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Re: [SPAM] [XTalk] Jesus was neither Jewish nor Christian

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  • Frank Jacks
    ... While I truly do appreciate this clarification (as well as your original posting of the article), I must say that I find this definition of Jewishness
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 8, 2007
      Loren Rosson wrote:
      > John C. Poirier wrote:
      >
      >
      >> I'm sorry, I just don't get the point. If
      >> "Israelite" meant then what "Jewish" means now, then
      >> why is it wrong to call Jesus a "Jew" when we mean
      >> by it what we usually mean by "Jew"?
      >>
      >
      > "Israelite" then does not mean what "Jewish" means
      > now. Jewishness is all about the beliefs and practices
      > associated with the Mishnah rather than the temple
      > cult of Judea, and it was only by the third century
      > that "Judaism" as such had really emerged (a common
      > pattern of religion irrespective of locale). The point
      > is to seriously distinguish between Israelites/Judeans
      > and later Jews; the temple's destruction left that
      > much of a change in its wake.
      >
      > Loren Rosson III
      > Nashua NH
      > http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com
      >
      While I truly do appreciate this clarification (as well as your original
      posting of the article), I must say that I find this definition of
      "Jewishness" and "Judaism" a bit odd, to say the least. Not that I
      disagree with your substance for we must indeed distinguish
      between what Judaism was before and after the destruction of the Temple,
      especially as post-70 Judaism (normally referred to as "Rabbinic
      Judaism") was based upon the specifics of one particular
      branch/brand/variety of pre-destruction Judaism, i.e. the Hillelite
      traditions of Pharisaism. And yes I am quite aware that in what I just
      said I did not use your suggested usage but then I do not find that this
      traditional way of talking about "ancient times" either confusing or
      involving any necessary anachronism. Yes, there are much too many who
      do engage in the unfortunate anachronism of projecting onto/into the
      pre-70 era beliefs and practices which are most definitely post-70, but
      I honestly fail to see how any nomenclature can prevent this error ...
      although this is hardly my "final word" on this important topic. At
      least, the involvement of the term "Israelite" as the way that at least
      many of those who we now call "Jews" thought of themselves (Paul in his
      letters being a most important bench-mark for us) is
      surely something we need to remember, although my own suspicion is that
      it is a term concerning "political citizenship," an aspect of historical
      discussions which I find all too often shunted aside by the current
      popularity of considering sociological issues, which are also important,
      just not exclusively so, I think. Anyway, thanks for the posting if
      only because it revives this board after our summer vacation/time-off
      and for drawing our attention to the posted essay.

      Most sincerely,

      Frank

      Clive F. Jacks, Th.D. (Union Seminary, N.Y.C.)
      Professor of Religion, Emeritus
      Pikeville College,
      Pikeville, KY

      (but now happily retired back home in the metro Atlanta area!)
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