Difference Between Jews and Gentiles (With Table)

Jews and Gentiles are two different religions. Both of them have vast differences in culture, what they eat, what they wear, etc. It is often seen that Jews and Gentiles are confused and regarded as the same religion, which is far from the truth. Knowing the difference between Jews and Gentiles is very important.

Jews vs Gentiles

The difference between Jews and Gentiles is that a Jew is considered to be the descendant of Patriarch Israel, whereas gentiles are those who worship Jehovah. The term ‘Gentiles’ means ‘The nations’. Any non- Jew was considered a Gentile previously and was equated with Christians. The Jews believed that there was one transcendent God, and they were His chosen ones.

A Jew is someone who considers his religion to be Judaism and follows it. It is any person belonging to the tribe that constitutes, either through conversion or descent, a continuation of Jewish people who were descendants of Hebrews of the Bible. There are 14 million people, as of now, around the world who consider themselves Jews, and most of them live in either Israel or the USA.

A Gentile, however, nowadays is known as someone who is ‘non-Jew’. These people believe in Jesus. In the Gospels, it was written that Jesus sent his Apostles to avoid Jews and go to Jews as they were ‘lost sheep of Israel’. So, while a Jew was someone who belonged to one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a Gentile was someone who did not belong to any of those tribes.

 Comparison Table Between Jews and Gentiles  

Parameters of comparison Jews Gentiles 
DefitionA Jew is someone who is a descendant of the patriarch Israel  Gentiles mean those who are not Jews. 
WorshipGod as per the Law of Moses. Jehovah. 
Faith Judaism. Christianity.  
Believe inJews believed in one God and that they were His chosen ones. Gentiles believed no such thing. 
Descendants Patriarchs of Isaac and Jacob. Abraham of Israel. 

What are Jews?

A Jew is considered a person who follows Judaism. They come in all shapes, nationalities, and ethnicities. It is a religion that is followed by people worldwide and even from countries like China, India, Ethiopia, Morrocco, and Iran. However, the majority of Jews live in Israel and the USA.

Their practices are very orthodox, and their beliefs are strict. They observe the practices and beliefs of their ancestors. The original name for ‘Jews’ was ‘Hebrews’, and the word ‘Jew’ was derived from one of the names of Jacob’s son, ‘Judah’. A tribe was also named after him. The religion is also known as the religion of Yehudim.

According to their laws, any child born to a Jewish mother or father does not need to prove his Jewishness. He is considered a born Jew and does not have to convert or perform any activity to convert himself into a Jew. Earlier, a child was known to be a Jew only if the mother was a Jew, but it changed over time. The religion emphasizes the importance of being raised Jewish. If a child is born into a Jew family but brought up liberally and not according to the laws of Jews, he is not considered a Jew.

What are Gentiles?

The word ‘Gentile’ comes from Latin, and it means ‘the nations’ and ‘belonging to a tribe’. It is typically used in the Gospels for the people who are not Jewish. Gentiles believe in Jesus and follow Christianity. Gentiles have figures like Pope to guide them through their path of religion, unlike Jews who have no such leader figures.

Gentiles have different art structures. How they dress and eat is also very different from that of Jews. Gentile is anyone from anywhere around the world who is not ‘Jewish’. According to the Bible and Gospels, the Gentile nations did not have access to knowledge of God and His laws and usually broke his laws, which is why the Jews think they are the chosen ones of God and anyone who is not Jewish is gentile. However, the Christians do not think that way.

However, in the Bible and Gospels, Gentile nations were not completely hopeless. The gospels mention how God showed his mercy to the gentile nations and included them with Abraham, who was the father of Israel. That is why Gentiles are the descendants of Abraham.

Mostly, gospels use the word ‘gentile’ in a very negative light, generally for a person who broke God’s laws and wanted to separate others from God. However, gentiles who wished to convert themselves to Judaism were allowed to do so. To do that, they were needed their sins to be cleansed to have peace with God, just like Jews. 

Later in the gospels, it is written that Jesus wanted gentiles in his kingdom and forgave all their sins. So, the people who were not Jews came to be known as Gentiles.

Main Differences Between Jews and Gentiles

  1. A Jew is someone who is a descendant of the patriarch of Israel, whereas gentiles simply refer to the people who are not Jewish.
  2. Jews follow Judaism, whereas Gentiles follow Christianity.
  3. Jews believe in one God, and Gentiles believe in their Saviour, Jesus.
  4. Jews were never shown or portrayed in a negative light, whereas Gentiles were shown in a negative light earlier in the gospels.
  5. Jews believed they were the chosen ones of God, whereas Gentiles believed in no such thing.

Conclusion

The teachings of Jews and gentiles may seem alike, but the way they dress, their architecture, their food, everything is very different from each other. Gentiles follow Christianity and thus, have religious leaders like Pope to guide them through where Jews only believe in one leader that is their God. 

They strictly follow the laws of Jews and raise their children to believe in the laws and act accordingly. If a person does not act according to the laws of Jews, he is not considered a Jew.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=4PfFgBUP6BAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=Gentiles&ots=554ukjsB0z&sig=MGIjrehpNXukEZlM-QSGAaWf02g
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1509403
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2984747/
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