Are "Zelotes" still around today?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    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.
     
  2. exscentric

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    Haven't studied the zelotes but have studied zeal and there is nothing wrong with it. Paul was zealous as were the other disciples if tradition is correct as to all their travels.

    Do a word study on it for your interest :)

    My goodness many on this board are zealotes relating to the board aren't they :)
     
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    It is a fact that there is nothing wrong with zeal. One of the reasons that Christ redeemed us was so that we might be zealous.
    Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (KJV)

    My interest is the anology between the Zelotes and today's religious militant groups. They often start out right, but end up off track.
     
  4. El_Guero

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    Interesting analogy ... but, what is the rest of the story?
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Here are some thoughts - I preached on all 12 disciples and lifted positive/negative traits from each:

    Named for Simeon, one of the 12 tribes of Israel
    Matthew calls him a "Canaanite" (translate "from land of Canaan")
    Mark calls him a "Cananean" (translated "from Cana", a city in Galilee)
    Luke (in Gospel and Acts) calls him "Zelotes" like a last name or family name

    Simon h'Kana was a Zealot
    Kana is Hebrew word = ardent, zealous
    Not geographic location or family heritage

    This was the name of 4th major political party (Roman/Hellenists; Pharisee/Saducee; Herodians; Zealots)

    Radical, revolutionary - party formed by Maccabees, with the Zealot 'Party Platform' found in I Maccabees 2:50 "Be ye zealous for the Law, to give your lives for the Covenant"

    They held to the strictest interpretation of the Law and were the Fundamentalists, literalists in interpreting and defending (fighting) for Torah.
     

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