Simon/Peter, Historical or Mythical

Authority over eternal elements which result in manifestations of matter obviously belongs to the creative power that creates those elements and which is personified by man as “god.”  This would seem to be a logical conclusion.  But allow scheming material-obsessed men the freedom to fiddle with logic or common sense and the result is the convoluted indulgence that we respectfully call “religion.”  A prime example (among countless examples) of logic being made impotent appears in Christian accounts as the character named Simon, aka Peter.

There is a remarkable verse in the New Testament (Matthew 16:23) that pretty much states what is wrong with all organized religions.  Jesus is portrayed as speaking to Simon Peter, saying, “…thou art an offence unto me: for you savor not the things of God, but those that be of men.”  The real kicker in this scene is that this reproach of Peter follows immediately after Peter has allegedly been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven!  Thus the church that Peter is to establish is intended to be the adversary of the infinite creative powers that are personified as “god.”  Speak of diabolical!

There is profound Gnostic wisdom conveyed here.  The reason for the rebuke by Jesus is that Peter stands as the representative of consciousness in matter existence that resists the necessity of its own refinement.  Thus Jesus utters the accusation that Peter savours those thing that be of men.  What is illustrated with this convoluted scene is that the confinement of consciousness within our physical-matter forms is what actually traumatizes human ego, which is obsessed with material identity and wishes to dam Creation’s natural flow that we interpret as life/death.  All faith systems, therefore, have been contrived to answer ego’s obsession with material self-perpetuation.

Knowing this, we are justified in saying to organized, material-obsessed religions, just as Jesus is alleged to have said to Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan: you are an offence to me.”  Any man-conceived faith system serves only as the husk of resistance with which personal ego surrounds itself against the flow that we experience as life/death.  To paraphrase an old truism, any faith system is made for man; man is not made for any particular religion.

In the book of Matthew, 16:18-19, as rewritten c. 70-75, Jesus says to Peter, “And I say unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto thee the keys of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Whoa!  Wait a minute!  The authority over whatsoever binds man on earth is to be determined by this weak-kneed mortal man, and is also to bind man in heaven?  A mortal is granted infinite power?  How can it be then, that only four verses later (23), Peter is referred to by Jesus as Satan!  Oops!

The Roman Catholic Church was instituted on the assertion that Peter was the founder of that faith system, and all the Christian off-shoots also subscribe to the principle of Peter being the “rock” upon which the varied faith systems called Christianity received their spiritual authority.  The early Peter/Satan inference, drawn upon older Gnostic teachings, troubled many of the initial possible converts.  The character of Peter therefore had to be smoothed over.  Thus in the book of Luke 22:31-32 (written later in 84-90), the direct association of Peter with Satan is somewhat softened, saying, “And the Lord said to Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired you, that he may sift you as wheat:But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (from an alliance with Satan?), strengthen thy brethren.”

The earlier Gnostic inference was that Satan was a personification of the limited and imperfect conditions we each experience as a matter entity.  Peter being presented as the “rock” of Jesus’ church was a distant echo of the Hebrew scriptural character of Esau (twin brother of Jacob/Israel) who was regarded as the ancestor of the Edomites.  The Hebrew accounts presented Esau with the founding of the land of Edom, but the connection as given in Genesis 25:19-34 makes that claim tenuous at best.  Nonetheless, the Christian interpretation of Esau’ character (as in Romans 9:28-29, written even later, c. 100 CE) presented the notion that Esau exemplified the blessings promised by god to all descendants of Isaac, thus the Esau connection became central in the Christian debates regarding predestination—i.e. those things loosed on earth and loosed in heaven.

The authors who shaped the young cult that was being fashioned in Rome were aware that Edom in the Hebrew account was reference to earth itself.  The relationship of Peter as the “rock” upon which Jesus’ church was to be built therefore also referred to the earth.  In other words, it is planet Earth which “binds” and “looses” the Life Principle according to the laws of physics that determined the planet’s structure.  That means that no mortal man has ever been empowered to determine the eternal destiny for all humankind as the Christian myth of Peter and his “keys” imply.

Thus it is that in the Gospels no successor to Peter was ever suggested by the Lord, which is peculiar if Jesus’ church was to continue to function after Peter was to take up his gate-keeping duties just outside of heaven.  That is an especially embarrassing detail for Roman Catholics.  But knowing that Peter—the “rock“—is analogous to planet Earth, then it is understandable why no mortal successor needed to be named.

Christian tradition asserts that it was Peter who brought the Christian message to Rome.  This is extremely curious.  If an apostle to Jesus named Simon/Peter was truly a historical person who lived in the holy land, it would be quite unlikely—if he was as stated in the Gospel account an “apostle of circumcision,” meaning of the Jews—that he would ever have set foot upon Italian soil at all, let alone reign as “Bishop of Rome,” a gentile church.  The “authority” for the claim that Peter was in Rome rests entirely on one source alone—a work entitled The Clementines, which was written in Egypt before the mid-100s CE .  Certainly nothing in that tale can be legitimately used as proof that that character of Peter was the Simon Peter of Christian gospels.

Furthermore, Peter being associated with Rome was never promoted until the fourth century; that association appeared in Historia Eccleciasica by Eusebius of Caesarea (260?-340?).  Eusebius was a theologian and church “historian,” who “improved” New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John into the so-called Ammonian Sections written in the margin of the texts.  He stood in high favor with the Emperor Constantine, and it is only by Eusebius’ assertion that Constantine is believed to have converted to Christianity.  It should be noted that Eusebius was not above rewriting history if it furthered his “spiritual” opinions or material obsessions.

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20 Responses to “Simon/Peter, Historical or Mythical”

  1. maryfollowsthelamb Says:

    Your post is interesting. I believe in a Creator of the Universe because I, with my admittedly limited intelligence, cannot see another explanation. But, I have big doubts about organized religion which I think was made by humans to control other humans, that is, we got this directly from God and if you don’t do as we say, God is going to get you not just now (if there weren’t immediate results), but for eternity.

    I DO believe there is a cosmic energy that animates us, sustains us, and will take us back into itself eventually.

    It is fascinating to learn about, particularly in the times we live in.

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      I understand your apprehension concerning the premise put forth in this post. We should always remember that many facts are unacknowledged even in genuine history, but the convenient omission of minor facts are often what makes claims of a faith system seem reliable. The next blog, hopefully, may bring some clarification. CMH

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