It has been said in some circles that we, those of us not Jewish by birth, are Gentile Christians and therefore not expected to follow the Torah. But what is a Gentile, exactly? Learn with us together what gentile means and how scripture uses the term.
The Drash is focused on understanding the term “Gentiles” in scripture. The scriptures state that true believers who were Gentiles need to unlearn their old ways and serve Yahweh. The meaning of Gentile has changed over time and now refers to someone who is not a Jew or a Christian. It is important to base our beliefs on scripture rather than on modern usage or dictionaries.
So tonight’s Drash is going to be all about Gentiles. Who are the Gentiles? What are Gentiles? How does scripture refer to Gentiles and what does scripture mean by the word Gentiles? That is tonight’s Drash that we’re getting into right now. But like always, if you happen to miss something or you want to go back and review something, then please feel free to go to www.godhonesttruth.com. Click on that post for tonight’s Drash of Gentiles. You’ll be able to see the video, the Drash slides, the notes we took, and all that good stuff.
And once we get the transcript in, you’ll also have the transcript down there as well. If you are watching on one of the video platforms or listening on one of the audio podcast platforms, the link to that very article should be right down in the description, right down there below the video or the audio player. So click on that. It makes it quick and easy to take you directly to those notes and slides in that video.
So hopefully you’ve got your notes out and get your pen ready. But if you don’t, hey, we’ve got the notes for you, like I said, all on our website. So starting out, this is going to be one of those subjects that might ruffle a few feathers and may be very educational for some who have never really thought about this word Gentile. So before we get into the really meat of it all, let’s get into some foundation to kind of set up our understanding of this whole subject.
What is a Gentile? Who are the Gentiles? Well, in the modern way of speaking of things, Merriam-Webster has some fairly decent explanations for this. And according to Merriam-Webster, a Gentile is someone of a, I’m sorry, a person of non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith, especially someone like a Christian as distinguished from a Jew. Their second entry there on Merriam-Webster says heathen or pagan. And their third entry is fairly interesting that you may not have thought about before.
Their third entry says a non-Mormon. Now this only applies to a very specific group of people, specifically the Mormons. Within Mormonism, they call anyone outside of Mormonism a Gentile because they believe they are the one true church. That subject of Mormonism is another drosh, another study, another teaching in and of itself. So it’s a little bit on tangent here, but just know that is one of the very isolated ways that Gentile is used, used within Mormonism.
Now the Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary goes somewhat along the same lines. Their first entry states one of a non-Jewish nation, one neither a Jew nor a Christian, a worshiper of false gods, a heathen. Entry number two, belonging to the nations at large as distinguished from the Jews, ethnic of pagan or heathen people. And then their third entry states denoting a race or country. So you’re getting all these various meanings and definitions for the word pagan and so far, I’m sorry, for the word Gentile.
But so far, it’s going more along the lines of modern understanding, the way it’s used in modern speech and modern conversations. But we start heading back towards the Bible and we get some additional entries as far as the definitions go. Ethan’s Bible Dictionary states that in Hebrew, usually in plural, goyim, meaning in general, all nations except the Jews. In course of time, as the Jews began more and more to pride themselves on their peculiar privileges, it acquired unpleasant associations and was used as a term of contempt.
Two things to notice here that they really kind of hit on fairly good. Number one, the term Jew. Now this really does need some explaining because it gets conflated a lot of times. The word Jew can mean one of three things. Number one, someone of the tribe of Judah, a descendant of the tribe of Judah. Number two, a descendant or someone of the southern kingdom of Judea, could be called a Jew or a Judean. Number three, someone who is an adherent of the faith or religion of Judaism.
However, a lot of people, well I’ve heard a lot of people nowadays, conflate the term Jew and Hebrew or Jew and Israelite. And they’re thinking in their mind that everyone in the Tanakh, the AKA Old Testament, was a Jew. And that’s just flat out false. Abraham was not a Jew. In scripture, he was the first one to be called a Hebrew, but he could not have been a Jew because this was a long time before Judah was born, much less the tribe of Judah and even much longer than before the southern kingdom of Judea and way much longer before Judaism, the faith and religion of Judaism, started up when the Judeans first rejected Messiah Yeshua.
So Abraham could not have been a Jew, but Abraham was a Hebrew. So when you read across things like this, when it says, meaning in general, all nations except the Jews, understand that this very well could be and most likely is conflated with the word Hebrew or Israelite, meaning the people of Yahweh in scripture. Now the Judeans, the Jews, were a remnant to preserve the oracles of Yahweh, as scripture tells us. That is true. But even though all Jews are Hebrews, not all Hebrews are Jews.
Does that make sense? Sort of like saying that all men are humans, but not all humans are men. So you see what’s going on there. So when you read through things like this, try not to conflate it in your own mind and try to understand what it is that they’re meaning by the term. Number two, the second thing I’d like to point out from this passage real quick, is that this word goyim, it eventually became something that was used to denote a feeling of contempt.
And this happens even today. I’ve experienced this myself. When going online or speaking with people, being of a messianic mindset kind of puts you between two opposing parties, or just to put it loosely. On one side you’ve got the Christians or mainstream Christianity stating that you’re just trying to be a Jew and go back under the law. On the other side, you’ve got Jews saying all sorts of things because we accept Messiah. And even more when those like us of a messianic mindset love Yahweh and his Torah and try to live out Torah and observe Torah.
Some Jews take offense to this because they think the Torah is only for them. And then they came up with this idea of Noahide laws, which we’ve covered before. But you’re kind of between two different warring parties there. And I use that very loosely just as a metaphor. But anyways, there are some Jews who would refer to people like us messianics and even Christians as goyim, meaning something that is to be held in contempt or to be contentious.
It’s used as a derogatory term when they say, oh, you’re just a goyim, right? And I’ve actually experienced this before. So yeah, and this entry in Easton’s Bible Dictionary really hits on that point especially. Maybe you yourself out there have experienced such a situation. If you have, let us know down in the comments below. We’ve heard sort of my story and it would be kind of interesting to see how many more of you out there have experienced that as well.
But moving on, our ministry, God Honest Truth, uses mostly a translation called the Scriptures 2009. And in the explanatory notes for the Scriptures 2009 translation, their entry for Gentiles reads as such. In Hebrew and in Greek, the word Gentile literally means nations. Yisrael is a nation but is not numbered among the nations. It is for this reason that Yisrael is rather referred to as a people whereas the word nations are used for those outside of covenant with Yahweh.
In Scripture, the word nations has the meaning of non-Yisraelites or non-Yehudim in most cases. The true believer is repeatedly admonished not to learn the way of the Gentiles. Therefore, those who were Gentiles but came to belief who are grafted in among Yisrael simply have to unlearn their old Gentile ways. They shall serve Yahweh. They shall love the name of Yahweh. They shall no longer defile the Sabbath and they shall hold fast to the covenant of Yahweh, et cetera, et cetera.
So here, this puts it fairly straightforward in how they’re defining the word Gentile as you have the nation of Yisrael and then you have everyone else and then everyone else would be considered a Gentile, so someone not in covenant with Yahweh. Would that be a pagan? Would that be atheist, agnostic, Muslim even? So you have the people of Yahweh, Israel, and then you have Gentiles. Make sense? But just like we learned with the teaching on heresy and orthodoxy, words can change meaning over time and we even see that in our English language where as even in English, one word could have meant something way back in the day, three, four hundred years ago, but that same word means something completely different nowadays and such is the case with the word Gentile.
The etymology of Gentile from Etymonline states that Gentile is one who is not a Jew, again make sure not to conflate that, but somewhere around 1400 and then earlier, Gentile meant one who is not a Christian, a pagan, however again, anyone outside the faith, they could be pagan, atheist, or whatnot, but just have it know it could be either a Christian or someone outside of the faith. That’s really changed somewhat over time, not as much as we saw with the word worship and certainly not as much as we saw with the word heresy, but it has changed somewhat.
The original meaning in English meant someone outside of the faith of scripture, but like always, whatever we believe, whatever our doctrines come to be, we need to base those on scripture itself and not on some dictionary of modern usage or any word of man, but we should base it on the word of Yahweh. So first we’re going to start out looking in the Hebrew scriptures, the Tanakh, and we see in Numbers chapter 23 verse 9. For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I observe him.
Look, a people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations. Now you can also replace this word nations with Gentiles, so not reckoning itself among the Gentiles. Now the Hebrew word that’s used here is what you see on screen, goyim, and we kind of covered this a little bit earlier, but not too much. The word goy, or the plural goyim, is Strong’s H1471, and Strong’s definition defines it as Gentile, born in nation, troop of animals, flight of locusts, heathen, nation, people.
Jastrow’s Dictionary of the Targums defines it fairly similarly, crowd, people, nation, Gentiles, idolater. Klein Dictionary states it as nation, people, Gentile, an irreligious Jew, an apostate, I guess, and possibly related to body and probably denoted an ethnic body. Ground Driver Briggs goes, again, along the same lines, but just included here for your understanding and for your notes. But it states it’s a nation or a people, specifically of descendants of Abraham, definitely of Israel. Now it is sometimes used of Israel, but very rarely.
We’ll go over one of those instances when we go through the actual scriptures. But then it goes on to say that it’s usually of non-Hebrew peoples. So keep that in mind. We’ve already come across that definition before, right? We go on to Jesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, and it’s stating along the same lines, a people probably confluence of men. And then it goes on to state specifically that it especially is used of the other nations besides Israel. So again, having that dichotomy there between Israel, Yahweh’s people, and Gentiles, or here in the Hebrew word, Goyim.
And then finally, the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon definition for Goyim. These definitions in this dictionary get very interesting, to say the least. But it defines Goyim as the back, as the middle part of the body, used in lifting the middle or the midst of anything, as the back is in the middle, lifting up of something or oneself in a positive or negative sense. And then finally down here, it defines it as nation, the people of a nation as the back or body, nation, heathen, Gentiles, people.
And then back, as in your back, you know, wash your back, scratch your back, that kind of back. But we read in Deuteronomy chapter 12, verses 29 through 31. When Yahweh your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.
Do not do so to Yahweh your Elohim, for every abomination which Yahweh hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. So here the Hebrew word goyim is used, and it’s saying that when Yahweh drives out the goyim, when Yahweh drives out the nations, when Yahweh drives out the Gentiles from before you, from out of the promised land, do not learn the ways of these goyim.
Do not learn the ways of these nations. Do not learn the ways of these Gentiles, and do not do as they did. So two things we can pick up here from this section is that A is again drawing that dichotomy between Israel, the people of Yahweh, and then other people, and those other people are referred to as goyim, Gentiles. Number two, and this is something to keep in mind as we go throughout the rest of this drash, especially as we get into the Brit Hadashah, do not go after the ways of the goyim.
Do not go after the ways of the nations. Do not go after the ways of the Gentiles. So remember that. Write it down. Put it on a sticky note. Put it right in front of you so that you’ll remember it, and make it come to mind when we get into the section on the Brit Hadashah. Going on to Deuteronomy 18.9. When you come into the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations.
Do not learn to do according to the abominations of those goyim. Do not learn to do according to the abominations of those Gentiles. Now some translations actually use the word Gentiles for goyim. So it depends on which translation you look at. The translation we use here, Scriptures 2009, uses the wide, broad sense of the word, which means nations. But this is referencing what some translations call Gentiles. Isaiah chapter 2, verse 2. And it shall be in the latter days that the mountain of the house of Yahweh is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all goyim shall flow to it.
Jeremiah chapter 10, verse 2. Thus said Yahweh, Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be awed by the signs of the heavens, for the nations are awed by them. Do not learn the ways of the goyim. Do not learn the ways of the Gentiles, for the Gentiles, the goyim, are awed by them. Now the King James here puts in the word heathen. And King James reads, Do not learn the ways of the heathen, meaning someone who goes after false gods.
You’ll read this entire section right here of Jeremiah chapter 10. It’s referencing Christmas. To put it plain and simply, it’s referencing people going out, cutting down a tree, decorating it with silver and gold, all that. But it’s saying this is a Gentile, a heathen, a pagan custom, and do not do that. Do not learn their ways. Again, make sure to remember that when we get into the Brit Hadashah portion. Now I could have included a lot more verses here from the Tanakh, but keep it for sake of time, we cut down.
You can see all those references in our notes if you’ll go to our website or click on the link down below for tonight’s drash. Now like I said, this word goyim generally means and is generally used in the Tanakh to mean someone other than Israel, someone other than the people of Yahweh. However, it is rarely used of the nation of Israel itself. For instance, Genesis chapter 12 verse 2, And I shall make you a great nation, and bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing.
This is referencing the future lineage of the Hebrews. It’s saying that I will make you a great goyim, right? And there’s a few other places it’s used to where the word goyim is used for the nation of Israel, but it’s rare. And like I said, the vast majority of the time, this word goyim, this word Gentile, is used to indicate someone that is not within the faith, someone who is not a part of Yahweh’s people. So moving on to the Brit Hadashah or aka New Testament.
This is probably where most people are familiar with the word Gentile, and especially the Apostle Paul. Now we read here in the, starting out with the book of Matthew, chapter 6 verse 7, and this is the words of our Master Yeshua, and he says, And when praying, do not keep on babbling like the nations, for they think that they shall be heard for their many words. Well again, the Scriptures 2009 translation uses the wider meaning of this word, which some translations translate as Gentile.
And we’ll look at this specific verse later on in various translations. But the word used here is the Greek word ethnos. That’s Strong’s G1484. Strong’s definition for ethnos is a race, a tribe, a foreign non-Jewish one, Gentile, heathen, nation, people. Mounces states it as Gentile, pagan, foreign nation, a people. Abbott Smith’s manual Greek lexicon, A multitude, a company, whether a beast or man, a nation or a people. Moving on to Thayer’s Greek lexicon, A multitude, whether a man or beast, a company, troop, swarm, a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus, race or nation, used in the singular of the Jewish people.
And then it goes on to state that it’s foreign nations, not worshiping the true God, pagans, Gentiles, and very often in plain contradistinction to the Jews. Paul uses it even of Gentile Christians. So we’re kind of seeing some similarity here between ethnos and goyim. Liddell Scott-Jones defines it as a number of people living together, company, body of men, sex, part member, class of men, et cetera, et cetera. And then finally, the Greek English lexicon of the New Testament defines it as pertaining to one who is not a Jew, Gentile, heathen, pagan.
So again, we’ve got, well, two things going on here, that conflation of the word Jew and also that dichotomy between those who are of Yahweh’s people, Israel, and everyone else. Everyone else is referred to as Gentile. Or Greek here as ethnos. And this is the word that’s mainly used in the Greek text to denote someone referred to as a Gentile. But then we go on and we look in John 7, 33 through 35. Then Jesus, I’m sorry, then said Jesus unto them, yet a little while I am with you and then I go unto him that sent me.
Ye shall seek me and shall not find me and where I am thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, whither will he go that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles and teach the Gentiles? And this comes from the King James translation. Now here is our second word, our second Greek word anyways. And this is the Greek word Helen. And this comes from Strong’s G1672. And Strong’s defines Helen as a Helen, Grecian or inhabitant of Hellas.
By extension a Greek speaking person, especially a non-Jew, Gentile, Greek. Mounces states it as Greek, Gentile, a class of person distinguished from the Jewish race and nation. But not necessarily Greek in all cases. Thayer’s Greek lexicon states it as a Greek by nationality, whether a native of the mainland or of the Greek islands or colonies. In a wider sense the name embraces all nations, not Jews that made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own.
And finally we look at the Greek English lexicon of the New Testament and it states for Helen a person who is a Gentile in view of being a Greek, Gentile, non-Jew, Greek. So just like with ethnos we’re kind of seeing the same thing, you’ve got this distinction between the people of Israel and this other group which can be referred to as Gentile. This Greek word Helen is somewhat more specific, it’s denoting those who for lack of a better phrase have been Hellenized but not of Israel.
In this case during the New Testament times that would have been the Romans, okay, the Greeks as they’re sometimes called in scripture. So that’s the word Helen and this is used much, much, much less than the word ethnos. The vast majority of the time when you look through the Greek text and you see the word Gentile, it’s going to be the word ethnos instead of Helen even though Helen is used from time to time. Now John chapter 7 verses 33 through 35, Therefore Yeshua said to them, Yet a little while, and I am with you, then I go to him who sent me, you shall seek me and you shall not find me.
And where I am you are unable to come. The Yehudim therefore said to themselves, Where is he about to go that we shall not find him? Is he about to go to the dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? That’s the same passage we just read but this comes from the Scriptures 2009 translation and they’re translating this word Helen as Greeks but the implication being Romans because Rome had already conquered Greece long before this time.
You do see in certain translations like King James where it translates this word as Gentile but note that the distinction still remains the same like it does with ethnos. It’s referring to someone who is not in covenant with Yahweh who is not in the faith. So moving on we go to 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 2 and in the King James it reads here You know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Notice that very first clause there it says that ye know that ye were Gentiles. The ESV version states you know that when you were pagans. The good word states you know that when you were unbelievers. So Gentile, nations, pagan, unbeliever, heathen. That’s something that we used to be. That’s the implication here. It’s something that we were indicating and implying that it’s not something that we should be now and also maybe something that we should not be if we’re not there yet.
Understand that? Look it up in your translation if it’s different from this one but everyone I’ve seen always uses the past tense to indicate that whatever that word that your translation has there is something that we were but no longer are. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 11. Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, you who are called uncircumcision by that which is called a circumcision in the flesh made by hands. Again this is coming from the Apostle Paul just like the 1 Corinthians passage was.
But here he’s stating that being in times past Gentiles. Right? Scripture 2009 states that you once nations in the flesh. And then the Tree of Life version states that once you Gentiles in the flesh. Again stating that this thing of Gentile, heathen, pagan is something that we used to be that we were but no longer are. Again, striking that contrast between those in Israel and those not in covenant. Before we were not in covenant, we were Gentiles.
Now that we have been saved by Yeshua, we are in covenant so we’re no longer Gentiles. 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 5. Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. Even as the nations who do not know Elohim. Even as the Gentiles who do not know God. Even as the pagans who do not know God. Again, drawing that distinction that Gentile, ethnos, is someone outside of covenant with Yahweh. Matthew chapter 6 verse 7, what we just read earlier.
But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Do not use vain reputations as the heathen do, as the nations do, as the Gentiles do, as the pagans do. And then, down here in the contemporary English version, this is a very interesting way of translating this. It states, don’t talk on and on as people who don’t know God. I mean, you read this over and over again, and is there any doubt as to what this term generally means? Ephesians chapter 4 verse 17.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind. So that’s the King James translation. That can be somewhat fuzzy, but when you look into the Greek and you look into other translations, it’s a lot clearer. For instance, in the 2000, I’m sorry, the Scriptures 2009 translation, it states that you should no longer walk as the nations walk. Tree of Life version, walk no longer as the pagans do.
The contemporary English version, stop living like stupid, godless people. If you’re listening on the audio podcast, yes, it’s actually translated like that. Quote, stop living like stupid, godless people, unquote. But again, it’s going back and referencing how we used to be and should no longer be like. Do not walk as the Gentiles walk. Do no longer walk as the Gentiles walk. No longer do like the pagans do. Something we used to do, it should not be no more, because we are no longer what we were.
Ephesians chapter 4 verses 20 through 25. But you have not so learned, Messiah, if indeed you have heard him and were taught by him, as truth is in Yeshua, that you put off, with regard to your former behavior, the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the renewed man, which was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and set-apartness of the truth.
Therefore, having put off the false, speak truth, each one with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. So again, another letter from the Apostle Paul stating that we should put off and disregard our former behavior and to do away with the old man. The way that we were doing things, the way that we were believing, we’re done with that. We’re doing away with the old life because of our new life in Yeshua. We are no longer what we once were.
We are no longer Gentiles. Luke chapter 7 verses 2 through 5. And a captain’s servant, who was valuable to him, was sick and about to die. And hearing about Yeshua, he sent elders to the Yehudim to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Yeshua, they begged him earnestly, saying, He is worthy for you to grant this to him, for he loves our nation and has built the congregation for us.
So here, the captain’s servant goes to the Jewish leaders and they ask them to go to Yeshua to entreat him. And when these Jewish leaders come to Yeshua, they begged him and here they use the word ethnos, which is normally translated as Gentile, to refer to their own people. It says, for he loves our nation. Again, the word normally translated as Gentile is the word ethnos used here for nation. So even like that word goyim, this word ethnos is sometimes used to describe the people of Israel, but generally speaking, for the most part, this word that we translate as Gentile is used to denote someone outside of the people of Yahweh.
So far, we’ve learned the Hebrew word goyim for what we translate sometimes as Gentile. Then we learned the Greek word ethnos and helen for that part too, which are translated as Gentile. And we’ve learned from both the Tanakh and the Brit Hadashah how scripture uses this term and what scripture means by this term. We see some kind of contrast between the way scripture uses it and the way that we mean it today when we say it in general conversation.
But knowing that our English word Gentile has changed over time slightly, all the same, how did the early believers in Yeshua understand this word Gentile? Because they’re almost 2,000 years separated from us, and they were a lot closer to the time and the culture of when the New Testament, or I’m sorry, the Brit Hadashah was written and how the Brit Hadashah would have used that. So they’ve been a lot closer to the meaning way back then.
So let’s move through our history just real quick of some quotes from some early Christians to see exactly how they understood the word Gentile and what they understood it to mean. So in about 135 of the Common Era, Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John, not John the Baptizer, but the Apostle John. The Polycarp writes, If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry and shall be judged as one of the Gentiles.
However, I have neither seen nor heard of any such thing among you Philippians, in the midst of whom the blessed Paul labored. In fact, you are commended in the beginning of his epistle, for he boasts of you among all those churches which alone then knew the Lord. So here, Polycarp is again making a distinction between believers and non-believers, referring to the non-believers as Gentiles. About 180 of the Common Era, this is from Irenaeus, There follow us a small, and in some cases a large, amount of property that we have acquired from the mammon of unrighteousness, unless it is from those things which, when we were Gentiles, we acquired by avarice or received from our unbelieving parents.
This is not to mention that even now we acquire such things when we are in the faith. So again, just like Polycarp, just like the Brit Hadashah, making that distinction between believers and Gentiles. Moving on in history, about the year 205 of the Common Era, this is by Hippolytus and he writes, For the church is afflicted and pressed, not only by the Jews, but also by the Gentiles. It is also afflicted by those who are called Christians, but are not such in reality.
So here he’s making a distinction between the believers, the people of Yahweh, the people of Israel, which are those who come to accept and believe in Yeshua, and three different other groups. Number one, the Jews. Number two, Gentiles, the unbelievers. And number three, the quote-unquote false Christians. But again, still drawing that distinction between believers and non-believers. Moving on into 240 of the Common Era, this is from Commodianus. Are you not ashamed to lament your children without restraint like the Gentiles do? You tear your face, beat your breasts, and take off your garments.
Do you not fear the Lord, whose kingdom you desire to behold? So again, he’s admonishing them not to be like the unbelievers, not be like the Gentiles. 250 of the Common Era, Cyprian writes, We should give our assistance, our healing ark, to those who are wounded. Let us not think of them as dead. In them there is that which by subsequent repentance may be strengthened into faith. If someone is harshly and cruelly separated from the church, he may turn himself to Gentile ways and to worldly works, or pass over to heretics and schismatics.
So here he’s writing, and again making that distinction, saying that if we treat our brothers and sisters harshly and harshly separate them from the body of believers, that that person may turn from the faith and go be like the Gentiles and do Gentile ways. Again, that distinction between believers and Gentiles. 320 of the Common Era, this is the Disputation of Archelaus and Manes. The church now declares these mysteries to you who are transferred from the roles of the catechumens.
However, it is not her custom to declare them to the Gentiles, for we do not declare the mysteries concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to a Gentile. Neither do we speak of the mysteries plainly in the presence of the catechumens. So here, I don’t know if it’s he, but it might be a group of authors, but they’re stating that they declare the mysteries to the believers, but not to the Gentiles. And moving up into 390 of the Common Era, this is from the Apostolic Constitutions.
And it says, Every day the Gentiles, when they arise from sleep, run to their idols to worship them. And before all their work and all their labors, they first of all pray to their idols. Therefore, if those who are not saved assemble together frequently, what excuse will you make to the Lord God, you who forsake his church? So again, making that distinction between believers and Gentiles, stating that the unbelievers, the Gentiles, get up every morning and run to their idols like clockwork, right? But then they’re kind of coming against the faithful, saying, hey, why don’t you do this as well? Why aren’t you as faithful to the real God like the Gentiles are to their pagan gods? Again, in the 390 of the Common Era, again from the Apostolic Constitutions.
For if in the foregoing constitutions women have not been permitted to teach, how will anyone allow them to perform the office of a priest? For such is not one of the institutions of Christ, but is one of the ignorant practices of Gentile atheism. For they ordain women priests for the female deities. Once again, drawing that dichotomy, that distinction between believers and unbelievers. And just like we saw with Goyim, where it generally means someone outside of faith, outside of Yahweh’s people, it is rarely used of the nation of Israel.
Same thing with the word ethnos. We saw that generally and mostly used to mean someone outside of Israel, but we did see an instance where it was used of Israel itself. Likewise, there is a quote here that goes against all the other quotes that we’ve seen, but this is rare. This comes from Justin Martyr and he states, he then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to him, i.e. the bread of the Eucharist and also the cup of the Eucharist.
So here, Justin Martyr is referring to believers taking part in the Eucharist as Gentiles. So, some people did use that early back on, I’m sorry, some people did use that meaning of Gentiles early on, but again, it is rare. And keep all things in context and keep it in mind. Justin Martyr was anti-Semitic, to say the least. So, there’s a lot of things in there that he says that you just got to take with a grain of salt and, you know, like with all things, chew the meat and spit out the bones, especially so with someone like Justin Martyr.
But there’s a lot of other quotes that we have in our notes that we didn’t include on the slides for sake of time. Again, I invite you to go to the notes that we took on GodHonestTruth.com, click on the link down below in the description, take you directly to it, take those notes, go further in your study and your research, learn more about Gentiles, who they were, what the meaning is, learn a lot more than you learned in this dross, because there’s a lot more out there that we did not include for the sake of time, but we tried to hit the meaningful parts and get the bird’s eye view of what scripture actually says about this word Gentiles and how scripture uses this word.
So, in conclusion, Gentile comes from the Hebrew word goi or goyim, from the Greek word ethnos, and also from the Greek word khelen. Gentile in its widest sense or its widest definition of the term means nations. Its widest sense of the term means a group of people, right? And that’s in the very, very general definition and meaning of the term. However, most of the time scripture specifically uses the word Gentile to indicate someone who is not of the, someone who is not a part of Yahweh’s people, who are nowadays after Yeshua, someone who is not saved.
That’s how scripture generally uses it, but we did see some exceptions and there are just a few more exceptions, but the general rule of thumb is that Gentile, goyim, ethnos, khelen means someone not in covenant with Yahweh. And finally, one can be a Messianic or Christian, everybody wants to say it, but they cannot be a Gentile at the same time. You can either be a Christian Messianic or you can be a Gentile, but it’s an oxymoron to say that you are a Gentile Christian and that’s just the God honest truth.
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