Bart Ehrman wrote regarding textual variants for "Cephas" in
Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11:
>There are to be sure some mss that read "Peter" in each place.
>But textual specialists are unified (to my knowledge, without
>serious dissent) that this is simply the occasional change
>of the less familiar to the more throughout the tradition.
>That is to say, just as modern commentators unreflectively say
>"Peter" when they see "Cephas", so too the ancient scribes.
>The MSS alignments in each of these cases make this judgement,
>I think, altogether certain. There is not even a question, I
>believe, about the presence of "Peter" in 2:7-8.
Thanks very much for clarifying! I knew Nestle's, but what
threw me off was the presence of variants in the Greek of the
Jay Green Interlinear (Baker Book House), as well as the
Peshitta. But I've since discovered (by reading the preface--
duh--as in, when all else fails, read the instructions) that
the Greek text in the Jay Green Interlinear is not a product
of text criticism from today; it is an 1894 critical
reconstruction of the Greek text used by the King James
translators in 1611. Why Jay Green or Baker Book House would
choose to use a Greek text with mistakes from 1611 is beyond
As for the Peshitta, James Clemens in "Some Questions on the
Syriac Support for Variant Greek Readings" (NT 10 : 26-30)
is clear in supporting what Ehrman says above, that the Syriac
translators were demonstrably loose with rendering names
elsewhere and therefore cannot be considered evidential in
I'm relieved! Nestle's "Cephas" in Gal 1:18, 2:9, and 11 and
"Peter" in 2:7-8 is not subject to serious question. Now
to get on to what this information means . . .
West Linn, Oregon