FORCE, NOT VIRTUE?
“And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30)
It is truly amazing some of the apostate foolishness that one encounters in the oddest of places in these wicked times. Last night I read an old article entitled “Healing with Electricity” by a guy named Brown in an old Health Freedom News, and was accosted by the following condescending blather.
“In your King James Bible there is a phrase that reads, “… felt the virtue had one out of Him [sic.].” The English translators, as they did quite often, mistranslated a Greek word that wasn’t even remotely related to “virtue.” In all fairness to the men working on the Bible in the 16th century, they couldn’t have known better.”
They couldn’t have known better? The greatest scholars the world has never known didn’t know better!
Men like Lancelot Andrews not only knew Greek, but 14 other languages. Henry Saville translated the Histories of Tacitus and compiled the complete works of Chrysostom, which he studied in their entirety in order to understand the Greek vocabulary of that era in its fullness. John Overall not only was a great scholar of Greek, but preferred to speak Latin over his native tongue. John Rainolds started college at age 13 and became a Greek lecturer at age of 23, and later president of Corpus Christi College. John Bois started college at age 14, was hailed as a Greek prodigy, and later became a professor of Greek. Richard Brett was not only an expert at Greek and Hebrew, but of several other Semitic languages as well. John Harmer translated some of Chrysostom’s Greek writings into Latin. Francis Dillingham debated solely in Greek. Thomas Harrison was an examiner for Greek and Hebrew at Trinity College in Cambridge. Andrew Downes was the professor of Greek at St. John’s College of Cambridge. William Bedwell compiled a dictionary for Arabic and began one for Persian, as well as producing an Arabic book of John and a Latin commentary of it. There are too many more of this caliber to continue without making this essay much too lengthy.
Did these gentleman need braying jackasses, whose only knowledge of Greek comes from mindlessly parroting the error-ridden work of the apostate and mediocre scholar, James Strong, to set them straight? They would have needed him about as much as Rocky Marciano would have needed boxing lessons from a little old blind lady in a wheelchair. The Greek word wasn’t even remotely connected to “virtue”? Did he actually think that the KJV translators thought that virtue meant the opposite of vice here? Even a very modest amount of intellect should have been enough to show him that it meant something else in Mark 5:3, but if he lacked that modest level of intelligence, he should have looked it up in a dictionary before making a fool out of himself by putting such nonsense in print as he did. The Oxford Universal Dictionary provides the following definitions for the English word in question.
“Virtue … I. As a quality of persons. I. The power or operative influence inherent in a supernatural of divine being. b. An embodiment of such power; … An act of superhuman or divine power; a ‘mighty work’; a miracle -1526. 2. Conformity of life and conduct wit the principles of morality; voluntary observance of the recognized moral laws or standards of right conduct ME. b. Chastity, sexual purity, esp. in women… 4. Superiority or excellence; unusual ability, merit, or distinction. late ME. b. An accomplishment. Now rare or obs. 1550. 5. Physical strength, force, or energy -1500. 6. The possession or display of manly qualities; manly excellence, manliness, valour ME.”
On one level it is amusing that Brown suggested that the word meant “force” when the Oxford Dictionary explains that “virtue” is attested to have meant “force” well over a century before the King James translators utilized the word with precisely that meaning in mind, but on another level it is sickening to be exposed to such vile attacks against the faith by someone who, if I’m not mistaken, is actually pretending to be a Christian of some sort. Brown went on to add: “The Greek word the translatorsgot “virtue out of, was a word actually meaning “force,” both literally and figuratively. The root word “force” was taken from, according to Strong’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, was a word of “uncertain affinity.”
The word in question is dunamis. The word comes from the verb dunamai, and its meaning is very certain. It means to be able, to be strong, to have power, etc. If this is a reference to its etymological origin, it is irrelevant; its meaning is clear with or without an etymological explanation. Unlike Mr. Brown, the translators were very aware of the meaning of this word. It is a very common noun, which would give no elementary level Greek student even the slightest amount of trouble, let alone the accomplished and learned scholars that were behind the KJV. In fact, even someone who does not know any Greek at all should be able to figure out what it means. The English words dynamic, dynamo, dynamite, and dinosaur are derived from this word. The KJV translated it with the synonym “power” in several places where they thought that it was the most appropriate word. Why would anyone with half a brain think that they would not have known that the word meant force when they translated it as “power” several times?
Matthew 6:13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Luke 1:35: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke 5:17: And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
This, of course, does not matter very much anyway, because virtue was a synonym for power as anyone can learn by looking in a dictionary, and the spiritually discerning can figure out through context alone. Mr. Brown doesn’t even have much of a command of his own language, let alone Greek. The spirit of Antichrist is so strong in these times that there is scarcely a place that one can go without encountering such mindless attacks as this. Every fool and his brother thinks that owning a Strong’s Concordance, or some Bible scoffing apostate’s commentary, qualifies him to correct the word of God. I wonder if this gentleman thinks that he would be qualified to perform heart surgery by virtue of owning an anatomy book. I pity the fool who listens to him.
Proverb 1:22: How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
John Hinton, Ph.D.
Bible Restoration Ministry
A ministry seeking the translating and reprinting of KJV equivalent
Bibles in all the languages of the world.