Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Bar Jesus

Additional Links

A Jewish magician described in Acts 13:6-11 as a "sorcerer, a false prophet," who, when Paul and Barnabas came to Cyprus, was found in the company of Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul. He also bore the title of "Elymas" (= sorcerer; perhaps related to , Deuteronomy 13:2; explained also from the Arabic alim = wise). He opposed Paul in his attempt to convert the proconsul; whereupon Paul, "filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him," and cursed him with temporary blindness, calling him "son of the Devil" ("Ben Belial"); and "immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness," and he had to be led by the hand. The proconsul, "when he saw what was done," was converted. Simon Magus, to whom Bar Jesus bears a striking resemblance, is apparently the person mentioned by Josephus ("Ant." 20:7, § 2), as "Simon . . . a Jew, born in Cyprus," who "pretended to be a magician," one of the friends of Felix, the procurator of Judea, and employed by him to seduce Drusilla from her husband, Azizus, king of Emesa. The same Simon Magus occurs in the story of Peter the Apostle (Acts 8:20-24), of which the Paul story obviously forms a counterpart. New Testament critics therefore doubt the authenticity of the whole story (see Holzmann, on Acts 13, and P. W. Schmiedel, in "Encyc. Bibl.")

The Syriac, taking offense at "Son of Jesus" being called "Son of the Devil," has changed the name "Bar Jesus" into "Bar Shuma" (Son of the Name); one Latin translation has "Bar Jesuba," which again has led modern writers like August Klostermann to new conjectures.

Bibliography:
  • Cheyne, Encyc. Biblica, s.;
  • Hastings, Dict. of the Bible, s.
T.
K.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Bar Jesus'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/b/bar-jesus.html. 1901.

Search for…
Enter query in the box below:
Choose a letter to browse:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
Prev Entry
Bar Hebræus
Next Entry
Bar Ḳappara