Damn; Damnation; Damnable

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:

(1) apoleia, "destruction," translated "damnable" and "damnation" only in 2 Pet 21:3 (the Revised Version (British and American) "destructive," "destruction"). False prophets taught doctrines calculated to destroy others, and themselves incurred the sentence of destruction such as overtook the fallen angels, the world in the Deluge, and the cities of the Plain. Apoleia occurs otherwise 16 times in the New Testament, and is always translated in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) by either "perdition" or "destruction": twice of waste of treasure (Mt 26:8 = Mr 14:4); twice of the beast that comes out of the abyss and goes into perdition (Re 17:8,11). In all other cases, it refers to men, and defines the destiny that befalls them as the result of sin: Judas is the "son of perdition" (Joh 17:12). Peter consigns Simon Magus and his money to perdition (Ac 8:20). Some men are "vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction" (Ro 9:22), and others, their "end is perdition" (Php 3:19). It is the antithesis of salvation (Heb 10:39; Php 1:28). Of the two ways of life, one leads to destruction (Mt 7:13). Whether it is utter, final and irretrievable destruction is not stated.

(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.

(5) krima, translated in the King James Version "damnation" 7 times (Mt 23:14 = Mr 12:40 = Lu 20:47; Ro 3:8; 13:2; 1Co 11:29; 1Ti 5:12), "condemnation" 6 times, "judgment" 13 times, "law" and "avenged" once each; in the Revised Version (British and American) "condemnation" 9 t (Mt 23:14 only inserted in margin), "judgment" 17 times, and once in margin, "lawsuit" and "sentence" once each. "Judgment" may be neutral, an impartial act of the judge weighing the evidence (so in Mt 7:2; Ac 24:25; Ro 11:33; Heb 6:2; 1Pe 4:17; Re 20:4) and "lawsuit" (1Co 6:7); or it may be inferred from the context that judgment is unto condemnation (so in Ro 2:2-3; 5:16; Ga 5:10; 2Pe 2:3; Re 17:1; 18:20, and the Revised Version (British and American) Ro 13:2; 1Co 11:29). In places where krima and krisis are rightly translated "condemnation," and where "judgment" regarded as an accomplished fact involves a sentence of guilt, they together with katakrino define the relation of a person to the supreme authority, as that of a criminal, found and held guilty, and liable to punishment. So the Roman empire regarded Jesus Christ, and the thief on the cross (Lu 23:40; 24:20). 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.



Salmond, Christian Doctrine of Immortality; Charles, Eschatology.

T. Rees

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