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Jesus the Israelite Was Neither a `Jew’ Nor a `Christian’: On Correcting Misleading Nomenclature

By John Elliott

 

Abstract

Distinguishing between insider and outsider groups and their differing nomenclatures is essential for accurate interpretation and translation. Jesus and his earliest followers, evidence demonstrates, were called `Israelites’, `Galileans’ or `Nazoreans’ by their fellow Israelites.

`Israel’, `Israelites’ were the preferred terms of self-designation among members of the house of Israel when addressing other members—not `’Ιουδαιος’, `Jew’ or `Judaism’. Modern interpreters and translators of the Bible, it is argued, should respect and follow this insider preference.

‘Ιουδαιος , an outsider coinage, is best rendered `Judaean’, not `Jew’, to reflect the explicit or implied connection with Judaea. It was employed by Israelites when addressing outsiders as an accommodation to outsider usage. The concepts `Jew’, `Jewish’ and `Christian’ as understood today are shaped more by fourth century rather than first-century CE realities and hence should be avoided as anachronistic designations for first-century persons or groups…

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE… (brill.com)

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