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Terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian" Judaism]]

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    Here are two messages from members of the Classics List on Palestine Jeffrey ... Subject: Re: [CLASSICS-L] Terminology of Palestine and Palestinian
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 21, 2006
      Here are two messages from members of the Classics List on "Palestine"


      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: Re: [CLASSICS-L] Terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian"
      Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 15:40:13 -0500
      From: Al Schlaf <aulus@...>
      Reply-To: Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group
      To: CLASSICS-L@...
      References: <44491B43.7AC215DC@...>

      Well, there is some argument over that derivation.

      David Jacobson in the May/June, 2001 issue of Biblical Archaeology
      has an article entitled "When Palestine Meant Israel". He states that
      the Greek Palaistinh and the Latin Palaestina appear frequently in
      literature, they, for the most part, refer not to the Land of the
      Philistines, but to the Land of Israel. As early as Herodotus (second
      of the 5th century BC), the term is used to describe not the area of the
      Philistines--a narrow strip along the Mediterranian encompassing the
      of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, Ekron and the area of present day Tel
      Aviv--but the whole area betwen Phoenicia and Egypt. He also refers to
      people of Palaistinh as circumcised.(Histories, 2.104) We know from
      sources that the Philistines were uncircumcised. Further, Aristotle
      to the Dead Sea as in Palaistinh. The Land of the Philistines, however,
      separated from the Dead Sea by the hills and wilderness of Judea and
      Aristotle could hardly have meant to directly connect the two.

      Philologically, there is also a problem. When the Septuagint, the Greek
      translation of the Old Testament, was written in the beginning of the
      century BC, the translators did not use Palaistinoi when they got to the
      Hebrew Peleshet, they renderd it Filistieim. Jacobson posits that
      is more derived from the Greek palaisthV, meaning "wrestler" and is
      essentially a reference to Jacob wrestling with the angel. Jacob
      his name Israel from this wrestling match. The Greeks of the Classical
      coming in to contact with the Jews in the 6th century BC would have
      them as descendents of a wrestler/hero and thus, named them eponymously.
      This is a much simplified version of the article, which goes on for five
      pages and 23 footnotes, but I do find it interesting.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Berel Beyer" <berelbeyer@...>
      To: <CLASSICS-L@...>
      Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 1:39 PM
      Subject: Re: [CLASSICS-L] Terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian"

      The following is the abstract from Louis Feldman's article on the
      subject in the Hebrew Union College Annual. Felman is a leading
      experts on ancient Palestine.


      Feldman Louis H. - Some observations on the name of Palestine. HebrUCA
      1990 LXI : 1-23. • The name Palestine is correctly used only when
      applied to the land of the ancient Philistines along the Mediterranean
      coast. The official name of the area in Jewish and non-Jewish sources
      is Judaea. Were it not for Hadrian's deliberate attempt to eliminate
      all trace of Jewish sovereignty the name would have remained Judaea,
      as indeed it did in many literary and even official documents.

      On 4/21/06, Jeffrey B. Gibson <jgibson000@...> wrote:
      > The message question below appeared on The XTalk List
      > (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/).
      > Does anyone have any answers?
      > Yours,
      > Jeffrey
      > -------- Original Message --------
      > Subject: [XTalk] Terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian" Judaism
      > Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 21:57:13 -0400
      > From: "Mark Goodacre" <Goodacre@...>
      > Reply-To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      > To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      > Here's a question out of ignorance and curiosity. Why is it consensus
      > in the scholarship to use the term "Palestine"? And why is the
      > religion often called "Palestinian Judaism"? "Palestine" is not a
      > term the NT uses; Josephus doesn't use it to describe the land
      > incorporating Galilee and Judaea. Is it just a convention that has
      > emerged, or does the terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian" in
      > this particular context (first century CE, and with reference to
      > Galilee, Judaea, Samaria etc.) have an obvious reason?
      > Thanks
      > Mark
      > --
      > Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
      > Associate Professor
      > Duke University
      > Department of Religion
      > 314 Gray Bldg./Box 90964
      > Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
      > Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530
      > http://NTGateway.com/goodacre
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