Can someone tell me about the translation of the word κεχαριτωμένη as it appears in the context of Luke 1:28 (where Gabriel greets Mary)? Specifically, is it a special word perhaps reserved to denote a very high status? Or a more common word? As a loose example, in English we might commonly say "yes, sir" to show respect to a customer or police officer but we would reserve "yes, your honor" for a judge. In the two English translations I have it says "favored one" and "favored woman" respectively. It seems a little weak considering the message that was about to be delivered. (In English 'favored' does not necessarily denote unusually high status. My favored beverages are coffee and Newcastle.)
Literally,” You, who have been graced” (You that are highly favored, KJV)
You (Second Person Singular)
Have (present tense)
Been (past participle of “to be”)
Graced (past participle of “to grace”).
KE – perfect tense (prior event/occurrence/happening that is still existing/occurring or happening now)
CHARITO – a gift, something that is free or unmerited
MENE – a female receiver not giver.
The Latin translation “gratia plena” (full of grace, as found in Dhouay-Rheims) is not a literal translation from the Greek.
English translation of the Latin phrase “gratia plena” (Latin Vulgate):
Full of grace (noun)
Literal English translation of the Greek word “kecharitomene”:
You who have been graced (verb)
The Old Latin MSS (A.D. 150-200) had a literal translation of the Greek word “kecharitomene”:
Grafitificata (noun) (source)
English translation of the Latin phrase “grafitificata” (Vetus Latina):
You who have been graced (verb)
The Greek word κεχαριτωμένη in reference to Mary denotes her status as someone who "found favor or grace with God" (Luke 1:30).
The translation "full of grace" (from the Latin Vulgate's "gratia plena")is valid:
In Catholic Bibles (containing the Deuterocanonicals),there is kecharitomene (a girl who is full of grace ~ Luke 1:28) and kecharitomeno (a boy who is full of grace ~ Sirach 18:17 LXX).
In order to explain how Gabriel addressed Mary, it seems a few words along with “κεχαριτωμένη” need to be considered. Seriously, regarding this being “very high status”, “more common word”, etc.; it’s hard to believe two people could give you the same answer to that specific question.
Christians of various beliefs and Bibles have considerably different interpretations. For example, the following shows Jesus’ mother addressed mostly with “Favored”, often with “highly favored”, but also with "full of grace". http://biblehub.com/m/luke/1-28.htm
Catholics and Orthodox Christians, for example, show “traditional prayer” in their explanations, then ”Hail, Mary, full of grace” and “Rejoice, Mary full of grace”, respectively.
Next, some web sites might show Gabriel’s statement as “Hail, thou that art highly favoured” at one point yet “Be joyful” (with) “full of Grace” at another. That's because more than one person is answering the question. http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/new-testament/luke/1.asp
Likewise, another web site shows both “Hail, full of grace” and “Greetings, you who are highly favored!” http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Hail_Mary
Partial Explanation: One reason for some of the differences is the Latin Vulgate. Another includes what the word “kecharitomene” is comprised of, along with the tense. http://themichigancatholic.com/2014/05/is-mary-full-of-grace-or-just-highly-favored/
Greek perfect tense (additional): Another article focuses on the use of the Greek tense and shows notes of specialists from different Christian beliefs. http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a116.htm