From: cogwriter

Linus of Rome

Who was Linus? Did he know the Apostle Paul? Was he the first pope? Was he the second bishop of Rome after the Apostle Peter? Was he even a bishop?

The generally touted Catholic position is that Linus was the second pope, that he was ordained by Peter, and that all other leaders passed through him (Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni, Roma, 1997, p. 1).

Is any of that correct?

This article will refer to the Bible, historical records, and Roman Catholic sources to attempt to properly answer those questions.



What do we actually know based upon the Bible and historical fact?

There was once a Christian named Linus who knew the Apostle Paul. Linus, at least for a time, lived in Rome. The Bible does not record that Linus was the obvious future leader of all Christians. Linus was NOT an apostle, NOT a pope, and NOT even a bishop.

We have no real information about his life, his teachings, or his death.

Most of the traditions ascribed to him have been admitted by Roman Catholic scholars to be in error, with others admitted to be without historical foundation. And many accounts are in contradiction.

Contemporary history records nothing about him, other than Paul’s mention, and later Irenaeus lists him (over one hundred years after his death).

The only Linus we know of was a Christian who lived and served in Rome, but of whom we have no reason to believe he was the spiritual successor of Peter. Therefore the often repeated Roman claim that they have an unbroken line of successors from Peter beginning with Linus is historically inaccurate.

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