The possibility that Kephas and Peter may be two distinct individuals is
not a new question: See the refs. in R. E. Brown, K. P. Donfried, J.
Reumann (eds.), _Peter in the New Testament_ (Augsburg & Paulist, 1973),
p. 24, n. 54, for refs. from as far back as the early decades of this
For the current discussion, a question or two.
(1) Am I correct that there is no attestation of either name prior to the
Christian usage? I.e., we do have full studies on names used in lst
cent. Palestine and neither name occurs, I believe. Both appear to
emerge as nova in early Christianity.
(2) Is it significant that each is a serviceable translation-name of the
(3) Is it significant that both seem to have a symbolic connotation "rock"?
(4) Is it significant that the only refs. to a Kephas are in Paul, and
only in passages where he is at pains to assert his rights and status vis
a vis Jerusalem authorities? (I wonder, in other words, if "Kephas" is
not to be seen as mainly a rhetorical device of Paul to show that he's on
a "first-name basis" with "Peter" and can name drop with the best of them.)
Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba
- Re: Cephas
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- Re: Cephas
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