Skip to comments.ANCIENT NECROPOLIS FOUND BENEATH VATICAN
Posted on 10/09/2006 9:03:15 AM PDT by NYer
The history of this dig may be found here.
AP - Mon Oct 9, 10:40 AM ET
In this undated photo provided Monday, Oct. 9, 2006 by the Vatican Museums, a general view of an ancient necropolis unearthed at the Vatican is seen. Vatican Museums officials and archaeologists on Monday unveiled the necropolis, which was unearthed three years ago during the construction of a parking lot for Vatican City employees and vehicles. Visitors to the Vatican will soon be able to step into the newly unveiled necropolis likened by archaeologists to a ''little Pompeii'' of cemeteries which were the final resting place of the rich and not-so-affluent inhabitants during centuries of Roman imperial Rule.
AP - Mon Oct 9, 10:41 AM ET
In this undated photo provided Monday, Oct. 9, 2006 by the Vatican Museums, a detail of an engraving in an ancient necropolis unearthed at the Vatican. Vatican Museums officials and archaeologists on Monday unveiled the necropolis, which was unearthed three years ago during the construction of a parking lot for Vatican City employees and vehicles. Visitors to the Vatican will soon be able to step into the newly unveiled necropolis likened by archaeologists to a ''little Pompeii'' of cemeteries which were the final resting place of the rich and not-so-affluent inhabitants during centuries of Roman imperial Rule.
Reuters - Mon Oct 9, 8:19 AM ET
A sarcophagus adorned with a woman and victory wings lies at the site of a Roman necropolis in the Vatican in a photograph released October 9, 2006.
Reuters - Mon Oct 9, 8:17 AM ET
Figures which adorned the tomb of a baby lie at the site of a Roman necropolis in the Vatican in a photograph released October 9, 2006.
or it would imply that I don't have infinite amounts of time, and decided to begin with the first Century and work out from there.
You can't have read any of the early works and seriously hold this view.
Would you do me the great favor and tell me the names of one or two of the early Christian writers who name Peter as Pope or Bishop of Rome?
That would save me the trouble of hunting through everyone to convince myself of a negative, and then I would find that I had missed one.
St. Clement, a disciple of the Apostles, who, after Linus and Anacletus, succeeded St. Peter as the fourth in the list of popes. In his "Epistle to the Corinthians", written in A.D. 95 or 96, he bids them receive back the bishops whom a turbulent faction among them had expelled. "If any man", he says, "should be disobedient unto the words spoken by God through us, let them understand that they will entangle themselves in no slight transgression and danger" (Ep. 59). Moreover, he bids them "render obedience unto the things written by us through the Holy Spirit".
St. Ignatius of Antioch, ca. 107 A.D., in the opening of his letter to the Roman Church, refers to its presiding over all other Churches.
St. Irenaeus, a disciple of St. Polycarp, who had been appointed Bishop of Smyrna by St. John, in "Adversus Haereses" (3:3:2), cites the Apostolic tradition faithfully preserved by the Church from the twelve Apostles. He notes that the See of Rome is preeminent because of its descent from St. Paul and St. Peter.
When we get on into the 2nd and early 3rd century, the references to the primacy of Peter are so numerous (Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, etc.) that there's no point in contesting it.
I'm an agnostic who has no dog in this hunt, but the comments weren't that Peter wasn't the head of the church in Rome, but that he wasn't considered the head of the movement after the death of Jesus.
As an agnostic, but a historian, I'm always open to new scholarship on the historical proofs of religion. I recently read "the Jesus Dynasty" which has some very interesting scholarship. Here are some excerpts found at:
Jesus' successors and legacy:
"Although the followers of Jesus reshaped themselves under the new leadership of James, and eventually returned to Jerusalem, there might well have been a period in which they retreated to Galilee in order to sort things out, and that is just what these gospel traditions appear to reflect. If that was the case then the more idealized account of the Jesus movement in the early chapters of the book of Acts is Luke' s attempt to recast things in a more triumphant way." (p. 238)
"There are two completely separate and distinct 'Christianities' embedded in the New Testament. One is quite familiar and became the version of the Christian faith known to billions over the past two millennia. Its main proponent was the apostle Paul. The other has been largely forgotten and by the turn of the 1st century A.D. had been effectively marginalized and suppressed by the other." (p. 259)
"The Nazarene movement, led by James, Peter, and John, was by any historical definition a Messianic Movement within Judaism. Even the term 'Jewish-Christianity,' though perhaps useful as a description of the original followers of Jesus, is really a misnomer since they never considered themselves anything but faithful Jews. In that sense early Christianity is Jewish." (p. 264)
"I would go so far as to say that the New Testament itself is primarily a literary legacy of the apostle Paul." (p. 270)
"There is no evidence that James worshipped his brother or considered him divine." (p. 280)
"...[W]hat we can know, with some certainty, is that the royal family of Jesus, including the children and grandchildren of his brothers and sisters, were honored by the early Christians well into the 2nd century A.D., while at the same time they were watched and hunted down by the highest levels of the Roman government in Palestine." (p. 290)
Great minds think alike :>)
Are you saying archeology is uninteresting or not useful, or...?
I am saying that archeology can only confirm what the Bible already says.
Basically, I used to be an agnostic and am not any longer partly because of the shoddy historical assumptions among the skeptics and debunkers, particularly when compared with the primary sources. Too often, there is an assumption almost that *because* it is an old tradition, it *can't* be true--no matter what history says to the contrary.
It is true that James was certainly the head of the Church of Jerusalem...and that a sort of nucleus of Jewish Christians had grown around that see until the city was razed by the Romans and the Jews expelled--around 160ish I think it was. I know of, however, no early source that would exactly support the author's theory of "two Christianities", and in particular one which would oppose the headship of James in Jerusalem to that of Peter in Rome. Certainly Irenaeus, writing around 160-170, ascribed to Peter a role which he does not ascribe to James. Perhaps your author is thinking of the Quartodeciman and similar controversies.
Anyhow, here's Eusebius's account of the martyrdom of James:
Scroll down to chapter 23...the excerpt is too long to include here, but basically Eusebius, writing in the early 300s, has a long quotation from Hegesippus, a writer in the second century, narrating James' martyrdom because he confessed that Jesus was the Christ.
I will do some homework in the primary sources though on the relation of Peter to James and see what I can find.
What does the Bible say about pagan cemeteries in Rome?
Nothing, but the issue of the Resurrection was brought up and that was what I was referring to.
As for pagan cemeteries, how are they different then any other cemeteries.
It seems we are surprised to see that the Romans had the same emotions for their departed loved ones as we do.
since you are interested in early church history and archeology that proves it up, you really must read the book.
In addition to the central thesis, (eg, that the dynastic family relations of Jesus and John the Babtist made them logical and palatable purveyors of the messianic movement in a time of Jewish ferment), it has some fascinating scholarship and information about locations of burial chambers and burial ossuaries found there.
Most folks don't even realize that Jesus had a number of brothers because the New Testament books sort of gloss over them and the names are so common that the references are mixed up.
Likewise some interesting stuff on the relationship between Mary and Joseph.
I couldn't put it down.
Well, that fact has been debated since the earliest days of Christianity. The NT does refer to "brothers", but a) in Semitic usage, brothers often means close relatives like cousins and not always uterine brothers; and b) some of those putative "brothers" of the NT have different mothers, so they can't be uterine. Also, c) it's a little nonsensical for Christ to give his mother to St. John from the cross if she has living sons to care for her.
There is an old tradition in the East that Joseph had children from a previous marriage, but as far as any other children of Mary, that has yet to be demonstrated. Certainly the Church has always repudiated that belief in the strongest terms.
I believe the author's scholarship leads him to the conclusion that the John and James referred to in the older versions of the NT are his brothers.
Lots of johns and james in those days, just like today. I wonder if they had dimunitives like Johnny and Jimmy within the close family circle?
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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