BAR 12:05, Sep/Oct 1986
The God-Fearers: Did They Exist?
The Omnipresence of the God-Fearers
Reverend MacLennan and Dean Kraabel have performed a real service by questioning the view, so commonly held, that in antiquity there was a large class of gentiles, the so-called God-fearers, who stood somewhere between paganism and Judaism.1
What we call God-fearers, as MacLennan and Kraabel recognize, actually refers to several Greek terms. In the Book of Acts we find phoboumenoi (those fearing) and sebomenoi ton theon (those reverencing God). Elsewhere in classical literature we find such terms as theosebeis (God worshippers) and metuentes (those who fear).