Damn, Damnable, Damnation
These words appear in the KJV, but not in the RSV. “Damnable” is found only in
In the KJV the word “damnation” is used ten times and “damned” three times as trs. of the Gr. word krínō and its cognates, which the KJV renders “judge” eighty-seven times, “judgment” forty-one times, “condemn” twenty-two times, and “condemnation” eight times. There is no good reason why on thirteen occasions the stronger words “damnation” and “damned” should be used. They have a connotation today that they did not have in 1611. The Lat. word damnare, from which “damnation” is derived, means “to judge,” “condemn.” Under the influence of theology, however, the Eng. words derived from it acquired the sense of “condemnation to eternal punishment in hell,” which they have today, but which the KJV trs. did not have in mind.
The Lord did not warn that those guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost are in danger of “eternal damnation” (KJV), but rather that they are “guilty of an eternal sin” (RSV) (
The KJV of
Jesus foretold that some day all men shall rise from their graves, the good to a resurrection of life, the evil to a “resurrection of judgment” (KJV “resurrection of damnation”) (
Paul says of some Jews who have slandered him that their condemnation (KJV “damnation”) is just (
The Christian who has doubts about what he eats is “condemned” (KJV “damned”) (
The Christian who observes the Lord’s Supper carelessly brings “judgment” (KJV “damnation”) upon himself (
God will send upon unbelievers and evildoers in the tribulation period a strong delusion “so that all may be condemned” (KJV “damned”) (
Young widows who have violated their first pledge incur “condemnation,” not “damnation” (KJV) (
Bibliography R. Bridges and L. A. Weigle, The Bible Word Book (1960), 92, 93; TNDT, III (1965), 921-942.