Another King James Bible Believer


Matthew 7:23 Is “iniquity” an erroneous translation of the Greek word anomia? - την ανομιαν

Matthew 7:23 Is “iniquity” an erroneous translation of the Greek word anomia? - την ανομιαν

Matthew 7:23 KJB - “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY.”



NKJV (ESV, NASB, Jehovah Witness NWT) - "And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice LAWLESSNESS."


The simple answer is, No. Iniquity is one of the meanings of this Greek word (την ανομιαν) and a multitude of Bibles have “iniquity”, or wickedness in general, as the translation of this word.

In fact, the word ανομια means “iniquity” in modern day Greek.  I have a Divry’s Greek-English and English-Greek modern dictionary right here in my study. If you look up the word “iniquity” on page 157 it lists ανομια first, and adikia second.  Likewise, if you look up the word ανομια on page 420 it first lists “iniquity” as the meaning of this word and then “lawlessness” second.

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament 1886 tells us on page 48 as you look up the Greek word ανομια that it means: “1. the condition of one without law, either because ignorance of it, or because of violating it. 2. contempt and violation of law, INIQUITY, WICKEDNESS.”

Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words tells us that ανομια is literally lawlessness (a, negative, nomos, law) and is used in a way which indicates the meaning as being lawlessness or WICKEDNESS. Its usual rendering in the N.T. is “INIQUITY”, which literally means unrighteousness.

Vine further explains: “It is used of INIQUITY IN GENERAL” and he then cites Matthew 7:23; 13: 41; 23:28; 24:12 and Romans 6:19.  

The NIV 1984 edition translates ανομια as “wickedness” 6 times, “lawlessness” 3 times, “evil doers” once and “transgressions” one time.

In the Greek N.T. that underlies the King James Bible the word ανομια is found 14 times. It is translated at “INIQUITY” or in the plural “INIQUITIES” 12 of the 14 times. The other two times we find “UNRIGHTEOUSNESS” in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “what fellowship hath righteousness with UNRIGHTEOUSNESS?” and in 1 John 3:4 as “for sin is THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.”  

Matthew 7:23 in Many other Bible Versions

Not only does the King James Bible translate the Greek word as INIQUITY in Matthew 7:23 but so too do the following Bible translations - Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Daniel Mace N.T. 1729, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, John Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Worsley Version 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster’s Translation 1833,  Living Oracles 1835, Etheridge Translation of Syriac 1849, American Bible Union N.T. 1865, Noyes Translation 1869, English Revised Version 1885, the ASV 1901, Godbey N.T. 1902, Worrell N.T. 1904, Lamsa’s translation of Syriac Peshitta 1933, The Word of Yah 1993, 21st Century KJV 1994, God’s First Truth 1999, Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, Updated Bible Version 2004, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 - “Get out of my sight, you workers of iniquity!”, the English Majority Text Version 2009 (Paul Esposito), Jubilee Bible 2010, The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011, World English Bible 2012 - “you who work INIQUITY.” 

Other Translations 

Twentieth Century N.T. 1904 - “you who LIVE IN SIN.”

Weymouth N.T. 1912 - “you doers of WICKEDNESS.”

Goodspeed’s N.T. 1923, New Life Version 1969  - “you who do WRONG.” 

Revised Standard Version 1973, NRSV 1989 - “you EVILDOERS.” 

Good News Translation 1992 - “you WICKED PEOPLE.”  

God’s Word 1995, Names of God Bible 2011  - “Get away from me, YOU EVIL PEOPLE.”

New Living Translation 1996 - “the things you did were UNAUTHORIZED.”

Lawrie Translation 1998 - “you who DO EVIL.” 

Last Days Bible 1999 - “you WHO INSIST ON LIVING AS YOU PLEASE.”

Easy-to-Read Version 2001, Common English Bible 2011 - “Get away from me, you people that DO WRONG.”  

The NIV 2011 and The Voice 2012 - “Away from Me, YOU EVILDOERS.”

International Standard Version 2014, The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014  - “Get away (Depart)  from me, YOU WHO PRACTICE EVIL.”

Foreign Language Bibles  

The French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996  - “retirez-vous de moi, vous qui vous adonnez à l'iniquité.” = Depart from me, you who WORK INIQUITY.”

The French Louis Segond - “retirez-vous de moi, vous qui commettez l'iniquité.” = “depart from me, you who commit INIQUITY.”

French La Bible du Semeur 1999 - “Allez-vous-en, vous qui pratiquez le mal!” = “Depart from me, you who PRACTICE EVIL.”

Spanish Reina Valera 1995 - “¡Apartaos de mí, hacedores de maldad!” = “Depart from me, you who do EVIL.” 

Spanish La Biblia de las Américas 1997 - “apartaos de mi, los que practicais LA INIQUIDAD.” = “Depart from me, you who do INIQUITY.”  

Spanish NIV 1999 - “¡Aléjense de mí, hacedores de maldad!” = “Depart from me, you DOERS OF EVIL.”  

Italian Diodati 1649 and La Nuova Diodati 1991 - “allontanatevi da me, voi tutti operatori di iniquità". = “Depart from me, all you who WORK INIQUITY.”  

Portuguese Almeida Corregida 2009 - “apartai-vos de mim, vós que praticais a iniquidade.” = Depart from me, all you who practice INIQUITY.”

Portuguese NIV 2000 - “Afastem-se de mim vocês, que praticam o mal!” = “Depart from me, you who practice EVIL.”

The King James Bible is perfectly accurate in saying “Depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.”

Will Kinney

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