Max Dashu maxdashu at LanMinds.Com
Fri Apr 20 04:19:23 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 dunno about that. Mack's book on the Book of Q states that Galilee was a
very heterogenous society, so much that it was called Galil ha-goyim (i.e.,
'of the nations'). With a strong Hellenistic presence. And Nazareth was
very close to the imperial center Sephoris. I personally don't think Yeshua
used "Petros" but the idea that he had some familiarity with Greek is not
really so outlandish.

Max Dashu

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