What do we know about Bar-Jesus?

Who was he? Some translations refer to him as a sorcerer while others translate his name to mean ‘son of Jesus’ or ‘son of Joshua’ and a false prophet.

As I can read, write, and speak Greek I looked into this and his name in Greek is Βαριησοῦ which means “of Jesus” but the of does not refer to being a “child of” but rather as a “prophet of” but in this case is a false prophet.

What else do we know of his story?

Also - he is mentioned in Acts 13:6-12 as is Simeon of Cyrenian, is this the same Simeon of Cyrene that carried the cross for Jesus during the passion or no?

Simeon and Simon are different men. One a sorcerer, the other the father of Alexander and Rufus. Essentially all we know of them is the brief mention that each receives. Simon of Cyrene was compelled into a great blessing of carrying our Lord’s cross while Simeon the (whatever) was accursed for desiring to buy and sell spiritual things - the grave sin of Simony is named after him.

1 Like

as an aside: Yeshua // Jesus – was a common name back when.

It is Bar which means “son of” … A common Prefix - as in Barabbas…

"When they had traveled through the entire island [of Cyprus] as far as Paphos,
they found a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar - Jesus

1 Like

The initial βαρ is the Greek transliterstion of the Hebrew בַּר (bar) meaning “son”.

It’s not just “of Jesus” but “son of Jesus”, bar- being the Aramaic prefix for “son of”. So bar-Iesou is literally “son of Jesus”.

1 Like

Preformatted text[quote=“Bithynian, post:4, topic:585319”]
The initial βαρ is the Greek transliterstion of the Hebrew בַּר ( bar ) meaning “son”.


I’m not sure who not he original poster of this thread was speaking of as “bar Jesus” in scripture…perhaps the anti-Roman revolutionary Bar-Abbas, who the Jews wanted freed instead of the Christ? By tradition he had the first name of Jesus, which would see Jesus Bar-Abbas as Jesus the son of the father (bar and abba)…an interesting twist since many of those clamoring for his freedom viewed Bar-Abbas as a Messiah figure to release the Jews from the oppression of the Romans, and the real Christ as only a rabble rouser who would make things worse on them because of his revolutionary believes and actions, which offended both the Jewish religious establishment and the Romans.

1 Like

Barjesus was a sorcerer and false prophet based in Cyprus. He had a Greek alias, Elymas.

Pope B16 mentioned that in his book. An interesting twist indeed thats not immediately obvious.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.