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Judean or Jewish (was Easter Greeting)

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  • Matson, Mark (Academic)
    ... I was thinking of this as well. But was John really referring to Jews in general, or was he sometimes quite intentionally restricting his focus to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2012
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      Bob Schacht responded to my comment:
      > Here Judea I think might mean the area inhabited by the "jews"
      > (just like John has Ioudaioi in outside of Judea as well).

      I was thinking of this as well. But was John really referring to Jews
      in general, or was he sometimes quite intentionally restricting his
      focus to the inhabitants of the Roman province of Judea? This is an
      important distinction, because understanding Ioudaioi everywhere in
      GJohn as Jews in general, rather than inhabitants of Judea, has been
      the basis of Christian Jew-bashing for centuries. But I suppose this
      takes us beyond the scope of this list.

      Mark (further):

      This issue of how to translate Ioudaioi (and by implication Ioudaia (Judea?) in Acts 10)
      is probably outside the scope of this list, but it is interesting that many translate Ioudaioi always as "Judeans" (e.g, in Bob Miller's Complete Gospels). At issue is whether there was a religious self-consciousness of "jewishness" at the time. Some would argue that this conscousness occurred either early (in Persian period per Blenkinsopp; in Hellenistic period per Shaye Cohen); but others argue it occurred well after the NT period (e.g. Steve Mason). So this really points to a significant issue for NT interpretation: did "jews" think of themselves as a "religious" group at the time, or was it more simply geographical boundary.

      I tend toward the Cohen argument, and am very interested in the development of thought in the Second Temple period (teaching a sunday school class on Tobit for precisely this reason). But at any rate, this discussion has raised on interesting issue that might be lurking behind the Acts (and John's) text.

      Mark A. Matson
      Milligan College
      http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
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