Simon Magus
(first century)
   Gnostic wonder-worker and sorcerer. Simon Magus’ Christian opponents said that he was a DEMON or had obtained his powers from the DEVIL. Simon Magus became the prototypical heretic and black magician.
   Simon came from Samaria. He was attracted to Christianity and the miracles associated with it, and he was converted to the faith by Philip the Deacon, whose magic impressed Simon.
   According to Acts 8:9–24, the apostles Peter and John were sent to Samaria to deliver the Holy Spirit into the population by a laying on of hands. When Simon witnessed their supernatural work, he offered the apostles money: “Give me this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands shall receive the Holy Spirit.” The apostles, angry that Simon should expect to buy holy power, had him thrown out of the church. Peter told him, “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money.” Simon’s name gave rise to the term simony, the sin of buying or selling a church office. Simon traveled to Rome, where he impressed people with his occult ability, and then to Egypt, where he allegedly learned how to make himself invisible, levitate, move objects with his mind, handle fire unharmed, and shapeshift into an animal. He may have accomplished some of these feats through illusion and hypnosis. The Roman emperor Nero was impressed, however, and named him court magician.
   According to the Acts of Peter, an apochryphal text, the apostle Peter went to Rome to challenge Simon and expose him of fraud. They tried to outdo each other in magical feats. Simon is said to have died after he attempted to levitate off the top of the Roman Forum and fell to earth, breaking his legs. Simon is credited with founding a Gnostic sect that became known as the Simonians.
   See pact.

Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. . 2009.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Simon Magus — (Greek Σίμων ό μάγος), also known as Simon the Sorcerer and Simon of Gitta, is the name used by early Christian writers to refer to a person identified as a Samaritan proto Gnostic. The name was also used generically by early Christian writers to …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Magus — • According to the testimony of St. Justin, Simon came from Gitta in the country of the Samaritans Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Simon Magus     Simon Magus      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Simon Magus — Simon (defs. 5, 6). * * * ▪ Samarian magician (Latin), English  Simon the Magician , or  The Sorcerer  flourished 1st century AD       practitioner of magical arts who probably came from Gitta, a village in biblical Samaria. Simon, according to… …   Universalium

  • Simon Magus — Simon (defs. 5, 6). * * * Simon Magus, = Simon (def. 4). (Cf. ↑Simon) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Simon Magus —   [griechisch lateinisch »Simon der Zauberer«], im Neuen Testament nach Apostelgeschichte 8, 9 ff. ein in Samaria auftretender Wundertäter und Zauberer, der sich unter dem Eindruck der Predigt des Philippus taufen ließ und versuchte, die Gabe des …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Simon Magus — [mā′gəs] n. a Samaritan magician whose offer of money to learn how to impart the Holy Ghost to others angered Peter: Acts 8:9 24 …   English World dictionary

  • Simon Magus — Der Fall des Simon Magus (unbekannter Künstler), Hildesheim, 1170 Simon Magus (auch Simon der Magier, Simon von Samarien oder Simon von Gitta; † 65, Rom) gilt als erster Häretiker der Kirche. Das Wenige, das über ihn bekannt ist, stammt aus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Simon Magus — (first century)    Magician and possible Sect Founder.    Simon appears in Acts. He is described as a sorcerer who claimed to be the Power of God ‘called Great’. He was baptised by Philip in Samaria and he then offered peter and John money in… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Simon Magus — A magician who held people spellbound in Samaria (Acts 8:9 ff.). He was baptized by Philip (Acts 8:13), after which he in turn was no less astonished by Philip s signs and wonders, and was filled with such envy that when Peter arrived Simon… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Simon Magus — noun Date: circa 1548 a Samaritan sorcerer converted by the apostle Philip and severely rebuked by Peter for offering money for the gifts of the Holy Spirit …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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