Was Peter’s wife martyred?

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Does the Bible refer to Peter’s wife being martyred?

Anonymous GodWords Reader

The Bible doesn’t mention that Peter’s wife was martyred. After doing a bit of looking, it appears that Clement of Alexandria wrote the following:

They say, accordingly, that the blessed Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home, and called very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, “Remember thou the Lord.” Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect disposition towards those dearest to them.

This comes from Clement’s The Stromata, or Miscellanies: Book VII. Tradition, then, rather than Scripture give us this story. If you’d like to read Clement’s words, you can. I wouldn’t bother, to be honest…if you’re curious, it’s interesting. If you’re not that curious, it’s very tedious. =)


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60 responses to “Was Peter’s wife martyred?”

  1. Lee Silber says:

    Peter had a wife, who was she; and who was Peter’s children?

    • Tony says:

      Lee:

      Good question. The Bible doesn’t mention Peter’s wife directly. We know he had been married because his mother-in-law is mentioned, but we have no record of his wife or, if they had any, children.

      We do have a mention outside of Scripture. Clement of Alexandria, in Stromata III (written around 202 AD), said that Peter was married, had children and witnessed his wife’s martyrdom in Rome. The general speculation is that Peter’s wife died before Jesus called him, but that too can’t be substantiated.

      • Lori Popper says:

        There is a Calvary Pastor in Surprise, Az. telling his congregation that Peter’s wife was naked and murdered. I question this.

        • Tony says:

          You’re right to question it, Lori. We have almost no information about Peter’s wife. Here’s what we know and don’t know:

          • Peter was married. We know this because Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
          • We don’t know whether Peter’s wife was alive during Jesus’ ministry.
          • Clement of Alexandria wrote that Peter’s wife was martyred (killed for her faith).

          That’s pretty much what we know. We might assume that, if Peter’s wife was martyred, she was alive during and after Jesus’ ministry. As for the circumstances surrounding her possible martyrdom, I’m not aware of any tradition or historical evidence for that pastor’s claim.

          I wouldn’t make too much of this, by the way. It’s likely the pastor was just repeating what he had heard, and it’s not really very important.

    • willem pasterkamp says:

      Peter is the Father of the Church (Andromeda) And her mother is Cassiopeia who was the wife of Cepheus (Kephas). Andromeda was married with Perseus (Christ) who had slain Medusa (Satan) in the underworld.

      • Tony says:

        Um…no. That’s a nice try, Willem…but there’s no evidence that the real-life Peter and the real-life Jesus are actually the characters of mythical stories. Was there a point you were trying to make?

      • Scott divincenzo says:

        absurd Catholic idolatry Peter is not the father of any church in fact ,Peter denied Jesus 3 times.

        Mary is not the spiritual church mother nor was Peter even implied is Church Father

        • Tony says:

          Scott:

          Did you bother actually reading what Willem wrote? It IS ridiculous, but it’s certainly not Catholic.

        • Joe P says:

          [This comment has been edited by the site owner]

          • Tony says:

            Joe:

            First, thank you very much for writing. I sincerely appreciate it. Unfortunately, I’m not going to publish your comment. I can understand that this might upset you, so I’ll explain.

            The goal of this website is to encourage people – believers and non-believers – to fully trust God with their lives. The primary strategy is to explain what the Bible says about God. I spend a lot of time on this… the ratio of comments to articles here is around 10 to 1. That doesn’t include the hundreds of emails I get that are never published on the website. Because I want to be responsible and handle questions and answers carefully, I’m constantly explaining that nobody should take my word for anything. I say over and over that we should be like the Bereans, who gladly received the message, then double-checked what the apostle Paul taught them against the Scriptures. I wish to be commended as they were commended, so my primary focus is helping people get started doing their own homework on who God is and what He wants.

            I understand that what I’m about to say might make no sense to a Catholic, but I’m going to say it anyway: I would never use this website to promote any particular denomination, any particular Bible version, or any particular tradition. My source is Scripture, and my position is that anybody can read the Scriptures for themselves and, by the enabling work of the Holy Spirit, can understand it well enough to begin a right relationship with God, grow to maturity, and lead others to do the same.

            Sometimes those things happen in Catholic churches. Sometimes those things happen in non-Catholic churches. Yes, I understand the position that the Roman Catholic church is the one true church, and that all others are not. I also understand that it’s ONLY the Roman Catholic church that makes the claim (of course). For faithful Catholics, it would take an unusual act of God for someone outside the Catholic church to be saved. This is not a biblical position, and I reject it on biblical grounds.

            Your comment is undoubtedly well-intentioned. Unfortunately, it is also the antithesis of how things operate here. My goal is not for someone to join “my church,” as if everyone else is damned. My goal is for each reader to turn to God and let Him lead them where He will. I’m not anti-Catholic. I do, however, take issue with the Catholic idea that I’m not born again. Because that appears to be your position as well, I won’t publish your comment. There are plenty of places online where you should feel free to post. If you want to engage on specific biblical issues, you’re welcome here… but your comment was essentially this:

            You Protestants are ignorant. If you studied, you would agree with me. Besides, Protestants lie.

            That kind of nonsense isn’t welcome here. Do you have reasons for thinking as you do? I have no doubt. Are you painting all non-Catholics with the same brush? Certainly. Rather than encouraging people to learn from the Scriptures, you’re discouraging them. Rather than encouraging people to turn to God, you’re encouraging them to turn to Rome. I’m not mad at you, Joe. I’m sure you and I would probably enjoy each other’s company… but because this one comment runs counter to my goals here, I’m not going to publish it. I hope that while you may disagree, you will try to understand.

            Have a great day!

  2. Lee Silber says:

    I know that the apostle Peter was a happily married man, with a wife, daughter, and a son, am I right? Please tell me what was the name’s of Peter’s wife, daughter ( Petronia?), son’s name.How many sons’, daughters’ did Peter have? Also, I believe the apostle Paul was married. I believe he was a widower, or he was divorced; what is the truth about the apostle Paul? I also read Paul was gay with Timothy, am I right?

    • Tony says:

      Lee:

      As I wrote earlier, we don’t know much of anything about Peter’s family. We know he was married, but don’t know if he was happily married. We don’t know his wife’s name. We don’t know that they had any children.

      Paul was single. We don’t know if he had ever been married, but it seems doubtful. As for Paul being gay, don’t believe everything you read.

      • Scott says:

        Paul was a Sanhedrin thus had to be married

        • Tony says:

          Scott:

          What you suggest is a theory, but one that can’t be substantiated with clarity. While it’s possible that Paul had been married and widowed, he certainly wasn’t married during his ministry years.

          It’s important to avoid pretending that we know things we can’t find in the Scriptures. When we make claims that go beyond God’s Word, we lose credibility. Be careful! I wish you well.

          • Scott divincenzo says:

            be careful what you correct, Tony … any Sanhedrin had to be married

            nothing in my previous statement declared exactly when Paul was married …

            and it goes without saying that the Apostle Paul was no longer a member of the Sanhedrin

            not sure why one would equate the different eras

          • Tony says:

            I’m careful, Scott… and I’m open to being corrected. However: I’m not open to being corrected with opinions. The idea that Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin is a theory, not an established fact. For me, the evidence against it is stronger than the evidence for it, but I won’t take a final position without more evidence. Here are some reasons for doubting that Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin:

            • He was a “young man” at Stephen’s execution. The leadership of Israel had always been “elders.”
            • Stephen’s murder was illegal. The Romans had to execute Jesus, as Jews were forbidden capital punishment. The Romans would have had to kill Stephen as well, but they did not. Because his murder was an illegal act, it’s highly unlikely that the Sanhedrin was officially involved. They may have been secretly involved, but again: where there’s no evidence, it’s foolish to draw a conclusion.
            • In Philippians 3:4-6 Paul listed his bona fides. Don’t you think “member of the Sanhedrin” would be there if he had been?

              If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

            Your argument seems to be that Paul had been married, and your evidence for it is that everyone in the Sanhedrin had to be married, so you need to show that Paul was actually a member. Feel free to produce that evidence here, if you have any. I’m listening.

    • Godstime says:

      Very funny

  3. Karen says:

    Paul was a Pharisee, and therefore had to be married at least prior to his conversion in Damascus

    • Tony says:

      Karen:

      Thanks for commenting. You may be overstating the case. Rabbis were required to be married, but Pharisees were not. To be sure, most Pharisees married. It’s likely that Paul was married, and was either divorced or widowed prior to becoming a follower of Jesus…but it’s not something we know with certainty.

  4. Mary says:

    Why do catholics claim Peter was the first pope?

    • Tony says:

      A good question, Mary.

      The idea is based on a single passage of Scripture: Matthew 16:13-20. Here’s the passage:

      When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      The Roman Catholic church believes that the ‘rock’ that Jesus referred to (petra) was Peter (Petros). This idea suggests that, as they teach, the entire Body of Christ was built with Peter as its leader. They teach that Peter was first among the disciples, and that he passed his authority down to Linus, and he passed his authority down to Anacletus, and so on.

      There are several problems with this idea, of course. First among them is that this idea, that Peter was first among the other disciples, has no basis in Scripture. It’s not stated anywhere, of course. It’s also not supported anywhere. Peter was certainly, being one of the twelve, a huge influence in the early church. In fact, one could make the case that he was in the ‘top three,’ along with James and John. They formed a kind of inner circle among the disciples. However: the idea that there was any kind of hierarchy can’t be found in the Bible. On the contrary, at no time is anyone instructed to welcome Peter or any other leader on the basis of their personal authority. Instead, they were to be seen as fellow laborers in Christ. They may have been the first to follow Jesus, but there’s nothing to suggest that Peter had any more authority than James, or John, or Andrew, or even Paul.

      The Roman Catholic church used to teach that one could not be saved outside of their church. They have since relaxed that position, stating that God can save whomever He wishes, but is unlikely to do that for someone outside Catholicism. They certainly teach that salvation would be impossible without the Roman Catholic church, as – from their position – nobody would even know the Gospel without Peter, the first pope. Either way, this non-Catholic, bible-believing man considers that nonsense. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

      Finally, there’s the matter of context. Jesus didn’t say this while sitting in Peter’s living room. He and His disciples had walked around 40 miles to Caesarea Philippi. This was the actual place where the actual ‘gates of Hades’ was located…a world-famous cave in a rock cliff, where pagan gods had been worshiped for hundreds of years. Here’s a video where we can see this cave, and learn about the rock that Jesus spoke about:

      • Joanne Schmidt says:

        Whenever the apostles are named in the Gospels, Peter’s name always comes first (Judas is always last). Peter is mentioned more than any other apostle in the gospels. Even John acknowledged his preeminence at the Resurrection; arriving at the tomb before Peter, he nevertheless waited for Peter to enter first. Christ appears to Peter first among the apostles. And it is Peter who settles the question whether Jews converted to Christianity need to be circumcized at the first Church council at Jerusalem. After Peter’s martyrdom, there is a line of succession, with Clement the next pope.

        • Tony says:

          Joanne:

          We must be careful to say what the Bible says, and not say what it doesn’t say. We must also be careful to not draw conclusions that aren’t drawn in Scripture. Peter’s name does not always come first. You should make sure to check these things out before you make such claims. Yes, it’s first in many verses, but not all. Also, Peter is not the one who settled the question in Acts 15. I don’t know how you can read that passage and come away with that conclusion… so I’m guessing you haven’t read the passage. Peter is mentioned, but it’s James who appears to have the lead. That matches our understanding of the history of the church at Jerusalem.

          Peter is a very prominent person in the ministry of Jesus, and in the early church. There’s no doubt about that. However: it’s a very large leap to say that because Peter’s name is always first (false) and that because Peter decided the question of gentiles and the Law (false) that the Roman Catholic Church’s idea of popes and papal succession is what Jesus had in mind.

          Don’t hear what I’m not saying, Joanne. I’m not saying that Peter was not the first pope. That’s something that is obviously in dispute, considering both the Schism and the Reformation. I’m simply saying that you can’t use false information to create a true conclusion.

      • Levi says:

        Greetings through Christ, I pray this message finds you well.

        Jesus, who is God, changed Simon to Rock the moment he called him to be an apostle, please read John 1:42,

        “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).”

        God changes many people’s names in the Old Testament as well, and their new name always reflected their true role and relationship to God in God’s salvation plan.

        In your referenced scripture of Matthew 16, Jesus would have actually said, to him you are Kepha/Cephas and on this Kepha/ Cephas I build my church. Thus, you are Rock and on this Rock I build my church. That’s the moment when Peter nose why The Lord changed his name to Rock- which was a first in Jewish history. First time in antiquity that some one was called Rock.

        Also in John 21, please read :
        15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
        The entire ” belief” being on that scripture alone is preposterous. There’s actual history in the Catholic Church. Show me which congregations in the world have direct lineage back to the apostles; it’s only the Catholic Church.

        Jesus Christ our Lord and God, right before he acsends back into heaven tells Simon Peter to feed his lambs, tend his sheep and feed his sheep. That’s the job for a shepherd or the shepherd’s right hand man. Since Jesus Christ left the earth to someday return for the final judgment, he bestowed a leader for the Church, his Holy Church. Jesus gave the keys to Peter. This calls back to the Old Testament.

        • Tony says:

          Greetings, Levi!

          I appreciate you writing to me. I understand the Roman Catholic point of view, that Peter was the first pope, and that Jesus said He would build His church on Peter, and that Jesus gave to Peter the keys of the kingdom. These lead to the conclusion that the Roman Catholic church is the only true church. This is not a new idea to me.

          It is, however, a controversial idea. It was an issue in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon. It’s the source of the Great Schism in 1054, for example. It’s the source of the Protestant Reformation. It was contested in the patristic writings, and is still contested today. It was Cyprian of Carthage (born in 200) who wrote that there could be only one true and universal church, and this idea is behind the Roman Catholic church’s idea that they are the One True Church. It’s also the idea behind the same claim from the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, certain Churches of Christ, and so on.

          As for “direct lineage back to the apostles,” your church history appears to be incomplete. Depending on who’s talking, there is only one – Catholic – or else there are a bunch. Among them are Orthodox churches (Coptic, Syrian, Indian, Ethiopian, and Armenian). Today, there are more than a dozen and a half Orthodox churches that trace their history to the apostles. Some Anabaptists make the same claim, but I don’t think that holds water.

          Here’s something to think about. The context of any passage of Scripture helps us interpret it, and we should look at the context of Peter’s confession in Matthew 16. There were in the region of Caesarea Philippi. What was in that region that might have relevance to the context of Matthew 16? A place… a grotto known at that time as “the gates of Hell.” It was a cave in a cliff face, and a stream came out of the cave. On the cliff were carved niches, where statues of pagan gods were placed. Primary among them was Pan, the god of wild places, shepherds, and flocks. Pan wasn’t worshiped in temples, but caves and grottoes. There’s a picture of the place below… it’s pretty well-known.

          It’s entirely possible that Jesus was saying that that Gates of Hell – that is, the paganism and spiritual warfare of the culture around them – would not prevail against His church. He may have been saying that it was on THAT rock that He would build His church. This may be a new idea to you, but it’s not new to many. I’m not claiming that it’s fact. We don’t know enough to know for sure. I’m claiming that there are a number of plausible ways to understand Jesus’ statements in Matthew 16 that don’t include the idea that Peter was raised to supremacy among the apostles.

          Certainly Peter never wrote as if that were the case, and neither did the other disciples. Paul certainly didn’t bow to Peter, but saw Him as an equal. In Acts 15 we see a council of elders, if you will, answering a theological question about Christians obeying the Law of Moses. Peter was there, but they acted as a group. We see no indication in the text that Peter was a focal point. James is as prominent in the passage as Peter, and there’s no indication that either man was to be considered a vicar of Christ.

          The Gates of Hell near Caesarea Philippi
          The Gates of Hell near Caesarea Philippi
          • Kristi says:

            I always thought that when Christ said on this Rock I will build my church it was upon the truth that He is the Son of God.

          • Tony says:

            Kristi:

            Because the Catholic church has cited that passage as evidence that they’re the “one true church,” a lot of alternate theories about what Jesus really meant have appeared over the years. Some think the rock is Peter, concluding that he was then the first pope. Some think the rock is what Peter said… that the confession that Jesus is the Son of God is what Jesus is building His church upon. Some think that the rock Jesus referred to was the rock near where He was speaking, which was a site of pagan worship. I don’t think Scripture is clear enough for us to say with certainty.

  5. Mary says:

    Thank you for you reply. What catholics believe has no basis from the Scriputre.

  6. Rob says:

    Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you…
    God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and truth, the word ROCK, means affliction or oppressed area..
    We are completely missing the point here…
    Simon-appointed
    Bar -son
    Jonah-dove.
    On this rock I will build my church….
    On the connection between the Holy Spirit and the believers.
    On a oppressed and afflicted people. It was for all suggested purposes a pagan place of worship as the are the gentiles,
    He came to His own and His own rejected Him…
    The rock Jesus was referring to was the teachings by the spirit of Truth on his anointed ones among the dispersion behold I do a new thing no longer will they teach their brother or neighbor seeing know the Lord for they all shall know me from the youngest to the greatest I will put a new spirit and a new heart in them..

    • Tony says:

      Rob:

      Thanks for writing. I hope you don’t mind my responses… I’m not sure where you’re getting your information.

      First, the word ‘rock’ does not mean anything like ‘affliction’ or ‘oppressed area.’ The Greek word petra means exactly what we think it means: a rock, a cliff, or a ledge.

      Second, Simon comes from the Hebrew word shema, which means ‘to hear’ and in ‘hear and obey.’

      Third, Jonah does mean dove, but there’s not necessarily any more significance in the name ‘Barjonah’ than there is in ‘Anderson’ or ‘Johnson.’

      Finally: there are many disagreements about the rock to which Jesus referred. I believe you and I are in agreement, as far as I understand what you wrote. It’s likely truths that have been revealed by God, not Peter alone or something else.

      • Rob says:

        Tony,
        May Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

        Tony, let me start off by saying I appreciate your heart and what you are attempting to do as well as your responses.

        I would like to apologize for my post as in many regards we are still being held captive to do the work of Satan when we debate the meanings of vocabulary used throughout scriptures,
        (2 Tim 2:26) not to mention my comment was completely off topic from the original question of was Peter’s wife martyred.
        So in an attempt to bring unity and not further debate I would ask that you extend Grace to me as I answer your question where I got my information from?.
        But first I must tell you in an intellectual conversation I cannot tread water as I am untaught uneducated in any vocabulary or language struggle with dyslexia and at times have difficulty spelling my own last name?.
        I can however testified to the will of the father and the testimony of Christ through His spirit that dwells in my heart.
        1 day deep in thought and prayer I was focusing on Isaiah 53 ” He was crushed for our iniquities ”
        So I began to ask how were you crushed? I was led to the point in scripture when Jesus was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord spoke to my heart to look into the meaning of Gethsemane. It is an olive press a large stone that is rolled over olives to crush them as the oil flows over and is collected…?
        So the weight of our sin our iniquities our transgressions was crushing Jesus to the point of death that Stone is representative of our sinful nature our Affliction or our oppression better said our flesh or our carnality ” the way that seemeth right to a man”.
        When the stone was rolled away from the tomb our Affliction was removed hence the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world…
        Trusting in the wisdom of man is our grave. It is what separates us
        from True salvation
        from True freedom
        Jesus said call no man on Earth father for you have one which is in heaven and call no man on Earth teacher for you have one the Christ and you don’t be called teachers…
        We are to be taught by Jesus not the wisdom that comes from man…

        He also said we must come to Him as little children.

        He also said the Spirit of truth will teach us all things…

        He also said the flesh profits nothing it is the Spirit that gives life and these words I speak to you are Spirit and life.

        He also said you must be born again to see the kingdom of God…

        Not to leave out the wind blows but you cannot tell where it’s coming from or where it’s going so is everyone born of the Spirit
        If I tell you of Earthly things and you do not believe me how will you believe me if I tell you of heavenly things????

        So Tony my brother I can’t prove anything I can only listen to the anointing inside me that teaches me all things and that anointing is true…
        I cannot trust in “OUR” written history or our attempts to define words that existed thousands of years ago in languages that no longer exist.
        I can only pray for the Unity that can only come when we toss out all of our doctrines of man as we teach in vain, humble ourselves before the anointing of the Holy Spirit which teaches us all things, as Jesus said this is how the world will know I am true the way you love one another and that you are unified we cannot be unified as long as we trust in human wisdom.
        I can only pray that the eyes of our understanding continue to be enlightened as we continue to tread across the Jordan River into His Promised Land.
        Please find this with hope and love in unity for the body Jesus our Christ

        All praise and glory be to the 1 and only King Jesus ?
        Please feel free to respond
        Love, Revalations 19:10?

        • Tony says:

          Rob:

          Thanks! I do appreciate it when anyone feels the need to clear the air. Also, don’t put yourself down when it comes to discussions about spiritual things. If you’re born again, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you… so you have access to all of the wisdom in the universe. That doesn’t mean you or I will always right, of course… but that things like academic degrees and titles only go so far.

          >> in many regards we are still being held captive to do the work of Satan when we debate the meanings of vocabulary used throughout scriptures

          With respect, I’m not at all sure what you mean. I’m not aware of any debates about vocabulary. You said that some words meant some things, and I said that I didn’t know where you were getting your information… then I gave the established, accepted definitions for those words. There’s only debate where two people bring logic and evidence to support their conclusions. I linked to an interlinear Bible, showing the established definition of “rock.” If you have evidence to show that there’s more to it, I’d love to see it. Until then, there’s no debate at all… you just believe one thing, and I believe another. =)

          You make a good point here: there are a lot of conversations that we (the church) wouldn’t need to have if we were truly focused on the most important things. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t study to show ourselves approved. We should. We should watch our lives and our doctrine carefully. We should contend for the faith. We shouldn’t compromise the message given to us. What we should do is to be so busy loving people, sharing the gospel, worshipping God, and making disciples that we don’t have time for inconsequential things. The truth about this website is that it’s largely irrelevant. There’s a LOT of stuff written here that nobody really needs to worry about. Unfortunately, there are also a LOT of people out there who need help understanding how God works, and what He wants, and what it means to follow Jesus. They ask questions like, “Was Peter married?” and “Can women have long hair?” and part of my role in the kingdom is to spend time with them. I try to answer their questions, try convince them that God is trustworthy, and try to help them decide to turn their lives over to Him. These articles, and the comments, are simply bait. This is how I’ve been led to fish for people.

          Will you share with me how you fish for people?

  7. Sallie mattox says:

    How can any church believe they are the true church and only by being a member can we be saved. Jesus came for all.

    • Rob says:

      Acts 17:24-28
      The “church” – a community of called ones.
      Satan has come down and deceived the whole world Revelations 12:9…
      None of us have it right…
      We dont have to because Jesus did….
      He is the saving grace of God, and in Him alone salvation is found, not in an institution….
      Salvation isnt through Catholicism, Baptist, Protestants, Presbyterians,
      Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon….
      In Christ alone is our hope

    • Scott divincenzo says:

      Jesus came for all ? all what … every single false claim ?
      Jesus came for his own sheep

      • Tony says:

        Scott:

        You may have missed the point. Sallie was suggesting that no one church group, denomination, or congregation is the ‘one true church.’ I’m pretty confident that you would agree with that, which was her point.

        As for Jesus coming for all, maybe you should spend a bit more time reading the Scriptures with an eye toward Jesus’ posture toward the lost. John the Baptist said that Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. That’s everybody, not just those who would follow Him. Need more evidence? Paul wrote that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. That’s everybody. Need more evidence? How about Peter, who wrote that false teachers, who were bringing destruction on themselves, denied the sovereign Lord who bought them.

        Jesus came for all, but not all will be reconciled.

  8. Colin says:

    Dear brothers and sisters whom also love Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior:
    Christ founded His Church and commissioned the apostles and disciples to expand the kingdom of God by spreading the good news. He instructed them to teach what they had been taught to the nations of the earth. Christ did not instruct the apostles to publish a book. See Luke 1-6. Over the decades and centuries the oral teaching and traditions were written down, reproduced manually and shared among the Christians. (Study the second century apostolic church fathers and see what they had to say. ) These scripture writings were handed down through the centuries and in the late 300’s after a series of Church councils (including the Pope and other Bishops) with guidance by the Holy Spirit the Church decided which scripture texts would be part of the canon of the bible. This is not a chicken or egg discussion. God’s providential plan of salvation in order was: Christ, Catholic Church, bible. The bible has authority because first Christ gave the authority to the Church. If you believe the bible is the infallible word of God you first have to believe that Christ’s Church had the authority to say so. Historical facts and the bible support the claims of the Catholic Church. But remember, the Church existed before the bible. 1 Timothy 3:15 “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” God bless you all on your journey.

    • Tony says:

      Colin:

      First, thanks for your comment.

      >> Christ did not instruct the apostles to publish a book.

      As far as we know, that’s correct. Why do you think they did it anyway? Were they being disobedient? Had they missed Jesus’ message?

      >> with guidance by the Holy Spirit the Church decided which scripture texts would be part of the canon of the bible.

      While you’re using the right kinds of words, this isn’t historically accurate. The church didn’t decide which texts would be part of the canon. Christians (all of whom are part of the body of Christ) came together to examine which texts were in use in churches around the known world. They asked which documents were considered inspired by others. They asked whether a text contributed anything new to the list. The word canon means ‘a reed.’ Think of a yardstick… a reed was used to measure things. In the same way, the canon is simply the list of books they used as the standard for worship and learning. They started with the books that everybody agreed on, and added to the list as others were found to be in agreement with both the oral and written tradition. The idea that the Catholic church decided which books all Christians should consider authoritative, based on the wisdom that comes from apostolic succession, is ahistorical. This argument depends on the notion that all of the faithful followers of Jesus, in places like Ethiopia and Egypt and Rome and Antioch, were all Catholics. This is nonsense.

  9. Adrian says:

    Peter’s wife is also mentioned is 1Corinthians 9:5 by Paul. He claims that she accompanied Peter on Missionary journeys. At least that’s how I read it.

  10. Adrian says:

    Wait there’s a debate about Jesus coming for All? He ONLY came for his sheep? Guys I get why that sounds right, but that’s definitely not bible. He came for the lost, the sinners, the liars (yes the false claimers) everyone…. He literally loved the entire world so he sent his son. Cause then TECHNICALLY his sheep would be just the Jews (which would exclude the rest of us).

    Which leads me to a question that always confused me. How did Jesus telling a Jewish man, that he will build his church on him automatically make Peter a Pope and the Roman Catholic church the one true church. Are people believing that Jesus and Peter were Roman (they weren’t even roman) Catholic? (Please excuse my ignorance. I was just surprised to see so much debate about that on this post and it made me ask.

    I would figure that Catholics would attach to Paul. He was a Roman citizen and was actually most responsible for spreading the news to the gentiles. Ya know… Likely most of the people in here. If Peter was left to his own devices he wouldn’t have half of us in this church. Lol. At least that’s how it often reads in my bible.

  11. Lee Silber says:

    Someone proved too me in the Bible that Jesus will rapture his true believers too heaven this spring do you agree?

    • Tony says:

      No, Lee… I don’t agree. With respect, anyone who claims to know when Jesus will return is either being foolish or lying to you. Who is this person?

  12. Genesis Ajay says:

    Who is pitter son? May i know his name?

  13. Phil Castronovo says:

    From scriptures it would seem that Peter’ wife was alive and at times going along with Peter in his travels as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:5 That is all we know about Peter’ wife anything else is open to speculation but of if course all of this is irrelevant to what really is important and is written in the scriptures

    • Tony says:

      Phil:

      Yes, it appears that a number of wives accompanied their husbands on the road. I’m going to disagree with you on the relevance, though. There are LOTS of stories out there about Jesus, His disciples, and other biblical folks… and many of them are not only false, but dangerous. It’s a good idea to gather the known facts so we can distinguish between the fantasy and the reality. Yes, the details about Peter’s wife are spiritually unimportant for pretty much everybody… but, considering the many nonsense-filled questions and comments that people come here to contribute, I’m happy to try to help filter historical truth from hysterical nonsense. =)

  14. Mauro says:

    Tony, in your reply to Colin you state that the ones who arranged the canons of the Bible were Christians, but not the Catholic Church. How do you know that they were not the Catholic Church? Why is the notion of refering to the early Christians as a universal (Catholic) Church ahistorical? The Church Fathers, beginning with Saint Ignatius of Antioch, already refer to all Christians as “the Catholic Church”. The wording you use, “the body of Christ”, is explained through tradition as coming through the Communion of the Church in the Eucharist.

    It is not ahistorical, nor nonsense, to state that there was one universal Church at the time when the canon was decided. The Orthodox also call themselves Catholic, and recognize that they have split from the Roman Church but both were part from an older, Apostolic, Catholic Church.

    • Tony says:

      Mauro:

      Thanks for writing. It’s nice to meet you, all the way from Argentina! When discussing these things, it’s helpful to be fairly precise in our definitions… that way we know we’re talking about the same thing.

      • When we say “the church” in the terms that the New Testament uses, it simply means ‘the called-out ones.’ That’s just a description of those who have been born again. THAT is, by definition, the universal church… the small-c catholic church, the Body of Christ. This is not to be confused, of course, with the Roman Catholic church or any other specific grouping of Jesus-followers.
      • While the Roman Catholic church claims that they began with Peter, and so are the only true Christian church, this is not reflected in either Scripture or history. Peter never made the claim, and neither did any other disciple. The apostle Paul clearly didn’t consider Peter to be in authority over himself, either.
      • In Scripture, we see that each local church was independent of every other local church. Their connection was not through Peter, but through their adherence to Jesus’ teaching. This is reflected in the epistles written to different congregations, none of which suggest that Jesus’ authority had been centralized in any other person. Jesus’ own letters to the seven churches in Revelation are also absent any reference to Peter, Jerusalem, or any centralized authority. It’s certainly true that the Roman Catholic church traces its roots to Peter, but every Christian tradition in the world could theoretically trace their roots back to Peter or another of Jesus’ disciples. There are many unnamed apostles in the New Testament.
      • The official beginning of the Roman Catholic church is usually considered to be in either 380 AD or 590 AD. In 380, Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire. In 590, Pope Gregory I consolidated the land controlled by authority of the pope into what would later be known as “the Papal States.”

      As for Jesus giving Peter the keys to the kingdom, it might be helpful to read my article, which explains what a posek is. Jesus did, in fact, give Peter those keys… but not only to him, and it wasn’t a unique thing in history. Like baptism, a posek was a part of Judaism before Jesus’ birth, and something they understood the moment He mentioned it.

      With respect, the difference between the Roman Catholic view and the Protestant view can be symbolized with one letter: c. When Rome speaks of the catholic church, they mean the Catholic church… the earthly organization that claims to be led by the vicar of Christ, the one authoritative human representative of Jesus on earth. When Protestants speak of the catholic church, we mean ‘the called out ones,’ as the New Testament expresses it.

      Yes, some traditions suggest that one enters into the Body of Christ through the Eucharist. Unfortunately, that’s not what we see in Scripture. If it were, for example, Peter would not have first had the household of Cornelius (Acts 10) baptized… he would have had them take communion. We are saved by grace through faith without the Eucharist, and without baptism. I recognize that that’s not what some believe, but I don’t see how those beliefs can be substantiated in Scripture, and we all know that tradition alone isn’t authoritative.

      So yes and no: it IS NOT ahistorical to state that there was one universal church during the canonization process, but it IS ahistorical to claim that it was the Roman Catholic church, or that there was only one unified earthly grouping of believers involved. We all know that many church leaders were involved in the canonization process. If Jesus’ spiritual authority had been localized in one human leader at that time, there would have been no need for a council. There would have been no need for discussion, or agreement, or even research. The one human leader of the Body of Christ would simply have communicated God’s will to the rest of the world… and nobody claims that anything like that actually happened.

  15. Mauro says:

    Thanks Tony, for some reason, I can’ reply to comments threads so I will reply in this manner.

    I will try to argue for the common position that we have with the Orthodox, i.e. that the Bishop of Rome is the Primus inter pares, rather than trying to convince you of papal supremacy or something like that, since the first position is the one we share the most you and I, I think, and it is more easily found in patristics.

    Answering your points:

    “When we say “the church” in the terms that the New Testament uses, it simply means ‘the called-out ones.’ That’s just a description of those who have been born again. THAT is, by definition, the universal church… the small-c catholic church, the Body of Christ. This is not to be confused, of course, with the Roman Catholic church or any other specific grouping of Jesus-followers.”

    The thing is, we Catholics claim that such small c catholic Church was led in spiritual matters by the bishop of Rome, and therefore when the Church fathers talk about the “catholic church”, I identify it with “the Catholic Church”. I understand that we disagree on that point.

  16. Mauro says:

    (Continuation)

    Now, let me tell you that the leadership of the bishop of Rome was not a leadership in the modern sense that we see from the Pope (that’s what we call doctrinal development), it was more akin to primus inter pares, as I said. The Pope was the final arbiter on doctrinal and moral matters, when other bishops and councils couldn’t agree, and this is well documented among the bishops, who usally recognnized Rome as the most orthodox an authoritative See. See for example:

    “Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father” (Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]).

    “But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition” (Ireneus of Lyon, Against Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).

    “Cyprian to Antonian, his brother. Greeting … You wrote … that I should forward a copy of the same letter to our colleague [Pope] Cornelius, so that, laying aside all anxiety, he might at once know that you held communion with him, that is, with the Catholic Church” (Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church 55[52]:1; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

    “With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and b.asphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (ibid., 59:14).”

  17. Mauro says:

    (Part 3)

    So that should put to rest the notion that the Roman Catholic Church was founded with Constantine (because here we clearly see that from earlier times it has its two elements, namely: A. Being recognized as part of the universal Church; B. Being recognized as the presiding see within it). I don’t know if you will consider it a valid argument since you are discussing it from a sola scriptura point of view, but we were also discussing whether it was historical or not, so tradition MUST be taken into account if we are going to talk about the history of the Church.

    I won’t argue about the passage of the keys becasue that would be too long and there are many resources discussing it, and I am sure that you are familiar with the Catholic interpretation of those passages. Same with the “feed my lambs” passage.

    The other important point I wanted to make is that the bishop of Rome is successor to both Peter AND Paul, since both were martyred in Rome. This is mentioned by Ireneus above, almost a century before Constantine was even born. The role of Paul is not mentioned as often because it is not usually attacked, and it does not have a scriptural reference like the role of Peter.

  18. Mauro says:

    (Part 4)

    Now, about the Eucharist, I honestly don’t understand when you say “We are saved by grace through faith without the Eucharist, and without baptism.”. I thought most protestants believed in a necesssary baptism? It certainly is mentioned as necessary in Scripture:

    “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

    And also the Eucharist is mentioned as necessary:

    “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit…” (John 3:5).

    And the same is true for the Eucharist:

    “Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.'” (John 6:53).

    It’s strange that protestants usually put such low value in the Eucharist, considering that Scripture clearly deems it as necessary.

    Finally, when you say:

    “The one human leader of the Body of Christ would simply have communicated God’s will to the rest of the world”

    That is an incorrect notion of what we believe as Catholics, and what Orthodox believe also about the bishop of Rome. We don’t claim that the bishop of Rome has mystical messages from God, or that he is a prophet in the literal sense. We claim that when a problem arises within the Church, the Holy Spirit gaves the bishop of Rome the Grace to discern and solve that problem with his teaching to all the Church. This is expressed by the Church Fathers above, and is sumamrized by the phrase “Roma locuta; causa finita est” by Saint Augustine, who ironically heavily influenced Martin Luther and his writings.

    • Tony says:

      Mauro:

      Thanks for writing. Primus inter pares – first among equals – implies that Peter was the chief head of the church, above other chiefs… that the others were in some way subordinate to him. That’s a distinction without much of a difference. This is simply not established in Scripture. Were you to sit down and read only Peter’s writings, and included Mark if you wanted to, you would not see primus inter pares. Peter never put himself in that position. No other writer of Scripture did, either. Paul certainly did not, as he blatantly went against Peter’s advice. Was Peter a leader? Of course. Was Peter an authority on Jesus’ teaching? Of course. Was Peter instrumental in the establishment of the church – that is, the growing Body of Christ? Of course. That’s not in dispute.

      What IS in dispute is the claim that Peter was the vicar of Christ – that is, the sole human representative of God on earth… and the claim that he may have been first among equals. Look in Acts 15, where we see the council in Jerusalem in action. James is as prominent as Peter. Peter spoke first, but James wrapped things up and made the definitive declaration of what should be done. Like Peter, I often speak first. Many times, I’m persuasive… or I even have answers that others lack. That doesn’t make me first among equals, nor would it indicate that I hold a special place among other believers. Peter never suggested it, James didn’t, Jude didn’t, John didn’t, Paul didn’t. For those reasons, I wouldn’t suggest it either.

      It’s church tradition alone that ascribes this special place to Peter. I don’t deny his place in any sense… only that we can reliably suggest that God Himself appointed Peter first among equals, or appointed Peter to be His sole authoritative representative after Jesus’ resurrection. The idea simply goes where Scripture does not, and so where I cannot. While I respect and learn from the thoughts of the patristics, I cannot add their words to Scripture. I’m not suggesting that Peter was false, by any means. I’m pointing to the fact that tradition goes where Scripture does not. I’d like to add that the proper interpretation of Scripture requires a proper understanding of the context of each passage, including the writer and the audience and the setting and the circumstances… and so does the proper interpretation of any writing, including the patristics. The first and most important part of the context is that nobody considered their writings as spiritually authoritative. They provide us insight into the minds and positions of the writers, but do nothing to inform us of God’s mind on the same matters. They’re of historical significance, and they’re valuable… but they’re not evidence of God’s mind in place of Scripture’s silence.

      Yes, I’m arguing from a sola scriptura position. Why? Because while men may fail – and even Popes have done so – God’s word remains both unchanged and unassailable. Tradition may or may not reflect the truths of Scripture, but Scripture always reflects God’s mind. Where He has spoken, we should speak. We should avoid speaking where He has not. God has not said that Peter was the vicar of Christ, nor did He say that Peter was – spiritually speaking – first among equals. Therefore, the absolute claim that Peter was either of those things must be avoided. It should remain speculative at best. Here:

      • Peter spoke up a lot.
      • Peter was one of the more prominent disciples during Jesus’ ministry.
      • Peter was one of the few who, after Jesus’ ascension, was in a position to explain what Jesus taught.
      • Peter was instrumental in the growth and leadership of the early church.
      • Peter then was chosen by God to be the ONLY head of the church.
      • Peter’s successors are then also chosen by God as the ONLY head of the church.
      • Anyone outside of Peter’s church are outside of apostolic authority and cannot be saved (old RCC position).
      • Oops. We didn’t mean to limit God that way. He could possibly save some outside the RCC, but it’s highly unlikely… because the RCC is the one true church.

      This line of reasoning cannot be substantiated… not in Scripture, and not in history. Certainly not logically. It’s tradition, as you say. Whose tradition is it? It’s the Roman Catholic church’s position, of course. As the old saying goes, never ask the barber if you need a haircut. It’s tradition, you say. It’s something that a lot of people seem to agree with, you say. If God chooses His vicar, why then do you need the College of Cardinals? If God chooses His vicar, what do we say about the corruption of certain Popes? I like to learn ABOUT tradition, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to learn FROM tradition unless it matches what God has indisputably said… and that can only be found in Scripture.

      As for the keys of the kingdom, you might do a little research into the ancient Jewish tradition of the posek.

      As for baptism, no… most Protestants do not believe in a necessary baptism. They (we) believe each believer should be baptized, but we generally don’t believe that baptism is a requirement for salvation. There are exceptions, of course. Some disagree but, because I’m currently writing a book on baptism, I can’t see any Scriptural warrant for the claim. There are too many Scriptures that teach otherwise.

      As for the Eucharist – a longer discussion cut short for now – we live in different movies, as they say. My movie does not suggest that the blessing of a priest turns the bread and wine into the actual physical body and blood of Jesus. Your movie does. As long as we’re watching different movies, as it were, we’re not going to agree. I don’t believe that the doctrines of transubstantiation and consubstantiation can be supported through the appropriate handling of Scripture. There’s simply too much tradition mixed in with the unchanging Scriptures for me to go beyond Scripture and lean into tradition. I only want to go where God has led without question, and tradition is simply, too often, questionable.

  19. Mauro says:

    Well, at least we got to the bottom of the issue, the root of our disagreement.

    It’s a shame that you don’t believe in the doctrine of Tradition, because the Word of God *came* from Tradition. God did not act in a vacuum, the modern Scriptures were compiled by His Church in councils, like the Council of Carthage of 397.

    It would be a strange position, if one studies the history of Christianity, to see all the Christians writing about the authority of Bishops, Martyrs, Tradition, the Eucharist, etc. (before even the New Testament was defined!) and then, after the Church defined the canons of Scripture, say that only Scripture matters; as if all the Christians of the first three centuries, who might not have even owned a Bible, who primarily obeyed their Bishops and Priests, were in the dark.

    • Tony says:

      Mauro:

      I understand your position. Tradition is important. Tradition matters. We agree that it’s a very, very wise to ask about the position of Christians throughout history before accepting or rejecting an idea.

      Traditions, however, are a lot like emotions. Emotions are important, and should not be ignored… but traditions, like emotions, are not entirely reliable. Purgatory is a good example of this. The idea behind purgatory is that dying with unconfessed venial sins on your ledger will send you to Purgatory, where you will suffer to pay for those sins. After that, you will be allowed to enter Heaven. This is a tradition. Unfortunately, it contradicts Scripture. Jesus suffered and died to pay for all sins, for all people, for all time. This is established in many verses. Which, then, should we trust? Should we trust Scripture more, or should we place tradition above Scripture? These are our choices.

      Catholics tell me all the time that, without tradition, we wouldn’t have the Bible. As a result, they put tradition above Scripture. After all, they say, we have the witness of many in history who believed in Purgatory. The idea has been around for a long time, as they say. Who am I to disagree with so many? Who am I to ignore the writings of those we so readily revere?

      I’m a Christian, that’s who. I want to know what Jesus taught so I can do what He said. Where can I find out what Jesus taught? In Scripture. We have a reliable record of His words and deeds, and we have the added benefit of understanding how His first disciples applied what He taught. As a consequence of being born again, God Himself dwells in me. With all due respect to those who follow tradition, what more do I need?

      Don’t get me wrong: I’m informed by tradition. The collected witness of other believers really matters, and is a check on wild ideas that lead to heresy. Tradition is not, unfortunately, as reliable as God’s Word. It doesn’t matter how long an untrue tradition has been around, or how many have believed it, or how many have written about it… it would still be untrue. The Jews defined the canon of the Old Testament long before there was a Christian church, and they have tons of traditions and writings that we both reject. It seems unwise to simply point to tradition and say, “See? You’re outnumbered.”

      Whether you believe it or understand it, I’ve been born again without being part of the Roman Catholic church. I’ve dedicated my life to following Jesus as closely as I can. I’d like to believe the same about you. If you belong to Jesus, Mauro, you belong to me. I have no doubt that we will each find out how right and wrong we are, in the end. Until then, I hope that you will reflect on the roles of tradition and Scripture to consider whether you’re relying on something that never changes, that’s never in doubt, and that can’t be denied. Tradition is important, but Scripture trumps tradition. Tradition really only matters when it matches what was handed down once for all to the saints.

      I wish you well, my friend.

  20. Mauro Sánchez says:

    Tony,
    thank you, I think we won’t agree on the topic but it’s true that’s we are brothers in Christ and I appreciate the acknowledgement. It was a very interesting discussion, and I think it helped me understand more the point of view of non-Catholic Christians; maybe it served you in a similar way, among all the Catholics that usually talk to you.

    It is as you say, surely at the end we will find out, and I hope that we both make it there, maybe we will someday talk about this in the New Jerusalem! Until then, I also wish you well 🙂

  21. Rob Hicks says:

    The Catholic Church does not teach that only Catholics are saved. See quotes from the THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH [Edited]

    • Tony says:

      Rob:

      Thanks for writing. At no point did I say that the Catholic church teaches that only Catholics can be saved. In fact, I clearly said otherwise. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

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