{Jewish Sects and Orders}

"The stranger" "within the gates" of Judaism, and other converts (traceable throughout Jewish history) are termed in the New Testament proselytes (Greek = approachers). The Rabbis distinguish:

(1) Proselytes of Righteousness, circumcised, and bound by every Jewish obligation;

(2) Proselytes of the Gate (Exodus 20:10); Deuteronomy 14:21, "devout" "worshippers," Acts 10:2; 16:14, etc.), uncircumcised, and only bound by "Noah's seven precepts" (against idolatry, profanity, murder, uncleanness, theft, rebellion, eating of blood), and laws other than the Mosaic.

The proselyting spirit was ardent among the Pharisees of Jesus' time (Matthew 23:15); yet Jew and Gentile alike disesteemed the proselyte.

Pros"e*lyte (?), n. [OE. proselite, OF. proselite, F. proselytus, Gr. , adj., that has come, n., a new comer, especially, one who has come over from heathenism to the Jewish religion; toward, to + (prob.) the root of to come.]

A new convert especially a convert to some religion or religious sect, or to some particular opinion, system, or party; thus, a Gentile converted to Judaism, or a pagan converted to Christianity, is a proselyte.

Ye [Scribes and Pharisees] compass sea and land to make one proselyte. Matt. xxiii. 15.

Fresh confidence the speculatist takes From every harebrained proselyte he makes. Cowper.

Syn. -- See Convert.


© Webster 1913.

Pros"e*lyte, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Proselyted (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Proselyting.]

To convert to some religion, opinion, or system; to bring over.

<-- se proselytize -->

Dr. H. More.


© Webster 1913.

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