As stated in Apostolic Succession : The Petrine Hoax, there are two authorities that reveal the true situation regarding Peter and Rome during the first century. We have looked at the first authority - evidence from the New Testament - now we can turn our attention to the second authority, the letter written from the congregation at Rome to the congregation at Corinth circa 96 AD by the hand of Clemens Romanus.
Towards the end of the first century, an upsurge of factionalism in the congregation at Corinth caused a divisiveness and resentment that resulted in widespread embarrassment to other Christian congregations. The Roman congregation wrote a letter, which bore the name of Clemens, to the Corinthian congregation pleading that they settle their differences and reminding them that the essence of the teachings of Jesus was love and humility. There are absolutely no grounds for identifying him with the Clement of Philippians 4:3.
Roman Catholic claims based on Clement's Letter
It is very important to understand that there are TWO distinct claims made by the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of Clement's letter:
- Peter resided and died in Rome
- Clement as Bishop of Rome exercised primacy over other churches
Both claims are unsustainable as we shall see. Stay tuned for Clement's Letter II...