Bones of Contention: Have Paul’s Bones Been Discovered in Rome?

The Vatican Jesuit spokesman, Lombardi, also said: “Peter and Paul, the rock and the light of proclamation, these disciples of Jesus… continue attracting our attention and our steps toward Rome ‘ad limina Apostolorum’ [‘to the thresholds of the Apostles’]”; and, “They remain alive among us to orient and impassion our faith and to re-launch it to the ends of the earth.” This is all nonsense. Peter is not the “rock” on which the Church is built, as Rome claims; Christ Jesus is. This is clear from many Scriptures (e.g.1 Cor. 3:11; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:4; Eph. 2:20; 1 Cor. 10:4; Deut. 32:4). It is even clear from the Papists’ favourite text – Matt. 16:18 – which is where Christ says, “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”. For “Peter” and “rock” are two distinct Greek words, and mean different things (the word for “Peter” meaning a stone: not the “rock” on which the Church is built, for this is Christ alone, but simply a stone within the spiritual temple of the Lord). And if he was not in Rome, then directing our steps to Rome is not directing them to the “threshold” of Peter.

But in one part of his statement the Jesuit was very right: beyond all doubt, the faith of millions of Roman Catholics will be “oriented” and “impassioned” anew by this supposed “discovery” of Paul’s tomb, just as the supposed “discovery” of Peter’s tomb did wonders for Rome decades ago. And it certainly will give a huge impetus to Roman Catholic evangelism worldwide. For Rome’s priests and people will now say to the world, “We are most definitely the true Church! The great apostles Peter and Paul died and were buried in Rome, confirming the centrality of the Church of Rome in the eyes of God!” And many in this benighted world will believe them, and be drawn to Popery.

These revelations couldn’t have come at a better time for the Vatican, still reeling as it is from the worldwide priestly sex scandals and other setbacks of recent years.

July 2009


Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other news articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ electronic mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.

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i.Evidence Points to Authenticity of St. Paul’s Tomb, June 28, 2009.

ii.Daily News (South African daily newspaper), June 29, 2009.

iii.Officials Discuss Investigation of Paul’s Tomb, July 3, 2009.

iv.Aide Comments on Discoveries in Paul’s Tomb, July 6, 2009.

v.Pope Peter? (tract), by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, South Africa.

vi.30 Days (Roman Catholic magazine), February 1990.

vii.In Search of Peter’s Tomb, by Dr. Steven Hijmans, April 27, 2001. Express News, University of Alberta.

viii.In Search of Peter’s Tomb.

ix.In Search of Peter’s Tomb.

x.30 Days, February 1990.

xi.The Southern Cross, 18 March 1990.

xii.The Southern Cross, 8 September 1991.