Jews: .18% of world population (that’s POINT 18%)
Blacks: 8% of world population
Hindus: 15% of world population
Muslims: 29% of world population
Christians: 32% of world population
Asians: 60% of world population
Of all these groupings, none of them (that I can think of) has a word to classify anyone who is NOT that class. There is no word in the English language that means “anyone who is not black”; “anyone who is not Christian”; et cetera.
Yet, the smallest, most minuscule grouping, Jews, yields a word that is universally accepted to mean “anyone who is not a Jew.” Even though that grouping includes 99.82% of the world and includes the most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse group there is. The one and only thing everyone in the group has in common, is that he or she is not a Jew.
Does this make any sense to you??
Personally, I don’t use the word Gentile in my common parlance. I feel that perhaps it would be perceived as somehow exclusionist or elitist and instead employ the more neutral term, “non-Jew.” Most Jews that I know also prefer the softer term.
Most non-Jews that I know, when telling me that they are not Jewish, seem to be more likely to use the term “Gentile” than Jews.
The term “Gentile” seems to have originally derived from the Hebrew “goy.” The Hebrew word “goy” means “nation,” and is used many times throughout Torah scripture, never derogatorily. Sometimes it refers to the Jewish nation and sometimes it refers to the other nations, usually in the context of exhorting the Jewish people to resist the pulls of assimilation and intermarriage and to remain true to its heritage.
Somehow, the term evolved into its common usage, ostensibly by those very non-Jews. So why did everyone buy into this term? Do non-Jews feel that “everyone who is not Jewish” somehow shares a common bond? More than “everyone who is not black”? More than “everyone who is not Christian”?
Still scratching my head.