Some writers claim that the name Clopas in John 19 ("Mary of Clopas" Κλόπας) is a Hellenized form of a claimed Aramaic name Qlopha (קלופא), and that Cleopas' name (Κλεόπας) is an abbreviated form of "Cleopatros", a Greek name meaning "glory of the father" (best known in the feminine form Cleopatra).
Others consider that Clophas, Cleophas and Alphaeus are all the same name.
Account in the Gospel of Luke
This occurs three days after the crucifixion, on the day of Jesus' resurrection. The two have heard the tomb of Jesus was found empty earlier that day. They are discussing the events of the past few days when a stranger asks them what they are discussing. "Their eyes were kept from recognizing him." He soon rebukes them for their unbelief and gives them a Bible study on prophecies about the Messiah. They ask the stranger to join them for the evening meal. When he breaks the bread "their eyes were opened" and they recognize him as the resurrected Jesus. Jesus immediately vanishes.
Cleopas and his friend hasten back to Jerusalem to carry the news to the other disciples, and learn Jesus has also appeared to [one of] them. The same event is mentioned in Mark 16:12-16:13: the incident is without parallel in the gospels of Matthew and John.
The historian, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, quotes the earlier chronicler, Hegesippus, who wrote, c. AD 180, that he had years before interviewed the grandsons of Jude the Apostle and learned that Cleophas was the brother of Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary: "After the martyrdom of James, it was unanimously decided that Simeon, son of Cleophas, was worthy to occupy the see of Jerusalem. He was, it is said, a cousin of the Saviour." Hegesippus noted that Cleophas was a brother of Joseph (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., III, 11).
Cleopas is remembered on 25 September in the Martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Richard R. Losch All the people in the Bible: an A-Z guide to the saints 2008 Page 279 "Clopas (Κλοπας) is the Hellenized form of the Aramaic Qlopa (קלופא), while Cleopas (Κλεοπας) is a common abbreviated form of the Greek name Cleopatros (Κλεοπατρος)."
- An American commentary on the New Testament: Issues 13-18 Alvah Hovey - 1890 "They argue that Alphaeus is the Greek form of the Hebrew Cleophas ; that Mary, the wife of Cleophas, and the mother of James and Joses (Mark 15 ... The evidence is not entirely satisfactory that Alphaeus and Cleophas are the same name."
- Tom Wright, Luke for Everyone. SPCK, London. 2002