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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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In matters of religion, a Pagan, or worshipper of false gods. The origin of this word is deduced from the Jews, who called all those who were not of their name gojim, 1:e. gentes, which in the Greek translation of the Old Testament is rendered in which sense it frequently occurs in the New Testament; as in Matthew 6:32 . "All these things the nations or Gentiles seek." Whence the Latin church also used gentes in the same sense as our Gentiles, especially in the New Testament. But the word gentes soon got another signification, and no longer mean: all such as were not Jews, but those only who were neither Jews nor Christians, but followed the superstitions of the Greeks and Romans, &c. In this sense it continued among the Christian writers, till their manner of speech, together with their religion, was publicly, and by authority, received in the empire, when gentiles, from gentes, came into use; and then both words had two significations; viz., in treatises or laws concerning religion, they signified Pagans, neither Jews nor Christians; and in civil affairs they are used for all such as were not Romans.


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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Gentile'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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