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Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Luke 22:34 NIV

https://news.ag.org/Features/Sometimes-a-Rooster-is-Not-a-Rooster

This article from the Assemblies of God relates how ancient Jewish phrases in the Bible can be taken too literally and not understood by today's culture. It claims that the "cock that crows" is an ancient term used to describe the man who blows the shofar early in the morning to wake up everyone to prayer.

What evidence is there for this claim, that the "cock" was a person not an animal?

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This is a VERY interesting and plausible suggestion, provided some evidence can be provided. My search revealed none. In fact the referenced article contains some factual errors, namely:

  • Chickens were not permitted in Jerusalem. This is obviously false as chickens were being sold in the temple and had to be purged by Jesus on at least one (possibly two) occasions
  • The word for rooster is "alektor" can also mean "man or husband". I could find no lexicon or dictionary that offers that meaning for "alektor" (eg, BDAG gives rooster as the sole meaning and nothing more from non-Biblical literature)
  • If "rooster crowing" did actually mean the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn), I could find no reference to such in the Torah.
  • I could find no reference to the shofar being used around Passover time in the Torah

Such a tradition may have developed later (well after the Torah or even after the OT was complete) and this would be interesting to know.

Another site makes similar claims that are a slight modification of the above: https://www.randomgroovybiblefacts.com/peters-denial-and-the-cocks-crow.html

This second reference suggests that it is in the Aramaic that "rooster" and "man" are NOT the same word but very similar. However, it also suggests that the Aramaic was the original language of the New Testament. It is the vast majority view that Greek was the original language of the NT by almost every NT scholar. Further, the earliest Aramaic translation of the NT (incomplete) appeared, probably in the 2nd century and the whole of the NT was completed by the 5th century.

In any case, the word for man and rooster, while very close (in Aramaic) are still distinct and all the Gospels uniformly use the word for rooster, "alektor", which in Greek, is unambiguous.

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  • Excellent answer. +1 – Ruminator Dec 3 '18 at 13:59

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