Baker Academic

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Translating Ioudaios ("Jew" or "Judean") on Marginalia—Chris Keith

If you're not on the Marginalia train, get on.  I'm convinced that T. Michael Law, the editor-in-chief (pictured here), has seen the future and is leading Biblical Studies and Religious Studies in the right direction.  In short, he's figured out how to do online peer review in a format that's better than anything else out there, basically combining the best of old-school peer review, articles, and the interactive possibilities of blogs, not to mention the fact that reviews can run much longer because there's not a word limit in this format.  A case in point is the recent discussion on Marginalia on how to translate Ioudaios ("Jew" or "Judean").  Adele Reinhartz published a short article on Marginalia ("The Vanishing Jews of Antiquity") about the recent trend in scholarship of using "Judean" instead of "Jew."  The comments section went nuts with all kinds of people weighing in.  Law then organized a forum on the topic with contributions from Reinhartz, Steve Mason, Daniel Schwartz, Annette Yoshiko Reed, Joan Taylor, Malcolm Lowe, Jonathan Klawans, Ruth Sheridan, and James Crossley.  Those familiar with the scholarly literature will recognize that these are basically all the important voices on the topic past and present.  The forum is now appearing on Marginalia and you can link to it here.  Marginalia is also making the entire forum available for download as an e-book. 

I think it's worth pointing out just how incredible not only this collection of scholarly voices is but also the manner in which this has arisen.  Even twenty years ago, if you wanted to find out what all these people thought about the topic, you'd have to wait six to eighteen months after any one of them published an article, because that's when the responses would eventually get published, and that's if the respondent wrote immediately after the initial article came out.  The whole discussion would take two to three years to occur, at least.  Now, Reinhartz publishes a provocative and important piece on June 24 and just two months later we have a published forum from the leading scholars on the topic.  My hat is off to T. Michael Law.  Lead on.

1 comment:

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