proselyte

proselyte (Pros´uh-lit)

A convert from one religious faith or group to another. In biblical studies this term refers especially to Gentiles who became Jews. From the second century BCE through the fourth century CE, some evidence suggests, many Gentiles were attracted to Judaism because of its monotheism, sexual ethics, and Sabbath observance. In addition, Jews may have actively sought converts during this period (Matt 23:15). In NT times proselytes to Judaism were required to accept one God and Jewish ethical and religious observances; males had to be circumcised. Acts mentions proselytes among those listening to Peter (Acts 2:10) and Paul (Acts 13:43) and a proselyte, Nicolaus, as one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5). Acts also mentions Gentiles who “fear God” or “reverence God,” expressions that may refer to halfway converts who had not fully embraced Judaism (or been circumcised), but who kept some of the fundamentals of the law.

Matt 23:15

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Acts 2:10

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Acts 13:43

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Acts 6:5

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