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houses of Prisca and Aquila, of Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hernias, Patrobas, Hermes, of Philologus, of Julia, of Nereus, and of Olympas. To reckon its numbers according to this view, the church of Rome could not at that time be verylarge, and it could not accordingly yet be very old.
2. Paul had not yet been in Rome, and yet he was very familiar with the circumstances of the church of Rome; he knew almost all its distinguished members. And indeed he knew most of them personally, as is evident from that enumeration which we beg our readers to examine closely. How long must he have already stood in connection with them ; how often have interchanged communications with them? It appears that the Romans had directly chosen him as their patron in the Lord; had sought the spiritual, apostolic point of support in him, the apostle of the Gentiles, who had twice penetrated to their neighborhood, even to Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, and IUyria.
3. And if now we consider more closely these men and women whom he salutes, we find tliat they were most of tliem Paul's intimate acquaintances and also his fellow-laborers and disciples.
There are, first, Prisca and Aquila. He became acquainted with them at Corinth (Acts 18 :1), as Jews who were driven out of Rome by the edict of Claudius; he won them for the gospel, and henceforward we see them his companions (Acts 18: 26. 1 Cor. 16: 19. 2 Tim. 4: 19).
There is, further, Epenetus an Asiatic whom he calls beloved, a proof of personal, intimate acquaintance. There are Andronicus and Junia his relatives, who have shared with him in his frequent imprisonments (2 Cor. 11:23, etc.). There is Amplias in similar circumstances to him with Epenetus. There is Urbane, whom he calls his fellow-laborer, like his trusty companions Silas, Titus, Timothy, etc. There is Stachys his beloved. There is Hcrodion, his fellow countryman.
We cannot otherwise explain these relations than on the supposition that all these persons were disciples and companions of Paul, whom, when he could not, at the outset, come to Rome, he sent forivard from him to preach the gospel, which he afterwards finished himself. This is the more evident from the salutations of Timothy, Luke, Jason, Sosipater, Terlius, Caius, and Erastus added to those of Paul, who also had not yet been in Rome, and could only be so far acquainted with the church at Rome, as they were the friends and acquaintances of those who were Paul's disciples.
It is therefore established, that Paul's disciples, sent by him, founded the church at Rome; and that this founding can be in no way claimed for Peter, of whom, as of his disciples, we find no trace. This becomes perfect certainty when Paul, at the end, calls the gospel which had been preached to the Romans his gospel (Rom. 16: 35).
In A. D. 61 Paul himself came to Rome; he remained there two years, and he was able to preach the gospel undisturbed (Acts xxviii., close). What his disciples had begun and had conducted to a successful progress, he could now himself gloriously complete.
We will now see how Paul's activity was excited at Rome. Directly after his arrival in Rome, on the third day, he began, in his own dwelling, to gain the chiefs of the synagogue for the gospel (Acts xxix.). Luke relates how it was done, not without good success. We have seen it above. For tivo whole years, he now preached the gospel to the Gentiles without hindrance (Acts 29: 31), a proof that up to A. D. 63 Nero had not begun to persecute the Christians.
We have seen above, that at the time when Paul wrote to the Romans in A. D. 57 or 58, the church of Rome was yet inconsiderable, at least was yet not large. It was first increased and extended abroad by Paul's efforts and zeal.
He himself says, in the Epistle to the Philippians, that through him the gospel has been made known "in all the palace and in all other places;" that through him many of the brethren have waxed confident, fearlessly to preach the word of God (1: 12); yea, that even in the court itself he has gained followers (4: 22).
We know Paul's fellow-laborers in the gospel, those dear to him. Besides Barnabas, Silas, Sosthenes, Judas, Sopater, Secundus, there are also Timothy and Titus, both mentioned in numberless places in the Acts and the Epistles. Aquila and Prisca, as we have seen above; Erastus (Acts 19: 22), Cains (Acts 19: 29. 20: 4. xxvii.), Aristarchus, Tychicust Trophisms (Acts 21: 29. 20: 4), Luke, Mark (Acts 13: 5), Epaphroditus, and Epaphras, Justus (Acts 13: 7, 8), Demos, Artemas. All these men, from Timothy on, we find with him as fellow-laborers at Rome. They all are to be found in this position in the Epistles which he wrote from Rome. See Eph. 6: 24. Phil. 1: 1, 12. 2: 19, 23, 25. 3: a 4:18. Coloss. 1: 1, 7. 4: 7, 9—12,14. Philem. 23, 24.
At his second abode, too, for the most part, they are again with him; and they stand distinguished in the last chapter of the second Epistle to Timothy. Indeed Paul was the fu st who, as it were, made Rome the central point of the church; from Rome he held the West in connection with the East; his disciples went out and came back as messengers; from Rome Paul cared for the churches in Greece, Macedonia, and Asia Minor. All the men as they stand in the above-mentioned Epistles, as we have named them, were sent out from Rome by Paul to these churches. Here he mentions to Titus, whom he calls to him, that he had sent Artemas and Tychicus to the regions of the East (Tit. 3: 12), Timothy he calls back to him (2 Tim. 4: 12). Then he tells Timothy that Demas had gone to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia, Tychicus to Ephesus, Erastus he had left at Corinth, and Trophimus was left behind sick at Miletus; he had Luke only still with him; therefore he should take with him Mark and come to Rome (2 Tim. 4: 10, etc.); Clemens he commends to the Philippians as a fellow laborer of his (Phil. 4: 3).
Finally, it is shown that all the important names which rendered glorious the first period of the church at Rome, Linus (2 Tim. 4: 21), Clemens, Claudia, Hermas, Phlegon, Caius, etc., were Paul's disciples; the two first pretended successors of Peter were followers of Paul, not of Peter.
While Paul developed such a wide-spread and deeplypenetrating activity at Rome; while there he concentrated the action of almost the whole body of the important intellects of the church, or pointed out to them abroad the circle of operation; and while he formed, organized, founded, and governed the church at Rome, and from it lending form and aid, he made his attacks on the East and the West, nothing is perceived of Peter, not a word is breathed of his abode at Pome, or of his activity there. The stale conversion of the name of Babylon into Rome (1 Pet. 5:13), is the only argument by which they venture to prove Peter's abode at Rome, his episcopate and his popedom from the Holy Scriptures. It would not pay for the trouble to waste a word on it.
§ 20. Recapitulation.
A part, indeed the most important part, of our task is accomplished. For as the most important and the principal authorities respecting Peter's life and labors are the holy books of the New Testament; by proving that these not only contain no proof for, but many proofs against the abode of Peter in Rome and his bishopric there, we have without doubt performed the most important portion of our task. The witnesses which are brought from tradition, from the fathers especially, are only of a secondary rank, and are of value only so far as they do not contradict the Scriptures.
If now we review the course of investigation over which we have passed, we find that the following points are shown: Paul's conversion cannot be placed before A. D. 38. Three years after it, therefore, A. D. 40 or 41, he visited Peter at Jerusalem, who soon journeyed to see the churches in Palestine, A. D. 42. Paul now went to Tarsus. In this time the gospel had penetrated to Antioch; thither the apostles sent Barnabas to constitute a church there. He (Barnabas) now brought Paul from Tarsus, and they both remained a year in Antioch, A. D. 44. Afterwards they went to Jerusalem to carry alms, and during- their stay there, Peter was put in prison by Herod, in the fourth year of Claudius, A. D. 45.
With this the opinion that Peter founded the church of Antioch and was bishop there from A. D. 38 to 44, is overthrown; and with it the view that Peter came to Rome in the second year of Claudius, i. e. in A. D. 42, as Eusebius, and after him all the defenders of Peter's Romish episcopate advance, is shown to be without foundation. Thence, we have shown that it absolutely contradicts Peter's peculiar calling to preach the gospel to the Jews, when, directly after A. D. 45, he is made to travel to the West, where were only a few Jews, and to Rome; that such a supposition is not supported by a single trace of historical testimony, and is nothing but an arbitrary fiction, to sustain which requires still other fictions. For as Peter was present at the Council at Jerusalem (Acts xv), which Baronius places in A. D. 48, Natalis in A. D. 51, and others, with whom we agree, in A. D. 53, and soon after met with Paul at Antioch, so to explain this, we must have recourse again to a wholly arbitrary supposition sustained by no proof, that Peter left Rome and wandered back to Jerusalem, in consequence of the edict of Claudius which drove the Jews out of Rome.
We have further seen, from Paul's Epistle to the Romans, that Peter at the time when this Epistle ivas written, in A. D. 57 or 58, was not in Rome; from Acts xxviii., from the Epistles to the Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Hebrews, and Philemon we have seen that Peter also was not to be found in Rome in A. D. 61—63; and the second Epistle to Timothv instructs us that Peter likewise was not in the capital of the world in A. D. 65 or 66. Finally, we have proved from the above-mentioned authorities that not the slightest share can be shown for Peter in the founding of the church at Rome, and, much more, that this was exclusively owing to Paid and his disciples.
The mode and manner of conducting this proof has been twofold, positive and negative. In the former we proved, that Peter was elsewhere at the time in which he is placed at Rome; in the latter, that the silence of the authorities render that residence of Peter at Rome wholly inadmissible. This kind of proof we will here now yet more accurately examine.