Gamaliel's advice

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MOC

Member
Mar 20, 2020
78
67
18
#1
In ancient times many people were hung, stoned, beaten, and put in prison for preaching the word of God. Today, in America, we are free to witness and preach to whoever will listen. We don't have to worry about imprisonment or death in the United States. In the book of Acts, Peter and other Apostles were preaching and healing at a place called Solomon's porch. The high priest and other members of the Jewish Sanhedrin protested against the Apostles. When Peter spoke of Jesus saying, "we are His witnesses," it made the high priest want to have them all killed. A Pharisee named Gamaliel spoke up to defend the Apostles. Gamaliel is only mentioned a couple of times in scripture, but was a well respected teacher. The historian Josephus wrote favorably of Gamaliel and his nobility. He is probably most recognized as the teacher or mentor of Paul. Though what we know of Gamaliel is limited, it still quite clear that he was a well respected teacher in Jerusalem.

Solomon's Porch An area in Jerusalem along the eastern wall of the temple courtyard. Christians commonly gathered there for mass meetings because it could hold thousands. Obviously named after King Solomon of Israel.

Acts 5:17-29 "ye should not teach in this name. This man's blood is upon us." The high priest commanded that the Apostles be put in prison. "The Angel of the Lord," opened the prison doors so that they could get out and continue preaching.

Acts 5:33-42 Gamaliel persuaded the council to simply ignore this movement, stating that previous movements fizzled out or went away. He persuaded the high priest that this one would do the same if it wasn't of the Lord. Gamaliel's advice worked as the council let them go. The Apostles were beaten and told them not to preach in the name of Jesus. So, what did the Apostles do when they were let go? Verse 41, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."

Was Gamaliel's advice righteous? His advice comes within the context of saving human life as the council was ready to "slay" them for what they were saying. He was genuinely concerned for their well being and saw an opportunity for interference. Gamaliel states that false teachings will go away, which is not entirely accurate. Today, we have seen churches that teach false doctrine grow and doesn't look like their going away anytime soon. It would seem Gamaliel's motives for speaking up were righteous and true.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
30,704
3,650
113
#2
Church history has it that Gamaliel was a Christian. When? :unsure:
But if he was a (secret) Christian at the time, it may have been an 'educated stall' on his part.

https://earlychurchhistory.org/beliefs-2/was-gamaliel-a-christian/

It wasn't unusual then for there to be secret believers even among the Pharisees...

John 19:38-39 (NASB) After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.

John 3:1-2 (NASB) Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
24,320
12,851
113
#3
It would seem Gamaliel's motives for speaking up were righteous and true.
Agreed. There was wisdom in what he said.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
11,887
8,696
113
#4
In ancient times many people were hung, stoned, beaten, and put in prison for preaching the word of God. Today, in America, we are free to witness and preach to whoever will listen. We don't have to worry about imprisonment or death in the United States. In the book of Acts, Peter and other Apostles were preaching and healing at a place called Solomon's porch. The high priest and other members of the Jewish Sanhedrin protested against the Apostles. When Peter spoke of Jesus saying, "we are His witnesses," it made the high priest want to have them all killed. A Pharisee named Gamaliel spoke up to defend the Apostles. Gamaliel is only mentioned a couple of times in scripture, but was a well respected teacher. The historian Josephus wrote favorably of Gamaliel and his nobility. He is probably most recognized as the teacher or mentor of Paul. Though what we know of Gamaliel is limited, it still quite clear that he was a well respected teacher in Jerusalem.

Solomon's Porch An area in Jerusalem along the eastern wall of the temple courtyard. Christians commonly gathered there for mass meetings because it could hold thousands. Obviously named after King Solomon of Israel.

Acts 5:17-29 "ye should not teach in this name. This man's blood is upon us." The high priest commanded that the Apostles be put in prison. "The Angel of the Lord," opened the prison doors so that they could get out and continue preaching.

Acts 5:33-42 Gamaliel persuaded the council to simply ignore this movement, stating that previous movements fizzled out or went away. He persuaded the high priest that this one would do the same if it wasn't of the Lord. Gamaliel's advice worked as the council let them go. The Apostles were beaten and told them not to preach in the name of Jesus. So, what did the Apostles do when they were let go? Verse 41, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."

Was Gamaliel's advice righteous? His advice comes within the context of saving human life as the council was ready to "slay" them for what they were saying. He was genuinely concerned for their well being and saw an opportunity for interference. Gamaliel states that false teachings will go away, which is not entirely accurate. Today, we have seen churches that teach false doctrine grow and doesn't look like their going away anytime soon. It would seem Gamaliel's motives for speaking up were righteous and true.
Gamaliel may have been a relatively good man that was just sick and tired of seeing blood spattered on every wall. He still needed to be born again just like the rest of us do.
 

2ndTimothyGroup

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
5,372
1,849
113
#5
In ancient times many people were hung, stoned, beaten, and put in prison for preaching the word of God. Today, in America, we are free to witness and preach to whoever will listen. We don't have to worry about imprisonment or death in the United States. In the book of Acts, Peter and other Apostles were preaching and healing at a place called Solomon's porch. The high priest and other members of the Jewish Sanhedrin protested against the Apostles. When Peter spoke of Jesus saying, "we are His witnesses," it made the high priest want to have them all killed. A Pharisee named Gamaliel spoke up to defend the Apostles. Gamaliel is only mentioned a couple of times in scripture, but was a well respected teacher. The historian Josephus wrote favorably of Gamaliel and his nobility. He is probably most recognized as the teacher or mentor of Paul. Though what we know of Gamaliel is limited, it still quite clear that he was a well respected teacher in Jerusalem.

Solomon's Porch An area in Jerusalem along the eastern wall of the temple courtyard. Christians commonly gathered there for mass meetings because it could hold thousands. Obviously named after King Solomon of Israel.

Acts 5:17-29 "ye should not teach in this name. This man's blood is upon us." The high priest commanded that the Apostles be put in prison. "The Angel of the Lord," opened the prison doors so that they could get out and continue preaching.

Acts 5:33-42 Gamaliel persuaded the council to simply ignore this movement, stating that previous movements fizzled out or went away. He persuaded the high priest that this one would do the same if it wasn't of the Lord. Gamaliel's advice worked as the council let them go. The Apostles were beaten and told them not to preach in the name of Jesus. So, what did the Apostles do when they were let go? Verse 41, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."

Was Gamaliel's advice righteous? His advice comes within the context of saving human life as the council was ready to "slay" them for what they were saying. He was genuinely concerned for their well being and saw an opportunity for interference. Gamaliel states that false teachings will go away, which is not entirely accurate. Today, we have seen churches that teach false doctrine grow and doesn't look like their going away anytime soon. It would seem Gamaliel's motives for speaking up were righteous and true.
This is a really cool post. I love this kind of thought-provoking material.

I've found Gamaliel to be of an interesting character myself. Because there is so little material of him (biblically), it's tough to get a handle upon him, but I do get the feeling that his heart was more open to them. At least we know that he was not in a rush to have the disciples put to death. It seems clear that his line of thinking was more patient and tender than the less mature surrounding him. So, what then, do we make of young Saul? It would seem odd that if Gamaliel, was in fact, a more kind and gentle person, how could he give approval of killing Christians? Perplexing, for sure. And if Gamaliel did not approve of the actions of Saul, it might suggest that Saul's brand of Judaism may have been utterly out of control.

Saul gave the approval of Stephens murder, but did Gamaliel give his approval to Saul's brutal ways? And if I could do so . . . I would venture to say that perhaps there is a blend of the two ideas, that Gamaliel was more matured and gentle regarding wrong-doing (as was king David), while Saul was more of a sage, a rough character willing to do the unthinkable . . . pounding rocks into a human face until it is torn apart, disfigured, and no longer breathing. Unbelievable. Only a monster could do such a thing.

So if Gamaliel's motives were righteous and true, then he couldn't have been in agreement with Saul. But if Gamaliel was a supporter of Saul, then he could not have been from the corner of Righteousness, nor reflecting it in any significant way. I don't know if I explained this well, but it makes sense to compare Saul with Gamaliel, and in the midst of it all, I think we find a more Righteous and True Gamaliel, with perhaps Pure motives. There seems to be no reason to complain about Gamaliel . . . and that's GOT to be a good thing. :)
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
7,312
2,424
113
#6
Was Gamaliel's advice righteous? .
We have many wrong interpretations of scripture today, as we show at this site with differing interpretations. One says it is this way, another says no, that is wrong. One way is right and another wrong or there would be no opposition. Gamaliel tells us it is not worth fighting about.

However, we will be faced with an order to deny God in the future, if my interpretation of scripture is correct. Rome demanded this of the early Christians and their choice was to not deny Christ, as they felt that would endanger their eternal life and to live eternally was more important that to live in the flesh. If you were asked to choose what is most important to you, your eternal life or your life in the flesh, what would you choose? Is it possible to deny Christ and live eternally?