Peter (WAS: Italian as a "Pure" Language)

Cristian Mocanu crismoc at
Thu Apr 19 10:13:05 UTC 2001

FWIW, Peter's Aramaic name was actually Shimon Bar Yona, "Simon, son of
Jonah" ( BTW, not "John" as some English Bible translations, e.g. the
Jerusalem Bible, have). Ke:phas and Petros/Petrus were nicknames based on
Jesus' intention to call him that. Indeed, some Jews, both in Palestine and
the diaspora, did use "parallel" Greek names or Latin gentilicia, but those
were usually either at the service of Roman authorities, or even Roman
citizens like Paul (us) whose Jewish name was Shaul/Saul, and these people
would, more likely than not, speak Greek and/or Latin, besides Aramaic. I
strongly doubt that a simple fisherman from Galilee would have been in such
a situation. I assume that Ke:phas and Petros prevailed over Simon when
Peter went to Antioch and subsequently to Rome, because those Christian
communities would simply prefer to call him that. Indeed, his companions
prefer to call him Simon, even after the dialogue at Caesarea Philippi (see
Luke 24,34; Acts 15,14), just as "Paul" was "Saul" in Jerusalem ( Acts
8,1;9,1 etc.) and "Paul" elsewhere.


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