Rabban Gamaliel, has been recognized as one of the greatest if not the greatest Rabbi of all time. His name appears twice in the New Testament but little has been written about him from an evangelical perspective.
Have you ever wondered what it might have been like to be in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? Like Joseph and Mary, Gamaliel was also of the lineage of David and would have been in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.
He was very likely called into King Herod’s palace when the wise men from the Orient arrived, asking about a newborn prince. Imagine him listening to the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, asking intelligent questions that confounded the scribes and doctors of Jewish law! He lived in Israel when Jesus taught the multitudes and “healed all manner of disease and infirmity.”
Gamaliel was president of the Sanhedrin where heated debates of the Pharisees and Sadducees over the person and work of Jesus took place. He was in Jerusalem during that fateful passion week; perhaps on hand when the high priests paid Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray his master; and again when he returned to throw the blood money back into the temple. He may have been in the crowd during the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. He was a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus and two criminals, the great darkness and earthquake. He examined the rent veil in the temple, listened to excited soldiers report strange happenings at the tomb. An intelligent youth named Saul of Tarsus who later became known as the Apostle Paul was one of his best students!
This book tells the story of a historical personage named Rabban Gamaliel who held a leading position in the Sanhedrin and enjoyed the highest repute as teacher of Mosaic law during the entire lifetime of Jesus.
This book has two main parts. The first part is a biographical sketch of Gamaliel and the times in which he lived. The second part shares some of the conditions and problems that Gamaliel had to deal with as a Jewish leader in Israel. Many are not much different from those Christians are faced with today.