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many Christians at Rome, and be excited to persecute them, especially since Claudius was very favorable to Agrippa the persecutor of Peter.” 2 Any further remark as to this statement is superfluous.
When John, in a book like the Apocalypse, names Rome by a foreign name, this cannot be objected to; it is quite natural ; but in an Epistle, it would be strange, if not ridiculous. And now what necessity is there to suppose that Peter wrote his Epistle, not in Babylon but at Rome? None indeed. As the apostle of the circumcision, Peter was especially pointed to the Jews, as Paul was to the Gentiles. If Paul went through half the world to convert the Gentiles and fulfil his calling, why should not Peter have done this? Why should he not have travelled to the Euphrates and Ti. gris, where hundreds of thousands of Jews dwelt? why not to Egypt, where their number was not less ; countries which bordered on Palestine and Syria ? And in both of these regions there was a Babylon. Old Babylon yet stood, though already sunken; it was first destroyed by Gallus; Seleucia, on the Tigris, in Peter's time, was commonly called Babylon, instead of which city the Seleucidæ had long ago erected it; Stolberg also concedes this. The Egyptian Babylon was an important city, where a legion was encainped. What hinders us from supposing that Peter wrote his Epistle from this Babylon? Why must it be precisely Rome?
Let us now, further, consider the particular circumstances of this Epistle: 1 Pet. 5: 12 it is said, “ By Silvanus a faithful brother, as I suppose, I have written briefly.” Therefore Silvanus had the care of delivering the letter to its address Silvanus here does not appear as an intimate acquaintance of Peter, as his scholar, else he would not have said, " a faithful brother as I suppose.” This does not allow us to sup
i This they might know by the sight of their own eyes; they needed not Peter's letter for it.
? He had been dead for some time, before l'eter could come to Rome. But if Peter had such a design, then he ought to have named no name, but have let the salutation be given orally by Silvanus.
pose any intimate personal knowledge. Silvanus was therefore only accidentally with Peter, probably on business. Why not? He belonged to the Jews of Asia Minor, in whose conversion Paul had so great a share, from whom he had formed a church. Who, now, is this Silvanus? The two Epistles to the Thessalonians are superscribed : “ Paul and Silvanus and Timothy." There is no other Silvanus in the Holy Scriptures. Since, as the superscription above shows, he stood in the closest fellowship with Paul, as he was as intimately united with him as was Timothy, and held the same position to him, so it is certain, as is admitted by the ablest interpreters, that this Silvanus was no other than Silas, Paul's constant companion and fellow-laborer (Acts 15: 22. 16: 19. 17: 4, 14. 18: 5, etc.). As we find him no more afterwards among Paul's attendants, so it appears that he betook himself to the East, and devoted himself to the care of the Jewish Christians there, of whom he was one.
When now neither in the Epistle to the Romans, nor in those to the Ephesians and Philippians, nor especially in those to the Colossians and to Titus, which are all of them dated from Rome, is there any mention of Silas, though Paul names all his scholars and companions who were with him at Rome, or who came and went; since a deliberate omission of his name cannot be supposed, because next to Timothy he was the most distinguished of Paul's disciples, it follows that Silas was not in Rome; that he therefore could have taken no Epistle of Peter's with him from there to the churches of Asia Minor; that accordingly as he actually took it with him, Peter when he wrote it and gave it to Silvanus, could not then be in Rome.
Just so is it with respect to Mark, whom Peter mentions as his own son and companion; of his presence in Rome also, there is no mention anywhere. To assume this, is the more foolish, as they who maintain that Peter was at Rome, maintain also that he had sent Mark from Antioch to Alexandria, where he became bishop. And there is yet another and additional reason. Peter addresses his Epistle to the strangers scattered abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. This succession allows us to conclude, with tolerable certainty, that the province of Pontus was nearer to the writer than Asia Minor. If Peter wrote from Rome, it would be natural to send the Epistle first to the Christians in Asia and Bithynia ; for these were situated nearest to him, and through these lay the way to the other. Therefore Peter did not write this Epistle from Rome. But if we suppose Seleucia on the Tigris was the Babylon from which Peter wrote, the letter sent to these churches of Asia Minor must first come to the church of Pontus; it then went from Seleucia on the great commercial road of Armenia, the only one which there was here, through Cara, Singara, Nisibis, Amida, Arsamosata to Trapezus in Pontus. From Rome it could not come first to Pontus.
$ 19. The founding of the church of Rome without Peter.
From the Holy Scriptures not the least share, by Peter, in the founding and establishing of the church of Rome can be proved; all there is due to Paul. But gradually some began to associate Peter with Paul, and to name both as founders of the church of Rome and then as its bishops. In the course of time Peter was placed before Paul, the latter apostle only called a helper, and finally wholly left out, and at last it is marked out as a heresy to suppose that the church of Rome was built more upon Paul than on Peter.
It has already been observed above, that Peter as the apostle of the circumcision, especially and first of all was pointed to the Jews, i. e. to the East; and that his career must preëminently be assigned here. The pretence that Pe. ter was directly called by the Lord, to bring the heathen into the faith of the gospel, has no weight. That this was no special commission to Peter, but to all the apostles and disciples, is evident from the opinion then prevailing among all Jewish Christians, and clearly admitted by Peter (Acts x.), that the gospel was destined only for the Jews, not for the
" See the Second Chapter of the First Book of my Treatise on the Primacy of the Bishops of Rome.
Gentiles. Paul the apostle was raised up just at this time.
In the whole of the Acts of the Apostles, and in the writings of Scripture, nothing is to be found which intimates Peter's destination to the West, to Rome; but Paul was chosen, by the Lord himself, for the capital of the world. This inward spirit already impelled him early toward Rome; he testifies to this fully: Rom. 1: 10—16, “ Not to the Greeks only, but also to the barbarians," to those who are not Greeks, i. e. to the Latins, was he “ a debtor.” (Compare Rom. 15: 23—25, where he declares his whole circle of operation in the East as closed.) This thought never left him; Rome always lay before his eyes as the goal of his course, as the theatre of his call to the Gentiles. “ After I have been at Jerusalem, I must see Rome also” (Acts 19: 21).
Finally, the voice of the Lord himself points him to Rome; here must he preach the gospel : “Be of good courage, Paul,” it said to him," as thou hast borne witness for me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness of me at Rome also " (Acts 23: 11). Where do we find such testimonies of Peter ? There is not a single trace of one.
We now pass over to the Church of Rome. The founding of this church must have taken place after the first dispersion of the disciples; and we certainly shall not fail in correctness, if we place it not before A. D. 48. We take it for granted that, already some years earlier in the great intercourse of the world in which Rome stood, individual Christians came to Rome from Palestine and gained adherents among the Jews; but this was far from founding a community or congregation, a church, which could not be so easily effected in Rome, the seat of heathendom, where in general they looked with contempt on everything that came from Palestine. We reject the fable of Peter's arrival at Rome in A. D. 42, or as Natalis Alexander would have it, in A. D. 45 (according to Acts xii.),
1 But according to this story which makes Peter first preach the Gospel in Rome, this did not take place before A. D 45. In A. D. 38, he left Rome, say Natalis, Bronius, and others; seven years he was in Antioch; in A. D. 45, be was imprisoned, therefore he did not come to Rome before A. D. 46.
and we hold upon what is historically accredited. In A. D. 58 Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans (Natalis places it in A. D. 47), before he had come into personal contact with them. And yet we find the fullest acquaintance, the most intimate intercourse, the closest connection between the apostle and the church at Rome. The whole 16th chapter is full of it. Ver. 1—15, “ I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist -her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a succorer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus; (who have for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles) likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us. Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Salute Apelles, approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. Salute Herodion, my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which labored much in the Lord. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.” These passages furnish many conclusions :
1. From verses 4, 14, 15, it is evident that the church of Rome, at the time when Paul wrote this epistle, did not yet form a completed church with a public place of assembling; the Roman Christians came together in the houses of certain members; the most considerable of these assemblies or conventicles, perhaps Paul names all, were those in the