Talk:Simon Magus

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Former good article nominee Simon Magus was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 10, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed


What does "the founder of witchcraft in old asia" mean? What is "old asia" and why isn't "asia" capitalized?

I was just about to make the same comment. That sentence doesn't make sense, let's strike it. "Founder" of witchcraft? Old asia? Seems like some sort of wiccan speculation.

The {} sign/s[edit]

One or more of the sign/s: {{NPOV}}{{expansion}}{{Cleanup}} placed on this page without any discussion, explanation or reasoning have been removed pending further discussion. (The category Category:Bible stories is now up for a vote for deletion at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion#Category:Bible stories) Thank you. IZAK 08:29, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Re: Simon Magus[edit]

The "Ancient Persian scholar Omid of Askar" is not mentioned in the Catholic Enclycopedia, or aywhere else! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Simon Magus and St. Peter( the supposed first pope of catholic and first apostle), are two different people. Do the research, you won't have to imagine or read between the lines.

...right. Anyway the following needs a source:

The story of Simon Magus here may actually be a coded Ebionite attack on Paul of Tarsus, with Simon used to represent Paul.

It sounds like speculation to me.--Cuchullain 01:30, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

i Agree i think Peter (Simon) and Simon Magus were two seperate people, but st.peter the first Pope was Simon Magus


That is correct. After Simon Magus' encounter with the apostle Simon Peter, he is recorded by historian Justin Martyr (writing in 152 AD) as having made his way to Rome and the court of Claudius Caesar in 45 AD. He took on the title of Simon PATER (which means father, of course). He either deliberately masqueraded as Simon Peter to the church of Rome, or they mistook him for Peter. In any case, he spread his heresies within the church of Rome, which were backed up by his reputed magical abilities -- he was Simon Magus (THE MAGE), after all. Those of us who actually believe in God and also in the power of God's enemies the fallen angels know where Simon acquired his powers. Simon Magus, AKA Simon Pater, became that first bishop of Rome, and its first Pope, quite deliberately on his part. Simon Peter, the actual apostle of God, was never given the commission to go to Rome, but to stay within the Jewish lands and to concentrate only on the Jews. The Bible does not record Peter as having ever left The Levant. Indeed, much internal evidence exists in the Bible that indicates that Peter was never in Rome.


Does anyone know of historical evidence that Simon the magician became known as Simon Pater? user Tmo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

tsalagicelt —Preceding unsigned comment added by Qodesh (talkcontribs) 18:12, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Re: Simon Magus[edit]

Simon Magus and St. Peter are not the same. If you read the Clementine Recognitions, you will find that Simon Magus (and possibly his spouse Helen) came from the ranks of John the Baptist and he was his beloved disciple. After John's death, Simon was absent in Alexandria and he did not become the head of John's school. This function was given to Dositheus. However, it is clear that both Jesus and Simon were disciples from John te Baptist.

As you may know from the Gnostic Gospels, St. Peter was very anti-feminine. After the Council of Nicaea this became the Church's official doctrine. At this Council the Bible as we know is was established and many other scriptures were destroyed as musch as possible, some of which have been rediscovered as the Nag Hammadi Texts. Before this Council it was very common for females to take the ranks of priests and bishops. After the Council of Nicaea the St. Peter doctrines became the main doctrines.

Simon however preached a from of duality: male-female, which is also appearing in many Gnostic beliefs. Some believe he even undertook sexual rites. The Church is condemning him as evil and a sorceror (which literally means evil-doer). He is the complete opposite of St. Peter.

Delicate note however. In Jewish scriptures (Talmud), Jesus himself is also procalaimed to be a sorceror.

Brynnar, October 13, 2005

Sorceror does not literally mean "evil-doer", it more closely means means "one who influences (fate, fortune, etc)".

the forum?[edit]

Does anyone Know what exactly was the forum inwhich Magus died in the Article?

First heritic?[edit]

Interestingly, the German article points out that Simon was listed as the first heritic in the New Testament. I find no mention of that in this article. Is there a reason for this discrepancy? --Walter Görlitz 21:21, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

The Book of Acts criticises Simon for simony (which is named after him, as is magic). Clinkophonist 22:06, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Can someone get rid of the huge gap between the 4th and 5th paragragh

Paul as Simon Magus[edit]

I've removed the paragraph on this subject, as it is completely unsourced. If anyone can provide a source, we can edit it accordingly and reinstate it. Here it is:

According to some academics, Simon Magus may in fact be a cypher for Paul of Tarsus, with Paul originally been detested by the church, and the name changed when Paul was rehabilitated by virtue of forged Epistles correcting the genuine ones. Though at first glance this suggestion appears completely radical, Simon Magus is sometimes described in apocryphal legends in terms that would fit Paul. Furthermore while the Christian Orthodoxy frequently portrayed the major gnostic leader Marcion as having been a follower of Simon Magus, Marcion nowhere mentions even the existence of Simon, and instead identifies himself as a follower of Paul. More significantly, the apocryphal Apocalypse of Stephen presents Paul in extremely negative tones, portraying him as arch villain and enemy of Christianity, only grudingly portraying him as having converted right at the end.

john k 17:08, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

F C Baur is one source for this. Also A. Hilgenfeld, and more recently Hermann Detering ("The Falsified Paul: Early Christianity in the Twilight" - 1995 (translated into English in 2003)). Oh, and J.R.Porter, The Lost Bible, pg 230 (which is cited in the edit summary immediately before your deletion). So I've put the paragraph back. Clinkophonist 18:35, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect account of death?[edit]

The account of Simon Magus' death appears to conflict with the stated source and should be verified and if necessary corrected or removed.

The article states that:

The apocryphal Acts of Peter gives a legendary tale of Simon Magus' death. Simon is performing magic for the Roman Emperor Claudius Caesar in the forum. In order to prove himself to be a god, he flies up into the air. The Apostles Peter and Paul pray to God to stop his flying, and he stops mid-air and falls to his death.

A version of the Acts of Peter can be read here [1]. The death of Simon Magus is in chapter 32 and conflicts with the account above in many ways:

  1. Claudius Caeser is not mentioned. Simon Magus performs to a crowd.
  2. Paul is not mentioned.
  3. Simon Magus does not "fall to his death". He falls and breaks his legs in three places. He is then stoned by the crowd, but effectively dies (probably quite a while later) when two physicians attending to him cut him "sorely"

I'm not sure whether the version of the Acts of Peter on this website is authoritative or whether there are other versions. Agneau 23:09, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

That probably should be altered in the article. Clinkophonist 12:35, 15 July 2006 (UTC)


Simon the Magician is a main character in the book, "The Silver Chalice" by Thomas B. Costain. Can/should this be added? Missjessica254 18:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Good Article[edit]

Add footnotes and renominate this article as a Good Article. --GoOdCoNtEnT 06:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Another account of his death[edit]

According to Snopes [2], one account of his death says that he buried himself alive, expecting a miracle that didn't come. Any basis to this? zafiroblue05 | Talk 04:03, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

yeah, that's in Hippolytus (conjectured author) Philosophumena, found in a 14th century manuscript. the section in question reads:
towards the end of his career going ... he settled under a plane tree and continued his teachings. And finally running the risk of exposure through the length of his stay, he said, that if he were buried alive, he would rise again on the third day. And he did actually order a grave to be dug by his disciples and told them to bury him. So they carried out his orders, but he has stopped away until the present day, for he was not the Christ.
you can find it in GRS Mead's comprehensive collection of Simoniana. Mead notes that it reads like a Patristic joke at Simon's expense. Whateley23 05:56, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Reference to Book of Acts being "Apocryphal"[edit]

The book of Acts is universally recognized to have been written by the disciple Luke, who work as a historian was shown to be meticulously accurate by the archaeologist William Ramsey Mitchell Ramsay, an avowed atheist at the beginning of his research into Luke’s work). I have to question the professional objectivity of such a statement. (This comment was added by at 01:52, 7 June 2007)

you should check on the things upon which you are commenting before making the comment. the Acts of Peter referenced in the article is, in fact, apocryphal. as you can plainly see by following the link to the wikipedia article about that book, it is the earliest of several apocryphal "Acts" books. also, please sign your comments. you can do so by typing a series of four tildes, like so: ~~~~. that will give you an automated signature and timestamp. Whateley23 02:06, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Luke wasn't a disciple, either. He was a physician. Jlricherson (talk) 17:53, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Pop culture section[edit]

What's wrong with having an "appearances in popular culture" or similar section? Keeps getting deleted without reasons given. James Haughton 02:08, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Clementine section[edit]

I added the Clementine section since it was not really discussed about. I thought it was crucial to speak briefly about it since it has more descriptive encounters between Simon Magus and Peter. Please feel free to help change some of the possible errors since I'm new to wikipedia. Also I was wondering what the correct citation format is when footnoting. --Vaflorc (talk) 00:28, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Simon and the Magi[edit]

Passing query - would Magus be connected to Magi? Jackiespeel (talk) 23:14, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

"Simon Magus" as a cypher for Paul or Marcion in the Pseudo-Clementines[edit]

I have added the following, I propose the overweight material related to the PsClem be moved out to the PsClem article. Detering is a fringe source which requires a quick mention at most. Ferdinand Christian Baur (1792-1860), founder of the The Tübingen School, suggested that the representation of Simon Magus in later sections of the [[Pseudo-Clementines, is in some places intended as a polemic against Paul. The anti-Pauline context of the Pseudo-Clementines is recognised, but the association with Simon Magus is surprising since they have little in common.[1] However the majority of scholars accept Baur's identification,[2] though others, including Lightfoot, argued extensively that the "Simon Magus" of the Pseudo-Clementines was not meant to stand for Paul.[3] A Berlin pastor, Hermann Detering (1995), has made the case that the veiled anti-Pauline stance of the Pseudo-Clementines has historical roots, that the Acts 8 encounter between Simon the magician and Peter is itself based on the conflict between Peter and Paul, though his view has not found support among scholars.

  1. ^ Verheyden Demonization of the Opponent in ed. Theo L. Hettema, Arie van der Kooij Religious polemics in context 2004 p333 "The decision [in the Pseudo-Clementines] to associate Paul with Simon Magus is surprising since they have little in common. It is generally accepted that this association represents a later stage in the development of Ps.-Clem. and was an attempt to do away with or adapt some of the criticisms that had been aimed at Paul."
  2. ^ Markus Bockmuehl The Remembered Peter: In Ancient Reception and Modern Debate 2010 p102 "Baur's view that Simon is Paul has occasionally been questioned (eg in ..."
  3. ^ C. Marvin Pate The reverse of the curse: Paul, wisdom, and the law 2000 p439 "letters (beginning of the second century AD, which give no evidence of strife between Peter and Paul) were spurious and late.6 ... The idea of a revival of Baur's thesis appears to be quite self-conscious and explicit:"

In ictu oculi (talk) 03:04, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

The Simon=Paul theory did not originate with Detering and was a popular idea among certain radical critics in the 19th century, and every encyclopedia article of the time period mentions it, if only to refute it. (See the original DCB article, for instance.) Now, if it is overweight, I see no reason not to do some judicious trimming, as long as the essential information is presented. But the subject bears directly upon the character Simon Magus as portrayed in the Clementines, so I do not see why the issue should appear anywhere else. It's important to emphasize that the Clementines were used (and probably written) by a sect that did not care for Paul. Your paragraph is an excellent addition and helps clarify the issue greatly. Kramden (talk) 03:19, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Kramden. Others are welcome to trim. I was a little surprised by Pate citing Lightfoot as having critiqued a theory 200 years before Baur originated it, but didn't have time other than simply insert on trust what Pate appears to say. Someone else might like to follow that up. I also believe that Detering taking the PsClem stance literally has precedent in a Dutch 19th Scholar, "Van Vanen"(sp?) or someone. But didn't think it was notable enough to go digging.In ictu oculi (talk) 03:44, 17 May 2011 (UTC)