John 21:15-17

John 21:15-17 paraphrased = 3 × (Jesus: feed my sheep + Peter: yes I love you Lord)

Why does Jesus address Peter as Simon instead of as Peter/Cephas?

Jesus didn’t take away the title of Peter as the rock I hope, did he?

No, maybe he address Peter as Simon because it was more of an intimate conversation between Jesus and Peter. Where in the world did you get this idea from?

Well if He did, is that then a contradiction with Him saying “My words are eternal”?

I don’t think Jesus ever meant to imply that he would be called ONLY Peter. The Gospels often use terms such as

Simon, who is called Peter [Matt 10:12]

Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter [Mark 3:16]

Simon, whom he also named Peter [Luke 6:14]

Or even both names at once:

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. [John 6:68]

Jesus calls him “Simon” in other places, such as

What do you think, Simon? [Matt 17:25 (after the “you are Peter” of Matt 16:18)]

Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you watch one hour? [Mark 13:47]

I believe that Jesus calls him “Peter” only once:

I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times [Luke 23:34]

I guess what I don’t understand is why Jesus refers to Peter as “Simon” if Jesus renamed him “Peter”.

The Twelve Apostles represent the Twelve Tribes.

Simeon/Simon, who gave his name to one of the Twelve tribes, had a name that meant “hearing, listening.”

So yeah, I’d assume that when Jesus calls Peter “Simon,” Jesus is either referencing the Twelve Tribes; or telling Peter to “listen up, Listening Dude.” It’s also possible that Jesus is differentiating between “now I’m talking to you as my prime minister with the keys, Peter,” and “now I’m talking to you as my buddy the fisherman, Simon son of Jonah.”

It’d be an interesting paper for somebody, I’m sure. Maybe it already has been.

Even as late as the Council of Jerusalem (ca AD 45), Peter is called “Simon” - I think in deference to the large Jewish contingency represented at the gathering.

Jesus did not “rename” Simon. He said, “You are rock (Peter), and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

He said, “you ARE rock.” Not, “your name will be rock” or “you will be known as rock” or “everyone will call you rock.”

“Rock” was more of a title than a name. It’s kinda like saying “the Pope.” It is a title that refers to a specific person (in this case, Francis), but can be used interchangeably with little risk of confusion.

Consider the brothers, John and James:

James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder) [Mark 3:17]

This is the ONLY passage in Scripture which uses this term. This is apparently more of an endearment, as a husband might call his wife, “sweetheart,” but nobody else calls her that. Only Jesus ever called John and James Boanerges (and only in this one second-hand account).

But Simon was called Peter often. Simon is his name, and Peter (rock) is his title. Being God, it was not improper for Jesus to address Peter by his name rather than his title (whereas it would be very presumptuous and rude for us to address the Pope by his name, Jorge).

Actually, no. Here’s the text of Mt 16:18:

κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ

Πέτρος is the name ‘Peter’.
πέτρᾳ is the word ‘rock’.

Notice that ‘Peter’ is capitalized, while ‘rock’ is not.
Notice that the gender of the word ‘Peter’ is masculine, while the gender of the word ‘rock’ is feminine.

Two distinct words; one is a name, and the other a simple noun.

My question was rhetorical. I was trying to get the OP to realize that since Jesus’ words are eternal, nothing He has stated will ever change. I did not do a good job of it.

I think this is close, but let me offer this:

Petros and Petra–Much Ado About Nothing

Opponents of the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 sometimes argue that in the Greek text the name of the apostle is Petros, while “rock” is rendered as petra. They claim that the former refers to a small stone, while the latter refers to a massive rock; so, if Peter was meant to be the massive rock, why isn’t his name Petra?

Note that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. He spoke Aramaic, the common language of Palestine at that time. In that language the word for rock is kepha, which is what Jesus called him in everyday speech (note that in John 1:42 he was told, “You will be called Cephas”). What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 was: “You are Kepha, and upon this kepha I will build my Church.”

When Matthew’s Gospel was translated from the original Aramaic to Greek, there arose a problem which did not confront the evangelist when he first composed his account of Christ’s life. In Aramaic the word kepha has the same ending whether it refers to a rock or is used as a man’s name. In Greek, though, the word for rock, petra, is feminine in gender. The translator could use it for the second appearance of kepha in the sentence, but not for the first because it would be inappropriate to give a man a feminine name. So he put a masculine ending on it, and hence Peter became Petros.

Furthermore, the premise of the argument against Peter being the rock is simply false. In first century Greek the words petros and petra were synonyms. They had previously possessed the meanings of “small stone” and “large rock” in some early Greek poetry, but by the first century this distinction was gone, as Protestant Bible scholars admit (see D. A. Carson’s remarks on this passage in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books]).

Some of the effect of Christ’s play on words was lost when his statement was translated from the Aramaic into Greek, but that was the best that could be done in Greek. In English, like Aramaic, there is no problem with endings; so an English rendition could read: “You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church.”

Consider another point: If the rock really did refer to Christ (as some claim, based on 1 Cor. 10:4, “and the Rock was Christ” though the rock there was a literal, physical rock), why did Matthew leave the passage as it was? In the original Aramaic, and in the English which is a closer parallel to it than is the Greek, the passage is clear enough. Matthew must have realized that his readers would conclude the obvious from “Rock . . . rock.”

If he meant Christ to be understood as the rock, why didn’t he say so? Why did he take a chance and leave it up to Paul to write a clarifying text? This presumes, of course, that 1 Corinthians was written after Matthew’s Gospel; if it came first, it could not have been written to clarify it.

The reason, of course, is that Matthew knew full well that what the sentence seemed to say was just what it really was saying. It was Simon, weak as he was, who was chosen to become the rock and thus the first link in the chain of the papacy.

[SIGN]Nice Thread.[/SIGN]

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