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Cathoholics Anonymous

Who was the first bishop of Rome?

Seeing that Saint Peter was never in Rome, who was its first bishop?

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. – John 8:36

Since Peter the Apostle was never in Rome (see previous page discussing) and could not, therefore, have been its first bishop. Who then is it that is the “Peter” spoken of by a number of ancient writers that became the first bishop of Rome?

This appears to likely be Simon Magus, known as Simon the Sorcerer in the book of Acts. This was more than just a mistaken identity. A widespread deception was made and started by Simon Magus himself and propagated ignorantly by some Christian writers as well as others who authored counterfeit articles.

Simon Magus was the one who previously deceived many in Samaria to be, as if he really was, “The great power of God” due to his abundant sorceries. Later in history, this “Simon” feigned himself to be the Messiah, then moved to Rome and claimed to be Simon Peter. In the First Apology of Justin Martyr, Simon Magus is mentioned to have been in Rome…

The First Apology of Justin, chapter 56…

But the evil spirits were not satisfied with saying, before Christ’s appearance, that those who were said to be sons of Jupiter were born of him; but after He had appeared and been born among men, and when they learned how He had been foretold by the prophets, and knew that He should be believed on and looked for by every nation, they again, as was said above, put forward other men, the Samaritans Simon and Meander, who did many mighty works by magic, and deceived many, and still keep them deceived. For even among yourselves, as we said before, Simon was in the royal city Rome in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and so greatly astonished the sacred senate and people of the Romans, that he was considered a god, and honoured, like the others whom you honour as gods with a statue. Wherefore we pray that the sacred senate and your people may, along with yourselves, be arbiters of this our memorial, in order that if any one be entangled by that man’s doctrines, he may learn the truth, and so be able to escape error; and as for the statue, if you please, destroy it.


This charade, pretending to be Peter the Apostle, could only have been accomplished by someone who would desire to pretend to be him and was experienced in pulling off such lies. After all, Simon the Sorcerer did bewitch many in Samaria with his sorceries. The people of Rome did not know the real Peter personally. In any case, the real Peter was never there. Paul never mentions Peter sending greetings when many others did when he was there. Justin Martyr and Irenæus both cite that there was an image was built in Rome in honor of Simon Magus who eventually feigned himself as Peter.

Irenæus Against Heresies, chapter 23, paragraph 1…

Simon the Samaritan was that magician of whom Luke, the disciple and follower of the apostle, says, “But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who beforetime used magical arts in that city, and led astray the people of Samaria, declaring that he himself was some great one, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This is the power of God, which is called great. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had driven them mad by his sorceries.” This Simon, then – who feigned faith, supposing that the apostles themselves performed their cures by the art of magic, and not by the power of God; and with respect to their filling with the Holy Ghost, through the imposition of hands, those that believed in God through Him who was preached by them, namely, Christ Jesus – suspecting that even this was done through a kind of greater knowledge of magic, and offering money to the apostles, thought he, too, might receive this power of bestowing the Holy Spirit on whomsoever he would, – was addressed in these word by Peter: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God can be purchased with money: thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God; for I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” He, then, not putting faith in God a whit the more, set himself eagerly to contend against the apostles, in order that he himself might seem to be a wonderful being, and applied himself with still greater zeal to the study of the whole magic art, that he might the better bewilder and overpower multitudes of men. Such was his procedure in the reign of Claudis Cæser, by whom also he is said to have been honoured with a statue, on account of his magical power. This man, then was glorified by many as if he were a god; and he taught that it was himself who appeared among the Jews as the Son, but descended in Samaria as the Father while he came to other nations in the character of the Holy Spirit. He represented himself, in a word, as being the loftiest of all powers, that is, the Being who is the Father over all, and he allowed himself to be called by whatsoever title men were pleased to address him.


Leucius Charinus in his writing known as “The Acts of Peter” also acclaims Simon Magus as being in Rome, however, the writing stands to be in doubt whereas also it exists now clearly corrupted from the original Greek text when it was copied into Latin from Greek in the 7th Century and shown as altered from its original text. There are also other writings with variations of this tale. Furthermore, this writing of Charinus, holds to Peter being in Rome refuting Simon Magus, which, as previously stated, could not have happened in Rome due to the Holy Bible’s own testimony. Peter was in Babylon as the Bible itself shows and was never in Rome.


The teachings of Simon Magus did not stop in the first century, they continued in Rome. In Justin Martyr’s second shorter apologetical writing for the Christians, he described this when he wrote between the years of 150-157 A.D. addressing the Roman Senate.
The Second Apology of Justin, conclusion…

And I despised the wicked and deceitful doctrine of Simon of my own nation. And if you give this book your authority, we will expose him before all, that, if possible, they may be converted. For this end alone did we compose this treatise. And our doctrines are not shameful, according to a sober judgment, but are indeed more lofty than all human philosophy; and if not so, they are at least unlike the doctrines of the Sotadists, and Philænidians, and Dancers, and Epicureans, and such other teachings of the poets, which all are allowed to acquaint themselves with, both as acted and as written. And henceforth we shall be silent, having done as much as we could, and having added the prayer that all men everywhere may be counted worth of the truth. And would that you also, in a manner becoming piety and philosophy, would for your own sakes judge justly!



SIMON MAGUS and the Origins of the Catholic Church!
By Ernest L. Martin and John D. Keyser
from Hope of Israel Ministries



If you have not already read, please see our article proving from the Holy Bible
that Peter the Apostle was never in Rome.



Fascinating Reading of the Holy Bible For Roman Catholics…




Bible Challenge For Catholics Links Index…




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