Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just What Exactly Is "Ethnic Israel" or an "Ethnic Jew"?

I've heard a lot about "ethnic Jews" and "ethnic Israel" when eschatology is discussed.  But exactly what are these terms and what do they mean?  What is meant by "ethnic?"  A dictionary definition seems to include genetic ideas, but doesn't mandate them.  Is an "ethnic" Jew a physical descendant of Abraham?  Or merely a religious one?  Yes, biological descendants of Abraham are Jews, but Abraham's servants and any other servant who embraced Judaism and was circumcised was considered a Jew.  Ruth was a Moabitess, but I look at her as a Jew because of her identification.  And if what I've heard is not mistaken, there was no small debate when the current artificial geo-political nation state of "Israel" decided to allow "Jews" to settle within their boundaries a few decades ago.  Any ideas?

1 comment:

  1. I use the term to indicate the Jewish people in the old covenant relationship with God. Dure there are some other people who became part of that group but by and large they were a specific ethnic subgroup. Furthermore I use the term to contrast between the Old Covenant people based on ethnicity and the New Covenant people of God that transcends ethnicity, i.e. based on belief not on birth.