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Jews

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  • diadem
    I m a newcomer to this group and have just returned from a short visit. I apologise for returning to the subvject of *178. But I think it is crucial to FG
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 8, 2001
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      I'm a newcomer to this group and have just returned from a short visit.
      I apologise for returning to the subvject of *178. But I think it is
      crucial to FG studies, and will keep coming up in the future. Sorry for
      its length.
      The English Word ‘Jew’
      The earliest attested use of ‘Jew’ in English is AD1175 according to the
      OED.
      The only Hebrew people known to anyone in England at that time would
      have been Ashkenazim. These were mixed-race Hebrews resulting from the
      exodus from Palestine to Europe after the Crusades. With so much
      intermarriage, it is doubtful whether many Ashkenazim could trace their
      racial origins back to Jacob. Other Hebrews went to Spain and were known
      as the Sephardim.
      The English word ‘Jew’ came most likely from the Hebrew word ‘Jehudah’,
      the word the English would have heard from Ashkenazim describing
      themselves.
      The Greek word is ‘Ioudaios’ which means ‘someone belonging to Judea’.
      This is not so much an indicator of racial origin as a statement of
      identity: belonging to the place called Judea.
      Paul sets out his racial identity in Phil.3:5 as ‘of the people of
      Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews’. Again in 2
      Cor.11:22, ‘Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are
      they descendants of Abraham? So am I.’ It was always important for
      diaspora Hebrews to keep presenting his pure racial identity to homeland
      Hebrews who generally suspected diaspora Hebrews of giving up the sacred
      Hebrew language and customs in favour of Greek, and of intermarrying.
      On several occasions Paul emphasizes that, though a diaspora Hebrew, he
      actually belongs to Judea. When he was about 12 he moved from his
      father’s household in Tarsus to his brother-in-law’s household in Judea
      to begin studying under Gamaliel for the next 20 years. He can then say
      that he is ‘a Judean by birth’ (Gal.2:15) because he comes from a family
      that belongs to Judea.
      Neither Galileans nor Samaritans are ever referred to as ‘Judeans’. You
      will never read of ‘a Judean from Galilee’. They are ‘Galileans’ because
      they belong to Galilee, even though they are Hebrews by birth.
      The dissonance between Judeans and Galileans has not been sufficiently
      taken into account when trying to fathom the dynamics of the gospels.
      This antipathy is very marked in the FG. ‘This crowd (Galileans), who do
      not know the law, are cursed.’ (Jn. 7:49) And in Mark 7:1 there are
      scribes who had come from Jerusalem, obviously because they did not
      trust the Galilean scribes’ ability to show up Jesus as a heretic.
      I think it is pretty clear that the FG is using the word ‘Judean’ to
      distinguish Judean Hebrews from Galilean and Samaritan Hebrews. The FG
      is Galilean in origin, as is the Johannine community. Phrases like ‘a
      feast of the Judeans’ make no sense in a work directed to fellow Hebrews
      unless a distinction is being made between the way Judeans celebrate the
      feast and the way Galileans do.
      Our English word ‘Jew’ is primarily a marker of ethnic and religious
      origin. The NT word ‘Judean’ is primarily a marker of country of
      belonging. People saw themselves as first of all belonging to a country
      or area, and then as genetically of a race.
      Thus, I believe the word ‘Jew’ is anachronistic, too limited in range,
      and inaccurate and should not be used to translate ‘Ioudaios’. We should
      use ‘Judean’ and let the context provide the range of meanings the
      author has in mind.
      I think the FG would be better served if we did this.
      Ross Saunders
      Sydney, Australia
    • RHS
      Tom Butler, I am a little puzzled by your references to Nehemiah. You refer to Neh. 2:15. Should that be verse 16? If so, why do you claim that Jews are
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 24, 2001
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        Tom Butler, I am a little puzzled by your references to Nehemiah.
        You refer to Neh. 2:15. Should that be verse 16?
        If so, why do you claim that 'Jews' are defined as 'the priests, the
        nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work' (NRSV)?
        The LXX has 'kai' in between 'Judeans', 'priests', 'nobles', 'officials'
        etc. This means that the 'Judeans' are a separate class of people from
        the others and not the defining noun for all the others.
        In my ignorance I thought that the 'Judeans' were 'the Judeans that
        survived, those who had escaped the captivity...' (Nehemiah 1:2) This
        description is repeated in vs. 3. 'The survivors there in the province
        who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of
        Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.'
        Your reference to chapter five begins with 'Now there was a great outcry
        of the people and of their wives against their Jewish (Judean) kin.'
        Is this a class war, or is it a problem between the Judean ongoing
        inhabitants and those who have returned to rebuild the city and the
        temple?
        Surely 'Judean' refers to those who continued to live in the ruined
        city? The rest are the expatriates who have returned. They are all of
        Hebrew blood, but divided by their embededness in a place.
        This actually supports the contention that in the FG the 'Judeans' are
        the anti-Galileans.
        By the way, in the FG this also adds to the unsult of what Pilate wrote
        above Jesus' cross. This Nazarene (Galilean) a king of Judeans! Pilate
        knew what he was doing. He was getting his own back at the temple
        leadership for forcing him into an execution without a proper Roman
        trial.
        Ross Saunders from DownUnder.
      • RHS
        Tom Butler, I am a little puzzled by your references to Nehemiah. You refer to Neh. 2:15. Should that be verse 16? If so, why do you claim that Jews are
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 24, 2001
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          Tom Butler, I am a little puzzled by your references to Nehemiah.
          You refer to Neh. 2:15. Should that be verse 16?
          If so, why do you claim that 'Jews' are defined as 'the priests, the
          nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work' (NRSV)?
          The LXX has 'kai' in between 'Judeans', 'priests', 'nobles', 'officials'
          etc. This means that the 'Judeans' are a separate class of people from
          the others and not the defining noun for all the others.
          In my ignorance I thought that the 'Judeans' were 'the Judeans that
          survived, those who had escaped the captivity...' (Nehemiah 1:2) This
          description is repeated in vs. 3. 'The survivors there in the province
          who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of
          Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.'
          Your reference to chapter five begins with 'Now there was a great outcry
          of the people and of their wives against their Jewish (Judean) kin.'
          Is this a class war, or is it a problem between the Judean ongoing
          inhabitants and those who have returned to rebuild the city and the
          temple?
          Surely 'Judean' refers to those who continued to live in the ruined
          city? The rest are the expatriates who have returned. They are all of
          Hebrew blood, but divided by their embededness in a place.
          This actually supports the contention that in the FG the 'Judeans' are
          the anti-Galileans.
          By the way, in the FG this also adds to the unsult of what Pilate wrote
          above Jesus' cross. This Nazarene (Galilean) a king of Judeans! Pilate
          knew what he was doing. He was getting his own back at the temple
          leadership for forcing him into an execution without a proper Roman
          trial.
          Ross Saunders from DownUnder.
        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
          Is anyone familiar with the work on narrative theory by the French literary critic Gerald Prince? Gerald Prince, Introduction to the Study of the Narratee ,
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 25, 2001
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            Is anyone familiar with the work on narrative theory
            by the French literary critic Gerald Prince?

            Gerald Prince, "Introduction to the Study of the
            Narratee", in Jane P. Thomkins, ed., "Reader-Response
            Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism"
            (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1980).

            The Original appeared in "Poetique" No. 14, (1973),
            177-96.

            I haven't read either of these but have read a summary
            of Prince's work. He distinguishes four 'readers': 1)
            the ideal reader (the perfectly insightful reader), 2)
            the virtual reader (the reader in the author's mind),
            3) the actual reader (the reader who happens to be
            reading the text), and 4) the narratee (the reader
            addressed by the narrator).

            I find this an interesting and potentially insightful
            way of distinguishing among 'readers'. Have Prince's
            views on the "narratee" et al. been applied to John's
            Gospel? Don't we have a narratee in John's Gospel,
            i.e. in the words "written that you might continue to
            believe," etc.?

            (All of us hermeneuts, of course, are actual readers
            striving to be ideal readers.)

            Jeffery Hodges

            =====
            Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
            Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
            447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
            Yangsandong 411
            South Korea

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