Simon the magician (Acts 8:9)

“Now a certain man

Named Simon

Had previously practiced magic

In that city.

He had amazed

The nation of Samaria.

He declared

That he himself

Was somebody great.”

Ἀνὴρ δέ τις ὀνόματι Σίμων προϋπῆρχεν ἐν τῇ πόλει μαγεύων καὶ ἐξιστάνων τὸ ἔθνος τῆς Σαμαρίας, λέγων εἶναί τινα ἑαυτὸν μέγαν,

The author of Acts indicated that there was a certain man (Ἀνὴρ δέ) named Simon (τις ὀνόματι Σίμων) who had previously (προϋπῆρχεν) practiced magic (μαγεύων) in that city (ἐν τῇ πόλει).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word προϋπῆρχεν, that means to exist beforehand, been already, or previously.  Acts was also the only Greek biblical writing that used this word μαγεύων, that means to practice magic or sorcery.  He had amazed (καὶ ἐξιστάνων) the nation or people of Samaria (τὸ ἔθνος τῆς Σαμαρίας).  He declared (λέγων) that he himself was somebody (εἶναί τινα ἑαυτὸν) great (μέγαν).  Who was this Simon?  What kind of magic had he practiced?  This text seems to indicate that he had stopped being a magician, since this was in his previous life.  His name has been associated with simony, the act of trying to buy a sacred office or power.  Some of the second century Christians called this Simon the magician the heretical father of Christian Gnosticism.  Thus, there are many apocryphal stories about this Simon, who also had the same name as Simon Peter, the leader of the followers of Jesus.  What do you think about magicians?

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