Carl Conrad wrote:
>How does a fine Jewish boy named Simon get to be called Petros
>in Greek? . . . part of a demonstration that the traditional
>identification of Peter and Cephas is erroneous, particularly
>if it is argued that Peter is the original Simon Bar-Jona,
>should be to explain that name transformation. Or at least
>it would help?
There are numerous ways this could have happened other than
Jesus naming him Kepha and Kepha being translated into Petros
in Greek. Let me outline one scenario, and I emphasize that
is all this is. Simon is known as Simon at first, and then
at some point (post-crucifixion?) receives, for whatever reason,
the epithet or name "Stone" *in Greek*. He receives this
name in Greek because he is, in fact, a Greek-speaking "apostle
to the circumcision" in the Diaspora, where they speak Greek.
According to Gal 2:7-8, Peter had probably received a handshake
just like Paul, from the pillars in Jerusalem. I interpret
"apostleship to the circumcision" to mean Peter made trips into
the Diaspora. (Cp. Peter's multilingual address to Jews of the
Diaspora of Acts 2.)
Since Greek was the language of the Diaspora, this would be the
primary language in which Peter worked. Peter would have been
fluent in Greek from having grown up bilingual--and his Greek
affinities are seen in his own Greek name and that of his
brother (Andrew), as well as consistent with his city of
origin (Bethsaida). His name Petros would originate in Greek
and become his name. Only later, when Christian historians
such as the author of Luke-Acts decided to trace the lineage
of the church via Peter (instead of via James), did "Stone"
become etymologized into the Foundation Rock for the church,
or something similar.
By this proposal, the fact that "Stone" is semantically
equivalent to Kepha's name would be a coincidence.
West Linn, Oregon
- Re: Cephas
- From: Carl W Conrad <email@example.com>