Kefa is the original Aramaic form of the name that appears in the Greek New Testament as "Kefas" and in the English Bible as "Cephas," or Peter. In Aramaic, Arabic and other Semitic languages, the word refers to a small green stone used for purposes of divination. Dr. Hugh Nibley suggested that the most correct English translation of the word would be "Seerstone."

In the Bible Jesus Christ used the word to nickname one of his disciples[1]. According to this text, Cephas is translated 'Stone.' Many preachers had interpreted this as a rock on which a house could be built, probably referring to the episode recorded in Matthew 16: 13 - 18. Here it was Peter who was able to reveal whom Jesus was, and he was commended and aliased 'Peter' which is the Greek for 'Cephas.' Obviously with the Aramaic meaning of 'Kefas' in mind ('Seerstone', as suggested by Dr. Nibley), Jesus Christ did not mean 'rock' as in big stone for the foundation of a house. A more acceptable interpretation of Matthew 16:17&18 would then be "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah (Son of Jonah), for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven,And I also say to you that you are Peter/Kefa/a small green stone used for the purposes of divination, and on this Kefa I will build my Church..."

Divination had been explained as seeking knowledge by supernatural means: the methods or practice of attempting to foretell the future or discovering the unknown through omens, oracles, or supernatural powers[2]. Jesus Christ called Simon a Peter/Kefa, the means through which mysteries are known. This is known as revelation in christian theology.

Revelation of hidden mysteries is an integral part of the Christian Church. This is not to say that divination is the sole essential of the Church. But this could be explained as the revelation of the mind of God through the exegesis and application of the scriptures to contexts. The more a christian knows about God and his love and action for humankind through Jesus Christ, the more he or she gets stronger in faith.

Therefore Kefas could be the christian scriptures, the interpreter of the same, for the edification of those who believe. This is how Christ's Church is being built.[3]

See also


  1. John 1:42
  2. Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation
  3. Ephesians 4:11 - 14
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