Simon of Cyrene and Simeon called Niger

The New Commentary on the Whole Bible, editors J.D. Douglas, Philip W. Comfort, brings up the interesting possibility that Simeon called Niger who appears in Acts 13:1 is the same person as Simon of Cyrene mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels as the man who helped Jesus carry His cross.  I believe this is true, though I’ve yet to see anything beyond a couple of quick cross-references as to how we can come to that conclusion.  Probably no one has written much about it because it doesn’t really matter.

Anyway, here goes:

First of all, to explain the difference in the names, Simeon and Simon are alternate spellings of the same name.

Everything we know about Simon who carried the cross is summed up in this verse from Mark:

Mark 15:21 (NKJV) Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.

  • He was from Cyrene, on the North Coast of Africa.
  • His sons were named Alexander and Rufus.

What we know about Simeon called Niger is his name.  Simeon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

There are and long have been dark-skinned Jews.  They are a minority, to be sure, but they mainly come from Africa.  For an example with a picture See this post on  Might Simon of Cyrene have been one of them?  Why not?  Cyrene, on the African coast, is as good a place as any to look for a man with dark skin.  So those two facts help connect our guys Niger and Simon.  And there is more.

If we check out Acts 11:19-21 we find that the church in Antioch, where we first met Niger, was founded by men from Cyprus and Cyrene.  So here is another connection.  Niger is not said to be from Cyrene in Acts 13, but he’s not said to be from anywhere, so Cyrene is a good possibility, considering he was a leader in a church founded by Cyrenians.

John Mark is the evangelist who mentions Simon’s sons, Alexander and Rufus.  We know from tradition and several Latin words in the Greek text that Mark was writing his Gospel to a largely Roman audience.  So that can help connect Rufus with the Rufus mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:13.  We know from Romans 16:13 that Paul apparently knew Rufus’s mother.

Romans 16:13 (NKJV) Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

So now we can begin to connect the dots into a possible history:

Simon of Cyrene became a believer in Jesus Christ and his sons were well-known in the early church.  He later travelled to Antioch and helped get the church there started.  His wife and sons were with him.  In Antioch he received the nickname Niger, “the black guy” for being a dark-skinned Jew.  (People in Antioch like to give nicknames, but that would have to be another post.)  He was later joined in Antioch by Paul (then Saul of Tarsus) and, later yet, John Mark, who both got to know and love him, his wife and sons. 

Years later, after Simon’s/Niger’s death, his wife and son Rufus were living in Rome.  They were prominent in the church there in part because of the unique role Simon played in the Gospel story.  Writing to a Roman audience, Mark mentions Rufus and Alexander, because he and the Roman church knew them personally.  Paul, writing to the Romans, greets Rufus and his mom for the same reason.

83 thoughts on “Simon of Cyrene and Simeon called Niger

  1. This is very well done! I never dug into the why some have arrived at the conclusion they did about his origin and history. Valuable, I am printing off to stick in my commentary file.


    • James, my question is this history is what it is we don’t need to rewrite it Simon carried the cross he was of African decent so we want to change his complexion we have better things to do then worry about skin color what abut what’s in people’s hearts one day we must answer to Jesus what will we say then. James Anderson

      • Man sometimes you so called Europeans make me laugh, when I read this Bible verse oh, it says Simeon and Barnabas we’re called Niger, do you forget Egypt is in Africa, when you look there was never no such thing as a Middle East, this name also came from a white man in the year 1901, would you look in the Bible or the Koran it never says Middle East, Israel is North East Africa, when are Hebrew Messiah have to go hide inside of ancient Egypt when he was a kid, how can I hide if he was a white guy, do you not know Egyptians are from the line of ham, the same people you say who’s cursed in the Bible, one day when you guys see a black Hebrew Messiah coming out the sky you guys will be shocked

      • Dear brother, with all due respect, it’s you who worry too much about color, not the author. Even a Sunday Scholl child can grasp perfectly that mentioning the color is only part of the context; it has nothing to do with race whatsoever. A piece of advise, ask God wisdom to give you a clear understanding of everything you read and listen.

    • The facts of Simon the Cyrene is absolutely sensible. It makes me see moreso how Real Jesus Is. His Presence Changed this. Normal man. What more for us. Even those who haven’t encountered Him. And, because He Lives .And, Is Over every sprit in the Universe. I say. Because He Lives I can face, Tomorrow.! Long Lives the King! Literally.

      • His name is not jesus, his name is Yasha, because this name means savior, this is with his people called him,

  2. Thanks for this – trawling web for woefully short supply of material for sunday school lessons for black history month (it’s a good thing I’m late!)

  3. How about King Solomon?Sheba meant “of the black”.Is it possible that Bath-Sheba,his mother was black? Is it possible that it is also why Queen of Sheba was so keen to meet another prominent black leader.Also read this from Songs of Solomon: verse 5 “Dark am I, yet lovely,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
    Dark like the tents of Kedar,
    Like the tent curtains of Solomon. [c]

    6 Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    Because I am darkened by the sun.
    My mother’s sons were angry with me
    And made me take care of the vineyards;
    My own vineyard I have neglected.”

    I also dont know why nor understand why his brothers were forcing him to look after their vineyards at the cost of his own.

  4. Thanks Richard,

    No question the Shulamite of the Song of Solomon was dark; she says so herself.

    As for Bathsheba and Solomon, I’m guessing they were both darker than usually pictured in Bible illustrations, which tend to make all these Middle Eastern people look a tad more European than seems likely. Go figure.

    Regarding “of the black” as the meaning of “Sheba”, I wonder if you might quote a source for that. Outside of the proper name “Sheba”, I kind of thought the Hebrew word “sheba” or “sheva” had something to do with the number seven, or possibly “oath” as Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew lexicon suggests. See link below. I believe the usual Hebrew word for black is “shacor”, but I’m willing to bend on that if you can convince me.

    Here’s another link with Hebrew numbers:

    • I got this site on search of info on Simon Niger, am Nigerian and was wondering if there was a connection,. I had also been re- searching on Queen Sheba, who is supposed to be of African origin, Ethopia to be exact. Haile Selassie former emperor of Ethopia is believed to be a descendant of union of King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Also a British archeologist has discovered a possible burial site of Queen Sheba in western Nigeria. It been said that the original kingdom of Ethopia was from east to western African. Also, the spices, gold and ivory Sheba took as gifts to Solomon can be found in the West Coast of Africa. A lot of stories, no solid proof yet. But the archeological site.

      • The Scriptures clearly point out that the Queen of Sheba who came to visit King Solomon was Black and from the land of Ethiopia ( I Kings 10: 1-13;) (2 Chronicles 9:1-12;) No other such land on Earth can produce so much gold. Because all scientist know that the riches continent on Earth is and always will be Africa. According to the Scriptures the Ethiopians played some major roles in the Bible. Moses married an Ethiopian women ( Genesis 25:1-6; Median a descendant of Abraham) see also ( Exodus 2:15-22; Numbers 12:1;) The Prophet Jeremiahs received help from an Ethiopian Eunuch named Ebed-melech ( Jeremiah 38:7; ) And in Acts 8:26-40; The Evangelist Phillip ministered to an Ethiopian Eunuch of great authority who stemmed from the official Kingdom of the Ethiopian Queen Candace. This same Eunuch by the way was Queen Candace personal treasurer. Acts 13:1; talks about a certain Prophet named Simeon ( nicknamed Niger=meaning black, dark skinned ) who stemmed from the Northern Coast of Africa. Many people don’t even realize that the Original Hebrew were Black.

      • You just exposed what man has been trying to hide. You are correct about all that was spoken. The Hebrews were black. Thank you for that.

    • There you go again saying that word Middle Eastern, look in the Bible or even look in the Quran you will never see that word Middle East, this word was created by a white man just like you to confuse the people, Israel is Northeast Africa, this is why Egypt is considered Africa, do you not know the Egyptians are from the line of ham, do you not know Moses was going to rule ancient Egypt, now look at the ancient hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt those are black people from the line of ham, but like I said you white people make me laugh, look in the Book of Genesis chapter 10 and verse 3 it clearly states ashkenaz is from the line of japheth not Shem, but you white people just want these people in Israel today to be the children of Israel and they’re not it clearly says it in the Book of Genesis chapter 10 and verse 3 King James Version, just like the Book of Revelation chapter 2 verse 9 and the Book of Revelation 3 verse 9 clearly states in the last days there will be a people who will say they are Israel and they are not but they do lie oh, my Hebrew Messiah City clearly in the last days we will know the truth and it will set us free Halleluyah.

  5. Thanks Dave,

    See added notes from the searchgodsword site on the meaning of the word “bath”:

    daughter, girl, adopted daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, granddaughters, female child, cousin
    as polite address n pr f
    as designation of women of a particular place
    young women, women
    as personification
    description of character

    Sheba is a grandson of Cush(Black).Notes from the searchgodsword say that Sheba is

    son of Raamah, grandson of Cush, and a descendant of Ham .

    As for oath and seven,these are the meanings for the word ‘sheva’.

    I therefore concluded that Bathsheba is “daughter of Sheba” = Daughter of grandson of Cush= of the black since Cush was black.

    In the old days it seems race was not significant and hence there is never a mention of race in most old texts be they Christian or Muslim or otherwise.By the way I am apostolic.

    I became interested in King Solomon because his mines are suppossed to be located in my country,Zimbabwe.My ancestors built Stone Houses without any mortar.Zimba=Mansion and bwe=stone.Thats where we derive the name Zimbabwe from.These were thought to be King Solomon’s mines and the early explorers did a lot of damage to the historic site searching for gold.If you read Cecil John Rhodes ‘autobiography you will also read that he believed the whole country was an African El-dorado!So I questioned why Solomon would have mines located so far away from the East and then I had to research on all this,just out of interest.I am not a pastor nor a scientist,so my theories are probably halfbaked!

    Dave thankx for the links,really usefull.

  6. Richard, thanks again. That helps a lot.

    By the way, I liked what you said: “In the old days it seems race was not significant.” I really hope that is becoming true once again. You may not be a pastor or a scientist, but Africans always seem to be good at languages. Forgive me if that sounds like a “racial” sterotype!

  7. Dave you made my day.I dont mind the stereotyping as long as its complementary!

    As for race and its importance,I believe it became more important as the competition for resources became fiercer and so one finds it much later in the history of mankind.I have seen that as competition gets worse even the races will further discriminate amongst their own kind.It becomes a monster which feeds on everyone.

    As you say on your side of the ocean it seems race might no longer be that significant.

    However in Africa it seems to be taking a new dimension where some races are justifying rascism because the other races discriminated against them in the past.Its only the beginning of a struggle. I have a rather broad view on the issue having been born and worked as a banker in Zimbabwe until 2006 when I relocated to South Africa.

    I am worried what kind of future my kids will live in because even myself I am finding it hard to give a practical as well as moral view to the whole issue.

  8. Fascinating. Here in the American bubble we find it so hard to grasp and/or appreciate the complex realities faced by the rest of the world.

  9. That is good. It would make sense that Mark’s Gospel mentions the names of Simon’s two sons, if they were members of the church. I would classify it as hard evidence, but it’s pretty convincing proof.


  10. Interesting post, allow me to clear up a few things; if i may. Niger is Latin and it simply means Black NOT “That Black Guy”. Why would Jesus call his TWIN Brother that??? And yes Simeon and Yeshuah Ha Meshiah were BROTHERS. Contrary to popular belief, but whoah, that would make Jesus … YEAH, Black!!! Now, to further point out what MANY including the author of the post may not have seen is this, IF Simeon is from Cyrene which as stated is in NORTHERN AFRICA where exactly was Jesus from? YES, NORTH AFRICA no matter how you try to RELIGIA or RELIGIO (CONfound, tie back and CONfuse) or even make it MYsonic or Esoteric. It is TRUTH. Cush, Saudia, Ham, Kedar, Sheba (even SHIVA was DARK BLUE as well as KHRISHNA a LIGHTER BLUE as Black is hardly ever used I DID NOT SAY NEVER). Now back to the original subject, the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia or even the Ethiopian Coptic Tawedio Church which is the OLDEST Church in the World actually started by the Abbysian (BLACK) … it doesn’t take a rocket scientist. It really doesn’t.

    • Simon that was called Niger in Act 13:1 is not Jesus’ brother much less his twin brother. Jesus didn’t have a twin brother. Of this Simon in Act 13:1 there is nothing more known of him than what is mentioned here. No mention is made elsewhere. Where are you getting all this false information from?

      Simon (that is, Shimon), is the name of nine Israelites.

      • I agree with Autumn breeze. I would need more information than just linking the two together. Some one must have to give us that information that they are the same person Simon/Simeon. What does Acts 13:1 say?
        Grandparents would have told us through the many generations to keep the lives of our family history in check. Not every body in scripture is told what there relation, last name, details to the extreme because we may not need them. Its good to record things but until we have certianty on who they are than we can only go on what we know. I need more concreate evidence on Simeon of Niger. Acts 13:1 explains who and some of what he has done. To end this i am not arguing, just my personal continue searching praying and seeking Simeon on Niger. Read Judges 14:12-14 Samon’s riddle. Please read that first then read the chapters before and after in you have cannot answer the riddle. Challenge yourself and complete the riddle it took me less than 20minutes to read the answer because I couldn’t take it anymore to wait that long to find the answer. Laughter! Its the information you have not the information that seems to fit. I think thats all! Thank you God bless you and may the spirit be in us.

      • Look at Mark 15:21. Simon called Niger had two sons named Alexander and Rufus. Simon the Cyrene had two sons by the same names. Is it verifiable beyond doubt? No. However, name-dropping in the Gospels had a purpose. It was meant to draw attention to how the tradition of the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection could be traced back through historical figures who were witnesses to it all. If Simon the Cyrene and his two sons are mentioned, it is because they played a part in establishing that tradition later in other places; like Antioch and Rome.

  11. Thanks for the comment Darre,
    I agree that Niger literally means “black”. In fact that’s how I first defined it a few paragraphs before I wrote “the black guy”, which was admittedly paraphrasing.

    After that, however, you kind of lost me with Jesus having a twin brother, etc, etc.

    But thanks for visiting!

  12. The role of Simon of Cyrene has already played its part in establishing the gospel. The spirit of the sovereign lord was and is at work. Emphasising blackness whiteness or oliveness is not so much at work as the way he Simon devoted to the task walked the last mile with Jesus.He was so honored as to be picked out of seeming obscurity in a crowd no doubt smattered with Jesus followers who were too scared to take up the mantle. It took a man of strength,physical, as identified by the Roman squad in an instant to be deemed able to carry the cross, and who was also not so scared as to be close enough to Jesus when he fell, to be identified in the first place.
    How close are you to God and would you run from the scene or be out in the open ready to be identified. All the passover centred , dont pollute me’s would have been inside their homes staying clear of the whole rucus.
    Only Jesus closest family and friends and those who were “low on the pole” and non observant would have been present in numbers as they were already in some ways labelled as outcasts or underlings themselves by both the Roman and the Jewish sytems of the day.
    Who else in history can say they caried the cross and were that close to Jesus in his hour of need? His final closest companion was a man of solid character,yet likely to have been a relatively obscure unknown to all around. His sacrifice will still yet be rewarded to those in Africa in our hour of need. Jesus life fulfilled all scripture.

  13. Thank you for this post. I have wondered also whether the father of JohnMark might have been this Simon. What do you think? Blessings Debbye

  14. Hi Debbye,
    Thanks for the comment. I can’t think of anything that would make that possibility totally out of the question, but I would wonder why it is never mentioned directly in the New Testament. In Mark 15:21 we are specifically told that he is the father of Alexander and Rufus, but Mark doesn’t mention himself. Nor is that detail mentioned by Paul or Acts (written by Luke). Perhaps what I would say at the moment is that if Simon were John Mark’s father, that might raise more questions for me than it would answer, so I’m content to leave John Mark’s father’s name in the “unknown” category – or “Things Awaiting Further Data”.


  15. Dave,

    Thanks for doing the research and for posting the article. I have long believed the Bible includes all ethnicities (races), tongues, and both genders.

    God is truly great and worthy to be praised and you have praised him with such wonderful work.

    God bless you, brother (regardless of your ethnicity).

    Penelope Jacqueline

  16. I am a christain and i love hearing preaching, history of christ the the son of man. As i went through this website i understand that you can be of good help to me relating to the word of God. I will appreciate if my request is attended
    john sabato

  17. Hi Dave:

    Thank you so much for the information on Simon of Cyrene. I saw the little comment from Debbye wondering if Simon could possibly be the father of John Mark also. I read somewhere, that Simon had a third son, and he was sent away to live with stephen when he was small. Now i dont know if this was true or not,it just something i came across while searching for answers. I thinking it was the Stephen that was stone. Was Stephen connected to Simon also? Thank you for your time and patience.

  18. Hi Valerie. Thanks for the comment. My response would probably be similar to that for the John Mark idea above. It might not be out of the question, but I don’t see any hard connection between Stephen and Simon of Cyrene either. While the temptation to fill in the gaps in the Bible may be strong, sometimes there just isn’t enough data and it’s OK to just leave things in the “unknown” category.

    God bless as you as you continue to seek and serve Jesus.


  19. no one knows, any of the bible characters personally and have never met them. however it’s interesting how all races have been able tie themselves into the vine of religion and all the religious saints, prophets, matyrs, disciples and worshippers but all are welcome to do so, until these same religious characters are said to be black, then there’s doubt. many say they come in my name. think about this: jesus is said to have had olive toned skinned, take your pick green olive or black olive. god created everything in the heavens and the earth, man is created in his image and after his likeness, he also had one begotten son, in whom he was well pleased, but most people identify him as a caucasion male and are comfortable in doing so. however god created the heavens, the earth and the light or the sun which he said was good. but whats interesting is when people claim he begot this caucasian son that he was well pleased with and the oldest know species of man who was made in his image and after his likeness, comes from africa and are black. so god was pleased with his creation too, but man wasn’t because in the bible his only begotten son is widely known to man as something other than his original creation a caucasian male having blonde hair and blue eyes. now, if god created the light or the sun and saw that the light was good, then why would god create his only begotten son in whom he was well pleased, genetically inferior to his creation that was in his image and after his likeness by begotting him unable survive in the light that he said was good without using sun tan lotion? gods mirror image could live under this good light with dark skin but his only begotten son can die from it. now do you all really believe he’s white? there’s more if you want more. we can use scripture. don’t disreguard the black guy because may he doesn’t matter to you, the bible did not disregaurd him. people are so arrogant.

    • You nailed it with all evidences, proof and common sense. Do mango trees produce berries ?
      GOD bless you, many will be astonished and angry to see a black Jesus at His coming. Smh!

  20. The house of Yisrael is black. There is no need for light expressions as dark and darker. The chosen people in the Book are black people. I thought every one was enlightened about the stolen identity of the people of the Most High and why He allowed His beloved to be in captivity even at this time.
    Now He is revealing Yisrael, awakening and quickening those dry bones, the scattered mistreated children of Ysrael downtrodden and hated of all races

  21. God bless whoever that published this truth, its good and interesting to see that a black man played an important role in the early church.

    Rolex Chiana

    • Hi Chiana it was blacks that started the early church. If you study the scriptures carefully you will find out that the majority of the bible is talking about people of color. Period. Read Genesis 10, it outlines where people come from. Look at the names of Noah sons, from there you can pinpoint nations. Pay attention to the sons of Ham and Shem, you will discover that they are undeniably highlighted throughout the majority of scriptures found in the bible

  22. Hmm Song of Solomon 1:5-6 is not king Solomon speaking it was his African wife the same person in song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine the upright love thee. I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

    Solomon was the king song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: “the king hath brought me into his chambers” some people think because the chapter is called song of Solomon that it was writing by just Solomon but its actually a song writing for Solomon about Solomon and his wife

    i believe the women speaking in Song of Solomon was his Hamitic Egyptian wife a clue in verse song of Solomon 1:9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.

    now i seen some say here that Israel was black if that was the Case then why would Salomon’s Hamitic wife tell the Israelites to look not upon her cause she was dark skinned in song of Solomon 1:6 Look not upon me, because I am black

    here is a link to my youtube channel to learn more or if you have any questions

    • Why would the father of Noah be scared because Noah came out white (albino)?
      How could Moses hand turn white if he were white ?
      How could Moses’s sister Miriam turn white if she were white ?
      How could Joseph be unrecognizable by his brothers and father among Egyptians ?
      How could pharaoh not recognize Moses as one of the Hebrews whom he sought to slay when his (pharaoh’s) daughter adopted him ?
      How could Jesus hide in Egypt ?

      How could ? How could ? How could ? I got plenty more from the Bible.

  23. Dave, your site is wonderful, some of the comments are actually amusing. What got me started on Simon was a book ” the day I was crucified” by Gene Edwards. I recommend it to anyone. There is a scene where a centurion ( Roman- European), asked Simon ( black), basically because he stood out in the crowd, to carry the cross of Jesus (Hebrew). The three sons of Noah ; Shem (Hebrew), Ham ( black) and Japheth ( European) coming together. And Simon, in agreeing to carry the cross broke the curse over Ham that he will be a slave to his brothers. The power of salvation has indeed broken, forever, any curse of enslavement both physical and spiritual to as many that believe. Simon and his family as recorded in the bible were some of the first Gentile Christians. Most of us Christians owe our salvation ( by God’s amazing grace and the power of the Holy Ghost) to such men as Simon the Niger.

    • Just read your comment, Abi, and I agree – Gene’s book ‘The day I was Crucified’ is wonderful. The scene so clearly pictured and the Lord so wonderfully seen in that whole resolution from Noah down. Ah, the power of the revelation of Christ.

    • There was no curse on Ham; there was rather a curse on Canaan his 4th son who happens to be the father of Heth from whom some Germanic tribes might have descended. The Most High didn’t institute racism (He created a human race), devil-inspired people did. An artist is at liberty to give which colours he wills to his work.

  24. Dave, thank you for your work, and sharing your running thoughts here. The dots seem to connect, and why Lucius of Cyrene (Acts 13) would be on the leadership team in Antioch as well. Never made the connection to cross-carrying Simon. Stirred some necessary conversation for Jesus followers.

  25. I like what was said here, but I disagree that Simeon was a Jew; at least not by nationality. You have to understand what populus (hope I spelled it correctly) that early christians were trying to reach to hear where I’m coming from. But before I say that, let’s go back to the carrying of the cross. Because the Passover was near, there wasn’t a Jew around that was willing to carry that cross due to being deemed unclean and unfit to partake of the Passover, so Simeon being Jewish was probably untrue. Now this would make him a Gentile (aka anyone EXCEPT a Jew); in this case African. Since under this new covenant that Christ made, the gospel was supposed to be given to EVERYONE without having to be approved by preists or anything like that, so what better way to do evangelical work to unbelievers than to have newly converted Gentiles present (Simeon and his family)? Simeon was called “the black guy” because that’s what he was..

    • African doesn’t mean black, in fact there are even white Africans from the North. Jew also neither means black. To take the passover to justify someone’s race is insufficient. I am black but I may not do what another black person does because of my culture or his. Does that mean we are not black because of the limitations of our beliefs ?
      Someone here mentioned something that was very clear … Was Adam (the first man) black ?
      Can white give birth to black or is it the other way around ?
      Jesus had an olive skin, was he green or black ?

  26. Thanks Ulysses Petty. We seem to agree on a lot.

    As for a Jew being willing to carry the cross, I agree that he would not want to do it. Matt 27:32 might provide a bit of insight. It says they “compelled” or “forced” him to do so. No need to be “willing” in that case as it was Roman soldiers doing the forcing and they probably didn’t care much what poor Simon thought.

    As for the gospel being given to everyone, I firmly agree with you, I just don’t see how Simon’s nationality has much impact on that. Jew or Gentile, the gospel is for everyone and we don’t need this passage to prove that. It is clearly stated in many other places.

    As for him being black, I agree with that too, and have attempted to show above that some Jews are darker than others. Click the link that goes to a post about Sudanese Jews. He could easily be both Jewish and dark-skinned and for that matter he was from Africa, just as you say, because that is where Cyrene is. There are many “African” Jews.

  27. Thanks for the posts. A coworkers Pastor told his church of 25,000 in Memphis that Simon of Cyrene was not black and ppl should stop saying that. I was disturbed why he felt he needed to make that statement without doing the proper study. This has been a great help.

  28. I have enjoyed reading the above comments. However, I am more concerned (as we all should be) with the position of individuals in relationship to the Savior as the son of God and the Savior of mankind. All division markers aside and withour mind is stayed on Christ, the work he asked to do frees us from everything else. As an aside, I have seen Blacks who were so White that only they knew they were Black. Remember……”neither Jew or Greek, bond or free, (Black or White), we are all one in Christ Jesus.” I thank God for the ‘non-difference.’ Maybe I can say this because I am now 75 years and am no longer concerned about ‘non-essentials’

  29. For Nubians / Blacks/ Negroids Yashua , Isa , Jesus Christ A Brother Name Simon . Matthew 13 ; 55 Says …..
    Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon and Judas? ;….

  30. When the non-essentials become essential the essence of what it means to be a Christian is lost. Because we love change it is hard for us to stay focused on Christ and His work of redemption on the cross. I, too, struggle with wanting to hear something “new” or “different” but when I think of the magnificient gift of grace that the Lord has bestowed on me it brings me right back to the cross. Let us grow more Christ-like and leave fanciful imaginations to the lost who have chosen to forsake the Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

  31. GREAT info and some entertaining but conflicting insights. Historically I have found that some people go to geat effort to somehow “prove” that none of the Biblical characters were black, but when the evidence conflcits with their ideas, suddenly the racial identities of these people quickly become irrelevant.

    I have actually witnessed ministers state “This person wasn’t Black, their skin was made dark by the sun”. I find it extremely troubling that someone trusted to be a spirital leader would use religion to act out their own personal prejudices.

    But, I digress.

    The FACT still remains is that God made all of us and all of us can equally serve him.

  32. I am not a Christian and reading most of the comments proves that it does not matter what you be-lie-ve in we are not brother and sister in “God.” Race is always going to be a factor at the end of the day.

    • Abi

      Dave, your site is wonderful, some of the comments are actually amusing. What got me started on Simon was a book ” the day I was crucified” by Gene Edwards. I recommend it to anyone. There is a scene where a centurion ( Roman- European), asked Simon ( black), basically because he stood out in the crowd, to carry the cross of Jesus (Hebrew). The three sons of Noah ; Shem (Hebrew), Ham ( black) and Japheth ( European) coming together. And Simon, in agreeing to carry the cross broke the curse over Ham that he will be a slave to his brothers. The power of salvation has indeed broken, forever, any curse of enslavement both physical and spiritual to as many that believe. Simon and his family as recorded in the bible were some of the first Gentile Christians. Most of us Christians owe our salvation ( by God’s amazing grace and the power of the Holy Ghost) to such men as Simon the Niger.

      Woody, You sir, are correct, at the end of the day the factor – will be seen, that we… Are brother and sister.
      Made in the image of THE ANICENT OF DAYS, created as Adam – past through the flood with Noah – and dispersed through out this creation as HE saw fit, (read Genesis (6,7, 8, 9, 10, 11) the names above – are the person names of the sons of Noah – brothers – from which the races come! There were no jew or gentile – that came much later – and The FATHER dealt with each them from HIS p.o.v. up to and beyond the gospels. And the curse? very real – pronounced by Noah over his grandson Canaan (youngest son of Ham) for… (things awaiting further data.) Some today are still trying to enforce that curse… forgiveness anyone?

      oh, btw THE ANICENT OF DAYS! , THE MOST HIGH GOD! , THE LIFTER UP OF MY HEAD! … Is way, way, waay, before Imhotep.

      Abi thank you for the assist, ‘it takes iron to sharpen iron to keep a blade keen’.

      Dave thank you so much for introducing this topic, Our FATHER allowed its value to move through time from 2008 to 2014 and its still moving with no relevance lost, and His Grace continues to up lift. – We all have gained (are gaining) from the experience and the knowledge.

  33. Darker skinned Jews are the original. The bible speaks for itself on that matter. It clearly explains who the Ashkenazi’s were and where the originated. It also clearly defines Jacob and his descendants.

  34. PRA Origin
    Dave I agree with much of your article concerning Simon of Cyrene and Simeon called Niger. Now concerning the nicknames to come out of Antioch the most prominant of which may be the beloved title of Christian and may have been originally used to ridicule the believers in the early church. Where as the name Niger /nisyear/ may not only have described the appearance of Simeon/Simon but may have been used to distinguish him from others being such a common Jewish name. Thus it actually being a term of distinction and deserving of significants. Furthermore if the name Niger is the etymological root for the slang /nigger/ then the two afore mentioned nicknames to come out of Antioch have taken different paths yet landed in the same spots mirrored. Is that irony or does God have a cruel since of humor I dare not say.

  35. 1 Timothy 1:4
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

  36. Thanks to the post.
    Though i am a born again Christian, i didn’t have much idea of Simon of cyrene other than he gave the Lord a small time of rest, which in my thoughts is great and obedience to the Lord ,saying . .:” carry my Cross:”
    But wasn,t it a great deal of blessing and opportunity, he achieved, i think we ,all of us needs to be compelled to carry the Cross some time somewhere in our life to know Him more.

  37. it says that barnabas was called a niger as well, he was from the tribe of Levi. and simeon was from the tribe of simeon descendant. were do you get that he was from africa. and all of israel are dark skin people even the lost tribes today. the word niger means black bible dictionary. jesus hair like wool, feet was like fine brass that burned in a furnace.

  38. Acts 13:1. Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
    This post is one of the MANY lies to cover up who the real descendants of Jacob (Yisrael) are today. Simeon was the same Simon that was related to Yahshua (Jesus for you English folks). Simeon was a Negro. So was Yahshua.
    People have to understand that we are living in war times. North America was conquered by the Europeans and soon the whole world will be Europeanized. The Negores cultural was stolen, which has us walking around with our heads lost. To win a world war, you take away a nation’s identity.


  39. There are many Blacks in different cultures. The first man to ever roam the earth was Black. Whether Simeon (Niger) was a dark skinned Jew or not, he can still be considered a black man. Caucasians can tan as much as they want but will never be labeled “black”. You can be determined as black through Melanin.

    Blacks have longed to find people of their own color in the bible to continue their belief
    in the book. But its a bunch of stories borrowed from many other religions and was often used to oppress blacks and keep them enslaved. (Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ Ephesians 6:5)

    You can’t oppress people with a God or Godly Figures that look just like them. Why else do you think every picture of Jesus you see he has blonde hair and blue eyes and white skin?

  40. F.F. Bruce makes reference to this on p. 148 of his book, ‘Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free,’ copyright 1977, Paternoster Press. Bruce also makes reference to Rufus in Rome on p. 388 of the same book. The latter reference is found in a chapter title, ‘Paul and Roman Christianity’ which traces the names found in Paul’s greetings in Romans 16. Much is made of the cosmopolitanism of the Antiochene Church, but Bruce’s research sheds encouraging light in this respect on the primitive Church in Rome. Galatians 3:28 seems borne out in Rome. Skeptics like to make the NT out to be an elaborate put-up mythology, but Bruce went into the old Christian cemeteries in Rome and found the names of those people from Romans 16 on the markers. It is a powerful vindication of the historicity of it all. Bruce’s book is a valuable resource on such things.

  41. Hi Dave,

    It is now 2015 lol and yes! Thank you for this lovely article. Thanks to everyone for their insights.. Enlightening and entertaining. God bless you all
    PS Dave could you write an article on still born babies if possible and alert me on my e-mail.

    Mom to an angel baby

  42. “Jew” is a faith, not an ethnicity. Anyone who “converts” can be a Jew (ie. Sammy Davis Jr. was a Jew convert, European Yiddish speakers are Jewish Converts etc.). “Hebrew” is an ethnicity/race who date back to the Ancient African Egyptians and their belief/religion can be considered the earliest form of Jewish practices/faith/belief.

    • I don’t know where you got that idea from, Hebrew Israelite is a race, Hebrew has a language or culture a identity, Sammy Davis jr. Did not have to convert to Hebrew Israelite culture, because he comes from the tribe of Judah the so-called black people here in North America, Jewish people converted to our culture around the 7th century, in the King James version Bible, Genesis chapter 10 verse 3, clearly states ashkenaz are Gentiles from japheth. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

      • Judah, Benjamin and one other tribe, that I can’t think of at the moment, were given to the service of God…and Isreal has been divided again. As it was divided in the beginning. Symeon ministered to the Jewish Nation and not the gentiles. Ethiopia was the first nation to accept Christianity. some 300 years Rome. The world gives little thought to the fullness of the meaning of his deed

  43. I personally tend to agree that both are the same person, however Cyrene is now Libya. A simple map of Africa shows the neighboring country to Libya on the southern dide is called Niger. Probably back then they were one country. The Libyans are generally medium to dark complexion but further south approaching the heart of Africa people we very dark skin almost black. Simon called Niger probably travelled North to Cyrene and travelled along the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea) to reach Jerusalem. Dr. Luke in Acts 13 used Simon called Niger (from South) to distinguish him from Lucius of Cyrene (North).

  44. They are the same…….and it does matter. It is in the same likeness of Abraham and Issac and even close in location. Thanks for your information.

  45. My interest in whether the two Simons are the same is in connection with a role reversal we can see between the incident of Noah and his three sons after the flood (Genesis 9), and the scene of the crucifixion. There, Ham tells his brothers about the nakedness of their father Noah, while Shem and Japheth cover it. A curse of servitude was pronounced on Ham’s son Canaan. In the crucifixion, Shem and Japheth (the Jews and Romans) are involved in carrying out the crucifixion, while (possibly) Ham acts as a servant, carrying the cross of Jesus.

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