Larry Hurtado wrote:
>Greg, I checked every place I could think of in the Fitzmyer
>volume you mentioned (_Essays on the Semitic Background of
>the NT_) and could find no ref. to a usage of Keypha as a proper
>name outside the NT.
My apologies. The correct reference is Fitzmyer, _To Advance
the Gospel_ (New York, 1981), p. 112-123, esp. 116-117. An
Aramaic text at Elephantine dated 416 BCE giving a list of
witnesses for a transfer of ownership of a slave names one
'Aqab, son of Kepha'. Fitzmyer: "The _br_ that precedesit
makes it clear that _kp'_ is a proper name; so it can no longer
be maintained that the name is unattested."
However your point is still strong. One attestation outside
of Judea four centuries earlier and not even know whether it
is even properly an Aramaic name (or an
Aramaic transliteration of aan Egyptian name) is very weak.
I proposed that *Kalphai (Alphaeus in the gospels) underwent
a regular sound change when pronounced in Greek and was
transliterated in Greek as Kepha. However, (a) I'm still
unclear whether this is sound linguistically; and (b) it
is troubling to me (by my theory) that Kepha by coincidence
ends up exactly what the Greek transliteration would be for
Aramaic kepha, "rock." Both BH occurrances of "kepha
in Job and Jeremiah are rendered "petra" in the LXX.
Furthermore, titles or epithets certainly are translatable,
as that example of Augustus/Sebaste from someone as well
as your and other examples demonstrate.
And I agree with you that the second century and later
sources so well cited in Bart's article are all reasonably
explained as reflecting apologetic concerns to avoid conflict
between Paul and Peter (or alternatively, simple readings
to explain the two names), i.e. they are not evidential that
I can see.
And yet, after conceding all of these points there is still,
as Bart pointed out, the tradition of I Cor 15 that Paul
"received" and appears to be quoting. There is "Kepha".
And in every other instance, Paul uses Kepha, except for
that switch in Galatians which remains unexplained (which
does not rule out a switch happening for reasons
uncoverable to us). *Why does Paul e Kepha?* Acts
uses Peter, and Papias uses Peter.
The possibilites as I see it come down to: (a) Peter and
Kepha are the same figure; (b) Kepha is a proper name and
a different person from Simon surnamed Petros; (c) two
figures had the same title or surname.
My gut feeling still says (b) is slightly more likely to
be true. I see (c) as the least probable, given the absence
of evidence that Petros/Rock was a name of an office or
function. I think I may post my question on this Alphaeus
etymology to b-hebrew and see if it flies or gets shot
down there. If my Alphaeus suggestion won't work, which
is the only reasonable way I know to have Kepha be a name
(since it wasn't circulating in Palestine at the time
in Aramaic otherwise), then I'll post a big White Flag
of surrender on b-greek, dedicated to Larry Hurtado.
Where I was going to go next, if Alphaeus/Kepha holds up,
was to propose that "Clopas" (Jn 19:25) which is Alphaeus
(this is conventional scholarship) was *misunderstood* as
the known Greek name Cleopas (male form of Cleopatra).
This then identifies the Kepha resurrection appearance as
Cleopas on the road to Emmaus; and also accounts for why
Eusebius reports a tradition of a sect called "Cleobians"
in Judea. It brings to life a major figure in his own
right. But the viability of Alphaeus/Kepha is the key
issue at this point, as I see it.
West Linn, Oregon
- Re: Cephas
- From: "Larry W. Hurtado" <email@example.com>