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Curtis Clair Ewing A Study Into The Meaning Of The Word Gentile As Used In The Bible

Curtis Clair Ewing A Study Into The Meaning Of The Word Gentile As Used In The Bible

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Thefollowing study material appeared twice before in leading religious magazines, and many calls have come for the material in tract form. So we offer it now in this form in hopes that it will shed light on the Bible and also opens the way for a ready acceptance of the proper identity of Israel as the Anglo-Saxon and kindred people.

Though the word gentiles and the word heathen are used many times in the Bible, we must face the facts that there areK no Hebrew or Greek words that would demand th
Thefollowing study material appeared twice before in leading religious magazines, and many calls have come for the material in tract form. So we offer it now in this form in hopes that it will shed light on the Bible and also opens the way for a ready acceptance of the proper identity of Israel as the Anglo-Saxon and kindred people.

Though the word gentiles and the word heathen are used many times in the Bible, we must face the facts that there areK no Hebrew or Greek words that would demand th

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: thetruththewholetruthandnothingbutthetruth on Feb 18, 2010
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Thefollowing study material appeared twice before in leadingreligious magazines, and many calls have come for the materialin tract form.
So
we offer it now in thisform in hopes that it willshed light on the Bible and also opens the way for a readyacceptance of theproper identity ofIsrael as the Anglo-Saxon ankindred people.
AStudy Into theMeaning
o
the WordGentile as Used in theBible
Afewyears ago the writer wasin the home ora friend, ap.das I looked over her books I saw that she had one of theselarge dictionaries that are usually found only In publiclibraries. I said to her, "MayI use your dictionary?" I knewthat she had always been interested In the correct use of words, so I thought that this would be a good wayto start aconversation regarding our identity with Israel. I turned thepages to find the word
''gentile.'' 
Immediately the ladyasked,''Whatisthe word you are looking for?"Ireplied, "Iamlookingup the word
'gentile'."
Then she wanted to know what thedictionary had to say. I gave her to understand that if thedictionary was correct she couldn't possibly be a gentile,which she had always claimed to be. Then I read her thisdefinition. "Agentile isapagan or aheathen or someone whois not aJew or a Christian." "Now,"I said, "since you are aChristian you cannot possibly be a gentile." She was ratherstartled at what I told her. Then I went into the meaning of that sameword as used in the Bible, and you maybe assuredthat before I was through she had many of herlong·established ideas upset.Agreat deal of confusion and misunderstanding has beencaused by the use of the word
"gentile"
in the Englishtranslation of the Bible. Letus take up a brief study of it. Itshould always be remembered that foreign languages oftenlose the strength of their meaning through translation. Thenit should also be remembered that some words have manymeanings.Takethe word man as an illustration. Genericallyspeakingit means mankind generally, both men and women. But if itisused Inthe same sentence with the word woman, it meansthe maleofthe species. If itisused Inthe samesentence withthe word boy it means the mature of the species. Thus theword man has threemeanIngs, the meaning ofthe word beingdetermined by its use In the context.Nowthe word
gentile
is atranslation ofthe Hebrewword
goi
(singular) and
goyim
(plural) and the Greek word
etbnos
(singular) and
ethne
(plural). Using the word
gentile
totranslate these words is often misleading because it is amisapplication ofthe Hebrew and Greek words asused IntheBible. The modern use of the word has come to meannon·Jew or non· Israel, but that meaning cannot bemaintained in the face of the evidence I will present In thisstudy.The Hebrew wordgoi isacollective nO\lnmeaning
nation
or sometimes a collective body of people. But it has beentranslated into Englishmanydifferent ways. The word occurs557 times in the Old Testament. The Authorized Version of the Bible translates it
gentile
30 times;
heathen
142 times;
nation
373 times;
people
11 times;
another 
once. But theAmerican Standard Revised Version cuts the occurrence of 
gentile
from 30 to 9 times, and then shows In the footnotesof5of those 9 times that the word
nations
should have beenused.Of course the word
nation
is not always an exactequivalent term because there is too much of a politicalsignificanceattached to it. Butitismuch better than the word
gentile
and some of our best translators prefer the word
nations.
This is also shown by the way the RevisedVersioneliminates the word
gentiles.
The same thing istrue of the Greek word ethnos. Itoccurs164 times in the New Testament. In the Authorized Versionit is translated
gentiles
93 times;
heathen
5 times;
nation
or
nations
64times;
andpeople
twice. In the American StandardRevisedVersion it is
gentiles
96 times In the text and 7 timesin the footnotes, making 103 occurrences altogether. But inthe footnotes it iscorrected 15times to read
nations,
makingthe finalcount 88. Sonot only the Hebrew word goibut alsothe Greek word
ethnos
has been translated to read
nations
more than any other word.Though the word
gentiles
and the word
heathen
are usedmanytimesin the Bible,we must facethe factsthat there areKno Hebrew or Greek words that would demand thistranslation.Ifthe reader will consult a good dictionary, you willfindthat the word
gentile
is derived from the Latinword
gentilis
and properly understood means
non-something.
Asused byaJew or an Israelite itwould mean
non-Jew
or
non-Israelite.
But they are not the only people who have aright to use theword.For instance, suppose a Buddhist priest spoke Latin andhe wanted to refer to the nations that were not Buddhist, hewould callthem
gentilis.
In Hebrew and Greek, there isnotexactequivalent tothe Latin
wordgentilis
or the Englishword
gentile,
nevertheless, if this same priest spoke Hebrew andGreek alohg with his Latinand wanted to refer to the nationsthat were not Buddhist, he would callthem
goyim
ifspeakingHebrewanq.
ethne
ifspeaking Greek, and each time he wouldnaturally include the Jewish and Israel people. likewise aMoslempriest could use the three languages and refer to theJews and Israel
asgentilis, goyim
and
ethne,~··
One important thing to alwayskeep Inmind is thatgoi and
etbnos
arecollective nouns and cannot properly be translatedto mean an Individual person. They alwaysrefer to a group.There is no such thing as
A GEN11LE;
it is always plural.
Gentiles
In its plural sense may at times be used to translate
goi
and
etbnos
but its use gives an added thought notIntended In the original word which cannot In every case be justified.Another important word found Inthe Hebrew text, whichneeds only passing notice is the Hebrew word
"am"
and isfound many times In the Old Testament text. It is translatednation by 17times. Itisusually translated
people,
foritoccursthat way 1,835 times in our English text. Occasionally it isqualified by the phrase,
"every people,"
but when it isrendered"
thepeople"
it usually means
Israel.
But this isnotthe word that has been the source of misunderstanding.Translations of the Hebrew word
goi
and the Greek word
etbnos have caused the trouble.
The Hebrew word goiand the Greek word
ethnos
in theirsingular and plural forms are used three ways in the Bible.
1.In referring to theIsrael and Jewish people,
let us notethe verses which follow below found in the Old Testamentand New Testament which refer·either to Israel or the Jewsasanation and use the Hebrewwordgoi and the Greekword
etbnos.
To demonstrate the absurdity of always translatingthe wordgoi or
etbnos
asgentile we suggest that you read thefollowingverses substituting the word
gentile
or
heathen,
for
nation
or
nations:
Gen. 12:2-"1
will make of thee agreat nation."
Gen.
17:4,5-"Afather of many nations have I made thee."
Gen.
20:4-"Lord, wilt thou slay a righteous nation?' (heathen).
Gen.
25:23-"Two nations are in thy womb." (Try the word heathen orgentile in that verse).
Gen.
35:11-'14.
nation and a company of nations."
Gen. 48:
19-"11ryseed shall become a multitude of nations. "
Isa.
1:4-'14.bsinful nation, apeople laden with iniquity."
Isa.
10:6-"Send him against an hypocritical nation."
Jer.
31:36-"Shall ceasefrom being a nation before me."·
Luke
7:5-''He loveth our nation and hath built us asynagogue. "
John
11
:48-"TbeRomans will come and take ourplace annation."
John
11:5Q-"Tbatone man should die for the people anthat the whole nation perish not. "
Acts
24:2-''Worthy deeds are done unto this nation by the providence. "
Acts 24:17-''[
came to bring aIm to my nation."
From the foregoing verses and many others that could begiven,it can easilybe seen that the Hebrew word
goi
and theGreek word
etbnos
do not alwaysrefer to non-Israel people.Now let us read a few verses where the same words areused and, as can be seen,
refer very definitely to non-Israel people.
Gen.
14:9-''With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam. and withthe Tidal king of nations. "
Gen.
21:13-'\4.nd also the son of the bond woman will I make a nation. "
Gen.
21:18-'~or I will make of him a great nation."

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