According to the Jewish Virtual Library there appears to be some dispute as to the origin of the word. Mentioned is the 5th century B.C. use of the Greek word, “PalaistinÄ“” (Greek - Î Î±Î»Î±Î¹ÏƒÏ„Î¯Î½Î·) by the historian Herodotus. After the unsuccessful revolt of Shimon Bar Kochba in 132 AD, the Romans renamed the land “Palestine” in order to “Palaestina in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel.” So, time of Jesus, still “Judea.”
I would agree with you there, pamelad10. Indeed, it accomplished nothing more than to stir up controversy. Was that Green’s intent? God knows I can’t get inside her head to tell you it was or whether she simply didn’t ask the best questions. For example, she pointed out that many scholars disagree with Aslan. D’oh! Since when do all scholars agree? She missed an opportunity to be specific. She could have said, “For example, you write that the Nicene Creed ‘merely codify[ed] a creed that was already a majority opinion…of the entire Christian community.’ This is far from settled opinion among scholars, yet you present it as if it were fact.” And then look at his support for it in his End Notes, as he suggests. As it was, the interview just went around and around on the surface and told viewers nothing.
I would not agree that choosing Islam over Christianity implies someone must be biased. The historical facts are: Aslan was born Muslim, converted to Christianity as a teen, then before going on to Harvard Divinity, converted back to Islam. Yes this is a fair subject to delve into, just as Aslan feels knowing Jesus the man is or should be relevant to Christians. By the same token, knowing Aslan the man, historically, is(?) should be(?) relevant to readers of his book. Some critics view his book as a thinly-veiled attempt to debunk many myths of Christianity. This is nothing new. This has been going on, including within Christianity itself, for decades. Some will tell you among scholars for hundreds of years. I haven’t read his book so I can’t tell you whether he does this better or worse than his predecessors but I’ve listened to other interviews with him and have not heard anything from him that others have not said before him.
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