Summary: Zostrianos was a Greek philosopher and teacher who led a school in the
city of Tyre. When he heard Yeshua was in the city, he sought to debate with him,
thinking he could publicly humiliate Yeshua before the people. Unable to fluster
Yeshua with his questions, Zostrianos became offended when the Nazarene showed preference
in teaching the common people over him. When Yeshua miraculously healed a man from
the crowd, Zostrianos accused him of being a sorcerer (Y:22:1-61). So upset over
the exchange, Zostrianos first went to the leaders of the city in attempt to bring
some charge against Yeshua. When they wouldn’t listen, he wrote a letter to Vitellius,
the Governor of Syria, in an attempt to incriminate Yeshua (Y:22:63-65).
Azrael’s Commentary - Zostrianos
A sophist who headed a school of philosophy in the port city of Tyre in present-day
Lebanon. Zostrianos was a successful teacher who taught geometry and the Socratic
method of reasoning. He held that all truth was relative and that religion was invented
by man for the sole purpose of making people more compliant to civil authority. Zostrianos
also taught that all virtue was in the end, relative to the situations in which they
Zostrianos’ sole purpose for speaking to Yeshua was to make Yeshua look foolish.
When Yeshua refused to play along, and addressed himself to the common people around
him, Zostrianos became offended.
In later life, Zostrianos took great pleasure in baiting Christians in order to make
them look foolish. He encouraged the persecution of Christians on the grounds that
they engaged in secret rites of cannibalism. As an old man, well advanced in years,
Zostrianos called his students together one last time. In a scene reminiscent of
Socrates’ drinking of the hemlock in 399 BCE, Zostrianos ended his own life through
the drinking of the deadly potion.