In a previous post I discussed how the translation of δίκαιον in 1 Jn. 2.1 in the Louis Segond French Bible influenced how I understood the text in contrast to several English translations (see here). For most English translators Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father because he is “the righteous”. Since in English “righteousness” indicates moral uprightness more than it does legal justice the implication of the translation seems to be that Jesus is our advocate because of his moral perfection on behalf of our immorality.

In the Segond translation he is called le juste. While I am a novice at reading French (actually, I have just begun) it came across to me as more of a legal justice. Jesus is our advocate with the Father and he is trustworthy in this role because he is just. In other words, we have no fear of misrepresentation–Jesus will be a (more than) fair advocate.

I wondered aloud if the French translation wanted to have the same connotations as most English translations if vertueux would have been preferable since it has a moral flavor to it. I decided I would look at some other French translations to see if any depart from Segond. Of all the translations to which I have access–BFC, DRB, FBJ, NEG, and TOB along with LSG (Segond)–there is a unanimous use of something related to juste.

I am wondering if there is anyone out there will a solid understanding of the French language who can tell me whether or not juste would be read by a native French speaker as indicating legislative justice or moral righteousness. It may be that such a division would not exist in the mind of a French speaker. I do not know. If you are out there I would appreciate your feedback.