Proselytes and Hellenists

From Issue: Discovery 2/1/2015

It is quite possible that you are not familiar with the terms “proselyte” and “Hellenist.” These words are found less than five times each in the entire Bible. Both terms refer to different groups associated with the Jewish religion.

Proselytes were people from outside the nation of Israel who were converted to the Jewish religion. (They could be compared to those today who are not reared in the Church by Christian parents but come to know and obey the truth later in life.) Proselytes were those who (1) rejected the false gods and religions that were common in their home countries and cultures, and (2) kept the Law of Moses and worshiped the one true and living God.

The Hellenists were Jews who adopted the Greek culture as their own, yet they honored their Jewish religion and still worshiped the God of the Bible. Jews who were born and reared in Judea disapproved of the Hellenists because they had abandoned the Jewish culture for the culture and language of the Greeks.


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