Were the Galileans "religious Jews" or "ethnic Judeans?"

14 Apr 2009

This article focuses on an investigation into the ethnic identity of first-century Galileans. Its aim is to argue that the Galileans were not descendents of northern Israelites but were mostly descendents of "Jews" who came to live in the region during the Hasmonean expansion. The article demonstrates that this thesis is supported by Josephus and also by archaeological evidence. From the perspective of this thesis, the article contends that the term "Jew" does not apply to Galileans. First-century Galileans should rather be understood as "ethnic Judeans".