- Paul arrives in Jerusalem with the collection and wants endorsement for his position. Helen an opponent of circumcision is a major backer.
- The Jerusalem group rejects his position and rejects his money;
- Paul heads to Rome and the Jerusalem church and Paul break and are never reconciled.
- Paul develops a theology that scripture and not institutions as authoritative,
- The 2nd century church wants to downplay the degree of the split.
Josphus provides a semi-explicit identification. Paulus is Latin for small. Josephus uses either "Atomos" (Greek for small) or Simon depending on the manuscript in this line, "and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon/Atomos" in Antiquities 20.7.2.
In the Acts 11:27-30 passage it makes no sense why the donors would pass the money through Saul. It makes a great deal of sense if this reference is to Simon, who is a trusted assistant to Governor Felix (proctor of Palestine 52-60). Right after that we have the persecution of the church by the Romans (Acts 12:1-3). So lets turn our previous theory around and make it all Simon we end up with a story like:
- Queen Helen of Adibene believes in Judaism but rejects circumcision, especially for her son Izates bar Monobaz. As a result she becomes active in the budding Christian movement and she becomes the benefactor and possible lover to Simon a major opponent of circumcision.
- There is a famine in Palestine. King Agabar and Queen Helen put together a relief fund. Like most politicians they use funding to advance their agenda in particular Helen passes the money to the (proto-)Christian community through Felix's assistant Simon Magus.
- Simon arrives in Jerusalem with the collection and uses it to help with food and to advance his theological position in the Jewish community.
- The opposition to his theology if it is not going to be accepted is naturally going to come first from other Christians, the Jerusalem group led by James. The Jerusalem group can't be bought off and rejects Simon's money.
- Simon complains to Felix about the Jerusalem group and James is killed.
- The Jerusalem faction remains hostile to the Samaritan faction.
- Simon travels with Felix to Rome six years later, Helen travels with him. He becomes a sect leader, and after this Peter and he meet up at some point in the 60s.
- The 2nd century church in writing Acts patches in different versions of the story told from different perspectives.
And, thirdly, because after Christ's ascension into heaven the devils put forward certain men who said that they themselves were gods; and they were not only not persecuted by you, but even deemed worthy of honours. There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in him. He was considered a god, and as a god was honoured by you with a statue, which statue was erected on the river Tiber, between the two bridges, and bore this inscription, in the language of Rome:— Simoni Deo Sancto, To Simon the holy God. And almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him. And a man, Menander, also a Samaritan, of the town Capparetæa, a disciple of Simon, and inspired by devils, we know to have deceived many while he was in Antioch by his magical art. He persuaded those who adhered to him that they should never die, and even now there are some living who hold this opinion of his. And there is Marcion, a man of Pontus, who is even at this day alive, and teaching his disciples to believe in some other god greater than the Creator. And he, by the aid of the devils, has caused many of every nation to speak blasphemies, and to deny that God is the maker of this universe, and to assert that some other being, greater than He, has done greater works. All who take their opinions from these men, are, as we before said, called Christians; just as also those who do not agree with the philosophers in their doctrines, have yet in common with them the name of philosophers given to them. And whether they perpetrate those fabulous and shameful deeds — the upsetting of the lamp, and promiscuous intercourse, and eating human flesh— we know not; but we do know that they are neither persecuted nor put to death by you, at least on account of their opinions. But I have a treatise against all the heresies that have existed already composed, which, if you wish to read it, I will give you. (Apology I.26; Magicians not trusted by Christians)
- Defend the church's rejection of Marcion's money by pushing it back in time.
- Distance Paul (the hero of Acts) from Simony.
- Not give Simon the credit for a large collection from Agabar, that he was involved in. In particular because that money was accepted and was popular.
- G.R.S. Mead book
- The Invisible Basilica, Thalamic
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Jewish Encyclopedia
- Dictionary of Western Esotericism and Gnosis
- Hippolytus, 'Refutation of all Heresies (chapters VI.1-15)
- Irenaeus, Against Heresies (I.23)
- Clement, The Recognitions (long anti Simon book) (see Catholic Encyclopedia article on authenticity)
- Marcion and Luke-Acts: A Defining Struggle