The proposition is interesting, and I'm not in a position regarding the 
Aramaic to pass judgment on the whole, but one problem I see is with the 
pronunciation of the vowels: if Cephas is spelled in the Greek kEphas (I 
really want to write "Khphas"), then the eta would in this time period 
have the sound of our long E, whereas the -ai- would have the sound of 
our (English, that is) long A; should the I-sound evanesce, as you 
suggest, the remaining A would have an "AH" sound. I may be wrong here, 
but I would think the vocalic correspondences would tend to be preserved 
better in Hellenization of an Aramaic name. But I'm way out of my area of 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com