Question of gender
reznik1 at juno.com
Tue May 14 23:54:44 EDT 2002
> What Carl said is accurate (not that Carl needs a defense.)
I think in case of New Testament we deal not just with Greek language,
but with Hebrew ideas in Greek clothes. Here is an interesting passage
from a midrash:
It may be compared to a king who thought to build. He dug deeply into
several places seeking to find a foundation. But he found only swamps and
water. But he did not lay it, until finally he dug in one place where
deep in the ground he found rock (petra). He declared: here I will build.
He laid the foundation and built! Thus when the Holy One sought to create
the world, he examined the generation of Enosh and the generation of
flood. He inquired: How can I create the world when all of these wicked
people will rise up to provoke me to anger? Then the Holy One saw Abraham
who would arise in the future. He declared: I have a rock upon which I
can lay the foundation to build the world.
(Yelamdenu, quoted in Yalkut Shimeony on Num 23:9)
It looks like Jesus used a well known tradition and applied it to Peter.
Of course, Petros was his name (at least, in Greek), but Petra better
matched for Jesus' metaphor of a foundation. There is no need to believe
that Petra refers to somebody or something else than Peter. And the very
question may exist only if we assume that Jesus used Greek words Peter
and Petra. But if He used Hebrew or Aramaic word, there is nothing to
speak about: He most likely used same word, as we can see it in
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