Bible Answer

Are Palestine and Israel the same region?

I am curious as to why when referring to the land of Israel, the name Palestine is used instead? I am afraid that this is confusing to many Christians who are being convinced that Israel does not belong in the land that God promised. The enemies of Israel love when we use this term because it builds their case that Israel shouldn't be there.

Palestine is a historical name for a region that includes modern-day Israel and parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

After the Roman Emporer Hadrian defeated a Jewish revolt in AD 135 (called the Bar Kokhba revolt), he barred Jews from living in Judea, and he changed the name of the region to "Syria Palaestina." That name became the historical label for the region that includes the modern state of Israel. You can read more about this historical region on Wikipedia.

More recently the name Palestine has become associated with the political and military conflict between the modern state of Israel and the Arab communities claiming rights to Israel’s land. Ironically. Arabs living in the land of Israel adopted the name "Palestinians" from the historical name for the land itself, so the term Palestine came long before the term Palestinian became associated with the present conflict over the land. Nevertheless, the term Palestine doesn't suggest that Palestinians are the rightful owners of the land, no more than the term "New England" suggests that England owns the Northeastern United States.

Consequently, biblical scholars and historians, including Pastor Armstrong, use the term "Palestine" in its appropriate, historical sense to refer to the region of Judea following the dispersion of the Jewish people. The term is NOT a reference to the current peoples living in the land or the political conflict between Israel and the Arabs. 

(Palestine Map by George Adam Smith - Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land, Public Domain, Link)