New Testament scholar Daniel Kirk helps us better understand what to think when we see the word “Jew” in the Bible. Here’s how it starts…
A conversation that has been going on for some time now in the study of early Judaism and Christianity is how we should translate the Greek word Ioudaioi.
In your Bible, this will almost invariably be translated “Jew.” For most of us, this word homes in on the religious identity of the people being discussed.
But it may be that the ancients were more likely thinking of the more literal rendering of the word: Judean. I.e., it refers to those who share a common geographically determined heritage.