After telling him what I thought of the wonderful discovery the Franciscans had made, I asked him plainly, “Do you folks really believe that those are the remains of St. Peter?” He responded, “Yes we do, we have no choice in the matter. …. Dr. Albright, of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, told me that he personally knew priest Bagatti and that he was a very competent archaeologist. Strange it was, for since beginning to build the church in 1450 (finished in 1626) they erected St. Peter's Tomb (?) This would be of the greatest interest and the most important for further research. The Garden Tomb at the foot of Golgotha, outside the walls of old Jerusalem, meets the Biblical description perfectly. In fact, all those who were hated by the Jewish leaders, as Jesus was, could never have been allowed to be buried within the gates of the Holy City. Since the circulation of this article, they do not allow anyone to see this burial place. "When Pope Pius XII declared the Assumption of Mary to be an article of faith in 1950, the Catholic Church in Jerusalem then quickly sold the tomb of Mary to the Armenian Church. According to later reports, in A.D. 65 Paul of Tarsus was imprisoned in Rome, beheaded, and then buried in the family tomb of a devout Roman … "… In spite of the statements by the high Papal authority above and the resultant lesson that should have been learned, the Pope, a year later claimed the Prof. Margherita bones as those of St. Peter. We're now offering the book with four accompanying CDs, "God’s Plan for Mankind Revealed—by His Sabbath and Holy Days" at no charge and with no obligation. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. By the structure of the writings, it was established by scientists that they were of the days just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D….You can see then, how the Christians would be inclined to have their burial ground on the Mount, for here also had been a favorite meeting place of Jesus and His disciples. “Well,” he confidentially answered in a hushed voice, “Father Bagatti told me personally that three years ago he went to the Pope (Pius XII) in Rome and showed him the evidence and the Pope said to him, ‘Well, we will have to make some changes, but for the time being, keep this thing quiet’.” In awe I asked also in a subdued voice, “So the Pope really believes that those are the bones of St. Peter?” “Yes,” was his answer. In fact, I have a letter from a noted scientist stating that he can tell by the writing that it was written just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. With permission I reproduce this edited version of an article on this ossuary written in 1960 by F. Paul Peterson just when the discovery of the cemetery complex with its interesting clusters of names had caused a stir in certain quarters of the Protestant Christian world. "While visiting a friend in Switzerland, I heard of what seemed to me one of the greatest discoveries since the time of Christ—that Peter was buried in Jerusalem and not in Rome. The initial of Christ in Greek was written there which would never have been found in a Jewish, Arab or pagan cemetery. Some accounts suggest a couple others died of natural causes as well, but John’s tradition is the most firmly established. I quote this letter of Dr. Glueck because it shows that priest Milik is a competent archaeologist. Then I asked, “Does Father Bagatti (co-writer of the book in Italian on the subject, and archaeologist) really believe that those are the bones of St. Peter?” “Yes, he does,” was the reply. Peter’s sepulchral chamber is located at the bottom of the exedra, in a niche decorated by a mosaic from the ninth century with “Christ in the middle of the Princes of the Apostles,” and closed by a gilded bronze gate flanked on the sides by two metal statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. "The story of the cave and the ossuaries and the regular cemetery just outside of the Convent site is this: It was a Roman custom that, when a person had died and after about ten years when the body had decomposed, the grave would be opened. But a tropaion is not a tomb. Check out this timeline and biography of the life of Peter. It is called Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit printed in 1958 at the Tipografia del PP. I managed to calm him as I said, “But sir, here are the pictures and you can see the ossuary, among others, with Peter’s name in Aramaic. … Of greatest interest, however, was that which was found within twelve feet from the place where the remains of Mary, Martha and Lazarus were found—the remains of St. Peter. The editors of CIIP were apparently unaware of Pfann’s alternative suggestion. The salute in God most devoted P. B. Bagatti C. F. M.”, As I have shown, after the admonition of the Pope to “keep this thing quiet,” priest Bagatti leaves the interpretation of the whole matter to priest Milik who offers several suggestions but in the end declares that the original statement of priest Bagatti may be true—that the inscription and the remains were of St. Peter. For Catholics, St. Peter’s Church in the Vatican has a special significance. The Roman Catholic Church declared him a saint, and refers to him as the first Bishop of Rome. For a while all was well until another hitch developed. It was the end of 1950, and a complex series of excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica had recently been completed. Then he admitted the point and dropped a little more information. I knew that the evidence of Peter’s burial was there, for priests had told me that relics from the Christian burial ground were preserved within this museum. The Archaeology of the Earliest Jesus Movement, Pope Puts ‘St Peter’s Bones’ on Display at Vatican. "… But they have said that after all these years of excavation under the Vatican, they have discovered Greek words which read, 'Peter is buried here,' and it gives the date 160 A.D.  First of all, the very structure of the sentence immediately gives one the impression that either quite recently or long ago, someone put the sign there hoping that it would be taken as authentic in order to establish that which then, and even now, has never been proven. In this burial place you can see to this day where someone had carved deeper into the wall to make room for Jesus who was said to be about six feet tall. He was clearly nervous as he said, “Oh no, the tomb of St. Peter is in Rome.” But as he said that, his voice faltered, a fact which even my friend, Mr. Mattar, had noticed. It was Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and both history and the Bible tells of his being in Rome. God or No God? One of the most important books we've yet published. Pfann reads the name of the father as BarZillai, the name of a priestly family known to us from the time of David and mentioned in Ezra 2:61. Some scholars find support for a tradition that the apostle was buried ad catacumbas (“at the catacombs ” of San Sebastiano) on the Via Appia in an inscription of St. Damasus I (pope, 366–384), composed in such ambiguous terms that it was certain to foster such misinterpretations as are found in the letter of St. Gregory the Great to the empress Constantina and in the notice of Pope St. Cornelius in the Liber … Anyone, including myself, would readily agree with Dr. Glueck that if only the name Simon Bar Jona on the ossuary was all the evidence that was available it would not be conclusive evidence that it was of the Apostle Peter, though it would certainly be a strong indication. It went on like that for some time until I got the whole picture, and I was finally directed to where I could see the evidence for myself. "In Jerusalem I spoke to many Franciscan priests who all said, finally, though reluctantly, that the bones of Simon Bar Jona (St. Peter) were found in Jerusalem on the Franciscan monastery site called Dominus Flevit (where Jesus was supposed to have wept over Jerusalem) on the Mount of Olives … where the names of Christian Biblical characters were found on the ossuaries (bone boxes). His body was buried two miles away from the place of his martyrdom, in the sepulchral area along the Ostiense Way, owned by a devout Christian woman named Lucina, which was part of a pre-existent burial place . I talked to a Yale professor, who is an archaeologist, and was director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. One of their members was spading the ground on this site in 1953, when his shovel fell through. The evidence is abundant; the truth is clear from the Scriptures … Very few, if any, have withstood a Pope and lived (except in these days when everybody seems to withstand him). For instance, the priests say that the tomb of Jesus is within the walls of the old Jerusalem, in a hole in the ground; whereas, the Bible says that the tomb where Jesus was laid was hewn out of rock and a stone was rolled in front and not on top of it. They could be anyone's bones." of Olives by the late great Franciscan priest and archaeologist Bellarmino Bagatti. Usually a Catholic, either because he is brainwashed or stubbornly doesn’t want to see anything only that which he has been taught, will not allow himself to believe anything against his religion, much less to admit it to others. Before Jesus died, he entrusted his mother Mary to the beloved disciple (John 19:26–27), who is most widely believed to be John.. "Then in 1965, an archaeologist at Rome University, Prof. Margherita Guarducci, tells of a new set of bones belonging to Peter. He also admitted that the tomb of St. Peter is in Jerusalem. 235-237) I published a photo of an fragment of an 1st century CE limestone ossuary, or burial box, inscribed with the name “Simon bar Jonah,” a rare patronym used by Jesus one time in Matthew 16:17 to refer to Simon Peter: And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! These trophies marked the apostles’ graves or places of martyrdom and their victory over death. WHERE ARE THE TWELVE DISCIPLES BURIED Saint Peter – The Papal Basilica of St. Peter – Vatican City Saint Paul – Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls – Rome, Italy Saint Peter (r. AD 30; died between AD 64 and 68) also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon (/ ˈ s aɪ m ə n / ()), Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and one of the first leaders of the early Church. Pfann’s latest thoughts are found on his University of Holy Land Studies Web site here. Since then multiplied millions were thereby deceived into believing that the remains of St. Peter were there, which the hierarchy had all along known was not true, as is proven by the late Pope's declaration. "This ancient Christian burial ground shows that Peter died and was buried in Jerusalem, which is easily understandable since neither history nor the Bible tells of Peter's having been in Rome. The clear evidence is there.” I did not doubt the evidence, but what surprised me was that these priests and monks believed that which was against their own religion and on top of that, to admit it to others was something out of this world. "In 1950, just a few years prior to the discovery of the Christian burial ground in Jerusalem, the Pope made the strange declaration that the bones of St. Peter were found under St. Peter's in Rome. One of their members was spading the ground on this site in 1953, when his shovel fell through. This ancient Christian burial ground shows that Peter died and was buried in Jerusalem, which is easily understandable since neither history nor the Bible tells of Peter’s having been in Rome. Francescani, in Jerusalem. It was then declared by Pope Paul as the Gospel truth that these now were the genuine bones of St. Peter, and most of the faithful accepted them as such. The story of the discovery was there, but it seemed to be purposely hidden for much was lacking. Box 1442 Hollister, California 95024-1442 Phone: 1-831-637-1875 Fax: 1-831-637-9616truthofgod.org, "God’s Plan for Mankind Revealed—by His Sabbath and Holy Days", Free Book: Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah, Holy Bible In Its Original Order, 2nd Edition. Ex-priest Lavallo told me personally that there is another tomb of St. Mary in Ephesus. To make matters more clear, the Bible tells us that Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. He said to do so would cast a reflection on the competency of the priest J. T. Milik, who he knew to be a very able scientist. Then I asked, “But what does the Pope think of all this?” That was a thousand dollar question and he gave me a million dollar answer. The Archaeology of Earliest Christianity: The First Hundred Years, The Best Survey I Know of the Jewish Roman World of Jesus, My University Web Site Available to All: The Jewish Roman World of Jesus, Bible & Interpretation: A Richly Informative Resource, Sorting out the Jesus Family: Mother, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters. It was Paul who was the Apostle to the Gentiles, and both history and the Bible tells of his being in Rome. Is human life the end result of blind evolution, devoid of any purpose? It was prophesied in the Bible that Jesus would stand on the Mount of Olives at His return to earth. Then when I visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, I encountered a Franciscan monk. The Franciscan priest, Augusto Spykerman, who was in charge of the semi-private museum inside the walls of old Jerusalem, by the site of the Franciscan Church of the Flagellation, was that exception. Tradition has that Peter’s body is contained in a crypt below St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. When the bones were found there was little importance placed upon them and they were filed away as such. BARTHOLOMEW,* at Rome, in the church of Bartholomew Island, on the Tiber. But what makes the possibility of error more remote is that the remains were found in a Christian burial ground, and more yet, of the first century, the very time in which Peter lived. Anyway, another volume will come soon that will demonstrate that the cemetery was Christian and of the first century to the second century A.D. The bones would be placed in a small ossuary with the name of the person carefully written on the outside front. The ossuary was found in 1953 on the Mt. "There are too many unknowns," he told reporters on a recent tour of the Vatican grottoes, "There is no continuous tracing of the bones. No other book has all of the correct dates concerning Jesus’ life and ministry. The tomb dates between 130 and 300. St. Peter's tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. Prof. Margherita claims in this article, which appeared in the Manchester Guardian in London, as well as the S. F. Chronicle of June 27, 1968, concerning the long-accepted skull of St. Peter, as 'it is a fake.' Peter’s Life Before Christ. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (Smith's Bible Dictionary). But this cave or burial place where the ossuaries were found and which was created and brought about through the natural and disinterested sequence of events, without any reason to change facts or circumstances, was a greater testimony than if there were a witness recorded, stating that Peter was buried there. Before things had gone very far, I had been quite discouraged for I could get no information from the many priests with whom I had talked. When I asked to see the museum, he showed it to the three of us, Mr. Mattar, who in addition to being warden of the Tomb of Christ, had been the manager of an English bank in Jerusalem, a. professional photographer and myself. The story was fantastic but lacked common sense and even bordered on the infantile … the Palo Alto Times (California), May 9, 1967, came out with an article on the subject, and I quote, 'Other experts, among them Msgr. Soon after, about the year 44 A.D. 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