I would hazard a guess that there is hardly any person above 10 years of age who has ever been to any Church who does not know by heart the popular English rendition of Jn. 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son….” (King James Version, KJV, and most other English translations, though not all).
The text book I use with my online Greek class has recommended the popular slant but we had reason to challenge that slant based on the first word in the Greek text of John 3:16. That word ishoutōs (last ‘o’ is long as in ‘open’, sound = whotoes). Word order in Greek is not as fixed as word order in English.
The best Greek/English dictionaries will tell you that the word means ‘in this way/manner, not ‘so’ expressing degree of emotion! The overlooked preceding incident from the Old Testament[Numbers [21:5-9] is what provides the aspect of similarity that is suggested by houtōs. In that incident God showed his caring concern for his people and provided a way of healing for their affliction. So in v.16, in this caring way God loved the world so that he gave his only begotten son…
The Holman Christian Standard Bible is an exception to the general mistranslation of this popular verse because it reads: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son…”
So then preachers who stress the degree of God’s love arising from John 3:16, may be forgiven if they know no Greek but since they are technically wrong they ought to seek to deepen their understanding of Scripture by growing knowledge of the original languages!
A similar misreading of houtōs in Romans 11:26 has led to the unbiblical doctrine that all [modern] Israel will be saved, presumably by some special means different from reposing saving faith in the finished work of our Lord at Calvary. The KJV reads: “And so [houtōs]all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”
The theme of the preceding verses from v.19 is the benefit derived from belief vs. unbelief. So v.26 is better translated/amplified as ‘In this way of belief [by which you Gentiles have been grafted in] shall all Israel be saved…’. In Rom.3:30 Paul, while arguing that God sets all persons right before him by the same means urged: “Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision [Jews] by faith, and uncircumcision [Gentiles] through faith.”(KJV)
All preachers, especially pastors, should desire familiarity with the original languages of the Bible for better reading and exposition of the texts of Scripture.