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Who Is Simon?

After doing a little bit of research, I have melted it down to the fact that it could only be speaking of one Simon.  Better known as Simon of Peraea, it appears that there are a few people in the world who would say that this “Simon” character was the Messiah.  

The story of Simon of Peraea comes from the writings of Flavius Josephus in Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities.  Essentially the story goes something like this:

In 4 BC, king Herod the Great died. Immediately, there were several revolts against the rule of his son and successor, Herod Archelaus. One of the rebels was Simon of Peraea, who claimed the kingship for himself.  

There was also Simon, who had been a slave of king Herod, but in other respects a comely person, of a tall and robust body; he was one that was much superior to others of his order, and had had great things committed to his care. This man was elevated at the disorderly state of things, and was so bold as to put a diadem on his head, while a certain number of the people stood by him, and by them he was declared to be a king, and he thought himself more worthy of that dignity than any one else. 
   He burnt down the royal palace at Jericho, and plundered what was left in it. He also set fire to many other of the king’s houses in several places of the country, utterly destroyed them, and permitted those that were with him to take what was left in them for a prey. He would have done greater things, but care was taken to repress him immediately. [The commander of Herod’s infantry] Gratus joined himself to some Roman soldiers, took the forces he had with him, and met Simon. And after a great and a long fight, no small part of those that had come from Peraea (a disordered body of men, fighting rather in a bold than in a skillful manner) were destroyed. Although Simon had saved himself by flying away through a certain valley, Gratus overtook him, and cut off his head.

[Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 17.273-276]

This is essentially the full story.  There is NO record that I have been able to find anywhere of this Simon having the legend of being resurrected.  It’s also debated whether or not he was ever seen as the Messiah.  

Thus, we address this stone once more.  Israel Knohl is the one who was making the claim that this stone was referring to Simon, whether it is Simon of Paraea or Simon ben Kosiba**, Knohl is well known for his writings against the story of Christ being only to Christianity, as he has written books on the issue of Simon vs. Jesus.  Knohl says in the NY Times article found in the post from yesterday that he speculates it is speaking of Simon.  He never specifies a Simon, yet this is of no value anyways, as the stone never mentions the name of Simon, thus obviously the article is written at a liberal bias as it interviews as its mains source, Knohl, who doesn’t believe in the story of Christ!

Thus, we find again, the media and the world taking an attack on Christianity.  There is absolutely NO proof of this stone shaking Christianity.  Knohl says it does, and the NY Times jumps on board to help Knohl try to shake the foundations of Christianity.  The truth is, there is no evidence whatsoever to back up the claims of Knohl or anyone else who does so.

**Kosiba is also seen as a Jewish messianic figure.  The problem with this Simon being used with the stone is that he is dated to live at 60-70 AD, thus after the time of Christ.

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  1. Jared
    July 8, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    BCE???? Don’t you believe in Jesus anymore? haha

  2. Daniel
    July 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Hosea, which quite obviously predates 4 BC, includes prophecy about Christ’s rising on the third day. There is debate as to whether it refers to the nation of Israel or Christ Himself, but from what I have read the conservative stance is that it refers to the Messiah.

    Besides, until the New York Times can prove that Christ did not in fact rise from the dead, the stone is irrelevant.

  3. Hannah
    July 9, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Hm. Interesting information on Simon. Thanks, Ryan.

    Well I think you are right that we shouldn’t worry that this will shake Christianity. It’s been around a lot longer than we have. 😉

    Keep it up, Ryan.

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