The Poetical Qualities of the Apostle Peter in Jewish Folktale There are hardly any reminiscences of the apostle Peter in Jewish litera- ture, but some biographical elements and individual characteristics are brought together in a number of legends concerning Simon Cephas. Simon, the original name of the apostle Peter in combination with the Aramaic-Greek title Cepha ( s ), and the apostolic name par excellence with the original meaning ‘stone’, may have been known to some extent among Jews as the alleged founder of the Church of Rome. 1 Three small Hebrew accounts of a biography of Simon-Peter can be found in Beth ha- Midrasch , published by A. Jellinek within the context of the ‘History of Jesus’ or Toldot Yeshu tradition, 2 and in Otzar Midrashim edited by Y.D. Eisenstein. 3 The third account was copied verbatim from the Tam u- Mu‘ad (‘Complete and Testified’) version of Toldot Yeshu . 4 The Toldot Yeshu is an early medieval treatise, originally written in Aramaic, with a unique approach to the stories about Jesus as the founder of Christianity. This episodic work does not offer any systematic polemical argumenta- tion, but rather ridicules the biographical tales about Jesus in
Zutot – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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