When the גמרא refers to עובדי כוכבים, it is usually (eg. Artscroll) translated as "non-Jews". Is this supposed to exclude monotheistic non-idolatrous non-Jews or is it inaccurate translation?

If it is supposed to refer to all non-Jews then surely this is a derogatory term for those who aren't idolaters, but it seems odd that an unnecessarily negative term should be used?

If it only refers to idolaters then surely there is a significant gap in הלכה as we wouldn't know how to treat monotheistic non-Jews (I don't necessarily mean גרי תושב either - they might not keep the other of the שבע מצות בני נח)? Atheists don't seem to be covered either?

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    The talmud has been extensively censored over time, primarily by Christian censors. My understanding is that many passages of the Talmud use the word "goy" for "non-Jew" were censored to use "עובד כוכבים" instead in order to "exclude" monotheistic religions.
    – Daniel
    Jul 5 '18 at 16:57
  • I was under the impression that it was עובדי עבודה זרה that was censored to that. Do you have a source for it being גוי? Jul 5 '18 at 19:21
  • In many cases that's probably true too. I don't think it's limited to specific words.
    – Daniel
    Jul 5 '18 at 19:33
  • yes, Daniel is right. here is one of many places that mention it. israelshamir.net/Hebrew/Heb11.htm Jul 6 '18 at 15:38

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