Concordia Theological Monthly

Article Title

How Peter Became Pope

Publication Date


Document Type



rome, bishop of rome, st. peter, pope, christians, clement, origen, tertullian

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


Waiving discussion, let us assume that Peter came to Rome shortly before· his death.

This humble "elder" begs his fellow-elders to feed the flock of God and not to be "lords over God's heritage, but examples to the flock." 1 Pet. 5, 1-3. How· did this humble elder grow into the infallible Pope who holds the place of God on earth?

Rome was the capital of the world, and the bishop naturally shared in the glory that was Rome’s.

All roads lead to Rome, and Christiana from all parts of the world came to Rome and become acquainted with the bishop in the world's capital, and as his influence spread abroad.

Even in Paul's day -the “faith of the Roman Christians was "proclaimed throughout the whole world," Rom. 1, 8.

The Roman Christians were zealous missionaries. . As early as 156 King Lucius asked them for missionaries to Britain, according to Tertullian and Bede. There were bishops in Mainz and Koeln as early as 185. In 180 Christians from Madaura and Numidia in North Africa were martyrs. There were Christians in Spain in the days of Irenaeus and Tertullian; they wore numerous in the days of Cyprian. (Harnack, Expansion, II.) Naturally the missions were greatly influenced by the mother church.


History of Christianity

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

1 Peter 5:1-3; Romans 1:8; Acts 13:7; Philippians 4:22; Matthew 16:13-19;

Submission Cost


Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars