The theory Peter is derived from Cephas is a Petitio principii fallacy

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Alfred Persson., Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Alfred Persson.

    Alfred Persson.
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    The theory Peter is derived from Cephas is a Petitio principii fallacy

    People ask "how could the early Christians mistake Simon's Proper Name פטרוס/ Πέτρος/Petros/"Firstborn"--- likely from the Hebrew פֶּטֶר (Strong's 6363 PeTeR), with being a derivative of the common noun כֵּיפָא Κηφᾶς/Kepha when its so obvious from Jewish literary sources(1) Simon's name פטרוס/Petros existed well before he met Christ?" (Matthew 4:18; 16:18 "You ARE Petros"; John 1:40)

    I reply, How could they NOT mistake the Greek transliteration of פטרוס/πέτρος/Petros as being πέτρος/petros/"stone" when these are spelled precisely the same in Greek and the knowledge of Palestinian Jewish names current in Jesus' Day vanished as Christianity spread throughout the Gentile world? Of course they assumed Simon "Petros" meant Simon "Stone."

    BUT why should we perpetuate the mistakes of yesterday, today? Why does this issue receive just passing mention in scholarly circles?

    Petros as a Jewish Name?

    But it remains desirable to ask what Jewish dimensions, if any, this name is likely to have had. And is it conceivable that even the Greek name could have featured in a Hebrew or Aramaic source? It is after all only John 1:42 which, on a certain reading, might be taken to suggest that ‘Peter’ is a secondary translation of an existing name Ke¯fa ' . It is instructive to note, however, that two verses earlier the evangelist seems to undermine even this conventional assumption of the priority of ‘Cephas’ by referring casually to ‘Simon Peter’ (1:40).

    -Markus Bockmuehl, Simon Peter's Name in Jewish Sources, Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol IV, No. 1, Spring 2004. p. 71

    The ASSUMPTION Simon/Petros is from the common noun kepha is unsound:

    "Fr. the beginning it was prob. thought of as the Gk. equivalent of the Aram. כֵּיפָא= Κηφᾶς: J 1:42; cp. Mt 16:18 "- A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Bauer; University of Chicago Press, 1979) p. 654.

    As Jesus didn't call Simon Petros in John 1:42, nor give him the name Petros in Matthew 16:18 (You ARE Petros), there is no logical connection to Christ predicting Simon would be called Cephas in John 1:42. It was decades later that John explains the noun "cephas" is a "petros/stone"---PROVING these are not proper names as proper names are not explained in translation.

    Therefore the argument the proper name Petros is derived from Kephas based upon these texts has been "From the beginning, a Petitio principii fallacy."


    Its interesting to note an early Aramaic translation from the Greek renders this verse thusly:

    ואוף אנא אמר לך דאת הו פטרוס ועל הדא כיפא אנא בני בנישתי
    "And Ι say to thee, Thou art Petros, and on this kepha Ι shall build my church"


    -Chrys C. Caragounis, Peter And The Rock (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin; New York 1990), p. 34


    Matthew 16:18 is an obvious Janus Parallelism on the Homonym PETROS using both meanings "firstborn" and "rock."

    The precise wording found in our Greek texts preserved perfectly the meaning of Christ. This likely is why the context wasn't repeated in other gospels...any change in wording would destroy the pun.

    Confirming Peter's New Birth---First born of the divinely revealed Christ and under that Rubric Christ will build His Church---is the clear Romans 10:6ff dependence upon Matthew 16:15-20:


    6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart,`Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
    7 or, "`Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
    8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart " (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
    9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
    10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    (Rom 10:6-10 NKJ)


    FOOTNOTES
    (1) Markus Bockmuehl, "Simon Peter's Name In Jewish Sources", Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol IV, No. 1, Spring 2004: "The currency of Peter's name is confirmed in Tal Ilan's identification of three additional first and second century Palestinian Jewish individuals who bear the name Petros." pp. 71-71 cf. Ftn 88-91.

    Note: Aramaic words are in Hebrew font.

     
    #1 Alfred Persson., Mar 23, 2013
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  2. Alfred Persson.

    Alfred Persson.
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    oops, misspelled

    בנישתי

    Its

    כנישתי
     
  3. Alfred Persson.

    Alfred Persson.
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    Of course both cephas and petros mean "stone" (John 1:42) but is Simon פטרוס/ Πέτρος a homonym meaning "firstborn."

    Confusing Cephas and Petros results in ambiguity, not clarity.

    For example, Mark 3:16 "And Simon he surnamed Peter"

    There is no clear Marcan context for interpreting the statement that Jesus surnamed him Peter.56
    56) With Mk. 3:16, which seems to imply that Simon received the name Peter at the time of the election of the Twelve, compare Mt. 16:17–19 and John 1:42-- Lane, W. L. (1974). The Gospel of Mark. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (134). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.


    Not only does Mark disagree Christ surnamed Simon Petros at John 1:42 the colocation of this event in Matthew 10:2 and Luke 6:14 implies they do also.

    Sherlock Holmes would say: its elementary "Cephas" is not the equivalent of "Petros".

    The key to solving this mystery is hiding in plain sight, Christ didn't give Simon the proper name Petros, he rather gave him the Aramaic epithet (2007 ἐπιτίθημι ) Petros just as He gave James and John the Aramaic epithet Boanerges , meaning "sons of thunder."

    So when did Christ say to Simon "You ARE Petros"? IN Matthew 16:18, not John 1:42. Does Mark disagree with this? No, the mention of Judas as "the betrayer" (Mark 3:19; Mat 10:4; Luke 6:16) shows these lists aren't linear. As being surnamed "Petros" affects Simon's place in the list, its mentioned here.

    The phenomenon of Simon's names in Mark confirms this---he identifies Peter as "Simon" in Mark 1:16, 29, 36 and only once as Πέτρος in 5:37 when relating Simon's place in the inner circle. We don't see Petros again until Mark 8:29 "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ". THEN a burst of Πέτρος references- (Mark 8:29, 32-33; 9:2,5; 10:28; 11:21; 13:3; 14:29, 33, 37, 54, 66-67, 70, 72; 16:7). That is consistent with Christ "putting upon Simon the meaning of Πέτρος" at Matthew 16:18, not John 1:42.

    Another mystery elegantly explained is Paul's seamless switch from Petros to Cephas and back again to Petros in Galatians 2:8-11. Evidently other Jews had Simon's Aramaic name פטרוס/ Πέτρος and perhaps even Cephas. But the combination would be unique to the apostle Peter.

    In other words, if "Petros" were derived from "Cephas", then the name would be unique to Simon, but the evidence is "Petros" wasn't able by itself to distinguish Simon:

    KJV Matthew 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

    KJV Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

    KJV Acts 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:

    KJV Acts 10:18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
    KJV Acts 10:32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

    KJV Acts 11:13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;

    KJV 2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:


    Hence I question why this hasn't been treated by the Doctors among us. Sometimes I wonder if doing so is "religiously incorrect"---that any who dare will suffer banishment from the hallowed halls of scholardom, and their cocktail parties. Just kidding. Its just odd people notice these things, yet don't explore them critically.
     
  4. Alfred Persson.

    Alfred Persson.
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    In the introduction to his book "Peter And The Rock" Prof Chrys C. Caragounis makes an astonishing (but no doubt accurate) statement about Protestant exegesis of Matthew 16:18:

    "From many quarters it is nowadays stressed that certain conclusions have become so well established that they can be regarded as opinio communis ["common opinion"]. After centuries of disagreement it would appear that Protestant and Catholic are at last united in referring the rock upon which the Church according to Mt 16:18 is to be built, to the Apostle Peter. But that is also the end of the agreement. For example, the further question of Petrine succession is still rejected by Protestants. Thus, it is still not possible to consider the results arrived at as free from confessional influence. On the other hand, it wold be false to give the impression that all Protestant exegetes refer πέτρα to Peter, and there are now Catholics who do so in a rather restricted sense, associating the Twelve along with Peter. It ought also to be clear that most Protestant exegetes who refer πέτρα to Peter do so under the assumption that the passage is inauthentic, i.e., that it is either a later interpolation by some Christian hand or more precisely a later creation by a Petrine party, or in polemic against or at least in reaction to Paul.-(Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York, 1990) pp. 1-3.


    That might explain the complete lack of interest in critically examining if פטרוס/ Πέτρος is a homonym having the Aramaic meaning of "firstborn" but the Greek meaning of "stone." Perhaps we Bible believers should pool our resources to hire one---surely then it will be considered.

    Perhaps one of the many Apologetic Organizations will step up to Steward this? It doesn't hurt to ask them. I'll be the first to chip in.

    ps: Every argument for the text being inauthentic is contradicted completely by the exegesis פטרוס/ Πέτρος /Firstborn is a homonym.

     
    #4 Alfred Persson., Mar 25, 2013
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