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Matthew 16 18 Lowly Cabby reveals Christianity’s Greatest Secret

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matthew 16 Regarding Matthew 16 18 Professor Chrys C. Caragounis reveals something few Bible students know:

Most Protestant exegetes who refer πέτρα to Peter do so under the assumption that the passage is inauthentic, i.e., that it is either a later interpolation by some Christian hand or more precisely a later creation by a Petrine party, or in polemic against or at least in reaction to Paul.-Peter And The Rock (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York, 1990) pp. 1-3.

How can anyone conclude Peter is being promoted when the author’s demonstrative feminine pronoun “this” has Jesus speaking TO Peter ABOUT “her” the female rock, and not “upon you I will build.

Apparently, Matthew 7:24-25 is being kept from these scholars, it clearly establishes how Matthew 16:16-18 should be interpreted. What is the meaning of the metaphorical petra? One could waste a lifetime watching one and never see it change one iota. That makes it perfect metaphor for the unchanging revelation of God. God the Eternal Son’s “sayings” are immutable divine revelation, the like unchanging petra a perfect metaphor for it. Building one’s house upon the rock guarantees the forces of nature shall not prevail against it:

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (petra):
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock (petra). (Matt. 7:24-25 KJV)

That parallel establishes precisely how the metaphorical petra in Matthew 16:18 must be interpreted, it’s the unchanging divine revelation of Jesus being the Christ the Son of the Living God”:

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it [the petra] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (the petra) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:15-18 KJV)

Willful disregard for the overwhelming evidence the text is authentic is inexplicable. For example, the phenomenon of the names Simon and Petros in Mark’s gospel. Simon first appears in Mark 1:16, 29, 36 and only once switches to Petros in Mark 5:37 because it alludes to his place in Christ’s inner circle (which is relevant to the meaning of Kepha). Petros doesn’t appear again until Mark 8:29 “But who do you say that I am?” Petros answered “You are the Christ”. Then a burst of Petros references- (Mark 8:32-33; 9:2,5; 10:28; 11:21; 13:3; 14:29, 33, 37, 54, 66-67, 70, 72; 16:7). This corroborates Jesus surnamed Simon PETROS at Matthew 16:18, not John 1:42.

Moreover, the most likely reason John chose the archaic petros instead of lithos (cp. 1 Pt. 2:4, 5. 6, 7, 8)to “interpret” how kepha is was to point to the Janus parallelism in Matthew 16:18, it’s the only place where Jesus called Simon a “kepha/petros”. That was his way of informing us Jesus’ prediction Simon would be called Cephas was fulfilled there.

Texts have been successfully defended as authentic having far less evidence.

Most damming is the acceptance of grammatical and metaphorical incoherence caused by the “Peter is the Rock consensus”. Its inelegance is overwhelming proof against it.

The authenticity of this text is proven beyond any reasonable doubt by the elegance of Jesus’ Old Testament style asymmetric Janus Parallelism on the Aramaic/Greek PETROS homonym. (See Notes for “the Aramaic PETROS Greek PETROS homonym” below.)

For hundreds of years Janus Parallelisms have been hiding in plain sight, until Cyrus Gordon discovered them in 1978. Since then scholars have been finding them everywhere in the OT. The same is true of Matthew 16:18-19 where both a Janus and something similar to a Janus are hiding in plain sight.

The asymmetric binding and loosing parallelism duality lacking only the Janus homonym:

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt. 16:19 KJV)

The Janus crafted by Christ, which is obscured by the necessity of expanding how He would build His church, which results in the relationship implied by the Janus and permits Peter to receive the keys:

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt. 16:18-19 KJV)

Christ is looking back at Simon’s Aramaic name as Firstborn and says “you really are first born” [having confessed the petra of divine revelation] and because you are a petros life giving stone I will give you the keys of the kingdom.

Matthew clearly has the Aramaic PETROS in mind using the synonym PROTOS (Earliest in time) to define Simon:

πρῶτος Σίμων ὁ λεγόμενος Πέτρος (Matt. 10:2 STE)
First Simon the(one) called PETROS

John and Mark have the Greek common noun PETROS stone in mind when writing these texts:
16 And Simon he surnamed Peter PETROS; (Mk. 3:16 KJV)

thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone PETROS. (Jn. 1:42 KJV)

The Aramaic “firstborn” looks back at Peter’s confession of the petra of Jesus and how it changed him, and the Greek petros Christ surnamed Peter at that time looks forward to his new relationship with the Massive petra rock Christ as a living kepha stone, like the massive petra Rock water is flowing from the petros kepha so he gets that as his new name.

Just as Jesus’s name is being divinely revealed (Mt. 16:16-17) so Simon’s Aramaic name Petros is being revealed by Jesus in an Old Testament style asymmetric Janus Parallelism, also He surnames Simon the Greek Petros to document this change in relationship (Gen. 17:5; 32:28). He not only is the “first born of the divine revelation of Christ” he has become a “living stone” smaller version of the life-giving Petra.

John’s choice of petros rather than the usual lithos is best explained as an allusion to this very event in Matthew 16:18 because it depicts precisely how Peter is a “cephas stone”. He drank living water from the spiritual Rock that is Christ, and now out of his belly flows living water albeit from Christ through the much smaller petros/kepha rock that is precious to God.

Christ began the fulfillment of His prediction “you shall be called Cephas” in Matthew 16:18 when He surnamed Simon Petros (Mk. 3:16 cp. Lk. 6:14) . John’s explanation this Kepha is a (petros) requires it connotes the Aramaic kepha senses found in Palestinian Jewish culture:

כֵּיף, כֵּיפָא … which rock (when bored) will give forth water… pearls, jewels … precious stones, jewelry
– Jastrow, M. (1903). A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature and II (Vol. 1, pp. 634–635). London; New York: Luzac & Co.; G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Kepha appears in the Targum of these verses:

He made him to suck honey out of the rock (‎ ‎ כיף πέτρα) and oil out of the flinty rock (‎ ‎ כיף πέτρα) (Deut. 32:13 KJV) TAR/LXX
A gift is as a precious stone (‎ ‎ כיף ) in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. (Prov. 17:8 KJV) TAR

This special kepha petros sense is manifest when Peter applies the “forward looking petros” to the church calling them “living stones”, but substituting the modern lithos as the Attic petros, petra were archaic:

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 2:2-5 KJV)

If they had not “tasted” (v. 3) the living water of Christ the Petra Rock (1 Cor. 10:4; Num. 20:8), neither would they desire the sincere milk of God’s Word (v. 2). Their born again “babe” state is a function of their having tasted the living water of the massive Petra Rock that is Christ.

The precise wording required to preserve Jesus asymmetric Janus parallelism with Qal Wahomer analogy is the parsimonious reason both Mark and Luke left it to Matthew to accomplish.

The Interpretation:

Matthew 16:18 is an Old Testament style Janus Parallelism on petros with a Qal Wahomer petros analogy to petra .

Asymmetric Janus Parallelism. When a polysemy parallels what precedes it with one meaning, and what follows it with a different meaning, the phenomenon may be described as “asymmetric Janus parallelism.” Examples include Cant 2:12; Ruth 1:21; and Gen 2:1.-Gordon, Cyrus H. “Asymmetric Janus Parallelism” cited in Eretz-Israel 1982, Vol. 16, pp: 80

qal wahomer…a rabbinic argument from the lesser to the greater.-Collins, R. F. (1992). Good (NT). In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 1074). New York: Doubleday.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [petros], and upon this rock [petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18)

Pivoting back: And I say also unto thee, “You are [Aramaic] Petros PTR Firstborn in the church of the divine revelation “I am the Christ, the Son of God”. The demonstrative emphasis καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ implies Jesus is speaking to Petros about THIS very petra. The content of Peter’s confession is the PETRA just as the content of Jesus’ saying in Matthew 7:24-25 is the PETRA.

Pivoting forward: You are [Greek] petros lively stone from whose belly flows living water (Jn. 7:28) “new born babe having tasted the living water of Christ” flowing from the massive Petra Rock that is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4; Num. 20:8). Upon this divinely revealed truth I will build my church.

The Janus pivots on the Aramaic “Firstborn” and Greek “stone” meanings of PETROS, looking back at Peter’s unique confession of Christ’s identity Jesus identifies Peter as the Firstborn of the Gospel of Christ. Unlike previous confessions of Christ’s identity caused by astonishment and awe (Mk. 6:51; Mt. 14:26; Jn. 1:49-51), Peter’s was a product of divine revelation. It fit the pattern soon to be seen in the church universal, public confession of the divine revelation of Christ (Mt. 16:17-18; Rm. 10:8-13) which is how our LORD built His church. Therefore, Peter is the First born again by the Gospel of Christ.

The Qal Wahomer analogy Peter is a petros “lively stone” smaller version of the massive petra Rock that is Christ. “The petros” archetypical of the soon to be built church (1 Pt. 2:5) having drunk from the living water of the Massive petra Rock Moses was strike once so life sustaining water flow to the people (Num. 20:8 ; 1 Cor. 10:4). Then out of his belly comes rivers of living, having sucked “oil” out of the “flinty rock” (Dt. 32:13; Jn. 7:38). We see the same Janus like dual facing metaphor when Peter applies this to the church (1 Pt. 2:2-6). They have tasted Christ so are “babes desiring the sincere milk of the word” and are stones built on the massive petra rock and so are a “spiritual house” “holy priesthood” channeling life giving water to the people:

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Jn. 7:38 KJV)

Its no argument against inference is required to draw some of these petra kepha petros lithos connections bridging the gap. The Janus in Song of Solomon 2:12 also required inference to complete the picture it communicates. Peter’s Aramaic proper name PETROS, John’s prediction Simon would be called PETROS stone and his making petros equivalent to the Aramaic kepha where usage shows oil (figurative of the Holy Spirit = life) comes out of the “flinty rock”; Mark’s definition this wasn’t a proper name at the time, Peter’s transference Jesus’ Petra/petros analogy to the church as lively stones all combine revealing the elegance of this Janus parallelism crafted by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18.

The Aramaic PeTeR petros in Hebrew is Firstborn (06363 פֶּטֶר peter) or perhaps 06362 patar the first to open or burst out of the womb. Christ began this segment with an amazing parallel, he saw in Peter’s actions something similar to the prophet Jonah (Mt. 16:17; 920 βαριωνᾶ(ς) Barionas), who also figuratively rose from the dead speaking the divine revelation from God which if believed would save those who confessed it (Jonah 2:2; 3:2). This is the likely reason Matthew retained the Aramaic and did not translate it into Greek as “son of Jona.” As the πρῶτος (Mt. 10:2) or firstborn Simon gets the keys to the kingdom (Mt. 16:19) and double the binding and losing authority of the other disciples (Dt. 21:17; Mt. 16:19; 18:19)

This solution removes the grammatical imprecision and metaphor incoherence caused by the consensus “petros petra” hypothesis. The elegance of maximum parsimony is achieved only by interpreting this is an OT style Asymmetric Janus Parallelism with Qal Wahomer analogy.

Therefore, the Greatest Secret of Christianity is Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and confessing His Name Publicly results in the New Birth, Salvation from Eternal Death. Peter blazed the trail all the church is to follow and that secret has been revealed by a lowly cabby.

Evidently, God choose a foolish thing of the world to put the wise to shame (1 Cor. 1:19-29) that no flesh glory in His presence. Thank you Lord Jesus, God the Eternal Son of the Father, incarnate in human flesh, Second Person of the Holy Trinity Father Son and Holy Spirit. Risen from the dead physically and will return visibly, very soon! Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. (Rev 15:4 KJV)


The Aramaic PETROS Greek PETROS homonym

In our Greek versions there exists many transliterated Aramaic words: abba; bar; batos; elooi; ephphatha; kokrban; korbanas; lama; mamoonas; maran atha; rhabbi; rhabbouni; rhabitha; rhaka; sabachthani; talitha koum, for example.

Transliteration does not change meaning, even where this results in a homonym.

For example, the Aramaic BATH “liquid measure” in Luke 16:6 (943 βάτος), does not become the Greek BATOS (942 βάτος), which is a homonym meaning “bush” in Mk. 12:26; Lk. 6:44; 20:37; Acts 7:30, 35.

The only place in the Synoptics where PETROS is a common noun meaning “stone”, is in Jn 1:42. All other occurrences it is a transliterated Aramaic word spelled like “petros stone”, but means first born. That is clear from John 1:40 and Mat. 4:18, where Simon is shown to have had the name PETROS before he met Jesus, yet scripture is clear Christ surnamed Simon PETROS Cephas the common noun for “stone” just as He surnamed John and James the “sons of thunder”, a describing who they are in Mark 3:16-17.

The proper name Peter in Aramaic (Peshitta Ac.1:13; 1 Pt. 1:1; 2 Pt. 1:1; Hebrew פֶּטְרוֹס ) transliterated into Greek is Πέτρος a homonym to πέτρος “stone” and given the loss of First century Jewish Palestinian culture in the early church its hardly surprising Greek speakers confused the proper noun with the common noun. Simon had the name Πέτρος before he met Christ (Mt. 4:18; Jn. 1:40) and Jesus surnamed him Cephas, not Petros in John 1:42, which when interpreted (2059 ἑρμηνεύω hermeneuo) is a petros stone. John added that comment much later than the actual event therefore Christ did NOT surname Peter petros in John 1:42. Peter is first in all the apostolic lists because he is πρωτος Σιμων (Mt. 10:2) “first Simon” which is not a numbering system as Andrew isn’t “second” or James “third”. This is elementary, not rocket science.

“The currency of Peter’s name is confirmed in Tal Ilan’s identification of three additional first and second-century Palestinian Jewish individuals who bear the name Petros. It is worth noting that the Palestinian Talmud and midrashim repeatedly feature an early Amoraic Rabbi Yose ben Petros, whose father constitutes proof that even this Greek name was by no means unknown in the early rabbinic period.”- Bockmuehl, Markus. 2004. Simon Peter’s Names in Jewish Sources. Journal of Jewish Studies 55:71-72

The Aram. proper name פֶּטְרוֹס (on the various ways of writing it cf. Str.-B., I, 530 on Mt. 10:2) may be connected with פטר and if so means the διανοίγων τὴν μήτραν → 872, 27, the firstborn. Cf. → 101, n. 8; O. Cullmann, Petrus (1952), 13 and n. 11; 14, n. 13 (ET [1953], 19, n. 11, 13); O. Betz, “Felsenmann u. Felsengemeinde,” ZNW, 48 (1957), 65, n. 48.-Kittel, G., Bromiley, G. W., & Friedrich, G. (Eds.). (1964–). Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

I credit the fallacy of circular reasoning for inspiring doubts about this text’s authenticity and the conclusion Kepha appears twice in Christ’s Aramaic speech. There is a Palestinian version that reflects the Greek precisely: “Thou art Petros and on this Kepha I shall build”

Chrys C. Caragounis, Peter And The Rock (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin; New York 1990), p. 34

[If you enlarge the Aramaic look for verse 18 and count right to left nine words, Petros is in Aramaic. I don’t have Aramaic fonts, can’t read it anyway. As Prof. Caragounis does, most western scholarly works substitute Hebrew characters for Aramaic. I did the same here and in my video. ‎ פֶּטְרוֹס is Aramaic Petros in Hebrew characters.]

The hasty generalization Peshito (Western Aramaic) “Thou art kipho is the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic spoken by Christ “Thou art kepha is thus contradicted. Its hypothetical kepha twice reconstruction more likely the product of fallacious circular reasoning and false retranslation of petros petra from Greek autographs by distant Western Aramaic. Of course the consensus would be affected by any ancient confusion of transliterated petros with the Greek petros, they are spelled exactly the same.


Oscar Cullmann, in his articles on petra and Petros in The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, made statements that are contrary to what Greek lexicons have and also to evidence obtained from the usage of the words in Greek authors. His statement is that “they are often used interchangeably.” And, “What is stated is that the Church which is to be built is founded on the one rock. This is the person of Peter.” But he also stated: “The fact that Jesus consistently calls him Simon is unquestionably a difficulty.”8

[Ftn. 8: Oscar Cullman, “petra,” and “Petros,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1968), VI:95, 103, 108.]

Liddell and Scott, authors of the most comprehensive and authoritative Greek lexicon, have stated: “Petros, a stone,” piece of rock, and “thus distinguished from petra,” “a ledge or shelf or rocks. There is no example of petra in the sense of petros.”

In a study of every occurrence of the words for rock in the Old Testament, New Testament, Xenophon, Diodorus Siculus (vol. 2), Josephus, Philo, Strabo, and Plutarch I discovered that the most prevalent meaning for petra was a mass or cluster of rocks such as a cliff. It is used as a collective noun 52 times in the Septuagint. In about one third of its usages it meant either a huge boulder of bedrock, as in Matthew 7:24, “built upon rock.” The only writer who ever used it of a rock as small as a man was Josephus in describing a large rock-throwing machine.

Petros, however, always denoted a small rock or stone. It never had the connotation of petra. Petroi were used most frequently to throw at enemies, as the following citations show. “Assailed by fire, iron and stones (petrois) the soldiers … were propelling the ram.” “With these stones you will pelt and easily push your way through the Ligurian host.” “Amompharetus picked up a large stone (petron) and threw it down at the feet of Pausanias.” Although petros is here called large, it was small enough to be thrown; we found no such statement anywhere about petra.

Most revealing and conclusive, however, is the interpretation that the Fathers have in the second and third centuries. They reflect the usage in the New Testament as expressed by both Peter and Paul. Peter (I Peter 2:4–5) gave a re-echo of Matthew 16:18 by stating that both Christ and the Christians are “living stones” (lithoi=rocks, small or large). And Paul (Eph. 2:19–22) by saying they are “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.” Not Peter alone, but all the apostles. The word build is used in all three passages. Webster defines cornerstone: “The most basic element: foundation.” Very few NT readers are aware that it has so definitely, in the above verses, stated the basic facts that are recorded in Matthew 16:18, that all genuine Christians, beginning with the apostles, are “living rocks” like Peter was and are built upon Christ, the basic foundation, as the apostles and prophets were. The fathers of the second and third centuries repeatedly made statements confirming that concept.

In A Patristic Greek Lexicon by G. W. H. Lampe are quotations from Fathers giving their interpretations of petra. “The rock and the gate is the Son of God” (Hermas, Sim. 9.12.1). Eusebius and Origen agree that petra was the Christ. Origen stated that Peter was called petros because of his “unshakeable faith,” and that the apostles and all born again Christians are also the petra. “Every disciple of Christ is a rock “ (Origen). And a most interesting fact is the statement that among the first who claimed that Peter was the petra was Leo, who, I believe, did not become pope until.-(1981). Review and Expositor, 78(3), 411–412.

Another very interesting fact revealed in early church history is that in the first extant interpretation of Matthew 16:16–19, that of Origen (A.D. 185-254) in his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Peter was not considered as the “foundation of the Church” as some later on claimed. Commenting on “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” he wrote:

Not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart we became a rock (petros) and to us there might be said by the Word, “Thou art a rock’ (petros) … For a rock is every disciple of Christ … but if you suppose that upon that one Peter only the whole Church is built by God, what would you say about John, the son of thunder, or each one of the Apostles? … Were the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only, and will no other of the blessed receive them? … For all bear the surname of ‘rock’ (petros) who are imitators of Christ… But also as members of Christ, deriving their surname from him, they are called Christians. (Comm. in Matt., 12.10.)

In agreement with Origen, Augustine in a sermon on Matthew 14:25 surprisingly said, “Because Christ is the rock (petra), petros is the Christian people … Petros is from petros.”9 With such words he affirmed that Christ was the foundation of the church, not Peter.-(1981). Review and Expositor, 78(3), 413.

Ftn. 9: Trans, from the Latin; cf. the English ed., Augustine, Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1864), I:215.

The most probable reason for the opinions of Origen and Augustine is they incorporate elements of the Janus Parallelism still present in church tradition, but are unaware of the transliterated Aramaic petros proper name homonym to the Greek petros stone.

RE: Galatians

Paul changed from PETROS to Cephas in Galatians 2:9 (TR), because PETROS(“Firstborn”) didn’t covey the stone metaphor Paul wanted for his caustic review of “those who seemed to be pillars”.

Peter failed as a pillar cowering in fear before followers of James, even contradicting the vision God gave him! (Ac 10:34). If Petros/Peter communicated “stone” to Paul he wouldn’t have switched.

Eclectic texts randomly swap Cephas (Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14) with petros (Gal. 2:7, 8) and all attempts to make sense of it have failed.

Professor Cullman suggests:

“…The preference for the form Petros may have been due in part to the fact that in Aramaic there was a proper name Petros, which perhaps had the meaning “first-born.” 12 This, however, is not certain.…

12 J. Levy, Neuhebräisch-chaldäisches Wörterbuch,1876 ff.; Dalman, Aramäisch- neuhebräisches Wörterbuch, 2nd ed., 1922; Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch, Vol I, p. 530

14 …’The proper name Peter does not appear at all in pagan literature; it first appears in Tertullian.’ There was, on the contrary, as already mentioned (note 12), an Aramaic name פֶּטְרוֹס (Petros), which perhaps is to be connected with פטר (patar) “firstborn.” The theory that the Greek Petros was first derived from it and gave occasion for a false retranslation Kepha into Aramaic is quite impossible, in view of the fact that in Paul’s letters Cephas is already the usual designation and Peter clearly was only a derivation from it.”-PETER Disciple-Apostle-Martyr, by Oscar Cullmann, translated from the German by Floyd V. Filson (Westminister Press, Philadelphia, 1953), pp18-19.

Contrary to note 14 Markus Bockmuehl confirmed the Greek name PETROS existed in Peter’s day. The precise theory Professor Cullman replies to is unknown. However, if I understand it correctly he is arguing against the appearance of Kepha in the Aramaic versions being a false retranslation of PETROS in our Greek versions. But his rebuttal is confusing, he mentioned the existence of פֶּטְרוֹס that when transliterated (as Kepha was) is spelled PETROS. Aramaic translators would have accepted the “hasty generalization” PETROS was a translation of the word Kepha, and retranslate that back into Aramaic in their versions. But if Petros were Kepha translated, why does Kepha appear at all in our Greek versions, it’s then pointless. I never associate pointlessness with God’s word.

In Galatians the Alexandrine texts preferred by scholars pointlessly switch from Cephas to Peter (Gal. 2:7-8) which to me indicates they are inferior to the Received Text.

The existence of this Aramaic פֶּטְרוֹס is clear evidence for Greek Primacy, the Aramaic versions are then incontrovertibly translations of the original Greek texts, Byzantine corpus mainly. However, פֶּטְרוֹס is still found in Acts 1:13, 1 Peter 1:1 and 2 Peter 1:1 in the Peshitta extent today. Acts 1:13 a list of the apostles and Peter is first as usual, and being “first” having sufficient importance beyond any personal motive it be mentioned in his letters. Clearly פֶּטְרוֹס is an artifact of the past, Peter “firstborn” of the gospel of Christ and this is written so we believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and have life through His Name (Jn. 20:31).

The echo of פֶּטְרוֹס is consistent with my theory of providential preservation that God preserves even the tiniest meaning (jot tittle) necessary to fulfill (Mt. 5:18) all God sent it to accomplish (Is. 55:11). For His elect, the apple of His eye (Deut. 32:10).

Therefore, while I trust the Received Text and believe in Greek primacy, and Masoretic for the OT (Rom. 3:2), if my situation were different and I trusted the Peshitta for salvation, or some other version I don’t believe that would cause me any loss whatsoever. Even the deficient critical texts of today have enough of God’s truth in them to be saved. Bottom line, that’s what really matters. But if we must argue, its clear the presence of Palestinian Aramaic transliterated into Greek is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence Greek primacy is correct.