|dc.description.abstract||In the two or three centuries before the Common Era and the two centuries afterwards, Israel experienced dynamic shifts in its socio-economic and religious life. Under Roman rule the
population grew, the Jewish literacy rate improved and urbanization increased. This environment was the birth place of the earliest Church, the habitat of the disciples, and the historical entry point of Cornelius, the G-d-fearing centurion.
Like other G-d-fearers, Cornelius may have considered the stringent ritual purity laws and ethnic identity issues impenetrable barriers to full conversion to Judaism. For that reason, and perhaps others, he stayed on the fringes of the religion, while his Hebrew-like mindfulness and lifestyle garnered attention from those around him, including “all the Jewish people”. The divine intervention that accompanied Peter’s unlikely house-call brought about a change that no one
anticipated. This dissertation sets out to examine the events surrounding Acts 10 and determine the behavioural expectations of the Gentiles to whom the letter of Acts 15 was written. What degree of Torah observance was expected of them and what degree of observance was orporated/demonstrated in their lives? The key word “who are turning” (ἐπιστρέφουσιν or epistrephousin) (Acts 15:19), in the Present Active Participle Masculine Plural Dative form, reflects the continuous change they experience on the road to fullness.
Drawing on earlier research, I present an ethnographic study of Gentile Jesus followers. As such I argue that while they were not obligated to follow more of the Torah than what was presented
at the Jerusalem Council, some enjoyed a higher level of observance than the prescriptions inherent in the Apostolic Decree. Secondly, I argue that the apostles may have anticipated a higher level of observance as words from the Didache seemed to encourage (Didache 6:2-30). Key Words: Second Temple Judaism, First-century Christianity, Noahide Commands, Didache, yirei shamayim, God-fearing proselytes, Righteous Gentile, sebomenoi ton theon, phoboumenoi, Birkath Haminim, halakha, tsedaḳah, mikvaoth, God fearers, sympathizers, Jerusalem Council, Second Commonwealth, Two Ways Document, Apostolic Decree, Cornelius, Caesarea, Unclean.
New Testament Studies, Acts 10, Acts 15, Jewish Identity||en_US