Simeon I


Simeon of Jerusalem, son of Clopas was the leader of the church of Jerusalem, sometimes called the Jewish Christians, and according to most Christian traditions the second Bishop of Jerusalem.

Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea gives the list of these bishops (Hist. Eccl., IV, v). According to a universal tradition the first was St. James the "brother of the Lord". His predominant place and residence in the city are implied by Galatians 1.19. Eusebius says he was appointed bishop by Peter, James (whom Eusebius identifies with James the Greater), and John (II, i). When James was thrown from a rock, then stoned to death by the Jews about the year 63, according to Eusebius and Josephus, (Jewish Antiquities XX, ix, 1), the community at Jerusalem chose Simeon, son of Cleophas, who was also called the brother of Jesus (Matthew 13.55), to succeed him.

Simeon was bishop at the time of the destruction of Herod's Temple in AD 70 and may have gone with most of the Christians to Pella. About the year 106 or 107 he was crucified under Trajan (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. III, xxxii).

In the Chronicon paschale and elsewhere he is identified with "Simon Clopas" or Simeon of Jerusalem (Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Simon the Apostle). The Catholic Encyclopedia article on The Brethern of the Lord states: "Some identify him with the Apostle Simon the Cananean (Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18) or the Zealot (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13)." But this identity is not certain.

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