The First Pope: Peter The Apostle Or Simon Magus

The Apostle Peter Proven NOT To Be The First Pope

The authority and authenticity of the Roman Catholic Church depends upon one fundamental doctrine: the claim that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome and the founder of the Roman Church.

The teaching of Catholic historians tells us that Simon Peter went to Rome at the same time as Simon Magus in order to thwart his evils. This was during the reign of Claudius. After successfully combating the Magus, they tell us, Peter assumed the Roman bishopric and ruled it until the Neronian persecutions of 68 A.D., during which Peter was supposed to have been crucified upside down on Vatican hill.

The word of God in the Bible absolutely refutes the Roman Catholic claim many times over. There are many proofs which completely disprove the claim that Peter was in Rome from the time of Claudius until Nero. And if Peter was never there, he certainly could not have established a universal church in Rome.

#1 - The Romans were a Gentile people. Paul was appointed to preach the gospel to the Gentiles while Peter was appointed to go to the circumcised. It then stands as an impossibility for the apostle to the circumcision to start a universal church among the Gentiles. Also, who wrote the epistle to the Romans? It was Paul, not Peter.

On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,a just as Peter had been to the circumcised. For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. Gal. 2:7-8

Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 2 Tim. 1:11 (This is a second confirmation that Paul was appointed to the Gentiles.)

#2 - Paul specifically told the Gentile Romans that HE had been chosen to be their Apostle, not Peter. And it was God that appointed Paul to do this. Why would God have Peter start a true universal church in the territory that was appointed to Paul?

Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the GentilesHe gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Rom. 15:15-16 (These are Paul's words, as he wrote the epistle to the Romans.)

#3 - Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans in 55 or 56 AD. The Catholics claim is that Peter established the Roman church some ten years before this during the reign of Claudius. Yet Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, is still attempting to "establish" the church in Rome. In other words, the church had not yet been established.

I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established. Rom. 1:11

Of course you understand that NEITHER Peter nor Paul established the Catholic Church! But these proofs are given to illustrate that it is absolutely impossible for Peter to have been in any way associated with ANY Church at Rome.

#4 - We find Paul not only wanting to establish the Church at Rome, but he specifically tells us that his policy was NEVER to build upon another man’s foundation. 

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rom. 15:20

If Peter had "founded" the Roman Church some ten years before this statement, this represents a real affront to Peter. This statement alone is proof that Peter had never been in Rome before this time to "found" any church.

#5 - At the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he greets no fewer than 28 different individuals in Rome. Remember, Paul greeted these people in 55 or 56 A.D. which is during the time that Catholics claim that Peter was Bishop of Rome. Surely Peter would be at the top of Paul's list to greet in his letter to the Romans. Let's see if Peter is ever even mentioned. How strange and troubling it must be if Peter is completely left out of Paul's greeting. Let's see...

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacona of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me. Greet Priscillac and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their houseGreet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend StachysGreet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. Greet those who belong to the household of AristobulusGreet Herodion, my fellow Jew.
Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. Greet AsyncritusPhlegonHermesPatrobasHermas and the other brothers and sisters with themGreet PhilologusJuliaNereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with themGreet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. Rom. 16:1-16

Amazing, how could Paul have forgotten Peter if he was the Bishop over the universal church in Rome? Perhaps Peter was never in Rome and he never started a church there.

#6 - Some four years after Paul wrote Romans, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Rome in order to stand trial before Caesar. When the Christian community in Rome heard of Paul’s arrival, they all went to meet him in Acts 28:15. Three days later Paul called together all the leaders of the Jews in verse 17, this most definitely would have included Peter if he was in Rome. BUT there is not a single mention of Peter among them. Luke always mentions by name important Apostles in his narration of Acts. But he says nothing of Peter’s meeting with Paul.

#7 - Paul summoned the leaders of the Jews of Rome in Acts 28:17.

They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about JesusSome were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: “ ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance! Acts 28:21-30

Now, what does all this mean? It means that if Peter had been preaching constantly in Rome for 14 long years before this time, and was still there, why are these Jewish leaders hearing the gospel from Paul as if it is there first time? Some believed, some didn't, and they were divided. This would have been a message they would have already heard and discussed had Peter been there all that time. Also notice that Paul stayed in his home and people came to him to hear the gospel. You would think that Paul would have gone to the universal church that Peter had supposedly established to do these things.

#8 - 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 Rome during that period, he nowhere mentions Peter. The obvious reason i—the Apostle to the circumcision wasn’t there!

#9 - 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 Rome. This time he had to appear before the throne of Caesar and was sentenced to die. Notice what Paul says...

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 2 Tim. 4:16

This means, if we believe the Catholics, that Peter forsook Paul, for they tell us Peter was very much present at Rome during this time. Peter once denied Christ, but that was before he was converted. Peter could not have been in Rome during this time. And if he had, the universal church that he supposedly established would not have deserted Paul.

#10 - The Apostle Paul distinctly informs us that Peter was not in Rome in 65 A.D.—even though Catholics say he was. 

Only Luke is with me. 2 Tim. 4:11

Paul speaks of all the people that had deserted him. Had Peter been with him, it would have been mentioned. Or had Peter deserted him, that too would have been a significant thing to mention. Or perhaps, Peter was never in Rome.

#11 - Not only was Peter NOT in Rome, he is shown to be in other places when Catholics claim he was in Rome. 
-Near 45 A.D., we find Peter being cast into prison at Jerusalem (Acts 12:3, 4). 
-In 49 A.D., he was still in Jerusalem, this time attending the Jerusalem Council. 
-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 Babylon among the Jews (I Pet. 5:13). 

At the times the Catholics believe Peter was in Rome, the Bible clearly shows he was elsewhere. The evidence is abundant and conclusive. Peter was NEVER the Bishop of Rome!

Simon The Sorcerer 

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. Acts 8:9-24

The apostle Luke wrote the book of Acts in 62 AD. This is about 31 years after the true church began. So what was Luke's purpose in telling this story about Simon Magus? The answer is that Luke knew of the mighty reputation that had been built by Simon Magus since the apostles first encounter with him in 31 AD. Luke thought it was important to document this event and expose Simon Magus for who he really is. 

Who Is Simon Magus?

1) Simon was a Samaritan - Acts 8:9 eludes to this likely conclusion, but secular writings such as Justin Martyr confirm this fact. 

2) Simon Magus greatly used demonic powers to do miracles and wonders. He practiced sorcery and had been doing is magic and witchcraft for a long time.

3) All of Samaria gave heed to him and believed in him. They worshiped him as the "great power of God." They deified him, followed him, and learned from his teachings.

4) Luke wants us to understand that he nominally became a Christian. He believed and was baptized. Or in other words he physically, outwardly "entered" the Christian Church. 

5) Simon even recognized that Christ’s power was greater than his but wanted to be associated with that great name. 

6) Simon wasn't merely interested in receiving the power of the Holy Spirit. His main goal was to become an apostle in order to obtain a leadership role within the movement of the apostles. Peter perceived his intentions and said "You have neither PART nor LOT in this matter." God chose the his apostles to take PART in the apostleship by LOT in Acts 1:25-26. Peter was telling Simon he couldn't buy the apostleship.

7) Peter perceived the wickedness in Simon's heart in verse 23 when he says: For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. This can either be understood to be the present condition of Simon's heart, or some believe that this was a prophetic statement by Peter from the Holy Spirit about Simon's future. "Gall of bitterness" speaks of the poison or false doctrines that Simon would bring about. "The bond of iniquity" is the sin or lawlessness of Simon's heart that he would perpetrate into the minds of others.

8) Even after Peter’s strong rebuke, Simon DID NOT REPENT! And Peter knew that he wouldn’t!

Who Were The Samaritans And What Did They Believe?

The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 2 Kings 17:24

The Samaritans were a mixture of people from various Canaanite tribes, who are the enemies of God's people. As you can see, Babylon is one of the places from which they came. The other places were surrounding areas of Babylon. So we know who these people are and the religious beliefs from which they came from. They were indoctrinated into the Babylonian mysteries of paganism. This is what they brought with them to Samaria. Now notice the rest of the account of 2 Kings 17 says...

When they first lived there, they did not worship the Lord; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people. It was reported to the king of Assyria: “The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires.” Then the king of Assyria gave this order: “Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires.” So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord. Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places. The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth, those from Kuthah made Nergal, and those from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelek and Anammelek, the gods of Sepharvaim. They worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought. To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did. 2 Kings 17:25-41

These Samaritans didn’t have sense enough to realize that the True God of the land had sent Israel into captivity because of their idolatry of incorporating the Babylonian mysteries of paganism into the worship of the true God of Israel. So when the Israelite priest came and taught the religion of northern Israel, it wasn't much better than what they were already doing.

The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the Lord when he appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat and calf idols he had made. Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 2 Chron. 11:14-16     

As we can see, the priest sent to the Samaritans was not a Levite. Jeroboam appointed his own priests. The priesthood was corrupted. So this priest sent to Samaria couldn't have had much good to offer except a corrupted version of the true ways of God.

After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.
Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not LevitesHe instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made. On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings. 1 Kings 12:28-33

Again, the priests were not Levites in northern Israel in the land of Samaria. The acts of Jeroboam were outright violations of God’s law. He instituted a festival similar, but not the same, as the one in Judah. It was full of idolatry and it was pushed back by a month, a day of his own choosing. This was a counterfeit feast of Tabernacles that occurred in the wrong month. It was from the time of Jeroboam down to the time of Israel’s captivity, that the majority of Israel was NOT worshipping the True God at all! Jerusalem and God’s temple had been repudiated, and paganism had been introduced on a grand scale. 

The priest taught them to revere Yahweh as the "God of the Land." Thus, these Samaritans finally took upon themselves the NAME: The People of YHWH; but their religion was outright paganism. Just the same, Simon Magus later was eager to appropriate Christ’s NAME, but continue these same practices of paganism.

This is the society and backdrop from which Simon Magus grew up with. The Samaritans called themselves the people of the true God, but in practice they were still practicing paganism. Simon himself was a priest of these people. The word "Magus" is the Chaldean/Persian word for "priest".

Simon Magus And HIS Universal Church

Simon Magus, after his rejection by Peter, began to fashion his own "Christian" church. A church of which HE was head. A church designed to completely overthrow the true Church of God. His idea was to blend together Babylonian teaching with some of the teachings of Christ, especially to take the name of Christ, and thus create one universal church! But a church with the Babylonian mysteries of paganism as its basis.

Elevating his personal teachings above the Bible, and preaching a "no-works" doctrine of salvation, Simon Magus soon had a universal, popular following. Deified by the Romans, he was buried on Vatican Hill. Simon Magus, just like his Samaritan forefathers, deliberately blended together the teachings of Babylon with Biblical phrases. One of his main intentions was to appropriate a Christian vocabulary to the Babylonian ceremonial system. In other words, he kept on with his heathenism, but now called his system "Christian" in origin.

It is no wonder that Luke hits hard at the infamy of Simon. Simon claimed to be a Christian, even an Apostle, and yet was preaching Babylonian paganism. He was calling Paganism by the name of Christianity! The reason Luke recorded this encounter with Simon was its far-reaching effects. This was the first meeting between Christianity and its future rival system that would eventually develop into Catholicism. Luke gives in detail the principal character who established the so-called Christian counterpart of the truth in the Apostles’ days. This is the reason the Apostles in their Church letters many times mention the false system as "already in existence," but fail to describe its origin. They didn’t have to. That was already done right at the first by Luke!

Who Is Buried Under The Vatican?

The records regarding Simon’s death vary widely. Many of the stories try to incorporate some fiction from the Greek and Egyptian myths to enhance the reader’s interest in this fascinating character. But the earliest records say that he was buried in Rome after a long period of great honour and deification.

It is not clearly known where Simon Magus alias Simon Pater or Simon Jupiter was buried. But this much is known. The place of burial for ALL prophets and holy men of the Romans was in the sacred cemetery on Vatican Hill. This much is certain.

Notice what Werner Keller in his The Bible as History says about the so-called burial of the Catholics’ Peter. But before reading Keller’s statement, let us remember that he is a thorough-going Catholic and firmly, himself, believed that the Apostle Peter was buried in Rome. However, the Bible shows nothing of the kind. Now, let’s read Keller’s comment—the official comment of the Roman Catholic Church:

"On the night of his death on the cross Peter’s followers BURIED his body. As in the case of Jesus on the hill of Calvary it was wrapped in linen and secretly taken to a PAGAN BURIAL GROUND on the Via Cornelia, behind the stone structure of the arena. This PAGAN CEMETERY lay on a knoll called VATICANUS: the Latin word ‘vatis’ means a ‘prophet’ or ‘SOOTHSAYER’. In days gone by there had been an Etruscan oracle on this spot" (p. 368).

What an admission!

Keller ought to have better sense to know that this Peter buried in this cemetery, of all places, could NOT be the Apostle Peter. In the first place, Peter was a Jew, and they had to be buried in their own cemeteries. And even if by a happen-chance a Jew could be buried in a Roman cemetery, it is most unlikely that a Jew—especially one who attacked the Roman religion as the Apostle Peter did—would ever have been allowed into the most holy of pagan cemeteries! This cemetery was reserved for prophets, soothsayers and the great ones of pagan Rome. It would be as sensible to say that Hitler could find a place of burial in Westminster Abbey. And too, can you imagine TRUE Christians searching out a PAGAN CEMETERY—the chief one—in which to bury the chief Christian Apostle, the inveterate enemy of PAGANISM?

This place, of all places, could not be the place of the Apostle Peter’s burial -- even if he had been in Rome. But, there is really no better place for the burial of SIMON MAGUS. He had been, and was being, honoured as a god—not only by the people of Rome, but even by the Emperor and the Senate.

Yes, Keller and his Catholic friends have undoubtedly found a SIMON, but not the Apostle Peter.














To read all the material that the writers of the second to the fourth centuries wrote about this man and his followers, would literally take days. He has been called by many of them "the father of HERESY," and, apart from the Bible, the amount of literature devoted to him and his activities, shows he lived up to that title.

Some of the following authorities to be brought forth were eyewitnesses of many of the things mentioned, and they were writing to others who were likewise eyewitnesses. Much of the testimony to be mentioned is conclusive and cannot be set aside.

With this evidence of Simon’s activities after his rejection by Peter, we will clearly be able to see why Luke thought it most important to tell the real condition of this man, proving that he was in actuality NEVER an Apostle of Christ. In this regard, notice the comment of Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, Vol. 2, p. 496: "But it need NOT be supposed that when Simon broke with the Christians HE RENOUNCED ALL HE HAD LEARNED. It is more probable that he carried some of the Christian ideas with him, and that he wove these into a system of his own. This system did contain some of the later germs of Gnosticism. Thus he became a leader of a retro-grade sect, perhaps nominally Christian, and certainly using some of the Christian terminology but in reality anti-Christian and exalting Simon himself to the central position which Christianity was giving to Jesus Christ" (Ibid).

"When Justin Martyr wrote [152 A.D.] his Apology, the sect of the Simonians appears to have been formidable, for he speaks four times of their founder, Simon; and we need not doubt that he identified him with the Simon of the Acts. He states that he was a Samaritan, adding that his birthplace was a village called Gitta; he describes him as a formidable magician, and tells that he came to ROME in the days of Claudius Caesar (45 A.D.), and made such an impression by his magical powers, THAT HE WAS HONORED AS A GOD, a statue being erected to him on the Tiber, between the two bridges, bearing the inscription ‘Simoni deo Sancto’ (i.e., the holy god Simon)" Dictionary of Christian Biography,
Vol. 4, p. 682).

That these things actually happened CANNOT BE DOUBTED! Justin was writing to the Roman people at the time and they could certainly have exposed Justin’s credibility if what he said was not so. And, that a statue of Simon was actually erected is definite, for Justin asks the authorities in Rome to destroy it!

There are many writers, who lived in Rome itself, who afterwards repeated Justin’s account.

Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, Vol 2, p. 496, states that there is "very slight evidence on which to reject so precise a statement as Justin makes; a statement he would scarcely have hazarded in an apology addressed to Rome, where every person had the means of ascertaining its accuracy. If he made a mistake, it must have been at once exposed, and other writers would not have frequently repeated the story as they have done."

At the time of Claudius, it was illegal to erect a statue to any man as a god or greatly honored person unless the permission of the Emperor and the Senate had been secured. The statue was still standing in Justin’s day (152 A.D.), people were still giving regard to it.

There are many other accounts of Simon’s traveling to Rome and becoming one of the great gods to the city and to the people of Rome. There are records which show that Simon "prophesies that Rome will be the scene of his crowning glory, when he will be adored as a god" Dictionary of Religion & Ethics, Vol. 11, p. 522).


Later, about the fourth century, a flood of works came out about Peter encountering Simon Magus in Rome and overthrowing him. But these works are clearly fiction. Almost all scholars realize the absurdity of maintaining such a thing. In the first place, it can be Biblically shown that Peter the Apostle was NEVER in Rome when these fictitious writings say he should be.

Many ecclesiastical authors of the second century, Justin Martyr among them, give information completely negating Peter’s supposed Roman bishopric. This is admitted by virtually all scholars, except conservative Catholics.

That Peter the Apostle was not with Simon Magus in Rome is made plain by the Encyclopedia Biblica, col. 4554.

"The attempt has been made to meet this by pointing out that church fathers mention the presence of SIMON in Rome while at the same time NOT speaking of controversies between him and PETER. This is indeed true of Justin [one of the earliest witnesses—152 A.D. who knows nothing of any presence of Peter in Rome at all, as also of Irenaeus."

Not only did Justin Martyr feel that Peter was NOT in Rome at the time, but his deliberate silence shows he didn’t want to perpetrate such fiction. After all, Justin lived very early in the history of the church, and the legend of the Apostle Peter’s being in Rome HADN’T GOT STARTED YET! Continuing with the Encyclopedia Biblica about Justin’s reference to SIMON MAGUS: "One part of this tradition— that about Simon’s presence in Rome—he [Justin] found himself able to accept [in fact he held it to be confirmed by the statue, which he brought into connection with Simon]; the other -- that about Peter’s presence in Rome—he was unable to accept" (col. 4555).

Of course Justin was unable to accept the latter teaching. The fact is, Simon Peter was NOT in Rome. It was another Simon who went there—SIMON MAGUS, the one bringing "Christianity" to them in the guise of the old Babylonian mystery religions. Simon came to Rome with the grand idea of establishing a UNIVERSAL RELIGION in the NAME of Christianity! And what is remarkable, he did just that!














Simon Honored as Jupiter

People who had demonic powers as Simon did, were honoured as gods in the first century, even sacrifices were offered to them. Does this seem unlikely? Then read Acts 14:11-13. After seeing the great miracles that Paul and Barnabas had done through the Holy Spirit, Luke says: "When the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury." Then the priest of Jupiter came out to offer them sacrifice.

Paul and Barnabas "rent their clothes" at such action. What would Simon Magus have done? Or rather, what did Simon Magus do? He let the Roman Senate with the approval of the Emperor Claudius deify him as a god and erect a statue to him. And, the people who followed Simon called him "Jupiter" and at the same time calling themselves Christians. The statue that must have been dedicated to Simon was in the likeness of the chief god of the pagan world, Jupiter.

The History Of The Name "Peter"

The term "Peter" was one of the earliest names for the pagan gods. It lasted as late as Greek and Roman times. But by that time the term also took on a widespread secular meaning. It came generally to mean "father."

Who was the first "Peter" of Rome? What were his successors called? The history of ancient religion reveals the truth about the original Peter of Rome. The truth about his real successors is now clear to us, but hidden to the world. Here is what history shows us of the original Peter of Rome. The Bible records that in the earliest ages, right after the Flood of Noah, men began to rebel against the teachings of God. They began to build cities, found religions, and bring in idolatries. Pagan temples were erected and the Tower of Babel came on the scene. All of these things started within the first two hundred years after the Flood.

Surprising as it may sound, it is a well-known fact among students of ancient religion, that the chief pagan gods worshipped in the early civilizations were generally known by the name "Peter." It is also known that the priests of those heathen gods were also called "Peters." That same name in one form or another, was even applied to the pagan Temples consecrated to those gods. The priests were also often styled "Patres" as well. This is significant! The word "Patre" is the same as "Pator" or "Peter" in meaning and pronunciation.

What did the word "Pator" or "Peter" really mean to the ancients? Surprisingly enough, the word is in the Bible. When Moses wrote about the Egyptian priests, he shows they were called "Peters" or "interpreters," interpreters of the ancient Egyptian mysteries. In many ancient religions the father was the chief priest of the family. That is the reason the head of the family became known as "Pator" or "father." The father, because of his priestly position, became known as the "Archpator," or, as it is commonly rendered, "Patriarch." This is how the term "Pator" came to signify, in a secular sense, "a father." But originally, it always meant "interpreter."

We have clear evidence showing that the ancient Romans called their chief gods "Peters," the divine interpreters. The early Roman writer Lucilius, mentions Neptune, Liber, Saturn, Mars, Janus and Quirnus, and all were Paters. He did not mean they were father-gods. He meant they were gods of Peter-rank, the chief gods. Lucilius doesn’t exhaust the list. In fact, he leaves out Jupiter, the father of the Roman gods. But it was unnecessary to mention him as a "Peter-god." Due to his high rank, the title "Peter" was actually incorporated as a part of his name. He was called Ju-Peter. Ju-Peter was the Roman way of saying Zeus-Peter, the chief god of the Greeks. Peter was the name that came to signify high rank among the gods, and among their priests.

The Romans were not the only ones who called their gods "Peters." The Greeks used the term Peter as often as did the Romans. For example, Apollo was called "Patrius" and his followers "Apollo Patrius." Artemis and Bacchus were called "Patora." The Thessalians worshipped Neptune under this title. In Egypt, the Ammonian priests were called Petors.



This idol on many occasions took the form of a pole or upright stake. The pagan god Artemis is often pictured standing by a stone pillar which is called PATROA or PETER. These pillars, and all the phallic symbols like them, came to be known as PETRAS—the sacred PETERS. It is still common among the vulgar to refer to the male member by its original religious name PETER. These phallic Peter-stones can be found all over the ancient world. In fact, there is not a mention of an ancient pagan oracle temple without some notice being given to a PETER emblem, the sacred stone.

Like the word PATOR, the word PETRA came to mean any large stone. But in the earliest times, it conveyed only the original religious meaning.

"The term PETRA came at length to signify any rock or stone and to be in a manner confined to that meaning. But in the first ages it was ALWAYS TAKEN IN A RELIGIOUS SENSE; and related to the shrines of Osiris, or the Sun (Baal), and to other oracles which were supposed to be exhibited" (Bryant, p. 359). In other words, the term PETRA meant the sacred PETER-stone—a stone usually phallic in design.







"Petras" in Pagan World

Notice some references to these sacred PETRAS found throughout the pagan world.

At the temple of Delphi in Greece, the chief object in the ritual was the PETRA (Pausanius, Bk. 10). At the Acropolis in Athens, Euripides tells us, the niches which held the idols were called the PETRAE (verse 935). It is well-known that even the sacred book which was used in the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries, was entitled "Book PETROMA," PETER-ROMA—PETER’S BOOK (see Potter’s Antiquities, vol. 1, p. 356).

Remember that the pagan temples were also called after the PETERS. The temple at Elis in Greece was called PETRON (Lycophron, verse 159). Pytho at Delphi was called PETRAessa (Olymp. Ode 6). The oracle temple dedicated to Apollo in Asia Minor was called the PATARA and the oracle there was called PATAReus ("Eus" means "person who, one") —(Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary, p. 438).

Also PATRAE—an ancient town where DIANA had a temple (p. 438), and the oracle in Achaia was called PATRA (Jones, Proper Names of the Old Testament, p. 296).

Examples are too numerous to mention, but this should be enough to show that the name PETER, or its variants, figured very high in every phase of pagan worship. These PETER stones and temples were found all over the ancient world.

"There is in the history of every oracular temple some legend about a stone; some reference to the word PETRA" (Bryant, p. 362).

Origin of Ancient PETER-worship

PETER-worship can be traced directly back to MESOPOTAMIA. It was there that idolatry had its beginning. That is where the Tower of Babel was erected. It is no wonder that in Mesopotamia we find the first mention of a PETER-temple. In Numbers 23; 22:4-5 we read that the false prophet Balaam was called to prophesy against Israel. Further, in Deuteronomy 23:4, we read that this Balaam had been called from "Pethor of Mesopotamia" -- that is, from the PETER of MESOPOTAMIA.

This Pethor or Peter (either spelling is correct) was the place of an oracle temple. In the Dictionary of Proper Names of the Old Testament, edited by A. Jones, we find that Balaam’s PETHOR was the sacred high place "where there was an oracular temple, and hence called PETHOR, and PETHORA, which meant, place of interpretation, or oracular temple. Here was, no doubt, a college of priests of whom Balaam had been appointed chief PATORA" (p. 296).

Yes, Balaam was the chief PATORA (Peter) of the PETHOR (Peter-temple) of Mesopotamia.

It was customary for each pagan country to have a chief oracle or tempIe. The PETHOR or PETER in Greece was Delphi, In Egypt it was Ammon. In Asia Minor it was Lycia—and later Pergamos. Professor Jones tells about the other PETHORS throughout the world.

Notice: "These ‘high places’ were scattered about in many parts. There was a city of ‘interpretation’ in Acaia, called PATRAE, and another in Lycia, called PATARA, where Apollo had an oracle. PETHOR was in after times celebrated for the worship of Ailat" (Ibid., p. 296).

Balaam "Chief Peter"

But Balaam came from PETHOR on the Euphrates—the oracle of Mesopotamia. He was no less than the CHIEF PATORA of the VERY HOME of idolatry and false religion.

The very meaning of the name "Balaam" shows he considered himself as sitting in the very chair of Nimrod, the beginner of the mystery religions. The name "Balaam" means in Semitic tongues "Conqueror of the People." This was the exact proper name the Greeks used to designate NIMROD. They called him NICOLAUS, which also meant "Conqueror of the People."

In the New Testament we read of people following the doctrines of NICOLAUS (Nimrod). They were called Nicolaitanes. McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopaedia speaking of them says: "The sect of the Nicolaitanes is described as following the doctrine or teaching of Balaam—and it appears not improbable that this name is employed symbolically, as NICOLAUS is equivalent in meaning to BALAAM" (vol. 1, p. 621).

Yes, the two names NICOLAUS and BALAAM are exactly the same in meaning—they both point to NIMROD, the originator of paganism. We also find that when Simon Magus (alias Simon Peter) "Christianized" the religion of NIMROD, John the Apostle plainly labels his followers NICOLAITANES and followers of BALAAM. All of the heresies mentioned in the Seven Churches are of only ONE system—the system of NIMROD, under the leadership of Simon Magus.

Balaam Represents Nimrod

The name of Balaam is another name for NIMROD. But, understand this clearly—the "Balaam" who met Israel on their way out of Egypt was NOT the original Nimrod. He had been killed several hundred years before. This Balaam merely represented Nimrod as his successor. We are all aware that Joshua, being a successor of Moses, was looked on as sitting in Moses’ seat. Even in Christ’s time the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat of authority (Matt. 23:1-4).

So it was with Balaam. He maintained one of the proper names of Nimrod to signify that he was the legitimate successor of the Arch-Rebel. And to emphasize his authority, Balaam could point to his headquarters as the PETHOR or PETER of Mesopotamia. Therefore, the Moabites in their hatred for Israel called for the chief priest of the pagan world. They ignored the priesthood of their own national gods -- going to the highest authority they knew! Josephus represents this false prophet as "Balaam, who lived by the Euphrates, and was the greatest of the prophets of that time" (Ant. IV, 6,2). Balaam was the successor of Nimrod—the PONTIFEX MAXIMUS of the pagan world. His headquarters was the "PETER on the Euphrates" -- the SAINT PETER’S OF MESOPOTAMIA, the chief oracle of paganism. This is a shocking revelation—but one which stands the test of the Bible and ancient religious history.

PETER-gods Come to Rome

It is well-known history that in the earliest ages, the center of civilization was in Asia and Mesopotamia. In later times, political power passed to the Greeks and then to the Romans. It is also well-recognized that the religions of Asia, by Greek and Roman times, had also passed to the West. By the First Century, the mystery religions of the Babylonians were centered primarily in Rome! By that time, Rome had become the chief city of the world.

Early records mention this transference of pagan religion from Asia right to the city of Rome. The First Century book by Virgil, The Aenid, in Imperial times became a type of Roman "Bible." It gives the story of one Aeneas who wandered away from Asia right after the Trojan War and settled in Italy.

The main theme of the book concerns the so-called "sacred task" of Aeneas: bringing the pagan gods of Asia to Italy! Virgil spares no words in glorifying Aeneas’ journey. He shows how Aeneas brought the Romans ORGANIZED RELIGION —with all the pagan gods and goddesses necessary for performing it. And most important: Virgil constantly says that these deities were the PATRII of Asia. (See the CIassical Manual, page 592, for full information confirming this.) These gods and goddesses were the PETER-deities—the chief deities which were destined to favor Rome and Italy above all other countries.

Asia had been the original home of the PETER-gods. Through Virgil we find them being transported to the doorstep of Rome. And why not? By the First Century, Rome was considered "the home of the gods." Prudentius, an ancient Roman himself, says that there wasn’t a single pagan deity that did not in the end find its headquarters at Rome.

Notice what he says: "There came to be one single home for all earth-born gods, and you may count as many temples of gods AT ROME as tombs of heroes in all the world" (Symmachus, 189 to 197).

It could hardly be clearer! By Imperial times, Rome became the headquarters of pagan religion. It was the chief oracle of the world, the PETER for the earth.

The Chief Gods of Rome

There were two gods of ancient Rome which were pre-eminently worshipped as PETER-gods. One was JU-PETER (Zeus-Peter). The other, says the Classical Manual, was JANUS, called PATER or PETER (see page 389). Sometimes these two gods are confused. But they are to be reckoned as distinct—relative to Roman paganism of the First Century. The latter god, JANUS-PETER, had some interesting roles to play in the pagan religion at Rome. These roles answer the question: Who was the original Peter of Rome? Notice a brief history and some of the activities of this god.

Plutarch in his life of Numa, gives us the identity of JANUS. Originally, according to Plutarch, Janus was an ancient prince who reigned in the infancy of the world. He brought men from a rude and savage life to a mild and rational system. HE was the first to build cities and the first to establish government over men. After his death he was deified. There can be no mistaking who this JANUS was! This title was just another of the many names of Nimrod. This ancient prince who was violently killed, was later deified by the pagan religions. Because of his high authority, he was called a PATOR or PETER.

Here are some of the religious activities of which JANUS-PETER was in charge.

It was JANUS-PETER who was pre-eminent in interpreting the times -- especially prophecy. "The past and the future was always present in his mind" (Classical Manual, pages 388 and 389). He was pictured as being double-faced. Plutarch said this was a symbol of his endeavor to change men from barbarism to civilization—that is, bring them to the civilization of NIMROD. One of JANUS’ roles, after his deification as a god, was the continuation of his sacred task of "civilizing" men.

But let us go a little farther.

Janus-Peter Had "Keys"

The PETER-god JANUS was to the ancient Romans the "KEEPER OF THE GATES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH." "HE IS REPRESENTED WITH A KEY IN ONE HAND . . . as emblematic of his presiding over GATES and highways."

How shocking! The pagan Romans were calling their JANUS a PETER hundreds of years before the birth of the Apostle Peter. It was this JANUS who was in charge of the "pearly gates"! The very word JANUS means "gates," that is, the one in charge of the GATES.

The Classical Manual continues: "Ovid speaks of him [Janus] in the first book of his Fasti; his face is double to denote his equal empire over the heavens and the earth—[does not the Pope claim the same power today?] -- and that all things are open and shut to him AT HIS WILL—[he was infallible and answered to no one for his actions, so the Pope]—that he governs the universe [Catholicum], and alone possesses the power of making the world revolve on its axis; THAT HE PRESIDES OVER THE GATES OF HEAVEN."

Catholics Claim "Keys"

The Catholic Church claims Peter gave to it the keys of the gates of heaven and that no one will enter into God’s presence unless that church opens the gates. The very word "Cardinal" means "hinge." The Cardinals of the Roman Church are the HINGES upon which the GATE—the Pope -- is able to turn.

The Classical Manual continues: "the successions of day and night are regulated by his influence; and that the east and the west is at one moment open to his view." It was JANUS-PETER who also controlled the calendar by his priests. The first month of the year was named after him to show his control over the years. So, today, we still have JANU-ary as the first month. The Catholic Church, like the priests of Janus, feels it has this same authority over the calendar today.

Another Name for Nimrod

Finally, it is necessary to notice at least one more name under which Nimrod masqueraded -- the name MITHRAS, the Persian name for Baal, the sun god. This Mithras-worship of Nimrod was popular and was one of the last to plant itself in Rome, but it had a very old theme—outright PETER-worship. "Mithras was styled by the nations of the East PATOR; his temples were PATRA and PETRA and his festivals PATRICA" (Bryant, vol. 1, p. 370).

Yes, even Nimrod under the name Mithras, the sun-god, was called PETER!!!

Sir James Frazer tells us of this religion of Mithra -- the religion of the pagan PETER—coming to Rome. Notice it. "Among the gods of eastern origin who in the decline of the ancient world competed against each other for the allegiance of the West was the old Persian deity of MITHRA. The immense popularity of his worship is attested by the monuments illustrative of it which have been found scattered in profusion ALL OVER THE ROMAN EMPIRE. In respect both of doctrines and of rites the cult of MITHRA appears to have presented many points of resemblance not only to the religion of the Mother of the Gods but also to Christianity" (Golden Bough, St. Martin’s ed., vol. 1, p. 471).

Catholics Accept "Peter" Worship

What he means is that the Christianity of the third and fourth centuries had already by that time inherited so much from pagan beliefs, that this PETER-religion coming from the East found many similarities with Roman Christianity. The Catholics had already, by this late date, accepted the pagan festivals of Christmas, Easter and a host of other rituals and beliefs.

It was this pagan MITHRAISM which gave the most to "Christianity."

Bryant shows that the chief name of MITHRA in the East was PATOR or PETER—"his temples were PATRA and PETRA and his festivals PATRICA." Everything connected with this ancient pagan religion can be traced right back to the original PETER—the original "interpreter of the mysteries" who was none other than NIMROD. This is the same mystery system which the Roman Catholics have absorbed.

Sits in "Peter’s" Chair

No wonder the Roman Catholic Church claims to sit in PETER’S CHAIR and that the chief temple of the world is today called SAINT PETER’S. That Church has accepted the practices and symbols of the oldest pagan religion on earth: PETER-worship—the religion of Nimrod.

This pagan religion was believed and practiced before Christ ever told the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles that they were to have the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Satan counterfeited God’s true religion centuries before Christ came!

This was Satan’s attempt to smother God’s true religion with a counterfeit that to the untrained eye looks genuine. He did this principally through Simon Magus (Pater) who amalgamated all the pagan religions into one UNIVERSAL religion and called the system "Christianity."

The Bible tells us to come completely out of this false religious system masquerading under the name of Christianity. We are to get back to the faith once delivered to the saints. We can thank God for His goodness in giving to His Church the TRUTH.
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