This chapter[ 1 ] deals with two main topics. The first half condemns favoritism, prejudice and partiality. The last half shows that faith without works is dead (see charts OUTLINE OF JAMES 2; FAULTS CONSIDERED BY JAMES; TESTS OF PURE RELIGION at verse 14).
OUTLINE OF JAMES 2
- Condemnation of favoritism, prejudice and partiality (Jas 2:1-13).
- Faith without works is dead (Jas 2:14-26).
FAULTS CONSIDERED BY JAMES (A)
- Favoritism (Jas 2:1).
- Favoring the rich (Jas 2:2-13).
- Faith without works (Jas 2:14-26).
- Misuse of tongue (Jas 3:2-12; see chart B at Jas 4:2).
FAITH VERSUS FAVORITISM
2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
My brethren [my brothers].[ 2 ] James refers to his readers as brethren no less than fifteen times (see Jas 1:2, 16, 19; 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19).
Do not hold [do not have, hold not, you must never show, show no].[ 3 ] The faith is something one holds or possesses. It is also something to be practiced. The faith should be steadfastly adhered to. It's application should occupy one's entire life.
Your faith [the faith, as you hold the faith].[ 4 ] The NKJV translators changed the article "the" to "your." NEB translators are totally unjustified by their rendering, "believing as you do." The NIV is even worse with the paraphrase: "As believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ." The Greek has the article and should be rendered "the faith." It is not merely a conviction based solidly upon the revealed word of God. The faith is specific -- the word of God itself (see note on Ga 2:16; Jude 3). The faith should govern every decision and every action whether religious or not.
Of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory [of our Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of glory, who reigns in glory].[ 5 ] Reference to "the Lord of glory" is not a thoughtless phrase but one that reflects the very deity of the Son of God (see Ps 24:7-10; 29:1-3). Notice how the Scriptures equate the glory of Christ and the glory of the Father. Stephen said "the God of glory" appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia (Ac 7:2). Moses was in God's presence when he received the Law. As a result, his face shone "so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away" (2Co 3:7).
In connection with the birth of Christ, an angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds. "The glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were greatly afraid" (Luke 2:9). When Christ appeared to Saul of Tarsus, he "could not see for the glory of that light" (Acts 22:11). He later referred to Christ as "the Lord of glory" (1Co 2:8). The Father is "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory" (Eph 1:17). "Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit 2:13). This verse refers to the glory of Christ because the next verse adds, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us" (see also note on Ro 9:4).
With partiality [with respect of persons, favoritism, snobbery].[ 6 ] In the Law of Moses, partiality was forbidden even if it favored the poor. "You shall not be partial to [receive the countenance of] the poor nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor" (Le 19:15). A characteristic of the false teachers of whom Jude wrote was "flattering people to gain advantage" (Jude 16).
Elihu recognized God's fairness to the poor when he said, "Yet He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of His hands" (Job 34:19). The scribes and chief priests admitted to Christ, "You do not show personal favoritism" (Lu 20:21). "For there is no partiality with God" (Ro 2:11). God does, however, recognize those who live right. Peter said, "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him" (Ac 10:34, 35).
THE SIN OF INDULGING THE RICH
2:2-4 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
For if a man should come [for if there come, a man come, comes, for if there come a man, suppose a man comes, for instance, two visitors may enter].[ 7 ] Imagine two visitors approaching the meeting house. One has just stepped out of a bandbox. His clothing is splendid. The other looks like a homeless derelict.
Into your assembly [into, unto, your synagogue, meeting, your place of worship].[ 8 ] The word in Greek is synagogue. Some take it to mean "gathering" as was more common at the time of the Septuagint, others "meeting place" or "meeting house" which was more common in NT times. Since James says your synagogue, it was a Christian gathering or meeting house rather than a Jewish synagogue as is sometimes suggested. Although Christians preached in the Jewish synagogues (Ac 9:20; 13:5, 14, 15, 42; 14:1; 17:1, 2, 10, 17; 18:4, 19, 26; 19:8) there is no evidence in the NT that a Christian assembly was ever held in a Jewish synagogue. Can you imagine the Lord's supper being observed in a Jewish synagogue? The construction "come into your synagogue" suggests a building, as does the reference to seating arrangements (compare with Mk 1:21; Lu 4:16; Ac 18:19; 19:8). But "gathering" is linguistically possible.[ 9 ]
[A WORD STUDY]
- Burned all the meeting places [synagogues] in the land (Ps 74:8).
- Jewish religious meeting places (Mt 4:23; 6:2, 5; 9:35; 10:17; Ac 6:9; 18:7, etc.).
- Letters to the SUNAGOOGAS synagogues (Ac 9:2).
- When the meeting of the SUNAGOOGEES synagogue had broken up (Ac 13:42).
- The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our EPISUNAGOOGEES gathering together to Him (2Th 2:1).
- Not forsaking the EPISUNAGOOGEEN assembling together (Heb 10:25).
- If there should come into your SUNAGOOGEEN assembly with a gold ring (Jas 2:2).
- SUNAGOOGEE[S] synagogue of Satan (Re 2:9; 3:9).
A man with gold rings [a man wearing a gold ring, with a gold ring, rings].[ 10 ] The clothes of the man entering the synagogue are expensive and ostentatious. Fingers on both hands glitter with gold rings. He is rich and he wants others to know it.
In fine apparel [in, and in, fine clothing, a well-dressed man, in splendid apparel, dressed splendidly].[ 11 ] The clothes of the rich man are splendid. According to the Greek, they were bright and shining. They are probably made of silks, satins or some other shiny and expensive material. "Clothes make the man," they say. If so, in this case, they make him "the rich man."
And there should also come in a poor man [and there come in also a poor man, a, and a, poor man also come in, also comes in, the other a poor man, and there also come in a poor man, and a poor man also comes in].[ 12 ] The poor man has no gold ring. His clothes are shabby, faded and, according to the original language, soiled (see following note and footnote).
In filthy clothes [in dirty, shabby, vile, clothes, clothing, apparel, with dirty clothes].[ 13 ] Picture a homeless person who has slept in his clothes and, for several days, has been denied the luxury of a bath. According to the Greek, the poor man's clothes are shabby and vile. In other words, they are filthy, dirty!
And you pay attention [ye have regard to, if you, suppose you, pay special attention, and you look on him, and ye look upon him].[ 14 ] Well- dressed people deserve no better attention than the poor.
To the one wearing the fine clothes [to him, the man, wearing, who wears, that weareth, fine clothes, the fine clothing, the splendid apparel, who is dressed splendidly, the well-dressed man].[ 15 ] The rich man, accustomed to wearing "Sunday best" every day, is greeted.
And say to him, "You sit here in a good place" [and say, and you say, Sit thou here, here's a good seat for you, please take this seat, have a seat here, please, you sit here in this good place, in a good place, do thou sit here well].[ 16 ] As expected, the brightly dressed rich man is offered a seat of honor. The scribes and Pharisees loved "the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues" (Mt 23:6). So did James' rich man. Not only that but the "Christians" accommodated him.
And say to the poor man [and say, and ye say, but say to the poor, to the poor man, while to the poor man you say, and to the poor man you say, while you say to the poor man].[ 17 ] The poor man is ushered into the meeting place. Is he welcomed as a brother and regarded equally with all others? He is not.
Mary praised the Lord by saying, in part, "For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant" (Lu 1:48). Jesus dwelt in Galilee, associated with the humble and lowly and was buried in a borrowed tomb. How can His followers be snobbish? How can it be that Christians are sometimes arrogant and patronizing? Do "refined" Christians fear contamination just by touching the riffraff? A "holy kiss" would be out of the question! Wouldn't a good bath, a barber and some deodorant help the uncouth slobs! In the meantime, smile, greet and embrace the richer attendees! Such an attitude is contrary to that of Christ.
You stand there [you stand, stand there, stand thou there, you can stand, do thou stand there].[ 18 ] Transients, vagrants and the poor are allowed inside but, sadly, are denied the red carpet treatment.
Or, "Sit here at my footstool" [sit, sit here at, under my, or sit here, or you may sit here, on the floor by my, footstool, by my feet, at my feet, under my footstool].[ 19 ] It was a practice of kings to place their feet on the necks of conquered enemies. That was the worst form of humiliation imaginable. To offer the poor man a footstool seat in the meeting house is to relegate him to the lowest dishonor.
Have you not shown partiality among yourselves? [do you, ye, not make, have you not, made a distinction, a difference, distinctions, discriminated, see that you are inconsistent, among yourselves?].[ 20 ] When distinctions are made between rich and poor or when certain races or social ranks are favored, it is sinful. Discriminations like this are highly improper and wholly out of character for followers of the Galilean Savior. All Christians are brethren. There is to be no bias, prejudice or bigotry in their hearts. Nothing should ever be done that would even hint at the fostering of such nonsense.
And become judges with evil thoughts [and become judges, and judge, with evil decisions, by false standards, having evil thoughts].[ 21 ] Bigotry and bias are not innocent. The practice of these vices comes from evil within the heart.
POOR BUT RICH IN FAITH
2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Listen, my beloved brethren [hear, hearken, my dear brothers].[ 22 ] James calls upon his readers to pay attention, to hearken. This sounds like the same James who, at the Jerusalem meeting, said, "Men and brethren, listen to me" (Ac 15:13).
- For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called (1Co 1:26).
- Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people (1Pe 2:9).
- Who were once not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1Pe 2:10).
Has God not chosen? [did not God choose?].[ 23 ] Jesus' boyhood home was in the "hick" town of Nazareth. His ministerial home was at the fishing village of Capernaum. Galileans were considered "country" people by the high class Jews of Jerusalem. None of the apostles were royalty. Many of the disciples were common people but, in Christ, are Christians all royalty (see chart GOD'S CHOSEN).
The poor of this world [the poor, them that are poor, as to the world, those who are poor in the world, in the eyes of the world].[ 24 ] In spite of the arrogance of the Jews who lived in Jerusalem, most Christians who lived there were poor. Their economy had been devastated by the persecution of Acts 8 and worsened by the seizure of their property (see Heb 10:34). Then the famine predicted by Agabus put the economy of the entire region into a severe depression (see Ac 11:28; compare Ga 2:10).
To be rich in faith [rich in faith, who are rich in faith].[ 25 ] Not just the poor but every Christian ought to be rich in faith. Some lay up treasure for themselves but are not rich toward God (Lu 12:21). The converse is also true. There are those who are poor in this world's goods who are rich toward God. Jesus said to Christians at Smyrna, "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)" (Re 2:9).
And heirs of the kingdom [and to inherit the kingdom, to possess the kingdom].[ 26 ] Under OT Law, God promised "mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Ex 20:6). "Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed" (1Sa 2:30). In the NT, the followers of Christ are said to be "heirs of the kingdom of heaven." At death, earthly riches are left behind but those who are "heirs of the kingdom" are wealthier than the super rich because they have treasure in heaven (see Mt 6:20; compare Mt 19:21; Mk 10:21; Lu 12:33; 18:22).
THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD
- If you love Me, keep My commandments (Joh 14:15).
- If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word (Joh 14:23).
- If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love (Joh 15:10).
- But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him (1Jo 2:5).
- For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments (1Jo 5:3).
- This is love, that we walk according to His commandments (2Jo 6).
Which He promised [which he has promised].[ 27 ] Jesus promised the kingdom of heaven to the "poor in spirit" (Mt 5:3). This does not necessarily imply literal poverty but in some instances it is. He also said, "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[ 28 ] or children or lands for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life" (Mt 19:29). When He pictured the judgment scene, the King says, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Mt 25:34). To His disciples, He said, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lu 12:32).
To those who love Him [to them that love him][ 29 ] (see chart THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD). The opposite of loving Christ is hating Him. "He who hates Me hates My Father also" (Joh 15:23; compare Ps 81:15; Jas 4:4).
OPPRESSION BY THE RICH
2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?
But you have dishonored the poor man [but ye, dishonor, have insulted, have despised, the poor, the poor man].[ 30 ] Disrespect because of poverty, race or lower station toward another Christian is counted as contempt, dishonor or insult. Jesus takes it personally (compare Mt 25:40).
Do not the rich oppress you? [who are exploiting you, do not the rich oppress you, rule over you, is it not the rich who oppress you].[ 31 ] James gives a reason why one should not favor the rich. He assumes his readers know that the wealthy, at least at times, profit at the expense of the poor. The destitute have been exploited throughout history. By honoring the rich, does one lend approval to such disgraceful actions?
And drag you [and, and do not they themselves, drag you, are not they the ones who are dragging you, is it not they who drag you?].[ 32 ] Not only have the rich exploited the poor for their own advancement but they have physically mistreated them.
Into the courts [into court, before the judgment seats, tribunals].[ 33 ] It was well-to-do Jews who followed Paul and others in order to persecute them. The poor people never oppressed Christians. Only the wealthy can afford to take off work, to hire lawyers and file suits in the courts.
2:7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
Do they not? [do not they, are not they the ones, are they not the ones, is it not they, and do not they?].[ 34 ]
Blaspheme [who are slandering, who speak against, blaspheme who blaspheme].[ 35 ] Some of the ruling Jews made slanderous references to Christ, calling Him a deceiver (see Mt 27:63). Samaritans were considered the same as dogs. Some Jews regarded Christians as little better.
The noble name [the, that, honorable name, good name, excellent name].[ 36 ] The name of Christ "is above every name" (Php 2:9). The worthy name "Christian" derives from Him. It means an adherent of Jesus (see notes on Ac 11:26; 1Pe 4:16).
By which you are called [by which ye are called, of him to whom you belong, that was given to you, which was invoked over you, which has been called upon you].[ 37 ] The Israelites were "called by the name of the Lord" (De 28:10). God said they were "My people who are called by My name" (2Ch 7:14). Through Amos He spoke of "All the Gentiles who are called by My name" (Am 9:12). Alluding to Amos 9:12, James applied the "honorable name" to Gentiles converts (Ac 15:17). Disciples of Christ in an interracial congregation were the first to be called[ 38 ] Christians (Ac 11:26). The name was given by God at Antioch in fulfillment of His promise in Isaiah 62:1, 2.
FULFILLING THE ROYAL LAW
2:8, 9 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
If [if indeed, howbeit if, certainly if].[ 39 ] This has been called "fustian"[ 40 ] writing with a touch of irony.[ 41 ] James suggests that some of his readers only imagine they are fulfilling the royal law (see verse 3).
You really fulfill [ye, you, fulfill, keep].[ 42 ] Some versions give the proper emphasis to "fulfill" by adding the word "really" from MENTOI (see above footnote on If, however). James does not refer to half-hearted law-keeping but to genuine fulfillment from within the heart.
The royal law [the royal law].[ 43 ] First, let me make it plain that James is not teaching Christians to obey the OT as law (see Col 2:14). What is the "royal law"?[ 44 ] The Royal law is excellent and stands above other laws.[ 45 ] It is God's "highest utterance."[ 46 ] It is "the law of love for one's neighbor which is the fulfillment of the entire Law."[ 47 ] It is the law of Royalty, the law of King Jesus. It is the king of laws.[ 48 ] The chosen poor are "heirs of the kingdom" (verse 5). Citizens in the kingdom are to obey it.
According to the Scripture [found in the scripture].[ 49 ] Love for neighbor was taught by Moses in Leviticus 19:18 and love for stranger in Leviticus 19:34 (compare Ex 21:5; De 10:19).[ 50 ] Jesus expanded upon it to include love like His own. Notice: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Joh 13:34). "This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you" (Joh 15:12).
You shall love [thou shalt love, you are to love].[ 51 ] In OT Scripture, the greatest commandment was "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Mt 22:37). The second was, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 22:39; compare Le 19:18; Mk 12:31, 33; Lu 10:27). "He who loves another has fulfilled the law" (Ro 13:8). "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Ga 5:14). The opposite of love is to regard someone with contempt (Ro 13:10).
Your neighbor [thy neighbor].[ 52 ] Both testaments teach love for neighbor. Instead of answering the restrictive question, "And who is my neighbor?" (Lu 10:29), the parable of the Good Samaritan suggests a different question, namely, "To whom can I be a neighbor?" (see note on Lu 10:30-37).
DUTIES TOWARD A NEIGHBOR
- Protect his reputation (Ex 20:16).
- Protect his property (Ex 20:17).
- Love him (Le 19:18).
- Legal protection of his life in a city of refuge (De 19:4)
- Not despise him (Pr 14:21).
As yourself [as thyself].[ 53 ] A person is to have a certain amount of love for himself. Otherwise, loving others as himself means nothing.
You do well [you do right, ye do well].[ 54 ] In the letter sent out from Jerusalem by James and others we have a similar expression. "If you keep yourselves from these, EU PRAXETE you will do well" (Ac 15:29). Even though a different Greek word was used, some consider this suggestive that James dictated that letter.
SIN OF PARTIALITY
[2:9] But if you show partiality [but if you show favoritism, but if ye have respect of persons].[ 55 ]
You commit sin [you, ye, sin, are committing sin].[ 56 ] Showing partiality or respect of persons is sin. Showing favoritism is sin. Can anything be plainer than that?
And are convicted [and are being convicted, being convicted].[ 57 ] "For everyone practicing evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (Joh 3:20). Bigotry is exposed by the light of God's word.
By the law.[ 58 ] The Law of Moses forbade partiality in judgment. "You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man's presence, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it" (De 1:17; compare De 10:17; 16:19; 24:17). The NT law in this very passage forbids partiality.
As transgressors [as lawbreakers].[ 59 ] The violation of any command of God makes one a transgressor of the Law (implied in verse 11).
STUMBLING IN ONE POINT
2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
For whoever shall keep [whosoever, keeps].[ 60 ] Keeping the whole Law and fulfilling it are the same (see note on verse 8).
The whole law.[ 61 ] The Law of Moses was nailed to the cross (Col 2:14). Nevertheless, many baptized Jews were still "zealous" for it (Ac 21:20).
And yet stumble [yet, and yet, stumbles, and shall offend, but fails].[ 62 ] James describes a person who keeps the Law perfectly except for committing one sin.
In one point [at just one point].[ 63 ] Some talk of the "core gospel." Others speak of "essentials and non-essentials." Some have decided that the seven "ones" of Ephesians 4 are all that is necessary to please God. It is not man's prerogative to evaluate God's commands. Humans have no right to choose parts of God's law to obey and ignore others (compare Mt 23:23). All of the law of Christ is applicable to everyone. No violation is acceptable. There is no sin that is designed for the good of the Christian.
One cannot justify a violation of God's law by citing another good deed. A criminal lawyer tried that very strategy. His client, a murderer, when just a boy was trapped in a snow-bound school bus. He supposedly saved the lives of other children by picking on them. His agitation kept them active so they did not freeze to death. Did that one "good deed" nullify the charge of murder? It did not.
He is guilty of all [is, is become, has become, guilty of all, all of it, of breaking all of it, he has come under the guilt of breaking all].[ 64 ] Some have used an illustration describing a basketball player missing the goal. Whether the ball misses the basket by ten feet or just an inch, he does not score. If one commits any sin, he has violated the law and is a transgressor of it.
Does this teach that all sins are equal in degree in the sight of God? I do not think so. Does it imply that a person who violates all God's commands is no worse off than he who violates only one? Hardly. The present verse does not deny forgiveness. What it does teach is that any violation, no matter how seemingly trifling, is just as much a violation as any other. Any violation of God's Law brings guilt and, without the forgiveness of Christ, causes the loss of the soul.
TRANSGRESSING THE LAW
2:11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
For He who said [for he that said].[ 65 ] God said in the Ten Commandments, "You shall not commit adultery" and "You shall not murder" (see Ex 20:13, 14; De 5:17, 18). His law in the NT teaches the same thing (see Ro 13:9).
Do not commit adultery [Thou shalt not commit adultery].[ 66 ] Adultery is unlawful sexual intercourse between married parties. It is condemned in both testaments (see note above).
Also said [said also].[ 67 ] The same Divine authority behind the command not to commit adultery is behind the command not to commit murder.
Do not commit murder [Do not murder, kill, thou shalt not kill].[ 68 ] (see note above on For He who said).
Now if you do not commit adultery [if you do not commit adultery, now if thou does not, dost not, commit adultery].[ 69 ]
But you do murder [but you do murder, but killest, but you kill, but do kill].[ 70 ]
You have become a transgressor of the law [you have become a lawbreaker, thou art become, you are, transgressor, a transgressor, of the law].[ 71 ] Guy N. Woods gave an illustration that may help in understanding this concept when he wrote:
To illustrate: A flock of sheep in a pasture surrounded by a paneled fence are in the pasture. If they leap over one of the panels, they are out of the pasture. It is, of course, not necessary for them to leap over every section of the fence around the pasture to be outside. One leap puts them out of the pasture. Similarly, one violation of God's law, unforgiven, puts one in the position of being condemned by it as a violator of it; disobedience to one precept puts the person who thus does this, in an area outside that which is characteristic of those who keep it.[ 72 ]
JUDGED BY LAW OF LIBERTY
2:12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.
So.[ 73 ] "So" gives the manner that Christians should speak. With the judgment day in mind, their speech should be more in keeping with what is fair and right.
Speak [speak ye].[ 74 ] What a person speaks comes from his heart. David wrote, "I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word" (Ps 119:14-16). What we say and how we say it is important. Jesus said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Mt 12:36, 37).
- The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:2).
- Not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ (1Co 9:21).
- Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).
- NT laws written in the hearts of Christians (Heb 8:10; 10:16).
- The perfect law of liberty (Jas 1:25; 2:12).
And so do [and act, and so act].[ 75 ] The Greek present tense denotes continuous action. Christians do not have the right to remain silent. They are to speak and they are to act. As they do so, they are to keep in mind the fact of the coming judgment. Their daily speech and action should be such that will pass the searchlight inspection of the God who will judge them.
MOTIVATION: TO BE JUDGED BY THE LAW OF LIBERTY
As those who will be judged [as those who, that, men that, will be, are to be, are going to be, judged].[ 76 ] The first thought here is that Christians will be judged. "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ[ 77 ]" (Ro 14:10). All will be judged by their deeds. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2Co 5:10). Judgment will be according to words spoken (Mt 12:37).
By the law of liberty [that gives freedom, by a law of liberty, under the law of liberty].[ 78 ] The law of liberty is the word of Christ by which people are to be judged at the last day (Joh 12:47, 48). It is perfect or complete (1Co 13:10; Eph 4:13). Are Christians under any law whatsoever? Yes they are. Two passages in James speak of the perfect law of liberty (Jas 1:25; 2:12; see chart NT LAW). They have liberty in the sense that they are not compelled to obey it. They desire to do so. The law of liberty provides freedom from sin, not freedom to commit it. There is also the freedom that forgiveness brings (Ac 8:22; 1Jo 1:7-9; Jas 5:19, 20).
LIBERTY UNDER THE OT
- I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart (Ps 119:32).
- And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts (Ps 119:45).
- O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps 119:97).
LIBERTY UNDER THE NT
- The truth shall make you free (Joh 8:32).
- Not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ (1Co 9:21).
- Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2Co 3:17).
- Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free (Ga 5:1).
- Called to liberty; only do not use your liberty as an opportunity for the flesh (Ga 5:13).
6 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law (Ga 5:18).
MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGMENT
2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy [because judgment, for judgment, will be without mercy to him, to one, to the one, who showed, that hath showed, that has shewn, no mercy, no mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful].[ 79 ] We all desire mercy but only the merciful are promised any. Jesus made that clear. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt 5:7). "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Mt 6:14). It is vital that Christians judge others with mercy. "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you" (Mt 7:2). Jesus taught His disciples to mercifully forgive up to "seventy times seven"[ 80 ] (Mt 18:22).
The parable of the Unforgiving Debtor illustrates the beauty of mercy and kindness and the miserable end of one who refuses to forgive. The unforgiving man was handed over to the torturers until he should repay all that he owed (see Mt 18:23-35). Jesus ended the parable with these words. "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses" (Mt 18:35). He cautions us all to be slow about condemning others. "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven" (Lu 6:37).
Mercy triumphs over [mercy, yet mercy, glories, glorieth, rejoiceth, over, against, triumphs over].[ 81 ] Jesus, on more than one occasion, said, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice" (see Mt 9:13; 12:7; compare Ho 6:6).
Judgment.[ 82 ] Some have pictured a child called on the carpet by a stern and demanding father (named "Judgment"). His mother ("Mercy") intervenes and keeps him from being punished. "Mercy" triumphs over "Judgment." The lesson is that Christians should show mercy if they desire it themselves. A person who is merciful toward others will receive mercy from God (and usually from others as well). It behooves us all to regularly perform deeds of generosity, kindness and mercy.
TESTS OF PURE RELIGION
- Test of faith working through love (Jas 2:14- 26).
- Test of the use of the tongue (Jas 3:1-18).
- Test of selfish worldliness (Jas 4:1-12).
- Test of money and its use (Jas 5:1-6).
- Test of patience under oppression (Jas 5:7- 11).
- Test of restraint in commitments (Jas 5:12).
- Test of effective prayer (Jas 5:13-20).
2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
What does it profit? [what doth it profit, what good is it, of what value is it, what is the profit?].[ 83 ] Faith without works is of no benefit insofar as salvation is concerned.
My brethren [my brothers].[ 84 ] This is one of the fifteen times James uses this affectionate term (see note on verse 1).
If someone says he has faith [if a man, if any one, say claims, he hath faith, he have faith, to have faith, he has faith].[ 85 ] If a person says he has faith he may be lying even though he thinks he is telling the truth. The reason is that a workless faith is dead.
But does not have works [but have not works, does not have deeds, but has not works].[ 86 ] A person may think within himself that, as a "purist," he has a live faith and does not need works to prove it like others do. Such thinking is deceptive. Faith without works is not really faith at all. The concept exists only in theory. It is a practical impossibility. One may have works without faith but not faith without works.
Can faith save him? [can such faith, his faith, that faith, save him, such faith cannot save him, can it?].[ 87 ] The answer to this question is a resounding, "No!" James' answer is summed up in verse 24. "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only."
2:15, 16 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
If a brother or sister [suppose a brother or sister, now if a brother or a sister].[ 88 ] Here is another of James' word pictures (recall the men with a gold ring and shabby clothes). James now depicts a poorer member of the church of Christ, male or female.
Is [be].[ 89 ] The Greek tense indicates one who had been in need for a while.
Naked [without clothes, ill-clad].[ 90 ] The word "naked" in the NT does not always mean completely nude. Understand it as poorly clad.
And destitute [and in lack, and has no].[ 91 ] The needy brother or sister has no means of earning his living (see notes on 1Th 4:11; 2Th 3:12, 14).
Of daily food [and daily food, daily food].[ 92 ] Immediate needs are contemplated here, not a lifetime salary.
[2:16] And one of you says to them [if one of you, and one from amongst you, say to, unto, them, him].[ 93 ] James makes his accusation general. It could apply to any member of the church.
Depart in peace [go in peace, go, I wish you well].[ 94 ] When Jesus said to the woman with the issue of blood, "Go in peace and be healed of your affliction," she had already been healed (Mk 5:34). When He said to the one who washed His feet with her tears, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace" (Lu 7:50), she had already been forgiven. But, when the church member in James' example says, "Go in peace," nothing helpful has been done for the poor member. Only empty words.
Be warmed [be ye warmed, keep warm].[ 95 ] The "Christian" tells the poorly clad person, "Keep warm!"
And filled [and well fed].[ 96 ] The hypocritical "Christian" tells the starving person, "Eat until you have plenty!" but it is all empty talk.
But you do not give them [but ye give them not, but does nothing about, without giving them, and yet ye give them not, but give not to them].[ 97 ] James pictures fellow-Christians sent away empty and cold with nothing but words.
The things which are needed for the body [that which is necessary, the needful things, the things needed, needful, to, for, the body, his physical needs].[ 98 ] James has just defined what is considered necessary for the body when he described the need. The brother or sister was (1) naked and (2) in need of daily food. The need was for food and covering (compare 1Ti 6:8).
What does it profit? [what doth it profit, what good is it, of what value is it, what is the profit?].[ 99 ] One can almost hear a dissonant tone of indignation as James asks, "What use is that?"
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Thus also faith [so, so also, even so, thus also is, in the same way, faith].[ 100 ] Like the empty words given an unfed and unclothed brother, faith without works is dead.
By itself [in itself, being alone].[ 101 ] Faith "by itself" is equivalent to "faith alone." James' point is that faith must be active or it amounts to nothing in God's sight, or man's.
If it does not have works [if it does not have, if it have not works, if it is not accompanied by action, if it has no works].[ 102 ]
Is dead [it is dead].[ 103 ] A faith without works is not just tired, on vacation, or in need of encouragement. It is dead! This may be what John had in mind when he said, "He who does not love his brother[ 104 ] abides in death" (1Jo 3:14). And he had in mind an active love (1Jo 3:18).
OBJECTION: YOU HAVE FAITH AND I HAVE WORKS
2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
But someone will say [yea, a man, but someone, may say].[ 105 ] This mode of teaching was often used in ancient synagogue sermons.[ 106 ] A hypothetical person with a little irony raises an objection to James' argument.
You have faith [thou hast faith].[ 107 ] Faith, in this verse, means faith without works.
And I have works [and I have deeds].[ 108 ] Some Jews and some Christians were great on works. Did they actually think that works without faith would get one into heaven? If so, they were mistaken.
Show me your faith [show me, shew me, thy faith].[ 109 ] Love is shown by obedience and by deeds of kindness (1Jo 3:17; 3Jo 6). Wisdom is demonstrated by gentle deeds (see Jas 3:13). Faith is expressed only by works. It is impossible to genuinely manifest wisdom, love or faith any other way.
Without your works [without, apart from, works, the works, thy works, the work, without works, deeds].[ 110 ]
And I will show you [and I will show thee].[ 111 ] This phrase has given some all the excuse they need to misinterpret a plain passage. They have shouted, "See there! Justification by works is only before men!" How absurd! Why would the Holy Spirit waste time telling Christians how to be justified before men?
My faith by my works [my faith by what I do, by my works my faith, from my works my faith].[ 112 ] The only way man can show God that he believes in Him and that he loves Him is by works of obedience. The works in this context are especially deeds of mercy and kindness.
DEMONS BELIEVE AND SHUDDER
2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble!
You believe that there is one God [you believe, thou believest, that God is one].[ 113 ] Belief that God was essential under OT Law. "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" (De 6:4; compare Mk 12:29).
You do well [thou doest well, good].[ 114 ] Belief in the one God is a good thing but I detect a touch of irony in James' words. He seems to be saying that belief [alone] in the one God is just as "good" as the faith of demons!
Even the demons believe [even demons believe that; the devils, the demons, also believe].[ 115 ] The demons believed that God is one. Although Satan himself tempted Christ saying, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread" (Mt 4:3), the demons had no trouble at all in acknowledging Him as "the Son of the Most High God" (see Mt 8:29; Mk 5:7; see chart DEMONS ALWAYS RECOGNIZE JESUS at Mk 1:24).
And tremble [and shudder].[ 116 ] When Jesus came into the country of the Gadarenes, two violent demon-possessed men met Him. They cried out, "What do we have to do with You, You Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" (Mt 8:29). They believed and shuddered but their belief only brought fear of torment, not salvation. Faith only does not save.[ 117 ]
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS USELESS
2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
But do you want? [do you want, but wilt thou, but are you willing?].[ 118 ] A heart willing to accept the truth is a fine thing. In order for a person to appreciate spiritual truth he must have a willingness to accept it. Jesus said, "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (Joh 7:17). A failure to "receive the love of the truth" caused some to believe a lie and be condemned (2Th 2:10).
To know [know, to evidence, to acknowledge, to be shown].[ 119 ]
O foolish man [O vain man, you foolish man, you shallow man].[ 120 ] James addresses a hypothetical man who claims to have faith without works. He calls him "foolish." To call someone foolish, vain, senseless or empty is not complimentary. In fact, it implies he is probably not a brother in Christ (see Mt 5:22). A person who tries to be saved by faith without works remains unsaved.
That faith without works [that faith without deeds, apart from works].[ 121 ]
Is dead [is barren].[ 122 ] Due to a variation in Greek texts, some versions have "dead" and others have "useless" or "barren." The latter is probably correct. However, the idea that faith without works is dead is undisputed in verse 26.
ABRAHAM JUSTIFIED BY WORKS
2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works? [was not our father Abraham, ancestor Abraham, considered righteous for what he did?].[ 123 ] James' question begins with the Greek OU not or was not. "When OU is used to introduce a question it shows that an affirmative answer is expected."[ 124 ] The answer, therefore, is yes. Abraham was justified by works when he offered Isaac. He is the father of faithful Jews as well as Christians (see Ga 3:7, 29). In the present context, his justification does not refer to his salvation as an alien sinner. Several times, he was declared righteous before God. This is just one more instance. Actually, the record in Genesis 22:9-18 contains no mention of his justification. After he offered Isaac, God acknowledged, "You have obeyed My voice" (Ge 22:18). Later on, reference is made to this event and others where God said, ". . . because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (Ge 26:5). He was not an alien sinner when he was justified by believing God (see note on Ro 4:3).
- When he departed from Ur (Heb 11:8-12).
- When promised a son (Ro 4:17-21).
- When he offered Isaac, considering he would be raised (Heb 11:17-19).
When he offered [after, in that, he offered up, when he had offered].[ 125 ] Abraham did not kill Isaac but he did offer him (Ge 22:9-11; compare Heb 11:17).
Isaac his son on the altar [his son Isaac upon the altar].[ 126 ]
FAITH WAS WORKING WITH ABRAHAM'S WORKS
2:22, 23 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
Do you see? [you see, thou seest].[ 127 ]
That faith [his faith].[ 128 ]
Was working together with his works [was working in, with, was active along with, wrought with, his works, and his actions were working together, was at work in his actions].[ 129 ] Abraham's faith worked. Faith alone did not justify him. "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son" (Heb 11:17). His faith justified him when it cooperated with his works. James Macknight correctly observed: "Wherefore, when in scripture we are said to be `justified by faith,' it is a faith accompanied with good works. On the other hand, when we are said to be `justified by works,' it is works proceeding from faith."[ 130 ] Faith cooperated with Abraham's works to make it effective in justification (compare Tit 3:5, 7 where mercy and baptism cooperate).
And by works [and that by works, and by what he did, by these actions].[ 131 ]
Faith was made perfect [was faith made perfect, his faith, faith, and his faith, was made complete, was completed, was perfected, the integrity of his faith was fully proved].[ 132 ] Works of faith are spoken of as the obedience of faith (see Ro 1:5; 16:25). Christians perform the work of faith (1Th 1:5). Faith may be perfected by adding virtues (2Pe 1:5-11). Abraham's faith accomplished what it was supposed to do. His faith was made stronger, was completed or perfected when he obeyed.
As one grows toward perfection, he ought to "increase and abound in love" (1Th 3:12). His faith should "grow exceedingly" and his love ought to abound (2Th 1:3). The pure milk of the word promotes growth (1Pe 2:2) in both grace and knowledge (2Pe 3:18).
[2:23] And the Scripture was fulfilled [here was the fulfillment of Scripture].[ 133 ] The fulfillment of Scripture implies something is necessary to complete it. For example, when Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest, the word of the Lord was fulfilled (1Ki 2:27; compare 1Sa 2:27-36). When the spirit of Cyrus was stirred to cause the temple to be rebuilt, the word of the Lord was fulfilled (2Ch 36:22; compare Jer 25:12; 29:10).
The fulfillment of the Scripture had not occurred when Abraham's faith was mentioned in Genesis 15:6. In a provisional sense only, while still in uncircumcision, his faith was counted for righteousness. In the eyes of God, it took a working faith to fulfill the Scripture. God would require a severe test of Abraham. That test was the offering of Isaac upon the altar. His obedience under the stress of that occasion accomplished what was expressed in embryonic form in Genesis 15. In other words, the statement that his faith was counted as righteousness was fulfilled when he offered his son. When he obeyed God's command to do that, his faith reached its zenith. His justification became complete. He was then called the friend of God (see note below on The friend of God). Albert Barnes, a Presbyterian, wrote:
The meaning, therefore, can only be, that this declaration received its fair and full expression when Abraham, by an act of obedience of the most striking character, long after he first exercised that faith by which he was accepted of God, showed that his faith was genuine. If he had not thus obeyed, his faith would have been inoperative and of no value.[ 134 ]
Which says [which saith, that says, that said, of the words].[ 135 ] The Scripture is said to say that Abraham. This is an expression often used in the Bible and in everyday life.
Abraham believed God [and Abraham believed God, put his faith in God].[ 136 ] The primary reference is to the time Abraham was taken outside to look at the stars. God told him, "So shall your descendants be" (Ge 15:5). He believed God (Ge 15:6). At that time, he was old and Sarah was barren. When he offered Isaac, his faith was even stronger. He contemplated the possibility that after he had slain his son, God would raise him from the dead. "By faith Abraham . . . concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead. from which he also received him in a figurative sense" (Heb 11:19; compare Ro 4:21).
And it was accounted to him [and that faith, and it, was counted, was reckoned, credited, to, unto, him].[ 137 ] Abraham's faith was accounted unto righteousness by the God of heaven. It was not God's righteousness that was transferred to him. He was not an alien sinner at the time. The plain meaning is that his faith was counted unto righteousness. Quibblers are grasping at a straw when they say he was justified "before men" when he offered Isaac. If someone had witnessed Abraham raising the knife to slay his son, they might have shrunk back in horror instead of justifying him. Actually, there was not a man, woman, boy or girl present to observe the offering. The young men were all left behind (Ge 22:5)!
For righteousness [as, unto, righteousness].[ 138 ] Abraham, like all accountable beings was a sinner in God's sight (see Ro 3:23). His faith was reckoned EIS unto righteousness, that is, unto the forgiveness of his sins.
And he was called [and elsewhere he is called].[ 139 ] Inspiration designated Abraham the friend of God (see note below; also the non-canonical Jubilees 19:9; 30:20; Testament of Abraham, Passim).[ 140 ]
The friend of God [Friend of God, God's friend, a friend of God].[ 141 ] When Jehoshaphat prayed before the Lord, he mentioned "Abraham Your friend" (2Ch 20:7). Through Isaiah, God called him "Abraham My friend" (Isa 41:8). To be called the friend of God is the greatest of honors. A sinner can only be called God's friend after he has been justified through the exercise of his obedient faith.
JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, NOT BY FAITH ALONE
2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
You see then [you, ye, see, see then].[ 142 ] Refer back to verse 14 for the question James answers here.
That a man is justified [that a person is justified].[ 143 ] Like Abraham, a Christian is declared righteous by works, that is, by what he does.
By works [by what he does, by deeds, on the principle of works].[ 144 ] The works by which Abraham was justified were not works of the Law but acts of an obedient faith.
And not by faith only [and not by faith alone, and not only by faith, and not by faith in itself, and not by faith only, and not on the principle of faith only].[ 145 ] Nowhere in all the Bible does God say that man is justified by faith only. That doctrine then must be considered as false even though it is found in many creeds and writings of men. It is high time it should be discarded along with the human creeds that contain it.
James 2:24 is the only verse in the NT that mentions faith alone and it says a man is not justified by it!
RAHAB JUSTIFIED BY WORKS
2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
Likewise [and in like manner, likewise also, the same is true also, and in the same way, but was not in like manner?].[ 146 ] Abraham was cited by James as an example of a "child of God" who was justified by works. The case of Rahab the harlot is an example of an alien sinner who was justified by works.
Was not Rahab the harlot? [also Rahab the harlot, was not even, was not also, Rahab the prostitute, of the prostitute Rahab?].[ 147 ] "By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, [who were disobedient NASB], when she had received the spies with peace" (Heb 11:31; compare Jos 2:1-21). Rahab was a Gentile woman. She married Salmon,[ 148 ] whom some think was one of the twelve spies. From her lineage Christ was born (Mt 1:5).
Also justified by works [considered righteous for what she did, justified by her action, by works, justified on the principle of works?].[ 149 ] Rahab was a prostitute and an alien sinner. She, like Abraham, was justified by works. She could not remain as a prostitute and be justified. That she repented of this sin and reformed her life is implied by the statement that she was "also justified" or "considered righteous" by God.
When she received the messengers [when she had, in that she, in welcoming, received, after she received, the messengers into her house, when she gave lodging to the spies].[ 150 ] "So they went and came into the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there" (Jos 2:1).
And sent them out [and sent them off, sending them away, and put [them] forth].[ 151 ] Rahab "thrust them forth" (compare usages of the Greek word in Lu 4:29; Ac 16:37).
Another way [by another way, in a different direction, by a different route].[ 152 ] "Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them,`Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you, Hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way'" (Jos 2:15, 16).
BODY WITHOUT SPIRIT IS DEAD
2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
For as the body [for the body, just as the body].[ 153 ]
Without the spirit [without a spirit, apart from the spirit, when there is no breath left in it].[ 154 ]
Is dead.[ 155 ] Here we have a definition of what it means to be dead. Death occurs when the spirit leaves the body.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
So faith [so also faith, even so faith].[ 156 ] James speaks of faith alone in this phrase (see note below).
Without works [apart from, divorced from, deeds].[ 157 ] A faith plus nothing obtains nothing.
Is dead also [is dead, is lifeless as a corpse].[ 158 ] B. W. Johnson's summary follows:
Some have thought (among these Luther) that Paul and James were not in agreement on the subject of faith. Those who thus conclude mistake both these inspired men of God. Paul shows that faith without works will not justify, and lays the emphasis on faith; James shows that faith without works will not justify, and lays the emphasis on works. Neither teaches that either faith alone, or works alone will justify. Paul, indeed, shows that faith alone is worthless (1Co 13:2), and in Hebrews chapter 11, he emphasizes works as the demonstration of faith. The two writers are in agreement, and all seeming disagreement is due to the fact that they are seeking to correct different errors, and hence look at the matter from different points of view.[ 159 ]
[ 1 ] The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Quotations from Colossians, 1, 2 and 3 John may be from the Old Paths Version (OPV). Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ] 'ADELPHOI MOU, brothers of me (Marshall 898). Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft system.
[ 3 ] MEE ECHETE, not have ye (Marshall 898); of steadfast adherence to faith (Vine 853); not in the sense of hold fast, cleave to, but of possessing, occupying, and practicing, as a matter of habit (Vincent 1.736).
[ 4 ] TEEN PISTIN, the faith (Marshall 898); the faith is clearly designated as faith in Christ by the addition of certain words. By the objective genitive PISTIS 'IEESOU CHRISTOU faith in Jesus Christ [and similar expressions] (Arndt 663); in reference to Christ, it denotes a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God . . . that is, in Christ (Thayer 513); translators of the NIV may not have understood the import of the passage since they vaguely rendered the phrase, "as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ."
[ 5 ] TOU KURIOU HEEMOON 'IEESOU CHRISTOU TEES DOXEES, of the Lord of us Jesus Christ of the glory [that is, taking "the glory" as in apposition to "Jesus Christ"; see Luke 2:32b] (Marshall 898); brightness or splendor, supernatural, emanating from God [as in the Shekinah glory, in the pillar of cloud and in the Holy of Holies, for example Ex 16:10; 25:22], Luke 2:9; Acts 22:11; Romans 9:4; 2 Corinthians 3:7; James 2:1; in Titus 2:13 it is used of Christ's return, "the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Vine 483).
[ 6 ] EN PROSOOPOLEEMPSIAIS, in respects of persons (Marshall 898); [in inferior texts without the letter m] denotes respect of persons, partiality, the fault of one who, when responsible to give judgment, has respect to the position, rank, popularity, or circumstances of men, instead of their intrinsic conditions, preferring the rich and powerful to those who are not so (Vine 851); [from PROSOOPON the countenance and LAMBANOO to receive], to receive the countenance is a Hebrew phrase (Vincent 1.736, 737).
[ 7 ] EAN GAR EISELTHEE ANEER, for if [there] enters a man (Marshall 898).
[ 8 ] EIS SUNAGOOGEEN HUMOON, into a synagogue of you (Marshall 898); the word synagogue is a transcript of this: [from SUN together, AGO to bring]. Hence, literally, a gathering or congregation, in which sense the word is common in the Septuagint, not only of assemblies for worship, but of gatherings for other public purposes (Vincent 1.737); properly a bringing together, denoted a gathering of things, a collection, then, of persons, an assembling, of Jewish religious gatherings, for example, Acts 9:2; an assembly of Christian Jews, James 2:2 (Vine 1113).
[ 9 ] See Kittel, vol VII, pg 838.
[ 10 ] CHRUSODAKTULIOS, gold-fingered (Marshall 898); not a man wearing a single gold ring which would not attract attention in an assembly where most persons wore a ring, but a gold-ringed man, having his hands conspicuously loaded with rings and jewels. . . . The practice of wearing rings was adopted by the early Christians. Many of their rings were adorned with the symbols of the faith -- the cross, the anchor, the monogram of Christ, etc. Among the rings found in the catacombs are some with a key, and some with both a key and a seal, for both locking and sealing a casket (Vincent 1.738); an adjective denoting "with a gold ring" [from DAKTULOS a finger] (Vine 493).
[ 11 ] EN ESTHEETI LAMPRA, in clothing splendid (Marshall 898); literally, bright or shining clothes (Vincent 1.738); bright, splendid; connected with HENNUMI to clothe, mean clothing, raiment, usually suggesting the ornate, the goodly (Vine 55, 497).
[ 12 ] EISELTHEE DE KAI PTOOCHOS, and [there] enters also a poor man (Marshall 898); PTOOCHOS has the broad sense of "poor" (Vine 864).
[ 13 ] EN RHUPARA ESTHEETI, in shabby clothing (Marshall 898); filthy, dirty, used literally, of old shabby clothing; [connected with HENNUMI to clothe] (Vine 1199); dirty, of clothes, clothing (Arndt 312, 738); filthy, dirty, properly of clothing (Thayer 564); clad in dirty clothes (Williams).
[ 14 ] EPIBLEPSEETE DE, and you look on (Marshall 898); literally, ye look upon, with the idea of respectful consideration; ye regard (Vincent 1.738); look on with favor (Vine 938).
[ 15 ] EPI TON PHOROUNTA TEEN ESTHEETA TEEN LAMPRAN, on the [one] wearing the clothing splendid (Marshall 898); PHOROUNTA is a frequentative form of PHEROO to bear, and denoting repeated or habitual action, is chiefly used of clothing, weapons, etc. . . . fine clothing; clothing, raiment, usually suggesting the ornate, the goodly (Vine 55, 1217); of garments, especially white ones, bright, shining . . . a brightly shining garment (Arndt 465); shining, brilliant . . . splendid, magnificent, gorgeous, bright . . . elegancies or luxuries in
dress and style . . . sometimes used of brilliant and glistening whiteness (Thayer 371).
[ 16 ] KAI EIPEETE SU KATHOU HOODE KALOOS, and say: thou sit here well (Marshall 898); literally, honorably; in a seat of honor (Vincent 1.739); KALOOS is an adverb, well, finely, in James 2:3 it is rendered "in a good place" (Vine 495).
[ 17 ] KAI TOO PTOOCHOO EIPEETE, and to the poor man ye say (Marshall 898).
[ 18 ] SU STEETHI EKEI, stand there (Marshall 898).
[ 19 ] EE KATHOU HUPO TO HUPOPODION MOU, or sit under the footstool of me (Marshall 898); footstool, [from HUPO under, POUS a foot], used literally in James 2:3 (Vine 445); [HUPO and POUS], a footstool (Thayer 644).
[ 20 ] OU DIEKRITHEETE EN HEAUTOIS, not did ye discriminate among yourselves (Marshall 898); the meaning here is, that, in making a distinction between the rich and the poor, they expressed a doubt concerning the faith which they professed, and which abolished such distinctions. Are ye not divided in your own mind? (Vincent 1.739); to separate, discriminate, distinguish, discern, judge, decide [DIA asunder, KRINOO to judge], also came to mean to be divided in ones mind, to hesitate, doubt, and had this significance in Hellenistic Greek [though not so found in the Septuagint]; hence, to be at variance with oneself, to be divided in one's mind (Vine 319, 835).
[ 21 ] KAI EGENESTHE KRITAI DIALOGISMOON PONEEOON, and became judges thoughts of evil [genitive of quality: "evil-thinking judges] (Marshall 898); judges with evil thoughts [reasonings]. . . . Their evil processes of thought lead to these unjust discriminations (Vincent 1.739); bad, worthless, (Vine 380, 1144).
[ 22 ] 'AKOUSATE, ADELPHOI MOU AGAPEEOI, hear ye, brothers of me beloved (Marshall 898); hear (Vine 536).
[ 23 ] OUCH HO THEOS EXELEXATO, not God Chose (Marshall 898); picked out, selected, means, in the middle voice, chosen for [Himself], not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen, but choosing with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or favor or love . . . rendered "made choice" in James 2:5 (Vine 181). "Made choice" is Vine's translation. Most versions have "chose" or "chosen."
[ 24 ] TOUS PTOOHOUS TOO KOSMOO, [the correct reading is TOO KOSMOO, to the world . . . poor as to the world, in the world's esteem (Vincent 1.739, 740); the poor in the world (Marshall 898); some manuscripts have TOU KOSMOU.
[ 25 ] PLOUSIOUS EN PISTEI, rich in faith (Marshall 898); rich, of believers (Vine 967); Faith is not the quality in which they are to be rich, but the sphere or element; rich in their position as believers. "Not the measure of faith, in virtue of which one man is richer than another . . . but the substance of the faith, by virtue of which every believer is rich" [Wiesinger] (Vincent 1.740).
[ 26 ] KAI KLEERONOMOUS TEES BASILEIAS, and heirs of the kingdom (Marshall 898); those to whom something has been assigned by God, on possession of which, however, he has not yet entered . . . the poor saints; BASILEIAS is primarily an abstract noun, denoting sovereignty, royal power, dominion . . . then, by metonymy, a concrete noun, denoting the territory or people over whom a king reigns . . . used especially of the Kingdom of God and of Christ (Vine 542); the church of Christ into which we are immersed (1Co 12:13). We are transferred, translated, into the kingdom of God at that same time, for they are one and the same (Col 1:13; see Mt 5:10). Jesus established His church, His kingdom (Mt 16:18, 19,28) on the Pentecost of Acts 2 (Littrell).
[ 27 ] HEES EPEENGEILATO, which he promised (Marshall 898); announced, proclaimed, has in the NT two meanings to profess and to promise, each used in the middle voice; promised, of promises of God (Vine 892).
[ 28 ] NU-Text omits or wife.
[ 29 ] TOIS AGAPOOSIN AUTON, to the [ones] loving him (Marshall 898); AGAPAOO and the corresponding noun AGAPEE present "the characteristic word of Christianity, and since the Spirit of revelation has used it to express ideas previously unknown, enquiry into its use, whether in Greek literature or in the Septuagint throws but little light upon its distinctive meaning in the NT. Compare, however Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God (Vine 692, 693).
[ 30 ] HUMEIS DE EETIMASATE TON PTOOCHON, but ye dishonored the poor man (Marshall 898); they had manifested their contempt; had done despite to them. . . . From the use of the aorist tense, ye dishonored . . . a specific act like that described in verses 2, 3 (Vincent 1.740); dishonored, treated shamefully, insulted, whether in word or in deed (Vine 310).
[ 31 ] OUCH HOI PLOUSIOI KATADUNASTEUOUSIN HUMOON, [do] not the rich men oppress you (Marshall 898); the preposition KATA against, implies a power exercised for harm (Vincent 1.740); active voice, exercise power over [KATA down, DUNASTEES a potentate: DUNAMAI to have power] (Vine 815).
[ 32 ] KAI AUTOI HELKOUSIN HUMAS, and they drag you (Marshall 898); implies violence (Vincent 1.740); of forcibly drawing men to or from a place (Vine 328).
[ 33 ] EIS KRITEERIA, into tribunals (Marshall 898); primarily a means of judging [akin to KRIN0O to judge: English, criterion], then, a tribunal, law-court, or lawsuit (Vine 613); the places where judgment is given; the tribunals of judges; benches of judges (Thayer 362); lawcourts, tribunals . . . drag someone into court (Arndt 453).
[ 34 ] OUK AUTOI, [do] not they (Marshall 898, 899); [they] is emphatic. "Is it not they who blaspheme?" (Vincent 1.740).
[ 35 ] BLASPHEEMOUSIN, blaspheme (Marshall 899); blaspheme, rail at or revile . . . of those who speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things (Vine 123).
[ 36 ] TO KALON ONOMA, the good name (Marshall 899); honorable. By this epithet the disgracefulness of the blasphemy is emphasized (Vincent 1.740); good, fair (Vine 562); the good name is Christian, the name by which the Lord called His people (Isa 62:1, 2; Acts 11:26).
[ 37 ] TO EPIKLEETHEN EPH' HUMAS, called on you (Marshall 899); literally, which is called upon you; the name of Christ, invoked in baptism (Vincent 1.741); which is named upon you (Macknight 591); "given" is from EPIKALEOO, call, name, give a name or surname to (Littrell).
[ 38 ] The word translated "were called" in Acts 11:26 is CHREEMATISAI, a divine communication, warning or instruction (see Mt 2:12, 22; Lu 2:16; Ac 10:22; 11:26; Ro 7:13; Heb 8:5; 11:7; 12:25).
[ 39 ] EI MENTOI, if indeed (Marshall 899).
[ 40 ] Pretentious and banal writing.
[ 41 ] Ellicott 364.
[ 42 ] TELEITE, ye fulfil (Marshall 899); fulfill, stronger than the more common word TEEREIN observe or keep, which appears in verse 10 (Vincent 1.741); signifies, among its various meanings, giving effect to, and is translated "fulfil," of the Law, intentionally, James 2:8 (Vine 465).
[ 43 ] NOMON BASILIKON, law a royal (Marshall 899); James here speaks of a single commandment, the proper word for which is ENTOLEE, while NOMOS is the body of commandments. It is appropriate here, however, since this special commandment sums up the entire law (Vincent 1.741); belonging to a king; the royal law, that is, the law of love, royal in the majesty of its power, the law upon which all others hang (Vine 645, 978).
[ 44 ] The Greeks who had few kings among themselves called the laws of the kings of Persia "royal laws" (Macknight 591).
[ 45 ] The Greeks called anything excellent "royal."
[ 46 ] Ellicott 4.364.
[ 47 ] B. W. Johnson 343.
[ 48 ] Vincent 1.741.
[ 49 ] KATA TEEN GRAPHEEN, according to the scripture (Marshall 899).
[ 50 ] Love for God was taught by Moses in Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; 6:5; 7:9; 10:12; 11:1; 13, 22; 13:3; 19:9; 30:6; Deut 30:16, 20.
[ 51 ] AGAPEESEIS, thou shalt love (Marshall 899).
[ 52 ] TON PLEESION SOU, the neighbor of thee (Marshall 899); the neuter of the adjective PLEESIOS [from PELAS near], is used as an adverb accompanied by the article, literally, "the [one] near;" hence, one's neighbor . . . the NT quotes and expands the command in Leviticus 19:18, to love one's neighbor as oneself; see, for example, Mt 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mk 12:31, 33; Lu 10:27; Ga 5:14; Jas 2:8; see also Ac 7:27 (Vine 779); near-by (Zondervan 580).
[ 53 ] HOOS SEAUTON, as thyself (Marshall 899).
[ 54 ] KALOOS POIETE, well ye do (Marshall 899); do what is right, act rightly, do well (Arndt 401).
[ 55 ] EI DE PROSOOPOLEEMPTEITE, but if ye respect persons (Marshall 899); [PROSOOPON a face or person, LAMBANOO to lay hold of], to have respect of persons (Vine 851).
[ 56 ] HAMARTIAN ERGAZESTHE, sin ye work (Marshall 899); literally, "work sin" (Vincent 1.742); work, translated by the verb to commit [of committing sin], in James 2:9. This is a stronger expression than POIEOO to do, or PRASSOO to practice (Vine 203).
[ 57 ] ELENCHOMENOI, being reproved (Marshall 899); convicted . . . carries the idea of rebuke, implies also a rebuke which produces a conviction of the error or sin (Vincent 1.742); convicted, confuted, refuted, usually with the suggestion of putting the convicted person to shame (Vine 231).
[ 58 ] HUPO TOU NOMOU, by the law (Marshall 899).
[ 59 ] HOOS PARABATAI, as transgressors (Marshall 899); literally and primarily, those who stand beside, then, those who overstep the prescribed limit, transgressors [akin to PARABAINOO to transgress] (Vine 1162).
[ 60 ] HOSTIS GAR TEEREESEE, for [he] who keeps (Marshall 899); observes, gives heed to, as of keeping commandments (Vine 617).
[ 61 ] HOLON TON NOMON, all the law (Marshall 899); the whole, most frequently used with the article followed by a noun (Vine 38, 1225).
[ 62 ] PTAISEE DE, yet stumbles (Marshall 899); literally, stumble (Vincent 1.742); signifies, intransitively, to stumble, used metaphorically with moral significance in James 2:10 and 3:2 [twice] (Vine 1099); to stumble in, that is, sin against, one law (Thayer 556); sin in one respect (Arndt 727).
[ 63 ] EN HENI, in one thing (Marshall 899); the first cardinal numeral . . . used to signify one in contrast to many (Vine 809).
[ 64 ] GEGONEN PANTOON ENOCHOS, he has become of all guilty (Marshall 899); literally, held in, bound by, liable to a charge or action at law (Vine 815); has sinned against all [the commandments] (Arndt 268); with genitive of the thing by the violation of which guilt is contracted, guilty of anything (Thayer 217); perfect tense, stands guilty of all (Woods 1.138).
[ 65 ] HO GAR EIPOON, for the [one] saying (Marshall 899).
[ 66 ] MEE MOICHEUSEES, do not commit adultery (Marshall 899); a verb, [commit] adultery [unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another (Vine 24, 25); commit adultery, of both sexes, with reference to the Ten Commandments (Arndt 526); commit adultery, absolutely [to be an adulterer] . . . have unlawful intercourse with another's wife (Thayer 417).
[ 67 ] EIPEN KAI, said also (Marshall 899).
[ 68 ] MEE PHONEUSEES, not do murder (Marshall 899); murder [akin to PHONEUS a murderer], always rendered by the verb to kill (Vine 620, 764).
[ 69 ] EI DE OU MOICHEUEIS, now if thou dost not commit adultery (Marshall 899).
[ 70 ] PHONEUEIS DE, murderest but (Marshall 899).
[ 71 ] GEGONAS PARABATEES NOMOU, thou hast become a transgressor of [the] law (Marshall 899); literally and primarily, those who stand beside, then, those who overstep the prescribed limit, transgressors [akin to PARABAINOO to transgress] (Vine 1162). [from PARA beyond, BAINOO to go]. A transgressor, therefore, is one who goes beyond the line (Vincent 1.742).
[ 72 ] Woods 1.138.
[ 73 ] HOUTOOS, so (Marshall 899); with reference to what follows, speak and do (Vincent 1.742).
[ 74 ] LALEITE, speak ye (Marshall 899); speak (Vine 1070); present tense, denoting continuous action.
[ 75 ] KAI HOUTOOS POIEITE, and so do ye (Marshall 898); do, that is, adopt a way of expressing by act the thoughts and feelings . . . . "While we cannot draw the regular distinction, that PRASSOO speaks of doing evil things, and POIEOO of doing good things, yet very often "where the words assume an ethical tinge, there is a tendency to use the verbs with this distinction" (Vine 322); present tense, denoting continuous action.
[ 76 ] HOOS MELLONTES KRINESTHAI, as being about to be judged (Marshall 899); primarily denotes [to be] separated, selected, chosen; hence, determined, and so judged (Vine 610).
[ 77 ] NU-Text reads of God.
[ 78 ] DIA NOMOU ELEUTHERIAS, through a law of freedom (Marshall 899); the law of liberty, a term comprehensive of all the Scriptures, not a law of compulsion enforced from without, but meeting with ready obedience through the desire and delight of the renewed being who is subject to it; into it he looks, and in its teaching he delights; he is "under law [ENNOMOS "in law," implying union and subjection] to Christ" (Vine 645).
[ 79 ] HEE GAR KRISIS ANILEOS TOO MEE POIEESANTI ELEOS, for the judgment [will be] unmerciful to the [ones] not do [show]ing mercy (Marshall 899); literally, judgment is without mercy to him that hath shewed [literally, shewed, aorist tense] no mercy (Vincent 1.742, 743); unmerciful, merciless [A negative, N euphonic, HILEOOS propitious, merciful], said of judgment on him who shows no mercy (Vine 735).
[ 80 ] Forgiving seventy times seven signifies unlimited forgiveness.
[ 81 ] KATAKAUCHATAI ELEOS, exults over mercy (Marshall 899); the simple verb KAUCHAOMAI means to speak loud, to be loud-tongued; hence, to boast. . . . Judgment and mercy are personified. While judgment threatens condemnation, mercy interposes and prevails over judgment (Vincent 1.743); [a strengthened form of KAUCHAOMAI to boast or glory; KATA intensive], signifies boasts against, exults over (Vine 484).
[ 82 ] KRISEOOS, of judgment (Marshall 899); primarily denotes a separating, then, a decision, judgment, most frequently in a forensic sense, and especially of Divine judgment (Vine 611).
[ 83 ] TI TO OPHELOS, what [is] the profit (Marshall 899); literally, what is the profit? (Vincent 1.743); profit (Vine 890).
[ 84 ] ADELPHOI MOU, brothers of me (Marshall 899).
[ 85 ] EAN PISTIN LEGEE TIS ECHEIN, if faith says anyone to have (Marshall 899); says, speaks, affirms, whether of actual speech or of unspoken thought or of a message in writing . . . declares what is said (Vine 995).
[ 86 ] ERGA DE MEE ECHEE, works but not has (Marshall 899); works, employments, tasks (Vine 1243).
[ 87 ] MEE DUNATAI HEE PISTIS SOOSAI AUTON, not can the faith to save him? (Marshall 899).
[ 88 ] EAN ADELPHOS EE ADELPHEE, if a brother or a sister (Marshall 899); believers, with ANEER, male, prefixed, and with "or sister" added (Vine 147).
[ 89 ] HUPARCHOOSIN, are (Marshall 899); third person plural, present active subjunctive of HUPARCHOO (Han 413); the distinction between this word and the simple EINAI to be is very subtle. The verb HUPARCHOO originally means to make a beginning; hence, to begin or to come into being . . . has a backward look to an antecedent condition which has been protracted into the present. Thus we might paraphrase here, "If a brother or sister, having been in a destitute condition, be found by you in that condition" (Vincent 1.743); the present participle of HUPARCHOO to exist, which always involves a pre-existent state, prior to the fact referred to, and a continuance of the state after the fact (Vine 108).
[ 90 ] GUMNOI, naked (Marshall 899); scantily or poorly clad (Vine 771).
[ 91 ] KAI LEIPOMENOI, and lacking (Marshall 899); literally, left behind; and hence lacking (Vincent 1.743); in the passive voice, left, forsaken, destitute (Vine 294).
[ 92 ] TEES EPHEEMEROU TROPHEES, of the daily food (Marshall 899); nourishment, food [akin to TROPHOO to rear, nourish, feed] (Vine 443).
[ 93 ] EIPEE DE TIS AUTOIS EX HUMOON, and says anyone to them of you (Marshall 899).
[ 94 ] HUPAGETE EN EIREENEE, go ye in peace (Marshall 899).
[ 95 ] THERMAINESTHE, be ye warmed (Marshall 900); warmed, heated [English thermal], when used in the middle voice, signifies to warm oneself (Vine 1210).
[ 96 ] KAI CHORTAZESTHE, and filled (Marshall 900); filled or satisfied with food (Vine 427); literally, be gorged (Williams).
[ 97 ] MEE DOOTE DE AUTOIS, not ye give but them (Marshall 900).
[ 98 ] TA EPITEEDEIA TOU SOOMATOS, the necessaries of the body (Marshall 900); primarily, suitable, convenient, then, useful, necessary, in James 2:16, neuter plural, "necessaries" (Vine 778).
[ 99 ] TI TO OPHELOS, what [is] the profit? (Marshall 900); literally, what is the profit? (Vincent 1.743); profit (Vine 890).
[ 100 ] HOUTOOS KAI HEE PISTIS, so indeed faith (Marshall 900).
[ 101 ] KATH' HEAUTEEN, by itself (Marshall 900); in itself. The phrase belongs to dead. It is dead, not merely in reference to something else, but absolutely (Vincent 1.744).
[ 102 ] EAN MEE ECHEE ERGA, if it has not works (Marshall 900).
[ 103 ] NEKRA ESTIN, dead is (Marshall 900); dead, the faith that does not produce works (Vine 265).
[ 104 ] NU-Text omits his brother.
[ 105 ] ALL' EREI TIS, but will say someone (Marshall 900); an obsolete verb (Vine 996).
[ 106 ] A. Marmorstein, "The Background of the Haggadah," Hebrew Union College Annual, VI, 1929, 192, cited by Harrison 1434).
[ 107 ] SU PISTIN ECHEIS, thou faith hast (Marshall 900).
[ 108 ] KAYOO ERGA ECHOO, and I works have (Marshall 900); acts, deeds, things done . . . applied to the conduct of men, measured by the standard of religion and righteousness, -- whether bad or good (Thayer 248).
[ 109 ] DEIXON MOI TEEN PISTIN SOU, show me the faith of thee (Marshall 900); shew by way of proving (Vine 1033); show, that is, bring to pass, produce what can be seen . . . with accusative of the thing, give the evidence or proof of a thing (Thayer 126, 127); explain, prove (Arndt 172).
[ 110 ] CHOORIS TOON ERGOON, without the works (Marshall 900); more literally, apart from (Vincent 1.744); many Greek texts read "Shew me thy faith by thy works" (Macknight 392).
[ 111 ] KAYOO SOI DEIXOO, and I thee will show (Marshall 900); I by my works will show (Vincent 1.744); explain, prove (Arndt 172).
[ 112 ] EK TOON ERGOON MOU TEEN PISTIN, by the works of me the faith (Marshall 900).
[ 113 ] SU PISTEUEIS HOTI EIS HO THEOS, thou believest that one is God? (Marshall 900).
[ 114 ] KALOOS POIEIS, well thou doest (Marshall 900); do well, act uprightly (Thayer 323); do what is right, act rightly, do well (Arndt 401).
[ 115 ] KAI TA DAIMONIA PISTEUOUSIN, also the demons believe (Marshall 900); pertaining to demons, also mistranslated "devils" . . . the spiritual agents acting in all idolatry. The idol itself is nothing, but every idol has a demon associated with it who induces idolatry, with its worship and sacrifices . . . demons tremble before God (Vine 283); of demons [who shudder at exorcism] (Arndt 866).
[ 116 ] KAI PHRISSOUSIN, and shudder (Marshall 900); originally, to be rough on the surface; to bristle. . . . of a horror which makes the hair stand on end and contracts the surface of the skin,
making "gooseflesh" (Vincent 1.744); primarily, to be rough, to bristle, then, to shiver, shudder, tremble, said of demons (Vine 1039); tremble because they know the torment that awaits them for their disobedience (Littrell).
[ 117 ] Hiscox's Standard Manual for Baptist Churches (page 62) teaches contrary to the Scriptures on this point. I quote. "We believe the Scriptures teach that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in Christ; by means of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity." The Book of Common Prayer used in the Protestant Episcopal Church contains a similar error on page 605. "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification." To their everlasting shame, many evangelical churches teach the same error.
[ 118 ] THELEIS DE, but art thou willing (Marshall 900).
[ 119 ] GNOONAI, to know (Marshall 900); to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, understand, or to understand completely (Vine 627).
[ 120 ] HO ANTHROOPE KENE, O man vain (Marshall 900); literally, empty, without spiritual life (Vincent 1.744); empty, with special reference to quality (Vine 1192); foolish, senseless, empty (Arndt 428).
[ 121 ] HOTI HEE PISTIS CHOORIS TOON ERGOON, that faith without works (Marshall 900).
[ 122 ] ARGEE ESTIN, barren is (Marshall 900); NEKRA, [or in other texts, ARGEE idle], as of money which yields no interest, or of land lying fallow (Vincent 1.744); idle, barren, yielding no return because of inactivity, found in the best manuscripts in James 2:20 (Vine 90).
[ 123 ] 'ABRAAM HO PATEER HEEMOON OUK EX ERGOON EDIKAIOOTHEE, Abraham the father of us not by works was justified (Marshall 900); in regard to justification by works, the so- called contradiction between James and the Apostle Paul is only apparent. There is harmony in the different views of the subject. Paul has in mind Abraham's attitude toward, his acceptance of God's word. This was a matter known only to God. The Roman Epistle is occupied with the effect of this Godward attitude, not upon Abraham's character or actions, but upon the contrast between faith and the lack of it, namely, unbelief, compare Romans 11:20. James (2:21-26) is occupied with the contrast between faith that is real and faith that is false, a faith barren and dead, which is not faith at all (Vine 616).
[ 124 ] Nunn 268.
[ 125 ] ANENENKAS, offering up (Marshall 900); in that he offered. The word ANENENKAS is, literally, brought up to; and means, not actually to offer up in sacrifice [though Isaac was morally sacrificed in Abraham's will], but to bring to the altar as an offering (Vincent 1.744); led or carried up [ANA], also denotes offered . . . [of Isaac by Abraham] (Vine 802); sometimes signifies the offering of a sacrifice, here used in its primary sense, of carrying or lifting up (Macknight 592).
[ 126 ] 'ISAAK TON HION AUTOU EPI TO THURIASTEERION, on the altar (Marshall 900); [probably the neuter of the adjective THUSIASTEERIOS, is derived from THUSIAZOO to sacrifice]. Accordingly, it denotes an altar for the sacrifice of victims, though it was also used for the altar of
incense (Vine 42).
[ 127 ] BLEPEIS, thou seest (Marshall 900); HORAOO and BLEPOO both denote the physical act [of seeing]: HORAOO, in general, BLEPOO, the single look; HORAOO gives prominence to the discerning mind, BLEPOO to the particular mood or point (Vine 1009).
[ 128 ] HOTI HEE PISTIS, that faith (Marshall 900).
[ 129 ] SUNEERGEI TOIS ERGOIS AUTOU, worked with the works of him (Marshall 900); a play on words in the Greek: worked with his works (Vincent 1.745); working with or together [SUN], "wrought with" (Vine 1244); faith cooperated with his works (Macknight 593).
[ 130 ] Macknight 593.
[ 131 ] KAI EK TOON ERGOON, and by the works (Marshall 900).
[ 132 ] HEE PISTIS ETELEIOOTHEE, the faith was perfected (Marshall 900); was brought to an end by completing or perfecting . . . of bringing to completion . . . of faith made perfect by works (Vine 846).
[ 133 ] KAI EPLEEROOTHEE HEE GRAPHEE, and was fulfilled the scripture (Marshall 900); not was confirmed . . . but was actually and fully realized (Vincent 1.745); was fulfilled, completed, of sayings, prophecies, etc. (Vine 465); of the fulfillment of divine predictions or promises. The word stands almost always in the passive [was] fulfilled (Arndt 671); of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish (Thayer 518).
[ 134 ] Albert Barnes 10.43.
[ 135 ] HEE LEGOUSA, saying (Marshall 900); one is said to speak, not only when he uses language orally, but also when he expresses himself in writing (Thayer 374).
[ 136 ] EPISTEUSEN DE 'ABRAAM TOO THEOO, believed And Abraham God (Marshall 900); believed, also was persuaded of, and hence, placed confidence in, trusted, signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence (Vine 108).
[ 137 ] KAI ELOGISTHEE AUTOO, and it was reckoned to him (Marshall 900); . . . since Abraham, like all the natural descendants of Adam, was a sinner, he was destitute of righteousness in the sight of God; if, then, his relationship with God was to be rectified [that is, if he was to be justified before
God], the rectification could not be brought about by works of merit on his part; in James 2:23, ASV "reckoned," the subject is viewed from a different standpoint (Vine 930); a thing is reckoned as or to be something, that is, as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight (Thayer 379); credit something to someone as something (Arndt 378).
[ 138 ] EIS DIKAIOSUNEEN, for righteousness (Marshall 900); faith is reckoned to one for righteousness, that is, is so taken into account, that righteousness is ascribed to it or recognized in it (Thayer 150).
[ 139 ] KAI EKLEETHEE, and he was called (Marshall 900); of nomenclature or vocation, called by a name, named; suggests either vocation or destination; the context determines which (Vine 155).
[ 140 ] Liberty 1435.
[ 141 ] PHILOS THEOU, friend of God (Marshall 900); primarily an adjective, denoting loved, dear, or friendly, became used as a noun, masculine "the friend of God" (Vine 462).
[ 142 ] HORATE, ye see (Marshall 900); HORAOO gives prominence to the discerning mind (Vine 1009).
[ 143 ] HOTI DIKAIOUSTAI ANTHROOPOS, that is justified a man (Marshall 900); declared, pronounced, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be (Thayer 150).
[ 144 ] EX ERGOON, by works (Marshall 900); the conduct of men, measured by the standard of religion and righteousness (Thayer 248).
[ 145 ] KAI OUK EK PISTEOOS MONON, and not by faith only (Marshall 900); not by faith only is what God says. There is no room to misunderstand God. He states clearly and positively that a person is justified by works.
[ 146 ] HOMOIOOS DE, likewise and (Marshall 900).
[ 147 ] 'RHAAB HEE PORNEE OUK, Hebrew RAHAV broad (Zondervan 703); Rahab the prostitute not (Marshall 901); a prostitute, harlot [from PERNEEMI to sell], is used literally of Rahab (Vine 525, 526); the use of KAI with HEE PORNEE [translates] "even though a prostitute" (Harrison 1435).
[ 148 ] Some Jews say Rahab married Joshua.
[ 149 ] KAI ERGOON EDIKAIOOTHEE, also by works was justified (Marshall 901).
[ 150 ] HUPODEXAMENEE TOUS ANGELOUS, entertaining the messengers (Marshall 901); denotes to receive under one's roof [HUPO under], received as guests, entertained hospitably (Vine 928, 929).
[ 151 ] KAI EKBALOUSA, and sending [them] forth (Marshall 901); thrust them forth, implying haste and fear (Vincent 1.746); cast out or sent out (Vine 1016).
[ 152 ] HETERA HODOO, by a different way (Marshall 901); denotes a natural path, road, way (Vine 1215).
[ 153 ] HOOSPER GAR TO SOOMA, for as the body (Marshall 901).
[ 154 ] CHOORIS PNEUMATOS without spirit (Marshall 901); frequently used as a preposition, apart from, without, separate from (Vine 54, 1236).
[ 155 ] NEKRON ESTIN, dead is (Marshall 901); dead, of the death of the body (Vine 265).
[ 156 ] HOUTOS KAI HEE PISTIS, so also faith (Marshall 901).
[ 157 ] CHOORIS ERGOON, without works (Marshall 901); TOON ERGOON, note the article: the works belonging or corresponding to faith; its works (Vincent 1.746); apart from (Vine 54).
[ 158 ] NEKRA ESTIN, dead is (Marshall 900); [is] dead, of the faith that does not produce works (Vine 265).
[ 159 ] B. W. Johnson 345.
Copyright ©2001, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method. To James Chapter One
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