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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Gentiles

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A — 1: ἔθνος

(Strong's #1484 — Noun Neuter — ethnos — eth'-nos )

whence Eng., "heathen," denotes, firstly, "a multitude or company;" then, "a multitude of people of the same nature or genus, a nation, people;" it is used in the singular, of the Jews, e.g., Luke 7:5; 23:2; John 11:48,50-52; in the plural, of nations (Heb., goiim) other than Israel, e.g., Matthew 4:15; Romans 3:29; 11:11; 15:10; Galatians 2:8; occasionally it is used of gentile converts in distinction from Jews, e.g., Romans 11:13; 16:4; Galatians 2:12,14; Ephesians 3:1 .

A — 2: Ἕλλην

(Strong's #1672 — Noun Masculine — hellen — hel'-lane )

originally denoted the early descendants of Thessalian Hellas; then, Greeks as opposed to barbarians, Romans 1:14 . It became applied to such Gentiles as spoke the Greek language, e.g., Galatians 2:3; 3:28 . Since that was the common medium of intercourse in the Roman Empire, Greek and Gentile became more or less interchangeable terms. For this term the RV always adheres to the word "Greeks," e.g., John 7:35; Romans 2:9,10; 3:9; 1 Corinthians 10:32 , where the local church is distinguished from Jews and Gentiles; 1 Corinthians 12:13 .

B — 1: ἐθνικός

(Strong's #1482 — Noun Masculine — ethnikos — eth-nee-kos' )

is used as noun, and translated "Gentiles" in the RV of Matthew 5:47; 6:7; "the Gentile" in Matthew 18:17 (AV, "an heathen man"); "the Gentiles" in 3 John 1:7 , AV and RV.

C — 1: ἐθνικῶς

(Strong's #1483 — Adverb — ethnikos — eth-nee-koce' )

"in Gentile fashion, in the manner of Gentiles," is used in Galatians 2:14 , "as do the Gentiles," RV.

Notes: (1) For the synonymous word laos, "a people," see PEOPLE. (2) When, under the new order of things introduced by the Gospel the mystery of the Church was made known, the word ethnos was often used in contrast to the local church, 1 Corinthians 5:1; 10:20; 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:5; 1 Peter 2:12 .

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Gentiles'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/g/gentiles.html. 1940.

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