Commas save lives.
“Let’s eat, Mum” or “Let’s eat Mum” have two very different meanings.
Language is also important. When language is misused, misinformation can spread quickly.
As most of you will know, when we say ’1st century’ we are talking about years between 0 and 100CE.
The word Palestine traces back to the word Philistine – the ancient enemy of the Israelites.
The territory today defined as Israel/Palestine was never called Palestine until 135CE. 35 years after the ’1st century’.
Before that, it was called Israel by the Jews, and Judea and Galilee by the ruling power – the Romans. We have the Bibilical record for that.
From my research, it’s fair to say the entire New Testament was completed by 70CE as that is when the temple was destroyed and not a single New Testament (NT) writer mentions that catastrophic event. So it makes sense to assume the event hadn’t happened yet, and that’s why they weren’t writing about it. Although this is an argument from silence, it would have be the equivalent of the media not mentioning 9/11 in the year following 2001.
But even if you don’t find that argument convincing, the majority of scholars will tell you the NT was completed by 100CE at the latest. Nowhere in the NT do any of the writers reference “Palestine”. They only ever mention the land of Israel. So if the people living there at the time said they lived in Israel, why in our academic literature, do we say they lived in Palestine?
I am not making a political point here, I’m explaining that Palestine simply didn’t exist until the Romans renamed Israel as Syria Palaestina in 135CE. So by all means talk about 2nd century Palestine all you want. But 1st century Palestine never existed.
I hope this explanation has been clear. I find it hard to believe that so many academics have got something so important, totally wrong. And like everything I write – I’m open to correction should it come in the comments below.
NB. For those of you with Bibles, flick to the back where you’ll most likely have some maps. Many of them title the maps ‘Palestine in the time of Jesus’, or equivalent. Now, I know Jesus ascended to heaven and is still alive today, but he was not walking the earth in 135CE, and his book had also been finished by then! Jesus died and ascended around 33-35CE. So ‘Palestine in the time of Jesus’ is 100% untrue. It was Israel in the time of Jesus.
Well it’s been a long year, but my dissertation was handed in a couple of weeks ago and I’m now making it available for you to download, read, pass on and do whatever you want with. It’s presented as a PDF.
The title is
“A Critical Evaluation of The Guardian’s reporting of the Israel/Palestine situation”
Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve blogged specifically about Israel.
Most of you will know it’s a subject close to my heart and over the last few years of working part time for Christian Friends of Israel and Isrelate.com I’ve built up a bit of knowledge about the current struggles in the Middle East.
This week I had the privilege of being filmed for Channel 4′s 4thought.tv on the subject of ‘How can Jews and Muslims find peace’. It will be broadcast early January and I’m hoping and praying they edit it well and don’t make me look stupid, arrogant or unreasonable!
In my research for the filming I stumbled upon Hamas’ slogan. Hamas are recognised by US, EU and Israel as a terrorist organisation but they have also been democratically elected as the government of the Gaza Strip. What is the slogan of this democratically elected government?