Following an atrocity by the intemperate Roman Prefect Pilate, there was a confrontation involving Nazorean Jews. One of the of the leaders, Yeshua or Joshua, (Jesus) was captured and crucified. Some of his followers escaped – and the story was told that Jesus survived and reappeared in Galilee.
But Christian writers, in adapting this narrative, freely borrowed Jewish characters from other contexts, so adding their own fictions and misunderstandings. Some of these characters can now restored through analysing the texts.
It may come as a shock to learn that there never was anyone called Simon Peter. Nor was there a brother James of the rebel Jesus, who became a Christian bishop.
Simon had his nickname attributed retrospectively, as a result of a mistake in translation. Saul remained the devious Saul and never lived up to being a pious Paul!
Joseph the High Priest, who cooperated with the capricious Pilate, did have a family. His unrecorded sons, however, saw no benefit in working with the enemy. Who they were and what they may have done can in part be recovered from the Christian rewrite.
Who was Cephas? is published under the imprint of Blue Cedar Printworks. Have a look at the extract offered – and order a copy directly via this website. Click on ‘Available to buy now’.