Another King James Bible Believer


What about the word 'virtue' in the KJB?


What about the word “virtue” in the King James Bible?


“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that VIRTUE is gone out of me.”  Luke 8:46.


The English word “virtue” is used in the King James Bible three times to translate the Greek word δυναμιν (dunamin).  See Mark 5:30, Luke 6:19 and Luke 8:46. All three Scriptures speak of “virtue” having gone out of the Lord to heal. 


 Most modern versions translate these three examples as simply “power”. There is nothing strictly wrong with the word “power” in these places, but the word “virtue” is actually better. Virtue is always a good and beneficial power, whereas the word “power” can be either good or bad.


For example, listed among the things that cannot separate us from the love of God are “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor POWERS…shall be able to separate us from the love of God” Romans 8:38


In 2 Thessalonians 2:9 we read of “him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all POWER and signs and lying wonders”.  


In Revelation 13:2 we read of the beast - “and the dragon gave him his POWER, and his seat, and great authority.” 


And the 10 kings who rise up in rebellion against the Lord “have one mind, and shall give their POWER and strength unto the beast.”  Revelation 17:13.


The English word “virtue”  comes  from the Latin word virtue, meaning “moral strength, manliness, valor, excellence, worth” from the word ‘vir’ meaning ‘man’.  Compare the word virile.


Webster’s Dictionary lists this idea of strength or power as it’s first definition. 


VIRTUE, n. vur'tu. L. virtus, from vireo, or its root. See Worth. The radical sense is strength, from straining, stretching, extending. This is the primary sense of L. vir, a man.

1. Strength; that substance or quality of physical bodies, by which they act and produce effects on other bodies. In this literal and proper sense, we speak of the virtue or virtues of plants in medicine, and the virtues of drugs. In decoctions, the virtues of plants are extracted. By long standing in the open air, the virtues are lost.


Also on the list of definitions is -  Acting power; something efficacious.


Jesus, knowing that virtue had gone out of him, turned - Mark 3.


Modern Greek Dictionary


I have a hard copy of Divry’s Modern English-Greek and Greek-English Dictionary. It has nothing to do with the Bible; it is just a secular dictionary. If you look up the English word Virtue on page 374 it gives three Greek words that mean virtue, arete, uperoche, and our word dunamis.


If you look up the Greek word dunamis on page 482 we see that it means ‘power, strength, force, might, faculty and by VIRTUE of’.


Here is an online Greek-English Dictionary


Go to the English to Greek Dictionary side. Type in the word ‘virtue’ and you will see the modern Greek word δύναμη come up. This is still what the word means today in modern Greek as well as in English.


Not only does the King James Bible use the word “VIRTUE” in this way in the Scriptures of Mark 5:30, Luke 6:19 and Luke 8:46 but so too do the following Bible translations -  Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1534 - “For I perceave that vertue is gone out of me.”, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549 - “For I perceyue that vertue is gone out of me.”,  the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “for I perceiue that vertue is gone out of me.”, the Beza N.T. 1599, the Douay-Rheims 1610, the Bill Bible 1671, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Wesley’s translation 1755, Worsely Version 1770, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster’s translation 1833, Living Oracles 1835, The Longman Version 1841, The Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Clarke N.T. 1913, James Moffatt N.T. 1913, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994 - “for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.”, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson N.T. 2002, the Bond Slave Version 2009,  the Jubilee Bible 2010 - "I perceive that VIRTUE is gone out of me.", and The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010. 


Since the word “virtue” comes from the Latin, there are several foreign language Bibles in the Romance languages that also read “virtue” in these passages.  Among these are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1865 and the Reina Valera 1909 - “porque yo he conocido que ha salido VIRTUD de mí.”, the French Martin 1744 and French Ostervald 1996 - “car j'ai connu qu'une VERTU est sortie de moi.”, the Italian Diodati 1649 and Riveduta 1927 - “perciocchè io ho conosciuto che VIRTU è uscita di me.” and the Portuguese A Biblia Sagrada em Portugues and the Almeida Corregida E Fiel - “E disse Jesus: Alguém me tocou porque bem conheci que de mim saiu VIRTUDE.”


The King James Bible is always right.


Will Kinney


Return to articles -