The Return of Simon Magus

20 years ago I started to write a novel about the life and times of the original AntiChrist, Simon Magus. This fascinating character was originally mentioned in the Book of Acts in the New Testament as a rival to Jesus, who offered to buy the Holy Spirit from St Peter and was soundly rebuked. In later apocrypha he became a symbol for heresy, associated with the Gnostic alternative to Christianity which rejected the Old Testament God as a monstrous demon, and engaged in magical duels with the apostles, culminating in his abortive demonstration of flight before the emperor Nero. He claimed to be the great power of God, and was accompanied by a former prostitute who was his holy wisdom. My novel is intended to tell his side of the story, incorporating elements of all the mythologies of the time and ranging over the whole known world. On a personal level, the novel deals with many things which have obsessed me: the appeal of and need for religion, the origins of Christianity, history and mythology in general. As I said, I started it 20 years ago, wrote furiously for about 3 years, and have not done much since. Maybe I said all I had to say in those pages I did complete? I don’t think so. Other things distracted me, but it may be time to get back to it. Anyone reading this who would like to know more can check for some excerpts. If you like it, let me know. I could use the encouragement.

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