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“Israel” and “Jew” as Markers of Jewish Identity in Antiquity: The Problems of Insider/Outsider Classification

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AbstractBuilding on K. G. Kuhn’s TWNT entry on the names “Israel” and “Jew” in post-Hebrew Bible Jewish literature, many scholars have claimed that the two ethnonyms can be classified as insider and outsider designations respectively. This essay nuances that categorization. While Kuhn and subsequent scholars have rightly noted the uneven distribution of the names, the exceptions to an insider/outsider model are too numerous to maintain it without modification. Both “Israel” and “Jew” were insider names whose usage in Jewish literature was influenced by the speech situation of the author as well as by consciousness of the biblical narrative.

Affiliations: 1: Marquette University, Theology DepartmentP.O. Box 1881 607 N. 13th St., Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881U.S.A.nathan.thiel@mu.edu

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/content/journals/10.1163/15700631-00000395
2014-02-11
2017-11-21

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