Q: Is Greek also considered Gentiles in Romans 10:12?
The short answer is "yes"; in the context of the Scripture, several terms generally are used synonymously; these include "Greek," "Gentile," "nations," "peoples," and "tribes." However, the designations "Greek," "Gentile," "nations," "peoples," and "tribes" generally have in view only the descendants of the physical line Abraham-Isaac-Jacob.
The common notion, that a "Gentile" is anyone, irrespective of race or ethnicity, who is not a "Jew," is false. As always, it is the context which determines the meaning of a word, and in the Scripture the context generally places severe constraints upon the meaning of the Greek word ETHNOS, which English translations render "Gentile," "nations," "peoples," and "tribes," and upon the Greek word ELLEN, which is translated "Greek."
Protestants generally do not understand that virtually all of the Scripture, both the portion which was penned prior to the Incarnation (aka the "Old Testament") and the portion which was penned subsequent to the Incarnation (aka the "New Testament"), concerns and is addressed to the physical line Abraham-Isaac-Jacob; accordingly, the Scripture is written from the perspective of this group. Consequently, members of other ethnic groups and other races may find the Scripture incomprehensible.
A proper understanding of the meanings of the terms "Jew," "Gentile," and "Greek" requires a frame of reference. The following enumeration provides the essential background:
= The Lord God gave Jacob a new name; that name is Israel. Sometimes the Scripture uses the name Jacob; other times, it uses the name Israel.
= Jacob had two wives, Leah and Rachel; each wife had a handmaid, which is a personal slave.
= Jacob begat sons by each wife and by each handmaid. But in the eyes of Jacob, Rachael, and Leah, as well as in the eyes of the Lord God, the sons of the handmaids are of equal status with the sons of the wives.
= Though Americans typically associate the role of slave with the Negro race, such is not the case with the handmaids of Rachel and Leah. In the ancient world, conquered peoples were taken as slaves, and a debtor unable to repay could be forced into servitude as slave of a countryman. In view of:
(1) the "kind after kind" decrees of the Creation Account, which implicitly forbid miscegenation,
(2) the relationship between the Lord God and Abraham, Isaiah 41:8,
(3) the fact that Leah as well as Rachel utilized her handmaid in the role of proxy by which to bear children, viewing the child of the handmaid as if she herself had borne him,
(4) the sons of Jacob are accorded equal status, irrespective of whether the mother is a wife or handmaiden,
it should be apparent that the handmaids of Rachael and Leah were of the Adamic Race.
= The sons of Leah are Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob, and Simeon and Levi and Judah and Issachar and Zebulun.
= The sons of Rachel are Joseph and Benjamin.
= The sons of Bilhah, the handmaid of Rachael, are Dan and Naphtali.
= The sons of Zilpah, the handmaid of Leah, are Gad and Asher.
= Joseph had two sons, Manasseh, the firstborn, and Ephraim.
= Jacob placed the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, on the same footing regarding inheritance as that of his other eleven sons.
= Each of the sons of Jacob gave rise to a tribe of descendants, except for Joseph, who, through his two sons, gave rise to two tribes.
= Thus, there is no tribe of Joseph; instead, there is the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh. Accordingly, the nation of Israel was comprised of thirteen tribes, and not twelve.
= Most of the Scripture has in view a pair of covenants, the Old and the New.
= Both the Old Covenant and the New are covenants of marriage.
= The Old Covenant embraces both the Justified and the Unjustified of the physical line Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, uniting them in marriage with the pre-incarnate Son of God.
= The New Covenant embraces only the Justified of the physical line Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, uniting them in marriage with the resurrected Christ Jesus.
= The Old Covenant made of the Children of Israel a physical nation, so that the marriage is to the nation as a whole, as opposed to a separate marriage to each of the thirteen tribes.
= The nation of Israel was a Kingdom.
= Originally, the Lord God was both the Husband of Israel and her King; but the people soon rejected the Lord as King and demanded of the Lord an visible, earthly King.
= Immediately following the reign of Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel was divided into the Northern Kingdom, which was comprised of ten tribes, and the Southern Kingdom, which was comprised of three tribes.
= The tribes of the Southern Kingdom were Judah, Benjamin, and Levi.
= The Levites, having received no allocation within the Land of Promise, originally were scattered among the other tribes. Upon division of the Kingdom, most of the Levites migrated from the Northern Kingdom and took up residence within the Southern Kingdom.
= The division, which arose over oppressive taxation imposed by the King, was attended by animosity between the two Kingdoms.
= The marriage relationship of the Old Covenant remained intact, despite the division. Moreover, the relationship with each kingdom was independent of the relationship with the other kingdom. Accordingly, the Scriptural portrayal of the relationship becomes that of a man married to two sisters.
= The Northern Kingdom, consisting of roughly three-quarters of the populace of the nation, was called by the name Israel, and by the name of the capital city, Samaria.
= The principal tribe of the Southern Kingdom being Judah, the Southern Kingdom was called by the name Judah, and by the name of the capital city, Jerusalem. Eventually, the appellation "Jew" was applied to all members of the Southern Kingdom, whether of Judah, Benjamin, or Levi.
= The husband of the marriage relationship of the Old Covenant being the Lord God, idolatry on the part of the wife constitutes adultery.
= Adultery is a ground for divorcement, but divorce is not mandatory.
= The Northern Kingdom soon engaged in idolatry, whereupon the Lord God, exercising his prerogative, divorced his unfaithful wife.
= The loss of covenantal relationship on the part of the Northern Kingdom only intensified the animosity of the Jew toward the tribes of the Northern Kingdom.
= In consequence of divorcement, the Northern Kingdom lost her identity; no longer was she the "People of God"; no longer was she "Israel."
= Also, in consequence of divorcement, the Northern Kingdom was physically evicted from the Land of Promise, and was scattered. The mechanism of eviction was the Assyrian invasion, circa 721 B.C.
= Through his prophets, the Lord God gave his unfaithful wife warning of the judgment which was about to fall. Perhaps the most obvious and detailed of these prophesies is that of Hosea.
= The prophesies of divorcement, eviction, and scattering of the Northern Kingdom also contain the promise of regathering, restoration to covenantal relationship, and reuniting of the divided Kingdom.
= The prophesies of regathering, restoration to covenantal relationship, and reuniting declare that these phenomena shall take place under the auspices of one king; the king in view is Christ Jesus; the covenant in view is the New Covenant.
= Jesus in his Olivet Discourse mentions this regathering and restoration of the Elect, Matthew 24:31. The regathering began shortly after the resurrection of Jesus, and has been underway now for two millennia.
= In speaking of this great populace comprised of the descendants of the Northern Kingdom, the Scripture uses the nondescript appellations "the peoples," "the tribes," and "the nations."
= The Greek word meaning tribe, people, or nation is ETHNOS, from which the English term "ethnic" is derived by transliteration. The Latin exact equivalent of ETHNOS is GENTILIS, which, translated into English, is "gentile."
= Like the word ETHNOS, the Greek word ELLEN refers to the alienated tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. In consequence of the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Koine dialect of Greek became the lingua franca of the Ancient World. Thus, Koine became the native language of much of the scattered populace of the Northern Kingdom. Accordingly, when referring to his alienated kinsmen, the Jew, arrogantly refusing to recognize them fellow Israelites, contemptuously used the terms ETHNOS and ELLEN.
= Whether by blunder or, more probably, by malice, English translators of the Scripture traditionally have refused to translate ETHNOS, or even to transliterate ETHNOS; instead, translators generally have represented ETHNOS with a transliteration of GENTILIS. It hardly could be more obvious that the goal of the translators is obfuscation.
= The marriage relationship of the Southern Kingdom remained intact, despite the Incarnation; thus, the Incarnate Christ Jesus was the husband of the physical nation which, at the time of the Incarnation, consisted of but a remnant of the Southern Kingdom.
= Any marriage relationship is dissolved by the death of either husband or wife.
= The marriage relationship of the Old Covenant was dissolved by the death of Christ Jesus, the Husband of Israel. Contrary to the claims of the contemporary Protestant Pulpit (which generally follows the fantastic Dispensational scheme of interpretation devised by Scofield), the dissolution is permanent and irreversible; there shall be no yet-future revival of the physical nation under the Old Covenant for a "Great Tribulation."
= While the Northern Kingdom (the "Gentile") lost her covenantal relationship through divorce, the Southern Kingdom (the "Jew") lost her covenantal relationship through death of the husband. Having lost his privileged status of covenantal relationship with the Lord God, the Jew no longer can look down his nose at the Gentile and sneer, for, in the present age of the New Covenant, the Jew and the Gentile are on the same footing, neither enjoying covenantal relationship under the Old Covenant.
In Romans 10:12 and numerous other passages, the author has in view the prophesied reuniting of the divided nation. Contrary to the teaching of the contemporary Protestant Pulpit, the distinction which is absent within the Body of Christ is not a distinction between the Jew and the rest of humanity; rather, it is a distinction between the tribes of the former Southern Kingdom and the tribes of the former Northern Kingdom. The distinction which is in view is that of covenantal relationship under the Old Covenant. The distinction was created by divorce of the Northern Kingdom, while the Southern Kingdom remained in covenantal relationship. But the moment Christ Jesus died, the distinction ceased, because the Old Covenant ceased. It is in the Church, in the present era of the Reign of the Christ, that the prophecies of the reunification of Israel are fulfilled.
A number of passages speak of the cornerstone -- the stone which is the "head of the corner." The cornerstone unites two walls of a structure; see Isaiah 28:16, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, I Peter 2:7. Christ Jesus is the Cornerstone; in him are united the wall which is the Southern Kingdom and the wall which is the Northern Kingdom.
In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul speaks of the "middle wall of partition" which Jesus has broken down; in this analogy, the wall portrays the animosity which separates the descendants of the two Kingdoms.