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RE: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

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  • Lisbeth S. Fried
    Dear Yigal, I had suggested that one could look at the chronologies listed in the biblical text and understand what the authors meant by the people of Israel,
    Message 1 of 33 , Jan 1, 2007
      Dear Yigal,

      I had suggested that one could look at the chronologies listed in the
      biblical text and understand what the authors meant by the people of Israel,
      of Benjamin, of Judah, etc. It seems to me that if Paul had that sort of
      definition in the Roman period, then kol v’homer, they would have had it

      Now Victor points to the verse in Esther where Mordechai is listed as both a
      Jew and a member of the lineage of Benjamin. I don’t know if this verse
      suggests that Jew no longer had the meaning of a lineage, and had a
      “religious” rather than ethnic meaning, or if it meant that by the time of
      the writing of Esther the clan of Benjamin had been absorbed into the clan
      of Judah, while at the same time keeping their lineages separate.

      In this admittedly late context is also the quote by Jesus in which he tells
      the disciples not to go to the Samaritans, but rather go to the lost sheep
      of the house of Israel. I take this to mean that the writers assumed that
      the Samaritans had been deported into Samaria from elsewhere, and hence were
      not part of the lineage of Israel (=Jacob).

      In any case, it seems to me that a “people” was defined as a lineage, and
      that that was the purpose of those extended chronologies, to indicate
      lineage and thus identity.

      But isn’t this your bailiwick, Yigal?

      Liz Fried


      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Yigal Levin
      Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 12:16 AM
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

      Dear Liz,

      The urban society of 1st century CE Roman Asia Minor, or even of urban
      centers in the east such as Jerusalem, may have been very different from
      that of the "tribal" ANE (including Israel) of the Iron Age. So polemics
      aside, I would not use this as a guide to pre-Hellenistic social concepts.

      As far as Paul's being "Jewish", the term at that time meant someone who was
      considered to be of Judean origin. "Judea" at the time included the whole of
      the former Hasmonean kingdom (which included most of what later became
      Palestina, including the Galilee and parts of Transjordan), except those
      areas which were specifically "non-Jewish" (Samaritan, Greek, Iturean etc.).
      Remember, Herod, a descendant of Idumean "converts" (whatever that meant)
      was a "Jew" as well.

      Yigal Levin

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Lisbeth S. Fried
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com
      Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 1:45 AM
      Subject: RE: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

      Dear NP,

      This is very helpful.

      So Paul in Romans 11:1 defines an Israelite as a member of the lineage of
      Abraham, and knows himself to be of that lineage. (I don't agree with his
      definition, he chooses it for polemical reasons, but the point in this
      context is the same, he regards the issue as one of lineage.)

      In a previous letter you referred to him as a Jew, but that is not how he
      defines himself (nor how I would define him). He does not use that word at
      all. He is (as he says) of the lineage of Benjamin not of the lineage of
      Judah. (A Jew, of course, is one of the (agnatic) lineage of Judah.) One's
      belief system is not relevant to one's belonging to a lineage or clan. These
      clan-lineage definitions of identity persisted then into the Roman period.

      Best wishes to you and to all reading this for a good new year.

      Liz Fried


      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com
      [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com] On Behalf
      Niels Peter Lemche
      Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 9:06 AM
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com
      Subject: SV: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

      Dear Peter,

      What does not seem logical in your eyes is not really what you see.

      A clan is a maximum descent group based on real or alleged relationship. Its
      members know that they are members of a certain clan but will not always
      know exactly how.

      A lineage is a maximum descent group. Its members know exactly how they are
      members and who are members.

      So, as I noted in 1985, it almost seems as if the only thing that
      distinguishes the two is bad or good memory. And here my from Barth borrowed
      idea of ethnicity plays a part: you are the person you think you are, and
      who other people think you are.

      Lineage is the word most often met in anthropological professional
      literature (field reports, synthetic studies). It almost never shows up in
      ANE anthropology, which says that orientalists writing about society have
      few analytical tools to study their subject. They cannot see it simply
      because they don't know what to look for. In OT scholarship the term was
      practical unknown until I introduced it in the 1980s (John Rogerson may also
      have used it and before).

      Moving into anthropological literature concerning traditional societies, it
      has been the rule to stress the importance of the lineage (although, when I
      studied this literature a few anthropologists were beginning to see the
      overarching importance of the patronage systems that may no necessarily
      follow the family systems). So the lineage is the clue to the family
      structure in anthropological literature. It is much more insecure that a
      clan may also be present.

      Lineage is the technical word; clan is as a definition a muddle: My Oxford
      Learner's Dictionary:

      Clan: 1) a group of families, esp. in Scotland, descended from a common
      ancestor, 2) a large family forming a close group 3) a group of people
      closely connected by similar aims, interest, etc.

      And about lineage: the families from which sb is descended.

      And because I believe that you may want to listen to another voice, Paula
      McNutt, Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel, WJK, 1999, has this to
      say: ... it is also sometimes difficult to distinguish between a "lineage"
      and a "clan". Both lineages and clans are unilineal groups that perceive
      themselves as being descendants of a particular individual. But they are
      different in that the genealogy of a lineage is more permanent, reflecting
      both real and postulated kinship between its members, while a clan genealogy
      varies according to particular clan segments, and its members, who assume
      common ancestry, cannon demonstrate their genealogical connections. (pp.

      Niels Peter Lemc

      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com
      [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com] På vegne af
      Peter T. Daniels
      Sendt: 31. december 2006 14:30
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com
      Emne: Re: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

      Dear NPL,

      Look at what you've written in this message.

      (a) Clan is hard to distinguish from lineage.

      (b) "Lineage" is the "professional word."

      (c) Lineage is very important.

      (d) Clan is not lineage (and vice versa).

      How can we avoid seeing that (d) contradicts (a) -- but that (b) [presumably
      you intend "technical term"] renders this moot, since "professionals" would
      not say "clan"? [Bea offered "clan" as an exact synonym of "tribe."]

      So either you intend something different by the two terms or you don't, and
      either you mean "clan" shouldn't be used in "professional" writing or you
      mean that it has some meaning for laypeople that isn't useful to

      Throughout this discussion, you've been criticizing people for not knowing
      the definitions offered in various social sciences, yet you haven't provided
      the definitions that you think should be used.

      And you've now brought up and muddled together two additional terms, without
      clearly stating what difference you intend between them!
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon. <mailto:grammatim%40verizon.net> net

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Niels Peter Lemche <npl@... <mailto:npl%40teol.ku> .
      <mailto:npl%40teol.ku.dk> dk>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups. <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> com
      Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 4:39:03 AM
      Subject: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

      Tribes and clans are not much better. "Tribes" cover almost everything, and
      the clan is a very deceptive entity, sometimes very hard to distinguish from
      "lineage" which is the professional word in this connection. However,
      borders between clan and lineage are very difficult to establish.

      It is, however, really important that ANE-studies have in general still not
      discovered the importance of the lineage. It is there, but because of their
      lack of interest in anthropology, it had almost never been realized that a
      clan is not a lineage and a lineage is not a clan, how elusive these terms
      may be.

      England in the 10th century would probably have been closer to a patronage
      society, as was generally the case in most of Europe until the French
      Revolution. The king being the patron and his subordinates his clients.

      Niels Peter Lemche

      -----Oprindelig meddelelse-- ---
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups. com] På vegne af Bea
      Sendt: 31. december 2006 07:35
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com
      Emne: Re: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?


      I do agree in applying this word to the ancient world we might be
      misconceiving the context. Tribes, or clans if you will, appear to have
      ruled certain regions, the boundaries of which were constantly changed
      by these warring tribes or city states. There is, however, another issue
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    • nancy in chicago
      That s an interesting point -- where to begin. I ve only dipped into this occassionally, since you guys lost me long ago. I m just an interested observer.
      Message 33 of 33 , Jan 4, 2007
        That's an interesting point -- where to begin. I've only dipped into this occassionally, since you guys lost me long ago. I'm just an interested observer. Can you give me some names of books to read, etc, to get more up to speed? And, especially, some assistance on teach yourself (since I'll never speak, just read) languages. Thanks!

        Where, if much of my knowledge on these subjects comes from BAR, BR (magazines) and books such as "Who Wrote the Bible?" by Friedman, "The Bible as History" By Keller & several courses from the Learning Company (www.teach12.com) with such lecturers as Bart D. Ehrman and Amy-Jill Levine. And a few Bible study classes at church.

        nancy in chicago
        Nancy L. Jones
        Arlington Hts, IL
        Interested Amature

        "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's toodark
        to read." Groucho Marx

        ---------- Original Message-----------
        From: Andrew Fincke <finckean@...>
        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 10:20:14 -0800 (PST)
        Subject: Re: SV: SV: SV: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?

        > NP,
        >Where to begin? With The Israelites in History and Tradition, 1998? orPrelude to Israel's Past, 1998? Or Historical Dictionary, 2003? Or DieVogeschichte, 1996? Please advise.
        >Andrew Fincke
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