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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) The son of Pedahzur, and "prince of the children of Manasseh," chosen to aid in taking the census in the Wilderness (Numbers 1:10; Numbers 2:20; Numbers 7:54 , Numbers 7:59; Numbers 10:23 ).
The toleration and liberality displayed by Gamaliel upon the occasion of his speech before the Sanhedrin were all the more remarkable because of their rarity among the Pharisees of the period. Although the strict observance by the Christians of temple worship, and their belief in immortality, a point in dispute between Pharisees and Sadducees, may have had influence over him (Knowling), no credence is to be attached to the view that he definitely favored the apostles or to the tradition that he afterward became a Christian. The high place accorded him in Jewish tradition, and the fact that the title of Rabban, higher even than Rabbi or Master, was first bestowed upon him, testify that he remained a Pharisee to the end. His speech is rather indicative of one who knew the deeper truth in the Old Testament of the universal fatherhood of God, and who recognized that the presence of His power was the. deciding factor in all human enterprise. His social enactments were permeated by the same broad-minded spirit. Thus his legislation on behalf of the poor was formulated so as to include Gentiles as well as Jews. The authenticity of his speech has been questioned by Wendt and others, chiefly on account of the alleged anachronism in regard to Theudas (see THEUDAS ); but the internal evidence is against this view (compare Knowling in The Expositor Greek Test ., II, 161). It has also been objected by Baur and the Tübingen school that the liberal, peace-loving Gamaliel could not have been the teacher of the fanatical Saul. To this, reply has been made, firstly, that the charges against Stephen of destroying the temple and subverting the laws of Moses were not brought against Peter and the other apostles, and, secondly, that the doctrines of any teacher, however moderate he himself may be, are liable to be carried to extremes by an over-zealous pupil.
Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul , chapter ii; Kitto,
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Gamaliel'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/g/gamaliel.html. 1915.