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Catholic Dictionary




A Pharisee, a learned doctor of the law, and a member of the Sanhedrin. He proved the moderateness of his views when he urged the Sanhedrin to be tolerant of the Apostles when they were on trial for preaching their beliefs. "If this movement of theirs," he reasoned, "is of human origin, it will break up of its own accord, but if it does in fact come from God, you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God" (Acts 5:34-41). He was the teacher of Paul before the latter's conversion and was evidently highly respected. Whether he ever became a Christian himself is debatable; there is no evidence to prove that he did.