
In most languages, "James" and "Jacob" are identical. Where English Bible has "James," a Greek Bible has Iakwbos.
James the Apostle and John the Evangelist were brothers.
Zebedee,( Matt. 4:21; 20:20;
27:56; Mark 1:20. )was clearly a man of wealth
and influence. From the acquaintance between the apostle John and Annas the
high priest, (John 18:15) we could expect Zebedees to
be of aristocratic circumstances. Zebedee and Sons owned probably several
fishing yachts and were in partnership with Yona and sons (Peter and Andrew) in
business. As such they inherited the profession of fishing. Zebedee
(Greek: Ζεβεδαῖος, Zebedaios,
Greek word #2199 in Strong's; Hebrew: זְבַדְיָה, Zebadyah, Hebrew word #2069 in Strong's),
although named several times in the gospels, the only times he actually appears
are in Matthew 4:21-22 and Mark 1:20, where he left the
boat after Jesus called James and John. Mark notes that Zebedee was left with
the "hired men". Zebedees lived at or near
tradition James, the older of the two apostle sons of Zebedee, was thirty years old when he became an apostle. He
was married, had four children, and lived near his parents in the outskirts of
Zebedee = "my gift"
We are told that Zebedee's wife was Salome (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40) who was a follower of Jesus and appears in the critical times of the life of Jesus indicating that she has a special relation with Jesus.
Mark 15:40 names the women present at the crucifixion as "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome", the parallel passage in Matthew 27:56 has "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.".
Now add this: "Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." (John 19:25)
Thus we have these comparisons:
Mark 15:40 (1) Mary Magdalene, and (2) Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses (Mrs. Mary Cleopas), and (3) Salome
Matthew 27:56 (1) Mary Magdalene, and (2) Mary the mother of James and Joses (Mrs. Mary Cleopas), and the (3) mother of Zebedee's children (Mrs. Zebedee)."
This will identify Salome as the mother of Zebedee's children, i.e., Mrs Salome Zebedee
Now John 19:25 gives His mother (which is Mrs. Mary Joseph), and His mother's sister (?), Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
Syriac "Peshito" gives the reading: "His mother and his mother's sister, and Mary of Cleophas and Mary Magdalen." If this last supposition is right, Salome was a sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
"among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee." (Matthew 27:56 RSV)
This establishes the relationship Jesus and the brothers James and John were first cousins, children of two sisters.
Putting the accounts together we have to conclude that Mary had a sister Salome who was married to Zebedee and was the mother of the apostles James and John.
Salome was Mary's sister, Jesus' aunt and John's mother. Jesus and John were cousins. Thus we see four cousins in the David's Kingdom story. Jesus Joseph was the rightful heir to the throne of David by legal heritage through Joseph, by flesh through Mary (See my study on the Genealogy of Jesus) ; cousin John Zachariah the Baptist again in the line of David (making the jewish High Priest think that he was the mesia), James Zebedee and John Zebedee. While all the four were rightful Kings in the line of David only Jesus had the legal right(through Joseph) as well as lineal right through his mother. This will make many of the later events some sense.
Encyclopaedia puts this as follows:
"Some authors, comparing John 19:25 with Matthew 28:56 and Mark 15:40, identify, and probably rightly so, Mary the Mother of James the Less and of Joseph in Mark and Matthew with "Mary of Cleophas" in John. As the name of Mary Magdalen occurs in the three lists, they identify further Salome in Mark with "the mother of the sons of Zebedee" in Matthew; finally they identify Salome with "his mother's sister" in John. They suppose, for this last identification, that four women are designated by John 19:25; the Syriac "Peshito" gives the reading: "His mother and his mother's sister, and Mary of Cleophas and Mary Magdalen." If this last supposition is right, Salome was a sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and James the Greater and John were first cousins of the Lord; this may explain the discipleship of the two brothers, Salome's request and their own claim to the first position in His kingdom, and His commendation of the Blessed Virgin to her own nephew. But it is doubtful whether the Greek admits of this construction without the addition or the omission of kai (and). Thus the relationship of St. James to Jesus remains doubtful."
Richard Bauckham in his book, “Gospel Women,” presents a possible alternative of points to historical traditions and works that claimed Salome was Jesus’ sister by Joseph from a previous marriage. . Cleopas is the brother of Joseph and both married girls by the name Mary. Later Christian literature like Protevangelium of James 19:3-20:4; Gospel of Philip 59:6-11; Epiphanius, Pan. 78.8.1; 78.9.6. gives the names Mary and Salome to sisters of Jesus. This would make James and John as nephews to Jesus
Zahn asserts that Salome was the daughter of a priest. But I could not find any argument for this anywhere.
At any rate all these people were close family and were certainly knit together. This will explain the following later events.
Jesus gave a special name: "Boanerges" (Sons of Thunder) for James and John
Jesus nicknamed the two brothers "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17) perhaps meaning that they were headstrong, hot-tempered, and impulsive and strong for the re-establishment of the Kingdom
This assessment is borne out in the following occasions
James the son of Zebedee and his brother John were among the twelve disciples of Jesus and were within the inner three - the third outsider was Peter.
· They, together with Peter, were privileged to behold the Transfiguration (Mat 17:1-2),
· to witness the healing of Peter's mother-in-law ( Mat 8:14-15))
· the raising of the daughter of Jairus ((Mark 5:21–43, Matthew 9:18–26, Luke 8:40–56).),
took them with him in the
In due course Jesus
was able to direct them to the higher purpose for which they were called on the
principles of servanthood. Jesus explained to them how the
James, John and
Peter followed Jesus to the
James was with the other disciples who saw the risen Lord. (John 21:1-2).
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/299854/Saint-James gives the following description:
"Saint James, also called James, son of Zebedee, or James the Greater (born , Galilee, Palestine—died 44 ce, Jerusalem; feast day July 25), one of the Twelve Apostles, distinguished as being in Jesus’ innermost circle and the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament (Acts 12:2).
James and his
younger brother, the apostle
According unreliable tradition, following Pentecost, St. James preached in
Pentecost the disciples shared the world between them. Big James left for the
Legend tells us
that his followers took his body to the
If you visit Padrón
go into the main church, Santiago de Padrón, near the
The body was transported to a hillside approximately 23kms north of Iria Flavia and was buried, remaining undiscovered for nearly 800 years. In the 9th century AD a hermit named Pelayo is reported to have had vision of a large bright star surrounded by a circle of smaller stars pointing to a spot somewhere in the Libradón mountains. The hermit reported his vision to the Bishop of Iria Flavia, Theodomir, who decided to investigate Pelayo’s vision and a tomb, containing the body of the Saint and 2 of his followers Athanasius and Theodore, was subsequently discovered.
St James was
proclaimed patron saint of
The martyrdom of St. James the Greater
James was the first of the Twelve to suffer martyrdom, and the only one of the Twelve whose death is recorded in the New Testament.
This Herod Agippa I was
And at the same time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church. And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. (Acts 12:1-2)
"James lived his life to the full, and when the end came, he bore himself with such grace and fortitude that even his accuser and informer, who attended his trial and execution, was so touched that he rushed away from the scene of James's death to join himself to the disciples of Jesus. "~ The Urantia Book, (139:3.1)
Because it was not allowed to bury the enemiess in the land,
after James was martyred, all the remains of Saint James the Great were taken
to Compostela in
Centuries later the
Moors forced their way into
As the years,
decades and centuries passed, all record and memory of Saint James’ burial spot
was lost or muddied. Today this seems hard to believe, but Hispania was
constantly at war and under foriegn occupation. In the years immediately
following his death,
By the eighth century, all that remained of St. James’ grave were stories and folk lore that suggested his remains lay near a place known as Libredon. His physical resting point was however lost, probably buried or overgrown after centuries of neglect.
A small church was
first built over the tomb of St. James shortly after it was discovered in 819
AD. This was destroyed by al-Mansur's Moorish army in 997, though Almansor left
the relics of the Apostle undisturbed. He did, however, force
Despite its Baroque
facade, the present cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is predominantly Romanesque; in fact, one of the finest Romanesque churches
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Various elements were added in later centuries, culminating in the dramatic Baroque transformation of the exterior in the 16th-18th centuries. The interior of the cathedral, however, retains its pure Early Romanesque style.
The remains of St. James, the raison d'être of the cathedral, were lost in 1700 after being hidden before an English invasion. Fortunately, they were rediscovered during building work in 1879.
skeletons were found, presumed to be James and two of his disciples. The one
belonging to the Apostle was identified thanks to a church in
The tomb of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela cathedral
According to a
tradition that can be traced back at least to the 12th century, when it was
recorded in the Codex Calixtinus, Saint James decided to return to Holy Land
after preaching in
Depiction of Saint James in the 12th century Codex Calixtinus
The relics were
said to have been later rediscovered in the 9th century by a hermit named
Pelagius, who after observing strange lights in a local forest went for help
after the local bishop, Theodemar of Iria, in the west of
In the 15th century still it was preserved in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela the banner which guided the Galician armies to battle, red, in the centre Saint James riding a white horse and wearing a white cloak, sword in hand: The legend of the miraculous armed intervention of Saint James, disguised as a white knight to help the Christians when battling the Muslims, was a recurrent myth during the High Middle Ages.
Jacobus de Voragine. The Golden Legend. Transl. Granger Ryan and Helmut Ripperger.
apostle's death, his disciples, in fear of the Jews, placed his body in a boat
at night, embarked with him, although the boat had neither rudder not
steersman, and set sail, trusting to the providence of God to determine the
place of his burial. And the angels guided the boat to the shores of Galicia in
Spain, where there was a queen whose name was Lupa, a name which means
she-wolf, and which she well deserved by her life.
The disciples laid the body of the apostle on a great stone, which immediately softened as if it were wax, and shaped itself into a sarcophagus fitted to his body. The disciples went to Queen Lupa and said to her: "Our Lord Jesus Christ sends thee the body of His disciple, that thou mayest welcome in death him whom thou wouldst not welcome alive!" And they narrated to her the miracle whereby they had come thither without a rudder nor a steersman, and besought her to appoint a place for the burial of the saint.
Then, as John Beleth relates, she guilefully sent them to the king of
Then they returned to Lupa, to make known to her the kings's assent. The queen was sore distraught at these tidings, and answered: "I have oxen in a mountain place. Take them and yoke them, and carry your master's body whither you will, and build him a tomb!" All this she said in wolfish cunning, for she knew that the oxen were really untamed and savage bulls, and thus she thought that they could not be yoked or harnessed, or if they were harnessed, they would run away, and destroy the car and throw the body to the ground, and kill the disciples.
But no guile avails against God. The disciples, unaware of the queen's ruse, went up into the mountain, where first they encountered a dragon which belched fire; but they held a cross before him, and he was cloven asunder. Then they made the sign of the cross over the bulls, and they became as meek as lambs, allowed themselves to be yoked, and although no man guide them, they drew the saint's body, with the stone in which it was laid, straight into the middle of the queen's palace. Seeing this, the queen was dismayed, believed in Christ, transformed her palace into a
Originally St. James was depicted as an old man and Apostle. Up until the 12th century he was only recognized having general apostle attributes: "The Bible". The sword was the next addition to firstly remind us that he was beheaded and later as a symbol of patron Saint of warriors, knights and fighting men. This sword is often to be seen as a St. James cross, which is a red cross shaped sword where the short arms end with a dagger form in lilies with St. James in the middle. Since the middle ages, he is also depicted as a pilgrim father with a large walking stick, bottle of water and St. James ship. One legend tells us how a knight with his runaway horse fell into the sea and asked St. James for help. The knight remained afloat and when got ashore, he discovered that he was covered with shells. St. James’ shells are to be found on the Spanish North western coast at Galicie.
The cockleshell is an emblem of the apostle Saint James the Great. The story is told that when Saint James’ remains were taken by boat to
The Way of St.
James or St. James' Way (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago, Galician: O Camiño de
Santiago, French: Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, German: Jakobsweg,
Basque: Done Jakue bidea) is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago
de Compostela in
John the Apostle (Aramaic Yoħanna, Koine Greek Ἰωάννης)
(c. AD 6 – c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. When he became
an apostle, John was twenty-four years old and was the youngest of the twelve.
He was unmarried and lived with his parents at
The Church Fathers generally identify him as the author of five books in
the New Testament: the Gospel of John, Three Epistles of John, and the Book of
Revelation. The Gospel according to John differs considerably from the synoptic
gospels, likely written decades earlier than John's Gospel. The bishops of
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. ..... He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth."
John probably knew and undoubtedly approved of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but these gospels spoke of Jesus primarily in the year following the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist. Around 600, however, Sophronius of Jerusalem noted that "two epistles bearing his name ... are considered by some to be the work of a certain John the Elder" and, while stating that Revelation was written by John on Patmos, it was “later translated by Justin Martyr and Irenaeus”, presumably in an attempt to reconcile tradition with the obvious differences in Greek style. On the other hand, many authors in those days employed secretaries often called scribes whose personal styles influenced the final documents. John perhaps employed different scribes for his different works who wrote what was dictated by John in their literary style. Hence literary analysis cannot be used to negate the authenticity of the epistles.
Some modern scholars have raised the possibility that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos were three separate individuals. Certain lines of evidence suggest that John of Patmos wrote Revelation but neither the Gospel of John nor the Epistles of John. For one, the author of Revelation identifies himself as "John" several times, but the author of the Gospel of John never identifies himself directly. Some Catholic scholars state that "vocabulary, grammar, and style make it doubtful that the book could have been put into its present form by the same person(s) responsible for the fourth gospel".
John shared the title "Sons of Thunder" along with his brother James. Like his elder brother James he was one of the inner three disciples who were with Jesus in the crucial events.
· Peter, James and John were the only witnesses of the raising of Daughter of Jairus (Mk 5:37)
· Jesus sent the special two - John and Peter - into the city to make the preparation for the final Passover meal (the Last Supper). (Lk 22:8)
Russian Orthodox icon of the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, 18th century (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia).
According to tradition, John and the other Apostles remained some 12 years
in this first field of labor, until the persecution of Herod Agrippa I which
led to the scattering of the Apostles through the various provinces of the
"and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision"
Before Jesus ascended, he charged John with watching over the newly
established Church. He was then established as a pillar at the
While dying on the cross, he asked John to take care of Mary, his mother, a duty which John fulfilled even after Christ's resurrection up until her death. John left Jerusalem and came to Ephesus, one of the biggest and safest cities of its time (capital of the Asia Minor province of the Roman Empire), and built a small hut for Virgin Mary just outside Ephesus in order to protect her from the non-Christian community of Ephesus.
At the time of his death on the cross, John was the only apostle present. Jesus told his disciples how they would meet their end with the exception of John and this irked Peter.
Joh 21:20-23 Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; who also leaned back on his breast at the supper, and said, Lord, who is he that betrayeth thee? Peter therefore seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, that he should not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
In due course Herod killed James the
brother of John the Beloved with the sword. when
he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
Traditionally John took Mother Mary with him to
House of Apostle John where he cared
for Virgin Mary in
Insidee the house today. During excavations coal and household utensils were found dating to the 1st century AD.
A statue near the entrance to the House
Key-hole shaped Baptismal Font in the compound of
John's house in
In 54 AD, Mary the mother of Jesus died and was buried. and so John fulfilled his duty of caring for her until the
very end. It was said that when they opened the tomb her body was gone.
Catholic tradition says she rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven with
both body and soul intact in what is called the Assumption of Mary, however others say her body was taken away lest it
become an idol. John and Mary Magdalene went north and visited the churches
that were established along the way. They travel as far as Asia Minor and
"John traveled much, labored incessantly, and after becoming bishop of
the Asia churches, settled down at
In art, John as the presumed author of the Gospel is often depicted with an eagle, which symbolizes the height he rose to in the first chapter of his gospel. In Orthodox icons, he is often depicted looking up into heaven and dictating his Gospel (or the Book of Revelation) to his disciple, traditionally named Prochorus.
John dictating to his disciple, Prochorus.
The Book of Revelation Chapter 3 gives the names of the churches which John pastured while he lived in
One night, while they slept a thief broke into their home and John confronted him, converted him to the faith, and told him turn from doing evil. The thief’s name was Cleophus.
He wrote three epistles while living in
the reign of Roman emperor Domitian after having spent time imprisoned in
by his closest friends in
Five books are attributed to John, the beloved disciple of Jesus. They include three epistles, the Gospel according to John and the Revelation.
Gospel of John must have been written somewhere between AD 65 and 85 according to most scholars. However, John A.T. Robinson proposes an initial edition by 50–55 and then a final edition by 65 due to narrative similarities with Paul. Other critical scholars are of the opinion that John was composed in stages (probably two or three). There is also a strongly held view amongst contemporary scholars that the Gospel was not written until the latter third of the first century CE. The Dean of New Testament at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Gail R O'Day, writes in her introduction to the Gospel in the New Revised Standard Translation of the Bible "...a date of 75-80 CE as the earliest possible date of composition for this Gospel". Other reliable scholars are convinced that an even later date, perhaps even the last decade of the first century CE right up to the start of the 2nd century (i.e., 90 - 100) is applicable. At any rate it was written during the second half of the first century.
An alternative account of John's death, ascribed by later Christian writers
to the early second century bishop Papias of Hierapolis, claims that he was
slain by the Jews. Most Johannine scholars doubt the
reliability of its ascription to Papias, but a minority, including B.W. Bacon,
Martin Hengel and Henry Barclay Swete, maintain that these references to Papias
are credible. John's traditional tomb is thought to be located
at Selçuk, a small town in the vicinity of
The Basilica of St. John in
Philip the Apostle (Greek: Φίλιππος, Philippos) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Mat 10:3; Mk.3:18; Lk 6:14; Jn 1:43
Philip is always listed fifth among the apostles.
Philip is a given name, derived from the Greek Φίλιππος (Philippos, lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses", from a compound of φίλος (phílos, "dear", "loved", "loving") and ἵππος (hippos, "horse").
In Ancient Greece, the ownership of horses was available only to those rich enough to afford them. Thus, "lover of horses" can also be understood as "noble". of the people who had been in exile in the foreign countries and has now returned. This constitutes a gesture of cultural openness
He was from the same place as Peter and Andrew, James and John, namely, Bethsaida (cf. John 1:44), (John 1:42, 44), a town on Lake Genesareth, a small city that belonged to the tetrarchy of one of Herod the Great's sons, who was also called Philip (cf. Luke 3:1).
Today it is also known as et-Tell, Beth-Saida, Bethsaida Julia, Julia, Julias, Julias-Bethsaida. Bible says Philip was from
. Bethsaida Bethsaidawas a province of "Philip the Tetrarch," who raised the status of to be the capital of the province. Philip the Apostle was probably named in honor of the Tetrarch. It also indicates the Greek influence on the Bethsaidan Israelites. Many of the aristocracies and big fishing company owners were most probably those who returned from exile. These people were at ease with both Greek culture and Jewish culture Bethsaida
There is lot of confusion regarding the meaning of the township.
"Beth," obviously, means "house." But what about the "Saida"?
Austin Farrer gives the meaning as "House of Provisioning" and John Donahue & Daniel Harrington says "House of Fishermen"
There is a Hebrew noun tsedah, which is parallel with lexem (bread) in Psalm 78:25. In other places it means provision Gen. 42:25; 45:21; Exod. 12:39; Jos. 1:11; 9:11; Jdg. 7:8; 20:10; 1 Sam. 22:10. It is related to tsayid "game" and tsud "hunt." It is often assumed that Beth-saida means "House of the hunters", with the form being Aramaic rather than Hebrew. Assuming the site to be on or near the
Sea of Galilee, the "hunters" would actually be hunting for fishes giving the meaning "House of Fishermen."
literally means "house of fishing" which implies that it was a
The most impressive remains at this site are the Iron Age gate and two large Hellenistic houses. The House of the Fisherman measures 4,300 sq. feet, and is believed to be a fisherman's home based on the discovery of two types of lead net weights, a round lead weight of the so-called musket type, and a long, crooked needle. Among the coins discovered in the house were two silver didrachmae of Demetrius II.
"...Bethsaida Gaulonites is evidently spoken of, the ruins of which have been recognized by Dr. Eli Smith and other travelers on a hill called et-Tell, on the east bank of the Jordan, close to the northern shores of the lake. Josephus calls this Bethsaida-Julias, and informs us that Philip the Tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonites gave it this epithet in honour of Julias, having enlarged the town, and adorned it with public buildings." Julias may have been named after Augustus' daughter.
A city East of the
This is doubtless to be identified with the
To this neighborhood Jesus retired by boat with His disciples to rest awhile. The multitude following on foot along the northern shore of the lake would cross the
On the rocky
promontory, however, East of Khan Minyeh we find Sheikh `Aly ec-Caiyadin,
"Sheikh Aly of the Fishermen," as the name of a ruined weley, in
which the second element in the name
Philip was of the tribe of Zebulon. This will explain why he was good in sea. Moses prophesied about them.
Genesis 49:13 "Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon." (KJV)
Deuteronomy 33:18- Moses prophesied: "...of Zebulon he said...they shall suck of the abundance of the seas and of treasures hidden in the sand." (KJV)
traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in
The Gospel of John describes Philip's calling as a disciple of Jesus.
Joh 1:43 On the morrow he was
minded to go forth into
Joh 1:44 Now Philip was from
Joh 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can any good thing come
He was from
The very next day of the call of James and John, Jesus calls Philip. They were all probably friends and people who were serious about the Biblical studies and of the mesianic hope. They all most likely attended the same synagogue and were members of the same bible study group. Were they all disciples of John? Most probably. The fourth Gospel says that, after being called by Jesus, Philip meets with Nathanael and tells him: "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John 1:45).
It shows that he had been a student of the Prophecy and were together looking for the arrival of the mesia.
From the analysis
of the Bible they knew that it was time for the arrival of the mesia. The
time was ripe and they were trying to find out who is this mesia?. This is reflected in Phillip's conversation with
Nathaneil. In face of Nathanael's rather skeptical response -- "Can
anything good come out of
"Now the names of The Twelve Apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot" (Matthew 10:2-4)
· He participated in the miracle of the loaves and fishes (John 6:5–9), accounting for his symbol in medieval art of loaves.
Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.
These were Jewish people who were
living in other parts of the world. If only culture and language were the test of identity, they might be considered
Gentiles. But they were still Jews by heritage and descent. And they had made a
religious pilgrimage to
· In John 14:8–9, Philip asked Jesus to reveal the Father, receiving the answer, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Nothing more is known about him from the New Testament.
Now, Philip is mentioned in the Book of Acts as a witness to the ascension of Jesus and in the subsequent Apostolic meetings and was clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit for the work ahead. Act 1-2
Philip and the Book of Acts
The journeys of Philip the Evangelist as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
Philip continued to
Azotus  and as he passed through the countryside he went on telling the good
news in all the cities on to
There are other references to a Philip in the Book of Acts, but they are not the same Philip. The "Philip" in Acts 21:8 is referred to as an evangelist, not an apostle and is a different person, probably one of the seventy. Thus there were two Philips, and the Phillip the evangelist had been a confusion to many hagiographers through history.
139:5.1 Philip was the fifth apostle
to be chosen, being called when Jesus and his first four apostles were on their
way from John’s rendezvous on the
139:5.2 Philip was twenty-seven years of age when he joined the apostles; he had recently been married, but he had no children at this time. The nickname which the apostles gave him signified “curiosity.” Philip was always wanting to be shown. He never seemed to see very far into any proposition. He was not necessarily dull, but he lacked imagination. This lack of imagination was the great weakness of his character. He was a commonplace and matter-of-fact individual.
139:5.3 When the apostles were organized for service, Philip was made steward; it was his duty to see that they were at all times supplied with provisions. And he was a good steward. His strongest characteristic was his methodical thoroughness; he was both mathematical and systematic.
139:5.4 Philip came from a family of seven, three boys and four girls. He was next to the oldest, and after the resurrection he baptized his entire family into the kingdom. Philip’s people were fisherfolk. His father was a very able man, a deep thinker, but his mother was of a very mediocre family. Philip was not a man who could be expected to do big things, but he was a man who could do little things in a big way, do them well and acceptably. Only a few times in four years did he fail to have food on hand to satisfy the needs of all. Even the many emergency demands attendant upon the life they lived seldom found him unprepared. The commissary department of the apostolic family was intelligently and efficiently managed.
139:5.5 The strong point about Philip was his methodical reliability; the weak point in his make-up was his utter lack of imagination, the absence of the ability to put two and two together to obtain four. He was mathematical in the abstract but not constructive in his imagination. He was almost entirely lacking in certain types of imagination. He was the typical everyday and commonplace average man. There were a great many such men and women among the multitudes who came to hear Jesus teach and preach, and they derived great comfort from observing one like themselves elevated to an honored position in the councils of the Master; they derived courage from the fact that one like themselves had already found a high place in the affairs of the kingdom. And Jesus learned much about the way some human minds function as he so patiently listened to Philip’s foolish questions and so many times complied with his steward’s request to “be shown.”
139:5.6 The one quality about Jesus which Philip so continuously admired was the Master’s unfailing generosity. Never could Philip find anything in Jesus which was small, niggardly, or stingy, and he worshiped this ever-present and unfailing liberality.
139:5.7 There was little about Philip’s personality that was impressive. He was often spoken of as “Philip of Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter live.” He was almost without discerning vision; he was unable to grasp the dramatic possibilities of a given situation. He was not pessimistic; he was simply prosaic. He was also greatly lacking in spiritual insight. He would not hesitate to interrupt Jesus in the midst of one of the Master’s most profound discourses to ask an apparently foolish question. But Jesus never reprimanded him for such thoughtlessness; he was patient with him and considerate of his inability to grasp the deeper meanings of the teaching. Jesus well knew that, if he once rebuked Philip for asking these annoying questions, he would not only wound this honest soul, but such a reprimand would so hurt Philip that he would never again feel free to ask questions. Jesus knew that on his worlds of space there were untold billions of similar slow-thinking mortals, and he wanted to encourage them all to look to him and always to feel free to come to him with their questions and problems. After all, Jesus was really more interested in Philip’s foolish questions than in the sermon he might be preaching. Jesus was supremely interested in men, all kinds of men.
139:5.8 The apostolic steward was not a good public
speaker, but he was a very persuasive and successful personal worker. He was
not easily discouraged; he was a plodder and very tenacious in anything he
undertook. He had that great and rare gift of saying, “Come.” When his first
convert, Nathaniel, wanted to argue about the merits and demerits of Jesus and
139:5.9 The inability of Philip to adapt himself to a
new situation was well shown when the Greeks came to him at
139:5.10 Philip went on through the trying times of the Master’s death, participated in the reorganization of the twelve, and was the first to go forth to win souls for the kingdom outside of the immediate Jewish ranks, being most successful in his work for the Samaritans and in all his subsequent labors in behalf of the gospel.
139:5.11 Philip’s wife, who was an efficient member of the women’s corps, became
actively associated with her husband in his evangelistic work after their
flight from the
139:5.12 Philip, the onetime steward of the twelve, was a mighty man in the
kingdom, winning souls wherever he went; and he was finally crucified for his
faith and buried at
Philip the Apostle sents Joseph Arimathea to the British Isles
It was said that Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60, Mark 15:42-46,
Luke 23:50-51, John 19:38-42) was the uncle of Mary, mother of Jesus.
This will explain why he went and requested the body of Jesus. He
had a thriving mining business and in the process was well acquainted with
Joseph is said to have accompanied the Apostle Philip, Lazarus, Mary
Magdalene & others on a preaching mission to
The ancient records state that Joseph, early on, sent numerous disciples
Philip and Joseph’s exchange of disciples was a two-way street. There’s
also the incident where Philip baptized Josephes, the son of Joseph in
Cressy one of the church historians records that Joseph of
Arimathea died at
However in none of the earliest
references to Christianity’s arrival in
Rabanus Maurus describes their
"Leaving the shores of Asia and favoured by an east wind, they went
round about, down the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Europe and Africa, leaving the
The route he describes follows that of a supposed Phoenician trade route
William of Malmesbury mentions Joseph's going to
that Joseph was sent by Philip from Gaul to
Julian, the archbishop of
The Venerable Bede the Great, an early British historian, writing about 673 A.D., says the same.
Archbishop Ussher was a great student of church history. When there are dates given in the margin of the Bible, these are the dates computed by Archbishop Ussher. He says, "St. Philip preached Christ to the Gauls."
Thus we see
Philip was sent with his sister Mariamne and Bartholomew to preach in
Martyrdom of Philip
A letter written by
Polycrates of Ephesus to Victor Bishop of
" ..... Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover,...... (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book V, Chapter XXIV, Verses 2-7 . Translated by A. Cushman McGiffert. Digireads.com Publishing, Stilwell (KS), 2005, p. 114).
We can see that
Philip was married, had children and the whole family was in
says: "Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in
From Azota, the
Apostle Philip went to
Then the Apostle
came to Phrygia, to the city of
The Apostle Philip, through whose prayers everyone except Anthipatas and the pagan priests remained alive, died on the cross.
His sister Mariamna
buried his body, and together with the Apostle Bartholomew, went to preach the
Philip's martyrdom in the city of
"According to the old Greek traditions, he was crucified with his head downwards, and he is so represented on the gates of San Paolo; also in the picture over the tomb of Cardinal Philippe d’Alençon, where his patron, St. Philip, is attached to the cross with cords, and head downwards, like St. Peter. But in the old fresco by Giusto da Pablova, in the Capella di San Filippo, he is crucified in the usual manner, arrayed in a long red garment which descends to his feet." SACRED AND LEGENDARY CHRISTIAN ART: MRS. JAMESON'
holds that he was martyred by beheading in the city of
The remains of the Philip who was
interred in Hieropolis were later taken to Constantinople and fromthere to the
church of the Dodici Apostoli in
Other symbols assigned to Philip include: the cross with the two loaves (because of his answer to the Lord in John 6:7),
a basket filled with bread, a spear with the patriarchal cross, and a cross with a carpenter's square.
On Wednesday, 27
July 2011, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that archeologists had
unearthed the Tomb of Saint Philip during excavations in
Philip had preached in
According to the
Roman Breviary the apostle Philip did labor in Scythia and
Phrygia, the second
land visited by this apostle, the present-day center of
writings concerning the work of Philip, this apostle was repeatedly depicted
with a serpent or a dragon. The worship of a serpent in these regions were actually a practice at that time. In
At about the same
time as the July/August 2011 issue of Biblical
Archaeology Review was hitting the newsstands, containing an
article about St. Philip’s Martyrium, author and
excavation director Francesco D’Andria was making an exciting new discovery in
the field at
The tomb wasn’t
discovered at the center of the octagonal hilltop martyrium as long expected,
however, but in a newly excavated church about 40 yards away. D’Andria’s team
found a first-century Roman tomb located at the center of the new church, which
he says originally contained Philip’s remains. This
The remains of the apostle Philip are no longer in the tomb, however. According to D’Andria, the saint’s relics were very likely moved from Hierapolis to Constantinople at the end of the sixth century and then possibly taken to Rome and placed in the newly dedicated Church of St. Philip and St. John (now the Church of the Holy Apostles), although 12th-century reports describe seeing Philip’s remains still in Constantinople, the seat of Christian Turkey.
This new discovery also sheds light on the wonderful imagery of the rare sixth-century bronze bread stamp from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that we published in our article about Philip’s Martyrium. The structures on either side of the saint can now be identified as the domed martyrium (on the right) and the new Byzantine basilical church containing the tomb of the apostle Philip (on the left), both of which were important Christian sites in Turkey.
According to some
accounts, Philip the Apostle was executed in the Greco-Roman city of
NATHANIEL BAR TOLMAI
Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified with Nathaniel Bar Tolami who is mentioned in the John 1. Bar Tolmai simply means Son of Tolmai which is used as a surname. Greek: Βαρθολομαίος is transliterated "Bartholomaios" comes from the Aramaic bar-Tôlmay (תולמי-בר), meaning son of Tolmay or son of the furrows (perhaps a ploughman).
We assume that his
name was Nathaniel who was introduced to Christ by Philip,
as given in John 1:43-51, where the name Nathaniel first appears.
He is also mentioned as “Nathaniel of Cana in
"When Nathaniel joined the apostles, he was twenty-five years old and was the next to the youngest of the group. He was the youngest of a family of seven, was unmarried, and the only support of aged and infirm parents, with whom he lived at Cana; his brothers and sister were either married or deceased, and none lived there. Nathaniel and Judas Iscariot were the two best educated men among the twelve.
Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Christ in the three Synoptic gospels:
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
And he appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have authority to cast out demons: and Simon he surnamed Peter; and James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and them he surnamed Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder: and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. And he cometh into a house.
And when it was day, he called his disciples; and he chose from them twelve, whom also he named apostles: Simon, whom he also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, and Matthew and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor;
And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding; both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.
Notice that each time he is named in the company of Philip.
In the Gospel of John,[1:45-51] he is presented as Nathanael a friend of Philip.
Now Philip was from
between Philip and Nathaniel indicates that they were students of the
Tanak. When Philip claimed that he has found the mesia, the retort of
Nathaniel was "Can anything good come out
We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
characterizes him as "Here is a man in whom there is no
Jesus' reply "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig
tree, I saw you", immediately bring the most positive response from
Nathanael of recognition of Jesus as "the Son of God" and
"the King of Israel". He reappears at the end of John's gospel[21:2] as one of the disciples to whom Jesus appeared
Nathaniel, was obviously close to Phillip and was probably associated with John the Bapist and the mesianic expectation.
We have very little
on Nathaniel other than the fact that he was one of the twelve. He is
said to have preached in
testimonies exist about the mission of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle in
According to Eusebius, Pantaenus, “is said to have gone among the Indians, where a report is that he discovered the Gospel according to Mathew among some there who knew Christ, which had anticipated his arrival: Bartholomew, one of the Apostles, had preached to them and had left them the writings of Mathew in Hebrew letters, which writing they preserved until the afore-said time”
Kalyan – the field of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle missionary
The recent studies
of Perumalil and Moraes hold that the
The town of
According to Pseudo- Sophronius ( 7th century) Saint Bartholomew preached to the “ Indians who are called Happy” and according to the greek tradition the Apostle went to” India Felix”. The word Kalyan means “felix” or “happy” and it is argued that the Kalyna region came to be known to the foreign writers “ India Felix” and its inhabitants, Indians “called the happy”
interprets the “ India Citerior” of Hieronymian
Martyrology as Western India, and the “
It thus appears
that Barthalomew travelled in the opposite direction to Philip towards
record him as serving as a missionary in
Along with his
fellow apostle Jude, Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to
The monastery was
built on the traditional site of the martyrdom of the Apostle Bartholomew who
is reputed to have brought Christianity to
He is said to have
been martyred in Albanopolis in
The apostle Bartholomew is said to have been martyred in the year 68 AD.
The 13th century
Saint Bartholomew Monastery was a prominent Armenian monastery constructed at
the site of the martyrdom of Apostle Bartholomew in the Vaspurakan Province of
Greater Armenia (now in southeastern
He is said to have
converted Polymius, the king of
Christian tradition has three stories about Bartholomew's death:
• "One speaks of his being kidnapped, beaten unconscious, and cast into the sea to drown.
• Another account states that he was crucified upside down,
• and another says that he was skinned alive and beheaded in Albac or Albanopolis
The account of Bartholomew being skinned alive is the most represented in works of art, and consequently Bartholomew is often shown with a large knife, holding his own skin
Statue of St. Bartholomew in the Basilica of St. John Lateran
Bartholomew is also the patron saint of tanners.
The 6th-century writer in Constantinople, Theodorus Lector, averred that in about 507 Emperor Anastasius gave the body of Bartholomew to the city of Dura-Europos, which he had recently re-founded.The existence of relics at Lipari, a small island off the coast of Sicily, in the part of Italy controlled from Constantinople, was explained by Gregory of Tours by his body having miraculously washed up there: a large piece of his skin and many bones that were kept in the Cathedral of St Bartholomew the Apostle, Lipari, were translated to Beneventum in 803, and to Rome in 983 by Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, conserved at the basilica of San Bartolomeo all'Isola. In time, the church there inherited an old pagan medical centre. This association with medicine in course of time caused Bartholomew's name to become associated with medicine and hospitals. Some of Bartholomew's skull was transferred to the Frankfurt Cathedral, while an arm is venerated in Canterbury Cathedral today.
(1558.2) 139:6.1 Nathaniel, the sixth and last of the apostles to be chosen by the Master himself, was brought to Jesus by his friend Philip. He had been associated in several business enterprises with Philip and, with him, was on the way down to see John the Baptist when they encountered Jesus.
(1558.3) 139:6.2 When Nathaniel joined the apostles, he was twenty-five years old and was the next to the youngest of the group. He was the youngest of a family of seven, was unmarried, and the only support of aged and infirm parents, with whom he lived at Cana; his brothers and sister were either married or deceased, and none lived there. Nathaniel and Judas Iscariot were the two best educated men among the twelve. Nathaniel had thought to become a merchant.
Jesus did not himself give Nathaniel a nickname, but the twelve soon began to
speak of him in terms that signified honesty, sincerity. He was “without
guile.” And this was his great virtue; he was both honest and sincere. The
weakness of his character was his pride; he was very proud of his family, his
city, his reputation, and his nation, all of which is commendable if it is not
carried too far. But Nathaniel was inclined to go to extremes with his personal
prejudices. He was disposed to prejudge individuals in accordance with his
personal opinions. He was not slow to ask the question, even before he had met
Jesus, “Can any good thing come out of
(1558.5) 139:6.4 In many respects Nathaniel was the odd genius of the twelve. He was the apostolic philosopher and dreamer, but he was a very practical sort of dreamer. He alternated between seasons of profound philosophy and periods of rare and droll humor; when in the proper mood, he was probably the best storyteller among the twelve. Jesus greatly enjoyed hearing Nathaniel discourse on things both serious and frivolous. Nathaniel progressively took Jesus and the kingdom more seriously, but never did he take himself seriously.
(1558.6) 139:6.5 The apostles all loved and respected Nathaniel, and he got along with them splendidly, excepting Judas Iscariot. Judas did not think Nathaniel took his apostleship sufficiently seriously and once had the temerity to go secretly to Jesus and lodge complaint against him. Said Jesus: “Judas, watch carefully your steps; do not overmagnify your office. Who of us is competent to judge his brother? It is not the Father’s will that his children should partake only of the serious things of life. Let me repeat: I have come that my brethren in the flesh may have joy, gladness, and life more abundantly. Go then, Judas, and do well that which has been intrusted to you but leave Nathaniel, your brother, to give account of himself to God.” And the memory of this, with that of many similar experiences, long lived in the self-deceiving heart of Judas Iscariot.
(1559.1) 139:6.6 Many times, when Jesus was away on the mountain with Peter, James, and John, and things were becoming tense and tangled among the apostles, when even Andrew was in doubt about what to say to his disconsolate brethren, Nathaniel would relieve the tension by a bit of philosophy or a flash of humor; good humor, too.
(1559.2) 139:6.7 Nathaniel’s duty was to look after the families of the twelve. He was often absent from the apostolic councils, for when he heard that sickness or anything out of the ordinary had happened to one of his charges, he lost no time in getting to that home. The twelve rested securely in the knowledge that their families’ welfare was safe in the hands of Nathaniel.
(1559.3) 139:6.8 Nathaniel most revered Jesus for his tolerance. He never grew weary of contemplating the broadmindedness and generous sympathy of the Son of Man.
Nathaniel’s father (Bartholomew) died shortly after Pentecost, after which this
apostle went into Mesopotamia and
Few texts identify Thomas' other twin, though in the Book of Thomas the Contender, part of the Nag Hammadi library, a Gnostic Apocrypha, it is said to be Jesus himself: "Now, since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself…" In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus is the Spiritual part and Thomas is the Material Part. Material Part reflects the Spiritual. But then this concept is not peculiar to Gnosticism. All believers who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior are the twins of Jesus himself having received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which transforms them into the likeness of Jesus himself.
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
But then the Gnostics goes at a tangent away from the center of the circle.
As far as the Bethelehem story goes, Jesus was not one of the twins. If according to Gnostics, Jesus was born in the Spirit world and Thomas in the Material world we would never know.
"Twin, one of the twelve (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18, etc.). He was also called Didymus which is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name. All we know regarding him is recorded in the fourth Gospel (John 11:15, 16; 14:4, 5; 20:24, 25, 26-29). From the circumstance that in the lists of the apostles he is always mentioned along with Matthew, who was the son of Alphaeus (Mark 3:18), and that these two are always followed by James, who was also the son of Alphaeus, it has been supposed that these three, Matthew, Thomas, and James, were brothers."
But that would not define who is the other twin of Thomas.
Some have seen in
the Acts of Thomas (written in east
"The Gnostics considers Thomas as the twin brother of Jesus. We have no evidence for this in the Bible.
Church historian Eusebius in his "Ecclesiastical History" gives the
story of how
Abgar Ukomo, the toparch, to Jesus the good Savior who has appeared in the district of Jerusalem, greetings. I have heard concerning you and your cures, how they are accomplished by you without drugs and herbs ... And when I heard of all these things concerning you I decided that it is one of two things, either that you are God and came down from Heaven to do these things, or are the Son of God for doing these things. For this reason I write to beg you to hasten to me and to heal the suffering which I have ...
Our savior replied to Abgar and the reply was sent through Ananias. The letter says as follows:
Blessed are you who believed in me, not having seen me ... Now concerning what you wrote to me, to come to you, I must first complete here all for which I was sent, and after thus completing it be taken up to Him who sent me; and when I have been taken up, I will send to you one of my disciples to heal your suffering and give life to you and those with you.
After the resurrection of Jesus, Jesus did sent Thadues, one of the Seventy disciples to Abgar and healed him. This Thadeus was the twin brother of Thomas.. "
This Thadues is one of Seventy not one of the twelve disciples. This is the only identification of the other twin for Thomas in history as far as I can get.
We have no
description of the call of Thomas into Apostleship. His name just appears in
the lists. The first active appearance of Thomas in the Gospels occurred immediately
before the account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Jesus had just fled
Thomas is also known as "The Doubting Thomas", because he demanded an objective proof of evidence for resurrection.
Thomas was the first disciple who confessed and acknowledged, Jesus as
God and My Lord"
The nearest of others was by Simon Peter who declared that Jesus was the Son of God.
John 20:24 -29 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
In terms of Rom. 10:10 Thomas may be considered as the first Christian and was saved .
Rom 10:10 For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.
to The Passing of Mary, a text attributed to Joseph of Arimathaea, Thomas
was the only witness of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. The other apostles were
miraculously transported to
Thomas seems to
have ministered in the
Acts of Thomas an
Apocryphat book describes how Thomas was forced to go to
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the historicity of the events and hence the traditions were questioned by scholars.
“Did a king of the
name of Gondophares reign over any portion of
It was only about the middle of the nineteenth century that it became possible to say whether a king of that name ever existed and had reigned in
Pahlavas / Indo-Parthians
The Ruins of Taxila, the Capitol of the
The coins from Taxila
with the seal and inscription of King Gudophorus as
"Maharaja - rajarajasamahata -dramia -devavrata Gundapharase"
discovery of Gondophoras coins was made by one Charles Masson who worked in the
Bengal European Artillery. During his stay in
This Takhth-i-Bahi Stone
17" long and 14.5" broad has the inscription
"In the twenty-sixth year of the great King Gudaphara in the year three and one hundred, in the month of Vaishakh, on the fifth day"
kingdom was founded by the first of several kings named Gondophares in the late
first century BC. Gondophares, as well as being a Saka king, was probably a
member of the Suren family, one of the seven major noble houses of the
Parthians, whose feifdom was in Seistan, by now known as Sakastan, on the
eastern borders of the Parthian empire. Indo-Parthia expanded to the east,
sometimes as vassals of the Parthians and sometimes independently, eventually
Coin of Gondophares (20-50 AD CE), first king of the Indo-Parthians Bust of Gondophares
Rev: Winged Nike holding a diadem, and Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΥΝΔΟΦΕΡΡΟΥ ("of King Gondophares, the Saviour").
He has ministered
The Possible extent of Kalabhra Empire - Mahabali Empire
During this period he also travelled
The Church which stands over the cave at Little
The inscription in a marble tablet at the entrance to the cave reads as follows:
“The cave where lay hid persecuted just before being martyred by RAJA MAHADEVAN, king of Mylapore, A.D. 68, THOMAS one of the twelve, the great Apostle of India, the very one who put his finger into the wounds of his Lord and God”
The Church on St. Thomas Mount, which was built by the Portuguese in 1523 and extended in 1547. Coja Safar, an Armenian, extended it further in 1707.
The Marthoma Cross which is on the main altar, in the Church on St. Thomas Mount.
The Church in St. Thomas Mount, Mylapore, Chennai The Gothic Cathedral built in 1893.
The tomb is found inside this church
"it was found to contain the among other Relics, the piece of spear, a small piece of the Apostle's bone. This is all that the Cathedral possess"
Original tomb of Apostle Thomas in Mylapore.
Tomb in 1900
of a hand Bone of St. Thomas which touched the wound of Jesus, it was brought
the lance that took the life of
relics were moved from
1258 the prince of
After a short stay
in the Greek
St.Thomas Apostle Basilica in
The golden copper urn in the Basilica St. Thomas
Ortona's great cathedral
has the privilege of housing the bones of St Thomas Apostle, which arrived in
Ortona on September 6, 1258, a booty taken by captain Leone degli Acciaioli
Return of the relics
In A.D. 232 the greater part of relics of the Apostle Thomas are said to have been returned by an Indian king and brought back from
For details on the Acts of Apostle Thomas see my book Acts of the Apostle Thomas: The Story of Thomas Churches
the tax collector
Matthew was a 1st
century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, in the
1. Father of apostle called James the Less to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee and brother of John (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). Mark 15:40 says James' mother, Mary, was with Jesus' mother at the cross. John 19:25 says Mary the wife of Cleophas was at the cross. This would seem to indicate that Cleophas and Alphaeus are two names for the same person. Many Bible students accept this. Others think the language problems between Greek and Hebrew make the equation impossible so that two different Marys are meant. Some want to equate Alphaeus, Cleophas, and the Cleopas of Luke 24:18.
2. The father of the apostle Levi (Mark 2:14). Comparison of Matthew 9:9 and Luke 5:27 would indicate Levi was also called Matthew.
Alphaeus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE al-fe'-us (Alphaios; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, Halphaios):
(1) The father of the second James in the list of the apostles (Mt 10:3; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:15; Acts 1:13).
(2) The father of Levi, the publican (Mk 2:14). Levi is designated as Matthew in the Gospel of Mt (9:9).
There is no other
reference to this
Some writers, notably Weiss, identify the father of Levi with the father of the second James. He says that James and Levi were undoubtedly brothers; but that seems improbable. If they were brothers they would quite likely be associated as are James and John, Andrew and Peter.
Chrysostom says James and Levi had both been tax-gatherers before they became followers of Jesus. This tradition would not lend much weight as proof that they were brothers, for it might arise through identifying the two names, and the western manuscripts do identify them and read James instead of Levi in Mk 2:14. This, however, is undoubtedly a corruption of the text. If it had been the original it would be difficult to explain the substitution of an unknown Levi for James who is well known.
(a) That the Mary of Clopas was the same as the Mary who was the mother of the second James. There is a difference of opinion as to whether "Mary of Clopas" should be understood to be the wife of Clopas or the daughter of Clopas, but the former is more probable. We know from Mt 27:56 and Mk 15:40 that there was a James who was the son of Mary, and that this Mary belonged to that little group of women that was near Jesus it the time of the crucifixion. It is quite likely that this Mary is the one referred to in Jn 19:25. That would make James, the son of Mary of Mt 27:56, the son of Mary of Clopas. But Mary was such a common name In the New Testament that this supposition cannot be proven.
(b) That the
James, who was the son of Mary, was the same person as the James, the son of
(d) That Clopas
had two names as was common at that time; but there is nothing to either
substantiate or disprove this theory. See CLOPAS. It seems impossible to
determine absolutely whether or not
The city of
Ancient synagogue of
Probably stands in the same place as the synagogue of the time of Jesus.
Early in his account of the gospel, Matthew points out that Jesus began His Galilean ministry here in order to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. "And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 'The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.'" (Matt. 4:13-16).
Six men from
The city was important enough to have a tax office, over which Matthew had presided (Matt. 9:9). A detachment of Roman soldiers was stationed in the town also.
Matthew 9:9, 10:3; Mark 2:14, 3:18; Luke 5:27-29; 6:15; Acts 1:13.
Matthew 9:9 and Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27
Matthew (Matthew 9:9) - "And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He *said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose, and followed Him."
Levi (Mark 2:14) - "And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office, and He *said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose and followed Him."
Levi (Luke 5:27) - "And after that He went out, and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi, sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me."
Other than writing his Gospel not much is known about Matthew’s later life.
Origen says that
the first Gospel written was by Matthew.
This Gospel was written in Hebrew in
St. Irenæus tells
us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, and St. Clement of
The statue of St.
Matthew at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in the
It it is certain
that he left Judea much before the fall of
If you look at the world as known to Herodotus we can see the Eastern Ethiopia falls in the Indo-Parthian Kingdom of Gondaphorus in Indus Valley (today's Pakisthan area) which was essentially a Jewish dispersion area This will also explain why the Hebrew version of the Gospel of Matthew was found in the area of Kalyan following the ministry of Barthelomew..
Early Church fathers Clement and Irenaeus say that Matthew stayed in Palestine preaching the Gospel to the Jews for at least 15 years after Christ’s ascension after which he was martyred. The details of his death are not known.
Matthew, for about
15 years, preached the Gospel in Hebrew to the Jewish community in
The scene of
his labors was
Death of Matthew
According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr,
But this opinion is contradicted by other ancient testimonies.
S. Matthæi in Ponto" in "Acta
apostolorum apocrypha" published by Bonnet, (
There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est".
Here is the traditional story about
the martyrdom of Matthew in