Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Sunday 28 May |
The Solemnity of Pentecost
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

What was St. Peter’s name before Jesus changed it?


jorisvo | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 06/29/22

St. Peter was called Simon, or Simeon, a very common name in the Bible and in ancient Israel.

What can God do in your life with one Bible verse a day?
Subscribe to Aleteia's new service and bring Scripture into your morning:
Just one verse each day.
Click to bring God's word to your inbox

In the Gospels, Jesus give a new name to the head of the apostles. Jesus calls him “Peter,” changing it from “Simon.”

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter, or “rock”).

John 1:42

In the Gospel of Matthew, Simon’s father is called “Jonah.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.”

Matthew 16:17

According to the website, Behind the Name, “From Σίμων (Simon), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim’on) meaning ‘he has heard.’ This name is spelled Simeon, based on Greek Συμεών, in many translations of the Old Testament, where it is borne by the second son of Jacob.”

When Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, it was highly symbolic and referred to Simon’s new role as a foundational rock for the Church.

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.