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Re: [XTalk] Terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian" Judaism

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  • dbockdts
    Dennis: Thank you for the very helpful note. We should not be surprised at such usage by either Philo or Josephus given their primary audience. This is an
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 24, 2006

      Thank you for the very helpful note. We should not be surprised at such usage by either
      Philo or Josephus given their primary audience. This is an interesting case as your meal in
      1963-64 indicates (even before the 6 Day War!). As I access the xTalk summary today
      there is a remark from the Iranian leader that Jews should go back to their homeland in
      Europe (Should they return to the land out of which Abraham came? I bet that would not
      be a popular option for either camp). So this naming is a pretty important issue for many
      as we have all noted. Surely Hadrian's handling of this term and its motive is similar to
      what the fuss is all about now. So how does one sensitively cut through all of this, given
      the build up of history that surrounds the original term? Is simply going back to usage that
      predates all of this built up history the way to go? What is our current responsibility as
      scholars? The answer to that question seems difficult to me. Might Canaan be a better
      term so neither the term Judea or Palestine is primary or does that go back too far? I
      always wrestle internally with this when discussing this in class.

      Darrell Bock
      > Hello, All,
      > While studying in Germany in 1963-64 I had quiet dinner in the apartment of
      > some Middle Easterner students (Iraqis, I think). We had a warm and cordial
      > conversation until the Israel/Palestine terminology came up. They objected
      > to my use of the term "Israel" and defended the term "Palestine" and a
      > lengthy discussion ensued. Then, when I did the first revision of the Perrin
      > Introduction to the New Testament (1982), the question came up again. This
      > time, an editor objected to my use of "Palestine" in the re-write because it
      > was not Biblical, and, as I recall, made some rather strong political
      > comments to me to that effect. Realizing the sensitive issue at hand and
      > that it was normative usage among NT scholars, I felt compelled to justify
      > its use in the textbook. I looked up a few things, most of which have
      > already been turned up in this discussion so far. I wrote the following note
      > for that edition of the textbook (2nd) which may have some interest, or at
      > least another point or two, for your consideration (1982, p. 4 [please
      > disregard any other anachronisms! It was a long time ago.]).
      > "Throughout this book we shall refer to the area of Canaan, settled by the
      > ancient Hebrews, as Palestine. This is the commonly accepted term in New
      > Testament study. It is derived from the Greek (*Palestinç*) and Latin
      > (*Palaestina*), words for Hebrew *Pelesheth*, the southern coastal region
      > settled by the "People of the Sea" in the twelfth century B.C., a people
      > from the regions of the Aegean Sea who often made war against the Hebrews
      > who had previously settled in Canaan. The Egyptians called them *prst* and
      > the Hebrews designated them *Pelishti*, hence "the land of the Philistines"
      > (Gen 21:32, 34; Exod 13:17). The Assyrians called the area *Palastu*. The
      > fifth-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus used the term *Palaistinç* in a
      > broader sense to include the area further inland settled by the Hebrews (cf.
      > esp. Book IV,36 and Book II,102-105). The term is used by the first-century
      > A.D. Jewish writers Josephus and Philo of Alexandria. The Roman emperor
      > Hadrian (A.D. 117-138) called the region *Provincia Syria Palaestina* in
      > order to expunge the name *Provincia Judaea* that was based on the Biblical
      > "land of Judah." Cf. Y. Aharoni, *The Land of the Bible. A Historical
      > Geography* (rev. ed. 1979), pp. 78-79."
      > Regards,
      > Dennis
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
      > Behalf Of feydmartha
      > Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 12:16 PM
      > To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [XTalk] Terminology of "Palestine" and "Palestinian" Judaism
      > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Rikk Watts <rwatts@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Bob,
      > >
      > > The following sparked something:
      > > > Eusebius did not accept Hadrian's
      > > > designation of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitalina, but he
      > > > did use Hadrian's term Palestine.
      > >
      > > I have a vague recollection from somewhere that the term came into use by
      > > the Romans as part of their reprisals against the 2nd uprising.
      > >
      > > Rikk
      > Mark, Bob, Rikk and all,
      > It's an interesting subject what places ought to be called. As those
      > portions of real estate
      > have passed through so many hands across the millennia... Canaanite to
      > Hebrew tribal and
      > Philistine to Judean and Israelite (united and then not) to Assyrian, to
      > Babylonian, to
      > Persian, to Greek, to Ptolemaic, to Seleucid, to Macabbean to Roman rule
      > (did I miss any
      > ancient group?) it seems that "era specific" and area specific language
      > might be the most
      > helpful. Seems to me Canaan might be the most useful general term. I would
      > note that
      > the ancient dog utilized in those parts that has survived all the politics
      > is called the
      > Canaan dog:)! Lovely critters. The American Kennel Club officially
      > recognized them just a
      > few years back and so despite the present religio-political upset they
      > continue to provide
      > a link to a naming that has endured all!
      > Gordon Raynal
      > Inman, SC
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