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Bar-jonah

Simon Peter’s patronymic (Mt 16:17). Bar is Aramaic for "son" (compare Bar-timaeus, Bartholomew, etc.), and corresponds to Hebrew ben. Thus we are to understand that Peter’s father’s name was Jonah. But in Joh 1:42; 21:15-17, according to the best reading, his name is given as John (so the Revised Version (British and American), instead of the King James Version Jona, Jonas). There are two hypotheses to account for this difference:

(1) Ionas (Jonah) in Mt 16:17 may be simply a contraction of Ioanes (John);

(2) Peter’s father may have been known by two names, Jonah and John.

D. Miall Edwards

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