Palestine or Israel?

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    Dr. J, I am enjoying your lectures, but I wanted to ask why you use the term “Palestine” in your lectures [at least in the early lectures I have watched].

    “Palestine” was essentially a term used by Hadrian to rob the Jewish people of their heritage in Israel when he renamed Judea to “Palestine.”

    This renaming was an insult to the Jews after the Bar Kokhba revolt, and based on the Philistines, the enemy of the Jews.

    The “palestine” name had vanished for a long time and did not resurface until the 20th century under the British mandate. “Palestine” is used currently by many who wish to obfuscate the historicity of the Jewish people in that area.

    I think a far more historically accurate term would be Judah, Judea, or Israel.

    This is probably just semantics in a sense, but in today’s context there are ramifications for the words we use to describe this Middle East area.

    What do you think, Dr. J? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Jason Jewell

    The main reason for the use of “Palestine” is to avoid any confusion resulting from the changing names of Hebrew kingdoms through the ancient period. For example, if I say, “Israel,” that could be interpreted as simply the area occupied by the northern ten tribes following the secession under Jeroboam. I figured the only generic terms that wouldn’t be confusing were “Palestine” and “Canaan.” Of the two, I think more people are familiar with “Palestine,” so I used that.


    So how do you define “palestine?”

    The entire British mandate?

    The historical “palestine,” Judea?

    Jason Jewell

    The area more or less corresponding to the British Mandate. My use of “Palestine” is not intended to convey any view on the modern Middle East, and obviously it’s not intended to deny any historic connection between the Hebrew people and the region.


    When it was part of a Christian empire, Palestine was ultimately divided into three provinces, each with “Palestina” in its name. Use of “Palestine” is resisted currently by many who wish to obfuscate the historicity of Christian people in that area.

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