Re: [John_Lit] Jews again
- In a message dated 2/9/2001 1:45:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Thanks for your response, Leonard Maluf.
John 4:22 actually works very well when you take into account the way
people identified themselves. What Jesus said to the Samaritan woman
was, 'Salvation is from those who belong to the land of Judea (and not
from those who belong to the land of Samaria).' Both these people shared
the same race: they both originated from the Hebrew people. In our
current usage, they were both 'Jews'.>>
Jews and Samaritans are considered to be racially related, but are they not,
even in current usage, distinguished as, on the one side, "Jews," and, on the
other, "Samaritans?" Why does the woman in 4:9 think that Jesus is a Judean?
Is it not more probable that she was envisioned by the author to have
detected, by some peculiarities of Jesus' speech, that he was a Jew from
<< But God's plan of salvation
involved those who belonged to the tribes of Judah and belonged to the
land of Judah where the temple was. Thus I believe that the word
'Judean' works much better than 'Jew'.>>
Does the statement not also imply that the Samaritan religion was a corrupt
descendant of the true Judaism (as a religion), with an admixture of paganism?
<< Most diaspora Hebrews regarded themselves as belonging to Judea. Paul
did not call himself a 'Tarsian', even though he took pride in coming
from this 'no mean city'. Paul calls Peter 'a Judean' in Gal. 2:14, even
though Peter was originally a Galilean. However, from the time Peter
became a disciple of Jesus he actually moved to Jerusalem, having given
up his role as inheriting head of his father's household. He is thus now
I hardly think it was Peter's move from Galilee to Judea that Paul had in
mind when he referred to Peter as a "Ioudaios." The rest of the verse makes
very little sense on your hypothesis: was Peter living like a "Judean," when
he withdrew from table-fellowship with Gentile Christians in Antioch? And
does Paul accuse him, in the same sentence, of trying to force people to
become "Judeans"? In Gal 2:15, Ioudaioi are contrasted with Gentiles (=
sinners!), not with Samaritans or Galilaeans. Judeans versus Gentile sinners
doesn't make a very meaningful contrast.
<< I suspect that most references to people being 'Judeans' will be a
statement of their identity—of the place to which they belong—rather
than of their race.>>
What about their religion? Shouldn't that be factored in as well?
<< I still hold that 'Judean' is a better translation since it is capable
of a fairly wide interpretation, whereas the word 'Jew' is restrictive
the way we use it today, and can lead to anti-Judaism and a
misunderstanding of the dynamics of the NT narratives.>>
I think this might be true in a few cases, but not in most. Also, I don't see
how the word "Jew" is more "restrictive" than "Judean." I would think exactly
the opposite is the case. That the use of the word "Jew" can lead to
anti-Judaism is unfortunate, if true, but the down side of making political
correctness the basis of translation is only too well illustrated by the
difficulties that result from attempting to translate Ioudaioi, throughout
the NT, as "Judeans."
- About the common origin of Jews and Samaritans:
Personally I believe that they share a common origin, but many Jews in
John's time did not believe so, or did not want to believe so. They based on
2 Kings 17,24-41, and held that the five foreign ethnic groups deported into
the Samaria region by the Assyrians were the actual origin of the Samaritans
of Jesus' days. That is why the Samaritans, as Josephus tells us, used to be
called Cutheans by the Jews.
I hold that John by telling the story of the Samaritan woman in terms of the
wooing stories of Genesis 24 and 29 (about finding a bride in faraway land
which at the same time is not foreign, but ancestral ground) shows that he
holds Jews and Samaritans to share a common offspring, but this in itself
might be a polemical stand against those Jewish circles that denied the
Isrealite identity of the Samaritans.
Piet van Veldhuizen