A name given by the Hebrews to all those that had not received the Law of Moses. Foreigners who embraced Judaism, they called proselytes. Since the promulgation of the gospel, the true religion has been extended to all nations; God, who had promised by his prophets to call the Gentiles to the faith, with a superabundance of grace, having fulfilled his promise; so that the Christian church is composed principally of Gentile converts, the Jews being too proud of their privileges to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Redeemer. In the writings of Paul, the Gentiles are generally called Greeks, Romans 1:14,16 1 Corinthians 1:22,24 Galatians 3:28. So also in those of Luke, in the Acts 6:1 11:20 18:4. Paul is commonly called the apostle of the Gentiles, Galatians 2:8 1 Timothy 2:7, because he preached Christ principally to them; whereas Peter, etc., preached generally to the Jews, and are called apostles of the circumcision, Galatians 2:8.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.