You wrote, "To qualify as a Jew, you would need to be a descendant of Jacob, whose twelve sons became the twelve tribes (recalling that Jacob's other name was Israel)." Now, as far as I know you would not only have to fulfill this requirement, but also be a part of the southern kingdom of Judah, part of the tribe of Benjamin, Judah, or the Levites that where part of the southern kingdom. Am I wrong? I thought that the word Jewish came from the word Judah.-- Colin Lewis
Yes, it is true that the word Jew comes from Judah/Judea. But while etymology may gave a clue as to the meaning of a word, it does not have the final say. Usage does.
The word Jew refers to the descendants of Jacob (Israel).
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