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Explaining Noahide Identity
Hi all,

I was talking on facebook with fellow gentile who was part of a significant noahide website. He mentioned something about "building Noahide communities." As I was unsure of what exactly he meant by this, I opened a discussion with him about what a Noahide is.

My basic understanding is that a Noahide is a non-Jew, a gentile. That's it. There are righteous noahides and unrighteous ones. I understand this from the phrase "seven mitzvos were commanded upon the children of Noah" which I understand to mean all non-Jews.

He had an understanding of Noahide that I had heard of: that a noahide is someone who actually keeps the 7 laws. Thus his idea of building Noahide communities is to build communities from only people who keep the seven laws of Noah. I'm guessing that he also includes in this a belief in the God of Israel. He said that there is a distinction between bnei Noah [in literal translation, this is Hebrew for "children of Noah"] and "noahide" where bnei Noah are literally all of Noah's descendants apart from Israel, whereas a Noahide is someone who keeps the 7 commandments because God commanded them at Sinai.

I think of what I've read of Rambam and the little bits of knowledge I have of the Talmud (referenced in books about the seven commandments) and this word "noahide" on this person's understanding seems modern and novel and not the same as the term bnei Noah (descendants of Noah).

Are there any authoritaitive traditional sources that use bnei noah in a way that coincides with the modern usage of the word "noahide" that this person gave me? Is it really modern as I think, or is it just my limited knowledge coming into play again? Is there a difference between bnei Noah and Noahide? Could you help me and clarify things please?

Very much appreciated.

Messages In This Thread
Explaining Noahide Identity - by ProudNoachide - 07-06-2007, 12:34 AM
RE: explaining identity - by Director Michael - 07-10-2007, 01:21 PM
RE: Explaining Identity - by aegd - 09-29-2009, 01:00 PM
RE: Explaining Identity - by Director Michael - 09-29-2009, 01:38 PM
What is a "Noahide"? - by amenyahu - 11-18-2012, 03:56 AM
RE: What is a "Noahide"? - by Director Michael - 11-20-2012, 08:39 PM

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