Israel and Palestine
Most people when they see or hear the name “Palestine” today they think of Palestinians. This was not so a few decades ago. Today in all forms of media, this propaganda is an outright refusal to acknowledge Israel. This has grown out of Arab nation sand has been accepted through a lack-of-understanding by viewers and readers. Palestine originally has been thought of as the Holy Land among Christians, the same land that is the nation of Israel. The name of Palestine was newly adopted by Arabs living in the area west of the Jordan River as a way of avoiding the use of the name of Israel. This change in use of the term Palestine has made a very clear statement supporting anti-Israel support. Most all maps published in Jordan, Egypt and other Arab nations use Palestine to describe the area west of the Jordan River without showing any reference to Israel whatsoever. This purposeful avoidance makes this denial a powerful in gaining support for de-legitimizing Israel’s existence among nations.Today a political entity has adopted the use of this name in its formation;we know it as the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA gradually has been able to obtain more territory through the Israel and Palestinian “peace process” and though the PA deals with Israeli daily, they continue to bolster Palestine as the land of the Palestinians refusing to address “Israel” directly.
Where did the term Palestine come from if not from the Bible? The Romans used the terms Judea and Galilee to refer to the land of Israel and never used the term Palestine in early Roman communications. It was only after the Bat Kokhba revolt by the Jews of Judaea province against the Roman Empire, the the last of the Jewish-Roman wars, that the Roman military Emperor Hadrianafter crushing the revoltrenamed the region he conquered Palestine. Roman had two regions, Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, and he combined into one Roman region call Syria Palestine. Ever since that time the land of Israel was known by many as Palestine and has been associated with the Holy Land ever since for purpose of removing any association from the Holy land of Israel with the Jews and their Bible.
Christians have used the term Palestine in reference to the Holy Land for centuries and unknowingly supported anti-Israel support. The term used is used most often today to bring into question the legitimacy of modern Israel. Christians once educated by Biblical research would most surely reevaluate the use of the term Palestine when speaking of the Holy Land and the Name of Israel.
The name Palestine is rarely used in the Old Testament and is never used in New Testament of the Bible. In the Old Testament, it never refers to land as a whole occupied by Israel rather it describes a people in the southwestern coastal area of Israel which was occupied by Philistines. The centralhighlands of Israel in the Old Testament were an area of Israel occupiedby Canaanites. Both Philistines and the Canaanites disappeared as a distinct people sometime before the Babylonian captivity of Judea around 560 BC.
The term Palestine was assimilated into the Church vocabulary at the foundation of the Byzantine Empire. This first Christian Church use of the term Palestine is found from works written by the historian Eusebius who adopted the term Palestine in referring to the Holy Land. Today this term is widely accepted and accepted throughout the Church in referring to the Holy Land of Israel as Palestine. It can be found in many various translations of the Bible by written by various scholars when referring to the Holy Land of Israel. It is Biblically inaccurate and it is destructive, for now the term Palestine is used as the cornerstone set in a war against Israel and the Jewish people. Christians, even Evangelical Christians who believe in the future of Israel in the land of Israel and the Jewish people widely use the term Palestine.
It is time for the Church of God to go back to the basics and use the terminology of the Holy Bible wherever possible. Gospels writers used the term Israel in referring to the land, why should Christians not do the same today. Why would Bible believing Christians want to use names or terms created by those that deliberately set hate in motion against God’s Word, the land of Israel and the Jewish people. In the New Testament Israel is primarily used to describe the people of Israel and they are alive and flourishing today even after all these thousands of years. Today is the time we will begin to speak boldly God’s given name for His Holy Land and His people, Israel.