Note to Moderators: I wasn't sure which forum was best for this topic. If you feel it would be best placed elsewhere, please feel free to do as you see fit. I am currently doing a Wednesday evening Bible study on the Twelve Apostles. Tonight we are looking at “Simon Zelotes.” Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. (KJV) The term “Zelotes,” according to Josephus, applied to those who were part of a fanatic sect of Jewish nationalists founded by Judas of Gamala. It is said that this party started out by resisting the Roman government’s aggression and had as its goal to stop Rome from controlling the Jewish people. They believed in national freedom for Israel and were extremely zealous for the Old Testament law and for their country. “Zelotes” was a nickname that identified Simon as a member of this group of freedom fighters. Even though he left this political party to follow Jesus, he became forever known as Simon Zelotes. The interesting part to me is that it is very likely that “Zelotes” was first given to refer to certain people who were more zealous for the cause of pure and undefiled religion than the rest of their neighbors and countrymen; but like many other sects and parties who have begun well, they transferred their zeal for the fundamentals of religion to nonessential things on the periphery of the issue. This reminds me of the more “militant” faction of the IFB movement. These groups are more often than not “independent” of anyone who does not line up exactly with them on doctrine, standards, methods, and every other detail of the ministry. One recent example would be the church in Indianapolis who took on the state head-to-head and came out on the losing side. Perhaps someone has studied the Zelotes more in depth and could give a clearer picture of who and what they were. Also, I am curious if others might be able to relate to the analogy I am making.