"There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance." -- Goethe
"The search for truth is never wrong. The only sin is to lack the courage to follow where truth leads." -- Duke
Perhaps no word in all the Bible has been as mistranslated as the word Gentile
Without a correct understanding of this word your reading of New Testament texts will be skewed
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for observing the tradition of the elders instead of the Word of God. He said
We will not be like the Pharisees of old
Tradition is hard to break
But it's necessary to correctly understand the Word of God
The word "gentile" in the Bible has been mistranslated and misused by clergy who should know better. After all, they're the ones who went to college and seminary. They should know how to rightly divide the Word of God. Yet these "educated" men teach that nearly all the Christians in the world are "Gentiles." They will humbly and with tears in their eyes say, "I'm just a Gentile sinner, saved by grace."
It's time to correct and learn the true meaning of the most misused word in the Bible, "Gentile."
The original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the three languages in which the Bible was written, do not contain the word "gentile." Go ahead, get out your King James Version of the Bible and yes, there it is. Gentile. Over and over again. But in the original languages of the Bible, no such word. As Christianity spread into Europe the Bible had to be translated into a language that people could read and understand. Latin became the first common language for biblical translators to use.
Strong's #1471 give this definition, "a foreign nation; hence a Gentile, Gentile, heathen, nation, people." Notice that the definition means "a foreign nation" and so the editors of the concordance added "hence a Gentile." By the time the Bible had been translated from the original language, the erroneous belief of the "gentiles" as "non-Jews" had been established.
The church had their "tradition" and the translators better toe the line or burning at the stake wasn't out of the question. So the translators did the best they could do under the strict guidelines of the Church. They selected the word "gentelisis" in Latin meaning a selected clan or race of the same stock and inserted it where "goy" was in the Hebrew text. The English translation? Gentile.
But this translation didn't always work and so the translators were at times forced to use the correct usage of the word. For example, in Genesis 12:2, God said to Abram, "I will make of thee a great nation." (KJV) In Hebrew, God said "I will make of thee a great GOY." It would have sounded quite silly to say, "I will make of thee a great Gentile," so in this instance "goy" is correctly translated "nation."
When Rebekah was pregnant with Jacob and Esau and the twins struggled in her womb, she asked God to explain it to her. He responded, "Two Goyim are in thy womb." (KJV) Was God telling her "Two Gentiles are in your womb?" Certainly. The verse is correctly translated "Two Nations are in thy womb." Yet that same word, "GOYIM" is translated elsewhere as "Gentiles."
In the New Testament you'll find the same mistranslation of "gentile" from the Greek word "ethnos."
Seven times in the King James Version of the New Testament the word Gentile or Gentiles is the Greek word "Hellen", Strong's #1672, "a Hellen (Grecian) or inhabitant of Hellas; by exten. a Greek--speaking person, espec. a non-Jew--Gentile, Greek." The King James Version of the Bible translates this word as "gentile." Other versions will use the word Greek in these seven verses.
In every other case where you see the word "gentile" or "gentiles" it's the Greek word "ethnos." Strong's #1484, "a race (as of the same habit), i.e. a tribe; spec. a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by impl. pagan)--Gentile, heathen, nation, people."
A race of people, a nation. That's the simplified way of looking at the meaning of "ethnos."
The same meaning as "goy" in the Old Testament.
Let's look at some examples of where the word "ethnos" is mistranslated in the New Testament.
In Luke the Roman Centurion has appealed to Jesus Christ to heal his servant who was sick and dying. The Jewish elders praised the Centurion saying "He loveth our Ethnos, and hath built us a synagogue." First of all, the Jewish Elders would never praise anyone for loving the Gentiles. Second, the Centurion would never have built a synagogue for Gentiles. So in order to avoid looking completely absurd, and rather stupid, the translators had to translate "ethnos" correctly. The verse reads, "He loveth our Nation," not "He loveth our Gentile."
While plotting the murder of Jesus, the Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas said to his fellow conspirators, "it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole Ethnos perish not." It certainly wouldn't have worked to say "the whole Gentiles perish not," although nothing would please the Modern Jews more then to have us "gentiles" perish. The translators correctly translated "ETHNOS" as "nation."
Acts 24:2 says, "Worthy deeds are done unto this Ethnos by thy providence." This text would be ridiculous with Gentiles inserted and the translators used nation. There are other examples but you get the idea.
Context, context, context determines the proper translation
Ethnos means "nation, people or race." It doesn't mean "pagan" nation, it doesn't mean "non-Israelite" nation, it doesn't even mean "non-Greek" nation since to the Greeks all non-Greeks were "Barbarians."
So how about the times when both "goy" and "ethnos" are translated and both words do mean non-Israelites? Does that happen? Certainly! There are several times in the Bible were these two words are used and definitely mean non-Israelites.
Context is king. But since the Hebrew and Greek mean nation, people and race,
Gentile in the Bible should not be used to mean non-Jew or non Israelite except in rare cases where the context fits
We have just shaken your traditions
We're aware of that
You must now ask yourself, am I seeking truth
or am I looking to "prove" my traditional beliefs?
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths
TRUTH is not RACIST
FACTS are not HATE
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