James 1

James ( Ιακωβος ). Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew  Ιακωβ (so LXX). Common name among the Jews, and this man in Josephus (Ant. XX.9.1) and three others of this name in Josephus also.

Servant ( δουλος ). Bond-servant or slave as Paul (Ro 1:1; Php 1:1; Tit 1:1).

Of the Lord Jesus Christ ( κυριου Ιησου Χριστου ). Here on a par with God ( θεου ) and calls himself not  αδελφος (brother) of Jesus, but  δουλος. The three terms here as in 2:1 have their full significance: Jesus is the Messiah and Lord. James is not an Ebionite. He accepts the deity of Jesus his brother, difficult as it was for him to do so. The word  κυριος is frequent in the LXX for Elohim and Jahweh as the Romans applied it to the emperor in their emperor worship. See 1Co 12:3 for  Κυριος Ιησους and Php 2:11 for  Κυριος Ιησους Χριστος.

To the twelve tribes ( ταις δωδεκα φυλαις ). Dative case. The expression means "Israel in its fulness and completeness" (Hort), regarded as a unity (Ac 26:7) with no conception of any "lost" tribes.

Which are of the Dispersion ( ταις εν τη διασπορα ). "Those in the Dispersion" (repeated article). The term appears in De 28:25 (LXX) and comes from  διασπειρω, to scatter (sow) abroad. In its literal sense we have it in Joh 7:34, but here and in 1Pe 1:1 Christian Jews are chiefly, if not wholly, in view. The Jews at this period were roughly divided into Palestinian Jews (chiefly agriculturists) and Jews of the Dispersion (dwellers in cities and mainly traders). In Palestine Aramaic was spoken as a rule, while in the Western Diaspora the language was Greek (Koine, LXX), though the Eastern Diaspora spoke Aramaic and Syriac. The Jews of the Diaspora were compelled to compare their religion with the various cults around them (comparative religion) and had a wider outlook on life. James writes thus in cultural Koine but in the Hebraic tone.

Greeting ( χαιρειν ). Absolute infinitive (present active of  χαιρω ) as in Ac 15:23 (the Epistle to Antioch and the churches of Syria and Galatia). It is the usual idiom in the thousands of papyri letters known to us, but in no other New Testament letter. But note  χαιρειν λεγετε in 2Jo 1:10,11.

Count it ( ηγησασθε ). First aorist middle imperative of  ηγεομα, old verb to consider. Do it now and once for all.

All joy ( πασαν χαραν ). "Whole joy," " unmixed joy," as in Php 2:29. Not just "some joy" along with much grief.

When ( οταν ). "Whenever," indefinite temporal conjunction.

Ye fall into ( περιπεσητε ). Second aorist active subjunctive (with the indefinite  οταν ) from  περιπιπτω, literally to fall around (into the midst of), to fall among as in Lu 10:30  ληισταις περιεπεσεν (he fell among robbers). Only other N.T. example of this old compound is in Ac 27:41. Thucydides uses it of falling into affliction. It is the picture of being surrounded ( περ ) by trials.

Manifold temptations ( πειρασμοις ποικιλοις ). Associative instrumental case. The English word temptation is Latin and originally meant trials whether good or bad, but the evil sense has monopolized the word in our modern English, though we still say "attempt." The word  πειρασμος (from  πειραζω, late form for the old  πειραω as in Ac 26:21, both in good sense as in Joh 6:6, and in bad sense as in Mt 16:1) does not occur outside of the LXX and the N.T. except in Dioscorides (A.D. 100?) of experiments on diseases. "Trials" is clearly the meaning here, but the evil sense appears in verse 12 (clearly in  πειραζω in verse 13) and so in Heb 3:8. Trials rightly faced are harmless, but wrongly met become temptations to evil. The adjective  ποικιλος (manifold) is as old as Homer and means variegated, many coloured as in Mt 4:24; 2Ti 3:6; Heb 2:4. In 1Pe 1:6 we have this same phrase. It is a bold demand that James here makes.

Knowing ( γινωσκοντες ). Present active participle of  γινωσκω (experimental knowledge, the only way of getting this view of "trials" as "all joy").

The proof ( το δοκιμιον ). Now known (Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 259ff.) from the papyri examples of  δοκιμιος as an adjective in the same sense (good gold, standard gold) as  δοκιμος proved or tested (Jas 1:12). The use of  το δοκιμιον (neuter article with neuter single adjective) here and in 1Pe 1:7, clearly means "the genuine element in your faith," not "crucible" nor "proving." Your faith like gold stands the test of fire and is approved as standard. James here, as in verse 6; 2:1; 5:15, regards faith ( πιστις ) like Paul "as the very foundation of religion" (Mayor).

Worketh ( κατεργαζετα ). Present (durative) middle indicative of the compound verb with the perfective sense of  κατα as in Php 2:12, which see.

Patience ( υπομονην ). Old and common word for remaining under ( υπομενω ), "staying power" (Ropes), as in Col 1:11.

Let have ( εχετω ). Present active imperative of  εχω, let it keep on having.

Perfect ( τελειον ). See Ro 5:3f. for a like chain of blessings. Carry on the work to the end or completion (from  τελος, end) as in Joh 17:4 ( το εργον τελειωσας, having finished the work).

That ye may be ( ινα ητε ). Purpose clause with  ινα and present active subjunctive of  ειμ. This is the goal of patience.

Perfect and entire ( τελειο κα ολοκληρο ). Perfected at the end of the task ( τελος ) and complete in all parts ( ολοκληρο,  ολος whole and  κληρος lot or part). "Perfected all over." These two adjectives often occur together in Philo, Plutarch, etc. See Ac 3:16 for  ολοκληριαν (perfect soundness).

Lacking in nothing ( εν μηδεν λειπομενο ). Present passive participle of  λειπω to leave. Negative statement of the preceding positive as often in James (cf. 1:6). There is now a digression (verses 5-8) from the discussion of  πειρασμος, which is taken up again in verse 9. The word  λειπομενο (lacking) suggests the digression.

Lacketh wisdom ( λειπετα σοφιας ). Condition of first class, assumed as true,  ε and present passive indicative of  λειπω to be destitute of, with ablative case  σοφιας. "If any one falls short of wisdom." A banking figure, to have a shortage of wisdom (not just knowledge,  γνωσεως, but wisdom  σοφιας, the practical use of knowledge) .

Let him ask ( αιτειτω ). Present active imperative of  αιτεω, "let him keep on asking."

Of God ( παρα του θεου ). "From (from beside) God," ablative case with  παρα. Liberally ( απλως ). This old adverb occurs here only in the N.T. (from  απλους, single-fold, Mt 6:22, and  απλοτης, simplicity, generosity, is common-- 2Co 8:2; Ro 12:8). But the adverb is common in the papyri by way of emphasis as simply or at all (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary). Mayor argues for the sense of "unconditionally" (the logical moral sense) while Hort and Ropes agree and suggest "graciously." The other sense of "abundantly" or "liberally" suits the idea in  απλοτης in 2Co 8:2; Ro 12:8, but no example of the adverb in this sense has been found unless this is one here. See Isa 55:1 for the idea of God's gracious giving and the case of Solomon (1Ki 3:9-12; Pr 2:3).

Upbraideth not ( μη ονειδιζοντος ). Present active participle of  ονειδιζω (old verb to reproach, to cast in one's teeth, Mt 5:11) in the ablative case like  διδοντος agreeing with  θεου and with the usual negative of the participle ( με ). This is the negative statement of  διδοντος απλως (giving graciously). The evil habit of giving stinging words along with the money is illustrated in Sirach 41:22 and Plutarch (De adulat., p. 64A). ] Cf. Heb 4:16.

And it shall be given him ( κα δοθησετα αυτω ). First future passive of  διδωμ, a blessed promise in accord with the words of Jesus (Mt 7:7,11; Lu 11:13), meaning here not only "wisdom," but all good gifts, including the Holy Spirit. There are frequent reminiscences of the words of Jesus in this Epistle.

In faith ( εν πιστε ). Faith here "is the fundamental religious attitude" (Ropes), belief in God's beneficent activity and personal reliance on him (Oesterley).

Nothing doubting ( μηδεν διακρινομενος ). Negative way of saying  εν πιστε (in faith), present passive participle of  διακρινω, old verb to separate ( κρινω ) between ( δια ), to discriminate as shown clearly in Ac 11:12, 15:9, but no example of the sense of divided against oneself has been found earlier than the N.T., though it appears in later Christian writings. It is like the use of  διαμεριζομα in Lu 11:18 and occurs in Mt 21:21; Mr 11:23; Ac 10:20; Ro 2:4; 4:20; 14:23. It is a vivid picture of internal doubt.

Is like ( εοικεν ). Second perfect active indicative with the linear force alone from  εικω to be like. Old form, but in N.T. only here and verse 23 (a literary touch, not in LXX).

The surge of the sea ( κλυδων θαλασσης ). Old word (from  κλυζω to wash against) for a dashing or surging wave in contrast with  κυμα (successive waves), in N.T. only here and Lu 8:24. In associative instrumental case after  εοικεν. In Eph 4:14 we have  κλυδονιζω (from  κλυδων ), to toss by waves.

Driven by the wind ( ανεμιζομενω ). Present passive participle (agreeing in case with  κλυδων ) of  ανεμιζω, earliest known example and probably coined by James (from  ανεμος ), who is fond of verbs in  -ιζω (Mayor). The old Greek used  ανεμοω. In Eph 4:14 Paul uses both  κλυδονιζω and  περιφερω ανεμω. It is a vivid picture of the sea whipped into white-caps by the winds.

Tossed ( ριπιζομενω ). Present passive participle also in agreement with  κλυδων from  ριπιζω, rare verb (Aristophanes, Plutarch, Philo) from  ριπις (a bellows or fire-fan), here only in N.T. It is a picture of "the restless swaying to and fro of the surface of the water, blown upon by shifting breezes" (Hort), the waverer with slight rufflement.

That man ( ο ανθρωπος εκεινος ). Emphatic use of  εκεινος.

Of the Lord ( παρα του κυριου ). Ablative case with  παρα like  θεου in verse 5.

Man ( ανηρ ). Instead of  ανθρωπος (general term) in verse 7, perhaps for variety (Ropes), but often in James (1:12,23; 2:2; 3:2), though in other Epistles usually in distinction from  γυνη (woman).

Double-minded ( διψυχος ). First appearance of this compound known and in N.T. only here and 4:8. Apparently coined by James, but copied often in early Christian writings and so an argument for the early date of James' Epistle (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary). From  δις twice and  ψυχη soul, double-souled, double-minded, Bunyan's "Mr. Facing-both-ways." Cf. the rebuke to Peter ( εδιστασας ) in Mt 14:31.

Unstable ( ακαταστατος ). Late double compound (alpha privative and  καταστατος verbal from  καθιστημ ), in LXX once (Is 54:11) and in Polybius, in N.T. only here and 3:8. It means unsteady, fickle, staggering, reeling like a drunken man. Surely to James such "doubt" is no mark of intellectuality.

But ( δε ). Return to the point of view in verse 2.

Of low degree ( ο ταπεινος ). "The lowly" brother, in outward condition (Lu 1:52), humble and poor as in Ps 9:39; Pr 30:14, not the spiritually humble as in Mt 11:29; Jas 4:6. In the LXX  ταπεινος was used for either the poor in goods or the poor in spirit. Christianity has glorified this word in both senses. Already the rich and the poor in the churches had their occasion for jealousies.

Glory in his high estate ( καυχασθω εν τω υψε αυτου ). Paradox, but true. In his low estate he is "in his height" ( υψος, old word, in N.T., also in Lu 1:78; Eph 3:1; etc.).

In that he is made low ( εν τη ταπεινωσε αυτου ). "In his low estate." Play on  ταπεινωσις (from  ταπεινοω, Php 3:7), like  ταπεινος of verse 9, old word in various senses, in N.T. only here, Lu 1:48; Ac 8:33; Php 3:21. The Cross of Christ lifts up the poor and brings down the high. It is the great leveller of men.

As the flower of the grass ( ως ανθος χορτου ). From the LXX (Isa 40:6).  Χορτος means pasture, then grass (Mr 6:39) or fodder.  Ανθος is old word, in N.T. only here, verse 11; 1Pe 1:24 (same quotation). This warning is here applied to "the rich brother," but it is true of all.

He shall pass away ( παρελευσετα ). Future middle indicative (effective aoristic future, shall pass completely away from earth).

Ariseth ( ανετειλεν ). Gnomic or timeless aorist active indicative of the old compound  ανατελλω, used here of plants (cf.  αναθαλλω in Php 4:10), often of the sun (Mt 13:6).

With the scorching wind ( συν τω καυσων ). Associative instrumental case with  συν. In the LXX this late word (from  καυσος ) is usually the sirocco, the dry east wind from the desert (Job 1:19). In Mt 20:12; Lu 12:55 it is the burning heat of the sun. Either makes sense here.

Withereth ( εξηρανεν ). Another gnomic aorist active indicative (Robertson, Grammar, p. 837) of  ξηραινω, old verb (from  ξηρος, dry or withered, Mt 12:10), to dry up. Grass and flowers are often used to picture the transitoriness of human life.

Falleth ( εξεπεσεν ). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist active indicative) of  εκπιπτω to fall out (off).

The grace ( η ευπρεπεια ). Old word (from  ευπρεπης well-looking, not in the N.T.), only here in N.T. Goodly appearance, beauty.

Of the fashion of it ( του προσωπου αυτου ). "Of the face of it." The flower is pictured as having a "face," like a rose or lily.

Perisheth ( απωλετο ). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist middle indicative of  απολλυμ, to destroy, but intransitive here, to perish). The beautiful rose is pitiful when withered.

Shall fade away ( μαρανθησετα ). Future passive indicative of  μαραινω, old verb, to extinguish a flame, a light. Used of roses in Wisdom 2:8.

Goings ( πορειαις ). Old word from  πορευω to journey, in N.T. only here and Lu 13:22 (of Christ's journey toward Jerusalem). The rich man's travels will come to "journey's end."

Endureth ( υπομενε ). Present active indicative of  υπομενω. Cf. verse 3.

Temptation ( πειρασμον ). Real temptation here. See verse 2 for "trials."

When he hath been approved ( δοκιμος γενομενος ). "Having become approved," with direct reference to  το δοκιμιον in verse 3. See also Ro 5:4 for  δοκιμη (approval after test as of gold or silver). This beatitude ( μακαριος ) is for the one who has come out unscathed. See 1Ti 6:9.

The crown of life ( τον στεφανον της ζωης ). The same phrase occurs in Re 2:10. It is the genitive of apposition, life itself being the crown as in 1Pe 5:4. This crown is "an honourable ornament" (Ropes), with possibly no reference to the victor's crown (garland of leaves) as with Paul in 1Co 9:25; 2Ti 4:8, nor to the linen fillet ( διαδημα ) of royalty (Ps 20:3, where  στεφανος is used like  διαδημα, the kingly crown).  Στεφανος has a variety of uses. Cf. the thorn chaplet on Jesus (Mt 27:29).

The Lord . Not in the oldest Greek MSS., but clearly implied as the subject of  επηγγειλατο ( he promised , first aorist middle indicative).

Let no one say ( μηδεις λεγετω ). Present active imperative, prohibiting such a habit.

When he is tempted ( πειραζομενος ). Present passive participle of  πειραζω, here in evil sense of tempt, not test, as in Mt 4:1. Verses 12-18 give a vivid picture of temptation.

I am tempted of God ( απο θεου πειραζομα ). The use of  απο shows origin ( απο with ablative case), not agency ( υπο ), as in Mr 1:13, of Satan. It is contemptible, but I have heard wicked and weak men blame God for their sins. Cf. Pr 19:3; Sirach 15:11f. Temptation does not spring "from God."

Cannot be tempted with evil ( απειραστος κακων ). Verbal compound adjective (alpha privative and  πειραζω ), probably with the ablative case, as is common with alpha privative (Robertson, Grammar, p. 516), though Moulton (Prolegomena, p. 74) treats it as the genitive of definition. The ancient Greek has  απειρατος (from  πειραω ), but this is the earliest example of  απειραστος (from  πειραζω ) made on the same model. Only here in the N.T. Hort notes  απειρατος κακων as a proverb (Diodorus, Plutarch, Josephus) "free from evils." That is possible here, but the context calls for "untemptable" rather than "untempted."

And he himself tempteth no man ( πειραζε δε αυτος ουδενα ). Because "untemptable."

When he is drawn away by his own lust ( υπο της ιδιας επιθυμιας εξελκομενος ).  Επιθυμια is old word for craving (from  επιθυμεω, to have a desire for) either good (Php 1:23) or evil (Ro 7:7) as here. Like a fish drawn out from his retreat.

Enticed ( δελεαζομενος ). Present passive participle of  δελεαζω, old verb from  δελεαρ (bait), to catch fish by bait or to hunt with snares and Philo has  υφ' ηδονης δελεαζετα (is enticed by pleasure). In N.T. only here and 2Pe 2:14,18. Allured by definite bait.

Then ( ειτα ). The next step.

The lust ( η επιθυμια ). Note article, the lust (verse 14) which one has.

When it hath conceived ( συλλαβουσα ). Second aorist active participle of  συλλαμβανω, old word to grasp together, in hostile sense (Ac 26:21), in friendly sense of help (Php 4:3), in technical sense of a woman taking a man's seed in conception (Lu 1:24), here also of lust (as a woman), "having conceived." The will yields to lust and conception takes place.

Beareth sin ( τικτε αμαρτιαν ). Present active indicative of  τικτω to bring forth as a mother or fruit from seed, old verb, often in N.T., here only in James. Sin is the union of the will with lust. See Ps 7:14 for this same metaphor.

The sin ( η αμαρτια ). The article refers to  αμαρτια just mentioned.

When it is full-grown ( αποτελεσθεισα ). First aorist passive participle of  αποτελεω, old compound verb with perfective use of  απο, in N.T. only here and Lu 13:32. It does not mean "full-grown" like  τελειοω, but rather completeness of parts or functions as opposed to rudimentary state (Hort) like the winged insect in contrast with the chrysalis or grub (Plato). The sin at birth is fully equipped for its career (Ro 6:6; Col 3:5).

Bringeth forth death ( αποκυε θανατον ). Late compound ( κυεω to be pregnant, perfective use of  απο ) to give birth to, of animals and women, for normal birth (papyrus example) and abnormal birth (Hort). A medical word (Ropes) rather than a literary one like  τικτω. The child of lust is sin, of sin is death, powerful figure of abortion. The child is dead at birth. For death as the fruit of sin see Ro 6:21-23; 8:6. "The birth of death follows of necessity when one sin is fully formed" (Hort).

Be not deceived ( μη πλανασθε ). Prohibition with  μη and the present passive imperative of  πλαναω, common verb to lead astray. This is the way of sin to deceive and to kill (Ro 7:7-14). The devil is a pastmaster at blinding men's eyes about sin (2Co 4:4; Ro 1:27; Eph 4:14; etc.).

Gift ( δοσις )

--boon ( δωρημα ). Both old substantives from the same original verb ( διδωμ ), to give.  Δοσις is the act of giving (ending  -σις ), but sometimes by metonymy for the thing given like  κτισις for  κτισμα (Col 1:15). But  δωρημα (from  δωρεω, from  δωρον a gift) only means a gift, a benefaction (Ro 5:16). The contrast here argues for "giving" as the idea in  δοσις. Curiously enough there is a perfect hexameter line here:  πασα δο / σις αγα / θη κα / παν δω / ρημα τε / λειον. Such accidental rhythm occurs occasionally in many writers. Ropes (like Ewald and Mayor) argues for a quotation from an unknown source because of the poetical word  δωρημα, but that is not conclusive.

From above ( ανωθεν ). That is, from heaven. Cf. Joh 3:31; 19:11.

Coming down ( καταβαινον ). Present active neuter singular participle of  καταβαινω agreeing with  δωρημα, expanding and explaining  ανωθεν (from above).

From the Father of lights ( απο του πατρος των φωτων ). "Of the lights" (the heavenly bodies). For this use of  πατηρ see Job 38:28 (Father of rain); 2Co 1:3; Eph 1:17. God is the Author of light and lights.

With whom ( παρ' ω ). For  παρα (beside) with locative sense for standpoint of God see  παρα τω θεω (Mr 10:27; Ro 2:11; 9:14; Eph 6:9.

Can be no ( ουκ εν ). This old idiom (also in Ga 3:28; Col 3:11) may be merely the original form of  εν with recessive accent (Winer, Mayor) or a shortened form of  ενεστ. The use of  εν εν in 1Co 6:5 argues for this view, as does the use of  εινε ( εινα ) in Modern Greek (Robertson, Grammar, p. 313).

Variation ( παραλλαγη ). Old word from  παραλλασσω, to make things alternate, here only in N.T. In Aristeas in sense of alternate stones in pavements. Dio Cassius has  παραλλαξις without reference to the modern astronomical parallax, though James here is comparing God (Father of the lights) to the sun (Mal 4:2), which does have periodic variations.

Shadow that is cast by turning ( τροπης αποσκιασμα ).  Τροπη is an old word for "turning" (from  τρεπω to turn), here only in N.T.  Αποσκιασμα is a late and rare word ( αποσκιασμος in Plutarch) from  αποσκιαζω ( απο, σκια ) a shade cast by one object on another. It is not clear what the precise metaphor is, whether the shadow thrown on the dial ( αποσκιαζω in Plato) or the borrowed light of the moon lost to us as it goes behind the earth. In fact, the text is by no means certain, for Aleph B papyrus of fourth century actually read  η τροπης αποσκιασματος (the variation of the turning of the shadow). Ropes argues strongly for this reading, and rather convincingly. At any rate there is no such periodic variation in God like that we see in the heavenly bodies.

Of his own will ( βουληθεις ). First aorist passive participle of  βουλομα. Repeating the metaphor of birth in verse 15, but in good sense. God as Father acted deliberately of set purpose.

He brought us forth ( απεκυησεν ). First aorist active indicative of  αποκυεω (verse 15), only here of the father (4 Macc. 15:17), not of the mother. Regeneration, not birth of all men, though God is the Father in the sense of creation of all men (Ac 17:28f.).

By the word of truth ( λογω αληθειας ). Instrumental case  λογω. The reference is thus to the gospel message of salvation even without the article (2Co 6:7) as here, and certainly with the article (Col 1:5; Eph 1:13; 2Ti 2:15). The message marked by truth (genitive case  αληθειας ).

That we should be ( εις το εινα ημας ). Purpose clause  εις το and the infinitive  εινα with the accusative of general reference  ημας (as to us).

A kind of first-fruits ( απαρχην τινα ). "Some first-fruits" (old word from  απαρχομα ), of Christians of that age. See Ro 16:5.

Ye know this ( ιστε ). Or "know this." Probably the perfect active indicative (literary form as in Eph 5:5; Heb 12:17, unless both are imperative, while in Jas 4:4 we have  οιδατε, the usual vernacular Koine perfect indicative). The imperative uses only  ιστε and only the context can decide which it is.  Εστο (let be) is imperative.

Swift to hear ( ταχυς εις το ακουσα ). For this use of  εις το with the infinitive after an adjective see 1Th 4:9. For  εις το after adjectives see Ro 16:19. The picture points to listening to the word of truth (verse 18) and is aimed against violent and disputatious speech (chapter 3:1-12). The Greek moralists often urge a quick and attentive ear.

Slow to speak ( βραδυς εις το λαλησα ). Same construction and same ingressive aorist active infinitive, slow to begin speaking, not slow while speaking.

Slow to anger ( βραδυς εις οργην ). He drops the infinitive here, but he probably means that slowness to speak up when angry will tend to curb the anger.

The wrath of man ( οργη ανδρος ). Here  ανηρ (as opposed to  γυνη woman), not  ανθρωπος of verse 19 (inclusive of both man and woman). If taken in this sense, it means that a man's anger (settled indignation in contrast with  θυμος, boiling rage or fury) does not necessarily work God's righteousness. There is such a thing as righteous indignation, but one is not necessarily promoting the cause of God by his own personal anger. See Ac 10:35 for "working righteousness," and Jas 2:9 for "working sin" ( εργαζομα both times).

Wherefore ( διο ). Because of this principle. See Eph 4:25.

Putting away ( αποθεμενο ). Second aorist middle participle of  αποτιθημ, to put off, metaphor of removing clothing as in Ro 13:12; Col 3:8; Eph 4:22,25; 1Pe 2:1.

Filthiness ( ρυπαριαν ). Late word (Plutarch) from  ρυπαρος, dirty (Jas 2:2), here only in N.T. Surely a dirty garment.

Overflowing of wickedness ( περισσειαν κακιας ).  Περισσεια is a late word (from  περισσος, abundant, exceeding), only four times in N.T., in 2Co 8:2 with  χαρας (of joy), in Ro 5:17 with  χαριτος (of grace).  Κακια (from  κακος, evil) can be either general like  ρυπαρια (filthiness, naughtiness), or special like "malice." But any of either sense is a "superfluity."

With meekness ( εν πραυτητ ). In docility. "The contrast is with  οργη rather than  κακιας " (Ropes).

The implanted word ( τον εμφυτον λογον ). This old verbal adjective (from  εμφυω to implant, to grow in), only here in N.T., meaning properly ingrown, inborn, not  εμφυτευτον (engrafted). It is "the rooted word" (verse 18), sown in the heart as the soil or garden of God (Mt 13:3-23; 15:13; 1Co 3:6).

Able to save ( δυναμενον σωσα ). Cf. 1Pe 1:9; Jas 2:14; 4:12; 5:20; Ro 1:16. Ultimate salvation (effective aorist active infinitive  σωσα from  σωζω ).

But be ye ( γινεσθε δε ). Rather, "But keep on becoming" (present middle imperative of  γινομα ).

Doers of the word ( ποιητα λογου ). Old word for agent ( -της ) from  ποιεω to do as in 4:11; Ro 2:13, but in Ac 17:28 our "poet" (long regarded as a "doer" or "maker").

Hearers ( ακροατα ). Old word for agent again from  ακροαμα (to be a hearer), in N.T. only here and Ro 2:13.

Deluding yourselves ( παραλογιζομενο εαυτους ). Present middle (direct) participle of  παραλογιζομα, to reckon aside ( παρα ) and so wrong, to cheat, to deceive. Redundant reflexive  εαυτους with the middle. In N.T. only here and Col 2:4. Such a man does not delude anyone but himself.

And not a doer ( κα ου ποιητης ). Condition of first class, assumed as true, and  ου (rather than  μη ) contrasts  ποιητης with  ακροατης.

Unto a man beholding ( ανδρ κατανοουντ ). Associative instrumental case after  εοικεν as in 1:6. Note  ανδρ as in 1:8 in contrast with  γυναικ (woman), not  ανθρωπω (general term for man). Present active participle of  κατανοεω to put the mind down on ( κατα, νους ), to consider attentively, to take note of, as in verse 24 ( κατενοησεν ).

His natural face ( το προσωπον της γενεσεως αυτου ). "The face of his birth" (origin, lineage, nativity). For this use of  γενεσις see 3:6; Mt 1:1,18; Lu 1:13.

In a mirror ( εν εσοπτρω ). Old word (from  εισ, οπτω ) in N.T. only here and 1Co 13:12. The mirrors of the ancients were not of glass, but of polished metal (of silver or usually of copper and tin). See  κατοπτριζομα in 2Co 3:18.

He beholdeth himself ( κατενοησεν εαυτον ). Usually explained as gnomic aorist like those in 1:11, but the ordinary force of the tenses is best here. "He glanced at himself ( κατενοησεν aorist) and off he has gone ( απεληλυθεν perfect active) and straightway forgot ( επελαθετο, second aorist middle indicative of  επιλανθανομα ) what sort of a man he was" ( οποιος ην, back in the picture, imperfect tense). The tenses thus present a vivid and lifelike picture of the careless listener to preaching (Christ's wayside hearer).

He that looketh into ( ο παρακυψας ). First aorist active articular participle of  παρακυπτω, old verb, to stoop and look into (Joh 20:5,11), to gaze carefully by the side of, to peer into or to peep into (1Pe 1:12). Here the notion of beside ( παρα ) or of stooping ( κυπτω ) is not strong. Sometimes, as Hort shows, the word means only a cursory glance, but the contrast with verse 24 seems to preclude that here.

The perfect law ( νομον τελειον ). For  τελειον see 1:17. See Ro 7:12 for Paul's idea of the law of God. James here refers to the word of truth (1:18), the gospel of grace (Ga 6:2; Ro 12:2).

The law of liberty ( τον της ελευθεριας ). "That of liberty," explaining why it is "perfect" (2:12 also), rests on the work of Christ, whose truth sets us free (Joh 8:32; 2Co 3:16; Ro 8:2).

And so continueth ( κα παραμεινας ). First aorist active articular participle again of  παραμενω, parallel with  παρακυψας.  Παραμενω is to stay beside, and see Php 1:25 for contrast with the simplex  μενω.

Being ( γενομενος ). Rather, "having become" (second aorist middle participle of  γινομα to become).

Not a hearer that forgetteth ( ουκ ακροατης επιλησμονης ). "Not a hearer of forgetfulness" (descriptive genitive, marked by forgetfulness).  Επιλησμονη is a late and rare word (from  επιλησμων, forgetful, from  επιλανθομα, to forget, as in verse 24), here only in N.T.

But a doer that worketh ( αλλα ποιητης εργου ). "But a doer of work," a doer marked by work (descriptive genitive  εργου ), not by mere listening or mere talk.

In his doing ( εν τη ποιησε αυτου ). Another beatitude with  μακαριος as in 1:12, like the Beatitudes in Mt 5:3-12.  Ποιησις is an old word (from  ποιεω for the act of doing), only here in N.T.

Thinketh himself to be religious ( δοκε θρησκος εινα ). Condition of first class ( ει-δοκε ).  Θρησκος (of uncertain etymology, perhaps from  θρεομα, to mutter forms of prayer) is predicate nominative after  εινα, agreeing with the subject of  δοκε (either "he seems" or "he thinks"). This source of self-deception is in saying and doing. The word  θρησκος is found nowhere else except in lexicons. Hatch (Essays in Biblical Greek, pp. 55-57) shows that it refers to the external observances of public worship, such as church attendance, almsgiving, prayer, fasting (Mt 6:1-18). It is the Pharisaic element in Christian worship.

While he bridleth not his tongue ( μη χαλιναγωγων γλωσσαν εαυτου ). "Not bridling his own tongue." A reference to verse 19 and the metaphor is repeated in 3:12. This is the earliest known example of the compound  χαλιναγωγεω ( χαλινος, bridle  αγο, to lead). It occurs also in Lucian. The picture is that of a man putting the bridle in his own mouth, not in that of another. See the similar metaphor of muzzling ( φιμοω ) one's mouth (Mt 22:12  εφιμωθη ).

Deceiveth ( απατων ). Present active participle from  απατη (deceit). He plays a trick on himself.

Religion ( θρησκεια ). Later form of  θρησκιη (Herodotus) from  θρησκος above. It means religious worship in its external observances, religious exercise or discipline, but not to the exclusion of reverence. In the N.T. we have it also in Ac 26:5 of Judaism and in Col 2:18 of worshipping angels. It is vain ( ματαιος, feminine form same as masculine) or empty. Comes to nothing.

Pure religion and undefiled ( θρησκεια καθαρα κα αμιαντος ). Numerous examples in papyri and inscriptions of  θρησκεια for ritual and reverential worship in the Roman Empire (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary; Deissmann, St. Paul, p. 251). As Hort shows, this is not a definition of religion or religious worship, but only a pertinent illustration of the right spirit of religion which leads to such acts.

Before our God and Father ( παρα τω θεω κα πατρ ). By the side of ( παρα ) and so from God's standpoint (Mr 10:27).  Αμιαντος (compound verbal adjective, alpha privative,  μιαινω to defile), puts in negative form (cf. 1:4,6) the idea in  καθαρα (pure, clean). This ( αυτη ). Feminine demonstrative pronoun in the predicate agreeing with  θρησκεια.

To visit ( επισκεπτεσθα ). Epexegetic (explaining  αυτη ) present middle infinitive of  επισκεπτομα, common verb to go to see, to inspect, present tense for habit of going to see. See Mt 25:36,43 for visiting the sick.

The fatherless and widows ( ορφανους κα χηρας ). "The natural objects of charity in the community" (Ropes).  Ορφανος is old word for bereft of father or mother or both. In N.T. only here and Joh 14:18. Note order (orphans before widows).

Unspotted ( ασπιλον ). Old adjective (alpha privative and  σπιλος, spot), spotless. This the more important of the two illustrations and the hardest to execute.

To keep ( τηρειν ). Present active infinitive, "to keep on keeping oneself un-specked from the world" (a world,  κοσμος, full of dirt and slime that bespatters the best of men).

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