Is the expression "God speed" and error in the King James Bible?
Is the expression “GOD SPEED” and error in the King James Bible?
Some Bible critics like Rick Joyner, who himself has NO inerrant Bible in ANY language to believe in, tell us regarding the expression "God speed" - "The expression “God speed” is used in II John 10-11. In the Greek, it is the usual term for “hail” and is usually translated as “greet” or ‘’greeting” in the modern versions. There is no corresponding word in the Greek for “God” in this verse."
Keep in mind that in this same article Rick Joyner piously tells us "Everybody should know the original Hebrew and Greek is the final authority." Can you see the huge white elephant standing in the middle of the room here?
Mr. Joyner uses a present tense verb - IS - when he tells us "the" original Hebrew and Greek IS the final authority."
Has Mr. Joyner ever seen a copy of "the" original Hebrew and Greek that IS his final authority? Of course not. Not a single word of them. And "the originals" never did make up an entire Bible - not even close.
He, like most Bible agnostics and professional liars who tell us they believe in an inerrant Bible, (but they can NEVER show it to us), is professing a "bold" faith in something that not only has he never seen, but in something that HE KNOWS DOES NOT EXIST!
All he has to give you as his "final authority for faith and practice" is a Phantom "bible", a Fairy Tale for Fools. It's a hypothetical, philosophical, non-existent and Imaginary "Standard" of absolute truth that he has never seen and couldn't show you if his life depended on it.
Yet he thinks that he is somehow qualified to sit in judgment on the greatest Bible ever printed (the best selling Book of all time and way ahead of whatever is in second place) and the only one seriously believed by multiplied thousands of God's people throughout history to be the complete, inspired and inerrant words of the living God.
The English expression “God speed” is found only two times in the King James Bible. Both are found in the little epistle of Second John in verses 10 and 11. Here we read:
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him GOD SPEED.
For he that biddeth him GOD SPEED is partaker of his evil deeds.”
In both cases there is a single Greek word that is translated as “God speed”. This word is kairein (χαιρειν)
The verb kairo has many meanings and is variously translated as “rejoice, Hail (as a form of greeting, as in “Hail, King of the Jews - Mark 15:18 and “Hail, thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” - Luke 1:28), to be glad, Greeting, farewell and as God speed.”
The word primarily means “to rejoice”, but it is also used as both a Greeting and a form of Farewell.
The NIV translates this single word as “rejoice and joy, but also as “greetings” (6 times) and as “good-by”, as “hail” and as “welcome”. It is not “literally” any of these greetings, good-byes or welcome, but that is how the word is used.
Likewise the NASB translates this word as “rejoice and glad, but also as “greetings” (6 times), “hail” (5 times) and “joyfully”.
The Greek lexicons inform us that the word was often used for both saying Hello and Good-bye, and can mean such varied things as “Good-bye, Hail, Farewell, Good Day, I’m glad to see you, and Greetings.”
Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich’s Greek Lexicon says the word “was used as a formula of greeting, or as a form of address on meeting people” and they go on to list a wide variety of ways this could be expressed. “welcome, good day, hail, I am glad to see you, good morning, How do you do? and even the colloquial “Hello”. It can also mean “Farewell” or “good-bye”. Page 882, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Fourth Edition 1952.
It is an interesting and little know fact that our English expression “Good-bye” is actually a 16th century contracted form of “God be with you”. Over time, it got shortened to the present day “Good-bye”.
The English expression “God speed” is not at all archaic. It expresses a desire on the part of the speaker that God would prosper, protect and bless another person on their journey.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines "God speed" as meaning- “a prosperous journey : success. “bade him Godspeed”. Examples of God speed - “a hearty Godspeed was extended to all the departing troops”
The American Heritage Dictionary 2011 defines Godspeed as “an interjection used to wish someone success or good fortune, as on a journey.” From Middle English God spede (you), may God prosper (you) : God, god; see god + spede, third person sing. present subjunctive of speden, to prosper (from Old English spēdan, from spēd, success; see speed)
"neither bid him GOD SPEED"
Not only does the King James Bible use this expression, but so do the following Bible translations - Tyndale 1534, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, The Bishops’ Bible 1568, Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, The Clarke N.T. 1795, The Hewett N.T. 1850, The Revised New Testament 1862, The Ainslie N.T. 1869, The Dillard New Testament 1885, William Godbey N.T. 1902, The Corrected English N.T. 1905, The Modern English N.T. 1909, The Clarke N.T. 1913, J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962 - “Don’t even wish him “God-speed”, The Amplified Bible 1987 - “wishing him Godspeed”, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, The Tomson New Testament 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Bond Slave Version 2009, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “Elohim speed”, the BRG Bible 2012.
Modern versions have a variety of ways of translating (χαιρειν) . Some say
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible - “Neither bid him God speed - "and do not say to him, hail, or joy." Do not wish him joy; do not hail, or salute him. The word used expresses the common form of salutation, as when we wish one health, success, prosperity. It would be understood as expressing a wish for success in the enterprise in which they were embarked; and, though we should love all people, and desire their welfare, and sincerely seek their happiness, yet we can properly wish no one success in career of sin and error.”
John Gill - “neither bid him God speed; or give him the usual civil form of salutation, as a good day to you, all hail, all health and prosperity attend you, the Lord be with you, and the like.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way the King James Bible and many others have translated the meaning of this expression as “GOD SPEED”.
Virtually none of the other ways other bible translators have done it are “literal” either.
The King James Bible is right, as always.
To see another related article about the expression “God forbid” (which Rick Joyner also criticizes) and why the King James Bible is right once again, please see my article on this here -