Who Was Gamaliel In The Bible

Biblical scholar, Gamaliel, was a Jewish lawyer in the 1st century, who worked to ensure compliance with the Torah by his peers. He is most widely known for his work as a consultant for the Sanhedrin, educating and defending the council members with his vast knowledge of the laws and regulations at the time. He is often seen as a voice of reason, protecting those who wanted to practise their religion and taking the moral high-ground in the face of adversity.

At the time of Jesus, Gamaliel was a very influential religious teacher and rabbi. He was a major source of knowledge for his people and is also known to have taught Saul of Tarsus, a future Christian leader, who was later known as the Apostle Paul.

Though Gamaliel is seen as a mediator for understanding and respect in a religious atmosphere, his stance amongst the governing body of Jerusalem was quite firm. During times of religious dispute, he is known for using his intimate knowledge of the scriptures to reach a civil agreement. In the Bible, we see a case in which Gamaliel requested the ‘apostles’ to desist in their activities, recommending they be released into the public. Here we see him proposing a form of neutralization, leading to an unwillingness to punish those devoted to their religious beliefs.

In the Gospel of John, we are told that Gamaliel, who was a member of the Sanhedrin, was in favor of abolishing Jesus’s punishment. He suggested instead, to “leave these men alone” and that if the man claiming to be the Son of God was indeed speaking the truth, any action against him would eventually be seen in futility. Despite the fact Gamaliel was not a believer in Jesus, he urged compassion for the accused.

Perhaps the most valuable insight regarding Gamaliel’s life is found in the book of Acts. Here we are told that he had a great knowledge of the Law of Moses and the Prophets. He encouraged those who shared his beliefs to depend on the Law of Moses and to spread their wisdom to those in need. In this way, we are offered a glimpse of Gamaliel’s strength of character, offering of guidance, instruction, and protection to those around him.

We can also gain a view of Gamaliel’s character through his son: Hillel, who went on to become one of the most renowned Jewish rabbis in history. Like his father, Hillel was renowned for his knowledge and dedication to serving others. We can also note that both men were willing to appeal to those of opposing views in order to better understand their situation and allow others to communicate with them.

Though he was a prominent figure of the 1st Century, its unclear what happened to Gamaliel later in life. Despite its short time-frame, Gamaliel left a lasting impression on his people. His commitment to upholding the Law of Moses, coupled with his wisdom and compassion, made him a source of hope and unity amongst his people.

What did Gamaliel teach?

Gamaliel was best known by his intimate knowledge of the religious texts at the time. He taught his peers on the Sanhedrin to focus on the Law of Moses and to use this as a reference whenever arguments or disputes occurred. He also encouraged the spread of principles of justice, fairness, and love for one another. This is evident in the incident involving the apostles, as Gamaliel suggested they be released and not given any special punishment – ultimately saving them from potential execution.

In essence, Gamaliel stood as a symbol of justice, representing balance and equal rights in an often volatile time. He is believed to have been focused on healing and unifying those in disagreement, rather than punishing or creating unnecessary conflict.

Did Gamaliel Believe in Jesus?

Though Gamaliel is known to having advocated on behalf of Jesus during the trial, little is known as to his stance on Jesus’s teaching. Though it appears he did not believe in Jesus’s divinity, he did believe in Jesus’s teachings, as Gospel of John states, “If it is of God, you cannot over throw it”.

Though many believe Gamaliel, who was a known teacher of the Pharisees and Sanhedrin, fully subscribed to traditional Judaism, many also argue he may have had religious influences from both Jewish and non-Jewish teachings. This is due to the wide variety of contacts he would have had at the time – Paul was one of his students, and many of his followers came from all walks of life.

Was Gamaliel Successful?

Regardless of his actual beliefs in Christianity, it is clear to see that Gamaliel did indeed leave a positive mark on history. His voice was inspiring and wise, leading to a more peaceful atmosphere in which people were encouraged to look beyond their differences. He also inspired religious tolerance and understanding during a time when unity was scarce.

His son, Hillel, is a testament to this influence. He continues to guide and educate those devoted to their faith, leading those who follow him to seek peace, understanding and love.

What Did Gamaliel’s Followers Believe?

Though we’re unsure of the specifics of why people followed Gamaliel, we can make some assumptions as to what they believed. It seems most likely his followers believed in the same ideas and ideals that Gamaliel did – that of justice, fairness, and respect for one another. They likely followed him in order to learn from his vast knowledge of the religious texts and teachings.

In addition to this, it is assumed that many of Gamaliel’s followers believed in a more spiritual side of Judaism, which we see evident in his descendants. They believed in God, but were also open to different interpretations of the same scripture. It seems clear that Gamaliel’s followers were devoted to learning from him, respecting one another and seeking peace.


The legacy of Gamaliel has reverberated throughout history, providing hope in times of uncertainty and encouraging understanding in times of disagreement. His vast knowledge of the law bestowed upon him widespread admiration both in his day and even today. Though the circumstances of his passing are unknown, we can be sure that his influence on religion was felt across the world.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

Leave a Comment