Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: Why was Peter in Rome?’

Return to article »

Published: Thursday, June 12 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
St George, Utah

I guess the column is too subtle for me. So WHY did Peter come to be in Rome ??

St. George, UT

Obviously, Peter was in Rome fulfilling his apostolic duties as the chief Apostle. More specifically, he was trying to correct the false doctrine that was present in the Rome branch of the Church, which doctrine eventually led to apostasy. Most of Paul's epistles in the New Testament were written for the same purpose.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The New Testament makes no mention of Peter ever going to Rome. That’s found in early Church traditions and references in writings. Catholicism identifies Peter as the Bishop of Rome and the first Pope although the Papacy didn’t even exist in Peter’s lifetime. It’s not clear to me whether Peter had any leadership authority at all. But in Acts, he does figure more prominently than any other of the twelve.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Yes, religion is a powerful motivator and can be the catalyst for people to do extraordinary things they would not otherwise do – we should find this at least as troubling as it uplifting.

If that is not clear, ask yourself what would motivate Christians to torture and burn their fellow countrymen for 500 years or 19 pious Muslims to fly planes into buildings.

Russell Spencer
Boise, ID


I think Dr. Peterson is alluding to Simon-Peter's call to the ministry by Christ and subsequent conversion. Peter could have just as easily lived his life as a fisherman, dying quietly in bed, and been forgotten to history a few generations later. Instead, he answered the call to become a fisher of men, died a martyr for the testimony of Christ, and will be remembered through all generations.

Editors at DesNews typically write the headlines, not the authors. Sometimes headlines end up a little disconnected from the article.

As to the headline's question, there is a wonderful story of Simon-Peter coming to Rome to set the Church in order. According to the legend, Simon Magus (the guy from Acts 8) had come to Rome claiming to be an apostle and was leading the Romans astray. Magus claimed supernatural powers and appeared to fly. The people, amazed at Magus' "powers," began to doubt. Peter, calling upon the powers of heaven, commanded Magus to fall, and fall he did. He died shortly thereafter. Magus was a favorite of Nero, who then sought an opportunity to kill Peter. The fire provided the pretext.

Westland, MI

The Apostle Peter never stepped foot in Rome. Not even once. Rome was the mission field of the Apostle Paul.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO


Although the New Testament makes no mention of Peter going to Rome, the early traditions of him being there are very strong ones. They include mention by Clement, Tertullian, and Eusebius. I find it likely that Peter did go to Rome and suffered martyrdom there. Why he came there in the first place is matter for speculation. I find it more likely he was there as an emissary than as leader of the Rome Christian community as Catholic tradition holds. But if he was there for any appreciable length of time, who can say?

Springville, UT

Tyler D posted:

=Yes, religion is a powerful motivator and can be the catalyst for people to do
=extraordinary things they would not otherwise do – we should find this at least
=as troubling as it uplifting.
=If that is not clear, ask yourself what would motivate Christians to torture
=and burn their fellow countrymen for 500 years or 19 pious Muslims to fly
=planes into buildings.

I think the key is to be sure what God is telling you to do, before you do it in the name of religion. I find it very hard to believe that God would actually tell anyone "to torture and burn their fellow countrymen for 500 years" or "to fly planes into buildings" where thousands of innocent people would be killed.

Westland, MI

Craig Clark,

The Apostle Peter died in old age from natural causes per John 21:18-19. The martyrdom in Rome stories are cunningly devised fables.

Weber State Graduate
Clearfield, UT

"I think the key is to be sure what God is telling you to do..."

That's the problem...religious believers are sure they are doing what God is telling them to do based upon subjective, supernatural authentication.

The bigger problem is when one religion claims a corner on the market in terms of being "sure what God is telling you to do."

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@kvnsmnsn – “I find it very hard to believe that God would actually tell anyone "to torture and burn their fellow countrymen for 500 years"”

If you read the histories of European middle ages it becomes quite clear that otherwise good Christians were utterly convinced they were doing God’s will in burning heretics, pagans, “witches,” and other non-conformists.

We only judge these actions wrong in retrospect, which raises the question “if God cannot do a better job of communicating his will in real time, is it rational to question the entire theistic believe system?” I think so…

Again, so we have the proper perspective and scope, we’re talking 500 years of burning heretics! This is not one isolated outbreak of passionate violence but year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation of systemic violence perpetrated by “followers of Christ.”

And it actually makes sense if you believe the worldview of the OT (e.g., Exodus 22:18).

But this is not atypical of institutional religion – read the Grand Inquisitor chapter in Brothers Karamazov.

All of this should give us great pause when submitting our will to “men of God.”

Spanish Fork, UT

1. a careful reading and addition of the deaths ordered by God/Moses in the torah-pentateuch shows that moses, author of 5th (6th or 7th depending on the choice of texts) commandment isrealites to kill 600K MEN/WOMEN/CHILDREN (and oft times all the stock animals.) 600,000 may be an exaggeration by moses "himself", but the sum remains at 600,000 human lives killed

2. samuel the prophet was commanded by the Lord to annoint saul, king of israel. the Lord remembered what the Amalek kingdom did to Israel, so the Lord via samuel told saul to "slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and (DN banned word)." (I Sam 15)

saul decided to spare some. saul's throne was removed; the Lord said "to obey is better than sacrifice" and the Lord "repented that He had made Saul king over Israel"

sometimes it is hard to read the Bible when it tells us what we don't want to believe abt it, but the numbers and words are there

Spanish Fork, UT

Westland, MI

interesting interpretation of john 21:18-19, but it isn't my interpretation, and it doesNOT tell peter where,when,why,how or by whose hand/command he will die.

18 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.
19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

(New Testament | John 21:18 - 19)

peter, when you were young you directed your own life and you were capable, but when you get old and feeble you will need someone else to help you along, and sometimes to places you would not want to go. follow Me

Louisville, KY


Actually, that scripture is usually cited to mean that Peter would be crucified and thus glorify God (being faithful even in death).

How would death from old age/natural causes glorify God?

Spanish Fork, UT

Louisville, KY

the john scriptural passage may "actually usually be cited to mean ... " ... whatever ... usually ...

which of course is a "intrepretation" of something that isn't implied: young vs old , no crucifiction (inverted or not,) in rome or not, etc. that is a lot of reading in

i can't see that translation as anyway near the correct meaning

peter had to remain faithful and diligent in his calling as apostle, of testifying of Christ's divinity to glorify God; one glorifies God by living a true and faithful life of righteousness and love - the same as all christian followers glorifying God. i can't see evidence that a martyr's death is more glorious than a lay follower of ancient age dieing bearing testimony of Christ. will God love one more than the other ?

Louisville, KY


(and hopefully you have not committed that)

Not sure what you mean by translation. I checked several translations. All seem to indicate the same. That when Peter gets older he will be girded by others, his hands outstretched, and taken where he does not wish to go and that in doing so he would follow Christ’s manner of death.

If Christ meant a simple death from complications due to old age, the phrasing does not seem to fit. Agreed that a faithful life is a wonderful thing. But through long ages we have associated those that die defending their testimony to have glorified God in so doing. It is hardly original to me. Hence it was said of Joseph and Hyrum “He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum.”

Love has nothing to do with any of this. It is a separate issue entirely.

Ken Sisler
Newmarket, Ontario

I have never read any evidence that Peter ever was in Rome. Anything said about Peter ever being in Rome may or may not be true. There is nothing in the Bible that says Peter visited Rome. At the time Peter was on earth, the Christian Church was based in Jerusalem where all of the Apostles lived.

Spanish Fork, UT

"translation" should read "interpretation".

if ye love me keep my commandments. love and the other virtues have everything to do with being a follower of Christ

granted "we have associated those that die defending their testimony" as glorifying God, but (many times more) X (many times more) X (many times more) (seventy times seven) glorify God by living lives of virtue, honesty, faithfulness etc etc etc than have been martyred

dieing at the hands of criminals is being the victim, not by choice, not the sacrificial lamb. God is not glorified by the death of people. one's death does not impress God

or possibly so in the case of allah and insane extremists
or the koolade clan
or lemmings

nahhhh, i don't think so

layton, UT

RE: Semi-Strong “he would follow Christ’s manner of death”. True,

“…‘stretch out your hands’, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go.” Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to Glorify God. After he said this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me.” John 21:18,19). The kind of death, the hands of the person crucified are ‘stretched out’ and nailed to the cross.”

(Peter)Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life,( 2 Peter 1:14 NLT)

Hegesippus said that Nero (in Rome) sought to put Peter to death. Jerome said that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.

(Peter) for‘flesh and blood hath not revealed it’ unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Mt 16:17). Or,God[is]Spirit (John 4:24 Greek N.T.)

South Jordan, UT

Why do some people go to such lengths and try so hard to be willfully blind?

Why do they reject any data that does not fit their already existing paradigm?

Why do they assume their own knowledge to be so superior that no new thoughts are allowed to enter?

Why do people think if they personally haven't read about it, it must not have happened?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments