© 1997, 1999 by T.L. Hubeart Jr.
1Cor 16:22 (KJV) If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
A.T. Robertson in Word Pictures in the New Testament says that "It was a curious blunder in the King James Version that connected Maran atha with Anathema." I would suggest that the "curious blunder" is rather Robertson's for not considering the very real reasons for the connection:
"By these words, is betokened the severest kind of curse and excommunication that was amongst the Iewes: and the words are as much to say, as our Lord commeth: So that his meaning may be this, Let him be accursed euen to the comming of the Lord, that is to say, to his deaths day, euen for euer."<![if !vml]><![endif]>
This seems a refinement of the makeshift reading given in the 1560 Geneva ed.: "let him be had in execration, yea excommunicate to death," with the marginal note in front of the italicized words, "Or, Maranatha."
Maran-atha-Anathema signifies a thing devoted to destruction. It seems to have been customary with the Jews of that age, when they had pronounced any man an Anathema, to add the Syriac expression, Maran-atha, that is, 'The Lord cometh;' namely, to execute vengeance upon him. This weighty sentence the apostle chose to write with his own hand; and to insert it between his salutation and solemn benediction, that it might be the more attentively regarded.
. . . That these words are used as a warning implies that 'has come' refers to Christ's coming in judgment. In prophetic vision the church looked upon the moment of His appearance as though it had already come. This anticipation of the coming of Him who comes to destroy (1 Thess. 5:3) those who love Him not, Paul uses to support the curse just pronounced.
The "curious blunder" made by Robertson in criticizing the KJV without examining reasons for its rendering is, unfortunately, made all too often by those who would rather make a splash as "learned" than teach the word of God.