Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Meaning of Ioudaios in Ancient Judaism

Since it began as a series of posts on this blog--and since publishing events are still rare enough in my case--I thought I'd mention that my article, "The Meaning of Ioudaios and its Relationship to Other Group Labels in Ancient 'Judaism'" Currents in Biblical Research 9.1 (October 2010): 98-126 has now been published.

SAGE is offering free access to its journals until October 15, so if you'd like to peruse a free electronic copy, now is your chance. Click on this link for instructions.

I originally pitched the article as a revision and expansion of my December 2007 "What's in a Name?" blog series on the meaning and translation of the Greek term Ioudaios (normally translated 'Jew' or 'Judaean'). What emerged was something of a prequel. Here is the abstract:
This article, the first in a two-part series, describes and critically evaluates major contributions in the last seventy years of scholarship on the relationship between Ioudaios (‘Jew’ or ‘Judaean’) and other group labels. The first section examines the common suggestion that Ioudaios was an outsider label, and ‘Israel’ an insider label. The second section surveys explanations of the relationship between Ioudaios and other terms such as ‘Galilaean’, ‘Idumaean’ and ‘Ituraean’, evaluating them in light of the evidence from Josephus. The conclusion sketches the decline of religion and rise of ethnicity as interpretive categories in scholarship on Ioudaios, and raises questions about the meaning of the term that require further discussion. The second article in this series will analyse the use of religion and ethnicity in scholarship on the meaning of Ioudaios, and evaluate the debate over the term’s English translation.
My conclusions run counter to the positions of Richard Horsley and John H. Elliott, in particular:
(1) Elliott (2007: 153) has recently argued that since ancient Jews normally referred to themselves as ‘Israelites’ not Ioudaioi, modern scholarship should follow suit, adopting ‘Israelite’ as the normal scholarly designation for Jesus and his Second Temple ‘Israelite’ contemporaries. (2) Horsley (1995: 13) argues that since Ioudaios was closely associated with the region of Judaea and typically opposed to ‘Galilaean’, it should be translated as ‘Judaean’ rather than ‘Jew’. I will argue against Elliott that Ioudaios, like ‘Israelite’, was in use as an insider self-designation, and against Horsley that Josephus, at least, regarded Galilaeans as Ioudaioi. (100)
Part 2, which will interact more directly with the work of Shaye Cohen, Philip Esler, Steve Mason and others, is still in production, but you can get a sense for what I expect to say here.


nicholas meyer said...

Excellent! I look forward to reading it.

Michael Pahl said...

Great work, David, thanks.