The Hellenists (Acts 9:29)

“Saul spoke

And argued

With the Hellenists.

But they were attempting

To kill him.”

ἐλάλει τε καὶ συνεζήτει πρὸς τοὺς Ἑλληνιστάς· οἱ δὲ ἐπεχείρουν ἀνελεῖν αὐτόν.

The author of Acts indicated that Saul spoke (ἐλάλει) and argued (τε καὶ συνεζήτει) with the Hellenists (πρὸς τοὺς Ἑλληνιστάς).  But they were attempting to kill him (οἱ δὲ ἐπεχείρουν ἀνελεῖν αὐτόν).  The Greek speaking Jews, as well as the Greek speaking early Christians were called Hellenists.  Among the Christians they appeared earlier in Acts, chapter 6:1, “The Hellenists (τῶν Ἑλληνιστῶν) complained (γογγυσμὸς) against the Hebrews (πρὸς τοὺς Ἑβραίους) because (ὅτι) their widows (αἱ χῆραι αὐτῶν) were being neglected (παρεθεωροῦντο) in the daily service distribution (ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ τῇ καθημερινῇ).  This was the first instance of some problems in this developing Christian community.  There were some difficulties between those who spoke Aramaic and those who spoke Greek, with an ethnic tension among these early Christians.  These Greek speaking Jewish Christian immigrants to Jerusalem felt that their widows and their poor people were being neglected in favor of the local Hebrew Aramaic Christians.  Thus, Stephen, and six other Greek speaking disciples were named deacons.  It is not clear whether, the Christian Hellenists or the Jewish Hellenists were upset with Saul.  Probably the later, because Saul was fluent in Greek.  However, there may have been son lingering bitterness towards Saul.  Do you hold a grudge?

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