1 Timothy 6:10
KJB - A verse that is frequently criticized in the King James Bible is 1 Timothy 6:10. "For the love of money is THE root of all evil."
ESV (NKJV, NASB, NIV) - "For the love of money is A root of ALL KINDS OF evils."
James White, in his book The King James Only Controversy, on pages 139 - 140 compares the KJB reading with the NASB, NKJV, and NIV. "For the love of money is A root of all SORTS OF evil". Then he comments: "First, is the love of money THE root of evil, or A root of evil? Secondly, is it a root of ALL evil, or ALL KINDS OF evil? Once again we enounter a situation in which something can be said for each translation."
"The word for 'root' in the Greek does not have the article before it, hence the more literal translation in this case would be 'a root', not the definite 'the root'. The text is not saying that the love of money is the only origin or source of evil, but that it is one of great importance."
"And is it ALL evil, or ALL KINDS OF evil? Literally the Greek reads, 'of all the evils', the terms being plural. The modern translations see this as referring to all KINDS of evils, while the KJV takes all evil as a whole concept. The KJV translation is a possibility grammatically speaking, but it seems to miss Paul's point."
"The love of money gives rise to all sorts of evil things, but there are, obviously, evils in the world that have nothing to do with the love of money. A minister friend of mine pointed out with reference to this passage that it is difficult to see how rape, for example, can be blamed on 'the love of money'. Such is surely a good question for a person who would insist upon the KJV rendering." (End of James White's comments)
These are James White's comments and they are frequently brought up by those who criticize the King James Holy Bible.
In the first place ALL Bible translations frequently place a definite article "the" when it is not in the Greek text and omit it when it is there in the Greek. Even the Holy Ghost does the same thing when we compare the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke. Often the definite articles are found in a phrase in one gospel and not in the other.
This is not uncommon nor inaccurate in the least. There are several examples of both in all versions right here in 1 Timothy. A small sampling of examples are found in I Timothy 3:16. There is no definite article before "the" flesh, "the" Spirit and "the" world, yet all versions put them in the English text.
Likewise the definite articles are not translated in the NASB in 1 Tim. 6: 1 in 'the' masters, 'the' God and 'the' doctrine. I can make a very long list of such examples in just this little epistle of 1 Timothy.
A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, by H.E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey, p. 150-151. "It is important to bear in mind that we cannot determine the English translation by the presence or absence of the article in Greek. Sometimes we should use the article in the English translation when it is not used in the Greek, and sometimes the idiomatic force of the Greek article may best be rendered by an anarthrous noun in English."
p. 149 = "Sometimes with a noun which the context proves to be definite, the article is not used [in the Greek]." This aspect is a way of "placing stress upon the qualitative aspect of the noun rather than it's mere identity. Also in expressions which have become technicalized or stereotyped, and in salutations, the article is not used." Quoting Buttman: "The absence of the article in Greek is very common in cases where we employ it in English." (Bt. p.88)
Secondly, at least Mr. White admitted that the KJB reading is grammatically possible.
Mr. W. Robertson Niccoll, in his well known book The Expositor's Greek Testament, explicitly says on page 144 of Volume Four, regarding "the root of all evil" that the reading of the Revised Version 'a root of all kinds of evil' (which is the same as found in the NASB, NIV, ESV, and NKJV) quote: "is not satisfactory. The position of riza (root) in the sentence shows that it is emphatic." End of quote.
Thus this other "scholar" is saying that the phrase in question should have the definite article 'the' before 'root'. Mr. Niccoll is by no means a KJB only; he frequently corrects the Bible text according to his own understanding, just as Mr. White does, yet here his opinion is opposite to that of Mr. White.
Thirdly it should be noted that the readings of the NASB, NIV, and NKJV all add the words KINDS or SORTS to the text, which is not found in the Greek either, and omit the definite article THE before the word "evil". Neither do they make the word "evil" plural, as Mr. White suggests, though the ESV does. So much for Mr. White's consistency in criticizing the King James reading as not being strictly literal.
"the love of money is THE root of ALL evil"
Fourthly, not only does the KJB render this phrase as "the love of money is THE root of ALL evil" but so also do Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale's New Testament 1534, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540, Matthew's Bible (John Rogers) 1549, the Bishop's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible of 1587, Beza's N.T. 1599 - "the desire of money is THE root of all evil", the Bill Bible 1671, Mace' N.T. 1729, Whiston's N.T. 1745, Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, The Thomson Bible 1808, The Revised Translation 1815, Kneeland N.T. 1823, the Living Oracles N.T. 1826, Webster's translation 1833, the Dickinson N.T. 1833, the Living Oracles 1835, The New Covenant N.T. 1836 - "for THE root of all evil is the love of money", The Pickering N.T. 1840, the Hussey N.T. 1845, the Morgan N.T. 1848 - "For moneysaving is THE root of all evil", Etheridge Translation 1849, the Hewett N.T. 1850, "For covetousness is THE root of all evils.", the Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Calvin Bible 1855, Julia Smith Translation 1855, the Kenrick N.T. 1862, The Revised N.T. 1862, Anderson N.T. 1865, Alford’s New Testament 1870 - “For THE root of all evils is the love of money”, Ainslie N.T. 1869, the Smith Bible 1876, the Sharpe Bible 1883, the Dillard N.T. 1885, Darby's translation 1890, Goodspeed's American Translation 1923, Moffatt's New Testament 1926, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Revised Standard Version 1952 - 1971, the Douay 1950 version, The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969 - "For the love of money is THE root of ALL evils.", the New American Bible of 1970, the New English Bible 1970, the Revised English Bible 1989, the KJV 21st Century 1994, the 2003 International Standard Version, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Tomson N.T. 2002 - "for the desire for money is THE root of all evil", The Faithful N.T. 2009 - "For the philia-love of money is THE root of all evil", the English Jubilee Bible 2010, The Conservative Bible 2010 - “For the love of money above all else is THE root of numerous evils”, the New Living Translation 2013 - "the love of money is THE root of all evil.", the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - "For the love of money is THE root of ALL evil."
One of the latest bible versions to come on the scene is the 2011 critical text Common English Bible. It translates 1 Timothy 6:10 as: "The love of money is THE root of all kinds of evil." and so does the 1995 God's Word Translation.
Even Dan Wallace and company's NET 2006 version reads: "For the love of money is THE root of all evils."
and so too the 2011 Orthodox Jewish Bible - "For the ahavas hakesef (love of money) is THE shoresh (root) of kol hara’ot (all evils)"
Lawrie's Translation 1998 says: "For the love of money is all evil’s root"
The Aramaic New Testament 2011 - “For THE root of every evil is the consideration for money above all else”
and The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 has: "For the desire of money is THE root of ALL EVILS"
The Pioneers’ New Testament 2014 - “For at THE root of all wrongs is the love of money”
Foreign Language Bibles
Among Foreign language Bibles that also have "THE root of all evil" are the Spanish Reina Valera versions of 1569, 1602 and 1858, the Lockman Foundation (same people who put out the NASB) Spanish Biblia de las Américas 1997 - "Porque LA raíz de todos LOS males es el amor al dinero", the 2004 Reina Valera Gomez Bible "Porque el amor al dinero es LA raíz de todos los males"; the NIV Spanish Version (Nueva Versión Internacional) - "Porque el amor al dinero es LA raíz de toda clase de males.", the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugués, the Almeida Corregida and the NIV Portuguese edition Nova Versão Internacional 1999 - "Porque o amor do dinheiro é A raiz de toda a espécie de males" = "THE root of all kinds of evils" ("a" is the feminine definite article "the" in Portuguese), the Italian Diodati version 1602, the 1997 La Parola é Vita and the New Diodati 1991 - "L'avidità del denaro infatti è LA radice di tutti i mali", the French Martin 1744, the 1996 French Ostervald and the 2007 Louis Segond - "Car l'amour de l'argent est LA racine de tous les maux".
Finally, and most importantly, James White is the one who is missing the meaning of the text and not the King James Bible. I agree with him that the love of money AMONG MEN is not the root of every form of evil out there like rape, the fall of mankind in Adam, pride, hatred or lust.
But let's take a closer look at versions like the NKJV, NIV, and the NASB to see if they have solved the very problem men like James White address. The NKJV and NIV tell us "the love of money is A root of ALL KINDS of evil", while the NASB has: "the love of money is A root of ALL SORTS OF EVIL."
How many evils are included in the phrase "ALL kinds" or "ALL sorts of evil"? Well, it seems obvious that this would include ALL kinds of evil, not "many kinds" or "lots of different sorts", or "various types of evil".
If Mr. White is going to criticize the King James reading because the literal meaning doesn't make sense to him, then to be fair, we would have to conclude that neither does the literal sense of his favorite versions. "All kinds of evil" still means ALL evil, and his modern versions are right back to meaning the very thing he criticized.
How can the love of money be A root (and there necessarily must be other roots too that do the same thing) of ALL kinds of evil? This would also include the fall of man, rape, hatred, pride, and sexual lust.
Mr. White and many others seem to read the passage as though it said "the love of money is the root of all SINS". It doesn't. The text is not speaking of all kinds of sins, but of all evil. Evil is the result of sin, not the sin itself.
Two Possible Explanations
There are two different ways I am aware of to explain what 1 Timothy 6:10 means by the phrase "the love of money is the root of all evil".
The First is that ALL EVIL is not referring to every kind of evil or sin but rather to a state of evil without mixture of any good. The word evil here denotes the consequences of sin, like unrest of the soul, a guilty conscience, a lack of contentment and other calamities both internal and external.
Notice the context: v.2 "And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. THESE THINGS TEACH AND EXHORT. 3 If any man TEACH OTHERWISE, and consent not to the wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, AND TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH IS ACCORDING TO GODLINESS; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, surmisings. 5 PERVERSE DISPUTINGS of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, SUPPOSING THAT GAIN IS GODLINESS:from such withdraw thyself. 6 But GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT is GREAT GAIN. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that be rich FALL INTO TEMPTATION and snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, THEY HAVE ERRED FROM THE FAITH, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
The context is clear...it's about teaching false doctrines for monetary gain.
This person falls into a state of "all evil" with no mixture of anything good in his life. He is drowned in destruction and perdition by many foolish and hurtful lusts. He is pierced through with many sorrows. There is no consciousness of anything good in this persons life and all he feels and experiences is a state of evil. The immediate context of 1 Timothy 6 is that of a Christian's attitude toward money, and in this context the root of all evil is the love of money. It is not speaking about the origin of sins in general.
Compare the following verses to see that the phrase "all evil" does not refer to every imaginable form of evil or sin, but rather to a state of being which consists of unmixed evil.
In Joshua 23:15 Joshua tells the children of Israel: "Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you ALL EVIL THINGS, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you."
Likewise in Proverbs 5:14 "I was almost in ALL EVIL in the midst of the congregation and assembly." And in Genesis 48:16 Jacob testifies: "The Angel which redeemed me from ALL EVIL, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them."
In James 3:16 we are told: "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
Are we to conclude from this verse that where there is envy and strife, there also exist the fall of man, rape, incest, greed and murder? No, rather the presence of these two sins contaminate and affect everything else going on around them, and result in a state of evil.
The experience of most Christians is living in a state of blessings of good along with the presence of evil or difficulties in our lives. But the Christian who pursues the love of money will soon find himself in a state of only evil, sorrows and hurtful lusts and will lose the sense of God's presence and approval in his life. He has erred from the faith. I understand this to be the true sense of the passage as is found in the King James Bible, and many others as well.
The Second View
Another way to understand what the verse is talking about is one I have heard a few times now and it has a lot to commend it. If we go to the book of Ezekiel chapter 28 we get some insights into what many Bible commentators have seen as references to both Satan and the Antichrist.
In Ezekiel 28:2 we see a reference to "the PRINCE of Tyrus", whom many have seen as a type of the Antichrist, and in 28: 12 we see a reference to "the KING of Tyrus", the power behind the prince, whom they see as a description of Satan himself and his fall. The description of "the KING of Tyrus" is from verse 12 to 17. Here we read:
Ezekiel 28:12-18 King James Bible
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the KING of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13 Thou hast been IN EDEN THE GARDEN OF GOD; EVERY PRECIOUS STONE WAS THY COVERING, THE SARDIUS, TOPAZ, AND THE DIAMOND, THE BERYL, THE ONYX, AND THE JASPER, THE SAPPHIRE, THE EMERALD, AND THE CARBUNCLE, AND GOLD: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 THOU ART THE ANOINTED CHERUB that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 BY THE MULTITUDE OF THY MERCHANDISE they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 THINE HEART WAS LIFTED UP BECAUSE OF THY BEAUTY, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, BY THE INIQUITY OF THY TRAFFICK; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee."
Keep in mind that the cause of the fall of Lucifer (Satan) was pride. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, which was composed of numerous precious stones, diamonds and gold. "lest being LIFTED UP WITH PRIDE he fall into the condemnation of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6
Some think that when God told Moses to make the ark of the covenant for the Holy of holies, the reason there were to be TWO CHERUBS facing each other, was so that "the covering cherubs" would see that there was another one just like them, and so they were not unique or the most beautiful of all the creatures God had made.
This was to be a spiritual lesson to reveal the reason behind the fall of Satan, or Lucifer. He was lifted up because of his beauty, which was all these precious stones and gold. It was the love of wealth that made up his own physical beauty that made him want more, and to ultimately be the wealthiest of them all, God Himself.
Likewise we see the same characteristics in the "Antichrist" or "the PRINCE of Tyrus." He is described in Ezekiel 28:2-8
Ezekiel 28:2-8 King James Bible
2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:
4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding THOU HAST GOTTEN THEE RICHES, AND HAST GOTTEN GOLD AND SILVER INTO THY TREASURES:
5 By thy great wisdom and BY THY TRAFFICK HAST THOU INCREASED THY RICHES, AND THINE HEART IS LIFTED UP BECAUSE OF THY RICHES:
6 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;
7 Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.
8 They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.
There is a lot to commend this point of view, and it actually WAS "the love of money" or wealth, that was the root of all evil that has happened since the fall of Lucifer and the entrance of sin into the world.
The King James Bible is always right.
Will Kinney Return to Articles - http://brandplucked.webs.com/kjbarticles.htm