Why is the Apostle Peter Called Simon Bar-Jonah?

I found it odd that Jesus would address Peter as “Simon bar-Jonah” after his declaration of Jesus as the Christ (Matthew 16:17) — not because it’s uncommon for men to be referred to as “the son of” someone in the biblical text, but because the occurrence takes place so soon (in the text) after Jesus’ declaration that the only sign that the “wicked and adulterous generation” would receive was “the sign of [what I assume to be the prophet] Jonah” (16:4). Do you see anything beyond the coincidental double appearance of the name Jonah here?

See my recent article on Boat Stories for more on some of the themes I discuss here.

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5 thoughts on “Why is the Apostle Peter Called Simon Bar-Jonah?

  1. According to Abarim – Meanings (pretty good at the hebrew and greek) Jonah means Vexter. Barjonah; Son of the Vexter.

    Freely to be understood as; devils-artist, magician. Simon the Magician. Little Satan (Satanas), the old Simon was a sinner; Lord goeth out from me because I am a mam of wrong-doings (lke Jonah was).


    1. I take it to possibly mean that he is like the prophet Jonah in a spiritual sense. Not simply the son of his natural earthly father.


  2. Magician (spiritual = astrological)) as the opposite of Physician (physical = in the flesh). Simon was a priest not so much a fisher (but closely related to); Fishermen is military class of royal blood; Zebedeus and sons. Nicodemus sought the kingdom of heaven, as Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdala

    Title, name for the high-priest; Jairus, Aaron, Harun (arab.) = mountain, rock
    another name is Annas, Ananias; gift from God, like the granate-apple
    Nathanael = Zebedeus is given from god (the royal house)
    Simon was making himself a great, like Zaacheus and Nimrod = Orion (Sisera)
    Cepheus (Cephalos) is the star-sign closest to the pole-star, the highest
    Kephas (Kaiaphas) is height, highness or first in rank, title for the high-priest
    Cepheus was a landman,earth-dweller, from profession; Hunter / Warrior = also Fisher
    Matthew, Matthias, Levi = Levite, courtier, landman, Gardener not a sea-man.
    Simon of Cyrene (Gadara or from overseas) was found on the land: a landman
    Cassiopeia was the vain wife, Andromeida the manly daughter of Cefas.
    Andromeida is the Queen of the South. Virgo is the Queen of the North
    Dorcas (Gazelle, lives in hurdles) Tabitha kum = angelic army = the raised flock.
    Simon fathered the flock; as a priest / temple servant and aspirant (assisting) fisher
    Cornelius = Zebedee = Nathanael = zacharias = Heli(os) = Eli(as)
    Salome = Elisabeth = house, family of Elisa (the baptist and his father), royal family(of mary the E.).


  3. So I am a Jew and I read the Bible as a Jew.
    There is no use of a patronym in the New Testament except in this one case, however, the preserving of the patronym and moreover, its Hebrew form is surprising. Why did they not simply say Simon son of John as they would elsewhere? If the Bible is inspired it must have a meaning which must be preserved. I read Shem Tov’s, Hebrew Matthew. Recall what Peter’s declaration to Christ was…
    You are the Messiah, the Son of the living G-d.
    Christ replies
    Blessed are thou, Simon bar Jona
    What occurs here is a Hebrew play on words… a Hebraism which loses its meaning in all other languages
    The word Jona means dove. The symbol of the Holy Spirit – the living G-d who gives life
    Christ is replying to Peter ” Blessed are you Simon, son of the Living G-d”, Christ parallels what Peter declares to Him.
    The Blessed Trinity has made their choice of Peter. The Father reveals to Simon the identity of the Son through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Son confirms that revelation of the Father by inspiration by the Holy Spirt to his son Simon son of the Dove, When Christ speaks to Peter, Christ addresses Peter in the singular form and not the plural form.


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