Q. Lately on some of the radio broadcasts of sermons by popular Pastors I have noticed them referring to the land of Judea and Samaria as Palestine. One saying that Jesus was buried in a Palestinian tomb and another saying that God had made a Palestinian covenant with Joshua. I have searched out the word Palestine in several of the popular translations and it appears only once in the KJV Bible and none of the others. Am I missing something?
A. The only pastors and teachers I’m aware of who refer to Judea and Samaria as Palestine are those who are advocates of replacement theology or who have otherwise departed from the traditional Biblical understanding of Israel’s right to the Promised Land. It was established in an everlasting covenant between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:3-8). The reference to the Lord being buried in a Palestinian tomb is ridiculous, and the phrase “Palestinian Covenant” is merely a term made up by theologians. In the Bible it’s called Deut. 29-30.
You’re correct in saying the English word Palestine only appears once in the Bible, in Joel 3:4. But the Hebrew word from which it comes can be found in 7 additional references. It is translated Palestina 3 times, Philistia 3 times, and Philistine once. It generally refers to the land occupied by the Philistines prior to their destruction by Babylon about 600 BC.
These days some teachers seem to be more concerned with being politically correct than with being Biblically accurate.