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Where do Gentiles come from?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by dazed, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. dazed

    dazed Newbie

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    The Bible and Jesus made references to Gentiles. As I understood it, Gentiles referred to non-Jews. But if we are all descendants of Noah, who was a Jew, shouldn't that made us all Jews?
     
  2. dazed

    dazed Newbie

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    I thought Adam was the first Jew. If Abraham was a Jew, shouldn't Noah be a Jew too? If I'm a Chinese, one of my ancestors must be a Chinese.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2011
  3. Traveller and Wiley

    Traveller and Wiley Member

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    Not if China didn't exist during their lifetime.
     
  4. dazed

    dazed Newbie

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    I understood that Abraham is the patriarch of Jews. But I don't think he was the first Jew. It's similar to Joseph Kennedy is the patriarch of the Kennedy's clan but he was not the first Kennedy ever.

    Did God just arbitrarily give Abraham and his descendants the tile of "Jew"? I take it that his nephew, Lot, was not a Jew but God was merciful enough to save him and his daughters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2011
  5. salida

    salida Veteran

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    Just because we are from Noah doesn't mean everyone is a jew. Different tribes evolved and different religions other than judism. In the old testament and new testament one is either a gentile or a jew.
     
  6. salida

    salida Veteran

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  7. darknova

    darknova Guest

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    Adam was the first man. As far as I can tell Abraham was the first jew. Even then it is only decent through Isaac.

    Humans evolved in africa and then spread all around the world. Just because you are Chinese it doesn't mean the first humans were.... they were african. Either way I don't believe in a 6 day creation or a world wide flood.

    It could be said that gentiles and jews came from a common source if you accept evolution or not anyway.
     
  8. zaksmummy

    zaksmummy Senior Member

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    Abraham was the first Hebrew. Hebrew means "to cross over". Literally Abraham crossed over a river, spiritually he crossed over from believing in many gods to believing in the One True God.

    The descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are known as Israelites from when God changed Jacobs name from Jacob which means "supplanter" to "Israel" which means "one who contends with God".

    The Jewish people are from the tribe of Judah, one of Jacob/Israel's sons, there were originally 12 tribes. If you read the Old Testament you will see that God scattered the tribes into all the world after they served other gods, firstly through Babylon. He said he would bring back a remnant who would worship him. This was the tribe of Judah. From then on the descendants of Abraham who have survived have been known as Jews because they were the predominant tribe that was left, although a few of other tribes remained, the Apostle Paul says that he is from the Tribe of Benjamin.

    When God chose the people of Israel to set them apart for himself they became Holy to him.

    All other people on the earth are known as "Goyim" in Hebrew, gentiles in English.

    Hope this explains a little:)
     
  9. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Alpha Male (Retired)

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    Actually the first to go into captivity (and later scattered) was the northern kingdom; the ten-tribed 'house of Israel'. This occurred around 720 b.c. at the hands of the Assyrians. The 'house of Judah' fell to Babyon in 585 b.c.

    Also, that Abraham was called a 'Hebrew' is testimony to the strength of the legacy of his ancestral patriarch 'Eber'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  10. CryptoLutheran

    CryptoLutheran Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman

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    The Biblical genealogy goes something like this:

    Adam -> Seth -> Noah -> Shem -> Abraham -> Isaac -> Jacob -> Twelve Tribes of Israel (i.e. Israelites).

    Only the Israelites are Jews*. The word Jew itself comes from one of the twelve patriarchs, Judah (The Hebrew word for "Jews" is Yehudim); in that sense originally only the tribe of Judah were Jews in that strict sense, but came to include not the tribe of Judah, or even just the southern tribes of the Kingdom of Judah (primarily Judah and Benjamin, though not exclusively) but all descendants of Jacob. So, for example, the Jews of Ethiopia are halakhically Jewish according to the consensus and ruling of the global Jewish community on the basis that Ethiopian Jewry are regarded as descendants of the tribe of Dan and have preserved their Jewish/Israelite religion and heritage to the present day and thus can--and have--made aliyah to modern day Israel.

    The word Semite comes from Noah's son Shem, and Abraham is not only the father of Isaac, but also of Ishmael, which in the Islamic tradition is the progenitor of the Arab peoples--thus Arabs are semites and regarded as descendants of Abraham, but not Jews (unless of course an Arab converted to Judaism, in which case he or she is a Jew and brought into God's Covenant). Jewishness, while inherited maternally (according to the rulings of the rabbis) is not ethnos in the standard sense; as anyone who goes through the rite of conversion is a Jew and no less part of the Jewish people as one who is born a Jew.

    The Samaritans are probably a unique case. The Samaritans themselves regard themselves as Israelites but not Jews, they have a different Torah than the Jews do (for example, the Samaritan Torah instructs them to worship on Mt. Gerizim, where they do to this very day and this has been a source of disagreement among Jews and Samaritans for a very long time, since at least the end of the Exile around 500 BCE). Samaritans, therefore are Semitic and Israelites, but not Jews--since they practice a religion distinct though related to Judaism (see Samaritanism).

    -CryptoLutheran

    *I clarify on this a bit later in the post since this statement is not itself technically accurate.
     
  11. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Alpha Male (Retired)

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    Abraham was a 'spiritual' Jew, as he believed the promise of the new covenant. Jesus said 'salvation is of the Jews', meaning of course spiritual Jews, like Abraham (which the 'Jews' of his day were definitely not). Abraham could also be called a 'Levite' as he gave tithes to Melchezedec: 'And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. ' (Heb 7:9-10)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  12. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    Judaism was introduced by Moses. Before that, you might consider it to be "proto-Judaism."
     
  13. ns7

    ns7 Shhh... don't tell anyone I'm here :P

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    Is it a possibility we take the Bible too literal? We see the Bible today as a single book all sorted out. Don't forget, that's not how it was created. We can't, today, expect to understand the minds of the people God inspired to write the passages. They had to explain things with their level of understanding at their time. So I would not spend too much time figuring who the first Jew was and why there are gentiles. It's all just history, for the most part, unknown!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  14. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Alpha Male (Retired)

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    Mmmmm, I would go with Ezra and Niemiah.
     
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