« AnteriorContinuar »
§ 17. Peter teas not in Rome also in A. D. 65 and 66.
After Paul was released in A. D. 63, he left Rome. Whether, aa he proposed in his Epistle to the Romans, he went to Spain, is not to be ascertained; but it is not very probable. For, assuming that Paul had really travelled to Spain, nothing is more certain than that he would have stayed several years in this great and populous country (Spain with Portugal was larger than Asia Minor), which, especially in the south, was covered with large cities. But as now Paul's death, according to Pagi, took place in A. D. 65 — but according to the supposition which makes Peter to have come to Rome in the second year of Claudius, i. e. in A. D. 42, to have been bishop there for twenty-five years, and suffered martyrdom there with Paul — falls in A. D. 67; as, further, we find the apostle of the Gentiles, after his deliverance, again in Macedonia, Greece, Asia (2 Tim. 4:20), and Crete;1 as he spent a whole winter in Nicopolis where he called Titus to come to him (Tit. 3: 12); as, finally, Paul was certainly not imprisoned and put to death immediately on his arrival in Rome; and much more, assuredly for a time preached the gospel openly ; which is evident enough from 1 Tim.l: 3,14; so there is no room for an apostolical journey to Spain. We take it for granted therefore, that Paul after his departure from Rome turned himself immediately to Greece and Asia.
If now we consider the great extent of the tracts of country in which Paul labored after his departure from Rome; if we think how much time a simple journey from Rome to
1 Titus 1: 5. That Paul in all former years had not been at Crete m person, is evident from Luke's accurate description of Paul's journeys, in which he does not mention any excursion to Crete. From Titus, in the place above cited, it is evident that he icas there together with Titus. If any ono should refer to Acts 27: 7, 8, and especially verse 21, it is evident (and from verses 8—14, also), that the ship in which Paul sailed was only forced by bad weather to run into Crete, hut that she sailed directly again, and Paul who was a prisoner in the ship certainly did not receive permission to preach the Gospel. Besides, Titus was not at that time in Paul's company; according to Acts 27: 2, he had only Aristarcl<us with him; therefore he could not then have left Titus behind in Crete.
Crete and back through Greece, Macedonia, and Asia Minor alread required; if we reckon, in addition, the considerable stays he made at Crete, Ephesus, Nicopolis, and Philippi, where he had repeatedly promised to come again (Phil. 1:262: 24); it is evident that with all these things several years might have been consumed, and that we do not err when we place Paul's second arrival in Rome in A. D. 65 or 66. Hence it follows that Paul's death must be placed in A. D. 66 or 67, but in no wise earner than A. D. 65.
Paul was very active during this abode in Rome; we shall speak of this in the next paragraph. Of his Epistles, the two to Timothy belong to this time. When he quitted Asia for the last time and went to Macedonia, he had left him behind at Ephesus,1 and Titus he left at Crete; he now calls both of them to him at Rome ; but that Timothy was no longer in Ephesus, is evident from 2 Tim. 4: 12. Let us now look at these Epistles, in order to adduce our proposed proof.
The first Epistle to Timothy, of which nothing is more certain than that it was written at Rome, but which accord
1 Paul says (1 Tim. 1:1—3), that he had besought Timothy, on his departure (from Asia) to Macedonia, to remain at Ephesus. Paul's Jirtt journey to Macedonia is related. Acts 10: 19, etc.; it probably occurred in A. D 55. Shortly before, Paul had taken the young Timothy to himself (Acts 16: 1, etc.), in order to have him for his companion on his journey (verse 3). Hence it is evident, that he did not leave him behind to be the chief overseer at Ephesus, aside from the fact that the younir man just now received was not ripe for such a high calling, which he first learned in company with Paul. The journey is described in verse II, etc.
Acts 18:18, Paul left Greece in order to travel in the East. Verse 19th, he is in Ephesus. But at this time he did not go to Macedonia, but to Syria; con^-e quently he did not leave Timothy at this time in Ephesus. When Paul came back from the East (18: 25) he touched anew at Ephesus (19: 1), and remained there three years (19: 8, 10. 20: 31). From here he went indeed to Macedonia (19:21).^rf he did not leave Timothy behind in Ephesus, but sent him together with Erastus forward to Macedonia (verse 22), while he himself remained a while in Asia. Chap. 20: 1, he himself followed. We find Timothy on the return journey from Macedonia to Troas in company with Paul (verse 4). From now forward, before A. D. 62 or 64, Paul came no more to Ephesus and Macedonia, but ho travelled from Miletus (21: 17, etc.) through Cos and Rhodes to Tyre (21:1, etc.), nnd from there to Jerusalem. Whence he finally reached Rome as a prisoner. Consequently he left Timothy behind at Ephesus first after A. D. 63.
ing to 1 Tim. 3: 14 Paul composed when he was free, contains nothing relating to our subject; but the second especially does. This Paul wrote when he was a prisoner (2 Tim. 1: 8), and very probably not long before his execution (4: 6, etc.), which he foresaw. On this account he begs Timothy " to come to him soon " (ver. 9). Ver. 10:" For Demas has forsaken me from love of this world, and is gone to Thessalonica." See also ver. 11, 12: "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with thee ; for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus." Ver. 20: "Erastus abode at Corinth; but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." There is assuredly the strongest proof, in these passages, that Peter was not at Rome when Paul wrote them. For if he had been there, together with Paul, if both at this time were expecting to suffer death on account of the faith, how is it possible that Paul does not mention his colleague? He names all who were united to him by the gospel; of Peter and his disciples, not one word. He says expressly that only Luke was with him; this would not be true if Peter also and his disciples were at Rome. It cannot be said that these were not of Paul's friends of whom he is here speaking. This objection is good for nothing; Paul speaks of those who were at Rome as evangelists, and among these, Peter would also have belonged; we know, too, that Paul very much hated this division into parties and schools among the apostles, as appears in the first Epistle to the Corinthians.
He salutes Titus from several persons he names, especially Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia; from Peter there is no salutation; of him who ought to be named before all, as the head of all of them, nothing. In case Peter had taken the place of a pope at Rome, what could be more agreeable to Timothy, more consoling, than a salutation from such a man? Had Peter been at Rome, could Paul really have forgotten to add this? Certainly not, if it were only to show, that between himself, the head of the Gentile Christians and Peter the head of the Jewish Christians, there reigned a harmony and peace which had not been always undisturbed.
Peter, it is well known, must have named Linus his first successor; Linus was a disciple of Peter. Natulis proves this according to his very strained method. Paul now mentions Linus; from him he greets Timothy; of Peter, he is wholly silent! Is it possible that any man can suppose Peter was, at this time, at Rome? In case he were, would not this silence, which holds Peter, Mark and all others of Peter's disciples, not worthy of mention, be a most striking proof that a division, enmity, yea an open breach, existed between Paul and his disciples and Peter and his disciples?
But here the old objection also is urged, that Peter at this time must be supposed again to be on an apostolical excursion. And this supposition is so ingenious and naive, that we shall not venture to say anything against it.'
§ 18. Peter's Epistles.
We have thus far seen, that the whole Acts of the Apostles, the collective Epistles of Paul, of which one was written to the church at Rome, and five from Rome, contain not a vestige of evidence that Peter came to Rome, and there for twenty-five years was bishop and governed as pope: we have found many facts accredited by those sacred writings, from which the contrary of all these opinions is evidently enough deduced. We now turn to St. Peter himself: perhaps proofs are to be found with him of his Romish bishopric.
The Romish Court and their adherents Baronius, Bellarmin, Natalis Alexander, and hundreds of others, cannot think of St. Peter at all, but as a pope, i. e. as having charge of the whole church, everywhere regulating, prescribing, commanding, and that as a leader of an army with a great train he must make his appearance in the externals of a pope of the present day. And yet nothing of all these things has been shown. Peter, on this supposition, must have been
1 Especially, as according to tradition which is so great an authority with those writers, it must ha\-e been at the very time that Peter was about to suffer martyrdom with Paul at Rome. — Tr. 'Vol. XV. No. 59. 52
twenty-five years bishop and pope of Rome, and have carried the gospel to Sicily, Italy, Spain, Britain, Gaul, yea to Africa. And yet we have only hco pastoral letters from him to the churches of Asia Minor founded by him. How is this? Could he wholly forget the Western churches; not have thought of them at all? Could he not once have prepared for them the comfort and encouragement of a single letter, with which Paul so often made glad all the churches and provinces to which he had preached the gospel? And even • to the church of Rome, which it is said he left in A. D. 51, from which he was separated for so many years, namely until A. D. 65 or 66; could he have so wholly withdrawn himself from them that he should not once have visited them with a single letter of comfort and exhortation? If Peter really was bishop and pope of Rome, this conduct appears to us absolutely unworthy of him. Of this, his position and government as bishop at Rome, we now perceive nothing at all.
The two single Epistles which Peter sent out, are not two encyclical epistles to all Christendom, but, as we have already said, simple pastoral letters to the churches of Jewish Christians founded by him in Asia Minor. In both of them there is not a word to be met which proclaims the visible head of the whole church; in both, no trace is to be found of an abode in Rome. But now it is said that the Babylon of which he speaks 1: 5, 13 was Rome, which at that time had often been called by this name in the church, particularly in the Apocalypse; and some fathers of the church are quoted also, who by that Babylon in Peter understand Rome (Jerome, in Catal. in Marco); indeed, Natalis Alexander, together with Baronius, knows likewise the reason why Peter changes the name; he says, to wit p. 168, col. ii: "Because indeed Peter had escaped from the prison at Jerusalem, as he would not that his place of abode should be known to all; and wished likewise to consult the safety of the Christians at Rome, in order that, if this letter perhaps came into the hands of the heathen,1 they might not know that there were
He sent the Epistle not by a post, but b_v Silvanus.