I suppose the first time I ever heard the word heathen other than church was when Aunt Esther on the hit television show Sanford and Son called Fred Sanford one. It seems I even remember her calling Fred a “heathen reprobate.”
In the scripture, the Greek word for heathen appears in the scriptures 164 times in 152 verses. . .and in 157 of those occasions the word appears as gentiles or nations.
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for heathen means:
“a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together; a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus.”
According to the Random House Dictionary the word heathen means:
“an unconverted individual of a people that do not acknowledge the God of the Bible; a pagan; an irreligious, uncultured, or uncivilized person.”
The word irreligious is defined by dictionary.com as:
“showing indifference or hostility to religion.”
Showing indifference to the Word of God. . .could also be interpreted as not caring to obey His instructions.