Most English translations consistently translate the Greek word Ἰουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) as “Jews.” But this inflexible translation often has contributed to an anti-Semitic interpretation of the New Testament.
The Bible Society’s modern Hebrew translation of the New Testament has not automatically translated Ioudaioi as יְהוּדִים (yehudim, Jews) in every case. It has taken into account both the internal context in which Ioudaioi occurs and the external context in which the New Testament was written.
Roots of Judah
Judah (יְהוּדָה, Yehudah) comes from a root meaning to praise, thank, or sometimes, confess, and was the name of Jacob’s fourth son. Judah’s mother Leah gave him that name because, she said, “This time I will praise the Lord” (Gen. 29:35).