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Why the Vatican suppressed the Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Peter is considered by theologians to be the most important of all suppressed Gospels, and attempts have been made since its discovery to have it included in modern-day New Testaments. Scholars have always recognized that such a Gospel once existed, for it is referenced in the writings of Justin Martyr and Bishop Eusebius, although its fate and whereabouts remained a mystery. Remarkably, a major extract was discovered by Mr. U. Bouriant in the tomb of a monk at Upper Egypt during archaeological excavations in that area during 1886 and 1887. Sound historical research is not a speculative discipline and modern science has become Christianity’s most serious opponent, as the discovery of the Gospel of Peter shows.
Rev. D. H. Stanton, in The Journal of Theological Studies said: ‘The conclusion with which we are confronted is that the Gospel of Peter once held a place of honour comparable to that assigned to the four Gospels, perhaps even higher than some of them’. This conclusion is supported by a reference of Justin Martyr (circa 160) to the Gospel then called Petra (Peter, today) but there is evidence in the Secret Vatican Archives that the writings attributed to Justin Martyr were written in the Fifth Century and retrospectively applied to him.¹ Serapion of Antioch (c. 205) records that ‘an odd writing called Petra’ was in presbyterial use during his time but later, according to Eusebius (d. 339) it was ‘withheld’ because ‘it contained some heresy’. That ‘heresy’ was the fact that Apollo was the god mentioned in that Gospel, not Jesus Christ, and the latter’s name was written over Apollo’s name in more modern times.
Why the tomb was empty
Previous to its suppression, the Gospel of Peter was in use in presbyter’s orations at Rhossus in Cilicia (c. 318), as well as in several other gatherings around that time.² Thus, Church history records the Fifth Century suppression of the Gospel of Peter, and, in the midst of these facts, we are able to appreciate more justly the lack of originality making up the present-day canon of the New Testament.
The account of the now-called Gospel of Peter is freer from constraint and has escaped centuries of censorship and editing imposed upon the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. While in general, the story of Jesus Christ’s trial and crucifixion narrated in the Gospel of Peter is sourced directly from the second Gospel written, Matthew,³ the detail is very different. There are 207 variations between the Gospel of Peter and the four canonical Gospels of today. Two important points are relevant:
1. The crucifixion took place in Rome (not Jerusalem) on Wednesday.
2. The body of ‘the anarchist palisaded by Pontius Pilate’ was removed when ‘two men entered the tomb and three emerged, two dragging the other’.4
That an ancient Gospel was once used in the evolving Christian Church revealing that two men physically removed a body from a tomb creates serious questions for the priesthood, and provides an obvious reason why the Gospel of Peter was suppressed. It also supports documentation in the first Gospel written, that of Mark, which, in its oldest available form, is void of a resurrection description. Here we see documentary evidence that two early Christian Gospels fail to record a resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.5 It must be said that the pertinacity with which the work of suppression, misrepresentation and concealment of real Christian history was conducted makes the guilt of the successors of the founding fathers as great as that of those who established the system.
¹’How The Great Pan Died’, Professor Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, Mille Meditations, MCMLXVIII
²’Ecclesiastical History’, Eusebius
³’Encyclopedia Britannica’, 9th Ed. Vol. 10, ‘Gospels’
4Gospel of Peter, 1: 9-10, Professor Jamieson’s translation, 1921
5’Three Early Doctrinal Modifications of the Text of the Gospels’, The Hibbert Journal, London, 1902
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