2 occurrences in 2 dictionaries

Reference: Hellenists





HELLENISTS. On this appellation, Dr. Jennings observes, There is a very remarkable appellation which the Apostle Paul, after glorying in his being "of the stock of Israel, and of the tribe of Benjamin," applies to himself, namely, that he was "a Hebrew of the Hebrews," Php 3:5. By this expression Godwin understands a Hebrew both by father's and mother's side. But if this be all that the phrase imports, there seems to be very little occasion for the Apostle's using it immediately after having declared, that he was "of the stock of Israel, and the tribe of Benjamin;" which, on Godwin's supposition, is the same as a Hebrew of the Hebrews; for the Jews were not allowed to marry out of their own nation; or if they sometimes married proselytes, yet their number was comparatively so small among them, especially while they were under oppression, as they were at that time by the Romans, that methinks Paul would hardly have mentioned it as a distinguishing privilege and honour, that neither of his parents were proselytes. It is therefore a much more probable sense, that a Hebrew of the Hebrews signifies a Hebrew both by nation and language, which multitudes of Abraham's posterity, in those days, were not; or one of the Hebrew Jews, who performed their public worship in the Hebrew tongue; for such were reckoned more honourable than the Hellenistic Jews, who in their dispersion having, in a manner, lost the Hebrew, used the Greek language in sacris, and read the Scripture out of the Septuagint version. We meet with this distinction among the converted Jews, in the Acts of the Apostles: "In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians or Hellenists against the Hebrews," Ac 6:1. This is what St. Paul probably meant by his being a Hebrew, as distinguished from an Israelite: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I," 2Co 11:22. In one sense, these were convertible terms, both signifying Jews by nation and religion; but in the sense just mentioned, there were many, in those days, who were Israelites, but not Hebrews. St. Paul was both, not only an Israelite by birth, but a Hebrew, and not a Hellenistic Jew. Godwin expresses himself inaccurately, when he says that those who lived in Palestine, and who, as using the Hebrew text in their public worship, were opposed to the '??????????, are called Hebrews, or Jews. For, though Hebrew and Jew are convertible terms, when opposed to Gentiles, as denoting the seed of Abraham, and professors of the Mosaic religion, see Jer 34:9; yet, as opposed to the '??????????, they are not convertible terms, there being Hebrew Jews and Hellenistic Jews; for it is said, that when "they, who were scattered by the persecution that arose about Stephen, travelled into several countries, preaching the word to none but Jews only," yet they spoke, ???? ???? '??????????, to the Hellenists or Grecians, Ac 11:19-20. In order to confirm the sense which is here given of the word '??????????, in opposition to the appellation Hebrews, it is proper we should take notice of the distinction between the "??????? and '??????????. The former were Greeks by nation, and as such distinguished from Jews, Ac 16:1; 19:10; and the Greek empire having been rendered by Alexander in a manner universal, and their language being then the most common and general, the appellation Greeks is sometimes given to the whole Heathen world, or to all who were not Jews, Ro 1:16; 2:9. These Greeks, called '????????? by Josephus, are always styled '??????? in the New Testament. On which account Grotius, understanding by the '??????????, or "Grecians, to whom some of those who were dispersed on the persecution which arose about Stephen: preached the Lord Jesus," Ac 11:19-20, Greeks by nation, concludes there is a mistake in the text, and alters it according to the Syriac and Vulgate versions: "Certe legendum, [it ought certainly to be read,] saith he, "???? ???? ???????." So indeed the Alexandrian manuscript reads, but it is supported by no other copy. And this is decisive against it

See Verses Found in Dictionary