Gamaliel was the teacher of the apostle Paul, before his conversion to Christianity. Gamaliel was a well-known and influential Jewish rabbi in his day. He never converted to Jesus.
Gamaliel was a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious assembly that governed and judged cases according to the Law of Moses. He was a well-known Pharisee and master of the law, who had the respect of the people.
See here: what does Sanhedrin mean?
Her grandfather Hilel had created a school to train teachers of Jewish law, according to the principles of the Pharisees. Continuing his grandfather’s work, Gamaliel was also a teacher and influenced the way many Jews interpreted the Scriptures.
When the Church was still in its infancy, Jewish leaders arrested the apostles and ordered them not to preach about Jesus anymore. When the apostles declared that they would continue to preach, members of the Sanhedrin wanted to kill them. But Gamaliel defended the apostles ( Acts 5: 33-34 ).
In his address to the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel recalled other sects and rebel groups that had appeared before Jesus. When their leaders were killed, these groups dispersed and disappeared. Jesus was no longer on earth. So if Christianity were not of God it would soon disappear. But if it came from God, the Sanhedrin would be fighting against God if it killed the apostles ( Acts 5: 38-39 ). Because of this speech by Gamaliel, the apostles were released and continued their mission to preach the gospel.
Gamaliel, Paulo’s teacher
Before his encounter with Jesus, Paul was a very zealous Pharisee Jew. He was born in Tarsus but went to study in Jerusalem. There, his teacher was Gamaliel. Paul received strict instruction from Gamaliel and, thanks to his teaching, learned a lot about the Scriptures ( Acts 22: 2-3 ).
See also: who were the Pharisees and Sadducees?
Unlike Gamaliel, who was tolerant of Christians, Paul tried to destroy Jesus’ followers. But when he saw a vision of Jesus, Paul changed his life. Gamaliel probably heard a lot about Christianity and his former student Paul, but he never converted.