In the time of Solomon there were one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred strangers in the land of Israel (1 Chr. 22:2; 2 Chr. 2:17,18). And the prophets speak of the time as coming when the strangers shall share in all the privileges of Israel (Ezek. 47:22; Isa. 2:2, 11:10, 56:3-6; Mic. 4:1). Accordingly, in New Testament times, we read of proselytes in the synagogues, (Acts 10:2, 7, 13:42,43, 50, 17:4, 18:7; Lk. 7:5). The "religious proselytes" here spoken of were proselytes of righteousness, as distinguished from proselytes of the gate.
The distinction between "proselytes of the gate" (Ex. 20:10) and "proselytes of righteousness" originated only with the rabbis. According to them, the "proselytes of the gate" (half proselytes) were not required to be circumcised nor to comply with the Mosaic ceremonial law. They were bound only to conform to the so-called seven precepts of Noah, viz., to abstain from idolatry, blasphemy, bloodshed, uncleaness, the eating of blood, theft, and to yield obedience to the authorities. Besides these laws, however, they were required to abstain from work on the Sabbath, and to refrain from the use of leavened bread during the time of the Passover.
The "proselytes of righteousness", religious or devout proselytes (Acts 13:43), were bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish economy, and were members of the synagogue in full communion.
The name "proselyte" occurs in the New Testament only in Mt. 23:15; Acts 2:10, 6:5, 13:43. The name by which they are commonly designated is that of "devout men," or men "fearing God" or "worshipping God."