Against HeresiesDeep in HistoryDeep in History Episodes

Simon the Sorcerer – Episode 4

May 26, 2020 No Comments

As Marcus Grodi and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson continue their study of Against Heresies, they look at St. Irenaeus of Lyons’ treatment of the legacy of Simon Magus, a sorcerer who tried to bribe the apostles to teach him how to do miracles in Acts 8.

In many ways, Simon’s desire to find some “secret” to the power of the apostles was indicative of many other Gnostic sects and heretical groups who built themselves around an appeal to elitism, so that those who joined their movements could be part of a special class who had unique and privileged access to God.

St. Irenaeus argues with this mindset, reminding his readers that the Gospel isn’t a confidential doctrine kept by the elites, but proclaimed for all, and no inner ring of secretive philosophers can claim to have some classified or “hidden” knowledge about the divine.