In John 17, Jesus prays and says of his disciples,
12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
That was the New American Standard Bible. The phrase there is a literal translation from the Greek, "ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας"; "the son of X" is an idiom for "one who personifies the nature of X", and "ἀπωλείας" (Strong 684) can mean "perdition", "loss", "destruction", "ruin", and so on.
Translations differ in how they render this reference to Judas (though they often have a footnote saying that "son of perdition" is the word-for-word equivalent). Examples:
- the son of perdition: King James and many of its derivatives; also Douay-Rheims, from the Vulgate's filius perditionis
- the son of destruction: English Standard Version, World English Bible, New American Bible
- the one doomed to destruction: New International Version
- the one destined to be lost: New Revised Standard Version, New Jerusalem Bible
- the man who was bound to be lost: Good News Bible
- the one who chose to be lost: Jerusalem Bible
- the one who was already lost: Christian Community Bible
It seems to me that there are differences in how much agency is assigned to Judas here. If he is "doomed to destruction" or "destined to be lost" then he is being painted as a victim of fate. If he is "the one who chose to be lost" or "the son of perdition/destruction", then he could be a more active participant in his own downfall. The "son of perdition/destruction" seems like an obvious translation, but it's not clear to me whether (in Greek or English) it should connote that he is a destroyer, or the one who is destroyed, or both.
Do these English translations faithfully express the meaning of "son of perdition" in Greek? Related to that, is there any real doctrinal difference between the phrases above?