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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Ζηλωτής ), an epithet of the apostle Simon (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) to distinguish him from Simon Peter. In the parallel lists of Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18, he is called Simon the Cananite (Κανανίτης , A. V. erroneously "Canaanite"), this being a transliteration of the Heb. or Aramaean קִנְאָן, zeal, of which the Greek title is a translation. The word denotes a zealot in' general (1 Corinthians 14:12; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 3:13), especially in behalf of Jewish law and institutions (Acts 21:20; Acts 22:3; Galatians 1:14). Probably there were already extant in the time of Christ, when this epithet was given to Simon, the germs of the sect or party afterwards thus designated, the members of which professed great attachment to Judaism, and, under pretext of punishing by informal trial and execution those guilty of infringing the observances of the national religion, perpetrated great excesses (Josephus, War, 4:3, 9; 5, 1, 4; 6:3; 7:8, 1). (See SIMON).

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Zelotes'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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