Re: Jewish Judaism Hebrew Israelite
Since the big boys are away somewhere (celebrating the Jewish new year?),
those of us who are left might as well take this opportunity to amuse
ourselves and keep Crosstalk going in the interim. As is usual, I find that
you and I are on different wavelengths, no doubt reflecting the very
different directions we're coming from. But still there may be some hope of
a fruitful exchange. The particular statement in question is this:
> I find it credible that the majority of Galileans did not considerI should explain at this point that the above statement was a response to
> themselves Jewish.
the extended discussion on Xtalk (led mostly by Steve Davies) concerning
the religious makeup of early 1st c. Galilee. Steve and others had made
what seems to me (in spite of conceptual misgivings) to be a credible case
against regarding Galilee as predominantly Jewish. But that case seems not
to have been based on the same grounds as your agreement with it, to whit:
>(Joe)I ... have some problem with your statement. Of course, it is correct.Unlike Steve's argument - which I take to be an empirical one - yours seems
>Since the concept of Jewish apparently didn't exist, how could anyone think
>themselves Jewish. But one would not say "the majority of Galileans did not
>consider themselves Jewish." No one considered themselves Jewish. Just
>like no one considered themselves Catholic or Protestant for that matter.
to be a logical one. Something like: x's can't think of themselves as y's
if y doesn't exist yet. If that's all that Steve was trying to say, he
could have saved himself a lot of time and effort. He could have simply
pointed out that modern Judaism arose after the destruction of Jerusalem,
hence could not have been operative in Galilee (or anywhere) prior to 75
C.E. But that would not be the end of the matter, of course; the same
argument would just be recast in different terms. So you're right, if we
think in terms of the strictly proper sense of 'Judaism', but I don't think
that that is the way that most people understood the argument. I think that
most people take the word 'Jewish' the same way that the ancients took the
word 'Hebrew' - to designate an ethnic/religious complex that traces its
beginnings to Abraham and has had a continuous history, in spite of
apparent "breaks" or redefinitions over time. My own definition seems to be
in line with that view; whether it (the view) is correct or not is another
matter. But if you insist that we cannot talk about "Jewishness" (as
opposed to 'Judaism') pre-75, then tell me what word we can use, and we'll
switch to that one. Or is it your view that the ancient split between
Israel and Judah so sundered the connection between the two, that ever
after there was nothing that might be called "Jewishness" aside from Judah?
>Still, the question arises, what analogy do we have to this historicalGood question. Perhaps the analogy of Afghanistan and Iran? I'm not sure.
>situation? The Irish and the Brits? Both white. Both worship the same God.
>But no common group identification.
This could be the real crux of the matter. You say "no common group
identification" in your analogy, but in fact there is one: between the
Brits of England and the "Brit-lovers" of Northern Ireland (if I can put it
that way without offending anyone). Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be
any historical evidence of a conflict between the supposed minority of
"Hebrews" in Galilee and the supposed non-"Hebrew" majority. So where does
that leave us? Well, maybe when the big boys get back, they can tell us.-)
The Codex II Student Resource Center
- Mike Grondin wrote:
> I don't thinkThis is also how I define the term. Given that the "Jewish" cultures of
> that that is the way that most people understood the argument. I think that
> most people take the word 'Jewish' the same way that the ancients took the
> word 'Hebrew' - to designate an ethnic/religious complex that traces its
> beginnings to Abraham and has had a continuous history, in spite of
> apparent "breaks" or redefinitions over time.
theBronze Age (Patriarchs), Iron Age (Judges), Post-exilic period, 2nd
Temple period, and the Rabbinical period are diverse enough from one
another, it's difficult to pin down a common denominator unless it is
based on the literature base of their religion.
I am one who opts for a considerable "Jewish" presence in the Galilee
among the agrarian and peasant population, and also for an Hellenistic
Jewish presence among the largely urban upper crust. That the Galilean
cities were heavily Hellenized goes without question, but the area was
under Jewish rule before the Romans, during the client-kingship, and
even during the prefecture by the Tetrarch (Antipas) who considered
I find it logically hard to believe that the most fertile and productive
farmland in the area, under Jewish rule, had no Jewish presence....
Jewish meaning people who associated themselves with the Mosaic
tradition, rather or not Temple cultic.
- On Tue, 29 Sep 1998 09:18:37 -0400, mgrondin@... writes:
[... snip ... noted ...]
>Unlike Steve's argument - which I take to be an empirical one - yours seemsThat's an oxymoron, if I ever heard one.
>to be a logical one.
Crosstalk has been dancing all around this problem from the begin-
ning. Perhaps you saw Bob's faith statement I forwarded from the
first month of Crosstalk in '96. He has no hope of reaching an
You see, all around us historians have been dismantling the struc-
ture we've been trying to discuss. While you were not looking, my
1990 book, _Behind The Bible_, was put right out of date On Orion
when the date of deposition of the Dead Sea Scrolls had to have
been no later than 60 BCE.
Now we know the whole range of Jewish religious philosophy existed
well Before Jesus, that what Judaism that survived post 70 CE was
no longer very minoritarian but now the majority and only watered
down in the last five hundred years.
With little effort now, you can find the antecedents to Temple
procedure on the walls of the Ptolemaic temples. These gifts from
the Greeks revived, or saved for posterity, major tracts of Egyp-
tian religion, all in stone. The roots of Halakha are there. The
purity scritctures in egyptian Temples were spread among the
population in rotation with a system of ranks spreading the burden.
Yet for the accounts, there's nothing in Hebrew from before 70 BCE
beyond such scant epigraphy that suggests and in some cases con-
tradicts the Biblical account. An immediate example of the latter
is the Moabite Stela.
When Israel became a modern state (forgetting how God had supposed-
ly excoriated Israelites - something I only recently learned), many
researchers felt that at last, as Albright and many others thought,
proof for the Bible would soon be found. The hope it turned out
was in vain unless something arises that counters the evidence from
the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the epigraphic research
>The Codex II Student Resource Center
- Jeff Peterson wrote:
> In these passages IOUDAIOI is used to designate adherents to the god ofIs there anything wrong with the analogy I used between
> Israel, whether resident in or outside of Judea. How widespread this usage
> was and how it relates to the use of IOUDAIOS in a geographic sense are
> questions for further study.
Ioudaioi in Egypt or "people born in the Diaspora, relocated to
Jerusalem, and called "IOUDAIOI from Mesopotamia, Judea,
Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia," etc." and Ukranians in Wilkes-
Barre PA, or NYC, or Melbourne Australia? I have students in
class who will identify themselves as Polish although they
are maybe fourth generation Americans. One can by marriage
convert to being a Ukranian.... if I join the local Ukranian
Catholic church and become deeply involved in community
affairs I might well come to think of myself as Ukranian more than
Welsh. Ukranianness is a religious identity not just a nationality
So I'm part of the Welsh diaspora, a matter I think of once a year
when I realize that St. David's day passed and I didn't notice so
I didn't get to put out my Welsh flag. But there are folks here,
mainly in the Welsh Congregational Church who take Welshness
So sure, there are Judeans, Ioudaioi, living in the disaspora
for generations never seeing Jerusalem or, probably, caring much
about it one way or another. Others taking it very seriously. And
converts to it.
Question arose, though, in the context of the discussion, "is it
correct to say that Galileans are Ioudaioi (as opposed to Judeans
who came to Galilee to live, who are certainly Ioudaioi)?
Here I'd say no.
Diaspora Ioudaioi are one thing, Galileans are something else.
- Thanks to Mike Grondin for the post earlier this week on usage of IOUDAIOS
and related terms, to which I'd like to add a note regarding usage relevant
to one of his points. Mike wrote:
>2. In the NT, it's virtually certain that whenever a form of the wordI don't think this can be declared a general rule of usage in the NT or in
>'IADAIOS' was used, it was meant to refer to Judeans, not Jews in general.
>Thus, our standard English translations are wrong. (I say this partially
>relying on the expertise of others, partially on my own intuition that it
>doesn't make sense for such things as are said in the NT to have been
>directed at Jews in general.)
early Jewish literature. Three examples to consider: (1) Philo's _Legatio_
describes the mistreatment of the IOUDAIOI in Alexandria under Gaius
(117-132). Philo and his Alexandrian coreligionists are here treated as
members of "the single nation of the IOUDAIOI" (117)
(2) in Acts 2:5ff Luke introduces a crowd of IOUDAIOI, immigrants from the
diaspora (KATOIKOUNTES rather than METOIKOUNTES of Jerusalem) "from every
nation of those under heaven," with a list of originating nations appended.
These are people born in the Diaspora, relocated to Jerusalem, and called
"IOUDAIOI from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia," etc. (vv.
(3) In 1 Thess 2:15-16 Paul refers to "the IOUDAIOI who killed the Lord
Jesus and the prophets and drove us out [from Thessalonica] . . . hindering
us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved." Paul's "polemical
hyperbole" (Carol Schleuter's phrase) and lumps together adherents to the
God of Israel who lived in Judea and others who opposed him in
Thessalonica, calling them both IOUDAIOI. (Schleuter's recently published
dissertation has rendered the proposal of Birger Pearson and others that
this passage is a post-70 interpolation implausible.)
In these passages IOUDAIOI is used to designate adherents to the god of
Israel, whether resident in or outside of Judea. How widespread this usage
was and how it relates to the use of IOUDAIOS in a geographic sense are
questions for further study.
Best to all,
Institute for Christian Studies
Austin, Texas, USA