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Re: [XTalk] Judeans versus Hebrews

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  • Karel Hanhart
    ... The Judeans were at the time a suffering people, run over by ... Gordon replied I think Judean is a good choice at times and as you note a preferred
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 10, 2002
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      Karel responded to a post by Gordon Raynal:

      >1. I also have made a plea for the term 'Judeans' when discussing the Gospels and
      >Epistles and 'Christian Judeans' to describe the recipients of that literature.
      The Judeans were at the time a suffering people, run over by
      >the Roman legions.

      Gordon replied

      I think Judean is a good choice at times and as you note a preferred
      translation to such as "the Jews" in typical English translations (the
      Jesus
      Seminar scholars used this in their "Scholars Version" translation).
      And
      yet still I think we need to be as careful and precise as we can because
      I
      so often read references to "what the Jews believed" written as if there
      were some massive, world wide uniformity. <snip>
      It seems to me for that general term "Hebrew" is better
      (as Paul, for example, uses this term in Phil. 3:5). <snip> thus
      Saul... a Pharisaic Hebrew from Asia Minor (Tarsus), and about
      "ideology." In this regard the TANAK is not a book with A single
      theology, but a collection of theological voices and
      writings.

      Gordon,
      You are offering a "theological" solution to the problem of a proper
      nomenclature for First Century Jews, their history and culture. My
      approach to the problem is more limited and I hope more historical. As
      I formulated it before:
      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 {between diverse phenomena of their history and
      culture]. Thus we leave the meaning of the Greek term 'ioudaios' open as
      much as possible. For in the 20th century the word 'Jew' bears the
      restriction of 'not christian'. And that is precisely the
      misunderstanding that should be overcome.

      Gordon continued:
      Just regarding S/Paul... often we hear that he was "an
      apocalypticist." I'm not so certain that that is a helpful designation
      as
      regards centrally defining his writings and ideas. It seems to me his
      central metaphor ("Christ") is most profoundly rooted in the Royal
      theological materials of the Prophets and Psalms. And as regards HJ...
      he
      was a Galilean Hebrew and I will make the claim that the center of his
      speech and his compatriots was rooted not in Judean Priestly Hebraic
      concerns, but rather centrally in the Wisdom and some of the Classical
      Prophetic heritage in TANAK.

      The above consideration IMO proves my point. You appear to introduce the
      term Hebrew
      in order to secure an avenue to Christ in Tenach, the Galilean Hebrew
      paved by
      "Royal theological materials of the Prophet and Psalms". In other words,
      you are creating a canon within the canon of Tenach, that suits
      christian theology. However, the torah formed the authoritative basis
      for Jesus and the apostles.
      The literal translation of the term 'ioudaios is based on the fact we
      know very little of Jewish history and culture of the Second Temple
      period. The story of the Jesus' movement at the beginning of the common
      era comes to us through Greek eyes, that is through a Greek - and thus
      'second hand' - language. Hence the literal translation 'Judean' leaves
      the field of exegesis and consecutive theological interpretation wide
      open.


      Thank you, too, for your note,

      Karel Hanhart
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Karel, Thanks for your note. As I originally said I don t have any huge argument with your position, but I do think my position pushes towards greater
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 10, 2002
        Hi Karel,

        Thanks for your note. As I originally said I don't have any huge argument
        with your position, but I do think my position pushes towards greater
        historical and theological precision. To seek to describe the various
        thought systems/ affirmation patterns is not simply a theological solution
        over against a historical solution, but it inclusive of both. Also, I think
        describing Jesus and his immediate friends as Galilean Hebrews is more
        precise historically and theologically than describing them as "Judeans." I
        think that saying that the earliest communities in the homeland were made up
        of Galileans and Judeans and Samaritans is better.

        take care,

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
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