Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reinhartz on Jews or Judeans

MARGINALIA: The Vanishing Jews of Antiquity – By Adele Reinhartz. How should one translate the Greek term ioudaios? Excerpt:
I am all for historical precision and sharply attuned to potential anti-Semitism. Yet as a scholar and a Jew, I am alarmed by the growing invisibility of Jews and Judaism in English translations of ancient texts and scholarship about them. The use of “Judeans” to translate all occurrences of ioudaioi achieves neither the scholarly precision nor the ethical high ground that scholars claim. On the contrary, the proliferation of Judeans inadvertently creates confusion and misunderstanding and merely sidesteps the issue without addressing the anti-Jewish or even anti-Semitic potential of texts such as the Gospel of John.
I agree with Reihertz and I made some of the same points she makes in this essay more briefly in my post Jews or Judeans? a couple of years ago.