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 Ethnos Race, Is there a difference?
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WHEELER

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  07:21:33  


I have just listened to a diversity forum here in America and the speaker said, there is no such thing as race but there is such a thing as "ethnicity". I about rolled out of my chair in laughter. I am a reader of the Septuagint. And frequently ethnos is translated as nation or as race.

Ethnos, laos is a Greek word for race, nation.
Nation, or gens is the Latin for race, nation.
Race is just a French word for ethnicity, nation.

Plato and Aristotle both recognized that there are races and racial differences. So did the Romans.

In the New Testament, St. Paul, in Acts 17.26 says εξ ενος παν εθνος which is translated "From one every Nation". Race---Nation, makes no difference with me. I believe that Race/ethnicity/nation/ all mean the same thing. I can't believe this speaker is right that there are ethnic characteristics but no such thing as "race". What is the Greek meaning of Ethnos?

Am I right--this was NOT a problem for the Greeks or the Romans? Is this not common sense?


 

George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  11:01:50  

 

No, you are not right. Greeks were more or less indifferent to racial differences. The very word "barbaric" didn't mean "of an inferior race"; it meant people who don't speak Greek and don't have respect and will for freedom. It was a cultural distinction, and not racial.

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WHEELER

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  11:22:47  

 

I was not asking about the word "barbarian". What is going around in America is that "There is no such thing as race". Ethnos means race doesn't it? It's presence in Classical writings and in the Septuagint would mean that they had a concept of race and used the term "ethnos" to describe it.

I mean if there is Race one is of a different race from another. From Genesis ch. 11, God confused the languages. One difference off the bat would be "speaks a different language". Wouldn't that be why the word "ethnos" be used?

In the Septuagint, Genesis 25.23, "And the Lord said to her, There are two nations in thy womb and two peoples shall be seperated from thy belly, and one people shall excell the other and the elder shall serve the younger".

Now, the translator used the word "nation" for the Greek word ethnos, δυο εθνη εν γαστρί σου εισι and then says και λαος λαου υπερεξει. If race does not exist---then why is this here?

I can't understand this. If this is in an ancient text that is some 3000 years old, I mean this concept of nation did exist back then. I mean this whole situation would be non-sensical. If the Bible is the Inspired Word of God, Does God know what he is talking about?

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George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  13:13:24  

 

No, ethnos does not mean race. Race in Greek is phyle and phylo. Ethnos is translated by nation, not by race.

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WHEELER

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  14:27:38  

 

Younge Greek/English Lexicon mentions those two and says that Pindar, Sophocles, Euripedes, Xenophon and Plato both used ethnos as "body of people".

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n/a

55 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  15:39:39  

 

"Body of people" can be a mob, a parliament, a gang, a church, etc., it is not enough to describe ethnos. Race too can not be described as just "a body of people". Ethnos means most of all a common culture, and race means most of all a common descent.

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