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Apostolic Ministry in Rome

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Apostolic Ministry in Rome

According to tradition, there are two apostles who ministered in Rome. While some modern scholars question whether the Apostle Peter was ever in Rome, he is certainly the most celebrated Apostle of the city. A simple example of this is that the largest basilica in Rome (and one of the largest in the world) is named in honor of Saint Peter. The Apostle Paul's existence in Rome is less disputed and even though he is less commemorated nearly two millennia later. The circumstances surrounding Peter and Paul's arrivals in Rome, their ministries in Rome, and their deaths are worth examining since these two figures are still remembered nearly two millennia after their ministries in Rome.

There is little scriptural evidence to support the notion that Peter ever went to Rome. Peter implicitly mentions being in Rome in the salutation of his first epistle, She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. The meaning of Babylon is unclear because Babylon by the Euphrates was in ruin, which would exclude the possibility that Peter could be writing from there. Some scholars do not think it likely that Peter is writing from a lesser-known Babylon (i.e. the Egyptian Babylon near Memphis). Instead, they claim that Peter uses Babylon in his letter as a symbolic reference to the Babylon of the day: Rome (Kirsch Sec. IV). Another possible reference to Paul being in Rome is found in Johannian literature. The author supposes that it is common knowledge how Peter died (which according to tradition would have happened in Rome) (Kirsch Sec. IV). This would seemingly prove that Peter had at least spent a minimal amount of time in Rome.

Conversely, the vo...

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