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Who was GAMALIEL?


1. Not thought to be present when the Sanhedrin met to condemn Jesus

2. In that era, only about 3 or 4 members of the Sanhedrin were Pharisees; mostly Sadducees…but Gamaliel was respected as the greatest Rabbi in the land

3. A descendent of King David, very distantly related to Jesus

4. The grandson of the great Rabbi, Hillel, whose teachings often parallel those of Jesus

5. The man who would train Saul of Tarsus to become a great Rabbi...who later became known as Paul the Apostle. In Acts 22:2-4, Paul said, "And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet; and he said, "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.

6. Rabbi Gamaliel may have single-handedly done more to help establish Christianity than anyone except for Jesus Himself, yet he was not a believer. There are many unbelievers who are not in the Kingdom of God but are friendly toward that Kingdom.

8. Professor Will Varner writes, " The question that needs to be considered is whether the stringent, hyperstrict Pharisaic scruples that received the strongest condemnation from Jesus might be those most often espoused by the Shammai school. Thus, Jesus’ harshest words may have been directed, on certain occasions, more toward a segment of the Pharisees than toward all of them.

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