Is translating οὕτως (the adverbial form of the word meaning "this") in John 3:16 as "so much" valid, or is this based on a misreading of the KJV? In the KJV, it is translated "so," ""For God so loved the world." Note the translations: "This is how much God loved the world" The Message and "For God loved the world so much" GNB. Most English translations, including the NASB leave the translation the same as the KJV.
However, HCSB translates "“For God loved the world in this way." The old Spanish version RVA, as well as the Spanish NASB equivalent LBLA, translate "Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo." Google Translate translates "de tal manera" as "in such a way," which is a valid translation.
Looking at some ancient translations: The Latin Vulgate translates οὕτως in John 3:16 with "sic" having the lexical definition "thus, so; as follows; in another way; in such a way." The Peshitta translates οὕτως in John 3:16 with hkn meaning "thus" and similar to Hebrew כֵן having the lexical definition "thus, in the same manner; as so; then, afterwards, thereafter."
Are people misunderstanding how "so" was used at the time the KJV was translated? Should we understand οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον to mean "For in this way God loved the world?" Is there an instance where οὕτως clearly means "so much?"
Below are graphs from the Bible World Study Guide in Logos Bible Software 7 showing the frequency of how KJV and HCSB translate οὕτως.