When is a Jew not a Jew? Gamaliel the Elder and the Reception of Acts in the Early Church: Presented to the History of Interpretation Section, SBL/AAR Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

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Abstract

Modern scholarship remains polarised on the question of whether Acts portrays the Pharisee Gamaliel, Paul's teacher, positively (with, e.g., D.B. Gowler) or negatively (with e.g. J.A. Darr). Nevertheless, all agree that he remains a Pharisaic Jew. In the early Church, however, an explicit expression of this position is wholly absent. The same interpretation of Gamaliel is offered by both a Jewish-Christian (the author of the source underlying Clementine Recognitions 1) and a Gentile Christian (John Chrysostom); namely, that he must have become a believer in Jesus. The actual ‘religions’ of the two Gamaliels ‘observed’, however, are radically different. This paper seeks to answer the question of why these very different interpreters agreed on seeing a convert, and asks what implications this has for modern studies of Luke-Acts?
Translated title of the contributionWhen is a Jew not a Jew? Gamaliel the Elder and the Reception of Acts in the Early Church
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2005

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Conference Organiser: SBL

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