Simon the Zealot

Simon Zelotes, called the Zealot was one of the twelve disciples. Simon had the words "the Zealot" added to his name. It helped to distinguish him from Simon Peter and showed that he was a member of an organization called the "Zealots". The Zealots were the political, violently anti-Roman, wing of the Pharisees.

Simon may have been 40 years old when he became a disciple. At first he may have thought that Jesus would lead an uprising to get rid of the Romans ruling their land. It turned out that Jesus changed him. He had been a man of violence and he became a man of peace. Jesus knew that the Zealots and Publicans were bitter enemies. One group worked against the Romans, the other for them. Even so, Jesus chose a disciple from both groups. They became friends in His work.

Simon was the co-worker of Jude, or Thaddeus. They traveled together in Mesopotamia which both were martyred. Variously conjectured to have preached and to have been crucified while preaching at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt. He was also said to have preached the gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter country he was crucified, AD 74.
[330, 331, 18, 318]

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