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RE: More Re: [XTalk] Violence

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... think. The actual term, at least in the dictionary I have, does not include a distinct racial component. This is important.
    Message 1 of 104 , Aug 11, 2002
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      >>Some terms have to be used very carefully. "Ethnic" is such a term I
      think. The actual term, at least in the dictionary I have, does not include
      a distinct "racial" component. This is important.<<

      �Ethnic� was chosen, on purpose, to avoid confusion with modern contentions
      about �race.� However, the word �race� was used by ancients, including Jews,
      to describe Jews and other distinct groups. The semantic range of the Greek
      word for �race� overlapped that of the Greek word for �ethnic,� and in
      practice terms like these were often used interchangeably. In a post I had
      already sent before I saw your present post, I referred to an interesting
      article "Rethinking the Relevance of Race for Early Christian
      Self-Definition," (by Denise Kimber Buell, HTR 94:4 (2001), 449-476, which
      can be found online at their web site). This article emphasized the way that
      both Jews and early Christians defined themselves as a �race� on the basis
      of collectively shared traditions and practices. Jews probably did so as
      persons of Jewish descent moved (or were moved) outside of their traditional
      homeland, but still managed to retain common customs and beliefs that set
      them apart from their more syncretistic neighbors. Christians did so as part
      of their attempts to distinguish themselves from Judaism as well as support
      their plea to have their religious faith officially recognized on the same
      basis as the Jewish religion was.

      Still, to studiously avoid words like �race� and �ethnic� in reaction to the
      tragic events of the 20th century CE holocaust, is a lot like letting the
      tail wag the dog.

      >>I suggest that Paul was simply not consistent or systematic in his
      thinking towards Non-XN Jews.<<

      You may recall that I consider parts of the Pauline epistles to be the
      thoughts and teachings of one or more later editors. I find it significant
      (to me, at least) that *all* of these anti-Judaic passages are in strata I
      assign to editors. These editors I would attribute to a wing of the Jesus
      movement that consisted of Gentiles or converted Gentiles who had come to
      reject the movement�s Jewish religious perspective and created its own. Paul
      �s movement, as represented by the base strata in the Pauline epistles, had
      no relationship to any form of the Jesus movement, but represented a group
      that sought close association between Jews (or the Jewish religion) and
      Gentiles, so naturally they would exhibit a positive attitude towards

      >>Speaking in terms a ethnicity, I think it important to be clear that we
      are NOT talking about racial notions. Paul is obviously upset that "his"
      people rejected his message (Rom 9:1-5), and he had a strong reaction to
      this rejection that some times boils over into polemic, other times into
      sorrow, yet other times into theological reflection - but I think we are on
      thin (or non-existent) ice to suggest that Paul was thinking racially.<<

      So, you see that I am not accusing Paul of racial prejudice, but I am
      suggesting, strongly, that the reorganized Gentile wing of the Jesus
      movement did.

      >>This seems to require a (seriously misguided) theory of race itself,
      perhaps needing a notion of genetics, or something like it, which is
      completely out of place in the 1st Cent.<<

      The modern concept of race is rather new. You are right that the ancients
      did not have anything resembling it. Their systems of classification and
      categorization were based on generalized appearances, and not on genetics or
      even on the basis of systematic comparison. I basically propose that former
      Gentile converts to Judaism, although in theory equal to a natural born
      (ethnic) Jew (but in practice a kind of second class Jew) found the
      expectations that drew them to the Jesus movement, that is its messianism,
      dashed and they found themselves no longer welcome by natural born Jews. The
      rejection was perceived in such a negative way that they redefined their
      religious orientation.

      The area and event(s) that I think could have caused such anger would be the
      pogroms and counter-pogroms that occurred between Gentile and Jewish
      neighbors throughout Judea, Samaria, Galilee and coele-Syria generally at
      the time of the war of 66-74 CE. I cannot see how Gentile converts could
      *not* have been affected by these events, and would think the social
      ramifications would last at least a generation.

      >>Because I don't believe the Pastorals were written by Paul, I do not think
      we can use them to reconstruct Paul's thought.<<

      You will note that I tried to group the evidence in the books: Rom-Eph,
      Philip-2 Thess, and then the pastorals. While this was based on David
      Trobisch�s hypothesis that the Paulines as we have them underwent several
      editions, the groups could be interpreted as "authentic," "disputed," and
      �inauthentic� by the usual analysis. However, since my theory pretty much
      turns traditional interpretation on its head (plus I did not see a
      significant difference between these three groups in the few elements of
      language use that I felt characterized the two strata), I do not feel that
      it is appropriate to exclude evidence on an a-priori basis until it is
      possible to review the possibilities more deeply.

      >>I am not sure that "Anti-Judaism" is even the correct terminology. I see
      early Christianity as itself a form of Judaism, so perhaps something like
      "Anti-Other-Judaism" would be more accurate.<<

      If it was an inter-Jewish phenomenon, wouldn�t we expect there to be
      qualifiers when the passages speak harshly of other Jews? �Those Sadducees,�
      �those members of the Circumcision party� (which does occur in Gal 2, but
      which I do not relegate to the Gentile Christian editor, but rather to a
      later proto-orthodox editor at the time the NT was published, as we have it
      now, in the 2nd century, and again this is based on Trobisch�s work). Of
      course, it is possible to see these statements as generalities and metaphor,
      not charges against specific peoples or groups, but that would the
      Christianity of the NT a bit more lofty and clean of internal factions than
      I feel comfortable with. It is also possible to interpret IOUDAIOS either as
      Judean or Jew by context in such a way that the difficulty disappears, but I
      �d think this would be difficult to do consistently.


      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • Thomas G. Barnes
      I know this is off topic, however, during the past few days I noticed the discussion going on about the use of copyrighhted material. Anyway, my question is
      Message 104 of 104 , Nov 13 2:51 PM
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        I know this is off topic, however, during the past few days I noticed the
        discussion going on about the use of copyrighhted material. Anyway, my
        question is this, how do I properly cite a web page I used information from
        in an academic paper. I am a student and an interested historical Jesus
        individual. I realize this is off topic so please send reply to me off the

        Thomas G. Barnes
        Philadelphia, PA
        Temple University
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