Sometimes when you turn to the back of your bible it will have a maps section. And some will even say this, ‘’Palestine in the time of Christ.’’ If yours does, then know this, the publishers of this Bible are not being accurate.
Let me explain, what if we had a map that said ”The United States in the time of Christopher Columbus”. Most people today would call that silly. Why? Because most people know that you are mixing time periods in a way that is not accurate. The United States did not exist at the time of Columbus.
Or how about a similar map which said this: ”O’Hare Airport in the time of George Washington.” Again, this would be foolishness today for the same reason. Yet, when it comes to maps, publishers have gotten away with this sort of foolishness for decades. There was no ‘Palestine’ when Jesus walked the earth. He walked in the land of Israel! Those alive at the time of Jesus would never, ever have called it the ‘land of Palestine.’
Even an angel from heaven called it Israel.
‘’After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘’Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel” (Matthew 2:19-20)
Do you see that? God’s very own angel sent from heaven did not call it the land ‘Palestine’ as our maps have said, but instead called it the land of Israel.
And what does Jesus call the land? Israel, of course.
‘’Ye shall not have gone over the **cities of Israel**, till the Son of man shall have come.’’ (Matthew 10:23)
Now the term ‘Palestine’ is indeed used in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible,) but when it is used, it ONLY refers specifically to the relatively small coastal area of Israel occupied by the Philistines.
So where did the name ‘Palestine’ come from? In the 2nd century, the Roman army crushed a revolt lead by a false Jewish Messiah named Simon Bar Kokhba (132 CE). They were so fed up with the Jews revolting against Rome that they decided to add insult to injury.
It was during this time that the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed Judea into ‘Palaestina’ in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel and remind the Jewish people of their ancient adversaries – the Philistines. It was another way of the Romans attempting to demoralize the Jewish occupants of the land.
So this name ‘Palestine’, as a designation for the entire land of Israel, only dates from the second century AFTER the time of Jesus. And even then it was only done to spite the Jewish people.
Also, did you ever notice….
* There has never been a ‘’Palestinian State.’’
* There has never been a ‘’Palestinian People’’ until Yassar Arafat created them in 1964.
* There are no national ‘’Palestinian Holidays’’ (other than those which celebrate days against Israel.)
Why? Because ‘Palestine’ never formally existed in history.
So the next time you see in your Bible maps ‘Palestine in the time of Christ’ know that someone is not being historically accurate.
They are also separating Jesus from His Hebrew/Jewish roots.