Simon the Zealot

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Saint Simon the Zealot
Rubens apostel simon.jpg
St. Simon, by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1611), from his Twelve Apostles series at the Museo del Prado, Madrid
Apostle, Martyr, Preacher
BornJudea
Died~65 or ~107 [1]
place of death disputed. Possibly Pella, Armenia; Suanir, Persia; Edessa; Caistor
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Churches
Oriental Orthodoxy
Catholic Church (Eastern & Roman)
Anglicanism
Lutheran Church
Major shrine relics claimed by many places, including Toulouse; Saint Peter's Basilica [2]
Feast October 28 (Western Christianity)
May 10 (Byzantine Christianity)
Pashons 15 (Coptic Christianity)
ግንቦት 15 (Ethiopian Christianity)
July 1 (medieval Hispanic liturgy as attested by sources of the time, such as the Antiphonary of León)
Attributes boat; cross and saw; fish (or two fish); lance; man being sawn in two longitudinally; oar [2]
Patronage curriers; sawyers; tanners [2]

Simon the Zealot (Acts 1:13, Luke 6:15 ) or Simon the Cananite or Simon the Cananaean ( Matthew 10:4 , Mark 3:18 ; Greek : Σίμων ὁ Κανανίτης; Coptic : ⲥⲓⲙⲱⲛ ⲡⲓ-ⲕⲁⲛⲁⲛⲉⲟⲥ; Classical Syriac : ܫܡܥܘܢ ܩܢܢܝܐ) [3] was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. A few pseudepigraphical writings were connected to him, but Saint Jerome does not include him in De viris illustribus written between 392–393 AD. [4]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning at least 3500 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Coptic language Latest stage of the Egyptian language

Coptic or Coptic Egyptian, is the latest stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century as an official language. In the 2nd century BCE, Egyptian began to be written in the Coptic alphabet, an adaptation of the Greek alphabet with the addition of six or seven signs from Demotic to represent Egyptian sounds the Greek language did not have.

<i>De Viris Illustribus</i> (Jerome) collection of biographies by Jerome

De Viris Illustribus is a collection of short biographies of 135 authors, written in Latin, by the 4th-century Latin Church Father Jerome. He completed this work at Bethlehem in 392-3 AD. The work consists of a prologue plus 135 chapters, each consisting of a brief biography. Jerome himself is the subject of the final chapter. A Greek version of the book, possibly by the same Sophronius who is the subject of Chapter 134, also survives. Many biographies take as their subject figures important in Christian Church history and pay especial attention to their careers as writers. It "was written as an apologetic work to prove that the Church had produced learned men." The book was dedicated to Flavius Lucius Dexter, who served as high chamberlain to Theodosius I and as praetorian prefect to Honorius. Dexter was the son of Saint Pacianus, who is eulogized in the work.

Contents

Identity

Saint Simon the Zealot with his attribute of a saw SimonTheZealotWithSaw.JPG
Saint Simon the Zealot with his attribute of a saw

The name Simon occurs in all of the Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts each time there is a list of apostles, without further details:

Synoptic Gospels A way to describe the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke collectively

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical wording. They stand in contrast to John, whose content is largely distinct. The term synoptic comes via Latin from the Greek σύνοψις, synopsis, i.e. "(a) seeing all together, synopsis"; the sense of the word in English, the one specifically applied to these three gospels, of "giving an account of the events from the same point of view or under the same general aspect" is a modern one.

Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

The Zealot

To distinguish him from Simon Peter he is called Kananaios or Kananites, depending on the manuscript ( Matthew 10:4 Mark 3:18 ), and in the list of apostles in Luke 6:15, repeated in Acts 1:13, Zelotes, the "Zealot". Both titles derive from the Hebrew word קנאי qanai, meaning zealous , although Jerome and others mistook the word to signify the apostle was from the town of קנה Cana, in which case his epithet would have been "Kanaios", or even from the region of כנען Canaan.[ citation needed ] As such, the translation of the word as "the Cananite" or "the Canaanite" is traditional and without contemporary extra-canonic parallel.[ citation needed ]

Saint Peter apostle and first pope

Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon, Sham'un al-Safa, Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.

Hebrew language Semitic language native to Israel

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel. Modern Hebrew was spoken by over nine million people worldwide in 2013. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name "Hebrew" in the Tanakh itself. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only Canaanite language still spoken, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.

Kanai is a term for a zealot or fanatic. It means one who is zealous on behalf of God.

James Tissot - Saint Simon - Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn Museum - Saint Simon - James Tissot - overall.jpg
James Tissot – Saint Simon – Brooklyn Museum

Robert Eisenman has pointed out contemporary talmudic references to Zealots as kanna'im "but not really as a group — rather as avenging priests in the Temple". [5] Eisenman's broader conclusions, that the zealot element in the original apostle group was disguised and overwritten to make it support the assimilative Pauline Christianity of the Gentiles, are more controversial. John P. Meier points out that the term "Zealot" is a mistranslation and in the context of the Gospels means "zealous" or "jealous" (in this case, for keeping the Law of Moses), as the Zealot movement did not exist until 30 to 40 years after the events of the Gospels. [6] However, neither Brandon, [7] nor Hengel [8] support this view, both independently concluding that the revolt by Judas of Galilee, arising from the census of Quirinius in 6 AD, was the ultimate origin of the Jewish freedom movement, which developed via the "Fourth Philosophy" group into the Zealots, even by the time of Jesus. Both of these researchers suggest that "Simon Zelotes" was indeed a Zealot belonging to this movement, and perhaps that other disciples were also. However, Hengel (in particular) concluded that Jesus himself was not a zealot, as much of his teaching was actually contrary to Fourth Philosophy views.[ citation needed ]

Robert Eisenman American archaeologist

Robert Eisenman is an American biblical scholar, theoretical writer, historian, archaeologist, and "road" poet. He is currently professor of Middle East religions, archaeology, and Islamic law and director of the Institute for the Study of Judaeo-Christian Origins at California State University Long Beach.

Talmud Holy Book of Rabbinic Judaism

The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (halakha) and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving also as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews.

Pauline Christianity beliefs espoused by Paul the Apostle

Pauline Christianity or Pauline theology is the theology and Christianity which developed from the beliefs and doctrines espoused by Paul the Apostle through his writings. Paul's beliefs were strongly rooted in the earliest Jewish Christianity, but deviated from some of this Jewish Christianity in their emphasis on inclusion of the gentiles into God's New Covenant, and his rejection of circumcision as an unnecessary token of upholding the Law.

Other identifications

Statue of St. Simon in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran by Francesco Moratti. Francesco moratti, san simone, entro nicchia disegnata dal borromini, 02.jpg
Statue of St. Simon in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran by Francesco Moratti.

In the Gospels, Simon the Zealot is never identified with Simon the brother of Jesus mentioned in Mark 6:3:

Simon, brother of Jesus brother of Jesus in the New Testament

Simon is described in the New Testament as one of the brothers of Jesus.

Mark 6 Gospel according to Mark, chapter 6

Mark 6 is the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. In this chapter, Jesus goes to Nazareth and faces the rejection of his own family. He then sends his Apostles in pairs to various cities in the region where they also face rejection. Finally, Jesus goes back to the Sea of Galilee and performs some of his most famous miracles, including the feeding of the 5000 and walking on water. This chapter also gives an account of the murder of John the Baptist.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.

The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that Simon the Zealot may be the same person as Simeon of Jerusalem or Simon the brother of Jesus. He could perhaps be the cousin of Jesus or a son of Joseph from a previous marriage. [9]

<i>Catholic Encyclopedia</i> English-language encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States and designed to serve the Roman Catholic Church. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index volume in 1914 and later supplementary volumes. It was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine".

Simeon of Jerusalem Patriarch of Jerusalem

Simeon of Jerusalem, son of Clopas, was a Jewish Christian leader and according to most Christian traditions the second Bishop of Jerusalem.

Another tradition holds that this is the Simeon of Jerusalem who became the second bishop of Jerusalem, although he was born in Galilee. [10] [11]

Later tradition

St. Isidore of Seville drew together the accumulated anecdotes of St. Simon in De Vita et Morte.

According to the Golden Legend, which is a collection of hagiographies, compiled by Jacobus de Varagine in the thirteenth century "Simon the Cananaean and Judas Thaddeus were brethren of James the Less and sons of Mary Cleophas, which was married to Alpheus." [12] [13]

In the apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel a fact related to this apostle is mentioned. A boy named Simon is bitten by a snake in his hand, he is healed by Jesus and told the child "you shall be my disciple". The mention ends with the phrase "this is Simon the Cananite, of whom mention is made in the Gospel." [14]

In later tradition, Simon is often associated with St. Jude as an evangelizing team; in Western Christianity, they share their feast day on 28 October. The most widespread tradition is that after evangelizing in Egypt, Simon joined Jude in Persia and Armenia or Beirut, Lebanon, where both were martyred in 65 AD. This version is the one found in the Golden Legend. He may have suffered crucifixion as the Bishop of Jerusalem.

One tradition states that he traveled in the Middle East and Africa. Christian Ethiopians claim that he was crucified in Samaria, while Justus Lipsius writes that he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia. [2] However, Moses of Chorene writes that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Caucasian Iberia. [2] Tradition also claims he died peacefully at Edessa. [15] Another tradition says he visited Britain— In his 2nd mission to Britain, he arrived during 1st year of Boadicean War 60 AD. He was crucified May 10, 61AD by the Roman Catus Decianus, at Caistor, modern-day Lincolnshire, Britain, See The Drama of the Lost Disciples, p. 159 by George F. Jowett. Another, doubtless inspired by his title "the Zealot", states that he was a member of the group involved in the Jewish revolt against the Romans, which was brutally suppressed. [7] [8]

The 2nd century Epistle of the Apostles (Epistula Apostolorum), [16] a polemic against gnostics, lists him among the apostles purported to be writing the letter (who include Thomas) as Judas Zelotes and certain Old Latin translations of the Gospel of Matthew substitute "Judas the Zealot" for Thaddeus/Lebbaeus in Matthew 10:3. To some readers, this suggests that he may be identical with the "Judas not Iscariot" mentioned in John 14:22: "Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Our Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" As it has been suggested that Jude is identical with the apostle Thomas (see Jude Thomas), an identification of "Simon Zelotes" with Thomas is also possible. Barbara Thiering identified Simon Zelotes with Simon Magus, however this view has received no serious acceptance. The New Testament records nothing more of Simon, aside from this multitude of possible but unlikely pseudonyms. He is buried in the same tomb as St. Jude Thaddeus, in the left transept of the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, under the altar of St. Joseph.

In art, Simon has the identifying attribute of a saw because he was traditionally martyred by being sawn in half.

Sainthood

St. Simon the Zealot's (Simon Kananaios) cave in Abkhazia, Georgia St. Simon Kananaios cave Inside.JPG
St. Simon the Zealot's (Simon Kananaios) cave in Abkhazia, Georgia

Simon, like the other Apostles, is regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church.

Islam

Muslims accept Jesus as a prophet of Islam. The Qur'an also speaks of Jesus' disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as "helpers to the work of God". [17] Muslim exegesis and Qur'an commentary, however, names them and includes Simon amongst the disciples. [18] Muslim tradition says that Simon was sent to preach the faith of God to the Berbers, outside North Africa. [19]

In the Gospel of Barnabas, a book dated to the late 16th century that recounts a life story of Jesus from an Islamic perspective, a list of the twelve apostles is registered. In this list the only apostle that does not match with one of the traditional apostles of Christianity is Simon the Zealot, naming in his place a person who identifies himself as Barnabas, who appears as author of the book. [20]

Notes

  1. "St. Simon the Apostle" (in Italian). Blessed Saints and Witnesses. 2005-03-15. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Jones, Terry H. "Saint Simon the Apostle". Saints.SQPN.com. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  3. https://st-takla.org/Coptic-History/CopticHistory_01-Historical-Notes-on-the-Mother-Church/Christian-Church-History__035-Saint-Simon-Sam3an-Al-Kanawy.html
  4. "This work [De viris illustribus], as he reveals at its start and finish, was completed in the fourteenth year of Theodosius, that is, between 19 January 392 and 18 January 393." A.D. Booth, "The Chronology of Jerome's Early Years," Phoenix 35 (1981), p.241.
  5. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Viking Penguin). 1997. :33–34.
  6. Meier, John (2001). A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus Volume 3: Companions and Competitors. Yale University. pp. 132–135. ISBN   978-0-300-14032-3.
  7. 1 2 Brandon, S. G. F. (1967). Jesus and the Zealots. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press.
  8. 1 2 Hengel, Martin; Smith, David [translator] (1989). The Zealots. Edinburgh, Scotland: T&T Clark. ISBN   0 567 29372 6.
  9. "The Brethren of the Lord". New Advent . Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  10. St. Simon the Apostle, from the Catholic Encyclopedia
  11. Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49.11
  12. de Voragine, Jacobus (1275). The Golden Legend or Lives Of The Saints . Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  13. Stracke, Richard. Golden Legend: Life of SS. Simon and Jude . Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  14. The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour.
  15. "St. Simon of Zealot". Catholic Online. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  16. "Epistula Apostolorum". Early Christian Writings. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  17. Qur'an 3:49–53
  18. Noegel, Scott B.; Wheeler, Brandon M. (2003). Historical Dictionary of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press (Roman & Littlefield). p. 86. ISBN   978-0810843059. Muslim exegesis identifies the disciples of Jesus as Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, John, James, Bartholomew, and Simon
  19. Historical Dictionary of Prophets In Islam And Judaism, Brandon M. Wheeler, Disciples of Christ
  20. "Gospel of Barnabas. Chapter 14: After the fast of forty days, Jesus chooseth twelve apostles". 3 July 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-03.

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