Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
The new name given to Simon Peter by Jesus at their first meeting. "You are Simon, son of John; you are to be called Cephas, meaning Rock" (John 1:42). Cephas is the Aramaic equivalent of the Greek Peter. It is interesting to note that Paul nearly always referred to him as Cephas and only once or twice as Peter (I Corinthians 1:12, 9:5, 15:5). This may indicate that his references appeared in early manuscripts (Galatians 2:7-8). The Greek usage gradually supplanted the Aramaic. (Etym. Aramaic kepa', the rock.)