Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Jun 18 10:36:35 EDT 2006
Loren Rosson's blog today has a provocative and I think useful
discussion of the question whether IOUDAIOS ought to be understood
and glossed as "Jew" or "Judean." See it at http://
ioudaiou.html or http://tinyurl.com/orkwq
I know this issue arose in one of the reviews of BDAG when it first
appeared, inasmuch as Danker has indicated a preference for "Judean"
over "Jew" for IOUDAIOS. There are those who think that Danker's
preference has more to do with "political correctness" than with
accurate usage. For my part I think that Rosson has offered
reasonable arguments on behalf of "Judean" as the more accurate term
for Biblical Greek IOUDAIOS.
The question, I think, is comparable to that of proper usage of
"Greek," "Hellenic," and "Hellenistic." "Greek" is a generic term
that seems to encompass people and territory of the lower Balkan
peninsula from Mycenean times to the present, while "Hellenic" and
"Hellenistic" are generally accepted to refer properly to peoples and
time-periods prior to and following upon the conquests of Alexander
in the 4th c. BCE.
With regard to "Jew" and "Jewish," I think most would agree that it
is wrong to refer to the Israelites of the period before the exile as
"Jews." The question is whether it is appropriate to use the term
"Jews" for peoples and time-periods prior to the formation of
"normative Judaism" in the wake of the destruction of the Jerusalem
temple and the numerous sectarian groupings of the first century CE.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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