Q. Was Peter ever in Rome? I have a friend who is catholic, and she thinks Peter was the first pope. I can’t convince her this is not true. I know Paul went to Rome, he was to minister to the gentiles. Wasn’t Peter to minister to the circumcised? Thank You for taking the time to help me with this.
A. Yes, Peter was in Rome. He probably wrote his 2nd letter from Rome, and was imprisoned there in the Mamertine prison with Paul. Both were sentenced to death in Rome in 68-69AD. Several early Church historians, Eusebius and Irenaeus among them, list Peter as the Bishop of the Church in Rome. This might be where the Catholic tradition that Peter was the first Pope came from. Catholics also use a misinterpretation of Matt. 16:18-19 to support this claim. It wasn’t Peter on whom the Lord would build His Church. It was his confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”