Misapplication of the Biblical Term “Gentile”


We are about to examine how the Latin word “gentile” was introduced into our present Bibles. Yes, “gentile” is a Latin word, but no Bible writer ever used the term as there is no such word in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. The first time that the Latin word “gentile” ever appeared in any Bible is when Jerome translated the original manuscripts from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into Latin! Secondly, and more importantly, in Jerome’s day, the Latin term “gentile” (gentilis) never had today’s corrupted definition meaning “non-Jew”. The Junior Classic Latin Dictionary published by Wilcox & Follett Company in 1945 defines gentilis: “of the same clan or race”, surely a word consistent with all of Scripture (Amos 3:2, Matt. 15:24 etc.).

Following Jerome’s example, the later English translators chose the Latin gentilis, “gentile”, for their translations in place the original Greek word ἔθνος (ethnos) because Jerome, when he made the Latin Vulgate, used the word gentilis to translate the Greek ἔθνος into Latin. In other words, Paul was sent to the people of his own ethnicity. How, where or when the term “gentile” first took on the corrupted meaning of “non-Jew” cannot be definitely determined, but that was NOT the original meaning in Latin! Nor is the word “gentile” found in any of the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek manuscripts! Paul never uttered or wrote the word “gentiles”! Rather, Paul used only the Greek word τὰ ἔθνη “the nations”, and knew that he was going to those same nations found at Genesis 17:6 and 35:11. To use the term “gentile” in an improper manner only exposes that person’s lack of intelligence!

Today, the Latin term “gentile” has become so corrupted that it no longer denotes its original meaning. What is even worse, hardly any Biblical lexicon, dictionary or commentary helps to clear up the confusion concerning the use of the word. The best source that I have found to clear up the matter is The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language, William Morris, editor, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, ©1976, and even this source leaves some things to be desired. Much confusion is caused as a result of all of this. First of all, The American Heritage Dictionary describes “gentile” both as an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, it is described in part:

gen•tile (jĕnʹtĭl, -tīl) adj. 1. Of or pertaining to the gens or to the tribal society based on it. ... –n 1. A number of a gens. ... [Latin gentilis, from gēns, clan gens.]”

In order to fully understand this definition, we must next refer to “gens” in this same dictionary:

gens (jĕnz) n., pl. gentes (jĕnʹtēzʹ). 1. The particular clan forming the basic unit of the Roman tribe and having originally a common name, land, cult, and burial ground. 2. Anthropology. An exogamous patrilinear clan. [Latin gēns, clan. See gene- in Appendix.*]”

Again, in order to understand the “gens” connection, we must go to the appendix on gene- in part:

gene-. Also gen-. To give birth, beget; with derivatives referring to aspects and results of procreation and to familial and tribal groups. ...”

It should be clear here that the term “gentile” is a Latin term used among the Romans to designate certain racial privileges and rights based on race! Therefore, this would have been the meaning of the term “gentile” near the end of the 4th century A.D. when Jerome compiled his Vulgate translation of the Bible, and as one can plainly see, this definition had no affinity to a meaning of “non-Jew”. Later, during the Middle English period (1150-1475 A.D.), according to The American Heritage Dictionary, the capitalized term “Gentile” was changed from an adjective to a noun with a corrupted meaning thusly:

Gen•tile (jĕnʹtīl) n. 1. Anyone who is not of the Jewish faith or is of a non-Jewish nation. 2. A Christian as distinguished from a Jew. 3. A pagan or heathen. 4. Among Mormons, a person who is not a Mormon. –adj. Of or relating to a Gentile. [Middle English gentile, gentyle, from Late Latin gentīles, pagans, heathens, from gentīlis, pagan, from Latin, of the same clan, from gēns, clan gens.]”

It is very important here that we notice that The American Heritage Dictionary specifies under Late Latin (150-700 A.D. – Jerome living in the 4th century) that “gentile” essentially held its original meaning of “... the same clan, from gēns, clan gens ...” So the meaning of “gentile” all boils down to which time period, whether Late Latin or Middle English is considered! It makes a lot of difference! Therefore, it is evident that sometime after Jerome’s translation, the meaning had changed 180°.

To make all of this simple, let’s review the main points:

  The term “gentile” cannot be found in any ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek Biblical manuscripts!

  The term “gentile” is a Latin word, and in the Late Latin period (150-700 A.D.) it was first used to in the Latin Vulgate by Jerome, and meant “of the same clan or race”!

  Later, during the Middle English period (1150-1475 A.D.), the Latin term “gentile” was changed from an adjective to a noun with a capital “G”, and the meaning was perverted to mean “a non-Jew”, which it never had before!

Why is it that we, as a people, do not understand these things today? The answer is, we do not know who we are! It has been hidden from us! (Psalm 83:2-3)

1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. 4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”

Psalm 83 makes it very clear that the “hidden ones” are Israel and the enemies of Israel are “the tabernacles of Edom”, “the Ishmaelites”, “Moab”, “the Hagarenes”, “Gebal”, “Ammon”, “Amalek”, “the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre” and “Assur” (vv. 6-8). This is the very same cabal that have infiltrated and are arrayed against the New Jerusalem (America) today! Now when the Almighty hides something, no one is going to find it! He has hidden Israel so well that they can’t even find themselves. Therefore, one can be an Israelite and not even be aware of it! And no one is ever going to come to the knowledge they are an Israelite unless His Spirit reveals the matter to him. Yahweh has a sovereign will and a permissive will, and unless He chooses to let one understand he is an Israelite, he will never comprehend it. One can confront such a person with the Israel truth until he is blue in the face and it will be like water running off of a duck’s back! So, if the reader is one of those chosen of Him to come to this knowledge, the rest of this paper is for you!

Not only has the Latin term “gentile” been turned 180° around to mean the exact opposite of what it originally conveyed, but the identity of true Israel and the non-Israel heathen have been completely reversed. For instance, those calling themselves “Jews” today are neither Israel nor Judah, but are a mixture of Kenite (Cain), Edomite, Hittite, Canaanite, plus other racial strains who were proselyted to Judaism during the reign of John Hyrcanus in 123 B.C. (See Rev. 2:9 & 3:9 and Josephus’ Antiq. 13.9.1). These proselytes also perverted Israel’s religion! I don’t ask the reader to believe this simply because I say that it is so, but to prove it one way or the other for himself. Don’t ask your pastor, as most of them are as blind-as-a-bat on this subject!

Among the “Jews” there is a group referred to as Sephardim who are a mixture of a few of the formerly racially pure Judahites of the tribe of Judah who had committed miscegenation with some of the Canaanite tribes, and Jeremiah condemns them at 2:21-22:

21 Yet I had planted thee [Judah] a noble vine, wholly a right [racial] seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate [race-mixed] plant of a strange vine unto me? 22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith Yahweh Elohim.”

But the vast majority of those calling themselves “Jews” are the Ashkenazim of Khazaria which make up better than 90% of them today. This branch of Jewry never came from old Judaea, but were converted to Judaism in 926 A.D. Evidence of this is found in the Jew’s own chronicle, The History Of The Jews by Heinrich Graetz, volume III (of 7 volumes), page 139:

“... It was through these Greek Jews that the Chazars became acquainted with Judaism. As interpreters or merchants, physicians or councelors, the Jews were known and beloved by the Chazar court, and they inspired the warlike king Bulan with a love of Judaism. In subsequent times, however, the Chazars had but a vague knowledge of the motive which induced their forefathers to embrace Judaism. One of their later Chagans gives the following account of their conversation: The king Bulan conceived a horror of the foul idolatry of his ancestors, and prohibited its exercise within his dominions, without, however, adopting any other form of religion. He was encouraged by a dream in his endeavors to discover the proper manner of worshiping God. Having gained a great victory over the Arabs, and conquered the Armenian fortress of Ardelib, Bulan determined to adopt the Jewish religion openly. ...” And he did! This event is also recorded under “Khazars” in the 1980 Collier’s Encyclopedia, vol. 14, page 65. Not only this, but the Canaanite-Edomite-jews mixed their blood with the Indians of India, the Chinese, the Indian tribes of Mexico, and the blacks of Nubia to name but a few.

Once one comes to a realization that the people calling themselves “Jews” today are neither Israel nor Judah, one has surmounted one of the major hurdles in grasping the true context of the Bible! Putting this knowledge together with a proper comprehension of the Latin term “gentile” which in most cases should have been rendered “nations” one can begin to understand that the apostle Paul was sent to the lost tribes of Israel who had become “nations” (a proper Greek translation)!

At no time did Paul countermand the teachings of Yahshua Christ, for we read at 1 Cor. 11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Paul, in effect, was saying: “If I follow not Yahshua Christ in any way shape or manner, then do not follow me, but follow me only to the extent in which I myself follow Christ.” And Yahshua Christ Himself said, “... I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, Matt. 15:24. Therefore, if Paul went to someone other than the lost tribes of Israel, he wouldn’t have been following Yahshua Christ!

Let’s now consider some of the true Biblical and secular history of the tribes of Israel. There were twelve tribes of Israel, namely: 1. Reuben, 2. Simeon, 3. Levi, 4. Judah, 5. Issachar, 6. Zebulun, 7. Dan, 8. Naphtali, 9. Gad, 10. Asher, 11. Joseph, 12. Benjamin. The two sons of Joseph – Ephraim and Manasseh – were each given the status of half a tribe. In that respect the tribes were thirteen.

In the beginning, the twelve tribes were united into one nation known as Israel under the judges, then three kings in succession, Saul, David and Solomon. After that the kingdom was divided and ten tribes formed the northern kingdom. They had nineteen kings from Jeroboam to Hosea, while Judah and Benjamin remained south.

From 745-727 B.C. Tiglath Pileser reigned over Assyria, and at 2 Kings 15:29 we read: “In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria” (*KJV spelling). This is also confirmed at 1 Chron. 5:26: “And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day” (*KJV). There is no record that any of these ever returned!

The next deportation of the northern kingdom of Israel was by king Shalmaneser of Assyria who reigned 727-722 B.C., spoken of at 2 Kings 18:9-11:

9 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes ...”. Neither did any of these return to Samaria!

The third and last deportation of the northern kingdom was by Sargon II of Assyria who reigned, 722-705 B.C., and does not appear in Old Testament history. Isaiah makes one passing reference to him, but his dealings with Israel find no mention in the sacred writings. But, Sargon himself has left the following inscription: “(In the beginning of my reign) the city of Samaria I besieged, I captured ... 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots in the midst of them I collected (and the rest of their goods I seized); I set my governor over them and laid upon them tribute and taxes like those of the Assyrians.”The Bible reference here that alludes to Sargon is at Isaiah 20:1: “In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it.” Neither did any of these return!

The fourth assault by Assyria was by Sennacherib who reigned 705-681 B.C., and deported Judahites from the southern kingdom of Judah to Assyria. The Bible records this at 2 Kings 18:13: “Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.” While the Scriptures are silent on the subject of deportations at this time, Sennacherib himself has left the following record: “And Hezekiah king of Judah, who had not bowed down at my feet forty-six of his strong cities, his castles, and the smaller towns in their neighborhood beyond number with warlike engines. ... I attacked and captured 200,150 people small and great, male and female, horses, mares, asses, camels, oxen and sheep beyond number, from the midst of them I carried off and distributed them as a spoil. He himself, like a bird in a cage, inside Jerusalem his royal city I shut him up.” After Sennacherib’s attack, all that was left of Judaea was the city of Jerusalem by itself. Neither did any of the Judahites taken by Sennacherib to Assyria return back to Judaea!

At this point in our story, nearly all of the twelve tribes of Israel (or thirteen tribes depending upon how one might count them) are in dispersion, never to return to their homeland! But this is not the end of the dispersions as there is more yet to come! On the horizon the neo-Babylonian empire was in its ascendancy while the Assyrian empire was being overthrown. Upon the neo-Babylonian empire coming into power, Nebuchadnezzar ascended his throne, and imposed a heavy yoke upon the king and the kingdom of Judah in his first year of rule. Nebuchadnezzar would reign 604-561 B.C. This is confirmed at Jeremiah 25:1:

“The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon” (KJV spelling). Under Nebuchadnezzar there were three deportations of Judahites from Judaea to Babylon, and all that were left were the poorest of the land. Of those deported, many would never ever return to Judaea.

After seventy years of captivity in Babylon, in his first year as ruler over Babylon, Cyrus, king of Persia, 538 B.C., he issued a royal decree to the effect that the exiled Judeans were free to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of Yahweh (Ezra 1:1-4). It was a long and dusty trip which included 42,360 males besides slaves and professional singers carrying with them the temple treasures. They arrived at Jerusalem in time to celebrate the Feast of Booths in the seventh month, 537 B.C. We see from all of this that of all the millions of Israelites of the northern ten-tribed kingdom of Israel and the Judahites, Benjamites and a smattering of Levites of the southern two-tribed kingdom of Judah, only 42,360 returned to Jerusalem, and of those 42,360, not all of them could verify their Judahite, Benjamite or Levite genealogy.

Except for a couple of persons mentioned in the New Testament, of the millions of Israelites from the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah, only 42,360 returned again to Judaea! We can be quite sure that this is true, as the Almighty proclaimed in no uncertain words that this is the way that it would be! This declaration by Yahweh can be found at Hosea 2:6: “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.” In other words, the house of Israel or the house of Judah may attempt to return to Samaria or Judaea, but they will shed much blood in the process and their way will be blocked at every turn.

For instance, during the period from the end of the 11th century until the end of the 13th century A.D., expeditio/strongns and wars were conducted by the Christians of Europe to uphold the rights of pilgrims at Jerusalem to ultimately establish a firm foothold for Christianity in Palestine. These expeditions and wars were called “the Crusades”, and were first instigated by pope Urban II. For those who volunteered, they were promised remission of sins, and all who died in the expedition got immediate entry into Paradise! Over this period there were eight crusades in all, not including the pitiful Children’s Crusade. The people who took part in these crusades were of the twelve lost tribes of Israel. They did manage to take Jerusalem for a while, but in the end, the Muslims regained the territory back again. The empire founded by the Crusaders expired with the capture of Acre by the Sultan of Egypt in 1291. As a result of the crusades, thousands upon thousands of Israelite men and boys died for the pope’s cause.

Summation: With this paper it becomes quite clear that not everything that is taught in nominal churchianity is true. It should now be obvious that the term “gentile” was never in any of the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek manuscripts! Secondly, it should now be apparent that after Jerome introduced the Latin term “gentile” into his Vulgate translation in the Late Latin period (150-700 A.D. – Jerome living in the 4th century) that by the Middle English period (1150-1475 A.D.) a corrupted definition of “non-Jew” had been adopted. Therefore, today the clergy has erroneously reduced the world’s population down to two categories, “Jew” and “non-Jew”, (calling any “non-Jew”, a “gentile”)!

Also with this essay, we see that the apostle Paul didn’t go to any so-called “gentiles”, but to the lost twelve tribes of Israel who had become “nations”, a proper rendering of the Greek word ἔθνος (ethnos).

Then we checked the Biblical and secular records of the several dispersions of the twelve tribes of Israel, and how only a very small remnant of 42,360 of the southern kingdom ever returned to their homeland!

Last of all, evidence was presented from Scripture that Yahweh would cause a hedge and a wall to be placed between the twelve tribes of Israel and their former homeland, preventing their return. And though the Crusaders were able to establish a foothold in Palestine for a short period, in the end they were unable to hold it, and had to retreat back to their newfound home in Europe. This paper has been an endeavor to show the reader how out-of-context today’s clergy is twisting Yahweh’s Word to their own destruction. Responsibility now falls on the reader’s shoulder!