The idea that Cephas and Peter might be two distinct individuals was 
completely new to me and I'm still digesting it. So I'm not sure if the
contribution I'm about to make is sensible, but here it is:

In view of John 1:42 (if for no other reason) we ought to presume identity 
until a strong case can be advanced to doubt it. Paul always refers to Cephas,
except in Galatians, so the problem then becomes explaining why Paul changes 
from Cephas to Peter and back in Gal 2 unless he's talking about two different
people. I don't believe the familiarity or "first-name basis" argument 
advanced earlier in this thread will hold water. But maybe we can find another 

According to Acts 15:23ff, the result of the Jerusalem "apostolic council" 
was that an official letter was sent to Antioch and perhaps elsewhere. The 
text of that letter as given in Acts 15, however, reads to me like a Lucan 
editorial construction.

Suppose though that Luke is correctly reporting the fact that a letter was 
sent. Such a letter might easily (?!) have included an explicit validation 
of Paul's mission, i.e., a pronouncement to the effect that "Just as God has 
entrusted Peter with the gospel to the circumcised, so he has entrusted Paul 
with the gospel to the uncircumcised." 

What I'm suggesting is that the shift from Cephas to Peter in Gal 2:7-8 
could arise because Paul in those verses is alluding to or quoting from some 
document or source which his Galatian readers would be familiar with. Is this 
too speculative or is it a reasonable possibility? 

The Revd. William Raines  ||   Tel: 061-224 1310
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