Paul’s own “nation”
Ethnos is a word of extraordinary difficulty to translate. Even in English, “nation” it has many meanings. In Canada, we are a nation, but Quebec is also a nation, as are First Nations. Here is the entry from Liddell, Scott, Jones,
2. after Hom., nation, people, τὸ Μηδικὸν ἔ. （γένος being a subdivision of ἔθνος) Hdt.1.101; ἔ. ἠπειρογενές, μαχαιροφόρον, A.Pers.43, 56 (anap.), etc.; “τῶν μηδισάντων ἐθνέων τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν” Hdt.9.106.
b. later, τὰ ἔ. foreign, barbarous nations, opp. Ἕλληνες, Arist.Pol.1324b10; ἔ. νομάδων, of Bedawîn, LW2203 (Syria); at Athens, athletic clubs of non-Athenians, IG2.444, al.; in LXX, non-Jews, Ps.2.1, al., cf. Act.Ap.7.45; Gentiles, τῶν ἐθνῶν τε καὶ Ἰουδαίων ib.14.5, etc.; used of Gentile Christians, Ep. Rom.15.27.
c. at Rome, = provinciae, App.BC2.13, Hdn.1.2.1, PStrassb.22.19 (iii A. D.), D.C.36.41, etc.: so in sg., province, “ὁ τυραννήσας τοῦ ἔθνους” D.Chr.43.11; ὁ ἡγούμενος τοῦ ἔθνους the governor of the province, POxy.1020.5 (iii A. D.).
3. class of men, caste, tribe, τὸ Θετταλῶν . . πενεστικὸν ἔ. Pl.Lg.776d; “ἔθνος κηρυκικόν” Id.Plt.290b; οἶσθά τι ἔ. ἠλιθιώτερον ῥαψῳδῶν; X.Smp.3.6; δημιουργικὸν ἔ. Pl.Grg.455b, cf. Arist.Ath.3; “ἔ. βραχμάνων” D.S.17.102; τὰ ἱερὰ ἔ. the orders of priests, OGI90.17 (ii B. C.); trade-associations or guilds, “ἔθνη καὶ ἐργαστήρια” PPetr.3p.67 (iii B. C.), al.; class in respect to rank or station, “οὐ πρὸς τοῦτο βλέποντες . . ὅπως . . ἕν τι ἔ. ἔσται διαφερόντως εὔδαιμον” Pl.R.420b, cf. 421c, D.21.131.
5. part, member, Hp.Loc.Hom.1.
So what is Paul saying in this verse and how is it best translated?
Τὴν μὲν οὖν βίωσίν μου τὴν ἐκ νεότητος τὴν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς γενομένην ἐν τῷ ἔθνει μου ἔν τε Ἱεροσολύμοις ἴσασι πάντες Ἰουδαῖοι,
My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; KJV
And my life indeed from my youth, which was from the beginning among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews do know:D-R
“My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. ESV
“The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. NIV 2011
All the Jews know how I lived from the earliest days of my youth with my own people and in Jerusalem. ISV
First, is it better to translate ἔθνος as “country”, “nation” or “people.” And should τε be left untranslated, translated as “and” or “and also?” Is Paul referring to all the Jewish people, Judea, Cicilia, the Jews in Cicilia? I tend to think it is better without the “and” but I am not sure.