Petrus Romanus Pope Francis Perpetuates the Petrine Ploy

Pope Francis NecropolisPope Francis became the first Pope to descend into the necropolis in order to visit the doubtful tomb claimed for Peter. In ancient Roman paganism, an aedicula is a small shrine. The term “aedicule” derives from the Latin “aedes,” a temple building or house. Many aediculae were household shrines that held small altars or statues of the Lares and Penates. The Lares were Roman deities protecting the house. The Penates were patron gods or household gods. It was proximate to a pagan shrine like this that the bones of Peter were allegedly discovered. But it is not at all clear that the bones originated from there. The tale is quite suspicious. Catholic archeologist, Padre Antonio Ferrua, excavated a vast Roman cemetery that underlies St. Peter’s Square and basilica. According to his 1951 report, the excavations that had begun there in 1939 had unearthed a necropolis and some twenty pagan mausoleums but no trace of Peter. According to investigative journalist Tom Mueller:

“Ferrua and his colleagues had in fact worked with remarkable objectivity: despite intense pressure from the Vatican community, they reported no trace of Peter—not one inscription that named him, not even amid all the graffiti on his supposed tomb. Strangest of all, they discovered that the earth directly beneath the aedicula was empty.”[1]

Frustrated, Pope Pius XII demanded further research by Vatican loyal epigraphist, Margherita Guarducci. She inverted the previous findings, discovering drawings and inscriptions that Ferrua’s team had bizarrely overlooked after over a decade of investigation, including an inscription near the aedicula that she rendered as “Peter is within.” It is dubious that the original investigation reported nothing of the sort and innuendo and accusation still continue.

The grave that is now claimed by the Church to be that of St. Peter lies at the foot of the aedicula beneath the floor. In 1953, long after the initial twelve-year archeological effort had come up empty, another set of bones were found that were said to have been removed without the archeologists’ knowledge from a niche in the north side of a wall on the right of the aedicula. Subsequent testing indicated that these were the bones of a sixty- to seventy-year-old man. Meuller reported:

In the snarl of graffiti on Peter’s tomb she discerned a “mystic cryptography,” with countless coded messages about the Apostle. At length she even produced Peter’s remains. A sampietrino had shown her a wooden box of bones, she explained, which were inside the masonry surrounding the aedicula when the archaeologists first discovered it. Somehow they had overlooked the precious relics, and Monsignor Kaas later tucked them away for safekeeping. Scientific tests arranged by Guarducci indicated that the bones had been wrapped in a cloth of royal purple stitched with gold, and were those of a man of sixty to seventy years and a robust physique—the bones, she argued, of the Apostle.[2]

In other words, these bones were not even discovered at the actual site; rather, they were found in a storeroom and alleged to petrus_STL Correctedhave been spirited away from the site. In addition to the human remains, the suspicious box contained sheep, ox, pig, and mouse bones. Most discrediting, there are no witnesses to place its origin at the site. This level of contamination makes the dubious discovery invalid by scientific standards. Who can say these bones were not simply planted by the demonstrably frustrated Vatican? This appears to be the case. Dr. Robert Beckford, a theology lecturer at Oxford Brookes University remarked, “We found that there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that Peter was buried in Rome, but yet the rival theory has not got out because it challenges the Church. If you undermine its basis for power you undermine the Church. It’s tragic that the faith gets reduced to manipulating the facts and to one Church trying to make itself superior to others.”[3]

Pope Pius XII stated in December 1950 that it could not be confirmed to be Saint Peter’s grave with absolute certainty. However, following the discovery of further bones and an inscription, much later in 1968, Pope Paul VI announced that the relics of St. Peter had been identified.

While there is no good reason to believe the Vatican’s evidence, scientifically rigorous archeological evidence suggests that Peter was not buried in the pagan capital. Over a century ago, a French Christian archaeologist, Charles Claremont-Gannueau, wrote a little-known report, dated November 13, 1873, from Jerusalem to the Palestine Exploration Fund. In this report he told of his monumental discovery. In a cave near Bethany in the Mount of Olives, a group of Jewish ossuaries (stone coffins) from the first century of the Christian era were found. To his great surprise, Claremont-Gannueau found that these ancient Jewish stone coffins contained the names of numerous individuals mentioned in the New Testament as members of the Jerusalem Church. Even more interesting were the signs of the cross etched on several of the ossuaries.

In John’s Gospel, we read, “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha” (John 11:1; emphasis added). The Mount of Olives was within walking distance of the ancient town of Bethany and the tomb discovered by Clermont-Ganneau contained names which correspond to the names in the New Testament. He discovered inscriptions including the names of “Eleazar” (“Lazarus”), “Martha,” and “Mary” on three different coffins. He also found inscriptions of the name “Yeshua” (“Jesus”) inscribed commemoratively on several the ossuaries. One coffin, also bearing cross marks on it, was inscribed with the name “Shlom-zion” followed by the designation “daughter of Simon the Priest.” Clermont-Ganneau wrote in his report:

This catacomb on the Mount of Olives belonged apparently to one of the earliest families which joined the new religion of Christianity. In this group of sarcophagi [coffins], some of which have the Christian symbol [cross marks] and some have not, we are, so to speak, [witnessing the] actual unfolding of Christianity. Personally, I think that many of the Hebrew-speaking people whose remains are contained in these ossuaries were among the first followers of Christ… The appearance of Christianity at the very gates of Jerusalem is, in my opinion, extraordinary and unprecedented. Somehow the new [Christian] doctrine must have made its way into the Jewish system… The association of the sign of the cross with written in Hebrew alone constitutes a valuable fact.[4]

The French archaeologist realized that there was a high degree of probability that these tombs belonged to the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, the close friends of Jesus. Claremont-Gannueau wrote further, “By a singular coincidence, which from the first struck me forcibly, these inscriptions, found close to the Bethany road, and very near the site of the village, contain nearly all the names of the personages in the Gospel scenes which belonged to the place: Eleazar (Lazarus), Simon, Martha…a host of other coincidences occur at the sight of all these most evangelical names.”[5] Despite its monumental historical importance, this report was mysteriously never mentioned in the newspapers of the day. As a result, it was virtually lost to history.

Several years later very close by on the Mount of Olives, another by archaeologist, P. Bagatti, found and excavated another catacomb holding one hundred ossuaries. Based on inscribed crosses, the Chi Rho symbol, and the name “Yeshua,” Baggati concluded that these were also Jewish followers of Jesus Christ. Coins minted by Roman Governor Varius Gratus (AD 16) proved that these tombs were used for burial of Christians before the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The ossuaries contained the following names inscribed on their sides, together with Christian symbols or the name of Jesus: Jonathan, Joseph, Jarius, Judah, Matthias, Menahem, Salome, Simon, and Zechariah. While many of these names appear in the New Testament records of the Early Church at Jerusalem, the most fascinating ossuary was the one inscribed with crosses and the name “Sapphira.” This is a very unique name which has not been found in Jewish literature of the period outside the New Testament passage Acts 5: 1. Luke recorded the death of this woman and her husband when they lied to God and the Church (Acts 5:1, 5–10). “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession…” This very unique name eliminates reasonable doubt that this was indeed the tomb of early Christians.

SimonSimon 2[6]

Of course, the most controversial find of all was a coffin bearing the unusual inscription “Shimon bar Yonah” which is the full name Jesus used in the Matthew 16:17, ironically the favorite proof text of the papists. It seems improbable that a three-term name could refer to any other than the apostle Peter. Compounding a fully intact name with the fact it was found in a Christian burial ground amongst probable New Testament contemporaries from the very time in which Peter lived, the evidence is very convincing. The archeology was also conducted with scientific rigor sorely lacking in the Vatican’s Rome effort. One marvels at the Vatican’s feigned indifference at what is likely one of most important archeological finds in Christian history. This blatant neglect of evidence can only be explained by their vested interest in maintaining the mythology of the papacy.

Unfortunately, the Vatican seems all too willing to deceive its faithful. According to F. Paul Peterson, a Franciscan monk who knew the archaeologist Bagatti:

“Father Bagatti told me personally that three years ago he went to the Pope (Pius XII) in Rome and showed him the evidence and the Pope said to him, ‘Well, we will have to make some changes, but for the time being, keep this thing quiet’.” In awe I asked also in a subdued voice, “So the Pope really believes that those are the bones of St. Peter?”

“Yes,” was his answer. “The documentary evidence is there, he could not help but believe.”[7]

It truly seems that the Vatican has sought to suppress this important archaeological find simply to preserve their legend that Peter was the first pope. Yet right before our eyes lays the greatest proof that Peter was never a pope in Rome. If he had been, it would have certainly been written in the New Testament. The traditions of Peter in Rome can only be traced back to the second century, yet the archeological evidence at the Mount of Olives traces right back to the time of apostles. This is highly suggestive that Peter was never a pope in Rome and Pope Francis is perpetuating the lie of his predecessors.

(This is a brief excerpt from Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here)

[1] Tom Mueller, “Inside Job,” The Atlantic Monthly (October 2003), Last accessed November 10, 2011,

[2] Tom Mueller, “Inside Job.”

[3] Jonathan Wynne-Jones, “St. Peter Was Not the First Pope and Never Went to Rome, Claims Channel 4,” The Telegraph, March 23, 2008,

[4] F. Paul Peterson, Peter’s Tomb Recently Discovered In Jerusalem (4th Edition, 1971). (Copies may be obtained from your local bookstore or from the author and publisher, F. Paul Peterson, P.O. Box 7351, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Price $2.00. Permission is granted to reproduce any part of this book if title, price, and address where it may be purchased are given. (Cris Putnam obtained this information here:; also featured in a documentary: The Secrets of the 12 Disciples, BBC Channel 4, transmitted on 23 March 2008. Entire quote is also cited here: Grant R. Jefferey, Jesus the Great Debate, [Random House Digital Inc, 1999] no page #, chapter 5, last accessed January 20, 2012, Also portions in an article viewable here: Jean Gilman, “Jerusalem Burial Cave Reveals: Names, Testimonies of First Christians,” Leadership U, last accessed January 20, 2012,

[5] Ibid.

[6] (Photo under same terms as above: “Permission is granted to reproduce any part of this book if title, price, and address where it may be purchased are given.”) See here:

[7] Ibid. This quote is only in the originally cited source.

Quake Reveals Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion

New geological data confirms the date arrived at by my historical research.

Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was most likely crucified on Friday April 3, 33 A.D.

The latest investigation, reported in the journal International Geology Review, focused on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, located 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion:

I find this confirmation encouraging because I came to this same dating using much older data and historical research over a year ago and even made a video.

See my original post here:

New Study Supports an Early Exodus Date

If you have studied the Exodus in any depth you are aware that scholars are divided as to whether it occurred in the 15th or 13th century BC. I have argued for the earlier date, here. Here’s a the story on a fresh reading of an ancient inscription published on the Associates for Biblical Research site:

New Evidence Supporting the Early (Biblical) Date of the Exodus and Conquest: The Berlin Topographical Statue Base Relief
Bryant G. Wood, PhD

Evangelical scholars are divided as to when the Exodus-Conquest events took place—some say the 15th century BC, while others hold to the 13th century BC. The chronological data in the Bible, however, clearly indicates that these events transpired in the 15th century BC, the Exodus occurring in 1446 BC and the Conquest 1406–1400 BC. Now, for the first time, we have evidence from an Egyptian source which supports the earlier Biblical dating…

Read the rest of Dr. Wood’s article on the ABR website »


Earthquake Data Confirms Holy Friday As A Very Supernatural Day

The events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ have puzzled scholars for millennia. Is there evidence to corroborate the supernatural events described in the Gospels?  This presentation will demonstrate that indeed there are multiple lines of corroborating evidence. The first task of determining the exact date for the death of Jesus is problematic. There are good arguments for both 30 and 33 AD. Luke places the beginning of Jesus’ ministry shortly following John the Baptists’ during “the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius” (Lk 3:1). Augustus died in AD 14 and was succeeded by Tiberius.[1] A straight forward reckoning would place Jesus’ baptism in AD 29. However, many scholars believe that Luke may have Tiberius’s reign from the time when Augustus raised Tiberius to be coregent in AD 11.[2] Thus, we arrive at a date of AD 26-27 for Jesus Baptism.

To determine the length of Jesus’ ministry John’s gospel is the most useful. John mentions at least three Passovers during Jesus’ ministry (John 2:23; 6:4; 12:1).[3] This infers a bare minimum of two years. There is an unnamed feast in Jerusalem which many commentators believe to be a fourth Passover (Jn. 5:1).[4] This appears plausible because the Passover in John 2:23 occurred in the spring, hence the soon harvest in John 4:35 indicates 9 months had passed. John also mentions events in Galilee preceding the Passover mentioned in John 6:4.[5]This leads us to postulate a three year ministry.

Thus we can infer a date of AD 30 or 33 depending on how one reckons Tiberius’ fifteenth year.  This is supported by Luke’s assertion that Jesus was about thirty years of age when he began his ministry (Lk. 3:23) given a 5-4 BC birth. Still yet, because his death was on the Friday day of Preparation (Mk 15:42) and the month of Nisan was based on the New Moon, we can derive two possible dates Nisan 14 or 15. Those days possibly fall on Friday in either AD 30 or 33. Hence, the two most probable dates are Nisan 14 (April 3), AD 33, and Nisan 14-15 (April 6- 7), A.D. 30.[6] Perhaps we can find other evidence which will favor one date over the other.

With the dramatic events described one wonders if there is any extrabiblical evidence in the historical record. There is more than you might expect. Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, born about A.D. 80 and wrote in the 2nd century AD. The ancient Greeks calculated dates based on their Olympic games every four years. His chief work was the Olympiads, an historical compendium in sixteen books, from the 1st down to the 229th Olympiad (776 BC to AD 137), of which several chapters are preserved in the historian Eusebius’ Chronicle. The early church fathers were well aware of Phlegon’s writings and used his history in their apologetics.

The historian Eusebius quoted Phlegon directly in his chronicles:

Indeed Phlegon, who is an excellent calculator of olympiads, also writes about this, in his 13th book writing thus:

However in the fourth year of the 202nd olympiad, an eclipse of the sun happened, greater and more excellent than any that had happened before it; at the sixth hour, day turned into dark night, so that the stars were seen in the sky, and an earthquake in Bithynia toppled many buildings of the city of Nicaea.[7]

The fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad ran from summer of 32 to summer of 33 AD because the first Olympiad occurred in 776 BC.  Hence, Phlegon’s history favors the 33 AD date. Furthermore, Origen confirms the existence of this data in his debate with the skeptic Celsus:

He [Celsus] imagines also that both the earthquake and the darkness were an invention; but regarding these, we have in the preceding pages, made our defense, according to our ability, adducing the testimony of Phlegon, who relates that these events took place at the time when our Savior suffered.[8]

Julius Africanus further refers to the writings of historian Thallus who wrote concerning the possibility of a solar eclipse:

This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let that opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye.  Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Cæsar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth—manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. But it was a darkness induced by God, because the Lord happened then to suffer.[9]

As Africanus realized, a solar eclipse concurrent with a full moon is a scientific impossibility. In response to this, the christian apologist Tertullian understood this as how those ignorant of Christ explained the mysterious darkness:

In the same hour, too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze. Those who were not aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it an eclipse. You yourselves have the account of the world-portent still in your archives.[10]

Tertullian was confident that the reports were available in the archives, yet he does not think it necessary to view the darkness as an eclipse. Indeed an eclipse was simply the first century skeptics attempt to explain away the supernatural events surrounding Jesus death. While it is nice to have these ancient confirmations I wondered if there was anything modern science might reveal. Indeed there are surprising confirmations.

The Israel Exploration Journal published by the institute of archeology at the Hebrew University published an article “Earthquakes in Israel and Adjacent Areas: Macrosismic Observations since 100 BCE.” On page 265 they list a slight earthquake in Jerusalem in AD 30 and one in AD 33 which affected Judea, Jerusalem including damage to the temple![11]

Indeed it appears scientific analysis has corroborated the Biblical account. There was indeed an earthquake in Jerusalem, one which even damaged the temple. Does this prove the account in the Gospels? Well to claim proof might be too strong… but given the evidence it sure does make putting your trust in Jesus seem like a reasonable proposition. The Bible tells us that all have fallen short of God’s righteous standard. But, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”” (Ro 10:9-11)



Earthquake Data Reference Key:
S A. Sieberg: Untersuchungen uber Erdbeden und Bruchschollenbau im ostlichen Mittelmeergebiet, Denkschruften der medizinisch-naturwissenschafilichen Gesellschaft zu Jena 18 (1932), pp 159-273. 

R G.L. Araniakis: Essai sur le climat de Jersalem, Bulletin de l’Institut d’Egypte ser. 4,t. 4, 1903, pp. 178-189. 

W B. Willis: Earthquakes in the Holy Land, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 18 (1928), pp.73-103. Amendment in Science, Vol. 77, No. 1997, 7 April 1933, p. 351.


[1] Thomas D. Lea and David Alan Black, The New Testament : Its Background and Message, 2nd ed. (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 96.

[2] Lea, The New Testament,  97.

[3] Lea, The New Testament, 96.

[4] Elmer Towns, The Gospel of John Believe and Live, (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2002),43.

[5]Lea, The New Testament, 96.

[6] D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, Second Edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), 126.

[7] Phlegon, 13th book 202 Olympiad in Chronicle (English Translation by Tertullian Project), Jerome

[8] Origen, Contra Celsus Book II Chap. LIX

[9] Julius Africanus. The Extant Fragments of the Chronography, XVIII

[11] D.H.K. Amiran; E. Arieh; Turcotte, “Earthquakes in Israel and Adjacent Areas: Macrosismic Observations since 100 BCE,” Israel Exploration Journal 44 (1994):260-305.


New Research Posted: Exodus Evidence

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the biblical Exodus. It ranges from spurious accounts of Mount Sinai being located in Saudi Arabia all the way to a complete dismissal as Hebrew mythology. In the Biblical narrative we have an enduring tradition that forms the basis for the majority of the world’s monotheistic religion. It deserves more respect than a dismissive waving of the postmodern hand or the wild irresponsible claims by untrained glory hounds. It may seem an incredible tale. Indeed the Bible records that the Israelites supernaturally received water from a rock and daily manna from the sky. Incredible as this is, protesting a lack of pottery is to not respect what the text says. This is, after all, an account of God’s work, not a secular history. However, we do have evidence. We should perceive the account to have historic and linguistic verisimilitude. Through archeological, historical, etymological and geographic research one can by logical induction discern that the Biblical text reflects historical veracity not legendary fabrication.

The Exodus account and wilderness journey is foundational to the truth claims of Judaism and Christianity. For the believer, it is not merely the inerrancy doctrine at stake; it is the character and deity of Jesus Christ.  Jesus boldly proclaimed “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died (John 6:49). Clearly, Jesus affirmed the exodus account as true history.  This creates a challenge for the Christian researcher because there is probably no other Biblical narrative more frequently undermined other than the Genesis creation account. Even amongst sincere believers there are conflicting theories being offered. Some are shamefully staged, while others are misguided. I contend that the Exodus account was a real event occurring in 1446 BC, that it can be inferred circumstantially in Egyptian records, and that the most plausible biblically consistent route is across the y’m su’p (reed sea) and down the western coast of the Sinai Peninsula into the mid-southern Sinai to the holy mountain and back up the Eastern side of the Sinai toward Kadesh-barnea and the Promised Land.

Please look to the top bar on this website and you will find a drop down menu Exodus Research with each section of my research. You may be surprised along the way but our journey through the desert will be a fruitful one. The evidence for the Exodus is not the typical pottery shards and bones yet it is compelling nonetheless.