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Simon the Leper is a biblical figure mentioned by the Gospels according to Matthew (26:6-13) and Mark (14:3-9). These two books narrate how Jesus made a visit to the house of Simon the Leper at Bethany during the course of which a woman anoints the head of Jesus with costly ointment. Bethany was the home of Simon the Leper as well as Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The Gospel according to John (12:1-8) recounts that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were guests of Simon the Leper when he hosted a supper for Jesus Christ two days before the Passover and Crucifixion of Jesus. Martha served. According to John's Gospel, the feet of Jesus were also anointed. While differing in some details, the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and John can be reconciled.[1] Comparing them suggests that Judas Iscariot and other disciples of Jesus also attended and protested the costly anointing of Jesus.

Simon the Leper is sometimes identified with Simon the Pharisee (see Shimon ben Gamliel), who is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (7:36-50) as the host of a meal during which the feet of Jesus are anointed by a woman.[2] Because of these similarities, efforts have been made to reconcile the events and characters but some scholars have pointed out differences between the two events [1]. An alternative explanation for the similarities is that the Luke 7 anointing and the anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:6, Mark 14:3, John 12:1) happened with some of the same participants, but several years apart. [3]

Simon the Leper is also sometimes identified as the same person as Lazarus of Bethany, or identified as his father or brother. This is because Matthew and Mark mention Simon, while John mentions Lazarus, but all four gospels assume one lodging at Bethany during the last week. Abbé Drioux identified all three as one: Lazarus of Bethany, Simon the Leper of Bethany, and the Lazarusof the parable, on the basis that in the parable Lazarus is depicted as a leper, and due to a perceived coincidence between Luke 16:30 and John 12:10 - where after the raising of Lazarus Caiaphas and Annas tried to have him killed.[4]

The meaning of his nickname the leper is sometimes questioned because of the outcast status of lepers. Reinterpretations include that of the potter[5] or the Essene.

Some assume that Simon had been healed of his leprosy by Jesus, however the Gospels do not include an account of his healing, unless, that is, alternatively, Simon and Lazarus were the same person.

Christian legend

Later Christian traditions held that Simon travelled to France, having landed at the mouth of the Rhône with St. Lazarus and Mary, sister of Lazarus, was the earliest apostle of Maguelonne.[6]


Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Simon the Leper. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Anointing of Jesus
  2. Sir William Smith A dictionary of the Bible, Volume 2‎ 1863 p78
  3. Whittaker H.A. Studies in the Gospels, Cannock 1996
  4. Drioux C.J. La Bible populaire. Paris, 1864
  6. Catholic Encyclopedia: Montpellier

External links