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Simon Magus

noun
1.
Simon (defs 5, 6).
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Simon Magus

Simon Magus

noun
1.
(New Testament) a Samaritan sorcerer, probably from Gitta, of the 1st century ad After being converted to Christianity, he tried to buy miraculous powers from the apostles (Acts of the Apostles 8:9–24). He is also identified as the founder of a Gnostic sect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for Simon Magus

practitioner of magical arts who probably came from Gitta, a village in biblical Samaria. Simon, according to the New Testament account in Acts of the Apostles 8:9-24, after becoming a Christian, offered to purchase from the Apostles Peter and John the supernatural power of transmitting the Holy Spirit, thus giving rise to the term simony (q.v.) as the buying or selling of sacred things or ecclesiastical office. Later references in certain early Christian writings identify him as the founder of post-Christian Gnosticism, a dualist religious sect advocating salvation through secret knowledge, and as the archetypal heretic of the Christian Church

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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