Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why versions like the "King James" are no more trustworthy than the "New World" (Jehovah's witness) version

Romans 2:1 Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.
Protestant apologists (rightly) condemn Jehovah Witnesses for deliberately mistranslating John Chapter 1, verse 1;
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
Jehovah witnesses render it as "God" and "a god", in a deliberate attempt to deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ. The obvious problem they have is that the only possible rendering of the Greek word "Theos", which is the word present in both instances, is God.

When Protestants make this argument, they are making a sound, cogent and factually impenetrable argument.

Thus, they convict themselves.

The Greek root word "Charis" has a primary meaning of "Grace" and a secondary meaning of "Favor". In it's straight, simple form, it is translated as "Grace" in more than 92% of it's appearances in the New Testament in both the "King James" and "Revised Standard" versions.

So, if the Angel Gabriel's greeting to Mary (Luke 1:28) were rendered as "Favor" by the use of the root word "Charis", for the first time, in the King James, such a translation could easily- and fairly- be called into question.

However, the salutation, as rendered, is not the simple root "Charis" but the perfect, passive participle Kecharitomene. The literal translation of Luke 1:28 is "Hail thou who art completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace."

Saint Jerome translated it in the first Bible- the Latin Vulgate- as "Gratia Plenia" and the first (1609) (and still best) English version- the Douai Rheems- correctly translates "Gratia Plenia" as "full of grace".

Yet, the King James 1611, which relied heavily on the Douai, renders this salutation as "Hail, highly favored one", while commenting in the margin notes "endured with grace".

The KJV 1611 does a deliberate mistranslation of Luke 1:28. A mistranslation that, unfortunately, has been followed by many other versions.