SIMON,  (the Canaanite) (the Zealot)

also called Nathaniel




















Simon was a native of Cana in Galilee.  He was a Zealot.  He was the son of Clopas (brother of Joseph, Mary’s husband.


As Alphaeus, the father of James, is generally regarded as the same as  Clopas or Cleopas this identifies Simon Nathaniel, son of Cleopas with Simon Zealotes.  If so, this sheds slight on James, son of Alphaeus and Simon Zealot as brothers.


He has also been identified with Simon, the brother of Jesus….and also there are reasons in favor of identifying him with Nathaniel.


Scripture background:


Matthew 10:4 (“Canaanite”)  Mark 3:18  (Zealot)  Luke 6:15  Acts 1:13.  IF Nathaniel:  John 21:2 and John 1:45-51


Questions asked:


If Nathaniel = John 1:48  Jesus overlooks initial prejudice.  (side note:  For us.  Jesus knows the heart of this reader – wow – mind reader!


Scriptural stories:


No stories where Simon is mentioned by name.  There are, however, many stories where the words “the disciples” are used, so we can assume he was among them.


So, from the many “the disciples” we take only one….that one being in Mattheew 17:14-20 Here the disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy and they wondered why.

Jesus, in answering uses there words….fasting….prayer….faith.



Because of being a Zealot, let’s refer to the story regarding Jesus the Messiah.  From the standpoint of restoring the Kingdom of Israel and the feeding of the multitudes to the turning the water into wine. Do you not see how this would be attractive to one wanting to have a “kingdom”.  The power of Divine miracles would be greater than the poser of the sword and perhaps this is why he might have been really interested when called by Jesus. (Acts 1:6)


He was in that famous “upper room” experience (Acts 1:13)  Also one can read Acts 1:1-9 and Acts 2:1-4.  Simon was with them on that great day.


Now, IF Nathaniel – one can refer to John 1:44-51  (see notes above on questions asked).


Place of service:



Egypt (Africa)

and England (?)  If Thomas could go as far east as India, Simon could go far west to Great Britain………(London was founded AD 43)  If Jews were in what is called London now, he certainly would have gone there.  Remember, it was Paul who went to the Gentiles.


Place and manner of death:


Three schools of thought from history books. 

One:  Crucified in Britain by the Romans.

Two:   Suffered martyrdom in Persia.

Three:  Beheaded in Persia and then sawn in pieces.- another variance that he died on a cross in Persia.


The date has been set as around May 10, AD 61.


Some say he was 61 years of age when martyred. 



Interesting facts:


.He never appeared to be outstanding.  Being a Zealot would mean he probably was one with a very ardent nature – fiery zeal for good, but obviously he forsook the Zealot party as a freedom fighter.


The Zealots were violent opposers of the Roman power. They favored and supported rebellion against Rome.  They did not like taxes nor did they pay taxes.  They also were accustom to punish without trial - - a traitor would be “lynched”.  Because of this there were many cruelties attached to their party practice.  The party started the war with Rome which led to the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.



Shields and Emblems:


  Shield indicates he was a fisher of men through preaching the Gospel.