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RE: [XTalk] Jesus was neither Jewish nor Christian

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  • Loren Rosson
    [Loren] ... [Mark Matson] ... Note that the Samaritan *mistakenly* refers to Jesus as a Ioudaios, as he is traveling north from Judea to Galilee. But yes,
    Message 1 of 32 , Sep 10 3:48 AM
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      > >Elliott discusses the process of identification and
      > >self-identification, insider and outsider language,
      > >the fact that Jesus is never called Ioudaios in the
      > NT
      > >(save on three occasions, and by outsiders), that
      > >Ioudaios was understood in either a narrow regional
      > >sense or broader ethnic sense (depending on
      > context)
      > >-- but in any case correctly translated as "Judean"
      > >and not "Jew", and the usages of Ioudaios in the
      > >Gospels, Acts, and letters of Paul.

      [Mark Matson]
      > I wonder if this statement is really correct, and
      > also if we can make "simple" or uniform statements
      > abou the term "Ioudaios"?
      > The term probably is most common in G. John, so it
      > is interesting to note the variety of usage there.
      > Note that Jesus is called a "Jew" by the Samaritan
      > woman in ch. 4 (yes, I know, an "outsider"), but
      > Jesus goes on to affirm in his own language
      > "salvation comes from the Jews". This would seem to
      > be some kind of self-affirmation.

      Note that the Samaritan *mistakenly* refers to Jesus
      as a Ioudaios, as he is traveling north from Judea to
      Galilee. But yes, there is also Jn 4:22, which is

      [Mark Matson]
      > Well, back to my main point: "the Jews" are Jesus'
      > opponents, but at the same time he is situated
      > within them or closely related to them, and his
      > practices are closely linked to them. Indeed the
      > extended conversations between "the Jews" and Jesus
      > make little sense if he is an outsider to them.
      > Isn't the problem that he is one of them, but is
      > pushing the bounds of their comfort zone about some
      > issues of self-identification (who is the rightful
      > representative of God. What is the relationship to
      > Moses? etc.)...

      I would say the Judeans are Jesus' opponents, though
      he is related to them, but that (aside from Jn 4:22)
      there is no case in the gospels where he affirms that
      relationship with the term Ioudaios. He preferred
      Galilean or Israelite -- and I agree with you,
      incidentally, that Galilean Israelites shared more in
      common with Judean Israelites than often portrayed in
      certain reconstructions of Galilee.

      As you note, the meaning of Ioudaios shifts in John,
      between the geographical sense and the more inclusive
      ethnic. One could refer to Jesus as a Judean in the
      latter sense, loosely speaking, though we would be
      favoring (4:22 notwithstanding) outsider language (as
      with the Samaritan woman, the Persian magi, and

      > >(1) Jesus identified himself and his associates as
      > >Israelites, and his mission as directed to the
      > House
      > >of Israel. He was identified by other Israelite
      > >insiders according to his Israelite family and
      > lineage
      > >and by his place of birth and upbringing, Nazareth
      > and
      > >Galilee. He was Yeshua bar Yoseph, an 'Israelite',
      > a
      > >'Galilean', a 'Nazarene from Nazareth of Galilee,
      > but
      > >not a 'Judean' resident in Judea.

      [Mark Matson]
      > Well, this begs the question that is central here...
      > what is "Jewish" and what is not. Or to explore
      > this a bit, what would make the religious and ethnic
      > practice of the Galileeans stand out as different
      > that those in Judea? Did the presence of the
      > Pharisees in Galilee suggest any continuity? Did
      > the attention to Torah? Did the feast calendar just
      > mentioned above suggest a continuity? Looking
      > outside the NT proper -- does the existence of
      > miqvaoth in Galilee, and other "jewish" symbols
      > (e.g. the use of the manorah, which dates to
      > Hasmonean revolt) suggest simililarity? What I am
      > trying to get at is what would let us know that he
      > was "not" a Jew, given so many points of continuity?
      > What might an "Israelite" have been? A
      > Torah-keeping Galileean? If so, then the only
      > distinction seems to be Galilee vs. Judea as
      > homeland. Is that all that is at stake?

      My own view is that the Jesus movement stood for a
      particular Galilean way of being Israelite. Josephus
      implies that Galileans adhered to a minimal Torah:
      circumcision (Vita 112-113,149) and sabbath observance
      (Vita 159) may reflect basic customs having roots in
      Galilee prior to Hasmonean takeover (from descendants
      of northern Israelite peasants left on the land after
      722 BCE, as Horsley claims), but not adherence to a
      highly codified priestly Torah which had developed in
      southern Judah/Judea.

      So again, if we're going to call Jesus a Judean (not
      Jew), we would be accurate in the broad ethnic sense,
      though we'd be favoring outsider language. I suspect
      he and other Galileans were descendant from the
      northern Israelites left on the land after the
      Assyrians deported primarily rulers, officers, royal
      servants, retainers, etc. For centuries the peasants
      had remained free of a native aristocracy and temple
      community (unlike their Samaritan and Judean cousins),
      and that no doubt accounts for much of Jesus' callous
      attitude toward the law and temple (as Stevan
      describes). Jesus was thus a relative of Judean
      Israelites, but a distant one. So I'm somewhere
      in-between the "Hellenized Galilee" construct (Mack)
      and that which assumes a strong continuity between
      Galille and Judea (Meyers, Chancey, Sanders, etc).

      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH

      Be a better Globetrotter. Get better travel answers from someone who knows. Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.
    • sdavies0
      ... I ve just read through April s recent postings and she says this: Whether Jesus was a Galilean or a Judean can be an interesting erudite discussion, but
      Message 32 of 32 , Sep 12 8:29 AM
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        --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Loren Rosson <rossoiii@...> wrote:
        > Yes, I see. April DeConick had a strong reaction to
        > Elliott's essay today on her blog, and I can't help
        > but think that we come to rely on certain terminology
        > as a crutch to protect us from phantom fears, or that
        > we're fighting lost battles, however subconsciously.

        I've just read through April's recent postings and she says this:

        "Whether Jesus was a Galilean or a Judean can be an interesting
        erudite discussion, but it means nothing in regard to whether or not
        Jesus was Jewish by our conventional definition of that term. Like
        his brothers and sister Jews who lived in the south, Jesus was a
        Torah-observant, Temple-oriented, apocalyptic teacher who felt very
        strongly that God's covenantal promises would be fulfilled in
        Israel. He kept Sabbath, celebrated the festivals, was kosher, and
        worshiped Yahweh. I think that it is time for us to face up
        to Jesus' Jewishness, and ask ourselves why the some in the academy
        (which many of us are a part of) continue to want to deny, ignore or
        get around this."

        This sort of thing is just what I try to argue against. It's as
        though she had never seen a map showing the location of Galilee vis
        a vis Samaria and Judea and had no idea about the history of the
        place. But surely she does. Knowing that, though, she declares that
        it doesn't matter.

        Note that her description of Jesus as a Torah-observant, Temple-
        oriented Sabbath-keeping Jew is supposedly so obvious that anyone
        who might deny it must have their motivations questioned. "Why do
        some continue to want to deny this!?" Has she never read Mark's
        gospel? She's read Thomas for sure, but dismisses the evidence there
        against her own views without any trouble.

        The fact that Jesus is Galilean should enable us to select from the
        welter of contradictory evidence the more reliable bits. Instead, we
        select bits that are intended to show that his being Galilean is

        Is it that she doesn't know that Matthew's Gospel is a version of
        Mark re-written to give us the view of Jesus that she supports? Or
        that Paul first persecuted, as a Pharisee, the movement that he
        later joined, a movement that is not Torah-observant, Temple-
        oriented, Sabbath-keeping until false brothers crept in to make it
        so? (This is my eyewitness's testimony anyhow).

        "He made all foods clean." "You have made my Father's house a
        robber's cave." "The son of man is Lord of the Sabbath."

        But I suppose even thinking these sorts of things makes me one of
        the Nazis.

        >>But you don't really
        >>think I -- not to mention Elliott, Esler, Malina --
        >>are unwitting Nazis, do you?

        >No I certainly don't. Well, not you and Malina

        Steve Davies
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