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Saint Simeon
Bishop and Martyr
Born Galilee, Iudaea Province
Died c. 107 or 117 AD
Jerusalem, Iudaea Province
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Lutheran Church
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Feast February 18 (Western Christianity)
April 27 (Eastern Christianity)

Saint Simeon of Jerusalem, son of Clopas, was a Jewish Christian leader and according to most Christian traditions the second Bishop of Jerusalem (62 or 70–107).


Eusebius of Caesarea gives the list of these bishops.[1] According to a universal tradition the first bishop of Jerusalem was Saint James the Just, the "brother of the Lord," who according to Eusebius said that he was appointed bishop by the Apostles Peter, St. James (whom Eusebius identifies with James, son of Zebedee), and John.[2]

According to Eusebius, Saint Simeon of Jerusalem was selected as James successor after the conquest of Jerusalem which took place immediately after the martyrdom of James (i.e. no earlier then 70 CE) which puts the account in conflict with that of Flavius Josephus who puts James death in 63 CE:[3][4]

After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed, it is said that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh (for the majority of them also were still alive) to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James. They all with one consent pronounced Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph.[5]

According to Hegesippus, Simeon prevailed against Thebutis, whom the church fathers deemed a Judaizing heresiarch,[6] and led most of the Christians to Pella before the outbreak of the Jewish War in 66 and the destruction of Herod's Temple in 70.

About the year 107 or 117 he was crucified under Trajan by the proconsul Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes in Jerusalem or the vicinity.[7]


  • Simeon of Jerusalem is identified with one of the prophets and teachers in Antioch named "Simeon, who was called Niger" in Acts 13:1.[citation needed]
  • Simeon is sometimes identified with Simon, the "brother of the Lord", who is mentioned in passing in the Bible (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3) (although Aramaic had no term for "cousin"[8]) and pointing to Hegesippus referring to him as the "second cousin" as bishop of Jerusalem. Other exegetes consider the brothers to be actual brothers and Hegesippus' wording as subsuming both James and Simeon under a more general term.[9]
  • He has also been identified with the Apostle Simon the Zealot.[10][11]


  1. ^ Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, v."
  2. ^ "Historia Ecclesiastica, II, i."
  3. ^ Eddy, Paul R. and Boyd, Gregory A. (2007) The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic, pg 189
  4. ^ See also Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities XX, ix, 1.
  5. ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, Book III, ch. 11.
  6. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Schism
  7. ^ Eusebius, Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, III, xxxii.
  8. ^ "The Brethren of the Lord". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  9. ^ Franz Georg Untergaßmair (1995). "Simeon, Bischof von Jerusalem". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 10. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 363–364. ISBN 3-88309-062-X. 
  10. ^ St. Simon the Apostle, from the Catholic Encyclopedia
  11. ^ Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49.11

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