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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Simon (the Tanner)

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A dweller in the town of Joppa or Jaffa; in his house St. Peter lodged during his sojourn there after the raising of Dorcas (see article Dorcas), and from it he was summoned to visit the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts 9:43; Acts 10:6; Acts 17:32). The fact that Simon’s occupation was that of a tanner has given rise to several interesting suggestions with regard to the Apostle’s state of mind at this period. The trade of Simon, owing to his constant contact with dead bodies, was regarded by the Jews as unclean (cf. Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, 1908, p. 158). The Apostle’s scruples as to ceremonial uncleanness were not so pronounced as to prevent him from lodging with Simon, and perhaps his contact with the tanner, probably a Christian believer, may have helped to prepare his mind for receiving the message of Cornelius. We may admit that the reference to the tanner is meant to introduce the ‘universalism’ of the following chapter without in any way suggesting that the passage is unhistorical (cf. Knowling, Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Acts,’ 1900, in loco).

W. F. Boyd.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Simon (the Tanner)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/s/simon-the-tanner.html. 1906-1918.

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