Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gentiles A Misunderstood Word

Overview

The word #Gentiles is a Latin word which originally meant clan or family.  In the Old Testament the Hebrew word ‘goy’ is sometimes translated as gentiles and should be translated as nations.  In Genesis  chapter 10, the word ‘nations’ is used when dividing the land, between Noah’s sons.  The words clan or family could also have also have been used here.

The Septuagint translated the Hebrew word ‘goy’ to the Greek word ‘ethnos’ in Genesis 10:5 and in Genesis 10:20.  The word ethnos is defined as ‘people of the same race or nationality who share a distinctive culture’ according to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ethnos

In the New Testament the Greek words ‘ethnikos’ and ‘ethnos’ are both sometimes translated as gentiles.  The word ‘ethnikos’ was only used 4 times and originally meant pagan, heathen people or non-Israelite.  Ethnikos comes for the word ‘ethnos’ which means a race, nation or people according to Strongs. 

The word ethnos was used 163 times.  It is sometimes translated as gentiles instead of nations within the same bible translation.

Today we are told the word ‘gentiles’ means ‘non-Jew’.  It cannot mean ‘non-Jew’ especially since when Rebecca was pregnant with Jacob and Esau she asked Yahweh why the children were struggling within her.  Yahweh replied:

Genesis 25:23 And the Lord said to her,  "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided;  the one shall be stronger than the other,  the older shall serve the younger."

The word ‘nations’ in this verse was translated from the word ‘goy’.  If ‘goy’ was intended to mean ‘non-jew’, it would be stating here that she was pregnant with two ‘non-jews’.  This really does not make any sense.

See http://biblehub.com/lexicon/genesis/25-23.htm for the translation of this verse.

Summary of Use

Here is a summary of the use of the word gentiles in the nine versions of the bible I have:

Bible
Gentiles Used
Apocrypha
Notes
1898 Young’s Literal Translation
Never
No
 
1395 Wycliffe Bible
5
Yes
Translated from Latin
1871 Darby’s New Translations
6
No
 
1535 Tyndall’s Bible
68
No
Not a complete bible
2000 World English Bible
93
No
 
2001 English Standard Version
94
No
 
1901 American Standard Version
98
No
 
1611 King James Version
121
No
 
1609 Douay Rheims Catholic Bible
240
Yes
Translated from Latin

Old Testament Use of Goy


Here are several translations of the Hebrew word goy from Genesis 10:5:

Wycliffe Bible goy is hethen men:  of these sones the ylis of hethen men weren departid in her cuntrees, ech bi his langage and meynees, in hise naciouns.

Tyndale Bible goy is gentiles:  Of these came the Iles of the gentylls in there contres every man in his speach kynred and nation.

Douay Rheims goy is gentiles:  By these were divided the islands of the Gentiles in their lands, every one according to his tongue and their families in their nations.

King James Version goy is gentiles:  By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Darby Bible goy is nations:  From these came the distribution of the isles of the nations, according to their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Youngs Literal Bible goy is nations:  By these have the isles of the nations been parted in their lands, each by his tongue, by their families, in their nations.

American Standard Bible goy is nations:  Of these were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

World English Version goy is nations:  Of these were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, everyone after his language, after their families, in their nations.

English Standard Version goy is peoples:  From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

See the BibleHub Lexicon for more information http://biblehub.com/lexicon/genesis/10-5.htm

 
Here are several translations of the same Hebrew word goy from Genesis 10:20, however, this time the versions that translated the word goy as gentiles above have translated the word as nations:

Wycliff Bible goy is folkis: Lesa. 20 These weren the sones of Cham, in her kynredis, and langagis, and generaciouns, and londis, and folkis.

Tyndale Bible goys is nations: These were the chyldre of Ham in there kynreddes tonges landes and nations.

Douray Rheims goy is nations:  These are the children of Cham in their kindreds, and tongues, and generations, and lands, and nations.

King James Version goy is nations:  These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

Darby’s Translation goy is nations:  20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.

Young’s Literal Translation goy is nations:  These [are] sons of Ham, by their families, by their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.

American Standard Version goy is nations:  These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.

World English Versions goy is nations:  These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, in their nations.

English Standard Versions goy is nations:  These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.


New Testament Use of Ethnos

Here are several translations of the word ‘ethnikos’ from Matthew 18:17:

Wycliffe ethnikos translated as heathen:  17 And if he herith not hem, seie thou to the chirche. But if he herith not the chirche, be he as an hethen and a pupplican to thee.

Tyndale ethnikos translated as heathen:  If he heare not them tell it vnto the congregacion. If he heare not ye congregacion take him as an hethen man and as a publican.

Douay Rheims ethnikos translated as heathen:  And if he will not hear them:tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

King James Version ethnikos translated as heathen:  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Darby’s ethnikos translated as nations: But if he will not listen to them, tell it to the assembly; and if also he will not listen to the assembly, let him be to thee as one of the nations and a tax- gatherer.

Young’s Literal `ethnikos translated as heathen:  And if he may not hear them, say [it] to the assembly, and if also the assembly he may not hear, let him be to thee as the heathen man and the tax- gatherer.

American Standard Version ethnikos translated as Gentiles: And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church:and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.

World English ethnikos translated as Gentiles: If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.

English Standard ethnikos translated as Gentiles: If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Also see http://biblehub.com/lexicon/matthew/18-17.htm for more information.

 Here are several translations of the word ‘ethnos’ from Luke 2:32:

Wycliffe Bible ethnos translated as heathen:  liyt to the schewyng of hethene men, and glorie of thi puple Israel.

Tyndall Bible ethnos translated as gentiles:  A light to lighten the gentyls and the glory of thy people Israel.

Douay Rheims Bible ethnos translated as gentiles:  A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

King James Version ethnos translated as gentiles:  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Darby’s ethnos translated as gentiles:  a light for revelation of [the] Gentiles and [the] glory of thy people Israel.

Young’s Literal ethnos translated as nations:  a light to the uncovering of nations, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

American Standard ethnos translated as nations:  A light for revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of thy people Israel.

World English ethnos translated as gentiles:  A light for revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of your people Israel. "

English Standard ethnos translated as gentiles:  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."


 Here are several translations of the word ‘ethnos’ from Matthew 24:7.  This time the versions that used the word gentiles above now use the word nations:

Wycliffe Bible ethnos translated as folk:  Folk schal rise togidere ayens folc, and rewme ayens rewme, and pestilences, and hungris, and the erthemouyngis schulen be bi placis;

Tyndall Bible ethnos translated as nation:  For nacio shall ryse ageynste nacio and realme ageynste realme:and ther shalbe pestilence honger and erthquakes in all quarters.

Douay Rheims Bible ethnos translated as nation:  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places:

King James Version ethnos translated as nation:  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Darby’s Bible ethnos translated as nation:  For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.

Young’s Literal ethnos translated as nation: `For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places;

American Standard ethnos translated as nation: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places.

World English Bible ethnos translated as nation: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places.

English Standard Bible ethnos translated as nation: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.


 
For more information see:

BibleHub for goy http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1471.htm
BibleHub for ethnikos http://biblehub.com/greek/1482.htm
BibleHub for ethnos http://biblehub.com/greek/1484.htm