Simon Magus. The First Gnostic

Haar S.

This latest comprehensive work on Simon Magus lends new impetus to the investigation of Early Christianity and questions surrounding the origin and nature of Gnosticism. Major contributions of this study include: (1), a departure from the traditional exegesis of Acts 8, 5-24 (the first narrative source of Simon), and the later following reports of ancient Christian writers; (2), an overview of the literature of Graeco-Roman antiquity to determine the contribution of “magic” and “the Magoi” in the development of perceptions and descriptions of Simon; and (3), the inclusion of social science explanation models and modern estimations of “identity”, in a creative approach to questions surrounding the phenomenon of Simon.