Who are those ‘Gentiles’ in the Bible?
By Arnold Kennedy – June 30, 2019
When we examine verses such as, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deut.7:6), they establish the exclusive nature of Israel as being a holy (set apart) race among all the other races of this globe. Because these verses are so precise, we can see that there is a racial message that conflicts with the common belief about “Jews and Gentiles”.
The common teaching is that “The Jews” are Israel and the “Gentiles” are everyone else. The two views are against each other; one cannot be held together with the other. This is being examined and it will be seen that “The Jews” cannot equate to all Israel and that some “Gentiles” may be Israelites in Scripture. That is, the all-inclusive all-race message is not that of the Potter in Romans 9 who says in verse 18, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth”. In the next verse Paul says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest [contradicts] against God?” On this basis those who hold the “Jews and Gentiles” doctrine are contradicting God Himself.
Because the traditional teaching is so ingrained in commentaries, concordances, Bible dictionaries, books and in people’s minds, it is very hard for anyone brought up with this belief to shake it off.
Accordingly we will make an examination of the word “Gentiles” as commonly used in the “Jews and Gentiles” doctrine, and then give some answers to particular popular Bible verses that are the mainstay of the “Jews and Gentiles” belief, and how there has been an identity switch made.
That there are two parties in the New Testament does not mean to say the two parties have to be Jews and Gentiles in the way that this is taught. Rather than that, the existence of two parties confirms what is taught in the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets about the division of Israel into two kingdoms from which arose the House of Israel [ten tribes] and the House of Judah [two tribes]. These two houses are shown in prophecy to be a continual vexation to each other, with a “middle wall of partition” between them, until they are reconciled together under the New Testament [Isaiah 11:13]. But both parties are still Israelites!
WHERE DID “GENTILE” COME FROM?
This word, GENTILE, originated from the Latin Vulgate translation, where the Roman doctrine said that the Roman Church had become the Israel of the Bible. Even more recently, Pope Pius XI reinforced this saying, “Spiritually, we Christians are Semites”. The inference of the word “Gentile”, in the Roman Catholic context is, “one who is not of Rome”. In the English translations that were partly based upon the Latin Vulgate, this Latin word has carried on with a similar interpretation but instead of meaning “not of Rome” it has become to mean “not of Israel”. In the minds of those to whom Rome and Israel were synonymous, there was no difference; to be of the Roman Catholic Church was to belong to and to be part of Israel. Rome accommodated all races that could buy citizenship. Effectively, this is redefining “race” as being “belief” and this is still done today in the field of “Human Rights”. Rome calls herself a universal church with a universal Pontiff and is the originator of both modern and ancient universalism in the Christian religion.
But, unfortunately, translators have transliterated this Latin word, “Gentile”, into their versions, and it has carried forward even into recent translations. By transliterating the Latin form, it has allowed scope for the idea that the untranslated Latin word “gentilis” referred to non-Roman to continue. Switch the “Roman” to “Israel” [because Rome said she was Israel] and we then find how Rome expressed the two parties as “Israel” and “non-Israel”. This has continued even to this day. This doctrine has found its way into commentaries and Bible dictionaries and through these media, most Christians are still influenced, and deceived.
The meaning of “Gentiles” which comes from the Latin is confusing. The Latin noun “gen” means ‘a nation’ and is equivalent to “ethnos”. However, the word Gentiles does not come from the nounbut from the adjective, gentilis, which means “of” or “belongingto” a nation. In all Paul’s writings that are to Israelites, he uses ethnos to refer to his outcast kinsmen of Israel because that is how they were addressed in the Old Testament Scriptures – Gen 19:4-6; Gen 18:18; Deut 32:41 (the “with” is not in the Hebrew text); Ps 22:27,28; Ps 57:9; Ps 67:4; Ps 81:8; Ps 108:3; Ps 117:1; Is 5:26; Is 11:12; Is 34:1; Jer 1:5,10. The Latin distorts and obscures these facts and we need to check its context every time it appears in the text.
HOW THE WORD “GENTILE” IS MISUSED
In both the Hebrew and the Greek there is no word even approaching the way “Gentile” is used today. In the concordances we can see the influences of the religious teaching of the day and age where the Roman influence is manifest.
- Strong H1471. Gowy or goi [goyim Pl.]: a foreign nation, hence a Gentile, also a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts, heathen. Strong G1484. Ethnos [Ethne Pl] a race [as of the same] habit, that is, a tribe; spec. a foreign [non-Jewish] one [usually by impl. pagan] Gentile, heathen, nation, people.
We must remember that concordances give usage rather than definitions but within these we can see part of the true meaning “like of the same habit and tribe”. The lexicons are more definitive.
- Thayer: A multitude [whether of men or beasts] associated or living together … of the same nature or genus. Vine Denotes firstly a multitude or company, then a multitude of people of the same nature or genus. It is used in the singular of the Jews for example, Luke 7:5, Luke 23:2; John 11:48:50-52.
Vine goes on to show that Gentile is used in Scripture of both Jews and non-Jews. [Strong and Vine use the word “Jew” for “Israel” following the understanding of the periods].
HOW THE HEBREW AND GREEK WORDS FOR “GENTILE” ARE TRANSLATED
It is time to look at the words translated as “Gentile”. In the KJV translation of the Bible, immediately the strange fact of multiple inconsistent translations can be seen.
ethnos – ethne
64 times as nations
5 times as heathen
93 times as gentiles
2 times as people
Gowry – goi – goyim
374 times as nations
143 times as heathen
30 times as gentiles
11 times as people
Now, when we compare versions, we find that the number of times we find the word “Gentiles” increases from 93 times in the KJV to 129 times in the NASB. This immediately alerts us that there is a problem with this word. It at once suggests that the NASB is writing doctrine into its version, even more that the KJV does.
In the author’s paper, “Galatians and Israel Exclusive”, we can look at the “Greeks”. In the original text the word Hellen is used thirty five times, but our translators have also chosen to translate this word (wrongly) as “Gentile”, particularly in the Book of Romans. Ethnos and Hellen are quite different words! Sometimes the justification is to say that the Greeks were not “Jews” and therefore they must be “Gentiles”. This is not translating; rather it is interpreting Scripture in the translations. There is neither rhyme nor reason for all these various translations and mis-translations, other than to perpetuate a wrong belief!
The commonly accepted meaning of the word “Gentile” immediately falls down from the translation point of view alone. When we add the fact that the word in Hebrew is used also of Israel it falls further! When we show the real meaning from the New Testament, it falls right out of sight! The Hebrew and Greek words mean “nations” as races and peoples. They mean any group of a common origin, including Israel, when this is the context.
Let us look at some Old Testament Scriptures where the word Gowy, Goi or Goyim are used. If we apply the logic concerning Gentiles for these verses, we can see the ridiculous conclusions that could be reached by transposing translations. Remember that goi and ethnos are used of Israel as well as of other races.
- Gen 12:1,2 Now the Lord said unto Abram … and I will make of thee a great nation
- Gen 17:5 A father of many nations have I made thee.
Did God make a great non-Israel “Gentile” nation out of Abraham and did Abraham father many Gentiles? Was the great nation other than Israel? We need not comment here on the singular “nation” and the plural “nations”.
- Gen 25:23 And the Lord said unto her (Rebecca), Two nations are in thy womb …Could Rebecca have what would become two non-Israel “Gentiles” in her womb?
- Gen 48:19 And his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
There is no evidence in Scripture that Ephraim would produce a lot of non-Israelites. Indeed, Ephraim became the leading Tribe of the House of Israel.
- Gen 46:3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father (Isaac) fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.
Could the sons of Jacob be a great non-Israel nation of “Gentiles”?
- Jer 31:36 If those ordinances [the sun and the moon] depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before me for ever.
As the word for “nation” is the same as that translated “Gentile”, we could equally read the seed of Israel shall not cease from being Gentiles before Me. We could even say Israel would not cease from being heathen! This is absurd!
When we consider the word ethnos, which is sometimes translated as “Gentiles” in the New Testament, we have another block of translations among which we could make transpositions. The consequences are equally absurd!
- Luke 7:5 For he loved our nation, and has built for us a synagogue. Would that section of Jewry be pleased if the Centurion had built a synagogue for the so-called Gentiles or the heathen? “Nation” is the word ethnos.
- Luke 23:2 We found this fellow perverting the nation,…Would “The Jews” care so much if Jesus were perverting the “Gentiles”?
- John 11:48 … the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. For the Romans to come to Judea and take away “our” Gentiles gets more that a little foolish.
- John 11:49,50 Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
Caiaphas did not know that this word ethnos would be translated as “Gentile” and “heathen” and note he used “nation” in the singular. Jesus did die for the sheep that the Father had given Him and only that many. He gave Himself a ransom “for many”; but not every race on earth. It is explained that the Law and Covenants given to the seed of Israel only were not given to other races. We will see more of what “many” means later in this paper.
- Acts 10:22 Cornelius … of good report among all the nation of the Jews …“Nation” is ethnos which is often translated as “Gentiles”, so could we possibly have “Gentiles of the Jews”, in the popular conception?
- Acts 24:17 … I came to bring alms to my nation and offerings. Here Paul would be saying that he brought alms to his “Gentiles” in Jerusalem. Paul was an Israelite of the Tribe of Benjamin.
We just have to admit that there is no such word in all of Scripture which matches up with the common acceptance of the word “Gentile”. We can now see that goi [Heb] and ethnos [Greek] can mean both Israelites and non-Israelites.
Some teachers who admit to goi and ethnos being used of Israel declare that in the singular they refer to Israel and in the plural they refer to all the non-Israel nations. Galilee of the Gentiles in Matthew 4:15 is said to refer to “Gentiles” because it is the plural. When we make a comparison with Acts 1:11, “ye men of Galilee”, and Acts 2:7, “are not all that speak Galileans?”, it has to be admitted that the disciples were Israelites even if they were from Galilee, and so the expression, “Galilee of the Gentiles” is about Israelites living in Galilee. But it is not about Israelites living in Judea.
POPULAR THEOLOGY ABOUT “GENTILES” … IS IT RIGHT?
We have already seen on the origin of the word “Gentile”. There appears to be no evidence that the Apostles could properly distinguish between Israelites and non-Israelites in the nations, to which they went. Hence the message had to be taken to the nations in order for the message to reach “all men” of the descendants of the outcast Israelites. These men had the capacity to believe God and so could accept the ‘good news’ and become reinstated as God’s people. But the Roman error was picked up and it has come to prevail. Of course, the originator, the arch-cult-type, the Roman Catholic Church keeps on its unchanging 4false doctrine and false identification. But she is the one with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication and by whom they have been deceived through her sorceries [Rev 17:2 and Rev 18:23]. It was Rome who originated the error in doctrine about the “Gentiles”.
But we are told to come out of her my people [Rev 18:4]. God’s chosen people Israel are warned to come out of all of Rome’s doctrines, including Rome’s universalism! Multitudes today are going Rome’s way. But the great whore will be cast down; God has so decreed, and none need be partakers of her plagues. Who rejoices when Babylon is cast down? Is it not the holy [set-apart] apostles and prophets? [Rev 18:20]. One has to come out to be set-apart! The Faithful and True will come to judge and make war on that whore Rome [Rev 19:11]. The “wife” must get ready. It is the saints [Israel by Bible definition – see Psalm 148:1] who wear the white linen [Rev 19:8]. The voice from out of the Throne addresses His servants. They are the ones who have the right to enter the city through those twelve gates. Would there be much point in mentioning this if every race went through those gates?
- Rev 21:12 And a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes the children of Israel.
- Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
A comment here might well be helpful because Rev. 21:12 is confirmed in the Book of Zachariah where we find Israelites only within the New Jerusalem, with the other races outside the City of God. This being so shows that there is no scope for the popular “grafting in” and “adoption” doctrines. “The Twelve Tribes” is rather definitive and cannot possibly be moulded into the popular concept of the “Church”. To do that it would be necessary for a switch in identity to be made, but this cannot be done because we are told, “The promises made to the fathers (of Israel) are fulfilled in us their children (offspring)”- (Acts 13:32).
Who works the abomination in doctrine? Is it not the mother of harlots and abominations? Who spreads the doctrine of universalism? Who originated it? The meaning of Catholicism is universalism! Search the Scriptures and see which race is the only race written in the Book of Life, and when this was done!
THE KINSMAN-REDEEMER JESUS IS THE REDEEMER OF KINSMEN!
If anyone believes the “go ye into all the world” and “Jesus died to save the world” doctrine in the way Rome (and most churches) interprets the world, then that person cannot believe that Jesus is our [that is, Israel’s] Kinsman-Redeemer. At the Second Advent Jesus will ignore those who are not His kinsmen.
TO WHOM DID THE APOSTLE PAUL WRITE?
In the second chapter of the author’s book, The Exclusive Nature of Israel in the New Testament, many New Testament Scriptures were quoted to show that the Apostle Paul wrote to Israelites and that he could not have been writing to anyone else.
- Gal 2:7 “The gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter”.
- Rom 11:13 “For I speak unto you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles”.
These verses are commonly used to support the “Jews and Gentiles” doctrine in the popular concept. In this view, the “uncircumcision” are the supposed “Gentiles” and the “circumcision” are supposed to be “The Jews”. Whatever would a circumcised “Gentile” be?
It is important to remember that the word translated as “Gentiles” in these verses is “ethnos” in Romans and “hellen” in Galatians. “Ethnos” refers to Israelites by the same term that applied to them in the Old Testament. “Hellen” is discussed in the author’s paper “Galatians and Israel Exclusive”. Everyone who has been taught that the Gentiles are always non-Israel does experience difficulty in “unlearning”. This is understandable, because this doctrine is what theology has taught; this is written into translations in a way that makes unlearning difficult.
Now we can look at some other Scriptures from the New Testament that show Israel as being the only people being addressed.
- Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching (proclaiming) peace by Jesus Christ.
- Acts 10:43 To Him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
- Acts 13:23 Of this man’s seed hath God, according to his promise raised up unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.
- Acts 13:32,33 How the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children…
Here we see direct Scriptures that are particular and exclusive. We also have a whosoever to which all the prophets of Israel give witness. Now, in the Old Testament books, to what “whosoever” does the Redeemer of Israel come? Is it whosoever of Israel as the prophets say, or is it the “whosoever” of every race as translators think it should say? A positive decision has to be made! The word ”whosoever” is an objective pronoun that gives a specific meaning to a noun or subject. Thus it means, “whosoever of Israel”. For this reason, “whosoever” cannot mean “anyone of all races” when Israel is the context.
Someone might be thinking, Yes, but there are still two parties. This problem completely disappears when we take note of:
- Matt 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee[from Judea].
- Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee … The highlighted words show clearly that the two territories are treated differently. There was a clear barrier between the two. But both were Israelites of differing Houses.
- Matt 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom …
- Matt 4:15,16 The land of Zabulon and the land of Nepthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people which sat in darkness saw great light …
The latter verse identifies these Israelites in Galilee and calls them “Gentiles”! It is historical fact that Israel separated into two Kingdoms and became known in prophecy as:
- The House of Israel [10 tribes]……also known as Ephraim and “the uncircumcision”.
- The House of Judah [2 tribes]……..also known as Judah and “the circumcision”.
Subsequently, both Kingdoms went into captivity in Assyria or Babylon. Following the captivities, all of the 12 tribes (except for a small remnant) went North and were dispersed among the nations. These became known as the Dispersion or Uncircumcision. A small remnant of the Babylonian captivity of the Southern Kingdom returned to Palestine and formed the Judean nation.
The ruling classes of the Judean nation were dominated by Edomites (Jews), and their subversion of the Scriptures, the Traditions of the Elders, became the religion of the land. The Judean nation practised circumcision and hence in the Scriptures, are referred to as the Circumcision. Consequently, the New Testament refers to two groups – the Uncircumcision (the Israelites outside the Judean nation) and the Circumcision (the Israelites inside the Judean nation). The other uncircumcised races are not included in the uncircumcision, because the sum of the two groups addressed is “all Israel” in Romans 9.
But this is ignored by Churches that claim the “The Jews” means Israelites and that “Gentiles” means everyone else.
JESUS’ MINISTRY WAS NOT PRIMARILY TO THE JEWS OR IN JUDEA
Most people would question this statement without even thinking about it! But let us look at this matter more closely. In the gospels, Jesus makes a clear distinction between Galilee and Judea, the latter being the territory of “The Jews” = The Judeans or Jewry.
- John 7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
- John 11:53,54 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim.
- Matt 19:1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea, beyond Jordan.,
- Matt 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum …
In the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, the footprints of Jesus are presented graphically on Pages 274 and 275 showing that Galilee was the major area of Jesus’ ministry.
Most Christians seem to think that Jesus dwelt among “The Jews” in Jerusalem, but this is not so. Christians seem to think that Jerusalem was the centre-point of Jesus’ teaching ministry. Jesus went to Jerusalem at particular times for particular purposes. His disciples did not appreciate these times about going up to Jerusalem, as Jesus once told them, “Your time is always now, but My time is not yet” [John 7:6]. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament times exactly regarding the Sabbaths and the feasts of Israel. Jesus said He knew the exact day of His crucifixion at Jerusalem [Matt 26:2]. He went to Jerusalem on exactly the right day [Nisan 10th] to be chosen by the Israelite people among the population as their King, and He was delivered to become the all-sufficient sacrifice for the redemption of His people. Jerusalem was the centre-point where Jesus would fulfil His mission and His Father’s Will to be the Passover Lamb for Israel. The institution of the Passover Lamb was only to Israel.
Across the border from Judea, mention is made of Ephraimites and Galileans [Benjamites]. Jesus was safe amongst the Israelites in Galilee whereas He was not safe amongst the Judeans. This fulfilled the prophecy made by Moses:
- Deut 33:12 And of Benjamin he said, the beloved of the Lord shall dwell safely by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
We have seen from Matthew 4:15,16 above that these Israelites in Galilee are called “Gentiles”. It was Galilee from whence Jesus picked out eleven of His disciples. Judas, the Judean, was the one who betrayed Jesus! Eleven of the disciples were not of “The Jews” and were not of Judah either. When Jesus ascended, the witnesses are described as Men of Galilee in Acts 1:11 and Acts 2:7. In Acts 2:22 those addressed were Men of Israel, but not “Jews”. But whilst addressing the Men of Israel, the disciples soon came up against “The Jews” in the national leadership. The more we look into this matter, the more impossible it becomes to say The Jews and the Men of Israel refer to the same people.
Today most denominations are “Christian Zionists” who insist that “The Jews” and “Israel” are one and the same! We read that some of the priesthood believed in Jesus; all were not Edomites or other proselytes. Nicodemus was a “ruler of the Jews” and so was among the leaders. But his counsel was somewhat different as an Israelite non-Edomite! Jesus was speaking primarily of the leadership in general when referring to “The Jews”. Jesus described these leaders as “hirelings”, and not” the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not”. Each such person in the religious leadership was “climbing up some other way” and each was a thief and robber [John 10:1]. In Verse 5 Jesus calls them strangers and they are identifiable because of the what they were doing as making them different.
God says that Israel would always be a nation. A nation has government such as a King, the laws of the King, a territory, and a subject people. The word ethnos could not apply to a multi-racial church. Prophecy gives such positive identification of Israel. Israel is a separate people of a common racial origin. They would remain a nation [or nations] as long as the sun and the moon are shining [Jer 31:36].
The Hebrew and the Greek words which are sometimes translated “Gentile” have both pagan and Israelite connotations. The words goi and ethnos are used of any group of a common racial origin. The idea that the word refers only to non-Israel people comes from the translators, who took their lead from the Latin Vulgate whose interpretation of “Gentile” was one who was not of Rome. This can never mean “not a Jew”in the sense it is given today, because Judaism is multiracial! There are other words that apply to heathen and barbarians and Paul could have used these to describe non-Israelites if that had been his mind. But he did not! What the word “Gentile” has come to mean is not the original meaning and therefore not the true meaning.
It is necessary to point out:
1. If “The Gentiles” does not mean what we have been taught, then the word “Church” may not mean what tradition teaches either.
2. If we want to declare that “The Gentiles” are non-Israel, then why does God say something different and still isolate Israel and Judah from the other races?
3. If any want to say that Israel is now “The Church”, called out of every race, then they have a problem understanding the difference between race and nationality. These are not identical. Israel was scattered among the nations, and is regathered out of [not of] them. This means that they are separated from other races.
The Apostle Paul concludes his argument in the Book of Romans by saying:
- Rom 11:26 And so shall all Israel be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away all ungodliness from Jacob
It is not said that the Deliverer will turn away ungodliness from others as well as from Jacob or that other than all Israel will be saved. It is “all Israel” that shall be saved. We cannot somehow change all races into “Jacob”.
The parties that make up “all Israel” are still the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Thus says the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets! Thus says the New Testament also! Therefore, the two groups are not “Jews and non-Jews”, or “Jews and Gentiles” in the popular concept.
EXAMINATION OF SOME VERSES COMMONLY USED TO SUPPORT TRADITION.
There are many indoctrinated people who will not listen to any exposition about “Gentiles”, such as that above, and who rely upon certain passages that are supposed to “prove” their position. This paper would not be complete without a look at some of these. Most of these claims are based upon the word, “Gentiles”, and usually exponents think that they have such heavy-weight ammunition that any recourse to comparing Scripture with Scripture is unnecessary. That is, they have the traditional meaning of the word “Gentiles” so fixed in their minds that they will not consider any alternatives or make any examination. Let us look at some of these claims from actual email correspondence received. Some of the answers are written in a personal manner for this reason.
QUESTION: “The Prophet Amos, he says directly, “And all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does this thing.” What clearer confirmation do you need that God has elected some from all the nations and that they will be gathered in along with all those of Israel who are true Israel as Paul teaches in Romans chapter nine?”
ANSWER: Who is always “called by my name” through Scripture? Look at over one hundred references! Who is this in the context of Isaiah 43:7? “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him”. Does not Jesus call his sheep by name? Who are always described as the “sheep”? Is it not Israelites? Goats are not called by name, are they?
QUESTION: Does not this Scripture shows that all Christians of all races are as one because of their belief? “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may be one”.
ANSWER: Who does God say He is Father to? Where is any statement that God is the Father of all races? Who does “our” refer to? Jer. 31:9, “for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn”. Who are the firstborn sons?
QUESTION: Does not this Scripture tell us that God is merciful to everyone? “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy’.
ANSWER: Where are, “The promises made to the fathers (of Israel)” ever said to be made to others? The “Gentiles” (also given as “nations” and “peoples”) are those referred to in Heb. 8:12 and 10:17, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”. The total context here is Israel.
QUESTION: “For this reason I will confess to you among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore”.- [Psalm 18:48-50].
ANSWER: Whichever way you want to use the word “Heathen” or “Gentiles”, it does not change the context from “to David and his seed for evermore”. How does anyone manage to convert David’s seed into non-Israelites?
QUESTION: Do not these verses say there are two lots of people, Deut. 32:43, “And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” And again: “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!” [Psalm 117:1 and verse two says peoples in my view].
ANSWER: You create your own problem in that you have not recognized that “with” is an added word supplied by the translators to support their view. At least the KJV and the NASB puts “with” in italics to show it is an added word. “Heathen”, “Gentiles” or “Nations”, (whichever translation you like), has the gloss of, “a number of people accustomed to live together…a people…a nation”. Take out the “with” and you have, “Rejoice o nation, His people”. No, even Strong says, “people, tribe, nation”. Even in your version there is no “and” to determine two peoples. If they were different the grammar would tell us.
QUESTION: And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.” [Is. 11:10]. Does this not say that Jesus will reign over all races?
ANSWER: The New Testament confirms the Old Testament as to who Jesus will reign over. Luke 1:32-33, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end”. No one can convert “the throne of his father David” or “the House of Jacob” to mean all races, or even a “spiritual” kingdom. One does not have to be a genius to find out that the first “Gentiles” is not the same word and meaning as the second “Gentiles” in the Greek. The first word is 5971 “’am” that Strong gives as, “persons, members of one’s people, compatriots, country-men”, and also “kinsman, kindred”. The second word “Gentiles” is 1471 “gowry” that is sometimes used of Israel. Have you yet taken the trouble to pick up a concordance to find that this word is used of Israel (or are you scared to do this?). At least the KJV is honest enough to give “people” and “gentiles” to show there are two differing words in this one verse that are given one translation.
QUESTION: What about these verses”? “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient– in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.”
ANSWER: Matt 10:6, “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, and Matt. 15:24, “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” answers this “clearly”…(a word you like using). You are again relying on the word “Gentiles” which is used of Israel too. You just will to not examine this matter. You will see more about the identity of, “and those who have not heard” below. You should look at all the “not heard” through prophecy. In this you are following traditions…you will see why I can say this below. It is traditions that render the Word of God to be of “none effect”. You know Mark 13, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered”. Of course that last part is a quote from the end of Isaiah chapter 52 just before the gospel is presented so strongly in chapter 53. It is preceded by, “So shall He sprinkle many nations”, and the next question looks at this word “many”.
QUESTION Now let me ask you one of those tough “language” questions about this verse: Why did the Holy Spirit say “many nations” instead of “both nations” if in fact there are only two nations or peoples involved in salvation?
ANSWER: At least you do not say, “sprinkle many Gentiles” as might have been expected! “Many” = rab is not an all-inclusive word. It is not the all-inclusive word, as you would like it to be. The gloss in the Septuagint is, “a number of people accustomed to live together- a nation”. Twelve tribes are “many”! The “many” used here is not the cardinal number so there is no question about “both”. Consider other places where “many” is used so you can compare Scripture with Scripture, such as Luke 2:34, “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel”. “Many” in whom?
Do not dodge the “many” in Gen. 17:4, “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee”. You will find plural kings of Israel elsewhere to confirm this. In the following verse to that above you can see whom these “many” are. “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee”. I cannot see anywhere out of more than 500 places where ‘many” is used as you want to claim. Thus the odds are sure stacked against you, are they not?
STATEMENT QUESTION: “THE BOOK OF HEBREWS IS WRITTEN TO “JEWISH CHRISTIANS”.
ANSWER: This traditional idea infers that it does not concern any outside of the “Jews” in the “Jews and Gentiles” doctrinal belief. If this was so, why should “non-Jews’ quote it? But this is a book that defines the two parties concerned as being “The House of Israel and the House of Judah”, where these are the “Gentiles” and “Jews” as defined by Scripture, but not defined by tradition. This book defines who only the New Covenant is made with:
- Heb. 8:8-10 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the houseof Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Further to this, tradition does not use the word “Jews” in the same manner and meaning as Jesus does in John chapter eight.
STATEMENT QUESTION: THE BOOKS OF ROMANS AND CORINTHIANS ARE WRITTEN TO “GENTILES”.
ANSWER: How you reason is that Peter had difficulty in presenting the Gospel to Cornelius because one was a “Jew” whereas the Centurion was a “Gentile”, in your view. What you miss is that the House of Israel and the House of Judah had always had enmity between them, and you do not admit that the “middle wall of partition” that is what is broken down by the Gospel is between these two particular parties.
- Isaiah 11:12-13, “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim”.
This of course also states exactly who are gathered to God, as do as most of the prophets who state they are only Israelites from the two Houses. Further to this, the Book of Corinthians tells us how the Corinthians could only be Israelites.
- 1 Cor. 10:1-5 “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”.
Cornelius is used by many as a supposed example of a so-called “Gentile” non-Israelite being saved, but the place of birth, or citizenship tells us nothing about race. Neither does the word “Italian”. The Roman army engaged or conscripted people of many races. Some declare that the Roman armies in Palestine were mainly British and German Saxons. But Scripture can determine this man’s race, even if he is not described as a “Jew” [or “Judean” as it is here]. In the AV of Acts 10:28, Cornelius is described as being of another nation but, the Greek text uses the word allophulos which is a compound of allos [another of the same kind], and phulos [a kindred tribe (phule)]. He was not “another” of a different kind…why ever ignore these language differences? Cornelius was a devout man, we are told, and he feared [the] God, therefore he was one who could believe. According to Vine, devout means careful as to the presence and claims of God. So Cornelius knew the Old Testament claims of God upon Israel. We do not find devout being used of people other than Israelites. Also, he feared “God” [Acts 10:2] and he prayed to [the] God and was heard by [the] God. “God” here is ho theos, the term used to denote the one true God. So, Cornelius was not a Roman polytheist! He was an Israelite! When we read, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses”. The Law of Moses concerned Israel, and so Acts 13:39 is likewise concerned with Israelites. And, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” is not about the redemption of any but Israelites.
STATEMENT QUESTION: “PETER WROTE TO THE “JEWS”.
ANSWER: Peter addresses his book to “strangers scattered” just the same as James does and describes them as being “the twelve tribes”. The word “scattered” = diaspora in both books and Strong gives this as, “Israelites dispersed among foreign nations”. So this is just yet another case of “Gentiles” being Israelites. When we look at all the prophecy about the “scattering” and “gathering”, we have to reconsider. The word “strangers” is not a way out either. There are five major words in both Hebrew and Greek all with differing meanings, and some are Israelites.
The people being written to are described in, “Ye are a chosen (elect) generation”? Strong gives “generation” as meaning, “Offspring, family, stock, race, nation”.-i.e. nationality or descent from a particular people”. Thayer’s Lexicon confirms this with, “An aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, kind, sort, species”. Thus the basis of election is race.
“Strangers and Pilgrims” in Greek matches perfectly with the Hebrew in regard to Israelites (ger-torshab).
Peter was writing to people who had a king, and therefore to a nation. Do we really not see, “Honour the king” in 1 Peter 2:13 when we read this? Does any interpretation allow for a singular king over all the “Gentiles”? Israel was promised a king over them somewhere even when scattered, and that this would continue so long as the sun and moon are still functioning.
Peter takes us back to Hosea in 1 Peter 2:9, “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy”, where he is talking aboutfulfilled prophecy made to Israel. So how could these “Gentiles” in the Book of Peter be non-Israelites? In the accusative, “Love the brotherhood” = adelphotes, this has to do with a common womb. Does the use of “us” in this book of Peter refer to those diaspora being addressed, or to others? It is only to “us” of the “diaspora”
Even Strongs 1484 gives ethnos (translated as “Gentiles”) as “a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus“, so “Gentiles” may be Israelite or non-Israelite…that is, it means essentially, “any group of a common origin”. The context decides. Mr. Strong confirms that it is used of animals too, but we cannot think of Peter as addressing animals, can we? And none can come back to say that “born again” in, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” is the same as “born again” in John 3, even if many churches say so. People do not become “a people” this way.
STATEMENT: THE STORY OF RAHAB AND RUTH TELLS US ANYONE OF ANY RACE IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.
ANSWER: This is sometimes used in connection with Rahab, to say that as a non-Israelite, she was justified by her faith. A full determination about Rahab and Ruth as being Israelites is too lengthy to be considered here, but three points will be made:
1. Argument is made that these women were non-Israelite, simply upon the grounds that that they were not living in Israelite territory. That is not proof at all. As for Ruth being a Moabitess, we can find three places in Scripture where Israel had eliminated the inhabitants of a part of Moab, “until there was none left”. This is the Israelite-occupied territory in Moab where Ruth had gone. There were no Moabites by race living there.
2. Argument is also made with Gabriel’s revelation to Zacharias in Luke 1:17, “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings”.
3. God would not operate against His Own Laws regarding racial intermarriage.
It does not seem to matter to the exponents of this claim that they are extending the boundaries of the Gospel, and that in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews that Rahab is listed in a list that is made up of Israelites only, as well as Adamic stock that predates Israel.
STATEMENT. “IN THE BOOK OF LIFE” ARE FOUND MEN AND WOMEN, FREEMEN, SLAVES, YOUNG, OLD AND PEOPLE FROM ALL NATIONS”.
ANSWER: This view is based upon the traditional use of the word “Gentilies”. When God said to Abraham, “I will make a great nation of you”, since the word translated here as “nation” is exactly the same as that translated as “Gentile”, so was not God then saying to Abraham, “I will make a great Gentile of you”? Likewise, Rebecca had two Gentiles in her womb. The mentions of the “Book of Life” in The Revelation such as, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”, tells us something about the time when the names are written into this book. We are also told who can be removed from this book.
Where the “nations” or “all nations” is written in the Hebrew or Greek, the inclusion of the article (not shown in most versions) determines that the subject people are the Israelites.
In quoting, “In “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”, it is common to make, “Christ Jesus” mean “Jesus Christ”. These two phrases do not mean the same. Grammar tells us “Christ Jesus” means “an anointed people belonging to Jesus”, whereas Jesus Christ means “Jesus the anointed one”.
Your statement makes an absolute denial that, “He came unto His own” as in John 1. This shows those Jesus came to were His already as “His own”. This confirms verses like, Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins”. That Israelites are so spoken of as being “His own” before Jesus came is spoken against today. “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against” – (Luke 2:34). “Many in Israel” is not “many in all races”
STATEMENT: THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS TELLS US THE PEOPLE IN HEAVEN ARE FROM EVERY “NATION, AND KINDRED, AND TONGUE, EVERY NATION, AND KINDRED, AND PEOPLE.
ANSWER: Israel was scattered amongst many nations in punishment for breaking the covenant God had made with them. Prophecy tells us about the regathering of the House of Israel and the House of Judah from amongst the people they were scattered. In the Greek we find the word ‘”ek” is there that means “out from amongst”, and not “of”.
QUESTION: Does not Isaiah 11:10, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” tell us that others besides Israelites will gathered to Jesus?
ANSWER: No it does not. Verse twelve says, “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth”. These are “the nations” of this context.
QUESTION: Does not Isaiah 41:1-2 say, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street” say that the elect nation shall bring in the Gentiles too?
ANSWER: “Elect” as in “mine elect is a singular adjective. Your view is based upon your misunderstanding of what “Gentiles” means, and that this can vary according to context. The context is found confirmed in the first verse of the next chapter, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine”. The context is Israelite only.
“GENTILES” MAY MEAN NON-ISRAELITES.
In these Isaiah passages, please remember that here, as in other places, the word “Gentiles” may refer to Non-Israelites as well, e.g Isaiah 60:16. We can also see this in Gen. 10:5 and Judges 4, 2+13+16. We find passages like Isaiah 61:9, “And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed” where we can see how we have “Gentiles” and “the people” as differing words within one verse, where “people” = ‘am to which Strongs gives the meaning, “persons, members of one’s people, compatriots, country-men”.
Ezekiel 4:13, “And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them” is another illustration.
Matthew 20;19, “And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again”, is a New Testament illustration.
As always, these words must be kept in their context. Otherwise total confusion will reign
This paper says that the so-called “Gentiles” being addressed in many places cannot possibly be other than Israelites. In general, they represent the House of Israel as opposed to the Judean nation. But the word may refer to non-Israelites as well. The Bible is a book about the whole nation of Israel and the covenants and promises made to that nation, either as a whole nation or to individual parts of it. The other races are mentioned in the Bible only as they affect Israel. The term “Greeks” is examined in another paper. The popular use of “Gentiles” as always being non-Israelites, is wrong!
Who are those ‘Gentiles’ in the Bible?