2

In the KJV, 1 Timothy 1:2 says:

Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith...

In the English translation in The Interlinear Bible (called "King James II Version") (TIB), however, it says:

to Timothy, a true child in the faith...

That's what the English words below the Greek text say as well. The word translated "a true" in TIB and "my own" in KJV is γνησίω (Strong's G1103).

In Strong's Greek dictionary, it says:

G1103 γνήσιος gnēsios from the same as G1077; legitimate (of birth), i.e. genuine:— own, sincerity, true.

Which translation is correct? A literal translation would seem to be "my legitimate son in the faith," but that would only make sense if Paul was Timothy's biological father.

1

1 Answer 1

1

In fact, both are correct when one understands the underlying meaning of the pertinent word, γνήσιος (gnésios), which means, according to BDAG:

  1. one who is considered a valid member of a family, legitimate, true, eg, Pil 4:3, 1 Tim 1:2, Tit 1:4.

Understood this way, such a "child" of a father is one he "knows" about, that is his true, genuine and legitimate child. That is, not a child of an accident or illicit relationship of his wife. Thus, such a child is described as "my own son" (as distinct from the son of another man).

Thus, both the following versions have the correct translation:

  • NIV, NLT, ESV, BSB, BLB, NKJV, NASB, CSB, ASV, GNT, NHEB, WEB: "true"
  • KJV, KJ2000B, WBT: "own"
  • ISV, LSV, NET, YLT: "genuine"
  • LET: "legitimate"

Versions which are questionable at this point:

  • NRSV: "loyal"
  • DRB: "beloved"
2
  • Thank you! So "my" is more accurate than "a," but "own" and "true" are both accurate?
    – Someone
    Aug 18, 2022 at 15:06
  • @Someone - Genuine, legitimate and true are closest. "my" is less so. "a" does not translate anything.
    – Dottard
    Aug 18, 2022 at 21:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.