Kepha not transliterated...why?


#21

[quote="aussie_stockman, post:20, topic:114214"]
In John 1:42, the gospel writer supplies a translation for the word Kepha for his Greek-reading audience that might not have any idea what the Aramaic word Kepha meant. ("...you shall be called Kepha (which is translated Petros)).... So, "Petros" is indeed a TRANSLATION - and NOT an attempt to create a new "nickname" in Greek.

My guess is that Simon was (probably) called "Kepha" in his Aramaic-speaking circles, but when various authors were writing about him, or quoting him in Greek, they would sometimes use "Petros" (and, sometimes not).

"Petros" was a seldom-used word in Koine Greek, but it was indeed used... Twice it was used as "stones for throwing" in II Maccabees (which was written about the time of Christ). It seems like a very infrequent usage, but on the other hand, it was actually used with more frequency than the word "audiophile" is used in English (less than once per one-million words of text), yet we all know - or have at least probably heard - the word audiophile.

So, "Petros" was indeed a translation (as the gospel writer states), and whether it fits with ones particular dogma or not, it meant "small stone" (as is evidenced by it's usage in II Macc, written contemporarily).

[/quote]

Pulling out my Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible from my Protestant days, one reads for Petros (in part): "...a (piece of) rock (larger than 3037)..." (Pg. 77 in the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, attached.)

Looking at "3037" we see that it refers to Lithos, "a stone..." (Ibid., pg. 59)

So, I disagree with your rendering of Petros as 'small stone.'

Jesus isn't referring to Peter as a 'small stone' in St. Matthew 16:18-19, especially when one realizes that, as one author puts it:

"Since the Aramaic Kephas means 'rock' and 'rock' only; it could not possibly ever mean 'stone'. From this evidence we can conclude that Jesus must have meant that when he renamed Simon, Peter, he meant to apply the title 'Rock', petra, to him."

Source: aboutcatholics.com/worship/origin_papacy/

Perhaps this is the discussion that the OP wished to avoid, and I apologize for that, but I did feel that this needed a response.

P.S. not that it may make much difference, but my understanding is that II Maccabees predates Christ by about 2 centuries.


#22

Sometimes it’s Iacob. Sometimes it’s Iacobus.

Not every language uses “Jesus,” either. Plenty use “Jesu,” or other variants.

Names are always getting transliterated, translated, and fiddled around with. Always. Humans just love to do it.

And considering that there are about five to ten different names that Peter gets called (if you include the many, many patronymics and family-relation names he has), it’s not surprising that people called him Cephas and Simon Peter and Peter, as well as “Bar Jonah” and “Andrew’s brother Peter” and all the rest.


#23

First, Strongs Concordance is a CONCORDANCE, not an exhaustive lexicon…

It is true that “lithos” was the more common Greek word for stone, but the author you quote, who says “Since the Aramaic Kephas means ‘rock’ and ‘rock’ only; it could not possibly ever mean ‘stone’. From this evidence we can conclude that Jesus must have meant that when he renamed Simon, Peter, he meant to apply the title ‘Rock’, petra, to him” is entirely WRONG.

The word kepha is defined in the VERY exhaustive Jastrows Dictionary (Aramaic) as:

rock, stone, ball…; “which rock (when bored) will give forth water and which…”;
pearls, jewels; fire-balls; hail-stones; “…thou must remove these stones…”;
kissed the rocks (Rashi: corals) of the shore of Ptolemais (as sacred ground);
weighed the stones;
precious stones, jewelry; amber; “has he jewelry suspended on it” (his opinion) ie, must his opinion be accepted?;
gave jewelry in trust; give me my jewelry back;
shore, border; like its shore; the Euphrates grows from (the waters coming down) its shores (not from rain); was hiding himself at the sea-shore; …the shores of… touched each other (the waters rising to the level of the shores;
Rashi: the arches of the ruined bridges, v. infra); arch, vault; bundle, sheaf

Secondly - regarding II Maccabees:

“There is a reference in ch. xv. 37 to the Book of Esther, which would preclude any earlier
date of authorship than about 130 B.C. (see Cornill, “Einleitung,” p. 252). On the other
hand, II Maccabees was known to the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (see Peak, in “The Century Bible,” p. 223) and to Philo (see Schürer, l.c. p. 214). The work, therefore, must have been composed about the beginning of the common era.”
[Jewish Encyclopedia; 1906]

Maccabees “must have been composed about the beginning of the common era”.

“petros” is defined in the VERY exhaustive Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek Lexicion as:

A. stone used by warriors; (a stone) to produce fire, (a stone) of a boulder forming a landmark
2. ‘leave no stone unturned’; of imperturbability ;a kind of reed

It was used three times in Koine Greek: Twice in II Maccabees (and both times, it was used to refer to stones used as weapons - “used by warriors”), and the third time, it was used in John 1:42, as the given definition for kepha.

I’d like to humbly suggest you look at freetowne.com/pppk

It’s just linguistics analysis, but it provides all kinds of references and sources.


#24

The most complete Greek-English lexicon (covering Homeric, classical and koine Greek) in current existence is a two-volume work of more than 2,000 pages compiled by .Liddell, Scott, Jones and McKenzie, published first in 1843. It is based on examination of thousands of Greek writings from the period of Homer (about 1000 B.C.) to about A.D. 600 – a period of nearly 1600 years, including the Septuagint and New Testament times. This lexicon lists, with examples, the common meanings of kephale. The list includes more than 25 possible figurative meanings in addition to the literal meaning of physical head of man or beast. The list does not include “authority,” “superior rank,” “leader,” “director,” or anything similar as a meaning. There is an older Greek-Latin thesaurus published in 1851, but written primarily in the sixteenth century. It also gives no meanings such as “authority” or “supreme over.” Apparently, ordinary readers of Greek literature during New Testament times would not think of “final authority,” “superior rank” or “director” as common meanings for the word translated “head.”

The entry looks somewhat like this in the 1940 edition of Liddell, Scott, Jones and McKenzie lexicon:

I. a. Physical head of man or beast. Frequently used with preposition such as “down over the head,” or “above the head” or “from head to foot” or “head foremost” or “thrust headlong.” [In our day we would say “head first.”]

b. As the noblest part, periphrasis for the whole person.

c. Life, as in “staking their heads on…”

d… In imprecation, as in “on my head be it!” [Or Paul’s response in Acts 18:6 to the Jews who opposed him in Macedonia, “Your blood be upon your own heads!”]

II. Of things, extremity.

a. In botany, head of garlic, tubers.

b. In anatomy, base of heart, but also apex; of muscles, origin.

c. Generally, top, brim of vessel; coping of a wall; capital of a column.

d. In plural, source, origin of a river, but singular, mouth; generally, source, origin, starting point.

e. Extremity of a plot of land.

III. A bust of Homer.

IV. Wig, head-dress.

V. Metaphorical

a. Piece de resistance *

b. Crown, completion, consummation.

c. Sum, total.

d. Hand of men; right hand of phalanx

e. Astronomy, Aries [as the gable of the world]

The lexicon gives references to Greek literature for each of these meanings. The lexicographers (with various editions spanning more than 100 years, from 1836 to 1940) apparently found no examples in their study of Greek literature where kephale could have the meaning “one having authority,” “supreme over” or anything similar. (Where other recognized meanings are possible, one cannot assume that the word kephale means chief, authority or superior rank.) These scholars living in 1800s and early 1900s surely could not be accused of being blinded by the “feminist movement,” and thus ignoring references in Greek that supported kephale as meaning “authority.” [1]

What follows is more research concerning the usual meanings for the Greek word kephale:

.

Including its 1968 supplement, the Liddell and Scott lexicon lists forty-eight separate English equivalents of figurative meanings of kephale. None of them implies leader, authority, first or supreme. To confirm that “authority” was not in the usual connotative range of kephale, I consulted three prominent specialists in ancient Greek literature. They all agreed that the idea of “authority” was not a recognized meaning of kephale in Greek.

An examination of other Greek lexicons further supports the Mickelsen’s thesis. None of the following lexicons lists any examples related to “leader” or “authority”: Moulton and Milligan, Friedrich Preisigke, Pierre Chantraine, and E. A. Sophocles gives only one such example from A.D. 952. S.C. Woodhouse lists twenty Greek equivalents for “chief” (p. 129) and twenty-six Greek equivalents for “authority” (p. 54), but kephale is not listed as an equivalent for either of these or for “leader.” [2]*


#25

Seems the logical reason is that the statement “Thou art rock and upon this rock I will build my church” is a very clear and expressive statement in both Aramaic and Greek IF the word “rock” in each case is translated into the language that is being used.

So a Greek would say “…petros…petra…” while a Jew would say “…kepha…kepha…”.

What subsequently happened is that in the hundreds of years following, ,the Greek translation of the statement became the extant one, and remained that way, moving into the common lexicon of the Church…

peace
steve


#26

Actually, no, this is not correct. A Greek would say “petros… petros…”

Cephas is an Anglicization of Kephas, which is a Grecized Kepha. Petros is - whether we like it or not - the TRANSLATION of Kepha, as provided by John 1:42.

The FACT is this: NOBODY KNOWS what Jesus said in Aramaic. It’s just a GUESS.

He could have said “kepha… kepha…”

BUT - he could have equally said “petros… petra…” because both words had become “borrowed” words in Hebrew (at least, according to Dr. David Bivins… but, that’s just his theory)

Maybe, just maybe - Jesus used two different words in Aramaic…

Fact is, we got NO IDEA.

All we got is what it says in Greek… “petros… petra…”


#27

[quote="aussie_stockman, post:23, topic:114214"]
First, Strongs Concordance is a CONCORDANCE, not an exhaustive lexicon...

It is true that "lithos" was the more common Greek word for stone, but the author you quote, who says "Since the Aramaic Kephas means 'rock' and 'rock' only; it could not possibly ever mean 'stone'. From this evidence we can conclude that Jesus must have meant that when he renamed Simon, Peter, he meant to apply the title 'Rock', petra, to him" is entirely WRONG.

The word kepha is defined in the VERY exhaustive Jastrows Dictionary (Aramaic) as:

rock, stone, ball..; "which rock (when bored) will give forth water and which...";
pearls, jewels; fire-balls; hail-stones; "...thou must remove these stones...";
kissed the rocks (Rashi: corals) of the shore of Ptolemais (as sacred ground);
weighed the stones;
precious stones, jewelry; amber; "has he jewelry suspended on it" (his opinion) ie, must his opinion be accepted?;
gave jewelry in trust; give me my jewelry back;
shore, border; like its shore; the Euphrates grows from (the waters coming down) its shores (not from rain); was hiding himself at the sea-shore; ...the shores of... touched each other (the waters rising to the level of the shores;
Rashi: the arches of the ruined bridges, v. infra); arch, vault; bundle, sheaf

Secondly - regarding II Maccabees:

"There is a reference in ch. xv. 37 to the Book of Esther, which would preclude any earlier
date of authorship than about 130 B.C. (see Cornill, "Einleitung," p. 252). On the other
hand, II Maccabees was known to the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (see Peak, in "The Century Bible," p. 223) and to Philo (see Schürer, l.c. p. 214). The work, therefore, must have been composed about the beginning of the common era."
[Jewish Encyclopedia; 1906]

Maccabees "must have been composed about the beginning of the common era".

"petros" is defined in the VERY exhaustive Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek Lexicion as:

A. stone used by warriors; (a stone) to produce fire, (a stone) of a boulder forming a landmark
2. 'leave no stone unturned'; of imperturbability ;a kind of reed

It was used three times in Koine Greek: Twice in II Maccabees (and both times, it was used to refer to stones used as weapons - "used by warriors"), and the third time, it was used in John 1:42, as the given definition for kepha.

I'd like to humbly suggest you look at freetowne.com/pppk

It's just linguistics analysis, but it provides all kinds of references and sources.

[/quote]

First let me say that I am not a Biblical language scholar (I teach H.S. Spanish) and that I am learning along the way here. Also, I agree that my use of the Greek Dictionary in my Concordance wasn't the best source to use. With that being said, here are some of my thoughts:

Even if petros, kepha, and petra can mean "small stone" (and I am not qualified to determine that) we are still not at your statement that I take issue with; namely, that "...'Petros' ... meant 'small stone'..."

At best the semantic range would include that (according to your arguments/sources) but that is a far cry from saying that that is the only meaning, and that that is the meaning in St. Matthew 16:18-19. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but it seems that you were implying that it meant "small stone" and nothing more. None of what you have cited from your Lexicon(s) would contradict the Catholic interpretation of the text; especially when one considers that (if I am not mistaken) petra could not be used for Peter (a man) in the Greek language. Are you denying that petros can mean "rock"?

Re: II Maccabees

I suppose we could go back and forth w/ various sources, but fwiw:

"J. Alberto Soggin writes: ... 'The author, Jason of Cyrene (in Cyrenaica), seems to have been a diaspora Jew who lived at Alexandria about 100 BC.' (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 469)"

Source: earlyjewishwritings.com/2maccabees.html

"Neil J. McEleney writes: 'The second letter, 2 Mc 1:10-2:18, which is undated, is considered substantially authentic and a literary unity by Abel and Starcky (op. cit., 27-30), who assign it to a contemporary of Judas writing in 164.'"

Source: Ibid.

"David A. deSilva writes: 'Assessing the date of the work is difficult. Jason's original history must post-date 161 B.C.E. and may even have been written just before, or shortly after, Judas's death. Goldstein (1983: 71-83), however, places Jason's work as late as 85 B.C.E., after 1 Maccabees. The epitome is generally held to have been composed prior to 50 C.E., given its influence on 4 Maccabees and Hebrews, and probably before 63 B.C.E., given the positive portrayal of relations with Rome (4:11; 8:10, 36; 11:34-36) (van Henten 1997: 51)...'"

Source: Ibid

"The second letter must have been written soon after the death of Antiochus, before the exact circumstances concerning it had become known in Jerusalem, therefore about 163 B.C. That the Antiochus there mentioned is Antiochus IV and not Antiochus III, as many Catholic commentators maintain, is clear from the fact that his death is related in connection with the celebration of the Feast of the Dedication, and that he is represented as an enemy of the Jews, which is not true of Antiochus III."

Source: Bechtel, Florentine. "The Books of Machabees." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 12 Jun. 2012 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09495a.htm.


#28

[quote="LionHeart777, post:27, topic:114214"]

Even if petros, kepha, and petra can mean "small stone" (and I am not qualified to determine that) we are still not at your statement that I take issue with; namely, that "...'Petros' ... meant 'small stone'..."

At best the semantic range would include that (according to your arguments/sources) but that is a far cry from saying that that is the only meaning, and that that is the meaning in St. Matthew 16:18-19. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but it seems that you were implying that it meant "small stone" and nothing more.... Are you denying that petros can mean "rock"?

[/quote]

Well, really, I'm not denying anything at all... I'm just saying that in all their studies of thousands of pages of Greek text, Liddell-Scott-Jones found that petros was used to mean:

A. stone used by warriors; (a stone) to produce fire, (a stone) of a boulder forming a landmark
2. 'leave no stone unturned'; of imperturbability ;a kind of reed

shrug... My guess is that, looking at the above definition, they didn't find anyplace in those thousands of Greek docs that said "petros = rock". Maybe you know of some ancient Greek texts that use "petros = rock"? If so, please advise... I love getting new info... (you might want to check out the research at freetowne.com/pppk on this)

And - if I remember correctly, I was just pointing out that the use of the word petros in 2 Macc (which was written in Koine Greek) was perfectly consistant with the primary definition of "a stone used by warriors"... So, the MEANING of petros had not changed from Attic Greek to Koine Greek...

[quote="LionHeart777, post:27, topic:114214"]

None of what you have cited from your Lexicon(s) would contradict the Catholic interpretation of the text; especially when one considers that (if I am not mistaken) petra could not be used for Peter (a man) in the Greek language.

[/quote]

Actually, petra could well have been used for the name of a man in the Greek language... Sure, it's feminine... But so is the name Acacia, and it's a mans name. (it's a feminine noun meaning "guilelessness" or "innocense")

As an "aside", I'd add that Kepha is feminine, but it's what Jesus called Peter... Didn't matter if it was a feminine noun or not...

There are LOTS of "male" Greek names that have feminine endings to them: Acacia, Athanase, Cintia, Dorota, Idouma, Nikola, Phtha, Rhama, Zara and Zorba (to name a few)

Same thing happens in virtually EVERY genderized language. In Spanish, the name Rocio (which means "dew") is used as a womans name, but it is a masculine noun...

So - yeh, in fact, petra COULD have been used as a mans name in Greek. I mean, there was not, and still is not, any kind of "rule" that says otherwise... shrug

[quote="LionHeart777, post:27, topic:114214"]

Re: II Maccabees

I suppose we could go back and forth w/ various sources, but fwiw:

"J. Alberto Soggin writes: ... 'The author, Jason of Cyrene (in Cyrenaica), seems to have been a diaspora Jew who lived at Alexandria about 100 BC.' (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 469)"

Source: earlyjewishwritings.com/2maccabees.html

"Neil J. McEleney writes: 'The second letter, 2 Mc 1:10-2:18, which is undated, is considered substantially authentic and a literary unity by Abel and Starcky (op. cit., 27-30), who assign it to a contemporary of Judas writing in 164.'"

Source: Ibid.

"David A. deSilva writes: 'Assessing the date of the work is difficult. Jason's original history must post-date 161 B.C.E. and may even have been written just before, or shortly after, Judas's death. Goldstein (1983: 71-83), however, places Jason's work as late as 85 B.C.E., after 1 Maccabees. The epitome is generally held to have been composed prior to 50 C.E., given its influence on 4 Maccabees and Hebrews, and probably before 63 B.C.E., given the positive portrayal of relations with Rome (4:11; 8:10, 36; 11:34-36) (van Henten 1997: 51)...'"

Source: Ibid

"The second letter must have been written soon after the death of Antiochus, before the exact circumstances concerning it had become known in Jerusalem, therefore about 163 B.C. That the Antiochus there mentioned is Antiochus IV and not Antiochus III, as many Catholic commentators maintain, is clear from the fact that his death is related in connection with the celebration of the Feast of the Dedication, and that he is represented as an enemy of the Jews, which is not true of Antiochus III."

Source: Bechtel, Florentine. "The Books of Machabees." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 12 Jun. 2012 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09495a.htm.

[/quote]

There's really nothing to go back and forth on this one... I myself was surprised to see that a date of "at about the beginning of the common era" was given in the Jewish Encyclopedia... shrug

The original quote that I was answering to said that "II Macc was written about 200 BC"...

Obviously, it wasnt, since the Macc Revolt didnt happen till about 164 BC...


#29

[quote="aussie_stockman, post:28, topic:114214"]
Well, really, I'm not denying anything at all... I'm just saying that in all their studies of thousands of pages of Greek text, Liddell-Scott-Jones found that petros was used to mean:

A. stone used by warriors; (a stone) to produce fire, (a stone) of a boulder forming a landmark
2. 'leave no stone unturned'; of imperturbability ;a kind of reed

shrug... My guess is that, looking at the above definition, they didn't find anyplace in those thousands of Greek docs that said "petros = rock". Maybe you know of some ancient Greek texts that use "petros = rock"? If so, please advise... I love getting new info... (you might want to check out the research at freetowne.com/pppk on this)

And - if I remember correctly, I was just pointing out that the use of the word petros in 2 Macc (which was written in Koine Greek) was perfectly consistant with the primary definition of "a stone used by warriors"... So, the MEANING of petros had not changed from Attic Greek to Koine Greek...

Actually, petra could well have been used for the name of a man in the Greek language... Sure, it's feminine... But so is the name Acacia, and it's a mans name. (it's a feminine noun meaning "guilelessness" or "innocense")

As an "aside", I'd add that Kepha is feminine, but it's what Jesus called Peter... Didn't matter if it was a feminine noun or not...

There are LOTS of "male" Greek names that have feminine endings to them: Acacia, Athanase, Cintia, Dorota, Idouma, Nikola, Phtha, Rhama, Zara and Zorba (to name a few)

Same thing happens in virtually EVERY genderized language. In Spanish, the name Rocio (which means "dew") is used as a womans name, but it is a masculine noun...

So - yeh, in fact, petra COULD have been used as a mans name in Greek. I mean, there was not, and still is not, any kind of "rule" that says otherwise... shrug

[/quote]

There's really nothing to go back and forth on this one... I myself was surprised to see that a date of "at about the beginning of the common era" was given in the Jewish Encyclopedia... shrug

The original quote that I was answering to said that "II Macc was written about 200 BC"...

Obviously, it wasnt, since the Macc Revolt didnt happen till about 164 BC...


Start LionHeart777's response (for clarification):

I don't have access to any other Greek Lexicons, but I think even in the one you cite I see "(a stone) of a boulder forming a landmark" as possibly approximating "rock" since, if I understand correctly, the object in question forms a landmark.

Here are a couple of Protestant scholars who see petros and petra as more or less interchangeable:

However, other scholars (such as Keener, Carson, and Ridderbos) argue that the pevtra is Peter. Against Caragounis, Ridderbos argues that the difference between pevtra and Pevtro" is rather insignificant. He asserts:

The most likely explanation for the change from petros (“Peter”) to petra is that petra was the normal word for “rock.” Because the feminine ending of this noun made it unsuitable as a man’s name, however, Simon was not called petra but Petros. The word Petros was not an exact synonym of petra, as it literally meant “stone.” Jesus therefore had to switch to the word petra when He turned from Peter’s name to what it meant for the church. There is no good reason to think that Jesus switched from petros to petra to show that he was not speaking of the man Peter but of his confession as the foundation of the church. The words “on this rock [petra]” indeed refer to Peter. Because of the revelation that he had received and the confession that it motivated in him, Peter was appointed by Jesus to lay the foundation of the future church. Only Peter is mentioned in this verse, and the pun on his name of course applied to him alone.91

Cullman agrees with Ridderbos’ assessment. He also maintains that since the word pevtra is feminine in the Greek and has a feminine ending (-a), the New Testament chose a less usual Greek word which had the masculine ending (-o") for the apostle: Pevtro".92 Cullman goes on to state that there is no essential difference between pevtra and Pevtro", for even though pevtra denoted a “live rock” and Pevtro" meant a “detached stone," the distinction was not strictly observed.93 In several instances, pevtra is used with the meaning “piece of rock” or “stone.”94

Source: bible.org/seriespage/exegetical-examination-matthew-1618

Re masc/fem names:

I see the point you are getting at but w/ Petros and Petra both masc. and fem. are available. Is that the case in names like Acacia, Athanase, Cintia, Dorota, Idouma, Nikola, Phtha, Rhama, Zara and Zorba? Or are they just one version of the name that works for both men and women (such as Kelly, Shannon, or Shelly in English)? If so, I think you have a better argument, or if you could find Greek men named Petra.

In Spanish, the equivalent would be like John for example. Juan and Juana are available. You would not call a Spanish man Juana. I believe this would be the same in Greek, you would not call a Greek man Petra.

Re II Maccabees:

I perhaps made the mistake of conflating 2nd century B.C. w/ 200 B.C. in my head, or was approximating..or had the date of the events in mind and conflated that w/ the date. (Like I said, I'm on a learning curve here.)

--Nick


#30

Also,

are you sure Kepha is feminine in Aramaic?


#31

I pride myself on being well read but I have never heard of “audiophile” until just now.

So, “Petros” was indeed a translation (as the gospel writer states), and whether it fits with ones particular dogma or not, it meant “small stone” (as is evidenced by it’s usage in II Macc, written contemporarily).

That’s like saying we are contemporary with Queen Victoria. II Maccabees was written well before Christ was born.


#32

Hey, Lionheart!

first - lemme say up front - I'm not trying to "prove" anything, one way or the other... I'm actually doing quite a bit of study on this whole topic of petra, petros, kepha, etc... Guess I'm just curious... So, I'm just going to tell you what I've found...

Regarding "are you sure Kepha is feminine in Aramaic?" Yes, absolutely.

Wiktionary shows kepha as feminine noun

(see en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%9B%D7%99%D7%A4%D7%90#Aramaic)

CAL database shows kepha as feminine: cal1.cn.huc.edu/

Aramaic lexicon and concordance shows kepha as feminine.

(see atour.com/cgi-bin/dictionary.cgi?string=rock&B1=Search&Search_Field=Meaning&VTI-GROUP=0)

BTW - the CAL database is FASCINATING... You ought to check it out, but it helps to know something about Hebrew and Aramaic... (Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon)

Regarding: "In Spanish, the equivalent would be like John for example. Juan and Juana are available. You would not call a Spanish man Juana. I believe this would be the same in Greek, you would not call a Greek man Petra."

OK - now, Juan and Juana are not nouns used as proper names... (and you're right, you wouldn't use Juana for a man).

BUT - the issue here has to do with NOUNS used as names.

A noun (such as Acacia, which is fem) can be (and is) used as a mans name in Greek. Rocio (the masculine Spanish noun for "dew") can be (and is) used as a womans name.

Now, does it HAVE to be that way? No, not at all. Different cultures do all kinds of "fun stuff" with nouns used as proper names. There are no rules.

If you want to change the Spanish "Rocio" to "Rocia", you certainly CAN, as long as there is not already another word "rocia" that means something entirely different...

In English, lets say we have a high school, with a mascot of "the Tigers"...
So, the GUYS are called "Tigers", the GIRLS are called "Tigerettes"...

OK, that works fine... Why? Because "Tigerette" is UNIQUE. There is not already another word "tigerette" in our diction that means something different... So, we take it to mean "female tigers"

Now - consider this: A high school with a team called "The Barbs"... (hey, it's just an example). The GUYS are called Barbs, the GIRLS are called Barbettes...

whoops!!!! Now we got a problem! Why? Because we KNOW that "barbettes" are not the same as "barbs". A "barbette" is a platform for a cannon in a fortification.. A barb is "a sharp projection near the end of an arrow, fishhook, or similar item, angled away from the main point so as to make extraction difficult"

See what I mean?

This is the problem with the Petra/Petros thing: Both words existed in Koine Greek. The were NOT a masculine and feminine version of the same word. They were two different words, with two different meanings, having two different declensions...

The scholars you quote (in those well-known quotes) are arguing from a premise that the difference between the meanings of petros and petra was "insignificant".

Thats a great argument from guys that are arguing from an "exegisical" viewpoint (is "exegisical" really a word?) but you won't find many hard-core Greek scholars that would agree with their theory. There just ISN'T anything in Attic or Koine Greek literature that supports the claim. There is not one single, credible Greek Lexicon available that equates petros and petra. (sorry, I'm not just making that up... I've been through that whole "Lexicon exercise" myself)

So, "petros" and "petra" were NOT like "tigers" and "tigerettes", but more like "barbs" and "barbettes"... At least, according to every credible Greek Lexicon out there... (and, I hope you understand that I'm not trying to talk "scientifically" here... just conversing)

I would strongly encourage you to check out the massive Greek Lexicons available at perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/resolveform?redirect=true&entry=fe/rw These are "searchable" lexicons, and tremendously educational. OR - If you want some seriously good info, already researched, go check out freetowne.com/pppk

Regarding: "I see the point you are getting at but w/ Petros and Petra both masc. and fem. are available. Is that the case in names like Acacia, Athanase, Cintia, Dorota, Idouma, Nikola, Phtha, Rhama, Zara and Zorba? Or are they just one version of the name that works for both men and women (such as Kelly, Shannon, or Shelly in English)? If so, I think you have a better argument, or if you could find Greek men named Petra."

Some of those names might well be names that can work for both men and women (as you suggest), but the odd thing is that these "men's versions" all have a feminine ending... shrug....

The only name in that list that I KNOW is a Greek NOUN, used as a name, is Acacia (often represented as Akakia). Although, I think Cintia also might be a Greek noun. I just haven't looked it up.

Normally, Greek "male" names are more likely to end with an "as" or "os", not an "a". The "a" ending is a feminine ending...

Anyway, I hope this helps in your studies... I'm open to continuing our conversation... :)


#33

Well, Petergee - heheeheh - so much for your idea of “being well read” then… :slight_smile:

And, tell me - Can you read anything from, say, the year 1850, and understand it? You know, I’ve read things like the Constitution of the US, and it was written in the 1700’s, and I can understand it. Well, the book of II Macc was written NO EARLER than 164 BC, because that’s when the Macc Revolt took place. Thats 148 years before Christ was born. The Constitution was written over 230 years ago…

you know, about that Constitution: They sure used a whole bunch of words that I can understand. Just about ALL of them, in fact. Heck, I’ve even read things like the Federalist Papers, written way back then, and dang, I can understand that just fine.

I even read Pilgrims Progress once, and it was written in 1678!!! And you know what? I understood THAT, too!!!

You sure you’re really “well read”?


#34

Well you seem not able to read or remember what both you and I wrote or are deliberately mistrepesenting it. Hey I can read stuff that was written over 2000 years ago. That doesn’t make it contemporary to me.

Contemporary means exactly what you said: that II Maccabees was written at the same time as Christ walked the earth. Not 160 years earlier, or any time earlier where they wrote in a language that was still intelligible to men of that later time.


#35

Regarding your bolded comment, It may be a guess, but it seems a good one to me. Since it is good and is supported by the Church’s teachings, I will accept it on their authority.

Also, if I recall, early Christian historians believed that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. Then a Greek version was written. Current historians see Papias’ testimony to the Hebrew version convincing. However, they now believe that Matthew himself wrote both versions, because of the relatively small differences between the Greek versions known, implying the original translator was extremely respected. and no further attempt made, if done at all, to translate the Hebrew.

So if it was written afterwards in Greek from a Hebrew original, “Kepha” may have indeed ben translated to “petrXX” to keep the reference to “rock” clear in the Greek, epecially to Gentiles.

As for the change in word endings (petros/petra) in the translation. Do you have any example of a man given a name in Greek which was feminine gender? If not, then it is very likely the gender of the word was changed to match the sex of the recipient of the name.

Interesting info about David Bivin. He is a member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, isn’t he? I’ll have to check more about him.

(edit- I just read your recent post with the list of male names with feminine endings. I’ll be checking them out. Are those at Modern Greek names, btw, or Ancient Greek? I’ll be checking it out also.)

peace
steve


#36

aussie_stockman,

re: petros/petra

My assertion as that they are (if I am not mistaken) approximate not identical.

Some observations from the Protestant source I was using:

Quoting Cullman (from my source):

Cullman goes on to state that there is no essential difference between pevtra and Pevtro", for even though pevtra denoted a “live rock” and Pevtro" meant a “detached stone," the distinction was not strictly observed.93 In several instances, pevtra is used with the meaning “piece of rock” or “stone.”94

He appears to be saying that although they had a different meaning [albeit perhaps approximate], “…the distinction was not strictly observed…” Where he states that “In several instances, pevtra is used with the meaning ‘piece of rock’ or ‘stone.’…” a footnote is given (#94) Going back to my source, one can see that the footnote #94 references “Homer, Od., 243; Hesiod, Theo., 675.”

re: Petra as a possible name for a male

I have yet to come across anyone other than you who makes this assertion–although I haven’t searched a ton. Are there any scholars who would agree with you that Petra (specifically) could be used for a male?

Once we answer that, then there is the question of the probability that it would be used.

Misc:

One the website you linked to (freetowne.com/pppk), the author there, in “My Own Thoughts”, renders St. Matthew 16:18 (the part in question) as “’…you are Rock, and upon this rock - I will build my church.’”

Source: freetowne.com/pppk/index.php?next=MyOwnThoughts&rand=1339600486

This even though he appears to be references the same Liddell, Scott, Jones Greek-English Lexicon which you are (see: freetowne.com/pppk/index.php?next=Definitions&rand=392839)

So again, I don’t see as warranted the limiting of “petros” to “small stone”; I suppose we will have to agree to disagree here.


#37

One must consider that some scholars believe that II Macc was written at about the beginning of the common era:

“There is a reference in ch. xv. 37 to the Book of Esther, which would preclude any earlier
date of authorship than about 130 B.C. (see Cornill, “Einleitung,” p. 252). On the other
hand, II Maccabees was known to the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (see Peak, in “The Century Bible,” p. 223) and to Philo (see Schürer, l.c. p. 214). The work, therefore, must have been composed about the beginning of the common era.”
[Jewish Encyclopedia; 1906]

So, as you see, it’s entirely possible that II Macc was indeed contemporary with the time of Christ (if one accepts this as the actual time of writing)…

In any case, whether written around 164 BC or around the beginning of the common era, Koine Greek was the language used. My use of the word “contemporary” may not have been the best choice, but the fact is, the language used at the time of Christ and at the time of writing of II Macc (even the earlier date) was “the language of the era”.


#38

As you mention, Cullman says that petra has been used to mean “a piece of rock” or “a stone”… BUT - I’m just saying I’ve NEVER found an instance where petros is used to mean “a rock mass” or “a boulder” or anything like that (which is the GENERALLY used definition of “petra”). Even Cullman doesn’t give any examples of petros being used as “a massive rock”, or “large rock”, etc…

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit that petra may have sometimes been used to mean “a piece of a rock”… I mean, in MODERN Greek, petra is certainly used to mean “stone”. Just a couple of weeks ago, I read in some Greek newspaper that “protesters were throwing ‘petras’”…

But again, I’m not sure it works the other way around. I’ve never seen any reference to “petros” as being anything other than a “smallish” rock or stone. If you can find an actual, DOCUMENTED example of petros being used as a “large rock”, please let me know. I just havent found one.

As far as petra being used as a mans name: Please read carefully. I’ve tried to say this with as much clarity as possible in my previous posts: I am not proposeing that petra was EVER used as a mans name. I am merely saying that there is no hard and fast “linguistic rule” that says it could not have been used as a mans name. There is simply no rule that states a feminine noun cannot be used as a mans name in a genderized language. Therefore, there is no “necessity” of “masculinizing” petra to petros in order to be used as a name for Simon.

Besides, the author of John 1:42 clearly states that “Petros” is the TRANSLATION of “Kepha”. He was obviously just trying to inform his Greek-reading audience what the meaning of the Aramaic “Kepha” was. So, he chose the word Petros. Evidently, he thought it was a better translation than some other word.

Having said all that, here’s a quote I found regarding a man named Petra:

“I have found a news article dated Dec 21, 1922 about an accident that happened in Flint, Michigan on November 15, 1922. A man named Petra N. Petroff, who died in a cave-in while on a job”

So - I guess Petra CAN be used as a mans name, if somebody wants to use it.

I don’t know of any “scholars” that say (SPECIFICALLY) that Petra can be used as a mans name, but all you gotta do is a pretty basic study of “nouns used as proper names” in genderized languages, and you’ll figure out pretty quickly that there are no “rules” that say a feminine noun HAS to be masculinized in order to be used as a mans name.

I’ve given you examples from Greek and Spanish. My guess is that if YOU went to do some actual STUDY on this, you’ll find examples of masculine nouns being used as feminine names, or feminine nouns being used as masculine names, in just about ANY genderized language.


#39

hehehehe… of COURSE it’s supported by the Church’s teachings… I mean, the whole basis of the Papacy hinges on “kepha… kepha…” in Matt 16:18. Why WOULDN’T they support it? :wink:

Yeh, I find the idea that Matt might have originally been written in Hebrew to be very intriguing… There are some interesting “Hebrew-isms” in it, such as “if a man has a good eye…” (which is a Hebrew manner of saying “if a man is generous”). So, yeh, I think there’s a case to be made for Matt having been originally written in Hebrew…

(BTW - I’ve actually found that “good eye” quote in a Rabbinical writing. I wish I could remember where I found it so I could show you… I think it was in a Midrash, or from the liturgy for the Feast of Weeks…)

I found this on some geneology site: “I have found a news article dated Dec 21, 1922 about an accident that happened in Flint, Michigan on November 15, 1922. A man named Petra N. Petroff…died in a cave-in while on a job.”

Looks like SOMEBODY out there (male) was named Petra… Heck, I got a friend (a guy) named Carol… shrug

The name “Acacia” is a Greek feminine noun, used “as is”, as a mans name.

You know, I think you’re right about Bivins at the Jerusalem School… Seems I remember reading that about him… He and a guy named Dr. Roy Blizzard have done some interesting writings about the Hebrew “roots” of some of the stuff in the N.T… Granted, I don’t take any of it as “gospel” necessarily, but it is some fascinating info that those guys have come up with…


#40

On Petra N. Petroff (may he rest in peace), Flint (hey, a type of rock ;)) is about a half hour away from where I am. On this, the last name (I may be wrong) seems to be of Eastern European (meaning like Russia or somewhere close) origin. To my understanding, names that end with “a” are used for men: Sascha comes to mind.

(edit: yeah, check here for example. “Petya” is listed which if I’m not mistaken would come from the Greek “Petros.”)

If you find a Petra Doukakis or something, or a Greek Petra in the first 300 years B.C. , that would be more remarkable.


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