Elisha ben Abuyah


Elisha ben Abuyah

(flourished AD 100) Jewish scholar and apostate. Born before the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem (AD 70), he became a respected rabbi but then won notoriety for breaking Jewish laws and abandoning Judaism. He was well versed in Greek thought, and the motives for his apostasy may have been devotion to philosophy, membership in a Gnostic sect, or conversion to Christianity. He was denounced in the Talmud and was known as Aher (“the Other”) because his apostasy made his name repugnant.

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