much ado about Euodias

I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. (Philippians 4:2 KJB)

The King James Bible (KJB) spells the name as Euodias

Note that Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, Matthew’s bible 1537, the Great bible 1539, the Geneva bible 1560, the Bishops’ bible 1568, Mace N.T., Wesley’s N.T., Haweis N.T., Webster’s 1833, Julia E. Smith Translation 1876, New Life Version 1969, The Living Bible 1971, JB Phillips 1972, Green’s Literal 1993, Wycliffe 2001, A Conservative Version 2005, Jubilee bible 2010, New Matthew Bible 2016, and Orthodox Jewish Bible 2011 spell it Euodias same as KJB. [Thank you facebook amigos for help compiling this list]

Remaining modern versions I’ve checked so far spell it Euodia.

The name recorded in the Greek texts is Εὐοδία.  Male names usually end in -ας, -ης, and -ος, but sometimes ancient forms are also used. Female names usually end in -α and -η, though a few end in -ώ with -ου being possible.(w)  Again this is the general rule according to the ever changing understanding of contemporary scholars about Greek language as it was over 2,000 years ago.

Various commentators imply that the KJB translators purposely changed ended the name Euodias with an ‘S’ because they were chauvinist or had agenda to portray the disagreement in Phil 4:2 as between a man and woman. I recently heard a someone use this as an example of how there are mistakes in the KJB.

Can see this bias in this Thayer’s Greek Lexicon entry:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2136&t=KJV

There may well be a trend that in Greek where masculine names have an ‘S’ at the end, but that is a generality and not true in every case and the ‘S’ does not always carry forward into other languages.

For example  Ανδρέας is transliterated into Andreas, but the English equivalent is Andrew and the Italian equivalent is “Andrea”, but just because the Italian equivalent ends in ‘a’ doesn’t transform a man into a woman.

Even if it is a general rule in Greek, Euodias is the name in English, not in Greek — and there is no general rule in English that female names cannot end in ‘S’, as a matter of fact there are many female names that end in ‘S’.

To accuse the translators of the AV1611 as having an agenda requires willful ignorance of the many bibles that come before the KJB that translate the name as Euodias including Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, Matthew’s bible 1537, the Great bible 1539, the Geneva bible 1560, the Bishops’ bible 1568.

The translators choice to spell Euodias the same as previous English bibles before them is consistent with the goal of the king’s translators of 1604-1611 to not write a new Bible from scratch:

“Truly, good Christian Reader, we never thought from the beginning that we should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one; … but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavor, that our mark” (The Translators to the Reader, 1611 KJV, ninth page).

 

If it was truly an agenda on the part of the translators to portray these two as a man and a woman as a way to suppress women, then the translators were woefully inconsistent and ineffective as there are plenty of other verses throughout scripture that elevate the position of women.

Research continues…

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