Acts 15:5 reads:

But some from the religious party of the Pharisees who had believed stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise the Gentiles and to order them to observe the law of Moses.” (Acts 15:5 NET)

This verse does not explicitly state that these Pharisees left or were expelled from the sect upon converting to Christianity.

What would have happened to a member of the Pharisees upon conversion to Christianity?

Would it have been possible for a Christian to remain a Pharisee, or not be formally excluded from the sect?

  • Pharisee doesn't mean that someone is bad or hypocrite in our culture it became that connotation , it is school of thought and way of life that has been shaped by hundreds of years
    – Enoch
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


Paul state after his conversion that he is still Pharisee on two occasions

Acts 23:6

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”

Phil 3:5

circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

Near the end of his life he also stated

Acts 28:17

After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

So we clearly see Paul/Saul staid pharisee his whole life , so it is possible.

I think it is later on jewish leaders made some complications for christian and jewish believers in Jesus Christ to worship in synagogue(e.g Eighteen Benediction). After jewish brothers felt betrayed by jewish believers in Jesus when they run away from the country and didnt fight the romans


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