Jesus the Zealot

Several verses in the Gospels document conclusively

that Jesus was not the meek Lamb of God portrayed in

the Gospels, but a militant separatist dedicated to

evicting the Romans and installing himself as the king

of Israel. We have almost all heard of how Jesus came

not to bring peace but sword (Matthew 10:34)

The most striking verses refer to those close

followers of his who were from the Zealots. The

“malefactors” of the Gospel of Peter have an

interesting pedigree as reflected in the canonical

gospels where this same term is used in translation.


Throughout the centuries, there have been problems of

mistranslation. By the time a word has been translated

from Hebrew and Aramaic to Greek, Latin, or some other

language, it has become completely divorced

from its original meaning and context. For instance,

the figure of Simon Zelotes, who appears in the Gospel

of Luke and in Acts is a translation of zealot,

therefore, Simon the Zealot.


The most famous of the many “Simons” populating the

Bible is Simon Peter. This is another word for Petra

or rock. Peter’s name that Jesus calls him is

Bar Jonah in Matthew 16:17, a corruption of the Aramaic

bar yonnei of Talmud Gittin 55B. The fact that the “rock”

upon which Jesus founded his church was a wanted

terrorist makes the implications of the church’s early

history very different.


Even more interesting is Judas. Identified as Judas

Iscariot in the synoptic Gospels, the name is clearly

a Greek corruption of the Aramaic sicarii or “dagger

men.” These most extreme of the Zealots earned their

names from their long, curved daggers that they

would use to assassinate Romans or sympathizers. In

Luke 22:36, Jesus instructs his followers who do not

have swords to buy them even if it means selling

garments. This would indicate that they were not just

Zealots, but Sicarii who relied on the curved sica.