Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Important Sigma

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:14)

The Authorized Version (KJV) has the familiar (Charlie Brown Christmas) phrasing, "and on earth peace, good will towards men."

Which is right?  Obviously there are different connotations.  Peace AND goodwill towards men implies ALL men, which implies a universal salvation.  Peace toward men OF good will, implies a limited atonement toward the elect: all those with whom God finds favor or bestows his grace upon.

So, which is it?  As it turns out, the King James translates its verse from the only Greek Codex with the word eudokia, attaching "good will" to "peace."  Many more Codexes have "eudokias" which attaches "good will" to the "men" in the sentence.  So, the phrase should read, "on earth, peace among men of good will." (the Greek word "en" should be translated "among" instead of "towards").

As you can see, the implications of the verse are different, depending on a single letter "s."  Now, one can tell if a particular Bible's translation is accurate or not based on how it words Luke 2:14!