Roman Christianity Prior to Paul

Reading Acts

The traditional view is that the Roman church was founded by both Peter and Paul. Few accept this tradition today. The story of Peter’s arrival in the second year of Claudius (A.D. 42) is found in Eusebius (H.E. 2.14.6). Peter followed Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8) and answers his false teaching. According to Eusebius, the Gospel Peter preached at this time was so well received the Roan people demanded a written copy, which became the Gospel of Mark. That the church was founded by Peter and Paul refers to the fact they both eventually ministered in the city and were both buried there (Irenaeus, Haer. 3.1 – “while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church…”

paul-in-romeThe consensus view is that the church was founded by believers who returned to Rome after Pentecost. Jews had contact with Rome as early as 160 B.C…

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