THE ENGLISH WORD "GENTILE"

A SAD ERROR IN TRANSLATION

 

AN examination of this word, and how it came into the English language from the Bible, shows that it was evidently coined by the translators of the Authorised Version to their individualistic understanding that excluded the main national theme of Israel from the New Testament. Ignorant of the whereabouts of dispersed Israel and the Nation building in the Isles of the West, they considered "Israel" and "Jew" as interchangeable terms as denoting the same people mostly resident in the Holy Land and nearby districts. They used the word "Gentile" to describe all peoples other than those termed "Israel" or "Jew." They took great liberties, in translating the Greek word ethnos in a variety of ways - Gentiles 93 times, heathen 5 times, nation 64 times, people twice with the greatest inconsistency including the Greek word hellen, which they also indiscriminately rendered "Gentile."

The collective word ethnos which means - "nation" - is not applicable to an individual. A person cannot be addressed as a "nation." The idea that a person can be called a "gentile" - stems from incorrect translation of the original word.

The English word - Gentile - has its origin from the Latin gentelisis and the French gentil, both derived from the root stem gens, a Latin word meaning - "A Selected Clan or Race of the same stock," in a collective sense.

Had the translators used the word - "nation" - in every instance, the context would reveal whether ethnos was applicable to the nations of Israel or nations of non-Israel race.

Church leaders erroneously read the Pauline Epistles as addressed to alien peoples of non-Israel race - termed "Gentiles."

In doing so they introduce doctrine so full of contradictions as to subvert the Gospel of the Kingdom as taught by Jesus and the message the Apostles were commanded by HIM to expound to the lost sheep of Israel and not alien "Gentiles" (Matthew 10:5-6).

The true Kingdom Gospel - covered by the Mystery of the Kingdom - (Matthew 13:11), was revealed only to HIS Disciples and those who had ears to hear. Blind Israel was not immediately receptive to the message and those of the early centuries A.D. - lost in a maze of Christian dogmas - had relegated God's Servant Nation to the limbo of forgotten legend.

In the light of new knowledge the old mistakes can be accounted for. It can now be seen that the Bible contains a "cover story" implanted for the very purpose of concealing Israel from the world at large.

Instead of following the unchanging purpose of Yahweh in the Israel race and the political base of the Gospel of the Kingdom, Christians were carried away with the individual aspects of personal salvation and substituted a gospel that excluded the national theme.

Undoubtedly the translators of the A.V., biased by this attitude, misapplied the meaning of the original word for nation and substituted religious connotations to it - such as "Jews" and "Christians." In proof of this corruption see our modern English dictionaries, which continued to perpetuate the error, an example - according to "The New Hamlyn Encyclopedic World Dictionary":

"Gentile = of or pertaining to any people not Jewish."

The absurdity of such an error is profound, and that it should have been handed down to this day and age without correction, shows to what an extent tradition may lead astray. The muddle can only be solved by accurate definitions:

"Jewish" denotes a person professing - "the Jews' religion" - (Gal. 1:13) and is not applicable to a race.

Directly opposed to the above, gens, the root stem of Gentile, appertains to people belonging to the same family, clan or nation - and NOT to a heterogeneous collection of many different races of people.

The same bias that actuated the translators of the A.V. to distort the meaning of ethnos, is evident also with the Greek words genes, genos and gennema, whose primary meaning in each case is race.

In many passages they confused the racial theme by rendering "race" as "generation" - striking examples of this, where "generation" makes no sense with the context, are - Matthew 3:7. 12:34; 23:33, 24:34, Mark 13:30; Luke 3:7; 21:32; 1 Peter 2:9.

Courtesy:Covenant Message

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