Used in NT in both a bad sense—translated ‘jealousy’ (Acts 5: 17, NRSV, REB, NJB)—and a good sense (2 Cor. 7: 7). Paul had a zeal for Judaism before he became an apostle for Christ (Gal. 1: 14), and ‘zeal’ implied more than mere fervour but rather a readiness to defend Judaism by force (1 Macc. 2: 24). It was a commitment to preserve Israel's distinctiveness. Saul (Paul) was consumed with fury against Hellenist Christians in the city who compromised this purity by taking the gospel of the Messiah Jesus to Gentiles (Acts 9: 1).