Kephas? or Petros?

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I heard something this morning that brought to light some further insight into this controversy. In Matthew 16:17, we read, " Jesus said to him in reply,Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." By using the name "Simon Bar-Jonah”, we can see that Jesus was talking in Aramaic. It was only in the interpretation to Greek that the little “Petra/Petros” thing came about.


Yes, He would have used Kephas. Also in the Greek, if Matthew had wanted to make a distinction between petros (pebble) and perta (large rock) the obvious think to do would be to call Peter lithos (small stone). The other thing is that the name Simon means “grain of sand,” so just changing his name from “grain of sand” to “pebble” would have been pointless.

I heard another reply to the whole ptra/petros debate on EWTN Live a couple of weeks ago. The guy said it didn’t even matter if Peter’s name meant pebble because the Church was built on a rock anyway; the size of the rock doesn’t matter. I am probably messing that up really badly, but do you see what I’m saying?

RCC, check out Tim O’Donell’s series on the Papacy in EWTN’s Radio Archives. You’ll find it quite enlightening, even if he gets a little monotonous.


There’s an even better proof, and it comes straight from Scripture itself!

In John 1:42, it’s written:

42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Kephas” (which is translated Peter).

This bit in parenthesis is from the original Gospel, not added in as a footnote. You will find it in every version, old and new, including the King James Version. Right here, John is telling us that Jesus called Simon “Kephas”, and that it was later translated as Peter in Greek.

Peace and God bless!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit