The King James Version renders three Greek words as “damnation”: krisis (Matt. 23:33), krima (Matt. 23:14), and apomleia (2 Pet. 2:3). Newer translations have usually preferred “condemnation,” “judgment,” or “destruction” to “damnation.” In Luke 16:19-26 Jesus spoke of a division between saved and lost, and the NT always declares that the saved go immediately into the Lord's presence (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23), while the lost will remain in Hades until the judgment, after which they will pass into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15), “the second death” (Rev. 2:11; 21:8). During the nineteenth century particularly, theological liberals attempted to teach that Christ's gospel of love was perverted and oriented toward punishment, especially by Paul but precisely the opposite is apparent. While Paul does indicate that Christ-opposing powers will come to final ruin (1 Cor. 15:24-26; 2 Thess. 2:8-10), the NT emphasis is rather on the Lord's infinite love which prompts repeated warnings of impending damnation for those who defiantly resist the truth (Matt. 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 18:9, etc.).

See also Hell and Eschatology.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

dam, dam-na’-shun, dam’-na-bl: These words have undergone a change of meaning since the King James Version was made. They are derived from Latin damnare = "to inflict a loss," "to condemn," and that was their original meaning in English Now they denote exclusively the idea of everlasting punishment in hell. It is often difficult to determine which meaning was intended by the translators in the King James Version. They have been excluded altogether from the Revised Version (British and American). The words for which they stand in the King James Version are:

(2) krino, translated "damned" only in the King James Version of 2Th 2:12 (the Revised Version (British and American) "judged") means "to judge" in the widest sense, "to form an opinion" (Lu 7:43), and forensically "to test and try" an accused person. It can only acquire the sense of "judging guilty" or "condemning" from the context.

(3) katakrino, translated "damned" only in the King James Version of Mr 16:16; Ro 14:23 ("condemned" in the Revised Version (British and American)), means properly "to give judgment against" or "to condemn" and is so translated 17 times in the King James Version and always in the Revised Version (British and American).

(4) krisis, translated "damnation" in the King James Version of Mt 23:33; Mr 3:29; Joh 5:29 (the Revised Version (British and American) "judgment," but in Mr 3:29, "sin" for hamartema), means (a) judgment in general like krino, and is so used about 17 times, besides 14 times in the phrase "day of judgment"; (b) "condemnation," like katakrino, about 14 times.

But generally these words refer to man as a sinner against God, judged guilty by Him, and liable to the just penalty of sin. They imply nothing further as to the nature of the penalty or the state of man undergoing it, nor as to its duration. Nor does the word "eternal" (aion, aionios, often wrongly translated "everlasting" in the King James Version) when added to them, determine the question of duration. Condemnation is an act in the moral universe, which cannot be determined under categories of time.

These terms define the action of God in relation to man’s conduct, as that of the Supreme Judge, but they express only one aspect of that relation which is only fully conceived, when coordinated with the more fundamental idea of God’s Fatherhood. See Eschatology; Judgment.

LITERATURE. Salmond, Christian Doctrine of Immortality; Charles, Eschatology.