Baker Academic

Friday, June 27, 2014

First Century Jews or Judeans?

Steve Mason and others have argued that the term "Jews" is anachronistic when discussing the first-century. Adele Reinhartz says not so fast.


1 comment:

  1. I've heard the comparison of the first century use of "Ioudaioi" with our use of "yankee," which has several possible meanings, depending upon the speaker and context. No American would refer to a native of Alabama as a "yankee," but a South American might. A native of Boston might be a yankee, but never a Yankee.

    I suspect that something similar was going on with the use of "ioudaioi." To a gentile you might be a ioudaioi,even if you never even visited Judaea. But a Galilean Jew might use the term to refer to those people who lived in southern Israel, as they might use it to distinguish themselves from those people up north.

    What I am curious about is whether something else I heard was also true: That the term Ioudaioi had a special meaning, referring to the religious leaders of either Israel or Jerusalem. If so, then it might clear the Gospel of John of anti-Semitism.