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Simon Peter

Peter owned a house in Capernaum. There Jesus healed his mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38, 39). Luke places the incident at the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry; Matthew places the event some time later (Matt 8:14, 15). The crux interpretationis is the statement in Matthew 16:18—“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” What does “rock” mean? Some, to avoid too much primacy of Peter, suggest that “rock” refers to Peter’s confession rather than to Peter himself. It is highly possible that an interesting play on words is lost in the translation from Aram. into Gr. and Eng. In Aram., the same word would have been used for “Peter” and “rock” (כֵּיפָא), and the identification would have been much more direct than in Gr. (where both words are from the same root) or in Eng. (where they are two different words). Such plays on words are common in Sem. languages, and apparently Jesus actually meant that Peter is the rock upon which He wou