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Apostle Cephas ( St. Peter ) and Cephas of Antioch same person ?

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  • Paul Reji
    Apostle Cephas ( St. Peter ) and Cephas of Antioch same person ? ================================================================== Many dissdent groups
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2004
      Apostle Cephas ( St. Peter ) and Cephas of Antioch same person ?
      ===================================================================================================================================Many dissdent groups Easten Orthodox church and now some people in Malankara also use this verse Gal( 2:7-14) as proof that Aposlte Paul has admnished "Peter" and so what ever Lord said in Mat 16:18 is not very relevant. It is hard for me believe that some one can believe what God said is
      not very significant. But that is not our discussion today.

      Reasons for this discussion
      =====================================================Lord called one of disciple "Cephas ( pronounced Keefa) (John 1:42) and gave him certain authority. ( Mathew 16:18). Later one Apostle Paul in his epistle to Galatians writes he was with Peter ( in some version cephas)and stayed with him. ( Gal chapter 1: 18)

      So far everything good. Many bibilical scholars use Cephas and Peter interchangingly. But it hard for me to understand such usage. Here is why. Both Pathose ( in Greek ) and Cephas ( in Aramic ) both means "rock". Lord who spoke Armaic used "Cephas". But many the gospel and episltes were written for the Greek speaking people and hence the Greek euivalant of Cephas - Petros - was used instead of Cephas. The intent was for the local people to understand the meaning of the usage. But using Petros to Aramaic speaking people or using Cephas to Greek speaking people does not achieve the intent.

      But Apostle Paul writes in Galatians chapter 2 that "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was deserving of blame". ( 2: 11). Let us see how some other translations are

      "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned" ( Holeman)

      " When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong" ( New International )

      " But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. ( New American Standard )

      "But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I protested and opposed him to his face [concerning his conduct there],for he was blameable and stood condemned" ( Amplified Bible )

      "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed" ( KJV)

      "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. ( New English )

      Apostle is using some strong words for " Cephas " or Peter, which itself is surprising. Early church fathers are aware of it and came up with diff explanations.

      The question is is Cephas mentioned here is the same as Apostle Cephas? or Apostle Peter?

      The Answer
      =================It is not. There are many reasons.

      The Jesuit Father D. Pujol published in "Etudes" in the last century some remarkable articles effectively demonstrating that the Apostle Peter and the Cephas of Antioch and Corinth could not have been the same person.

      The reasons
      1) Cephas was one of the 70 disciples who happened to have the same name as Peter the Apostle. ( St. Clement in 3rd century)

      2) This same belief is found in the writings of St. Dorotheus of Tyre (4th c.) and Eusebius, the well-known historian of the ancient Church (4th c.).

      3) In yet another early Christian writing "Epistle of the Apostles" dated about 160 A.D. can be read:
      "We, John, Thomas, Peter, Andrew, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Nathaniel, Judas Zelotes, and Cephas, write unto the churches of the
      east and west, of the north and south... "

      NOTE: Peter and Cephas in the list.

      4) The Galatians would have never heard the name Cephas for Peter. So addressing some one as Cephas need not be Apostle Peter.

      Here is a summary of a few points made in Fr. Pujol's analysis of New Testament texts:
      Jn. 1:42 — The text of John 1:42 wherein Christ calls "Simon, son of John, 'Cephas' (which is interpreted as 'Peter')" could not have been known to the converted Greeks of Antioch or Corinth at the time of Paul's epistles. The Greeks only knew the name "Peter" as referring to the chief of the Apostles.

      Gal. 1:18 — Errors of copyists were responsible for "Cephas" often being substituted for "Peter"

      Gal. 2:7-14 — A critical examination shows that the references to Peter and Cephas must be understood as distinguishing Peter from Cephas. If they were the same, why does Paul refer to Peter in 2 places and to Cephas in 3 others? This strange lack of consistency makes no sense.

      Moreover, in Gal. 2:9, we have another example of reading into texts something which is not there. It is a pure assumption to identify the "James, Cephas, and John" mentioned there to be the Apostles Peter, James and John. Rather, James, Cephas and John were others: troubling Judaizers from Jerusalem whom St. Paul bitterly opposed. 1 Cor. 3:21 and 9:5 — Cephas clearly ranks below the Apostles. Nor does I Cor. 15:5 prove that Cephas is the Apostle Peter for that text implies a distinction between the two, since Cephas is distinguished from the Apostolic Twelve. Then who is Cephas? Fr. Pujol agrees with certain critics who believe the Cephas in question would have been one of the two disciples to whom Christ appeared after His Resurrection. We know that Cleophas was one of the two disciples to whom Christ appeared after the Resurrection. Why could not the other have been Cephas? This would certainly explain the prestige he had among the faithful in Jerusalem enabling him to be a formidable opponent and "party leader of the Judaizers" causing trouble in Corinth and Antioch. Those who opine for the identity of Cephas and the Apostle Peter take for granted the dating of Paul's rebuke of Peter at Antioch after the Council of Jerusalem. But the dispute between St. Paul and Cephas at Antioch took place before the Council. Further, it makes no sense for the Apostle who presided at the Council of Jerusalem to have acted so out of character in forcing others to retain Jewish customs no longer binding upon Christians. The psychological portrait of Cephas given by St. Paul does not match the character of St. Peter after Penteco

      The who argument is here

      Paul Philipose
      St. Ignatious SOC
      Member ID # 0901
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