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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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JEWS.—This term, originally perhaps applied only to men of the tribe of Judah, ‘men of Judaea,’ is employed in the Gospels (1) in opposition to Gentiles, proselytes, or Samaritans: Mark 7:3, John 2:6; John 2:13; John 4:9; John 4:22; John 5:1; John 6:4; John 7:2; John 19:40; John 19:42; (2) specially of Jews as antagonistic to our Lord, a usage which is characteristic of Jn. as distinguished from the Synoptics: Matthew 28:15, John 6:41; John 6:52; John 8:48-57; John 9:18; John 10:19; John 11:19; John 11:31; John 11:33; John 11:36; John 12:9; John 12:11. On the inferences that have been drawn from this usage as to the authorship and date of the Fourth Gospel, see art. John (Gospel of). ‘The Jews’ in this sense were blind followers of the Pharisees, and bitter opponents of Christ. Scrupulous about all the practices sanctioned by the elders,—washing of hands, of cups and pots and brazen vessels, Sabbath observance, etc. (Mark 7:3-4, John 5:10 etc.),—they had forsaken the ‘old paths’ trodden by their fathers, and the things commanded by God. ‘For fear of the Jews’ men hesitated to confess Christ (John 7:13; John 9:22).

For customs of the Jews see art. Social Life. See also artt. Israel and Jerusalem.

Literature.—Westcott, Gospel of St. John, Introd. p. viii ff.; Andrews, Life of our Lord [ed. 1893], p. 470; Fairbairn, Studies in the Life of Christ, ch. x.

J. Soutar.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Jews'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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