Theudas (Acts 5:36)

“Some time ago,

Theudas rose up.

He claimed

To be somebody himself.

A number of men,

About four hundred,

Joined him.

But he was killed.

All who followed him

Were dispersed

And this movement disappeared.”

πρὸ γὰρ τούτων τῶν ἡμερῶν ἀνέστη Θευδᾶς, λέγων εἶναί τινα ἑαυτόν, ᾧ προσεκλίθη ἀνδρῶν ἀριθμὸς ὡς τετρακοσίων· ὃς ἀνῃρέθη, καὶ πάντες ὅσοι ἐπείθοντο αὐτῷ διελύθησαν καὶ ἐγένοντο εἰς οὐδέν.

The author of Acts indicated that Gamaliel said that some time ago or before these days (πρὸ γὰρ τούτων τῶν ἡμερῶν), Theudas (Θευδᾶς) rose up (ἀνέστη).  He claimed to be somebody himself (λέγων εἶναί τινα ἑαυτόν).  A number of men (ἀνδρῶν ἀριθμὸς), about four hundred (ὡς τετρακοσίων), joined him (ᾧ προσεκλίθη).  But he was killed (ὃς ἀνῃρέθη).  All who followed him (καὶ πάντες ὅσοι ἐπείθοντο αὐτῷ) were dispersed (διελύθησαν) and disappeared or came to nothing (καὶ ἐγένοντο εἰς οὐδέν).  According to Josephus (37-100 CE) there was a Theudas, an eschatological prophet who, in the mid-40s, 44-46 CE, had a group of followers along the Jordan River.  However, he was killed by the Roman governor Fadus.  Then his followers dispersed or died.  However, there may have been other uprisings with a leader name Theudas earlier than this, because Gamaliel was speaking in the 30s.  Perhaps this was a mistaken reading by the author of Acts of Josephus about Theudas.  Anyhow, this eschatological movement died out after the death of its leader.  What should you do about new movements?

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