Bible Review 20:5, October 2004

It’s in the Details

A rich portrait of Simon the Cyrene can be pieced together from the few facts the Gospels provide

By Ben Witherington III

Bible Review

The smallest details in biblical stories bear close examination. They are not there by accident, and often reveal a great deal.

An example of this principle is a verse from the oldest gospel, Mark 15:21, where we first hear of the man named Simon from Cyrenica. Jesus is being led to his crucifixion; “A man called Simon, from Cyrenica, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they pressed him into service to carry his [Jesus’] cross” (see also Matthew 27:32 and Luke 23:26).

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