Save

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

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author:
John Elliott University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA, USA, Email: elliottj@usfca.edu

Search for other papers by John Elliott in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

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. Use of `Christian' is best restricted to its three NT appearances. The use of appropriate nomenclature is crucial for minimizing historical and social inaccuracies and misunderstandings.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 17325 5885 205
Full Text Views 5740 41 0
PDF Views & Downloads 9185 74 1