by Patrick McGuire
The Letters of Kepha (Peter)
The Hebrew name of Peter is actually “Kepha.” Both the Greek name used in the ancient manuscripts (Petros) and the Hebrew name (Kepha) mean “Rock” in their respective languages. It appears that the name was translated instead of being transliterated. So where exactly did “Peter” come from in English translations? Jesus only knows… The names used in the various English Bibles are seldom transliterated with any accuracy.
Peter begins by telling us that his letters are not for everyone. He is only writing to those that are “chosen” by Elohim:
(1 Pet 1:1-2 NASB) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.
Peter, like all the writers of Scripture, understands that we do not choose Elohim. He chooses whom He will. Peter iterates that fact at the beginning of his first letter.
Peter appears to address a variety of issues in his two short letters. However, his consistent mission was obvious. He is teaching the Torah and messages from the Tanakh.
In the first letter, he addresses the fact that the Word of Elohim is forever and does not change. He discusses passages in the Tanakh that point to Yeshua as the Messiah. He then dissertates on the roles that husbands and wives have in marriage. We are not told why he addresses this, but it is likely due to questions that arose from those to whom he is writing. He ends this letter by exhorting them to love one another and be humble.
In his second letter, he is less forthright and somewhat more cryptic. The letters differ so much that some “critics” claim the letters must have been written by different people. That is absurd, but people have a right to be absurd if they wish. Peter states his name to start the letter, so we can rest assured that it is from the same person. After a short introduction, Peter delves into prophecy and prophets. He warns against false prophets and false teachers. He uses historical examples from the Tanakh to make his point.
Why hasn’t Messiah returned yet? Peter will tell you in no uncertain terms.
Peter describes the destruction of the heavens and the earth! Or does he? Has this passage been (another) misunderstood by Christianity since their beginning?
Join us in our study of these short and fascinating letters from Kepha! (Or is it “Peter?” Or “Petros?” Or is it “Simon?”)