By indexer
153 days ago

St Simon the Zealot

28th October is the official “saint’s day” of one of Jesus’s lesser known disciples, namely Simon the Zealot, so named to avoid confusion with the much better known Simon Peter. The gospels of Matthew and Mark describe him as being a Canaanite, and it is only Luke who gives him the “Zealot” title.

A zealot is someone who is willing to fight for a cause, the meaning being not far removed from that of “fanatic”. Simon may therefore have been identified with the Jewish zealots who would later fight against the Romans in the revolt that led to the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

However, Simon could not have been both a follower of Jesus and a participant in the revolt, due in part to the date range involved, and also because Simon would by then have been a committed and elderly Christian, so Luke’s reference might have been to an earlier outbreak of “Zealotry”. The gospel was almost certainly written after the revolt of 70 AD, so the writer could have made a false assumption about the history of the Zealot movement. Another possibility is that a mistranslation is responsible.

Facts about Simon are hard to come by because, as is the case with most of the apostles, different traditions and stories abound and it is impossible to state with certainty which are more believable than others.

One tradition asserts that Simon and Jude worked together as evangelists, which is why they share the same saint’s day. It is also said that Simon was martyred by being sawn in half, although there are so many conflicting stories that any of them, including the one that says that he died peacefully in his bed, may also be true.

Images of Simon often show him holding a saw, following the "sawn in half" tradition.
Justin Very interesting
Shavkat I like the statue