In Defense of Peter
For nearly 2000 years now, Peter via Paul has been portrayed as a bumbler from whom Paul had to rescue the ‘church.’ Why? Well according to Paul, Peter was a hypocrite and Paul and only Paul had the authority to condemn Peter. Paul very plainly states in Gal 2:11 that he withstood Peter to his face and that Peter was condemned.
So for 2000 years, no one ever got to hear Peter’s side of the story. And Paul’s charge has been left unanswered. Which is a shame because there was an answer, a very lengthy one in which Peter so decimated Paul’s charges and Paul doctrine, let alone Paul’s Damascus road ‘vision’ that many of Paul’s followers left him and repented for being so carried away with the doctrines of lawlessness.
Where can this rebuttal of Paul by Peter be found? In the Clementine Homilies. In the past several years, pro-Pauline scholars have had to grudgingly admit that the Simon character in the Homilies was in fact and in reality one Saul of Tarsus. Their doctrines were identical as well as their ‘experiences.’ Both had the Damascus Road vision as is referred to in homily 17. Peter blasted this to pieces. In short Peter said ‘If our Teacher had appeared to you as you claim, then it was as an ‘Enraged Adversary’ and not as a friend. Read for yourself these rebuttal’s by Peter.
If, then, our Jesus appeared to you in a vision, made Himself known to you, and spoke to you, it was as one who is enraged with an adversary; and this is the reason why it was through visions and dreams, or through revelations that were from without, that He spoke to you. But can any one be rendered fit for instruction through apparitions? And if you will say, ‘It is possible,’ then I ask, ‘Why did our teacher abide and discourse a whole year to those who were awake?’ And how are we to believe your word, when you tell us that He appeared to you? And how did He appear to you, when you entertain opinions contrary to His teaching? But if you were seen and taught by Him, and became His apostle for a single hour, proclaim His utterances, interpret His sayings, love His apostles, contend not with me who companied with Him. For in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church, you now stand. If you were not opposed to me, you would not accuse me, and revile the truth proclaimed by me, in order that I may not be believed when I state what I myself have heard with my own ears from the Lord, as if I were evidently a person that was condemned and in bad repute. But if you say that I am condemned, you bring an accusation against God, who revealed the Christ to me, and you inveigh against Him who pronounced me blessed on account of the revelation. But if, indeed, you really wish to work in the cause of truth, learn first of all from us what we have learned from Him, and, becoming a disciple of the truth, become a fellow-worker with us.
Indeed there is so much wisdom contained in the homilies concerning those things which Yahshua taught his disciples as to nearly make your head swim at their brilliance and simplicity.
In Homily 19, Peter actually backs up a step and says something to this effect. I apologize for declaring you the most wicked man alive, for I have never met your like or equal. But on this wise I now declare Simon/Paul that you more wicked than the ‘Devil’ himself. For the Devil never blasphemes the Holy One. Yet you blaspheme with every breath, this even the Devil does not do.’
So again for nearly 2000 years Paul had his way with Peter with none to come to Peter’s defense. The Clementine Homilies you see did not make the canon of the Roman Bible so commonly called the New Testament. At the time of Nicean Council the followers of Paul enjoyed much political favor as opposed to those of the Followers of Yahshua. It would have meant a religious civil war in Rome if Paul had not received the pre-eminance his followers demanded. So in comes Paul and virtually, out goes Peter. In all fairness though it was Martin Luther that so ignobly exalted Paul way beyond due measure.
But let’s put things back into perspective. Peter one of chosen 12, one of the inner circle of disciples. Peter ordained by Yahshua as one of the 12 eternal Kings of Israel. Peter with one of 12 gates of the Heavenly Cit with his name on the gate. Peter entrusted by Yahshua to be the ‘Shepherd of His sheep.’
And where is Paul in all this honor, NOWHERE! He is not found receiving any honor whatsoever from the mouth of Yahshua.