1 John 3:4 KJB - “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW”
πας ο ποιων την αμαρτιαν και την ανομιαν ποιει και η αμαρτια εστιν η ανομια
NKJV (ESV, NASB, NIV, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic St. Joseph NAB) - “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is LAWLESSNESS.”
Is the King James Bible wrong (as some Bible correctors claim) for translating the words he anomia (η ανομια) as “the transgression of the law”?
Simple answer: No. And here is why it is not wrong.
The Greek words η ανομια (all texts have the definite article “the” - but the NKJV, ESV, NASB, NIV etc. do not translate it) has several meanings.
According to A Greek-English Lexicon by Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich 1957 page 71 the word can mean “lawlessness, lawless deeds, and transgressions.”
A Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and Scott, 1968 page 146 tells us that the word can mean “a TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW, lawlessness, lawless conduct, and THE NEGATION OF LAW.”
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon 1889 page 48 informs us that the word anomia can mean “the condition of one without law, contempt and VIOLATION OF LAW, iniquity, wickedness.”
The Greek word is found 14 times in the New Testament. The King James Bible translates it as “iniquity” (12 times), as “unrighteousness” and as “transgression of the law”.
See also my article - The Greek word anomia. Is the King James Bible wrong for translating it as “iniquity”?
The NIV translated this same word as "wickedness" 5 times, "lawlessness" 3 times, “evil” 1 time, “ever-increasing wickedness” 1 time, “lawless acts” 1 time and as "transgressions" 1 time.
Even though the NIV English version says “sin is lawlessness.”, yet the NIV Spanish Version, La Nueva Versión Internacional 1999 reads like the KJB with: “el pecado es transgresión de la ley.” = sin is the transgression of the law.”
And the NIV Portuguese edition, Nova Verso Internacional 2000, reads exactly like the KJB - “Todo aquele que pratica o pecado transgride a Lei; de fato, o pecado é a transgressão da Lei.” - “sin is the transgression of the law.”
Tyndale 1534 - sin is unrighteousness
Charles Thomson Translation 1808 - for sin is a violation of law.
Worsley New Testament 1770, The Longman Version 1841 - sin is the violation of the law.
Goodspeed’s N.T. 1923 - sin is disobedience to law.
Twentieth Century New Testament - Sin is violation of Law.
The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969 - sin is lawbreaking
New Life Version 1969 - For sin is breaking the Law of God.
J.B. Phillips New Testament 1960-72 for that is what sin is, by definition—a breaking of God’s law.
Good News Translation 1992 - because sin is a breaking of the law.
Contemporary English Version 1995 - because sin is the same as breaking God’s law.
God’s Word Translation 1995 - Sin is disobedience.
Complete Jewish Bible 1998 - indeed, sin is violation of Torah.
Worldwide English N.T. 1998 - Doing wrong things is breaking the law.
New Century Version 2005 - Yes, sin is living against God’s law.
Holman Christian Standard 2009 - sin is THE BREAKING OF THE LAW.
Easy-to-Read-Version 2006 - sinning is the same as living against God’s law.
The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - sin is the TRANSGRESSION OF THE TORAH.
The Conservative Bible 2010 - sin is the breaking of the law.
The Voice 2012 - a life of habitual sin is living in moral anarchy.
International Standard Version 2014 - sin is disobedience.
New International Reader’s Version 2014 - In fact, breaking the law is sin.
The Translator’s Bible 2014 - that is what sin is, refusing to obey God's laws.
International Children’s Bible 2015 - Yes, sinning is the same as living against God’s law.
New Living Translation 2015 - for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
Hebraic Roots Bible 2015 - sin is the breaking of the Torah
“sin is THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW”
Other Bibles that read like the KJB’s “sin is THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW” are the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza New Testament 1599, Daniel Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s New Testament 1745, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster’s Bible 1833, Living Oracles 1835, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, Noyes N.T. 1869, The Alford N.T. 1870 - “sin is THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.”, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The Tomson N.T. 2000, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, and The Mebust Bible 2007.
Foreign Language Bibles
Foreign language Bibles that also read like the KJB are the French Louis Segond 2000- “puisque le péché, c’est la violation de la loi.” = “sin is THE VIOLATION OF THE LAW.”, the French Martin bible 1744 - “car le péché est ce qui est contre la Loi.” = “is against the Law”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1960-2015 and the Spanish Jubilee Bible 2010 - “y el pecado es TRANSGRESSION DE LA LEY.”, Spanish La Biblia de Las Américas 1997 - “el pecado es infracción de la ley”, the Italian Diodati 1649 - “e il peccato è la trasgressione della legge.” = sin is the transgression of the law”, La Nuova Diodati 1991, Italian Nuova Riveduta 2006 and the Italian Riveduta 1927 - “e il peccato è la violazione della legge.” = sin is the violation of the law; and the Romanian Fidela Bible 2014 - “căci păcatul este încălcarea legii.”
The King James Bible is absolutely correct - as always.
All of grace, believing God’s Book - the King James Holy Bible
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