Simon Episcopius, a Dutch theologian, whose original name was Bischop, born in Amsterdam in January, 1583, died there, April 4, 1643. He was educated at Leyden, receiving theological instructions from Gomar and Arminius; and his attachment to the Ar-minian system exposed him to the enmity of the then dominant Calvinistic party. In 1610 he became pastor in Bleiswick near Rotterdam, and in 1611 he was chosen one of six ministers who were to defend Arminianism in a conference appointed by the states general. In 1612 he was invited to fill the chair of theology at Leyden, which Gomar had just quitted. He now became the object of unceasing attacks, was accused of being a Socinian, and of having combined with the Catholics to ruin Protestantism; and the popular animosity, so easily excited in religions causes at that era, became directed against him and his family. In 1618 Episcopius with some of his friends presented himself before the synod of Dort, but they were not allowed to take part in it. The Arminian or Remonstrant clergymen were deposed, and as they refused to renounce for the future the performance of pastoral duties, they were banished by the aid of the government.
Episcopius then retired to Antwerp, where he wrote his Responsio ad duas Patris Waddingii Jesuitoe Epistolas, and his celebrated Confessio Fidei Remonstrantium. On the renewal of the war between Spain and the Netherlands Episcopius took refuge in France, and resided chiefly at Paris, where he published several works. On the death of Prince Maurice in 1625, when more tolerant principles prevailed in Holland, he returned, preached at Rotterdam, and after 1634 taught theology in the new college established by his friends in Amsterdam. To Arminius belongs the distinction of having founded the sect, but Epis-copius was the theologian who first skilfully developed its ideas. Besides his many controversial pieces, the most important of his writings is the Institutiones Theologioe. A collection of his works was published by Courcelles (2 vols. fol., Amsterdam, 1650).