Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
1  
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

up vote 1 down vote accepted

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.

share|improve this answer
    
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
1  
@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
1  
@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
    
While some Hellenized Jews likely became Christians, Christianity is not part of the definition. The split between Hellenized Jews and the rest predated Jesus and had much deeper roots. –  Gone Quiet Nov 29 '12 at 21:28

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.

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

1  
We expect a bit more than this of answers. Care to edit and make this a full answer? –  Caleb Mar 28 at 10:39
    
I'm very grateful for your participation here. I think you can benefit a lot if you see the kind of answers that this site is looking for. Be sure to visit the tour to learn more about this site. –  Paul Vargas 2 days ago

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.