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III. Outreach To Godfearers And Opposition (9:32–11:18)

The central focus of this section is the Christian outreach to God-fearers (10:1-11:18). God-fearers were Gentiles who participated in varying degrees in the Jewish way of life and undertook at least the minimum requirements of abstaining from pagan worship and nonkosher food, which enabled them to worship with the Jewish community. But they did not go through the process of baptism, circumcision, and sacrifice, which would have made them proselytes. In a limited sense, God-fearers could be considered part of the gentile world. No orthodox Jew would have considered a God-fearer a member of the old covenant community of God's people. In their outreach to God-fearers, and especially in baptizing them and allowing them to partake of the table fellowship of the Christian community, the Christian Jews crossed a dividing line that opened the way for outreach to the larger gentile world.