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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Condemn; Condemnation

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kon -dem ´, kon -dem -nā´shun :

1. In the Old Testament

(1) The causative stem of רשׁע , rāsha‛ "to declare (or make) wrong," "to condemn," whether in civil, ethical or religious relations. Taken in this sense the word needs no comment (Exodus 22:9; Deuteronomy 25:1; Job 40:8 ); "Who then can condemn?" (Job 34:29 , the King James Version "make trouble").

(2) ענשׁ , ‛ānash , "to fine." "Condemned the land" (2 Chronicles 36:3 the King James Version; the King James Version margin "mulcted"; the Revised Version (British and American) "amerced"; the American Standard Revised Version "fined"); "wine of the condemned" ( Amos 2:8; the Revised Version (British and American) "fined" (unjustly)).

(3) The active participle of שׁפט , shāphaṭ , "to judge." "From those that condemn his soul" (Psalm 109:31 the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) "that judge his soul").

2. In the New Testament

The New Testament usage is much more complicated, both because of the greater number of Greek words rendered "condemn" and "condemnation," and because the King James Version translates the same word in several different ways, apparently with no rule whatever.

(1) The most important word is κρίνω , krı́nō , "to judge." From it are a number of derivative verbs and nouns. the Revised Version (British and American) has rigidly excluded the harsh words "damn" and "damnation," substituting "judge," "condemn," "judgment," "condemnation." This is proper, since the word damn (Latin, damnare , "to inflict loss" upon a person, "to condemn"), and its derivatives has, in process of time, suffered degradation, so that in modern English it usually refers to eternal punishment. This special application of the word for some centuries ran side by side with the original meaning, but even as late as Wycliffe's version the word "damn" is usually employed in the sense of condemn, as in Job 9:20 , "My mouth shall dampne me." It is even applied to the condemnation of Jesus by the chief priests and scribes (Mark 10:33 ). This degeneration of the word is perhaps due, as Bishop Sanderson says, "not so much to good acts as to bad manners." Krinō is rendered uniformly "judge" by the Revised Version (British and American), even where the context. compels the thought of condemnation (John 3:17 , John 3:18; John 12:47; Acts 7:7; "might be damned," 2 Thessalonians 2:12 the King James Version; Romans 14:22; James 5:9 ).

(2) The more specific sense of condemn, however, is found in κατακρίνω , katakrı́nō , "to judge one down" (Matthew 12:41 , Matthew 12:42; Mark 14:64 ): "is damned if he eat" (Romans 14:23; 1 Corinthians 11:32 the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) "condemned"). See also Mark 16:16; 2 Peter 2:6 .

(3) For "condemnation" there is the noun κρίμα , krı́ma , or κρῖμα , krı́ma (for accent see Thayer's Lexicon ), in a forensic sense, "the sentence of the judge" (Luke 23:40; Matthew 23:14 , omitted in the Revised Version (British and American); "condemnation of the devil" 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Timothy 5:12; Judges 1:4 ).

(4) Much stronger is κατάκριμα , katákrima , "condemnation" (Romans 5:16 , Romans 5:18; Romans 8:1 ) with reference to the Divine judgment against sin.

(5) κρίσις , krı́sis , "the process of judgment," "tribunal" (John 3:19; John 5:24 ), with reference to "the judgment brought by men upon themselves because of their rejection of Christ."

(6) A stronger word is the adjective αὐτοκατάκριτος , autokatákritos , "self-condemned" (Titus 3:11; compare 1 John 3:20 , 1 John 3:21 ).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Condemn; Condemnation'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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