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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Simon

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The name ‘Simon’ in the New Testament is the equivalent of ‘Simeon’ in the Old Testament (see SIMEON). Two of Jesus’ disciples were named Simon. The first was better known as Peter (Matthew 10:2; see PETER). The other was known either by an Aramaic word transliterated ‘Cananaean’ or by the equivalent Greek word transliterated ‘Zealot’ (Matthew 10:4; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). The name may have indicated his enthusiastic nature, or it may have referred to his association with the party of anti-Rome Jews known as the Zealots, or Patriots (see ZEALOT).

Five other people named Simon are mentioned in the Gospels. The first was a younger brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55). The second was a Pharisee who invited Jesus to his home but received Jesus’ rebuke for his self-righteousness (Luke 7:36-50). The third was the owner of a house where a woman anointed Jesus just before his death (Matthew 26:6). (For the suggestion that this man was the father or husband of Martha see MARTHA.) The fourth was a man from Cyrene in Africa who helped carry Jesus’ cross to the crucifixion site (Mark 15:21). (He is possibly the person called Simeon in Acts 13:1.) The fifth was the father of Judas Iscariot (John 13:2; John 13:26).

Two more people named Simon feature in the book of Acts. One was a sorcerer in Samaria who believed Philip’s preaching and was baptized. But he was still a sorcerer at heart, and thought that by paying the right amount of money, he could receive the Holy Spirit’s power and so perform wonders. He was terrified when Peter announced a horrible judgment upon him, and asked Peter to pray on his behalf for God’s mercy (Acts 8:9-24).

The other Simon was a tanner in Joppa, on the Mediterranean coast. Peter on one occasion stayed in Simon’s house, and while there he had a vision that prepared him to visit Cornelius and other Gentiles in Caesarea (Acts 9:43; Acts 10:1-23).


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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Simon'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/s/simon.html. 2004.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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