An Inquiry on the Pharisees’ Search for Proselytes (Mt 23:15)

Summary: I. Proselyte. 1. Extra-biblical usage. 2. OT usage. 3. NT usage. 4. Evaluation. II. Survey and evaluation of information on Jewish missionary activity in the early first century A.D. III. Survey and evaluation of available information on Pharisees and membership. IV. Synthesis and evaluation.

This study attempts to reassess some issues involved in the interpretation of Mt 23:15, first by focusing on the biblical connotations involved in the use of the term ‘proselyte’, and then by evaluating presently available sources regarding the Pharisees’ supposed search for proselytes with respect to the wider context of Jewish missionary activity and the spread of Christianity.