Bible Proven Wrong! What Were Jesus’ and Peter’s REAL Names?


The phrase “in my name” appears 31 times in the New Testament.[1] When Christians make appeals in Jesus’ name, are they using the right name?

The modern English Bible has a long and problematic history that I do not have room to relate here, but take the following into consideration. The proper name “Jesus” appears to be a Latin conversion of the Greek “Ἰησοῦς (Iesous),” which in turn is a rendering of the Hebrew (also Aramaic[2]) “ישוע‎” (Yeshua), which might come from the earlier Hebrew name “”יהושע‎” (Yehoshua), which in English would be “Joshua.”[3] If this is all Greek to you, you’re in good company, because ancient Hebrew appears to have been Greek to Greeks and Latins as well.

We have the same problem with Peter’s name. In Latin and Greek this figure’s name is pronounced either “Petrus” or “Petros” (Πέτρος), due to Jesus’ referral to him as “The Rock”.[4] The Bible tells us that Peter’s real name is either Shemayon (ܫܸܡܥܘܿܢ) in Aramaic or Shim’on (שמעון) in Hebrew, which in modern English is “Simon.” Paul often refers to Peter as “Cephas,” which also appears to mean “rock” in Aramaic.[5]

Remember this the next time you hear someone invoking the name of Jesus… perhaps, like trying to fax a cat, they are doing it wrong. Then again, praying to Joshua just doesn’t seem right, does it?

[1] Observed 1 June 2015.

[2] An ancient Syrian language, accepted by most scholars as the language that Jesus would have spoken.

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[3] Ehrman, Bart D. Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. p. 29. HarperOne. 2012.

[4] Matthew 16:13-19.

[5] cƒ. Interlinear Peshitta Aramaic New Testament Bible Matthew xvi. 18.

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