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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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Matthew 23:15

Twofold more a son of hell than yourselves (uion geennhv diploteron mwn).
It is a convert to Pharisaism rather than Judaism that is meant by "one proselyte" (ena proshluton), from proserxomai, newcomers, aliens. There were two kinds of proselytes: of the gate (not actual Jews, but God-fearers and well-wishers of Judaism, like Cornelius), of righteousness who received circumcision and became actual Jews. But a very small per cent of the latter became Pharisees. There was a Hellenistic Jewish literature (Philo, Sibylline Oracles, etc.) designed to attract Gentiles to Judaism. But the Pharisaic missionary zeal (compass, periaghte, go around) was a comparative failure. And success was even worse, Jesus says with pitiless plainness. The "son of Gehenna" means one fitted for and so destined for Gehenna. "The more converted the more perverted" (H.J. Holtzmann). The Pharisees claimed to be in a special sense sons of the kingdom (Matthew 8:12). They were more partisan than pious. Diplouv (twofold, double) is common in the papyri. The comparative here used, as if from diplov, appears also in Appian. Note the ablative of comparison hmn. It was a withering thrust.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Matthew 23:15". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=023&verse=015>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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