Today’s Writers’ Tip: What a Difference a Comma Makes! (Part 2)
Which Isaiah 9:6 verse is correct?
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”
Do you see the difference?
Depending on the translation, you might find either version, although the King James Version (verse one) is accepted by Bible scholars as the most accurate translation of the early scriptures. So what’s the difference?
One little comma. And that makes a big difference.
In the first verse, a comma follows the word “Wonderful.” In the second verse, the comma is missing. How does that affect the meaning of the verse?
In verse one, Wonderful is a predicative nominative, (a noun form capitalized), which refers directly to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior, who was to come. Because of that comma, we can attribute the word “Wonderful” to Jesus as a title. He is wonderful (adjective), and He is Wonderful! (noun)
In verse two, the missing comma changes the word “Wonderful” to an adjective (capped) describing Counsellor. Of course, Christ is a “wonderful counselor;” in fact, He’s a perfect counselor for anyone who needs godly advice to live a successful life that’s pleasing to God. So, indeed, He’s a wonderful counselor.
My personal opinion is that the comma in the KJV verse makes the verse so much more meaningful. Of the many names attributed to the Savior, I think “Wonderful” is one of the most poignant descriptions of our God, who is wonderful beyond description.
You might differ in your opinion. That doesn’t make you wrong. Either translation presents our Savior as WONDERFUL!
Blessings for the rest of the holiday season and a profitable new year to you!