1 Corinthians 16:22, Anathema Maranatha — Come, Lord!

If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

// Unless you routinely read the King James Version, you may have never paid much attention this verse. What on earth does Anathema Maranatha mean?

It’s actually two separate statements. Anathema means cursed, while Maranatha means … well, we’re not sure. Our various Bible translations differ. Some read it as a plea: “Come, Lord!” Others as a promise or exclamation: “The Lord is coming.” Still others render it as a creedal expression, “The Lord has come.”

Since this is the only time this phrase is used in the New Testament, it’s hard to know what Paul meant. Was he saying:

“Come, Lord, and curse these people who hate you!”

“If you don’t love Jesus, you’ll get what’s coming to you soon when the Lord comes!”

“If you don’t love Jesus, you’re cursed, because Jesus came as the Messiah.”

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