AN INTELLECTUAL OF THE TIME, PAUL LEARNED FROM THE BEST AND MOST COMPASSIONATE TEACHER AROUND!
Paul claims to have been educated by Gamaliel, one of the premier teachers of the Law in the first century. Gamaliel taught between A.D. 22-55, giving us an approximate early date for Paul’s education. If Paul began study at the latest age of 16, we can guess a birth year of about 6 at the earliest. Polhill observes that several rulings of Gamaliel appear in the Mishnah, mostly having to do with marriage and divorce. Perhaps Gamiliel’s views influenced Paul’s personal comments on marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 (Polhill, Paul and his Letters, 30).
Gamaliel was himself a Pharisee in the tradition of the great Hillel. A generation before Christ there were two great rabbis, Hillel and Shammai. While this is a generalization, many of the rabbinic debates of the first century come down to the opinion of Hillel versus Shammai. With respect to Hellenism, Hillel was more open to…
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