An appellative which varies in application according to the religious and even the cultural viewpoint adopted. Thus, in the Old Testament it designates the collection of nations of non-Israelitic stock (2 Esdras 5) and alien to the worship and customs of the true religion. This meaning is carried over into the New Testament (Luke, 2); at times, it is a synonym for "Greek" (Romans 2) and, in certain passages, it stands in contrast to "Christians" (I Corinthians 5).

New Catholic Dictionary

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