Gamaliel the Elder or Rabbi Gamaliel I, was an authority in the Sanhedrin in the first century. He was the grandson of the great Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder. Gamaliel was the first of the seven leaders of the Hillel school of thought. He was given the title Rabban (master) which was a rabbinic title given to the Head of the Sanhedrin. He died twenty years before the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem.
In the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5, Acts 22) Gamaliel is a Pharisee and celebrated scholar of the Mosaic Law. Paul recounted that he was educated at the feet of Gamaliel about Jewish religious law. Saint Peter and the other apostles are described as being prosecuted by the Sanhedrin for continuing to preach the Gospel of the kingdom. Gamaliel defends them in an argument against killing the apostles.Ecclesiastical tradition maintains that Gamaliel became Christian. According to Photios or Fotios I of Constantinople (St. Photios the Great, was Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886) Gamaliel was baptized by Saint Peter and Saint John, together with his son called Simeon and with Nicodemus. He has been listed as a Saint.
- "Since Rabban Gamaliel the Elder died, there has been no more reverence for the law, and purity and piety died out at the same time" Sotah 15:18