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Re: [XTalk] Re: Israelites/Judeans

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  • goranson@duke.edu
    I think there is much literature (with varied perspectives) not being taken into account. One example: the new _Judean Antiquities_, ed. S. Mason and L.
    Message 1 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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      I think there is much literature (with varied perspectives) not being
      taken into account. One example:
      the new _Judean Antiquities_, ed. S. Mason and L. Feldman (Leiden:
      Brill).

      Stephen Goranson
      goranson@...


      > Perhaps if I heard scholars lobbying to change Josephus' titles
      > to "Antiquity of the Judaeans" and "Judaean Wars", then I might be
      > convinced that this change is meritted in the NT as well.� In
      > the meantime I still believe that the word "Jews" is preferable, and more
      > generally accurate for both.
      >
      > Brian Trafford
      > Calgary, AB, Canada
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... I fully understand the move to Judean as a way to avoid the terminological baggage that the term Jew has acquired over the centuries, but I don t think
      Message 2 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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        At 08:13 AM 7/16/02 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
        >Isn't there some anachronism here? In the 1st century there were no "Jews,"
        >only Judaeans (Aram yehuddaya; Heb yehudym, Grk ioudaiwn) who, like those in
        >the diaspora were Hebrews (Aram ebraya, Heb ibrym, Grk hEbraiwn). "Judeans"
        >is an English rendering of an ancient word. "Jews" is a word that only goes
        >back to middle English.

        I fully understand the move to "Judean" as a way to avoid
        the terminological baggage that the term "Jew" has acquired
        over the centuries, but I don't think that the term "Judean"
        ought to be defended on the philogical grounds quoted above.
        If any term lacks a traditional usage in the English language,
        it is "Judean."

        According to Webster's Ninth (and others I checked), the
        modern English "Jew" comes from Middle English "Jew" <
        Old French GYU < Latin IUDAEUS < Greek IOUDAIOS < Hebrew
        YHWDY ("Yehudhi"). This straightforward etymology does
        not "only go back to middle English." In fact, it is
        the traditional rendering of the relevant ancient words.
        On the other hand, "Judean" isn't even listed.

        Stephen Carlson
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
      • Loren Rosson
        Brian, ... I agree that this is a wrong and unhistorical reason to use Judeans in place of Jews , but again, that doesn t change the fact that there are
        Message 3 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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          Brian,

          >Actually, I would have to disagree here, as
          >the authors of _The Complete Gospels_ specifically
          >state that their preference is driven
          >by a desire to clarify that, based on the text
          >of the NT, not all Jews were held to be responsible
          >for the death of Jesus. For them,
          >the change from "Jews" to "Judeans" was meant to
          >remove this stigma that has led to so much tragedy
          >and persecution from Christians against the Jews.

          I agree that this is a wrong and unhistorical reason
          to use "Judeans" in place of "Jews", but again, that
          doesn't change the fact that there are good reasons
          for doing so. But I don't feel compelled to fight too
          aggressively on this front. As I mentioned, I myself
          often lazily use the term Judaism in the sense of
          Hanson/Oakman's definition (2). The legitimate reason
          for being wary of the term is that "Judaism" didn't
          really emerge until the third century.

          [Brian]
          >In the parable the "Master" represents
          >God, who forgives the unmerciful servant freely
          >entirely on the basis of the man's repentance
          >and promise to make good his debt.

          I assume no such thing, though that's obviously how
          Matthew has cast him. And we're not just dealing with
          a "master"; we're talking specifically about a "king".
          Jesus preached to the masses. What's the first thing a
          Jewish peasant would think of when hearing of a "king"
          who forgave an unfathomable amount of debt (10,000
          talents)?

          [Brian]
          >But when that same man turns around and fails
          >to forgive a much lesser "debt/sin" from his
          >own subordinate, the master (God)
          >determines that the man was unworthy of
          >forgiveness in the first place, and condemns him.

          Exactly. In other words, God fails to abide by the
          lofty standard he just finished setting through the
          mouth of Jesus. That servant is just as worthy of
          forgiveness as the fellow servant whom he wronged --
          according to Mt 18:22, anyway.

          [Brian]
          >All of this is in accordance with Jesus'
          >words from Matt 6:15.

          All right, I'll concede the point. If the parable had
          been placed after Mt 6:15, it would work. But I still
          don't believe that's what HJ in mind.

          [Loren]
          > Bill Herzog argues convincingly (see Parables as
          > Subversive Speech) that the parable assumes the
          > setting of a Davidic pretender who has successfully
          > defeated Israel's enemies (Rome, etc) and ushered in
          > the new age.

          [Brian]
          >As you can see, I think that Herzog's interpretation
          >is excessively and needlessly complex, and out of
          >keeping with Mathew's overall
          >theme of the mercy/forgiveness of God being connected
          >directly to our mercy/forgiveness we show to one
          another.

          Herzog isn't interested in Matthew's theme; he's
          interested in HJ's. A few posts ago you were lamenting
          the difficulty in ascertaining how Jesus may have felt
          about Davidic messiahs (or being called Son of David).
          That's the reason I brought up this parable, from HJ's
          point of view rather than Matthew's.

          [Loren]
          > The point of the story, as Herzog sees it, is that
          > relying on Davidic messiahs for deliverance from
          debt
          > and bondage contains a hidden contradiction: no
          > sooner would a Davidic movement succeed in
          > overthrowing its oppressors than would it begin
          > to take on the role of
          > an oppressor itself. Look at Solomon; look at Omri;
          > look at the king in this parable.

          [Brian]
          >I find this connection to be strained, and less
          >plausible than my own.

          That you find the connection strained doesn't mean
          much. What is relevant are the connections Jesus'
          hearers would have made. Again, what would a "king"
          who forgave a colossal amount of debt (literally an
          impossible -- "eschatological"? -- figure) only to
          subsequently throw his servants to the torturers have
          signaled?

          [Loren]
          > Personally, I think The Unmerciful Servant
          > would have been better placed
          > by John after his 6:1-15 than by Matthew
          > after his 18:21-22.

          [Brian]
          > Why would you connect it with the Feeding
          > of the 5,000 (a story that is also found in
          > Matthew 14, not to mention the other Synoptics)?

          The clincher is the last verse (Jn 6:15), which is
          absent from Matthew's account: "When Jesus realized
          they were about to come and take him by force to make
          him king, he withdrew to the mountain by himself." I
          imagine that, historically, Jesus had the parable of
          The Unmerciful Servant in reserve for any enthusiasts
          who would have made him another Athronges of Judea or
          any Davidic messiah. I do not imagine that he told
          this particular story in order to either (a) portray a
          God who violated his own moral dictums (Mt 18:21-22),
          or (b) remind people what they already knew (Mt 6:15).

          Loren Rosson III
          Nashua NH
          rossoiii@...

          __________________________________________________
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        • bjtraff
          Thanks for the reply Loren. This certainly helps me to understand where you are coming from on this issue. At the same time, I m afraid we may just have to
          Message 4 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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            Thanks for the reply Loren. This certainly helps me to understand
            where you are coming from on this issue. At the same time, I'm
            afraid we may just have to end up agreeing to disagree.

            --- In crosstalk2@y..., Loren Rosson <rossoiii@y...> wrote:

            > [Brian]
            > >In the parable the "Master" represents
            > >God, who forgives the unmerciful servant freely
            > >entirely on the basis of the man's repentance
            > >and promise to make good his debt.

            >[Loren]
            > I assume no such thing, though that's obviously how
            > Matthew has cast him. And we're not just dealing with
            > a "master"; we're talking specifically about a "king".
            > Jesus preached to the masses. What's the first thing a
            > Jewish peasant would think of when hearing of a "king"
            > who forgave an unfathomable amount of debt (10,000
            > talents)?

            There is no reason to assume anything here. Central to Matthew's
            theology is God's forgiveness of sins for those that repent of them,
            and his corresponding command that we are likewise to forgive those
            that repent to us. And as for calling God "king", this is pretty
            standard fare for Judaic thought rooted in the Tanak. The listeners
            would recognize that God is forgiving them of far graver sins against
            himself than any sins he expects human beings to forgive of one
            another. Thus, if they cannot forgive the minor transgressions
            committed against themselves, how can they then expect God to forgive
            them of the much more terrible (unfathomably large!) sins they commit
            against him?

            > [Brian]
            > >But when that same man turns around and fails
            > >to forgive a much lesser "debt/sin" from his
            > >own subordinate, the master (God)
            > >determines that the man was unworthy of
            > >forgiveness in the first place, and condemns him.

            >[Loren]
            > Exactly. In other words, God fails to abide by the
            > lofty standard he just finished setting through the
            > mouth of Jesus. That servant is just as worthy of
            > forgiveness as the fellow servant whom he wronged --
            > according to Mt 18:22, anyway.

            Since, in Jewish thought (again based on the Tanak) God is never
            bound by his commands to humans, I fail to see why you would make an
            exception here. The moral of the story is that the unmerciful
            servant will be judged as he has judged others, and that this is just
            (remember, the story is of the unmerciful servant, not the unmerciful
            master, especially as the master, unlike the servant, was perfectly
            willing to be merciful). The servant could have obtained mercy, but
            since he failed to show it himself (for a much smaller debt), he will
            not receive it either.

            > [Brian]
            > >All of this is in accordance with Jesus'
            > >words from Matt 6:15.

            >[Loren]
            > All right, I'll concede the point. If the parable had
            > been placed after Mt 6:15, it would work. But I still
            > don't believe that's what HJ in mind.

            In my opinion it is generally risky to link one's exegesis to
            speculation on what may or may not have been on the mind of the
            historical Jesus. Since the only objective standard the historian
            has is the theological agenda of the individual evangelist, we must
            evaluate each parable, saying and act of Jesus in the light of that
            agenda.

            > Herzog isn't interested in Matthew's theme; he's
            > interested in HJ's. A few posts ago you were lamenting
            > the difficulty in ascertaining how Jesus may have felt
            > about Davidic messiahs (or being called Son of David).
            > That's the reason I brought up this parable, from HJ's
            > point of view rather than Matthew's.

            See above. I think that using one's belief in what the historical
            Jesus may or may not have felt/thought to interpret an individual
            saying or action typically results in a Jesus that is congenial to
            the exegete, but this does not make for a strong argument. To ignore
            the theme of the evangelist reporting the saying or action is to
            resort to a kind of special pleading.

            > That you find the connection strained doesn't mean
            > much. What is relevant are the connections Jesus'
            > hearers would have made. Again, what would a "king"
            > who forgave a colossal amount of debt (literally an
            > impossible -- "eschatological"? -- figure) only to
            > subsequently throw his servants to the torturers have
            > signaled?

            In this case it would signal that we are to obey God's commands, or
            we will be judged by the standards we set up for others.

            > [Brian]
            > > Why would you connect it with the Feeding
            > > of the 5,000 (a story that is also found in
            > > Matthew 14, not to mention the other Synoptics)?

            > [Loren]
            > The clincher is the last verse (Jn 6:15), which is
            > absent from Matthew's account: "When Jesus realized
            > they were about to come and take him by force to make
            > him king, he withdrew to the mountain by himself." I
            > imagine that, historically, Jesus had the parable of
            > The Unmerciful Servant in reserve for any enthusiasts
            > who would have made him another Athronges of Judea or
            > any Davidic messiah. I do not imagine that he told
            > this particular story in order to either (a) portray a
            > God who violated his own moral dictums (Mt 18:21-22),
            > or (b) remind people what they already knew (Mt 6:15).

            Once again I am forced to wonder why you think Jesus' God (or
            Matthew's God if you prefer) would feel bound by his commands to his
            creatures. Such is certainly not the case in the Tanak, where God
            reserves to himself the right to judge others, to forgive them, and
            to kill them as he wills. He grants no such rights to human beings,
            telling them directly that "vengeance is mine, says the Lord
            (Deuteronomy 32:35)."

            This happens to sound a lot like the final Judgement of Jesus told to
            us in Matthew 25:31-46 where judgement will be final, and no second
            (let alone 7 or 77 more) chances will be granted to the "goats".

            Peace,

            Brian Trafford
            Calgary, AB, Canada
          • Loren Rosson
            Brian, Yes, we ll agree to disagree. Let me say only that while I may have overstated the case of Yahweh violating certain standards he sets for his people, to
            Message 5 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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              Brian,

              Yes, we'll agree to disagree. Let me say only that
              while I may have overstated the case of Yahweh
              violating certain standards he sets for his people, to
              me there is still a clear tension between Mt 18:21-22
              and 18:23-34, which begs the question of what the
              parable meant apart from its Matthean context. It's
              just a poor story to illustrate the principle in
              question -- in the same way that Mt 20:1-15 poorly
              illustrates 19:27-30. Matthew's editorials in each
              case (Mt 18:35 and 20:16) only highlight rather than
              solve the problem.

              Loren Rosson III
              Nashua NH
              rossoiii@...

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Yahoo! Autos - Get free new car price quotes
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            • mwgrondin
              ... But how much of this traditional usage is due to an accident of history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of Judaea, the word had a
              Message 6 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
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                --- Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                > I fully understand the move to "Judean" as a way to avoid
                > the terminological baggage that the term "Jew" has acquired
                > over the centuries, but I don't think that the term "Judean"
                > ought to be defended on the philogical grounds quoted above.
                > If any term lacks a traditional usage in the English language,
                > it is "Judean."

                But how much of this "traditional usage" is due to an accident of
                history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of
                Judaea, the word had a geographic referent; after that, it seems
                to have evolved into a more generic term, as 'Hebrews' was used
                earlier. But we should concentrate, I think, on one simple fact:
                prior to the destruction of Judaea, there was simply no other name
                for residents of Judaea. There was another word for 'Jews' -
                namely 'Hebrews' - but there was no other name for residents of
                Judaea. But if that is so, then it would be anachronistic to
                project onto the writings of that time a usage of the word derived
                from the post-Judaean period. It has nothing to do, as I see it,
                with "avoid[ing] terminological baggage"; it has everything to do
                with seeing the world as they saw it. So, yes, I would
                defend 'Judean' on philological grounds, but with the understanding
                that those grounds are to be restricted to the appropriate
                historical time frame, and thus should not include evolutionary
                developments in meaning posterior to that period.

                Regards,
                Mike Grondin
                Mt. Clemens, MI
              • mwgrondin
                ... Yes, it s more illustrative of the justification of the Golden Rule, namely that, in the end, God will do unto you as you do unto others. This notion of
                Message 7 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
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                  --- Loren Rosson wrote:
                  > ... to me there is still a clear tension between Mt 18:21-22 and
                  > 18:23-34, which begs the question of what the parable meant apart
                  > from its Matthean context. It's just a poor story to illustrate
                  > the principle in question ...

                  Yes, it's more illustrative of the justification of the Golden Rule,
                  namely that, in the end, God will do unto you as you do unto others.
                  This notion of ultimate divine justice is, as you note, at odds with
                  the notion of divine mercy _prior to_ "the end", but that should not
                  make us turn to a virtually-baseless Herzogian reinterpretation of
                  the parable. Rather, it should make us reflect on the unavoidable
                  tension that occurs when one tries to play with two apparently-
                  irreconcilable divine attributes - justice and mercy in this case.
                  We might understand the parable's perhaps unconscious reconciliation
                  of that tension thusly: "God is merciful, but he ain't no milk-sop!"
                  Xians, on the other hand, were not to abrogate or imitate God's role
                  in final individual judgement, since, among other things, they had
                  no way of seeing into the mind of the trespasser to judge whether
                  true repentence was present; rather, they were to imitate the care
                  and mercy that they presumed God to show for his critters prior to
                  that final individual judgement.

                  Mike Grondin
                  Mt. Clemens, MI
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... Wasn t this also one of the problems that the prophets of the Tanakh wrestled endlessly with? Bob
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
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                    At 03:05 AM 7/19/2002 +0000, mwgrondin wrote:
                    >--- Loren Rosson wrote:
                    > > ... to me there is still a clear tension between Mt 18:21-22 and
                    > > 18:23-34, which begs the question of what the parable meant apart
                    > > from its Matthean context. It's just a poor story to illustrate
                    > > the principle in question ...
                    >
                    >Yes, it's more illustrative of the justification of the Golden Rule,
                    >namely that, in the end, God will do unto you as you do unto others.
                    >This notion of ultimate divine justice is, as you note, at odds with
                    >the notion of divine mercy _prior to_ "the end", but that should not
                    >make us turn to a virtually-baseless Herzogian reinterpretation of
                    >the parable. Rather, it should make us reflect on the unavoidable
                    >tension that occurs when one tries to play with two apparently-
                    >irreconcilable divine attributes - justice and mercy in this case.
                    >We might understand the parable's perhaps unconscious reconciliation
                    >of that tension thusly: "God is merciful, but he ain't no milk-sop!"
                    >Xians, on the other hand, were not to abrogate or imitate God's role
                    >in final individual judgement, since, among other things, they had
                    >no way of seeing into the mind of the trespasser to judge whether
                    >true repentence was present; rather, they were to imitate the care
                    >and mercy that they presumed God to show for his critters prior to
                    >that final individual judgement.

                    Wasn't this also one of the problems that the prophets of the Tanakh
                    wrestled endlessly with?

                    Bob
                  • Stephen C. Carlson
                    ... I don t really disagree with any of this, especially since your anachronistic is not much different from my baggage ... acquired over the centuries. I
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
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                      At 04:36 PM 7/18/02 Israelites/Jud, mwgrondin wrote:
                      >--- Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                      >> I fully understand the move to "Judean" as a way to avoid
                      >> the terminological baggage that the term "Jew" has acquired
                      >> over the centuries, but I don't think that the term "Judean"
                      >> ought to be defended on the philogical grounds quoted above.
                      >> If any term lacks a traditional usage in the English language,
                      >> it is "Judean."
                      >
                      >But how much of this "traditional usage" is due to an accident of
                      >history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of
                      >Judaea, the word had a geographic referent; after that, it seems
                      >to have evolved into a more generic term, as 'Hebrews' was used
                      >earlier. But we should concentrate, I think, on one simple fact:
                      >prior to the destruction of Judaea, there was simply no other name
                      >for residents of Judaea. There was another word for 'Jews' -
                      >namely 'Hebrews' - but there was no other name for residents of
                      >Judaea. But if that is so, then it would be anachronistic to
                      >project onto the writings of that time a usage of the word derived
                      >from the post-Judaean period. It has nothing to do, as I see it,
                      >with "avoid[ing] terminological baggage"; it has everything to do
                      >with seeing the world as they saw it. So, yes, I would
                      >defend 'Judean' on philological grounds, but with the understanding
                      >that those grounds are to be restricted to the appropriate
                      >historical time frame, and thus should not include evolutionary
                      >developments in meaning posterior to that period.

                      I don't really disagree with any of this, especially since your
                      "anachronistic" is not much different from my "baggage ...
                      acquired over the centuries."

                      I was objecting to the statement that the word "Jew" *only* goes
                      back to Middle English. That is not the case; it is a direct
                      and historically continuous descendent of the Greek word IOUDAIOS
                      that we are now struggling to translate.

                      Stephen Carlson
                      --
                      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                    • bjtraff
                      ... If we are to understand how people in the 1st Century, and especially those who lived prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, thought, then I think
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
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                        --- In crosstalk2@y..., "mwgrondin" <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:

                        > But how much of this "traditional usage" is due to an accident of
                        > history? What I mean to say is this: before the obliteration of
                        > Judaea, the word had a geographic referent; after that, it seems
                        > to have evolved into a more generic term, as 'Hebrews' was used
                        > earlier. But we should concentrate, I think, on one simple fact:
                        > prior to the destruction of Judaea, there was simply no other name
                        > for residents of Judaea. There was another word for 'Jews' -
                        > namely 'Hebrews' - but there was no other name for residents of
                        > Judaea. But if that is so, then it would be anachronistic to
                        > project onto the writings of that time a usage of the word derived
                        > from the post-Judaean period. It has nothing to do, as I see it,
                        > with "avoid[ing] terminological baggage"; it has everything to do
                        > with seeing the world as they saw it. So, yes, I would
                        > defend 'Judean' on philological grounds, but with the understanding
                        > that those grounds are to be restricted to the appropriate
                        > historical time frame, and thus should not include evolutionary
                        > developments in meaning posterior to that period.

                        If we are to understand how people in the 1st Century, and especially
                        those who lived prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE,
                        thought, then I think it is best to look at the examples we have from
                        those people. We might take Paul as an example, as he is, in my
                        opinion, one that is especially useful given that he wrote to
                        audiences that were a combination of Jewish and non-Jewish. The
                        worldview reflected in his epistles is one in which human beings were
                        divided into two broad camps. On the one side were God's "Chosen
                        People" whom Paul called "Jews", "Hebrews" and "the circumcised"
                        interchangeably. On the other were those he
                        called "Greeks", "Gentiles" and the "uncicumcised" without
                        differentiation. I doubt that anyone, his audience included,
                        believed that when he spoke of the "Greeks" he meant exclusively
                        those that lived in the province of Greece, or even those that
                        originally descended from those that did. Similarly, given the wide
                        variances in context in which he employed "Jews" (typically also
                        varying this usage within the epistle with "the circumcised", and
                        less frequently, "Hebrews"), one should not expect that he meant only
                        those that lived in Judaea, hailed from there, or even descended from
                        those that did. Given that today, one may speak of a Jew, and mean
                        anyone descended of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (plus converts to
                        the religion of Judaism), the most appropriate translation of the
                        word most commonly used by Paul for this group (IOUDAIWN and its
                        variations) is Jew. Now, does that mean that we could not sometimes
                        employ the more technically accurate word, Judaean at times in
                        translating the NT and the Septuagint? I think that the case could
                        be made for doing this, but even then would hesitate to insert our
                        own distinctions and sensibilities into a text, especially when it
                        seems quite probable that the original authors and their readers
                        would not have understood what we were doing.

                        Consider the following:

                        Within 1st Century Judaea there were numerous types of Judaic beliefs
                        and practices. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essene and the
                        earliest followers of Jesus make up only four such pre-70 groups.
                        Doubtless there were more. Should we look for a linguistic solution
                        to help us differentiate between these groups? Perhaps this is
                        reductio absubum, but the point remains. Where do we draw the
                        line? More importantly, is calling all of these people "Judaeans"
                        instead of "Jews" the solution? I do not see how. In his book
                        _Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus_ , Donald Akenson
                        resorted to the awkward invention of "Judahism" in an attempt to
                        highlight the reality of a multiplicity of Judaic beliefs that pre-
                        existed the disaster of 70 CE (see his argument in support of his new
                        term on pgs. 15-54). He may have been technically accurate, but I
                        cannot imagine that adopting his arguments would lead to a
                        satisfactory translational solution to the problem. Should we create
                        a new word "Judahist" to reflect this diversity?

                        The bottom line is that Paul was predominantly using a single word to
                        describe his people, the Jews, and it encompassed the groups we would
                        today call Judaeans and Hebrews (of every form) as well as Gentile
                        converts to Judaism. In modern parlance we call these people Jews as
                        a matter of convention, and one that is perfectly acceptable to the
                        Jews themselves. This makes "Jew" not only the best choice, but one
                        that follows linguistic conventions. Interestingly, on those
                        occasions when Paul called someone "Hebrews" (2 Corinthians 11:22,
                        Philippians 3:5) English translations correctly use this word. More
                        importantly, he employs it not to indicate Jews who lived outside of
                        Palestine, but, rather, to point directly to the "super-apostles" who
                        clearly came from Palestine (2 Cor. 11:5). Thus we can see that
                        trying to pick and choose what he (and those that followed his lead,
                        like the evangelists) meant each time he wrote the word IOUDAIWN (and
                        its variations) will be inserting value judgements that will be, at
                        best, problematic. This is why I believe translations should stay
                        with the convention of using the broadest possible term in rendering
                        this word, and that means staying with the modern word Jew. At the
                        same time, efforts to better educate people as to the numerous
                        distinct groups (both past and present) contained within this broad
                        term is laudable, and should be continued. Just as a Jew today can
                        belong also to one of a great many sub-groupings, the term IOUDAIWN
                        covered a far broader range of beliefs and groupings than many today
                        might imagine. Pointing out this fact is a worthy objective, just
                        don't do it through translation, and thereby opening an entirely new
                        can of worms.

                        That's my 2 cents.

                        Brian Trafford
                        Calgary, AB, Canada
                      • DaGoi@aol.com
                        In a message dated 7/17/2 7:19:17 PM, Dave Hindley wrote:
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jul 18, 2002
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                          In a message dated 7/17/2 7:19:17 PM, Dave Hindley wrote:

                          <<Doesn't this assume something to be proved? How is the phrase "honorific?"
                          Do we have examples from this general period of *anyone* else being called a
                          "son of David" as an honorific title? At least I am not aware of any,
                          although I dimly recall that someone on a list I monitor once said that the
                          term was applied in an honorific sense either around the 4th century (during
                          the heyday of the Jewish patriarchate) or possibly medieval times.>>

                          After a thousand years, the sons of David must have been extremely numerous
                          (I once saw a, well, probable guess that asserted that all of the descendents
                          of Western Europe were probably descended from Charlemagne who was crowned
                          Holy Roman Emperor 1202 yrs ago. Assuming that only paternal descendents
                          from David may have been considered, ala the claims of each of the gospel
                          genealogies, leaving aside the maternal descendent preference of today's
                          Jewish reckoning ((I'm not sure how far that goes back)), that would still
                          leave a lot of people. Note all the people Luke assumes were ancestorally
                          attached to Bethlehem. I think that it would be a bit less than honorific
                          and more like being part Blackfoot.
                          In The Babylonian Talmud (a book of selections) 1944 by Leo Auerbach, pg
                          15, it says, "Remote from the war [he mentions both that of 70 and of 135 in
                          the paragraph before], the Jews remained there [Babylon] in comparative
                          security as a recognized minority headed by the Exiliarch, a descendant of
                          the house of David". In the pages before, the author gives some details of
                          the Great Sanhedrin which survived, its seat moved a few times, until 425,
                          hereditarily headed by Hillel (with a possible hiatus during the presidency
                          of Ben Zakkai who reestablished it at Jamnia), Gamiel II, and Yehuda the
                          Prince (of Mishnah fame). Hillel is also called prince, but neither of these
                          princes, presidents of the Sanhedrin, is called son of David nor Exiliarch,
                          though the idea sort of hangs in the air for proof or disproof.
                          From the Maccabees to the Mishnah 1987 by Shaye Cohen, pg 222, by
                          contrast, says that the Nasi office began in the second century, that he was
                          chair of the rabbinic sanhedrin, recognized by the Roman government (who
                          eventually conferred senatorial status to him) was the de facto leader of
                          Palestine, and claimed descent from David. In the fourth century the Romans
                          authorized him jurisdiction and collection of taxes over all the Jews of the
                          Roman Empire (unthinkable if he were in Babylon, I imagine) and suddenly in
                          425 abolished the office of patriarch, most probably the 'Exiliarch'
                          mentioned by Auerbach (whom Origen once called "king of the Jews" in the
                          unfortunately only footnoted reference on this page in Cohen) under unclear
                          circumstances.
                          It remains that there probably were a lot of sons of David - probably too
                          common for the appelation to be an honorific title by itself without the idea
                          of the promised messiahship. With the Patriarchs, the honorific title would
                          be 'Nasi' for which one of these sons of David would be chosen, and probably
                          not the other way around.

                          Bill Foley
                          Woburn Ma
                        • Loren Rosson
                          [Loren] ... [Mike] ... Herzog s interpretation is far from baseless , even if disputable. Based on what we know about various messianic claimants running amok
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jul 19, 2002
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                            [Loren]
                            > > ... to me there is still a clear tension
                            > > between Mt 18:21-22 and 18:23-34, which
                            > > begs the question of what the parable meant
                            > > apart from its Matthean context. It's just
                            > > a poor story to illustrate
                            > > the principle in question ...

                            [Mike]
                            > Yes...but that should not make us turn to a
                            > virtually-baseless Herzogian
                            > reinterpretation of the parable...

                            Herzog's interpretation is far from "baseless", even
                            if disputable. Based on what we know about various
                            messianic claimants running amok in the first century,
                            and the gospels' portrayal of Jesus' relectance to
                            accept the title "messiah", various ideas about
                            forgiveness of debt, etc., Herzog's view is actually
                            very plausible. He calls the parable "What if the
                            messiah came and nothing changed?" -- more fitting
                            than "The Unmerciful Servant".

                            But yes, Mike, your own interpretation has its merits
                            too.

                            Loren Rosson III
                            Nashua NH
                            rossoiii@...

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                          • mwgrondin
                            ... You mean that you find it so. I don t. I see all kinds of things wrong with it. Nor do I even see a need for it, since there s nothing about the story that
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jul 19, 2002
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                              --- Loren Rosson wrote:
                              > ... Herzog's view is actually very plausible.

                              You mean that you find it so. I don't. I see all kinds of things
                              wrong with it. Nor do I even see a need for it, since there's
                              nothing about the story that seems to indicate that it has any
                              hidden meaning beyond (or in place of) what's plain on the face
                              of it. The only difficulty is that Matthew's framing is wrong.

                              > He calls the parable "What if the messiah came and nothing
                              > changed?" -- more fitting than "The Unmerciful Servant".

                              So you say. I'd call it "over-interpretation" or "Herzog's folly".
                              Logically, one can manufacture an unlimited number of interpreta-
                              tions for any passage whatsoever. But why do so? There's enough
                              mysteries as is. I see no good reason to remove this story from
                              the category of things pretty clear on the surface of them, in
                              order to add yet one more to the already-enormous pile of things
                              presenting mysteries to be solved.

                              Mike Grondin
                              Mt. Clemens, MI
                            • Loren Rosson
                              ... I agree with much of what Bob is getting at here, though I certainly deny that history is **inevitably** made the tool of modern **sensibilities**. It s
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jul 23, 2002
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                                Brian Trafford wrote:

                                >History is not to made the tool of modern
                                >sensabilities, it is to be used to teach us about
                                >the past, and hopefully, to educate us so that
                                >we do not repeat the mistakes of our forefathers. ...

                                Bob Schacht countered:

                                >Really? I thought that one of the main points of
                                >post-modernism was that history is *inevitably* made
                                >the tool of modern sensibilities. I don't really
                                >think of myself as a kindred spirit with the po-mo
                                >folks, but I do think they have a point about
                                >this. I think
                                >you may be over-rating your own or anyone's ability
                                >to so transcend our modern sensibilities that
                                >we can really understand Jesus in his own cultural
                                >context. Oh yes, we dabble at it. But mostly we do so
                                >through the lens of our own modern sensibilities.

                                I agree with much of what Bob is getting at here,
                                though I certainly deny that history is **inevitably**
                                made the tool of modern **sensibilities**. It's more
                                accurate to say that history is inevitably made a tool
                                of modern models and paradigms. One of the best
                                statements to this effect can be found in the work I
                                refer to all too frequently (on XTalk and elsewhere)
                                -- Bill Herzog's Parables as Subversive Speech. In a
                                chapter called "The Peril of Not Modernzing Jesus",
                                Herzog states:

                                "Modernizing is an inevitable concomitant of any
                                historical reconstruction, because the researchers
                                cannot escape the conditions of their own time and
                                circumstances. However, modernizing need not be
                                equated with anachronizing, the unconscious or
                                unreflective reading of the present into the past. All
                                contemporary readings of Jesus are modernizing
                                readings because they seek to make sense of Jesus in
                                terms of significant modern models or paradigms, and
                                when the paradigms or models are used with an
                                awareness of their purpose, functioning, and limits,
                                they can illuminate research by uncovering its
                                assumptions and parameters...The problem, then, is not
                                with modernizing Jesus, as Cadbury believed, but with
                                anachronizing Jesus. The peril of not modernizing
                                Jesus is that we always modernize Jesus whether or not
                                we are aware of it. The parameters of the present
                                shape what we see when we peer into the past, and
                                changing parameters shift what we are able to
                                see...This situation does not mitigate the need for
                                serious historical research...[for not] all modern
                                paradigms are equally useful or valid. Any inquiry
                                should indicate why the particular contemporary models
                                are being used and how they fit the situation to which
                                they are being applied." (pp 30,38-39)

                                So, to be sure, history should not be made the tool of
                                modern sensibilities (though it often is). But I'm
                                afraid it's inevitably, inescapably, the tool of
                                modern models and paradigms. And those models shape
                                what we're inclined to look for to begin with.

                                Loren Rosson III
                                Nashua NH
                                rossoiii@...

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                              • Karel Hanhart
                                ... On the contrary. In translating and commenting on Greek manuscripts around the beginning of the common era, the literal translation Judean of the Greek
                                Message 15 of 28 , Aug 5 1:29 AM
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                                  > Consider the following:
                                  >
                                  > Within 1st Century Judaea there were numerous types of Judaic beliefs
                                  > and practices. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essene and the
                                  > earliest followers of Jesus make up only four such pre-70 groups.
                                  > Doubtless there were more. Should we look for a linguistic solution
                                  > to help us differentiate between these groups?

                                  On the contrary. In translating and commenting on Greek manuscripts around the
                                  beginning of the common era, the literal translation 'Judean' of the Greek word
                                  "ioudaios" is to be preferred because
                                  in so doing one avoids any a priori differentiation. We leave the meaning of the
                                  Greek term as open as much as possible. In the 20th century the word 'Jew' bears
                                  the restriction of 'not christian'. The habit of translating "ioudaios" in
                                  'Jew' would automatically introduce this restriction into first century writings
                                  opening the door for unwanted bias. Hence my proposal to use the term 'Judean' for
                                  'Jews in the centuries round the common era' and to use the equally new
                                  designation Christian Judeans for the Judean followers of Jesus who in de first
                                  century were still predominant in their reform movement.

                                  cordially

                                  Karel Hanhart
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