I disagree, and with good reason. The first appearance of the word Yehudim (Jews) in the Bible is in the book of Esther, where it is already being applied both to ethnic Jews and to converts, without regard to which tribe they belong to (converts, of course, belong to no tribe). Here is the Wikipedia entry on the word "Jew."Hubert Humphrey wrote:The name of the tribe of Judah is merely the source of the word; and the actual word "Jew" may in fact have more to do with the name of the Roman province of Judea. Whatever the truth of the origin of the word, there is no text anywhere were "Jew" was unambiguously used to mean "member of the tribe of Judah." When the NT refers to "Jews," it is often speaking of Levites and priests, who were not Judahites either.
If I may interject, a lot of this confusion is resolved if one remembers that the Davidic Kingdom split into two kingdoms after the reign of Solomon. The two rival kingdoms were often referred to in the bible as "houses."
There was the house of David largely comprised of the tribes of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin; the same later comprised the region of Judea. The rest of the tribes comprised the house of Israel, the same whom Jesus referred to as "the lost sheep of Israel" who tended to reside in the outlying regions to the north of Judea.
The bible typically distinguishes between Jews, i.e. the tribes within Judea, and Israelites, i.e. those tribes who tended to reside outside of Judea
Note the bolding. "Jew," today, simply means "Jew." Descent from a particular tribe is irrelevant, and has been since the fall of the Northern Kingdom.After the splitting of the united Kingdom of Israel, the name Yehudi was used for the southern kingdom of Judah, containing not only the land of the tribe of Judah but also that of Benjamin and Simeon, along with some of the cities of the Levites. With the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel, the kingdom of Judah became the sole Jewish state and the term y'hudi (×™×”×•×“×™) was applied to all Israelites. When the word makes its first appearance in writing (in the book of Esther) its meaning has already expanded to include converts to the Jewish religion as well as descendants of Israelites.