Sunday, November 04, 2007
Being a 'Jew' or a 'Judean'
Among the on-going debate (see here from Phil Harland) as to whether or not Ioudaioi should be translated as "Jew" or "Judean", is one piece of evidence mostly overlooked from Epictetus:
‘Why, then do you call yourself a Stoic, why do you deceive the multitude, why do you act the part of a Jew, when you are a Greek? Do you not see in what sense men are severally called Jew, Sirian, or Egyptian? For example, whenever we see a man halting between two faiths, we are in the habit of saying, “he is not a Jew, he is only acting the part”. But when he adopts the attitude of mind of the man who has been baptized and made his choice, then he both is a Jew in fact and is also called one’ (Epictetus. Diss. 2.9.19-20, trans. W.A. Oldfather, LCL).
I have to ask does being a "Jew" here refer to belonging to the geography or ethnography of Judea? I don't think so. So I still find reason to think that, at some points at least, Ioudaioi can be broader than Judean. In Epictetus is seems highly religious and even related to a certain praxis.