He is presumed to be an African gentile who had transplanted to Antioch and met with Jesus. Acts 13 - NIV: Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. He is a former editor for Christianity Today and LifeWay Christian Resources. These leaders, including "Simeon who was called Niger," had a hand in sending Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey to other gentile cities in response to the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the Bible's only mention of this Simeon. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” There are literally thousands of people mentioned in the Bible. We can't know for sure whether Simeon was black, but it's certainly a reasonable conclusion. Anonymous. In fact, they were leaders in the church at Antioch, which was the first church to experience large numbers of Gentiles converting to Christ. Therefore, many scholars have concluded in recent years that Simeon "who was called Niger" was indeed a black man. Here is where this interesting man named Simeon enters the pages of the Bible: This calls for a bit of background. Sam O'Neal is the co-author of "Bible Stories You May Have Forgotten" and "The Bible Answer Book." Acts 13:1 German Bible Alphabetical: who and Antioch at Barnabas been brought called church Cyrene had Herod In Lucius Manaen Niger Now of prophets Saul Simeon teachers tetrarch tetrarch that the there up was were who with So why is Simeon significant in this story? Think about it: There's a good chance that more than 1,500 years before the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, a black man helped lead one of the most influential churches in the history of the world. Prominent Biblical characters include people such as Moses, King David, the apostle Paul, and so on. A man named Simeon, who was also called Niger, is one of these characters. We know that Nigeria consists of dark-skinned persons, as Nigeria is African in descent. 13 1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. Acts 13:1-3 King James Version (KJV). At the beginning of Acts 13, we find a list of additional leaders in the Antioch church. All Scripture says about the man, in addition to being a prophet and teacher, is that he was “Simeon who was called Niger” (Acts 13:1). The Greek word Niger is from where the name Nigeria comes. These leaders, including "Simeon who was called Niger," had a hand in sending Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey to other gentile cities in response to the … Barnabas and Paul were at the forefront of the church leaders who wanted to evangelize the Gentiles. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and … More importantly, the church leaders had begun discussing whether Gentiles (non-Jewish people) should be told about the gospel message and included within the church. M.A., Christian Studies, Union University, B.A., English Literature, Wheaton College. Earliest Days of the Roman Christian Church, Overview: the Epistles of the New Testament, Introduction to the Catholic Religion: Beliefs, Practices and History, Exploring the New Testament City of Antioch, The Stoning of Stephen: A Bible Story Study Guide. 13 1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.