There is ample evidence of a wide spread converison to Judaism during the period of the Second Temple, especially the later part of the period, and the word ger, which in biblical times meant stranger or alien, became synonymous with proselyte (see "Strangers and Gentiles").
The statement of the New Testament that the Pharisees "compass sea and land to make one proselyte" Matt. 23:15 suggesting a vigorous and active proselytizion may possibly be an exaggeration, but on the other hand, the near pride which the rabbis took in the claim that some of their greatest figures were descended policy toward their acceptance. Such incidents as the different approach of Shammai and Hillel to the request to be taught the principle of Judaism by a potential proselyte (Shabb. 31a)
Proselytes law of conversion || Back to index