Matt vs. John


It seems there is a discrepancy between Matthew’s (16:15-19) account of Jesus naming Peter and John’s (1:40-42) account of that instance. Matthew says it was when he conferred the keys of the kingdom after Simon had been with Jesus for a while and John says it was at the very beginning of John’s discipleship when he first met him. How can these instances be squared?


Interesting question, I’ve never seen it as a conflict. In John’s account, Jesus says prophetically “your name shall be Cephas,” in Matthew’s account we read the confirmation of that prophecy. (Incidentally, it’s pretty clear that the Lord, and the rest of the company, continued to call him Simon, see the “breakfast on the beach” scene at the end of John’s gospel. John frequently refers to him as “Simon Peter.” And in Luke 24:34 the disciples report, “The Lord has been raised! It is true! He appeared to Simon.” Paul, on the other hand, always calls him Cephas/Peter. So I think that the name change finally “stuck” when he assumed the leadership role after the Ascension.



I don’t think there is any conflict, (Jesus could have said both) but remember John may have been there.


While I disagree with the interpretation of Matthew 16:18 and the giving of the keys, I would point out that Peter was known as Peter in other places in Matthew prior to 16:18. Seems reasonable to me to believe that Jesus named him Peter when they first met (as recorded in John), but clarified why the name was changed in Matthew 16. Compare John 1:40-42 with Mark 3:16 and Luke 6:14.


Interesting idea, especially in light of the comparisons.


This is pretty much what I’ve always thought. Jesus rename Simon when Andrew first dragged him over to meet him, and bestowed the keys much later, when Peter made his confession that Jesus was the Messiah.


From now on I’ll always think of Peter’s name as not “sticking” until later in the Story.

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