The Greek word anomia. Is the King James Bible wrong for translating it as “iniquity”?
Gregory C. posts: "Hi guys, I have a question (please note, I'm a new bible student); in the King James the translation for this word "anomia" is rendered as iniquity rather than lawlessness (specifically see Matt 7:23). Other passages correctly use "lawlessness" for anomia - do you think there is a bias here because "anomia" specifically means to break God's Law in this passage? So many Christians today feel they don't need to keep God's law! Just wondering about your thoughts as you seem to study and understand the translation issues well. Peace"
Hi Gregory. This is actually a good question. If you look at the Lexicons the word anomia has several meanings. For example, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon defines anomia on page 48 as "contempt and violation of law, INIQUITY, WICKEDNESS."
Vine's Expository of New Testament Words says of anomia on page 600 that "anomia, literally lawlessness is used in a way which indicates the meaning as being lawlessness OR WICKEDNESS. It's usual rendering in the N.T. is "iniquity".
If you have a modern Greek-English Dictionary, like Divry's, just look up the English word "iniquity" and you will find two words listed - anomia and adikia. Then if you go to the Greek to English side, and look up the word anomia, it defines it as "iniquity, lawlessness" That is what the word means.
The KJB and all previous English bibles like Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, Bishops' Bible and Geneva Bible translate it like the KJB does. Sometimes as "iniquity" others as "unrighteousness" and also as "transgression of the law". Those are all legitimate meanings of the word.
Go to a site like this one and compare the Bible translations. See for yourself.
Even 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.
Let’s take a look at some Bibles and see how they translated the Greek word anomia in the passage Gregory mentioned - Matthew 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY.”
Agreeing with the King James Bible’s “INIQUITY” are the following Bible translations: Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “I neuer knewe you: depart from me, ye that worke INIQUITIE.”, Daniel Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, John Wesley’s translation 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Daniel Webster’s translation 1833, Living Oracles 1835, Julia Smith translation 1855, Etheridge Translation of the Syriac, Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, Noyes Translation 1869, the Revised Version 1881, Anderson N.T. 1866, the ASV 1901 - “ye that work INIQUITY.”, William Godbey’s N.T. 1902, Worrell N.T 1904, Montgomery N.T. 1924, James Moffatt Translation 1926, World English Bible, American Bible Union New Testament, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Complete Apostle’s Bible 2005 -“Depart from Me, you who work iniquity!” , New Heart English Bible 2010 and the English Jubilee Bible 2010.
Some other Translations
John Wycliffe translation 1395 - “departe awei fro me, ye that worchen wickidnesse.”
Sawyer N.T. 1858 - “I never knew you; depart from me you that commit wickedness.
Twentieth Century N.T. 1904 - “Go from my presence, you who live in sin.”
Weymouth N.T. 1912 - “I never knew you: begone from me, you doers of wickedness.”
Edgar Goodspeed’s N.T. 1923 - “Depart from me, ye doers of evil.”
Bible in Basic English 1961 - “I never had knowledge of you: go from me, you workers of evil.”
J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962 - “Go away from me, you have worked on the side of evil!’”
The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, and The New Simplified Bible - “Get away from Me, you EVIL WORKERS.”
Amplified Bible 1987 - “depart from Me, you who act wickedly.”
The RSV 1946 - 1971 and the NRSV 1989 - “‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.”
Common Edition New Testament 1999 - “'I never knew you; depart from me, you EVILDOERS!”
Easy to Read Version 2006 - “Get away from me, you people who do wrong.”
Common English Bible 2011 - “Get away from me, you people who do wrong.”
Names of God Bible 2011 - “Get away from me, you evil people.”
The Voice 2012 - “And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!”
The International Standard Version 2014- “Get away from me, you evildoers!”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the King James Bible. In fact, it is ALWAYS right.
All of grace, believing The Book - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
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