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Simon the Pharisee

Simon was a Pharisee mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 7:36-50) as the host of a meal, who invited Jesus to eat in his house but failed to show him the usual marks of hospitality offered to visitors - a greeting kiss (v. 45), water to wash his feet (v. 44), or oil for his head (v. 46).

During the meal, a tearful woman identified as a sinner anointed Jesus' feet. He contrasted her faith and care with Simon's failure to show common decency, and accused him of being forgiven little and (in consequence) loving little (v. 47).

The preceding sections of Luke's gospel took place in Capernaum and in Nain, both in Galilee, suggesting Simon also lived in Galilee.

Simon the Pharisee is not mentioned in the other canonical gospels, but there are similarities between this Simon and Simon the leper mentioned in Matthew's Gospel (Matt 26:6-13) and Mark's Gospel (Mk 14:3-9), not least the same name occurring. Because of these similarities, efforts have been made to reconcile the events and characters, but some scholars have pointed out differences between the two events.[1] For example, the Lucan account is considerably longer than the other gospel narratives, and the woman fills the void created by the host, Simon the Pharisee, when he neglects the usual or expected acts of hospitality such as the anointing of the head with oil, a kiss for the cheek, and water for the feet. Further, the anonymous woman is identified as a “sinner” and welcomes Jesus in the most profligate manner.[2] An alternative explanation for the similarities is that the Luke 7 anointing and the anointing at Bethany (Matthew 26:6, Mark 14:3, John 12:1) happened with some of the same participants, but several years apart.[3]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "The Anointing of Jesus" The Anointing of Jesus
  2. ^ James L. Resseguie, “The Woman Who Crashed Simon’s Party: A Reader-Response Approach to Luke 7:36-50” in Characters and Characterization in Luke-Acts, ed. Frank E. Dicken and Julia A. Snyder (London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2016), 7-22.
  3. ^ Whittaker H.A. Studies in the Gospels, Cannock 1996
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