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Anti-Semitism, Anti-Judaism

(3,108 words)

Author(s): Awerbuch, Marianne
1. Antiquity The Jews in antiquity aroused hostility in the pagan world. Their exclusiveness incurred the charge that they hated the rest of the world. It was said that the gods had rejected them and that they were a race of slaves, contentious and obstinate. People found their cultic practices abhorrent. Whereas pagan Rome practiced toleration, the new world power of the church (Early Church) found it impossible to deal in the same way with so obvious a demarcation and even rejection. As heralds …


(11,300 words)

Author(s): Gunneweg, Antonius H. J. | Awerbuch, Marianne | Kimball, Charles A.
1. Historical Israel 1.1. Name “Israel” is a theophorous name in which the proper name “El” (God) is combined with the verb śrh as its subject. The OT gives this verb the sense of striving. The patriarch Jacob is called Israel because he had “striven with God” (Gen. 32:28, see also Hos. 12:3–4). This popular etymology, however, is not a reliable witness for the original meaning of the verb, and it also misunderstands the theophoric element “El” as an object. In the OT, the name “Israel” refers to different, albeit related, entities: the early tribes, the united kingdom of …