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Hiding in Plain Sight: "Simon Barjona" as Wordplay and Theology in Mt 16:17

Gary D. Collier

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  "publisher": "Zenodo", 
  "DOI": "10.5281/zenodo.4742949", 
  "language": "eng", 
  "title": "Hiding in Plain Sight: \"Simon Barjona\" as Wordplay and Theology in Mt 16:17", 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
  "abstract": "<p>Why did Jesus call Peter &ldquo;Simon Barjona&rdquo; in Mt 16:17?&nbsp; The name &ldquo;Simon&rdquo; is common enough in the gospels, especially the Gospel of John.&nbsp; But &ldquo;Barjona&rdquo; occurs only once in all of biblical literature.&nbsp; Commentators tend to focus on textual variants, or how this might be related to &ldquo;Simon son of John&rdquo; (Jn 1:42; 21:15-17).&nbsp; Suggestions are often related to &ldquo;historical Peter&rdquo; type questions, ranging from a contraction of <em>Johanan</em> and so squaring it with the Gospel of John, or Peter&rsquo;s father being known by two names.&nbsp; Older commentators found in it &ldquo;son of the dove.&rdquo;&nbsp; Or some just skip it altogether.&nbsp; Public websites might run wild with speculation focusing on weird etymological possibilities for the secrets of the name.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>By taking the name Jonah as a key, I will focus on how the Gospel of Matthew is crafted in contrast with Mark and Luke, specifically as relating to &ldquo;the sign of Jonah&rdquo; in Mt 12:39 and 16:4.&nbsp; Gundry is right that the &ldquo;<em>son</em> of Jonah&rdquo; is linked to &ldquo;the <em>sign</em> of Jonah&rdquo; which points to the death and resurrection of Jesus.&nbsp; And he might be right that &ldquo;the choice of the Semitic &Beta;&alpha;&rho;- instead of the Greek &upsilon;\u1f31\u03cc&sigmaf; suits the semitic character of the names Simon and Jonah.&rdquo; (332)&nbsp; But there is another clue that these are linked.</p>\n\n<p>Everybody in the world is aware of the &pi;\u03ad&tau;&omicron;&sigmaf;/&pi;\u03ad&tau;&rho;&alpha; word play in 16:18. But there is another wordplay in v. 17 that has been entirely overshadowed.&nbsp; It sets up the more famous wordplay and ties it solidly to the sign of Jonah promised in two prior texts:&nbsp; and it makes the sign of Jonah something that hides in plain sight.</p>", 
  "author": [
      "family": "Gary D. Collier"
  "id": "4742949", 
  "note": "Originally read at the 2018 Stone-Campbell Journal Annual Meeting, Gospel's section.", 
  "event-place": "Johnson City, TN", 
  "type": "speech", 
  "event": "Stone-Campbell Journal Annual Conference (SCJ Conference)"
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