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In Acts, it talks about a division in Judaism that I had not heard of before:

Acts 6:1 (NIV)
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

Who were these Hellenistic Jews and Hebraic Jews? What was the difference between the two groups?

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Anyone interested in this question should know about Craig Hill, Hellenists and Hebrews: Reappraising Division Within the Earliest Church (Fortress Press, 1991); see also Larry Hurtado's blog post about this topic (with specific reference to Hill's contribution). –  Davïd Mar 28 at 12:59

2 Answers 2

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As you know, Jesus died on Pessach. This is one of the three feasts Jews are commanded to go to Jerusalem. So Jews from all over the world were present at the time of Jesus' dead and resurrection, and many of them gave their lives over to Christ. So Hebraic Jews would be inhabitants of Israel, while Greek Jews would be the rest from all over.

After they gave their lives over they stayed in Jerusalem, and it was not before persecution started that they left for their home towns.

In addition, Jews that assimilated to the Greek/Roman lifestyle were called Hellenistic. This was a movement from about 400 BC to 100 AC. Prominent members were the Sadducees.

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So, this verse is referring to the Jews who were not Christians at that time (so that this is somewhat of a social commentary)? Or were these Christians who still consider themselves Jews? –  Richard Oct 21 '11 at 16:34
@Richard By culture they are Hebraic/Hellenistic, by descent they are Jews, by theology they are disciples of Christ. –  Soldarnal Oct 21 '11 at 16:48
@Soldarnal Aah, I see. "The Hellenistic Jews among them" Yeah, ok... Just didn't read close enough. Thanks! –  Richard Oct 21 '11 at 16:52

the hellenist or grecians in acts 6:1 were those jews born in the greek lands and can speak both greek and hebrew...also in their conduct they look like greek.

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