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Teks -- James 1:1-27 (NET)

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Konteks
Salutation
1:1 From James, a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes dispersed abroad. Greetings!
Joy in Trials
1:2 My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. 1:5 But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. 1:6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. 1:7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, 1:8 since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways. 1:9 Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position. 1:10 But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow. 1:11 For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away. 1:12 Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him. 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. 1:15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. 1:16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. 1:17 All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. 1:18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Living Out the Message
1:19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 1:20 For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 1:21 So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 1:22 But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. 1:23 For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. 1:24 For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. 1:25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out– he will be blessed in what he does. 1:26 If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile. 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
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Nama Orang, Nama Tempat, Topik/Tema Kamus

Nama Orang dan Nama Tempat:
 · James a son of Zebedee; brother of John; an apostle,a son of Alpheus; an apostle,a brother of Jesus; writer of the epistle of James,the father (or brother) of the apostle Judas


Topik/Tema Kamus: Temptation | Word of God | Doer | Works | SIRACH, BOOK OF | Afflictions and Adversities | Hearers | AFFLICTION | God | Hypocrisy | TEMPT; TEMPTATION | Death | Meekness | Wicked | Grass | Obedience | Sin | Character | Commandments | Parables | selebihnya
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Catatan Kata/Frasa
Robertson , Vincent , Wesley , JFB , Clarke , Calvin , Defender , TSK

Catatan Kata/Frasa
Poole , PBC , Haydock , Gill

Catatan Ayat / Catatan Kaki
NET Notes , Geneva Bible

Catatan Rentang Ayat
Maclaren , MHCC , Matthew Henry , Barclay , Constable , College

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Evidence

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Kata/Frasa (per frasa)

Robertson: Jam 1:1 - James James ( Iakōbos ). Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew Iakōb (so lxx). Common name among the Jews, and this man in Josephus ( Ant...

James ( Iakōbos ).

Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew Iakōb (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.

Robertson: Jam 1:1 - Servant Servant ( doulos ). Bond-servant or slave as Paul (Rom 1:1; Phi 1:1; Tit 1:1).

Servant ( doulos ).

Bond-servant or slave as Paul (Rom 1:1; Phi 1:1; Tit 1:1).

Robertson: Jam 1:1 - Of the Lord Jesus Christ Of the Lord Jesus Christ ( kuriou Iēsou Christou ). Here on a par with God (theou ) and calls himself not adelphos (brother) of Jesus, but doulo...

Of the Lord Jesus Christ ( kuriou Iēsou Christou ).

Here on a par with God (theou ) and calls himself not adelphos (brother) of Jesus, but doulos . The three terms here as in Jam 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 kurios 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 Kurios Iēsous and Phi 2:11 for Kurios Iēsous Christos .

Robertson: Jam 1:1 - To the twelve tribes To the twelve tribes ( tais dōdeka phulais ). Dative case. The expression means "Israel in its fulness and completeness"(Hort), regarded as a unity...

To the twelve tribes ( tais dōdeka phulais ).

Dative case. The expression means "Israel in its fulness and completeness"(Hort), regarded as a unity (Act 26:7) with no conception of any "lost"tribes.

Robertson: Jam 1:1 - Which are of the Dispersion Which are of the Dispersion ( tais en tēi diasporāi ). "Those in the Dispersion"(repeated article). The term appears in Deu 28:25 (lxx) and comes...

Which are of the Dispersion ( tais en tēi diasporāi ).

"Those in the Dispersion"(repeated article). The term appears in Deu 28:25 (lxx) and comes from diaspeirō , 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 ( Koiné , 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 Koiné but in the Hebraic tone.

Robertson: Jam 1:1 - Greeting Greeting ( chairein ). Absolute infinitive (present active of chairō ) as in Act 15:23 (the Epistle to Antioch and the churches of Syria and Galat...

Greeting ( chairein ).

Absolute infinitive (present active of chairō ) as in Act 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 chairein legete in 2Jo 1:10, 2Jo 1:11.

Robertson: Jam 1:2 - Count it Count it ( hēgēsasthe ). First aorist middle imperative of hēgeomai , old verb to consider. Do it now and once for all.

Count it ( hēgēsasthe ).

First aorist middle imperative of hēgeomai , old verb to consider. Do it now and once for all.

Robertson: Jam 1:2 - All joy All joy ( pāsan charan ). "Whole joy,""unmixed joy,"as in Phi 2:29. Not just "some joy"along with much grief.

All joy ( pāsan charan ).

"Whole joy,""unmixed joy,"as in Phi 2:29. Not just "some joy"along with much grief.

Robertson: Jam 1:2 - When When ( hotan ). "Whenever,"indefinite temporal conjunction.

When ( hotan ).

"Whenever,"indefinite temporal conjunction.

Robertson: Jam 1:2 - Ye fall into Ye fall into ( peripesēte ). Second aorist active subjunctive (with the indefinite hotan ) from peripiptō , literally to fall around (into the m...

Ye fall into ( peripesēte ).

Second aorist active subjunctive (with the indefinite hotan ) from peripiptō , literally to fall around (into the midst of), to fall among as in Luk 10:30 lēistais periepesen (he fell among robbers). Only other N.T. example of this old compound is in Act 27:41. Thucydides uses it of falling into affliction. It is the picture of being surrounded (peri ) by trials.

Robertson: Jam 1:2 - Manifold temptations Manifold temptations ( peirasmois poikilois ). Associative instrumental case. The English word temptation is Latin and originally meant trials whethe...

Manifold temptations ( peirasmois poikilois ).

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 peirasmos (from peirazō , late form for the old peiraō as in Act 26:21, both in good sense as in Joh 6:6, and in bad sense as in Mat 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 Jam 1:12 (clearly in peirazō in Jam 1:13) and so in Heb 3:8. Trials rightly faced are harmless, but wrongly met become temptations to evil. The adjective poikilos (manifold) is as old as Homer and means variegated, many coloured as in Mat 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.

Robertson: Jam 1:3 - Knowing Knowing ( ginōskontes ). Present active participle of ginōskō (experimental knowledge, the only way of getting this view of "trials"as "all j...

Knowing ( ginōskontes ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:3 - The proof The proof ( to dokimion ). Now known (Deissmann, Bible Studies , pp. 259ff.) from the papyri examples of dokimios as an adjective in the same sens...

The proof ( to dokimion ).

Now known (Deissmann, Bible Studies , pp. 259ff.) from the papyri examples of dokimios as an adjective in the same sense (good gold, standard gold) as dokimos proved or tested (Jam 1:12). The use of to dokimion (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 Jam 1:6; Jam 2:1; Jam 5:15, regards faith (pistis ) like Paul "as the very foundation of religion"(Mayor).

Robertson: Jam 1:3 - Worketh Worketh ( katergazetai ). Present (durative) middle indicative of the compound verb with the perfective sense of kata as in Phi 2:12, which see.

Worketh ( katergazetai ).

Present (durative) middle indicative of the compound verb with the perfective sense of kata as in Phi 2:12, which see.

Robertson: Jam 1:3 - Patience Patience ( hupomonēn ). Old and common word for remaining under (hupomenō ), "staying power"(Ropes), as in Col 1:11.

Patience ( hupomonēn ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:4 - Let have Let have ( echetō ). Present active imperative of echō , let it keep on having.

Let have ( echetō ).

Present active imperative of echō , let it keep on having.

Robertson: Jam 1:4 - Perfect Perfect ( teleion ). See Rom 5:3. for a like chain of blessings. Carry on the work to the end or completion (from telos , end) as in Joh 17:4 (to erg...

Perfect ( teleion ).

See Rom 5:3. for a like chain of blessings. Carry on the work to the end or completion (from telos , end) as in Joh 17:4 (to ergon teleiōsas , having finished the work).

Robertson: Jam 1:4 - That ye may be That ye may be ( hina ēte ). Purpose clause with hina and present active subjunctive of eimi . This is the goal of patience.

That ye may be ( hina ēte ).

Purpose clause with hina and present active subjunctive of eimi . This is the goal of patience.

Robertson: Jam 1:4 - Perfect and entire Perfect and entire ( teleioi kai holoklēroi ). Perfected at the end of the task (telos ) and complete in all parts (holoklēroi , holos whole a...

Perfect and entire ( teleioi kai holoklēroi ).

Perfected at the end of the task (telos ) and complete in all parts (holoklēroi , holos whole and klēros lot or part). "Perfected all over."These two adjectives often occur together in Philo, Plutarch, etc. See Act 3:16 for holoklērian (perfect soundness).

Robertson: Jam 1:4 - Lacking in nothing Lacking in nothing ( en mēdeni leipomenoi ). Present passive participle of leipō to leave. Negative statement of the preceding positive as ofte...

Lacking in nothing ( en mēdeni leipomenoi ).

Present passive participle of leipō to leave. Negative statement of the preceding positive as often in James (cf. Jam 1:6). There is now a digression (Jam 1:5-8) from the discussion of peirasmos , which is taken up again in Jam 1:9. The word leipomenoi (lacking) suggests the digression.

Robertson: Jam 1:5 - Lacketh wisdom Lacketh wisdom ( leipetai sophias ). Condition of first class, assumed as true, ei and present passive indicative of leipō to be destitute of, ...

Lacketh wisdom ( leipetai sophias ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:5 - Let him ask Let him ask ( aiteitō ). Present active imperative of aiteō , "let him keep on asking."

Let him ask ( aiteitō ).

Present active imperative of aiteō , "let him keep on asking."

Robertson: Jam 1:5 - Of God Of God ( para tou theou ). "From (from beside) God,"ablative case with para . Liberally (haplōs ). This old adverb occurs here only in the N.T. (f...

Of God ( para tou theou ).

"From (from beside) God,"ablative case with para . Liberally (haplōs ). This old adverb occurs here only in the N.T. (from haplous , single-fold, Mat 6:22, and haplotēs , simplicity, generosity, is common - 2Co 8:2; Rom 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 haplotēs in 2Co 8:2; Rom 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; Pro 2:3).

Robertson: Jam 1:5 - Upbraideth not Upbraideth not ( mē oneidizontos ). Present active participle of oneidizō (old verb to reproach, to cast in one’ s teeth, Mat 5:11) in the...

Upbraideth not ( mē oneidizontos ).

Present active participle of oneidizō (old verb to reproach, to cast in one’ s teeth, Mat 5:11) in the ablative case like didontos agreeing with theou and with the usual negative of the participle (me ). This is the negative statement of didontos haplōs (giving graciously). The evil habit of giving stinging words along with the money is illustrated in Sirach 41:22 and Plutarch (Deut adulat. , p. 64A). ] Cf. Heb 4:16.

Robertson: Jam 1:5 - And it shall be given him And it shall be given him ( kai dothēsetai autōi ). First future passive of didōmi , a blessed promise in accord with the words of Jesus (Mat 7...

And it shall be given him ( kai dothēsetai autōi ).

First future passive of didōmi , a blessed promise in accord with the words of Jesus (Mat 7:7, Mat 7:11; Luk 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.

Robertson: Jam 1:6 - In faith In faith ( en pistei ). Faith here "is the fundamental religious attitude"(Ropes), belief in God’ s beneficent activity and personal reliance on...

In faith ( en pistei ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:6 - Nothing doubting Nothing doubting ( mēden diakrinomenos ). Negative way of saying en pistei (in faith), present passive participle of diakrinō , old verb to sep...

Nothing doubting ( mēden diakrinomenos ).

Negative way of saying en pistei (in faith), present passive participle of diakrinō , old verb to separate (krinō ) between (dia ), to discriminate as shown clearly in Act 11:12, Act 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 diamerizomai in Luk 11:18 and occurs in Mat 21:21; Mar 11:23; Act 10:20; Rom 2:4; Rom 4:20; Rom 14:23. It is a vivid picture of internal doubt.

Robertson: Jam 1:6 - Is like Is like ( eoiken ). Second perfect active indicative with the linear force alone from eikō to be like. Old form, but in N.T. only here and Jam 1:...

Is like ( eoiken ).

Second perfect active indicative with the linear force alone from eikō to be like. Old form, but in N.T. only here and Jam 1:23 (a literary touch, not in lxx).

Robertson: Jam 1:6 - The surge of the sea The surge of the sea ( kludōni thalassēs ). Old word (from kluzō to wash against) for a dashing or surging wave in contrast with kuma (succ...

The surge of the sea ( kludōni thalassēs ).

Old word (from kluzō to wash against) for a dashing or surging wave in contrast with kuma (successive waves), in N.T. only here and Luk 8:24. In associative instrumental case after eoiken . In Eph 4:14 we have kludonizō (from kludōn ), to toss by waves.

Robertson: Jam 1:6 - Driven by the wind Driven by the wind ( anemizomenōi ). Present passive participle (agreeing in case with kludōni ) of anemizō , earliest known example and proba...

Driven by the wind ( anemizomenōi ).

Present passive participle (agreeing in case with kludōni ) of anemizō , earliest known example and probably coined by James (from anemos ), who is fond of verbs in ̇izō (Mayor). The old Greek used anemoō . In Eph 4:14 Paul uses both kludonizō and peripherō anemōi . It is a vivid picture of the sea whipped into white-caps by the winds.

Robertson: Jam 1:6 - Tossed Tossed ( ripizomenōi ). Present passive participle also in agreement with kludōni from ripizō , rare verb (Aristophanes, Plutarch, Philo) fro...

Tossed ( ripizomenōi ).

Present passive participle also in agreement with kludōni from ripizō , rare verb (Aristophanes, Plutarch, Philo) from ripis (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.

Robertson: Jam 1:7 - That man That man ( ho anthrōpos ekeinos ). Emphatic use of ekeinos .

That man ( ho anthrōpos ekeinos ).

Emphatic use of ekeinos .

Robertson: Jam 1:7 - Of the Lord Of the Lord ( para tou kuriou ). Ablative case with para like theou in Jam 1:5.

Of the Lord ( para tou kuriou ).

Ablative case with para like theou in Jam 1:5.

Robertson: Jam 1:8 - Man Man ( anēr ). Instead of anthrōpos (general term) in Jam 1:7, perhaps for variety (Ropes), but often in James (Jam 1:12, Jam 1:23; Jam 2:2; Jam...

Man ( anēr ).

Instead of anthrōpos (general term) in Jam 1:7, perhaps for variety (Ropes), but often in James (Jam 1:12, Jam 1:23; Jam 2:2; Jam 3:2), though in other Epistles usually in distinction from gunē (woman).

Robertson: Jam 1:8 - Double-minded Double-minded ( dipsuchos ). First appearance of this compound known and in N.T. only here and Jam 4:8. Apparently coined by James, but copied often ...

Double-minded ( dipsuchos ).

First appearance of this compound known and in N.T. only here and Jam 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 dis twice and psuchē soul, double-souled, double-minded, Bunyan’ s "Mr. Facing-both-ways."Cf. the rebuke to Peter (edistasas ) in Mat 14:31.

Robertson: Jam 1:8 - Unstable Unstable ( akatastatos ). Late double compound (alpha privative and katastatos verbal from kathistēmi ), in lxx once (Isa 54:11) and in Polybius...

Unstable ( akatastatos ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:9 - But But ( de ). Return to the point of view in Jam 1:2.

But ( de ).

Return to the point of view in Jam 1:2.

Robertson: Jam 1:9 - Of low degree Of low degree ( ho tapeinos ). "The lowly"brother, in outward condition (Luk 1:52), humble and poor as in Psa 9:12; Pro 30:14, not the spiritually hu...

Of low degree ( ho tapeinos ).

"The lowly"brother, in outward condition (Luk 1:52), humble and poor as in Psa 9:12; Pro 30:14, not the spiritually humble as in Mat 11:29; Jam 4:6. In the lxx tapeinos 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.

Robertson: Jam 1:9 - Glory in his high estate Glory in his high estate ( kauchasthō en tōi hupsei autou ). Paradox, but true. In his low estate he is "in his height"(hupsos , old word, in N.T...

Glory in his high estate ( kauchasthō en tōi hupsei autou ).

Paradox, but true. In his low estate he is "in his height"(hupsos , old word, in N.T., also in Luk 1:78; Eph 3:1; etc.).

Robertson: Jam 1:10 - In that he is made low In that he is made low ( en tēi tapeinōsei auton ). "In his low estate."Play on tapeinōsis (from tapeinoō , Phi 3:7), like tapeinos of Ja...

In that he is made low ( en tēi tapeinōsei auton ).

"In his low estate."Play on tapeinōsis (from tapeinoō , Phi 3:7), like tapeinos of Jam 1:9, old word in various senses, in N.T. only here, Luk 1:48; Act 8:33; Phi 3:21. The Cross of Christ lifts up the poor and brings down the high. It is the great leveller of men.

Robertson: Jam 1:10 - As the flower of the grass As the flower of the grass ( hōs anthos chortou ). From the lxx (Isa 40:6). Chortos means pasture, then grass (Mar 6:39) or fodder. Anthos is o...

As the flower of the grass ( hōs anthos chortou ).

From the lxx (Isa 40:6). Chortos means pasture, then grass (Mar 6:39) or fodder. Anthos is old word, in N.T. only here, Jam 1:11; 1Pe 1:24 (same quotation). This warning is here applied to "the rich brother,"but it is true of all.

Robertson: Jam 1:10 - He shall pass away He shall pass away ( pareleusetai ). Future middle indicative (effective aoristic future, shall pass completely away from earth).

He shall pass away ( pareleusetai ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Ariseth Ariseth ( aneteilen ). Gnomic or timeless aorist active indicative of the old compound anatellō , used here of plants (cf. anathallō in Phi 4:1...

Ariseth ( aneteilen ).

Gnomic or timeless aorist active indicative of the old compound anatellō , used here of plants (cf. anathallō in Phi 4:10), often of the sun (Mat 13:6).

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - With the scorching wind With the scorching wind ( sun tōi kausōni ). Associative instrumental case with sun . In the lxx this late word (from kausos ) is usually the si...

With the scorching wind ( sun tōi kausōni ).

Associative instrumental case with sun . In the lxx this late word (from kausos ) is usually the sirocco, the dry east wind from the desert (Job 1:19). In Mat 20:12; Luk 12:55 it is the burning heat of the sun. Either makes sense here.

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Withereth Withereth ( exēranen ). Another gnomic aorist active indicative (Robertson, Grammar , p. 837) of xērainō , old verb (from xēros , dry or wit...

Withereth ( exēranen ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Falleth Falleth ( exepesen ). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist active indicative) of ekpiptō to fall out (off).

Falleth ( exepesen ).

Another gnomic aorist (second aorist active indicative) of ekpiptō to fall out (off).

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - The grace The grace ( hē euprepeia ). Old word (from euprepēs well-looking, not in the N.T.), only here in N.T. Goodly appearance, beauty.

The grace ( hē euprepeia ).

Old word (from euprepēs well-looking, not in the N.T.), only here in N.T. Goodly appearance, beauty.

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Of the fashion of it Of the fashion of it ( tou prosōpou autou ). "Of the face of it."The flower is pictured as having a "face,"like a rose or lily.

Of the fashion of it ( tou prosōpou autou ).

"Of the face of it."The flower is pictured as having a "face,"like a rose or lily.

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Perisheth Perisheth ( apōleto ). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist middle indicative of apollumi , to destroy, but intransitive here, to perish). The beau...

Perisheth ( apōleto ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Shall fade away Shall fade away ( maranthēsetai ). Future passive indicative of marainō , old verb, to extinguish a flame, a light. Used of roses in Wisdom 2:8.

Shall fade away ( maranthēsetai ).

Future passive indicative of marainō , old verb, to extinguish a flame, a light. Used of roses in Wisdom 2:8.

Robertson: Jam 1:11 - Goings Goings ( poreiais ). Old word from poreuō to journey, in N.T. only here and Luk 13:22 (of Christ’ s journey toward Jerusalem). The rich man&...

Goings ( poreiais ).

Old word from poreuō to journey, in N.T. only here and Luk 13:22 (of Christ’ s journey toward Jerusalem). The rich man’ s travels will come to "journey’ s end."

Robertson: Jam 1:12 - Endureth Endureth ( hupomenei ). Present active indicative of hupomenō . Cf. Jam 1:3.

Endureth ( hupomenei ).

Present active indicative of hupomenō . Cf. Jam 1:3.

Robertson: Jam 1:12 - Temptation Temptation ( peirasmon ). Real temptation here. See Jam 1:2 for "trials."

Temptation ( peirasmon ).

Real temptation here. See Jam 1:2 for "trials."

Robertson: Jam 1:12 - When he hath been approved When he hath been approved ( dokimos genomenos ). "Having become approved,"with direct reference to to dokimion in Jam 1:3. See also Rom 5:4 for do...

When he hath been approved ( dokimos genomenos ).

"Having become approved,"with direct reference to to dokimion in Jam 1:3. See also Rom 5:4 for dokimē (approval after test as of gold or silver). This beatitude (makarios ) is for the one who has come out unscathed. See 1Ti 6:9.

Robertson: Jam 1:12 - The crown of life The crown of life ( ton stephanon tēs zōēs ). The same phrase occurs in Rev 2:10. It is the genitive of apposition, life itself being the crown...

The crown of life ( ton stephanon tēs zōēs ).

The same phrase occurs in Rev 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 (diadēma ) of royalty (Psa 20:3, where stephanos is used like diadēma , the kingly crown). Stephanos has a variety of uses. Cf. the thorn chaplet on Jesus (Mat 27:29).

Robertson: Jam 1:12 - The Lord. The Lord. Not in the oldest Greek MSS., but clearly implied as the subject of epēggeilato ( he promised , first aorist middle indicative).

The Lord.

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

Robertson: Jam 1:13 - Let no one say Let no one say ( mēdeis legetō ). Present active imperative, prohibiting such a habit.

Let no one say ( mēdeis legetō ).

Present active imperative, prohibiting such a habit.

Robertson: Jam 1:13 - When he is tempted When he is tempted ( peirazomenos ). Present passive participle of peirazō , here in evil sense of tempt, not test, as in Mat 4:1. Jam 1:12-18 give...

When he is tempted ( peirazomenos ).

Present passive participle of peirazō , here in evil sense of tempt, not test, as in Mat 4:1. Jam 1:12-18 give a vivid picture of temptation.

Robertson: Jam 1:13 - I am tempted of God I am tempted of God ( apo theou peirazomai ). The use of apo shows origin (apo with ablative case), not agency (hupo ), as in Mar 1:13, of Satan...

I am tempted of God ( apo theou peirazomai ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:13 - Cannot be tempted with evil Cannot be tempted with evil ( apeirastos kakōn ). Verbal compound adjective (alpha privative and peirazō ), probably with the ablative case, as ...

Cannot be tempted with evil ( apeirastos kakōn ).

Verbal compound adjective (alpha privative and peirazō ), 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 apeiratos (from peiraō ), but this is the earliest example of apeirastos (from peirazō ) made on the same model. Only here in the N.T. Hort notes apeiratos kakōn as a proverb (Diodorus, Plutarch, Josephus) "free from evils."That is possible here, but the context calls for "untemptable"rather than "untempted."

Robertson: Jam 1:13 - And he himself tempteth no man And he himself tempteth no man ( peirazei de autos oudena ). Because "untemptable."

And he himself tempteth no man ( peirazei de autos oudena ).

Because "untemptable."

Robertson: Jam 1:14 - When he is drawn away by his own lust When he is drawn away by his own lust ( hupo tēs idias epithumias exelkomenos ). Epithumia is old word for craving (from epithumeō , to have a ...

When he is drawn away by his own lust ( hupo tēs idias epithumias exelkomenos ).

Epithumia is old word for craving (from epithumeō , to have a desire for) either good (Phi 1:23) or evil (Rom 7:7) as here. Like a fish drawn out from his retreat.

Robertson: Jam 1:14 - Enticed Enticed ( deleazomenos ). Present passive participle of deleazō , old verb from delear (bait), to catch fish by bait or to hunt with snares and P...

Enticed ( deleazomenos ).

Present passive participle of deleazō , old verb from delear (bait), to catch fish by bait or to hunt with snares and Philo has huph' hēdonēs deleazetai (is enticed by pleasure). In N.T. only here and 2Pe 2:14, 2Pe 2:18. Allured by definite bait.

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - Then Then ( eita ). The next step.

Then ( eita ).

The next step.

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - The lust The lust ( hē epithumia ). Note article, the lust (Jam 1:14) which one has.

The lust ( hē epithumia ).

Note article, the lust (Jam 1:14) which one has.

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - When it hath conceived When it hath conceived ( sullabousa ). Second aorist active participle of sullambanō , old word to grasp together, in hostile sense (Act 26:21), in...

When it hath conceived ( sullabousa ).

Second aorist active participle of sullambanō , old word to grasp together, in hostile sense (Act 26:21), in friendly sense of help (Phi 4:3), in technical sense of a woman taking a man’ s seed in conception (Luk 1:24), here also of lust (as a woman), "having conceived."The will yields to lust and conception takes place.

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - Beareth sin Beareth sin ( tiktei hamartian ). Present active indicative of tiktō to bring forth as a mother or fruit from seed, old verb, often in N.T., here...

Beareth sin ( tiktei hamartian ).

Present active indicative of tiktō 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 Psa 7:14 for this same metaphor.

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - The sin The sin ( hē hamartia ). The article refers to hamartia just mentioned.

The sin ( hē hamartia ).

The article refers to hamartia just mentioned.

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - When it is full-grown When it is full-grown ( apotelestheisa ). First aorist passive participle of apoteleō , old compound verb with perfective use of apo , in N.T. only...

When it is full-grown ( apotelestheisa ).

First aorist passive participle of apoteleō , old compound verb with perfective use of apo , in N.T. only here and Luk 13:32. It does not mean "full-grown"like teleioō , 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 (Rom 6:6; Col 3:5).

Robertson: Jam 1:15 - Bringeth forth death Bringeth forth death ( apokuei thanaton ). Late compound (kueō to be pregnant, perfective use of apo ) to give birth to, of animals and women, f...

Bringeth forth death ( apokuei thanaton ).

Late compound (kueō to be pregnant, perfective use of apo ) 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 tiktō . 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 Rom 6:21-23; Rom 8:6. "The birth of death follows of necessity when one sin is fully formed"(Hort).

Robertson: Jam 1:16 - Be not deceived Be not deceived ( mē planāsthe ). Prohibition with mē and the present passive imperative of planaō , common verb to lead astray. This is th...

Be not deceived ( mē planāsthe ).

Prohibition with mē and the present passive imperative of planaō , common verb to lead astray. This is the way of sin to deceive and to kill (Rom 7:7-14). The devil is a pastmaster at blinding men’ s eyes about sin (2Co 4:4; Rom 1:27; Eph 4:14; etc.).

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - Gift Gift ( dosis ) - boon (dōrēma ). Both old substantives from the same original verb (didōmi ), to give. Dosis is the act of giving (endin...

Gift ( dosis )

- boon (dōrēma ). Both old substantives from the same original verb (didōmi ), to give. Dosis is the act of giving (ending ̇sis ), but sometimes by metonymy for the thing given like ktisis for ktisma (Col 1:15). But dōrēma (from dōreō , from dōron a gift) only means a gift, a benefaction (Rom 5:16). The contrast here argues for "giving"as the idea in dosis . Curiously enough there is a perfect hexameter line here:

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - pāsa do / sis aga / thē kai / pān dō / rēma te / leion . @@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 dōrēma , but that is not conclusive. @@From above pāsa do / sis aga / thē kai / pān dō / rēma te / leion . @@Such accidental rhythm occurs occasionally in many writers. Ropes (lik...

pāsa do / sis aga / thē kai / pān dō / rēma te / leion . @@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 dōrēma , but that is not conclusive. @@From above ( anōthen ).

That is, from heaven. Cf. Joh 3:31; Joh 19:11.

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - Coming down Coming down ( katabainon ). Present active neuter singular participle of katabainō agreeing with dōrēma , expanding and explaining anōthen ...

Coming down ( katabainon ).

Present active neuter singular participle of katabainō agreeing with dōrēma , expanding and explaining anōthen (from above).

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - From the Father of lights From the Father of lights ( apo tou patros tōn phōtōn ). "Of the lights"(the heavenly bodies). For this use of patēr see Job 38:28 (Father ...

From the Father of lights ( apo tou patros tōn phōtōn ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - With whom With whom ( par' hōi ). For para (beside) with locative sense for standpoint of God see para tōi theōi (Mar 10:27; Rom 2:11; Rom 9:14; Eph ...

With whom ( par' hōi ).

For para (beside) with locative sense for standpoint of God see para tōi theōi (Mar 10:27; Rom 2:11; Rom 9:14; Eph 6:9.

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - Can be no Can be no ( ouk eni ). This old idiom (also in Gal 3:28; Col 3:11) may be merely the original form of en with recessive accent (Winer, Mayor) or a ...

Can be no ( ouk eni ).

This old idiom (also in Gal 3:28; Col 3:11) may be merely the original form of en with recessive accent (Winer, Mayor) or a shortened form of enesti . The use of eni en in 1Co 6:5 argues for this view, as does the use of eine (einai ) in Modern Greek (Robertson, Grammar , p. 313).

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - Variation Variation ( parallagē ). Old word from parallassō , to make things alternate, here only in N.T. In Aristeas in sense of alternate stones in pavem...

Variation ( parallagē ).

Old word from parallassō , to make things alternate, here only in N.T. In Aristeas in sense of alternate stones in pavements. Dio Cassius has parallaxis 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.

Robertson: Jam 1:17 - Shadow that is cast by turning Shadow that is cast by turning ( tropēs aposkiasma ). Tropē is an old word for "turning"(from trepō to turn), here only in N.T. Aposkiasma ...

Shadow that is cast by turning ( tropēs aposkiasma ).

Tropē is an old word for "turning"(from trepō to turn), here only in N.T. Aposkiasma is a late and rare word (aposkiasmos in Plutarch) from aposkiazō (apo , skia ) a shade cast by one object on another. It is not clear what the precise metaphor is, whether the shadow thrown on the dial (aposkiazō 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 hē tropēs aposkiasmatos (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.

Robertson: Jam 1:18 - Of his own will Of his own will ( boulētheis ). First aorist passive participle of boulomai . Repeating the metaphor of birth in Jam 1:15, but in good sense. God a...

Of his own will ( boulētheis ).

First aorist passive participle of boulomai . Repeating the metaphor of birth in Jam 1:15, but in good sense. God as Father acted deliberately of set purpose.

Robertson: Jam 1:18 - He brought us forth He brought us forth ( apekuēsen ). First aorist active indicative of apokueō (Jam 1:15), only here of the father (4 Macc. 15:17), not of the mo...

He brought us forth ( apekuēsen ).

First aorist active indicative of apokueō (Jam 1:15), 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 (Act 17:28.).

Robertson: Jam 1:18 - By the word of truth By the word of truth ( logōi alētheias ). Instrumental case logōi . The reference is thus to the gospel message of salvation even without the a...

By the word of truth ( logōi alētheias ).

Instrumental case logōi . 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 alētheias ).

Robertson: Jam 1:18 - That we should be That we should be ( eis to einai hēmās ). Purpose clause eis to and the infinitive einai with the accusative of general reference hēmās ...

That we should be ( eis to einai hēmās ).

Purpose clause eis to and the infinitive einai with the accusative of general reference hēmās (as to us).

Robertson: Jam 1:18 - A kind of first-fruits A kind of first-fruits ( aparchēn tina ). "Some first-fruits"(old word from aparchomai ), of Christians of that age. See Rom 16:5.

A kind of first-fruits ( aparchēn tina ).

"Some first-fruits"(old word from aparchomai ), of Christians of that age. See Rom 16:5.

Robertson: Jam 1:19 - Ye know this Ye know this ( iste ). Or "know this."Probably the perfect active indicative (literary form as in Eph 5:5; Heb 12:17, unless both are imperative, whi...

Ye know this ( iste ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:19 - Swift to hear Swift to hear ( tachus eis to akousai ). For this use of eis to with the infinitive after an adjective see 1Th 4:9. For eis to after adjectives s...

Swift to hear ( tachus eis to akousai ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:19 - Slow to speak Slow to speak ( bradus eis to lalēsai ). Same construction and same ingressive aorist active infinitive, slow to begin speaking, not slow while spe...

Slow to speak ( bradus eis to lalēsai ).

Same construction and same ingressive aorist active infinitive, slow to begin speaking, not slow while speaking.

Robertson: Jam 1:19 - Slow to anger Slow to anger ( bradus eis orgēn ). He drops the infinitive here, but he probably means that slowness to speak up when angry will tend to curb the ...

Slow to anger ( bradus eis orgēn ).

He drops the infinitive here, but he probably means that slowness to speak up when angry will tend to curb the anger.

Robertson: Jam 1:20 - The wrath of man The wrath of man ( orgē andros ). Here anēr (as opposed to gunē woman), not anthrōpos of Jam 1:19 (inclusive of both man and woman). If...

The wrath of man ( orgē andros ).

Here anēr (as opposed to gunē woman), not anthrōpos of Jam 1:19 (inclusive of both man and woman). If taken in this sense, it means that a man’ s anger (settled indignation in contrast with thumos , 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 Act 10:35 for "working righteousness,"and Jam 2:9 for "working sin"(ergazomai both times).

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - Wherefore Wherefore ( dio ). Because of this principle. See Eph 4:25.

Wherefore ( dio ).

Because of this principle. See Eph 4:25.

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - Putting away Putting away ( apothemenoi ). Second aorist middle participle of apotithēmi , to put off, metaphor of removing clothing as in Rom 13:12; Col 3:8; E...

Putting away ( apothemenoi ).

Second aorist middle participle of apotithēmi , to put off, metaphor of removing clothing as in Rom 13:12; Col 3:8; Eph 4:22, Eph 4:25; 1Pe 2:1.

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - Filthiness Filthiness ( ruparian ). Late word (Plutarch) from ruparos , dirty (Jam 2:2), here only in N.T. Surely a dirty garment.

Filthiness ( ruparian ).

Late word (Plutarch) from ruparos , dirty (Jam 2:2), here only in N.T. Surely a dirty garment.

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - Overflowing of wickedness Overflowing of wickedness ( perisseian kakias ). Perisseia is a late word (from perissos , abundant, exceeding), only four times in N.T., in 2Co 8:...

Overflowing of wickedness ( perisseian kakias ).

Perisseia is a late word (from perissos , abundant, exceeding), only four times in N.T., in 2Co 8:2 with charas (of joy), in Rom 5:17 with charitos (of grace). Kakia (from kakos , evil) can be either general like ruparia (filthiness, naughtiness), or special like "malice."But any of either sense is a "superfluity."

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - With meekness With meekness ( en praūtēti ). In docility. "The contrast is with orgē rather than kakias "(Ropes).

With meekness ( en praūtēti ).

In docility. "The contrast is with orgē rather than kakias "(Ropes).

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - The implanted word The implanted word ( ton emphuton logon ). This old verbal adjective (from emphuō to implant, to grow in), only here in N.T., meaning properly in...

The implanted word ( ton emphuton logon ).

This old verbal adjective (from emphuō to implant, to grow in), only here in N.T., meaning properly ingrown, inborn, not emphuteuton (engrafted). It is "the rooted word"(Jam 1:18), sown in the heart as the soil or garden of God (Matt 13:3-23; Mat 15:13; 1Co 3:6).

Robertson: Jam 1:21 - Able to save Able to save ( dunamenon sōsai ). Cf. 1Pe 1:9; Jam 2:14; Jam 4:12; Jam 5:20; Rom 1:16. Ultimate salvation (effective aorist active infinitive sōs...

Able to save ( dunamenon sōsai ).

Cf. 1Pe 1:9; Jam 2:14; Jam 4:12; Jam 5:20; Rom 1:16. Ultimate salvation (effective aorist active infinitive sōsai from sōzō ).

Robertson: Jam 1:22 - But be ye But be ye ( ginesthe de ). Rather, "But keep on becoming"(present middle imperative of ginomai ).

But be ye ( ginesthe de ).

Rather, "But keep on becoming"(present middle imperative of ginomai ).

Robertson: Jam 1:22 - Doers of the word Doers of the word ( poiētai logou ). Old word for agent (̇tēs ) from poieō to do as in Jam 4:11; Rom 2:13, but in Act 17:28 our "poet"(long...

Doers of the word ( poiētai logou ).

Old word for agent (̇tēs ) from poieō to do as in Jam 4:11; Rom 2:13, but in Act 17:28 our "poet"(long regarded as a "doer"or "maker").

Robertson: Jam 1:22 - Hearers Hearers ( akroatai ). Old word for agent again from akroamai (to be a hearer), in N.T. only here and Rom 2:13.

Hearers ( akroatai ).

Old word for agent again from akroamai (to be a hearer), in N.T. only here and Rom 2:13.

Robertson: Jam 1:22 - Deluding yourselves Deluding yourselves ( paralogizomenoi heautous ). Present middle (direct) participle of paralogizomai , to reckon aside (para ) and so wrong, to che...

Deluding yourselves ( paralogizomenoi heautous ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:23 - And not a doer And not a doer ( kai ou poiētēs ). Condition of first class, assumed as true, and ou (rather than mē ) contrasts poiētēs with akroate...

And not a doer ( kai ou poiētēs ).

Condition of first class, assumed as true, and ou (rather than mē ) contrasts poiētēs with akroatēs .

Robertson: Jam 1:23 - Unto a man beholding Unto a man beholding ( andri katanoounti ). Associative instrumental case after eoiken as in Jam 1:6. Note andri as in Jam 1:8 in contrast with g...

Unto a man beholding ( andri katanoounti ).

Associative instrumental case after eoiken as in Jam 1:6. Note andri as in Jam 1:8 in contrast with gunaiki (woman), not anthrōpōi (general term for man). Present active participle of katanoeō to put the mind down on (kata , nous ), to consider attentively, to take note of, as in Jam 1:24 (katenoēsen ).

Robertson: Jam 1:23 - His natural face His natural face ( to prosōpon tēs geneseōs autou ). "The face of his birth"(origin, lineage, nativity). For this use of genesis see Jam 3:6;...

His natural face ( to prosōpon tēs geneseōs autou ).

"The face of his birth"(origin, lineage, nativity). For this use of genesis see Jam 3:6; Mat 1:1, Mat 1:18; Luk 1:13.

Robertson: Jam 1:23 - In a mirror In a mirror ( en esoptrōi ). Old word (from eis , optō ) in N.T. only here and 1Co 13:12. The mirrors of the ancients were not of glass, but of...

In a mirror ( en esoptrōi ).

Old word (from eis , optō ) 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 katoptrizomai in 2Co 3:18.

Robertson: Jam 1:24 - He beholdeth himself He beholdeth himself ( katenoēsen heauton ). Usually explained as gnomic aorist like those in Jam 1:11, but the ordinary force of the tenses is bes...

He beholdeth himself ( katenoēsen heauton ).

Usually explained as gnomic aorist like those in Jam 1:11, but the ordinary force of the tenses is best here. "He glanced at himself (katenoēsen aorist) and off he has gone (apelēluthen perfect active) and straightway forgot (epelatheto , second aorist middle indicative of epilanthanomai ) what sort of a man he was"(hopoios ēn , 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).

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - He that looketh into He that looketh into ( ho parakupsas ). First aorist active articular participle of parakuptō , old verb, to stoop and look into (Joh 20:5, Joh 20:...

He that looketh into ( ho parakupsas ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - The perfect law The perfect law ( nomon teleion ). For teleion see Jam 1:17. See Rom 7:12 for Paul’ s idea of the law of God. James here refers to the word of...

The perfect law ( nomon teleion ).

For teleion see Jam 1:17. See Rom 7:12 for Paul’ s idea of the law of God. James here refers to the word of truth (Jam 1:18), the gospel of grace (Gal 6:2; Rom 12:2).

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - The law of liberty The law of liberty ( ton tēs eleutherias ). "That of liberty,"explaining why it is "perfect"(Jam 2:12 also), rests on the work of Christ, whose tru...

The law of liberty ( ton tēs eleutherias ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - And so continueth And so continueth ( kai parameinas ). First aorist active articular participle again of paramenō , parallel with parakupsas . Paramenō is to st...

And so continueth ( kai parameinas ).

First aorist active articular participle again of paramenō , parallel with parakupsas . Paramenō is to stay beside, and see Phi 1:25 for contrast with the simplex menō .

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - Being Being ( genomenos ). Rather, "having become"(second aorist middle participle of ginomai to become).

Being ( genomenos ).

Rather, "having become"(second aorist middle participle of ginomai to become).

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - Not a hearer that forgetteth Not a hearer that forgetteth ( ouk akroatēs epilēsmonēs ). "Not a hearer of forgetfulness"(descriptive genitive, marked by forgetfulness). Epil...

Not a hearer that forgetteth ( ouk akroatēs epilēsmonēs ).

"Not a hearer of forgetfulness"(descriptive genitive, marked by forgetfulness). Epilēsmonē is a late and rare word (from epilēsmōn , forgetful, from epilanthomai , to forget, as in Jam 1:24), here only in N.T.

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - But a doer that worketh But a doer that worketh ( alla poiētēs ergou ). "But a doer of work,"a doer marked by work (descriptive genitive ergou ), not by mere listening ...

But a doer that worketh ( alla poiētēs ergou ).

"But a doer of work,"a doer marked by work (descriptive genitive ergou ), not by mere listening or mere talk.

Robertson: Jam 1:25 - In his doing In his doing ( en tēi poiēsei autou ). Another beatitude with makarios as in Jam 1:12, like the Beatitudes in Mat 5:3-12. Poiēsis is an old...

In his doing ( en tēi poiēsei autou ).

Another beatitude with makarios as in Jam 1:12, like the Beatitudes in Mat 5:3-12. Poiēsis is an old word (from poieō for the act of doing), only here in N.T.

Robertson: Jam 1:26 - Thinketh himself to be religious Thinketh himself to be religious ( dokei thrēskos einai ). Condition of first class (ei̇dokei ). Thrēskos (of uncertain etymology, perhaps fr...

Thinketh himself to be religious ( dokei thrēskos einai ).

Condition of first class (ei̇dokei ). Thrēskos (of uncertain etymology, perhaps from threomai , to mutter forms of prayer) is predicate nominative after einai , agreeing with the subject of dokei (either "he seems"or "he thinks"). This source of self-deception is in saying and doing. The word thrēskos 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 (Matt 6:1-18). It is the Pharisaic element in Christian worship.

Robertson: Jam 1:26 - While he bridleth not his tongue While he bridleth not his tongue ( mē chalinagōgōn glōssan heautou ). "Not bridling his own tongue."A reference to Jam 1:19 and the metaphor ...

While he bridleth not his tongue ( mē chalinagōgōn glōssan heautou ).

"Not bridling his own tongue."A reference to Jam 1:19 and the metaphor is repeated in Jam 3:12. This is the earliest known example of the compound chalinagōgeō (chalinos , bridle ago , 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 (phimoō ) one’ s mouth (Mat 22:12 ephimōthē ).

Robertson: Jam 1:26 - Deceiveth Deceiveth ( apatōn ). Present active participle from apatē (deceit). He plays a trick on himself.

Deceiveth ( apatōn ).

Present active participle from apatē (deceit). He plays a trick on himself.

Robertson: Jam 1:26 - Religion Religion ( thrēskeia ). Later form of thrēskiē (Herodotus) from thrēskos above. It means religious worship in its external observances, r...

Religion ( thrēskeia ).

Later form of thrēskiē (Herodotus) from thrēskos 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 Act 26:5 of Judaism and in Col 2:18 of worshipping angels. It is vain (mataios , feminine form same as masculine) or empty. Comes to nothing.

Robertson: Jam 1:27 - Pure religion and undefiled Pure religion and undefiled ( thrēskeia kathara kai amiantos ). Numerous examples in papyri and inscriptions of thrēskeia for ritual and revere...

Pure religion and undefiled ( thrēskeia kathara kai amiantos ).

Numerous examples in papyri and inscriptions of thrēskeia 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.

Robertson: Jam 1:27 - Before our God and Father Before our God and Father ( para tōi theōi kai patri ). By the side of (para ) and so from God’ s standpoint (Mar 10:27). Amiantos (compo...

Before our God and Father ( para tōi theōi kai patri ).

By the side of (para ) and so from God’ s standpoint (Mar 10:27). Amiantos (compound verbal adjective, alpha privative, miainō to defile), puts in negative form (cf. Jam 1:4, Jam 1:6) the idea in kathara (pure, clean). This (hautē ). Feminine demonstrative pronoun in the predicate agreeing with thrēskeia .

Robertson: Jam 1:27 - To visit To visit ( episkeptesthai ). Epexegetic (explaining hautē ) present middle infinitive of episkeptomai , common verb to go to see, to inspect, pres...

To visit ( episkeptesthai ).

Epexegetic (explaining hautē ) present middle infinitive of episkeptomai , common verb to go to see, to inspect, present tense for habit of going to see. See Mat 25:36, Mat 25:43 for visiting the sick.

Robertson: Jam 1:27 - The fatherless and widows The fatherless and widows ( orphanous kai chēras ). "The natural objects of charity in the community"(Ropes). Orphanos is old word for bereft of ...

The fatherless and widows ( orphanous kai chēras ).

"The natural objects of charity in the community"(Ropes). Orphanos 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).

Robertson: Jam 1:27 - Unspotted Unspotted ( aspilon ). Old adjective (alpha privative and spilos , spot), spotless. This the more important of the two illustrations and the hardest ...

Unspotted ( aspilon ).

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

Robertson: Jam 1:27 - To keep To keep ( tērein ). Present active infinitive, "to keep on keeping oneself un-specked from the world"(a world, kosmos , full of dirt and slime that...

To keep ( tērein ).

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

Vincent: Jam 1:1 - Jesus Christ Jesus Christ Only here and in Jam 2:1; nowhere in the speeches of James (Act 15:14, Act 15:15; Act 21:20 sq.). Had he used Jesus' name it might h...

Jesus Christ

Only here and in Jam 2:1; nowhere in the speeches of James (Act 15:14, Act 15:15; Act 21:20 sq.). Had he used Jesus' name it might have been supposed to arise from vanity, because he was the Lord's brother. In all the addresses of epistles the full name, Jesus Christ, is given.

Vincent: Jam 1:1 - Servant Servant ( δοῦλος ) Properly, hired servant. Compare Phi 1:1; Jud 1:1.

Servant ( δοῦλος )

Properly, hired servant. Compare Phi 1:1; Jud 1:1.

Vincent: Jam 1:1 - That are scattered abroad That are scattered abroad ( ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ ) Lit., in the dispersion; on which see on 1Pe 1:1. Rev., which are of th...

That are scattered abroad ( ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ )

Lit., in the dispersion; on which see on 1Pe 1:1. Rev., which are of the dispersion.

Vincent: Jam 1:2 - All joy All joy ( πᾶσαν χαρὰν ) Joy follows up the rejoice of the greeting. The all has the sense of wholly. Count it a thing whol...

All joy ( πᾶσαν χαρὰν )

Joy follows up the rejoice of the greeting. The all has the sense of wholly. Count it a thing wholly joyful, without admixture of sorrow. Perhaps, as Bengel suggests, the all applies to all kinds of temptations.

Vincent: Jam 1:2 - When When ( ὅταν ) Lit., whenever: better, because it implies that temptation may be expected all along the Christian course.

When ( ὅταν )

Lit., whenever: better, because it implies that temptation may be expected all along the Christian course.

Vincent: Jam 1:2 - Ye fall into Ye fall into ( περιπέσητε ) The preposition περί , around, suggests falling into something which surrounds. Thus Thucydides,...

Ye fall into ( περιπέσητε )

The preposition περί , around, suggests falling into something which surrounds. Thus Thucydides, speaking of the plague at Athens, says, " The Athenians, having fallen into (περιπεσόντες ) such affliction, were pressed by it."

Vincent: Jam 1:2 - Divers Divers ( ποικίλοις ) Rev., manifold. See on 1Pe 1:6.

Divers ( ποικίλοις )

Rev., manifold. See on 1Pe 1:6.

Vincent: Jam 1:2 - Temptations Temptations ( πειρασμοῖς ) In the general sense of trials . See on Mat 6:13; and 1Pe 1:6.

Temptations ( πειρασμοῖς )

In the general sense of trials . See on Mat 6:13; and 1Pe 1:6.

Vincent: Jam 1:3 - Trying Trying ( δοκίμιον ) Rev., proof; but the American Revisers insist on proving, and rightly. See on 1Pe 1:7.

Trying ( δοκίμιον )

Rev., proof; but the American Revisers insist on proving, and rightly. See on 1Pe 1:7.

Vincent: Jam 1:3 - Worketh Worketh ( κατεργάζεται ) The compound verb with κατά , down through, indicates accomplishment. The proving will work succe...

Worketh ( κατεργάζεται )

The compound verb with κατά , down through, indicates accomplishment. The proving will work successfully and thoroughly. This harmonizes with a perfect work, Jam 1:4.

Vincent: Jam 1:3 - Patience Patience ( ὑπομονήν ) See on 2Pe 1:6, and Jam 5:7.

Patience ( ὑπομονήν )

See on 2Pe 1:6, and Jam 5:7.

Vincent: Jam 1:4 - Perfect work Perfect work ( ἔργον τέλειον ) " This is followed by a perfect man. The man himself is characterized from his condition and wor...

Perfect work ( ἔργον τέλειον )

" This is followed by a perfect man. The man himself is characterized from his condition and work" (Bengel). Work (ἔργον ) is the word with which κατεργάζεται , worketh, is compounded. It is the accomplished result of patience in moral purification and ennobling. Compare work of faith, 1Th 1:3.

Vincent: Jam 1:4 - Perfect and entire Perfect and entire ( τέλειοι καὶ ὁλόκληροι ) The two words express different shades of thought. Τέλειοι , per...

Perfect and entire ( τέλειοι καὶ ὁλόκληροι )

The two words express different shades of thought. Τέλειοι , perfect, from τέλος , fulfilment or completion ( perfect, from perfectus, per factus, made throughout ) , denotes that which, h has reached its maturity or fulfilled the end contemplated. Ολόκληροι , from ὅλος , entire, and κλῆρος , a lot or allotment; that which has all which properly belongs to it; its entire allotment, and is, therefore, intact in all its parts. Thus Peter (Act 3:16) says of the restored cripple, " faith has given him this perfect soundness (ὁλοκληρίαν ) . Compare the familiar phrase, an accomplished man. Note, also, James' repetition of the key-words of his discourse, rejoice, joy, patience, perfect.

Vincent: Jam 1:4 - Wanting nothing Wanting nothing ( ἐν μηδενὶ λειπόμενοι ) Rev., more literally, lacking in nothing. Note James' characteristic corrobora...

Wanting nothing ( ἐν μηδενὶ λειπόμενοι )

Rev., more literally, lacking in nothing. Note James' characteristic corroboration of a positive statement by a negative clause: entire, lacking in nothing ; God that giveth and upbraideth not; in faith, nothing doubting. The conditional negative μηδενὶ , nothing, is used, rather than the absolute negative οὐδενὶ , as implying nothing which may be supposed ; no possible thing.

Vincent: Jam 1:5 - But But Omitted in A. V. In pursuing this perfection you will find yourselves lacking in wisdom. One may say, " I know not how to become perfect;" ...

But

Omitted in A. V. In pursuing this perfection you will find yourselves lacking in wisdom. One may say, " I know not how to become perfect;" but, if any man, etc.

Vincent: Jam 1:5 - Lack Lack Note the repetition.

Lack

Note the repetition.

Vincent: Jam 1:5 - Of God that giveth Of God that giveth ( τοῦ διδόντος Θεοῦ ) The Greek puts it so that giving is emphasized as an attribute of God. Lit., " As...

Of God that giveth ( τοῦ διδόντος Θεοῦ )

The Greek puts it so that giving is emphasized as an attribute of God. Lit., " Ask of the giving God, " or of " God the giver."

Vincent: Jam 1:5 - Liberally Liberally ( ἁπλῶς ) Only here in New Testament. Literally the word means simply, and this accords with the following negative clause, ...

Liberally ( ἁπλῶς )

Only here in New Testament. Literally the word means simply, and this accords with the following negative clause, upbraiding not. It is pure, simple giving of good, without admixture of evil or bitterness. Compare Rom 12:8, where a kindred noun is used: " He that giveth let him do it with simplicity (ἐν ἁπλότητι )." Compare, also, Pro 10:22. Men often complicate and mar their giving with reproach, or by an assumption of superiority.

Vincent: Jam 1:6 - Doubting Doubting ( διακρινόμενος ) Compare Mat 21:21. Not equivalent to unbelief, but expressing the hesitation which balances between f...

Doubting ( διακρινόμενος )

Compare Mat 21:21. Not equivalent to unbelief, but expressing the hesitation which balances between faith and unbelief, and inclines toward the latter. This idea is brought out in the next sentence.

Vincent: Jam 1:6 - A wave A wave ( κλύδωνι ) Rev., surge. Only here and Luk 8:24; though the kindred verb occurs at Eph 4:14. The word is admirably chosen, as b...

A wave ( κλύδωνι )

Rev., surge. Only here and Luk 8:24; though the kindred verb occurs at Eph 4:14. The word is admirably chosen, as by a writer who lived near the sea and was familiar with its aspects. The general distinction between this and the more common κῦμα , wave, is that κλύδων describes the long ridges of water as they are propelled in horizontal lines over the vast surface of the sea; while κῦμα denotes the pointed masses which toss themselves up from these under the action of the wind. Hence the word κλύδων here is explained, and the picture completed by what follows: a billow or surge, driven by the wind in lines, and tossed into waves. Both here and in the passage in Luke the word is used in connection with the wind. It emphasizes the idea of extension, while the other word throws forward the idea of concentrating into a crest at a given point. Hence, in the figure, the emphasis falls on the tossing; not only moving before the impulse of the wind, but not even moving in regular lines; tossed into rising and falling peaks.

Vincent: Jam 1:6 - Driven by the wind Driven by the wind ( ἀνεμιζομένῳ ) Only here in New Testament.

Driven by the wind ( ἀνεμιζομένῳ )

Only here in New Testament.

Vincent: Jam 1:6 - Tossed Tossed ( ῥιπιζομένῳ ) Only here in New Testament. From ῥιπίς , a fan. Anyone who has watched the great ocean-swell thro...

Tossed ( ῥιπιζομένῳ )

Only here in New Testament. From ῥιπίς , a fan. Anyone who has watched the great ocean-swell throwing itself up into pointed waves, the tops of which are caught by the wind and fanned off into spray, will appreciate the vividness of the figure.

Vincent: Jam 1:7 - That man That man ( ἐκεῖνος ) Emphatic, and with a slightly contemptuous force.

That man ( ἐκεῖνος )

Emphatic, and with a slightly contemptuous force.

Vincent: Jam 1:7 - Anything Anything i.e. , which he asks for.

Anything

i.e. , which he asks for.

Vincent: Jam 1:8 - A double-minded man is unstable, etc A double-minded man is unstable, etc The A. V. puts this as an independent apophthegm, which is wrong. The sentence is a comment and enlargement ...

A double-minded man is unstable, etc

The A. V. puts this as an independent apophthegm, which is wrong. The sentence is a comment and enlargement upon that man. " Let not that man think," etc., " a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." So Rev.

Vincent: Jam 1:8 - Double-minded Double-minded ( δίψυχος ) Peculiar to James, here and Jam 4:8. Not deceitful, but dubious and undecided.

Double-minded ( δίψυχος )

Peculiar to James, here and Jam 4:8. Not deceitful, but dubious and undecided.

Vincent: Jam 1:8 - Unstable Unstable ( ἀκατάστατος ) Only here in New Testament. The kindred ἀκαταστασία , confusion, is found Jam 3:16, and e...

Unstable ( ἀκατάστατος )

Only here in New Testament. The kindred ἀκαταστασία , confusion, is found Jam 3:16, and elsewhere.

Vincent: Jam 1:9 - But But Omitted in A. V. Introducing a contrast with the double-minded.

But

Omitted in A. V. Introducing a contrast with the double-minded.

Vincent: Jam 1:9 - The brother of low degree The brother of low degree ( ὁ ἀδελφὸς ὁ ταπεινὸς ) Lit., the brother, the lowly one. Not in the higher Christian sen...

The brother of low degree ( ὁ ἀδελφὸς ὁ ταπεινὸς )

Lit., the brother, the lowly one. Not in the higher Christian sense of ταπεινὸς (see on Mat 11:29), but, rather, poor and afflicted , as contrasted with rich.

Vincent: Jam 1:9 - Rejoice Rejoice ( καυχάσθω ) Not strong enough. It is, rather, boast. So Rev., glory. Compare Rom 5:3; Phi 3:3.

Rejoice ( καυχάσθω )

Not strong enough. It is, rather, boast. So Rev., glory. Compare Rom 5:3; Phi 3:3.

Vincent: Jam 1:9 - In that he is exalted In that he is exalted ( ἐν τῷ ὕψει αὐτοῦ ) Lit., in his exaltation. Rev., in his high estate.

In that he is exalted ( ἐν τῷ ὕψει αὐτοῦ )

Lit., in his exaltation. Rev., in his high estate.

Vincent: Jam 1:10 - In that he is made low In that he is made low ( ἐν τῇ ταπεινώσει αὐτοῦ ) A form of expression similar to the preceding. Lit., in his...

In that he is made low ( ἐν τῇ ταπεινώσει αὐτοῦ )

A form of expression similar to the preceding. Lit., in his humiliation. Both the A. V. and Rev. preserve the kinship between ταπεινὸς and ταπεινώσει , by the word low.

Vincent: Jam 1:10 - Flower Flower ( ἄνθος ) Only here, Jam 1:11, and 1Pe 1:24.

Flower ( ἄνθος )

Only here, Jam 1:11, and 1Pe 1:24.

Vincent: Jam 1:11 - For the sun is no sooner risen For the sun is no sooner risen, etc. ( ἀνέτειλεν γὰρ ὁ ἥλιος ) By the use of the aorist tense James graphically t...

For the sun is no sooner risen, etc. ( ἀνέτειλεν γὰρ ὁ ἥλιος )

By the use of the aorist tense James graphically throws his illustration into the narrative form: " For the sun arose - and withered, " etc.

Vincent: Jam 1:11 - With a burning heat With a burning heat ( τῷ καύσωνι ) Rev., with the scorching wind. The article denotes something familiar; and the reference may ...

With a burning heat ( τῷ καύσωνι )

Rev., with the scorching wind. The article denotes something familiar; and the reference may be to the scorching east-wind (Job 1:19, Sept.; Eze 17:10), which withers vegetation. Some of the best authorities, however, prefer the rendering of the A. V.

Vincent: Jam 1:11 - Falleth Falleth ( ἐξέπεσεν ) Aorist tense. Lit., fell off.

Falleth ( ἐξέπεσεν )

Aorist tense. Lit., fell off.

Vincent: Jam 1:11 - The grace of the fashion The grace of the fashion ( εὐπρέπεια τοῦ προσώπου ) Lit., the beauty of its face or appearance. Εὐπρέπε...

The grace of the fashion ( εὐπρέπεια τοῦ προσώπου )

Lit., the beauty of its face or appearance. Εὐπρέπεια only here in New Testament.

Vincent: Jam 1:11 - Fade away Fade away ( μαρανθήσεται ) See on 1Pe 1:4.

Fade away ( μαρανθήσεται )

See on 1Pe 1:4.

Vincent: Jam 1:11 - Ways Ways ( πορείαις ) Rev., goings. Only here and Luk 13:22. His goings to and fro in acquiring riches.

Ways ( πορείαις )

Rev., goings. Only here and Luk 13:22. His goings to and fro in acquiring riches.

Vincent: Jam 1:12 - Is tried Is tried ( δόκιμος γενόμενος ) Lit., having become appro ved. See on trial, 1Pe 1:7. The meaning is not, as the A. V. sugg...

Is tried ( δόκιμος γενόμενος )

Lit., having become appro ved. See on trial, 1Pe 1:7. The meaning is not, as the A. V. suggests, when his trial is finished, but when he has been approved by trial. Rev., rightly, when he hath been approved.

Vincent: Jam 1:12 - The crown The crown ( στέφανον ) See on 1Pe 5:4.

The crown ( στέφανον )

See on 1Pe 5:4.

Vincent: Jam 1:12 - Of life Of life ( τῶς ζωῆς ) Lit., the life: the article pointing to the well-known eternal life. The figure is not that of the athlete's ...

Of life ( τῶς ζωῆς )

Lit., the life: the article pointing to the well-known eternal life. The figure is not that of the athlete's crown, for an image from the Grecian games, which the Jews despised, would be foreign to James' thought and displeasing to his readers. Rather the kingly crown, the proper word for which is διάδημα , diadem. In Psalms 20:3 (Sept.), στέφανος is used of the royal crown. In Zec 6:11, Zec 6:14, the reference seems to be to a priestly crown, forming part of the high-priest's mitre.

Vincent: Jam 1:13 - Of God Of God ( ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ) Lit., from God. Not by God, as the direct agent, but by agency proceeding from God. Compare Mat 4:1, where...

Of God ( ἀπὸ Θεοῦ )

Lit., from God. Not by God, as the direct agent, but by agency proceeding from God. Compare Mat 4:1, where the direct agency, " by the spirit," " by the devil," is expressed by ὑπό .

Vincent: Jam 1:13 - Cannot be tempted Cannot be tempted ( ἀπείραστος ἐστι ) Lit., is incapable of being tempted. But some of the best expositors render is u nv...

Cannot be tempted ( ἀπείραστος ἐστι )

Lit., is incapable of being tempted. But some of the best expositors render is u nversed in, evil things, as better according both with the usage of the word and with the context, since the question is not of God's being tempted, but of God's tempting. Rev. gives this in margin. Ἀπείραστος , only here in New Testament.

Vincent: Jam 1:13 - Neither tempteth he Neither tempteth he ( πειράζει δὲ αὐτὸς ) The A. V. fails to render αὐτὸς : " He himself tempteth no man." S...

Neither tempteth he ( πειράζει δὲ αὐτὸς )

The A. V. fails to render αὐτὸς : " He himself tempteth no man." So Rev.

Vincent: Jam 1:14 - Drawn away Drawn away ( ἐξελκόμενος ) Only here in New Testament. This and the following word are metaphors from hunting and fishing. Drawn ...

Drawn away ( ἐξελκόμενος )

Only here in New Testament. This and the following word are metaphors from hunting and fishing. Drawn away, as beasts are enticed from a safecovert into a place beset with snares. Note the present participle, as indicating the progress of the temptation: " is being drawn away."

Vincent: Jam 1:14 - Enticed Enticed ( δελεαζόμενος ) As a fish with bait. Also the present participle. See on 2Pe 2:14.

Enticed ( δελεαζόμενος )

As a fish with bait. Also the present participle. See on 2Pe 2:14.

Vincent: Jam 1:15 - The lust The lust Note the article, omitted in A. V. The peculiar lust of his own.

The lust

Note the article, omitted in A. V. The peculiar lust of his own.

Vincent: Jam 1:15 - Hath conceived Hath conceived ( συλλαβοῦσα ) Lit., having conceived.

Hath conceived ( συλλαβοῦσα )

Lit., having conceived.

Vincent: Jam 1:15 - Bringeth forth Bringeth forth ( τίκτει ) Metaphor of the mother. Rev., beareth.

Bringeth forth ( τίκτει )

Metaphor of the mother. Rev., beareth.

Vincent: Jam 1:15 - When it is finished When it is finished ( ἀποτελεσθεῖσα ) Better, Rev., when it is full grown. Not when the course of a sinful life is completed; ...

When it is finished ( ἀποτελεσθεῖσα )

Better, Rev., when it is full grown. Not when the course of a sinful life is completed; but when sin has reached its full development.

Vincent: Jam 1:15 - Bringeth forth Bringeth forth ( ἀποκύει ) A different verb from the preceding, bringeth forth. Rev. has rendered τίκτει , beareth, in orde...

Bringeth forth ( ἀποκύει )

A different verb from the preceding, bringeth forth. Rev. has rendered τίκτει , beareth, in order to avoid the repetition of bringeth forth. The verb is used by James only, here and at Jam 1:18. The image is interpreted in two ways. Either (1) Sin, figured as female, is already pregnant with death, and, when full grown, bringeth forth death (so Rev., and the majority of commentators). " The harlot, Lust, draws away and entices the man. The guilty union is committed by the will embracing the temptress: the consequence is that she beareth sin....Then the sin, that particular sin, when grown up, herself, as if all along pregnant with it, bringeth forth death" (Alford). Or (2) Sin, figured as male, when it has reached maturity, becomes the begetter of death. So the Vulgate, generat , and Wyc., gendereth. I am inclined to prefer this, since the other seems somewhat forced. It has the high endorsement of Bishop Lightfoot. There is a suggestive parallel passage in the " Agamemnon" of Aeschylus, 751-771:

" There is a saying old,

Uttered in ancient days,

That human bliss, full grown,

Genders, and dies not childless:

And, for the coming race,

Springs woe insatiate from prosperity.

But I alone

Cherish within my breast another thought.

The impious deed

Begets a numerous brood alike in kind;

While households ruled by right inflexible

Blossom with offspring fair. Insolence old

In men depraved begetteth insolence,

Which springs afresh from time to time

As comes the day of doom, and fresh creates

In Ate's dismal halls

Fierce wrath from light,

Unhallowed Daring, fiend invincible,

Unconquered, with its parents' likeness stamped."

The magnificent passage in Milton's " Paradise Lost," ii., 760-801, is elaborated from these verses of James.

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift The first words of this verse form a hexameter line, thus: Πᾶσα δό |σις ἀγα |θὴ καὶ | πᾶν δῶ |ρημα τ...

The first words of this verse form a hexameter line, thus:

Πᾶσα δό |σις ἀγα |θὴ καὶ | πᾶν δῶ |ρημα τέ |λειον .

Such verses, or parts of verses, occur occasionally in the New Testament. Sometimes they are quotations from the Greek poets; sometimes the writer's words unconsciously fall into metrical form. Poetical quotations are confined to Paul, Act 17:28; 1Co 15:33; Tit 1:12.

Every good gift and every perfect gift (see Greek above)

The statement that these gifts are from God is in pursuance of the idea that God does not tempt men to evil. The gifts of God are contrasted with the evil springing from man's lust. Two words are used for gifts. Δόσις occurs only here and Phi 4:15; there in an active sense; but here passive, as in Proverbs 21:14: (Sept.). Δῶρημα is found Rom 5:16. It enlarges slightly upon the other word in emphasizing the gift as free, large, full; an idea which is further developed in Jam 1:18, of hi s own will. The Rev., rather awkwardly, endeavors to bring out the distinction by the word boon, for which the American Revisers insist on retaining gift. Boon originally means a petition; favor being a secondary and later sense, as of something given in response to a petition. The word is of Scandinavian origin, and the meaning favor seems to indicate a confusion with the Latin bonus , good; French, bon .

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - Perfect Perfect Enlarges upon good, bringing out more distinctly the moral quality of the gift.

Perfect

Enlarges upon good, bringing out more distinctly the moral quality of the gift.

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - And cometh down And cometh down ( καταβαῖνον ) A present participle, to be construed with ἄνωθεν ἐστιν , is from above. Lit., is ...

And cometh down ( καταβαῖνον )

A present participle, to be construed with ἄνωθεν ἐστιν , is from above. Lit., is coming down, from above. As usual, this union of the participle with the finite verb denotes something habitual. Render, descendeth from above. Compare Jam 3:15.

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - Father of lights Father of lights ( τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων ) Lit., the lights, by which are meant the heavenly bodies. Compare Psalms 135...

Father of lights ( τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων )

Lit., the lights, by which are meant the heavenly bodies. Compare Psalms 135:7 (Sept.); and Jeremiah 4:23 (Sept.). God is called " the Father of the lights," as being their creator and maintainer. Compare Job 38:28; Psa 8:3; Amo 5:8.

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - Is Is no variableness ( ἔνι ) Abbreviated from ἔνεστι , is in. Stronger than the simple is , and denoting inherence or indwe...

Is no variableness ( ἔνι )

Abbreviated from ἔνεστι , is in. Stronger than the simple is , and denoting inherence or indwell ing. Rev., can be.

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - Variableness Variableness ( παραλλαγὴ ) Better, Rev., variation. The word is not used, as some suppose, in a technical, astronomical sense, which...

Variableness ( παραλλαγὴ )

Better, Rev., variation. The word is not used, as some suppose, in a technical, astronomical sense, which James' readers would not have understood, but in the simple sense of change in the degree or intensity of light, such as is manifested by the heavenly bodies. Compare Plato, " Republic," vii., 530: " Will he (the astronomer) not think that the heaven and the things in heaven are framed by the Creator in the most perfect manner? But when he reflects that the proportions of night and day, or of both, to the month, or of the month to the year, or of the other stars to these and to one another, are of the visible and material, he will never fall into the error of supposing that they are eternal and liable to no deviation (οὐδὲν παραλλάττειν ) - that would be monstrous."

Vincent: Jam 1:17 - Shadow of turning Shadow of turning ( τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα ) This is popularly understood to mean that there is in God not the faintest hint o...

Shadow of turning ( τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα )

This is popularly understood to mean that there is in God not the faintest hint or shade of change, like the phrase, a shadow of suspicion. But the Greek has no such idiom, and that is not James' meaning. Rev., rightly, renders, shadow that is cast by turning; referring still to the heavenly orbs, which cast shadows in their revolution, as when the moon turns her dark side to us, or the sun is eclipsed by the body of the moon.

Vincent: Jam 1:18 - Begat Begat ( ἀπεκύησεν ) Rev., brought forth. See on Jam 1:15, and compare 1Jo 3:9; 1Pe 1:23.

Begat ( ἀπεκύησεν )

Rev., brought forth. See on Jam 1:15, and compare 1Jo 3:9; 1Pe 1:23.

Vincent: Jam 1:18 - A kind of first-fruits A kind of first-fruits ( ἀπαρχήν τινα ) A kind of indicates the figurative nature of the term. Time figure is taken from the req...

A kind of first-fruits ( ἀπαρχήν τινα )

A kind of indicates the figurative nature of the term. Time figure is taken from the requirement of the Jewish law that the first-born of men and cattle, and the first growth of fruits and grain should be consecrated to the Lord. The point of the illustration is that Christians, like first-fruits, should be consecrated to God. The expression " first-fruits " is common in the New Testament. See Rom 8:23; Rom 16:5; 1Co 15:20, 1Co 15:23; Rev 14:4.

Vincent: Jam 1:19 - Wherefore Wherefore The A. V. follows the reading ὥστε . But the correct reading is ἴστε , ye know, and so Rev. Others render it as imper...

Wherefore

The A. V. follows the reading ὥστε . But the correct reading is ἴστε , ye know, and so Rev. Others render it as imperative, know ye, as calling attention to what follows.

Vincent: Jam 1:21 - Filthiness Filthiness ( ῥυπαρίαν ) Only here in New Testament, but James uses the kindred adjective (Jam 2:2), " vile raiment." Ῥύπο...

Filthiness ( ῥυπαρίαν )

Only here in New Testament, but James uses the kindred adjective (Jam 2:2), " vile raiment." Ῥύπος , filth, occurs in 1Pe 3:21 - on which see notes; and the verb ῥυπόω , to be filthy, is found in Rev 22:11.

Vincent: Jam 1:21 - Superfluity of naughtiness Superfluity of naughtiness ( περισσείαν κακίας ) A translation which may be commended to the attention of indiscriminate pane...

Superfluity of naughtiness ( περισσείαν κακίας )

A translation which may be commended to the attention of indiscriminate panegyrists of the A. V. Περισσεία is an unclassical word, and occurs in three other New-Testament passages - Rom 5:17; 2Co 8:2; 2Co 10:15. In all these it is rendered abundance, both by A. V. and Rev. There seems to be no need of departing from this meaning here, as Rev., overjoying. The sense is abounding or abundant wickedness. For haughtiness Rev. gives wickedness, as in 1Pe 2:1, 1Pe 2:16, where it changes malice to wickedness. It is mostly rendered malice in both A. V. and Rev. In this passage, as in the two from Peter, Rev. gives malice, in margin. Malice is an adequate translation, the word denoting a malevolent disposition toward one's neighbor. Hence it is not a general term for moral evil, but a special form of vice. Compare the wrath of man, Jam 1:20. Naughtiness has acquired a petty sense in popular usage, as of the mischievous pranks of children, which renders it out of the question here.

Vincent: Jam 1:21 - With meekness With meekness ( ἐν πραΰ́τητι ) Lit., " in meekness;" opposed to malice.

With meekness ( ἐν πραΰ́τητι )

Lit., " in meekness;" opposed to malice.

Vincent: Jam 1:21 - Engrafted Engrafted ( ἔμφυτον ) Only here in New Testament. Better, and more literally, as Rev., implanted. It marks a characteristic of the w...

Engrafted ( ἔμφυτον )

Only here in New Testament. Better, and more literally, as Rev., implanted. It marks a characteristic of the word of truth (Jam 1:18). It is implanted; divinely given, in contrast with something acquired by study. Compare Mat 13:19, " the word of the kingdom - sown in his heart." Grafted or graffed is expressed by a peculiar word, employed by Paul only, ἐγκεντρίζω , from κέντρον , a sharp point, thus emphasizing the fact of the incision required in grafting. See Rom 11:17, Rom 11:19, Rom 11:23, Rom 11:24.

Vincent: Jam 1:21 - Which is able to save Which is able to save ( τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι ) Compare Rom 1:16, " the power of God unto salvation. "

Which is able to save ( τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι )

Compare Rom 1:16, " the power of God unto salvation. "

Vincent: Jam 1:22 - Hearers Hearers ( ἀκροαταὶ ) Used by James only.

Hearers ( ἀκροαταὶ )

Used by James only.

Vincent: Jam 1:22 - Deceiving Deceiving ( παραλογιζόμενοι ) From παρά , beside, contrary to, and λογίζομαι , to reckon, and hence to concl...

Deceiving ( παραλογιζόμενοι )

From παρά , beside, contrary to, and λογίζομαι , to reckon, and hence to conclude by reasoning. The deception referred to is, therefore, that into which one betrays himself by false reasoning - reasoning beside the truth.

Vincent: Jam 1:23 - Beholding Beholding ( κατανοοῦντι ) With the notion of attentively considering (κατά , down into, or through; compare εἰς , i...

Beholding ( κατανοοῦντι )

With the notion of attentively considering (κατά , down into, or through; compare εἰς , into, Jam 1:25). Compare Luk 12:24, Luk 12:27; Heb 3:1. So that the contrast is not between a hasty look and a careful contemplation (Jam 1:25, looketh ) . It is not mere careless hearing of the word which James rebukes, but the neglect to carry into practice what is heard. One may be an attentive and critical hearer of the word, yet not a doer.

Vincent: Jam 1:23 - His natural face His natural face ( τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως ) Lit., the countenance of his birth; the face he was born with.

His natural face ( τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως )

Lit., the countenance of his birth; the face he was born with.

Vincent: Jam 1:23 - In a glass In a glass ( ἐν ἐσόπτρῳ ) Better, Rev., a mirror; a metallic mirror. The word occurs only here and 1Co 13:12.

In a glass ( ἐν ἐσόπτρῳ )

Better, Rev., a mirror; a metallic mirror. The word occurs only here and 1Co 13:12.

Vincent: Jam 1:24 - He beholdeth He beholdeth ( κατενόησεν ) The aorist tense, throwing the sentence into a lively, narrative form: he beheld himself and forgot....

He beholdeth ( κατενόησεν )

The aorist tense, throwing the sentence into a lively, narrative form: he beheld himself and forgot. Compare Jam 1:11.

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - Whoso looketh Whoso looketh ( ὁ παρακύψας ) Rev., more strictly, he that looketh. See on 1Pe 1:12. The verb is used of one who stoops sidewa...

Whoso looketh ( ὁ παρακύψας )

Rev., more strictly, he that looketh. See on 1Pe 1:12. The verb is used of one who stoops sideways (παρά ) to look attentively. The mirror is conceived as placed on a table or on the ground. Bengel quotes Wisdom of Sirach 14:23: " He that prieth in at her (Wisdom's) windows shall also hearken at her doors." Coleridge remarks: " A more happy or forcible word could not have been chosen to express the nature and ultimate object of reflection, and to enforce the necessity of it, in order to discover the living fountain and spring-head of the evidence of the Christian faith in the believer himself, and at the same time to point out the seat and region where alone it is to be found" (" Aphorisms" ).

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - Into Into ( εἰς ) Denoting the penetration of the look into the very essence of the law.

Into ( εἰς )

Denoting the penetration of the look into the very essence of the law.

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - The perfect law of liberty The perfect law of liberty ( νόμον τέλειον τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας ) Lit., the perfect law, the law of libert...

The perfect law of liberty ( νόμον τέλειον τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας )

Lit., the perfect law, the law of liberty. So Rev. The law of liberty is added as defining the perfect law.

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - Continueth therein Continueth therein Better, Rev., so continueth; i.e., continues looking.

Continueth therein

Better, Rev., so continueth; i.e., continues looking.

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - Forgetful hearer Forgetful hearer ( ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς ) The latter word only here in New Testament. Lit., a hearer of forgetfulness...

Forgetful hearer ( ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς )

The latter word only here in New Testament. Lit., a hearer of forgetfulness; whom forgetfulness characterizes. Rev., very happily, a hearer that forgetteth; a rendering which gives the proper sense of forgetfulness as a characteristic better than A. V., a forgetful hearer .

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - Doer of the work Doer of the work Lit., of work, as the noun has no article. Rev., a doer that worketh.

Doer of the work

Lit., of work, as the noun has no article. Rev., a doer that worketh.

Vincent: Jam 1:25 - In his deed In his deed ( ἐν τῇ ποιήσει αὐτοῦ ) More correctly, as Rev., in his doing. Only here in New Testament. The preposit...

In his deed ( ἐν τῇ ποιήσει αὐτοῦ )

More correctly, as Rev., in his doing. Only here in New Testament. The preposition ἐν (in) marks the inner connection between doing and blessedness. " The life of obedience is the element wherein the blessedness is found and consists" (Alford).

Vincent: Jam 1:26 - Seem to be Seem to be ( δοκεῖ ) Rev., correctly, thinketh himself to be. A man can scarcely seem to be religious, when, as Trench observes, " his...

Seem to be ( δοκεῖ )

Rev., correctly, thinketh himself to be. A man can scarcely seem to be religious, when, as Trench observes, " his religious pretensions are belied and refuted by the allowance of an unbridled tongue."

Vincent: Jam 1:26 - Religious Religious ( θρῆσκος ) Only here in New Testament, and nowhere in classical Greek. The kindred noun θρησκεία , religion, occur...

Religious ( θρῆσκος )

Only here in New Testament, and nowhere in classical Greek. The kindred noun θρησκεία , religion, occurs Act 26:5; Col 2:18; Jam 1:26, Jam 1:27; and means the ceremonial service of religion. Herodotus (ii., 37) uses it of various observances practised by the Egyptian priests, such as wearing linen, circumcision, shaving, etc. The derivation is uncertain. Θρέομαι , to mutter forms of prayer, has been suggested, as the followers of Wycliffe were called Lollards, from the old Dutch lullen or lollen , to sing. Hence the adjective here refers to a zealous and diligent performance of religious services.

Vincent: Jam 1:26 - Bridleth Bridleth ( χαλιναγωγῶν ) Used by James only. See Jam 3:2. Lit., to guide with a bridle. So Plato, " Laws," 701: " I think that th...

Bridleth ( χαλιναγωγῶν )

Used by James only. See Jam 3:2. Lit., to guide with a bridle. So Plato, " Laws," 701: " I think that the argument ought to be pulled up from time to time, and not to be allowed to run away, but held with bit and bridle."

Vincent: Jam 1:27 - Undefiled Undefiled ( ἀμίαντος ) See on 1Pe 1:4. The two adjectives , pure and undefiled, present the positive and negative sides of purity.

Undefiled ( ἀμίαντος )

See on 1Pe 1:4. The two adjectives , pure and undefiled, present the positive and negative sides of purity.

Vincent: Jam 1:27 - To visit To visit ( ἐπισκέπτεσθαι ) See on Mat 25:36. James strikes a downright blow here at ministry by proxy, or by mere gifts of money...

To visit ( ἐπισκέπτεσθαι )

See on Mat 25:36. James strikes a downright blow here at ministry by proxy, or by mere gifts of money. Pure and undefiled religion demands personal contact with the world's sorrow: to visit the afflicted, and to visit them in their affliction. " The rich man, prodigal of money, which is to him of little value, but altogether incapable of devoting any personal attention to the object of his alms, often injures society by his donations; but this is rarely the case with that far nobler charity which makes men familiar with the haunts of wretchedness, and follows the object of its care through all the phases of his life" (Lecky, " History of European Morals," ii., 98).

Vincent: Jam 1:27 - To keep To keep ( τηρεῖν ) See on 1Pe 1:4.

To keep ( τηρεῖν )

See on 1Pe 1:4.

Vincent: Jam 1:27 - Unspotted Unspotted ( ἄσπιλον ) See on 1Pe 1:19.

Unspotted ( ἄσπιλον )

See on 1Pe 1:19.

Wesley: Jam 1:1 - A servant of Jesus Christ Whose name the apostle mentions but once more in the whole epistle, Jam 2:1. And not at all in his whole discourse, Act 15:14, &c.; or Act 21:20-25. I...

Whose name the apostle mentions but once more in the whole epistle, Jam 2:1. And not at all in his whole discourse, Act 15:14, &c.; or Act 21:20-25. It might have seemed, if he mentioned him often, that he did it out of vanity, as being the brother of the Lord.

Wesley: Jam 1:1 - To the twelve tribes Of Israel; that is, those of them that believe.

Of Israel; that is, those of them that believe.

Wesley: Jam 1:1 - Which are scattered abroad In various countries. Ten of the tribes were scattered ever since the reign of Hosea; and great part of the rest were now dispersed through the Roman ...

In various countries. Ten of the tribes were scattered ever since the reign of Hosea; and great part of the rest were now dispersed through the Roman empire: as was foretold, Deu 28:25, &c., Deu 30:4.

Wesley: Jam 1:1 - Greeting That is, all blessings, temporal and eternal.

That is, all blessings, temporal and eternal.

Wesley: Jam 1:2 - My brethren, count it all joy Which is the highest degree of patience, and contains all the rest.

Which is the highest degree of patience, and contains all the rest.

Wesley: Jam 1:2 - When ye fall into divers temptations That is, trials.

That is, trials.

Wesley: Jam 1:4 - Let patience have its perfect work Give it full scope, under whatever trials befal you.

Give it full scope, under whatever trials befal you.

Wesley: Jam 1:4 - That ye may be perfect and entire Adorned with every Christian grace.

Adorned with every Christian grace.

Wesley: Jam 1:4 - And wanting nothing Which God requires in you.

Which God requires in you.

Wesley: Jam 1:5 - If any want The connexion between the first and following verses, both here and in the fourth chapter, will be easily discerned by him who reads them, while he is...

The connexion between the first and following verses, both here and in the fourth chapter, will be easily discerned by him who reads them, while he is suffering wrongfully. He will then readily perceive, why the apostle mentions all those various affections of the mind.

Wesley: Jam 1:5 - Wisdom To understand, whence and why temptations come, and how they are to be improved. Patience is in every pious man already. Let him exercise this, and as...

To understand, whence and why temptations come, and how they are to be improved. Patience is in every pious man already. Let him exercise this, and ask for wisdom. The sum of wisdom, both in the temptation of poverty and of riches, is described in Jam 1:9-10.

Wesley: Jam 1:5 - Who giveth to all That ask aright.

That ask aright.

Wesley: Jam 1:5 - And upbraideth not Either with their past wickedness, or present unworthiness.

Either with their past wickedness, or present unworthiness.

Wesley: Jam 1:6 - But let him ask in faith A firm confidence in God. St. James also both begins and ends with faith, Jam 5:15; the hinderances of which he removes in the middle part of his epis...

A firm confidence in God. St. James also both begins and ends with faith, Jam 5:15; the hinderances of which he removes in the middle part of his epistle.

Wesley: Jam 1:6 - He that doubteth is like a wave of the sea Yea, such are all who have not asked and obtained wisdom.

Yea, such are all who have not asked and obtained wisdom.

Wesley: Jam 1:6 - Driven with the wind From without.

From without.

Wesley: Jam 1:6 - And tossed From within, by his own unstableness.

From within, by his own unstableness.

Wesley: Jam 1:8 - A doubleminded man Who has, as it were, two souls; whose heart is not simply given up to God.

Who has, as it were, two souls; whose heart is not simply given up to God.

Wesley: Jam 1:8 - Is unstable Being without the true wisdom; perpetually disagrees both with himself and others, Jam 3:16.

Being without the true wisdom; perpetually disagrees both with himself and others, Jam 3:16.

Wesley: Jam 1:9 - Let the brother St James does not give this appellation to the rich.

St James does not give this appellation to the rich.

Wesley: Jam 1:9 - Of low degree Poor and tempted.

Poor and tempted.

Wesley: Jam 1:9 - Rejoice The most effectual remedy against doublemindedness.

The most effectual remedy against doublemindedness.

Wesley: Jam 1:9 - In that he is exalted To be a child of God, and an heir of glory.

To be a child of God, and an heir of glory.

Wesley: Jam 1:10 - But the rich, in that he is made low Is humbled by a deep sense of his true condition.

Is humbled by a deep sense of his true condition.

Wesley: Jam 1:10 - Because as the flower Beautiful, but transient.

Beautiful, but transient.

Wesley: Jam 1:10 - He shall pass away Into eternity.

Into eternity.

Wesley: Jam 1:11 - For the sun arose and withered the grass There is an unspeakable beauty and elegance, both in the comparison itself, and in the very manner of expressing it, intimating both the certainty and...

There is an unspeakable beauty and elegance, both in the comparison itself, and in the very manner of expressing it, intimating both the certainty and the suddenness of the event.

Wesley: Jam 1:11 - So shall the rich fade away in his ways In the midst of his various pleasures and employments.

In the midst of his various pleasures and employments.

Wesley: Jam 1:12 - Happy is the man that endureth temptation Trials of various kinds.

Trials of various kinds.

Wesley: Jam 1:12 - He shall receive the crown That fadeth not away.

That fadeth not away.

Wesley: Jam 1:12 - Which the Lord hath promised to them that love him And his enduring proves his love. For it is love only that "endureth all things."

And his enduring proves his love. For it is love only that "endureth all things."

Wesley: Jam 1:13 - But let no man who is tempted To sin. Say, I am tempted of God - God thus tempteth no man.

To sin. Say, I am tempted of God - God thus tempteth no man.

Wesley: Jam 1:14 - Every man is tempted, when In the beginning of the temptation.

In the beginning of the temptation.

Wesley: Jam 1:14 - He is drawn away Drawn out of God, his strong refuge.

Drawn out of God, his strong refuge.

Wesley: Jam 1:14 - By his own desire We are therefore to look for the cause of every sin, in, not out of ourselves. Even the injections of the devil cannot hurt before we make them our ow...

We are therefore to look for the cause of every sin, in, not out of ourselves. Even the injections of the devil cannot hurt before we make them our own. And every one has desires arising from his own constitution, tempers, habits, and way of life.

Wesley: Jam 1:14 - And enticed In the progress of the temptation, catching at the bait: so the original word signifies.

In the progress of the temptation, catching at the bait: so the original word signifies.

Wesley: Jam 1:15 - Then desire having conceived By our own will joining therewith.

By our own will joining therewith.

Wesley: Jam 1:15 - Bringeth forth actual sin It doth not follow that the desire itself is not sin. He that begets a man is himself a man.

It doth not follow that the desire itself is not sin. He that begets a man is himself a man.

Wesley: Jam 1:15 - And sin being perfected Grown up to maturity, which it quickly does.

Grown up to maturity, which it quickly does.

Wesley: Jam 1:15 - Bringeth forth death Sin is born big with death.

Sin is born big with death.

Wesley: Jam 1:16 - Do not err It is a grievous error to ascribe the evil and not the good which we receive to God.

It is a grievous error to ascribe the evil and not the good which we receive to God.

Wesley: Jam 1:17 - No evil, but every good gift Whatever tends to holiness.

Whatever tends to holiness.

Wesley: Jam 1:17 - And every perfect gift Whatever tends to glory.

Whatever tends to glory.

Wesley: Jam 1:17 - Descendeth from the Father of lights The appellation of Father is here used with peculiar propriety. It follows, "he begat us." He is the Father of all light, material or spiritual, in th...

The appellation of Father is here used with peculiar propriety. It follows, "he begat us." He is the Father of all light, material or spiritual, in the kingdom of grace and of glory.

Wesley: Jam 1:17 - With whom is no variableness No change in his understanding.

No change in his understanding.

Wesley: Jam 1:17 - Or shadow of turning in his will. He infallibly discerns all good and evil; and invariably loves one, and hates the other. There is, in both the Greek words, a metaphor ta...

in his will. He infallibly discerns all good and evil; and invariably loves one, and hates the other. There is, in both the Greek words, a metaphor taken from the stars, particularly proper where the Father of lights is mentioned. Both are applicable to any celestial body, which has a daily vicissitude of day and night, and sometimes longer days, sometimes longer nights. In God is nothing of this kind. He is mere light. If there Is any such vicissitude, it is in ourselves, not in him.

Wesley: Jam 1:18 - Of his own will Most loving, most free, most pure, just opposite to our evil desire, Jam 1:15.

Most loving, most free, most pure, just opposite to our evil desire, Jam 1:15.

Wesley: Jam 1:18 - Begat he us Who believe.

Who believe.

Wesley: Jam 1:18 - By the word of truth The true word, emphatically so termed; the gospel.

The true word, emphatically so termed; the gospel.

Wesley: Jam 1:18 - That we might be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures Christians are the chief and most excellent of his visible creatures; and sanctify the rest. Yet he says,

Christians are the chief and most excellent of his visible creatures; and sanctify the rest. Yet he says,

Wesley: Jam 1:18 - A kind of For Christ alone is absolutely the first-fruits.

For Christ alone is absolutely the first-fruits.

Wesley: Jam 1:19 - Let every man be swift to hear This is treated of from Jam 1:21 to the end of the next chapter.

This is treated of from Jam 1:21 to the end of the next chapter.

Wesley: Jam 1:19 - Slow to speak Which is treated of in he third chapter.

Which is treated of in he third chapter.

Wesley: Jam 1:19 - Slow to wrath Neither murmuring at God, nor angry at his neighbour. This is treated of in the third, and throughout the fourth and fifth chapters.

Neither murmuring at God, nor angry at his neighbour. This is treated of in the third, and throughout the fourth and fifth chapters.

Wesley: Jam 1:20 - -- The righteousness of God here includes all duties prescribed by him, and pleasing to him.

The righteousness of God here includes all duties prescribed by him, and pleasing to him.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - Therefore laying aside As a dirty garment.

As a dirty garment.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - All the filthiness and superfluity of wickedness For however specious or necessary it may appear to worldly wisdom, all wickedness is both vile, hateful, contemptible, and really superfluous. Every r...

For however specious or necessary it may appear to worldly wisdom, all wickedness is both vile, hateful, contemptible, and really superfluous. Every reasonable end may be effectually answered without any kind or degree of it. Lay this, every known sin, aside, or all your hearing is vain.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - With meekness Constant evenness and serenity of mind.

Constant evenness and serenity of mind.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - Receive Into your ears, your heart, your life.

Into your ears, your heart, your life.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - The word Of the gospel.

Of the gospel.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - Ingrafted In believers, by regeneration, Jam 1:18 and by habit, Heb 5:14.

In believers, by regeneration, Jam 1:18 and by habit, Heb 5:14.

Wesley: Jam 1:21 - Which is able to save your souls The hope of salvation nourishes meekness.

The hope of salvation nourishes meekness.

Wesley: Jam 1:23 - Beholding his face in a glass How exactly does the scripture glass show a man the face of his soul!

How exactly does the scripture glass show a man the face of his soul!

Wesley: Jam 1:24 - He beheld himself, and went away To other business.

To other business.

Wesley: Jam 1:24 - And forgot But such forgetting does not excuse.

But such forgetting does not excuse.

Wesley: Jam 1:25 - But he that looketh diligently Not with a transient glance, but bending down, fixing his eyes, and searching all to the bottom.

Not with a transient glance, but bending down, fixing his eyes, and searching all to the bottom.

Wesley: Jam 1:25 - Into the perfect law Of love as established by faith. St. James here guards us against misunderstanding what St. Paul says concerning the "yoke and bondage of the law." He...

Of love as established by faith. St. James here guards us against misunderstanding what St. Paul says concerning the "yoke and bondage of the law." He who keeps the law of love is free, Joh 8:31, &c. He that does not, is not free, but a slave to sin, and a criminal before God, Jam 2:10.

Wesley: Jam 1:25 - And continueth therein Not like him who forgot it, and went away.

Not like him who forgot it, and went away.

Wesley: Jam 1:25 - This man There is a peculiar force in the repetition of the word.

There is a peculiar force in the repetition of the word.

Wesley: Jam 1:25 - Shall be happy Not barely in hearing, but doing the will of God.

Not barely in hearing, but doing the will of God.

Wesley: Jam 1:26 - If any one be ever so religious Exact in the outward offices of religion.

Exact in the outward offices of religion.

Wesley: Jam 1:26 - And bridleth not his tongue From backbiting, talebearing, evilspeaking, he only deceiveth his own heart, if he fancies he has any true religion at all.

From backbiting, talebearing, evilspeaking, he only deceiveth his own heart, if he fancies he has any true religion at all.

Wesley: Jam 1:27 - The only true religion in the sight of God, is this, to visit With counsel, comfort, and relief.

With counsel, comfort, and relief.

Wesley: Jam 1:27 - The fatherless and widows Those who need it most.

Those who need it most.

Wesley: Jam 1:27 - In their affliction In their most helpless and hopeless state.

In their most helpless and hopeless state.

Wesley: Jam 1:27 - And to keep himself unspotted from the world From the maxims, tempers, and customs of it. But this cannot be done, till we have given our hearts to God, and love our neighbour as ourselves.

From the maxims, tempers, and customs of it. But this cannot be done, till we have given our hearts to God, and love our neighbour as ourselves.

JFB: Jam 1:1 - James An apostle of the circumcision, with Peter and John, James in Jerusalem, Palestine, and Syria; Peter in Babylon and the East; John in Ephesus and Asia...

An apostle of the circumcision, with Peter and John, James in Jerusalem, Palestine, and Syria; Peter in Babylon and the East; John in Ephesus and Asia Minor. Peter addresses the dispersed Jews of Pontus, Galatia, and Cappadocia; James, the Israelites of the twelve tribes scattered abroad.

JFB: Jam 1:1 - servant of God Not that he was not an apostle; for Paul, an apostle, also calls himself so; but as addressing the Israelites generally, including even indirectly the...

Not that he was not an apostle; for Paul, an apostle, also calls himself so; but as addressing the Israelites generally, including even indirectly the unbelieving, he in humility omits the title "apostle"; so Paul in writing to the Hebrews; similarly Jude, an apostle, in his General Epistle.

JFB: Jam 1:1 - Jesus Christ Not mentioned again save in Jam 2:1; not at all in his speeches (Act 15:14-15; Act 21:20-21), lest his introducing the name of Jesus oftener should se...

Not mentioned again save in Jam 2:1; not at all in his speeches (Act 15:14-15; Act 21:20-21), lest his introducing the name of Jesus oftener should seem to arise from vanity, as being "the Lord's brother" [BENGEL]. His teaching being practical, rather than doctrinal, required less frequent mention of Christ's name.

JFB: Jam 1:1 - scattered abroad Literally "which are in the dispersion." The dispersion of the Israelites, and their connection with Jerusalem as a center of religion, was a divinely...

Literally "which are in the dispersion." The dispersion of the Israelites, and their connection with Jerusalem as a center of religion, was a divinely ordered means of propagating Christianity. The pilgrim troops of the law became caravans of the Gospel [WORDSWORTH].

JFB: Jam 1:1 - greeting Found in no other Christian letter, but in James and the Jerusalem Synod's Epistle to the Gentile churches; an undesigned coincidence and mark or genu...

Found in no other Christian letter, but in James and the Jerusalem Synod's Epistle to the Gentile churches; an undesigned coincidence and mark or genuineness. In the original Greek (chairein) for "greeting," there is a connection with the "joy" to which they are exhorted amidst their existing distresses from poverty and consequent oppression. Compare Rom 15:26, which alludes to their poverty.

JFB: Jam 1:2 - My brethren A phrase often found in James, marking community of nation and of faith.

A phrase often found in James, marking community of nation and of faith.

JFB: Jam 1:2 - all joy Cause for the highest joy [GROTIUS]. Nothing but joy [PISCATOR]. Count all "divers temptations" to be each matter of joy [BENGEL].

Cause for the highest joy [GROTIUS]. Nothing but joy [PISCATOR]. Count all "divers temptations" to be each matter of joy [BENGEL].

JFB: Jam 1:2 - fall into Unexpectedly, so as to be encompassed by them (so the original Greek).

Unexpectedly, so as to be encompassed by them (so the original Greek).

JFB: Jam 1:2 - temptations Not in the limited sense of allurements to sin, but trials or distresses of any kind which test and purify the Christian character. Compare "tempt," t...

Not in the limited sense of allurements to sin, but trials or distresses of any kind which test and purify the Christian character. Compare "tempt," that is, try, Gen 22:1. Some of those to whom James writes were "sick," or otherwise "afflicted" (Jam 5:13). Every possible trial to the child of God is a masterpiece of strategy of the Captain of his salvation for his good.

JFB: Jam 1:3 - the trying The testing or proving of your faith, namely, by "divers temptations." Compare Rom 5:3, tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience (in the ...

The testing or proving of your faith, namely, by "divers temptations." Compare Rom 5:3, tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience (in the original dokime, akin to dokimion, "trying," here; there it is experience: here the "trying" or testing, whence experience flows).

JFB: Jam 1:3 - patience The original implies more; persevering endurance and continuance (compare Luk 8:15).

The original implies more; persevering endurance and continuance (compare Luk 8:15).

JFB: Jam 1:4 - -- Let endurance have a perfect work (taken out of the previous "worketh patience" or endurance), that is, have its full effect, by showing the most perf...

Let endurance have a perfect work (taken out of the previous "worketh patience" or endurance), that is, have its full effect, by showing the most perfect degree of endurance, namely, "joy in bearing the cross" [MENOCHIUS], and enduring to the end (Mat 10:22) [CALVIN].

JFB: Jam 1:4 - ye may be perfect Fully developed in all the attributes of a Christian character. For this there is required "joy" [BENGEL], as part of the "perfect work" of probation....

Fully developed in all the attributes of a Christian character. For this there is required "joy" [BENGEL], as part of the "perfect work" of probation. The work of God in a man is the man. If God's teachings by patience have had a perfect work in you, you are perfect [ALFORD].

JFB: Jam 1:4 - entire That which has all its parts complete, wanting no integral part; 1Th 5:23, "your whole (literally, 'entire') spirit, soul, and body"; as "perfect" imp...

That which has all its parts complete, wanting no integral part; 1Th 5:23, "your whole (literally, 'entire') spirit, soul, and body"; as "perfect" implies without a blemish in its parts.

JFB: Jam 1:5 - -- English Version omits "But," which the Greek has, and which is important. "But (as this perfect entireness wanting nothing is no easy attainment) if a...

English Version omits "But," which the Greek has, and which is important. "But (as this perfect entireness wanting nothing is no easy attainment) if any," &c.

JFB: Jam 1:5 - lack Rather, as the Greek word is repeated after James's manner, from Jam 1:4, "wanting nothing," translate, "If any of you want wisdom," namely, the wisdo...

Rather, as the Greek word is repeated after James's manner, from Jam 1:4, "wanting nothing," translate, "If any of you want wisdom," namely, the wisdom whereby ye may "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations," and "let patience have her perfect work." This "wisdom" is shown in its effects in detail, Jam 3:7. The highest wisdom, which governs patience alike in poverty and riches, is described in Jam 1:9-10.

JFB: Jam 1:5 - ask (Jam 4:2).

(Jam 4:2).

JFB: Jam 1:5 - liberally So the Greek is rendered by English Version. It is rendered with simplicity, Rom 12:8. God gives without adding aught which may take off from the grac...

So the Greek is rendered by English Version. It is rendered with simplicity, Rom 12:8. God gives without adding aught which may take off from the graciousness of the gift [ALFORD]. God requires the same "simplicity" in His children ("eye . . . single," Mat 6:22, literally, "simple").

JFB: Jam 1:5 - upbraideth not An illustration of God's giving simply. He gives to the humble suppliant without upbraiding him with his past sin and ingratitude, or his future abuse...

An illustration of God's giving simply. He gives to the humble suppliant without upbraiding him with his past sin and ingratitude, or his future abuse of God's goodness. The Jews pray, "Let me not have need of the gifts of men, whose gifts are few, but their upbraidings manifold; but give me out of Thy large and full hand." Compare Solomon's prayer for "wisdom," and God's gift above what he asked, though God foresaw his future abuse of His goodness would deserve very differently. James has before his eye the Sermon on the Mount (see my Introduction). God hears every true prayer and grants either the thing asked, or else something better than it; as a good physician consults for his patient's good better by denying something which the latter asks not for his good, than by conceding a temporary gratification to his hurt.

JFB: Jam 1:6 - ask in faith That is, the persuasion that God can and will give. James begins and ends with faith. In the middle of the Epistle he removes the hindrances to faith ...

That is, the persuasion that God can and will give. James begins and ends with faith. In the middle of the Epistle he removes the hindrances to faith and shows its true character [BENGEL].

JFB: Jam 1:6 - wavering Between belief and unbelief. Compare the case of the Israelites, who seemed to partly believe in God's power, but leaned more to unbelief by "limiting...

Between belief and unbelief. Compare the case of the Israelites, who seemed to partly believe in God's power, but leaned more to unbelief by "limiting" it. On the other hand, compare Act 10:20; Rom 4:20 ("staggered not . . . through unbelief," literally, as here, "wavered not"); 1Ti 2:8.

JFB: Jam 1:6 - like a wave of the sea Isa 57:20; Eph 4:14, where the same Greek word occurs for "tossed to and fro," as is here translated, "driven with the wind."

Isa 57:20; Eph 4:14, where the same Greek word occurs for "tossed to and fro," as is here translated, "driven with the wind."

JFB: Jam 1:6 - driven with the wind From without.

From without.

JFB: Jam 1:6 - tossed From within, by its own instability [BENGEL]. At one time cast on the shore of faith and hope, at another rolled back into the abyss of unbelief; at o...

From within, by its own instability [BENGEL]. At one time cast on the shore of faith and hope, at another rolled back into the abyss of unbelief; at one time raised to the height of worldly pride, at another tossed in the sands of despair and affliction [WIESINGER].

JFB: Jam 1:7 - For Resumed from "For" in Jam 1:6.

Resumed from "For" in Jam 1:6.

JFB: Jam 1:7 - that man Such a wavering self-deceiver.

Such a wavering self-deceiver.

JFB: Jam 1:7 - think Real faith is something more than a mere thinking or surmise.

Real faith is something more than a mere thinking or surmise.

JFB: Jam 1:7 - anything Namely, of the things that he prays for: he does receive many things from God, food, raiment, &c., but these are the general gifts of His providence: ...

Namely, of the things that he prays for: he does receive many things from God, food, raiment, &c., but these are the general gifts of His providence: of the things specially granted in answer to prayer, the waverer shall not receive "anything," much less wisdom.

JFB: Jam 1:8 - double-minded Literally, "double-souled," the one soul directed towards God, the other to something else. The Greek favors ALFORD'S translation, "He (the waverer, J...

Literally, "double-souled," the one soul directed towards God, the other to something else. The Greek favors ALFORD'S translation, "He (the waverer, Jam 1:6) is a man double-minded, unstable," &c.; or better, BEZA'S. The words in this Jam 1:8 are in apposition with "that man," Jam 1:7; thus the "us," which is not in the original, will not need to be supplied, "A man double-minded, unstable in all his ways!" The word for "double-minded" is found here and in Jam 4:8, for the first time in Greek literature. It is not a hypocrite that is meant, but a fickle, "wavering" man, as the context shows. It is opposed to the single eye (Mat 6:22).

JFB: Jam 1:9-10 - -- Translate, "But let the brother," &c. that is, the best remedy against double-mindedness is that Christian simplicity of spirit whereby the "brother,"...

Translate, "But let the brother," &c. that is, the best remedy against double-mindedness is that Christian simplicity of spirit whereby the "brother," low in outward circumstances, may "rejoice" (answering to Jam 1:2) "in that he is exalted," namely, by being accounted a son and heir of God, his very sufferings being a pledge of his coming glory and crown (Jam 1:12), and the rich may rejoice "in that he is made low," by being stripped of his goods for Christ's sake [MENOCHIUS]; or in that he is made, by sanctified trials, lowly in spirit, which is true matter for rejoicing [GOMARUS]. The design of the Epistle is to reduce all things to an equable footing (Jam 2:1; Jam 5:13). The "low," rather than the "rich," is here called "the brother" [BENGEL].

JFB: Jam 1:10 - -- So far as one is merely "rich" in worldly goods, "he shall pass away"; in so far as his predominant character is that of a "brother," he "abideth for ...

So far as one is merely "rich" in worldly goods, "he shall pass away"; in so far as his predominant character is that of a "brother," he "abideth for ever" (1Jo 2:17). This view meets all ALFORD'S objections to regarding "the rich" here as a "brother" at all. To avoid making the rich a brother, he translates, "But the rich glories in his humiliation," namely, in that which is really his debasement (his rich state, Phi 3:19), just as the low is told to rejoice in what is really his exaltation (his lowly state).

JFB: Jam 1:11 - -- Taken from Isa 40:6-8.

Taken from Isa 40:6-8.

JFB: Jam 1:11 - heat Rather, "the hot wind" from the (east or) south, which scorches vegetation (Luk 12:55). The "burning heat" of the sun is not at its rising, but rather...

Rather, "the hot wind" from the (east or) south, which scorches vegetation (Luk 12:55). The "burning heat" of the sun is not at its rising, but rather at noon; whereas the scorching Kadim wind is often at sunrise (Jon 4:8) [MIDDLETON, The Doctrine of the Greek Article]. Mat 20:12 uses the Greek word for "heat." Isa 40:7, "bloweth upon it," seems to answer to "the hot wind" here.

JFB: Jam 1:11 - grace of the fashion That is of the external appearance.

That is of the external appearance.

JFB: Jam 1:11 - in his ways Referring to the burdensome extent of the rich man's devices [BENGEL]. Compare "his ways," that is, his course of life, Jam 1:8.

Referring to the burdensome extent of the rich man's devices [BENGEL]. Compare "his ways," that is, his course of life, Jam 1:8.

JFB: Jam 1:12 - Blessed Compare the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5:4, Mat 5:10-11).

Compare the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5:4, Mat 5:10-11).

JFB: Jam 1:12 - endureth temptation Not the "falling into divers temptations" (Jam 1:2) is the matter for "joy," but the enduring of temptation "unto the end." Compare Job 5:17.

Not the "falling into divers temptations" (Jam 1:2) is the matter for "joy," but the enduring of temptation "unto the end." Compare Job 5:17.

JFB: Jam 1:12 - when he is tried Literally, "when he has become tested" or "approved," when he has passed through the "trying" (Jam 1:3), his "faith" having finally gained the victory...

Literally, "when he has become tested" or "approved," when he has passed through the "trying" (Jam 1:3), his "faith" having finally gained the victory.

JFB: Jam 1:12 - the crown Not in allusion to the crown or garland given to winners in the games; for this, though a natural allusion for Paul in writing to the heathen, among w...

Not in allusion to the crown or garland given to winners in the games; for this, though a natural allusion for Paul in writing to the heathen, among whom such games existed, would be less appropriate for James in addressing the Jewish Christians, who regarded Gentile usages with aversion.

JFB: Jam 1:12 - of life "life" constitutes the crown, literally, the life, the only true life, the highest and eternal life. The crown implies a kingdom (Psa 21:3).

"life" constitutes the crown, literally, the life, the only true life, the highest and eternal life. The crown implies a kingdom (Psa 21:3).

JFB: Jam 1:12 - the Lord Not found in the best manuscripts and versions. The believer's heart fills up the omission, without the name needing to be mentioned. The "faithful On...

Not found in the best manuscripts and versions. The believer's heart fills up the omission, without the name needing to be mentioned. The "faithful One who promised" (Heb 10:23).

JFB: Jam 1:12 - to them that love him In 2Ti 4:8, "the crown of righteousness to them that love His appearing." Love produces patient endurance: none attest their love more than they who s...

In 2Ti 4:8, "the crown of righteousness to them that love His appearing." Love produces patient endurance: none attest their love more than they who suffer for Him.

JFB: Jam 1:13 - when . . . tempted Tried by solicitation to evil. Heretofore the "temptation" meant was that of probation by afflictions. Let no one fancy that God lays upon him an inev...

Tried by solicitation to evil. Heretofore the "temptation" meant was that of probation by afflictions. Let no one fancy that God lays upon him an inevitable necessity of sinning. God does not send trials on you in order to make you worse, but to make you better (Jam 1:16-17). Therefore do not sink under the pressure of evils (1Co 10:13).

JFB: Jam 1:13 - of God By agency proceeding from God. The Greek is not "tempted by," but, "from," implying indirect agency.

By agency proceeding from God. The Greek is not "tempted by," but, "from," implying indirect agency.

JFB: Jam 1:13 - cannot be tempted with evil, &c. "Neither do any of our sins tempt God to entice us to worse things, nor does He tempt any of His own accord" (literally, "of Himself"; compare the ant...

"Neither do any of our sins tempt God to entice us to worse things, nor does He tempt any of His own accord" (literally, "of Himself"; compare the antithesis, Jam 1:18, "Of His own will He begat us" to holiness, so far is He from tempting us of His own will) [BENGEL]. God is said in Gen 22:1 to have "tempted Abraham"; but there the tempting meant is that of trying or proving, not that of seducement. ALFORD translates according to the ordinary sense of the Greek, "God is unversed in evil." But as this gives a less likely sense, English Version probably gives the true sense; for ecclesiastical Greek often uses words in new senses, as the exigencies of the new truths to be taught required.

JFB: Jam 1:14 - -- Every man, when tempted, is so through being drawn away of (again here, as in Jam 1:13, the Greek for "of" expresses the actual source, rather than th...

Every man, when tempted, is so through being drawn away of (again here, as in Jam 1:13, the Greek for "of" expresses the actual source, rather than the agent of temptation) his own lust. The cause of sin is in ourselves. Even Satan's suggestions do not endanger us before they are made our own. Each one has his own peculiar (so the Greek) lust, arising from his own temperament and habit. Lust flows from the original birth-sin in man, inherited from Adam.

JFB: Jam 1:14 - drawn away The beginning step in temptation: drawn away from truth and virtue.

The beginning step in temptation: drawn away from truth and virtue.

JFB: Jam 1:14 - enticed Literally, "taken with a bait," as fish are. The further progress: the man allowing himself (as the Greek middle voice implies) to be enticed to evil ...

Literally, "taken with a bait," as fish are. The further progress: the man allowing himself (as the Greek middle voice implies) to be enticed to evil [BENGEL]. "Lust" is here personified as the harlot that allures the man.

JFB: Jam 1:15 - -- The guilty union is committed by the will embracing the temptress. "Lust," the harlot, then, "brings forth sin," namely, of that kind to which the tem...

The guilty union is committed by the will embracing the temptress. "Lust," the harlot, then, "brings forth sin," namely, of that kind to which the temptation inclines. Then the particular sin (so the Greek implies), "when it is completed, brings forth death," with which it was all along pregnant [ALFORD]. This "death" stands in striking contrast to the "crown of life" (Jam 1:12) which "patience" or endurance ends in, when it has its "perfect work" (Jam 1:4). He who will fight Satan with Satan's own weapons, must not wonder if he finds himself overmatched. Nip sin in the bud of lust.

JFB: Jam 1:16 - -- Do not err in attributing to God temptation to evil; nay (as he proceeds to show), "every good," all that is good on earth, comes from God.

Do not err in attributing to God temptation to evil; nay (as he proceeds to show), "every good," all that is good on earth, comes from God.

JFB: Jam 1:17 - gift . . . gift Not the same words in Greek: the first, the act of giving, or the gift in its initiatory stage; the second, the thing given, the boon, when perfected....

Not the same words in Greek: the first, the act of giving, or the gift in its initiatory stage; the second, the thing given, the boon, when perfected. As the "good gift" stands in contrast to "sin" in its initiatory stage (Jam 1:15), so the "perfect boon" is in contrast to "sin when it is finished," bringing forth death (2Pe 1:3).

JFB: Jam 1:17 - from above (Compare Jam 3:15).

(Compare Jam 3:15).

JFB: Jam 1:17 - Father of lights Creator of the lights in heaven (compare Job 38:28 [ALFORD]; Gen 4:20-21; Heb 12:9). This accords with the reference to the changes in the light of th...

Creator of the lights in heaven (compare Job 38:28 [ALFORD]; Gen 4:20-21; Heb 12:9). This accords with the reference to the changes in the light of the heavenly bodies alluded to in the end of the verse. Also, Father of the spiritual lights in the kingdom of grace and glory [BENGEL]. These were typified by the supernatural lights on the breastplate of the high priest, the Urim. As "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1Jo 1:5), He cannot in any way be the Author of sin (Jam 1:13), which is darkness (Joh 3:19).

JFB: Jam 1:17 - no variableness . . . shadow of turning (Mal 3:6). None of the alternations of light and shadow which the physical "lights" undergo, and which even the spiritual lights are liable to, as co...

(Mal 3:6). None of the alternations of light and shadow which the physical "lights" undergo, and which even the spiritual lights are liable to, as compared with God. "Shadow of turning," literally, the dark "shadow-mark" cast from one of the heavenly bodies, arising from its "turning" or revolution, for example, when the moon is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth, and the sun by the body of the moon. BENGEL makes a climax, "no variation--not even the shadow of a turning"; the former denoting a change in the understanding; the latter, in the will.

JFB: Jam 1:18 - -- (Joh 1:13). The believer's regeneration is the highest example of nothing but good proceeding from God.

(Joh 1:13). The believer's regeneration is the highest example of nothing but good proceeding from God.

JFB: Jam 1:18 - Of his own will Of his own good pleasure (which shows that it is God's essential nature to do good, not evil), not induced by any external cause.

Of his own good pleasure (which shows that it is God's essential nature to do good, not evil), not induced by any external cause.

JFB: Jam 1:18 - begat he us Spiritually: a once-for-all accomplished act (1Pe 1:3, 1Pe 1:23). In contrast to "lust when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin . . . death...

Spiritually: a once-for-all accomplished act (1Pe 1:3, 1Pe 1:23). In contrast to "lust when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin . . . death" (Jam 1:15). Life follows naturally in connection with light (Jam 1:17).

JFB: Jam 1:18 - word of truth The Gospel. The objective mean, as faith is the appropriating mean of regeneration by the Holy Spirit as the efficient agent.

The Gospel. The objective mean, as faith is the appropriating mean of regeneration by the Holy Spirit as the efficient agent.

JFB: Jam 1:18 - a kind of first-fruits Christ is, in respect to the resurrection, "the first-fruits" (1Co 15:20, 1Co 15:23): believers, in respect to regeneration, are, as it were, first-fr...

Christ is, in respect to the resurrection, "the first-fruits" (1Co 15:20, 1Co 15:23): believers, in respect to regeneration, are, as it were, first-fruits (image from the consecration of the first-born of man, cattle, and fruits to God; familiar to the Jews addressed), that is, they are the first of God's regenerated creatures, and the pledge of the ultimate regeneration of the creation, Rom 8:19, Rom 8:23, where also the Spirit, the divine agent of the believer's regeneration, is termed "the first-fruits," that is, the earnest that the regeneration now begun in the soul, shall at last extend to the body too, and to the lower parts of creation. Of all God's visible creatures, believers are the noblest part, and like the legal "first-fruits," sanctify the rest; for this reason they are much tried now.

JFB: Jam 1:19 - Wherefore As your evil is of yourselves, but your good from God. However, the oldest manuscripts and versions read thus: "YE KNOW IT (so Eph 5:5; Heb 12:17), my...

As your evil is of yourselves, but your good from God. However, the oldest manuscripts and versions read thus: "YE KNOW IT (so Eph 5:5; Heb 12:17), my beloved brethren; BUT (consequently) let every man be swift to hear," that is, docile in receiving "the word of truth" (Jam 1:18, Jam 1:21). The true method of hearing is treated in Jam 1:21-27, and Jam. 2:1-26.

JFB: Jam 1:19 - slow to speak (Pro 10:19; Pro 17:27-28; Ecc 5:2). A good way of escaping one kind of temptation arising from ourselves (Jam 1:13). Slow to speak authoritatively as...

(Pro 10:19; Pro 17:27-28; Ecc 5:2). A good way of escaping one kind of temptation arising from ourselves (Jam 1:13). Slow to speak authoritatively as a master or teacher of others (compare Jam 3:1): a common Jewish fault: slow also to speak such hasty things of God, as in Jam 1:13. Two ears are given to us, the rabbis observe, but only one tongue: the ears are open and exposed, whereas the tongue is walled in behind the teeth.

JFB: Jam 1:19 - slow to wrath (Jam 3:13-14; Jam 4:5). Slow in becoming heated by debate: another Jewish fault (Rom 2:8), to which much speaking tends. TITTMANN thinks not so much ...

(Jam 3:13-14; Jam 4:5). Slow in becoming heated by debate: another Jewish fault (Rom 2:8), to which much speaking tends. TITTMANN thinks not so much "wrath" is meant, as an indignant feeling of fretfulness under the calamities to which the whole of human life is exposed; this accords with the "divers temptations" in Jam 1:2. Hastiness of temper hinders hearing God's word; so Naaman, 2Ki 5:11; Luk 4:28.

JFB: Jam 1:20 - -- Man's angry zeal in debating, as if jealous for the honor of God's righteousness, is far from working that which is really righteousness in God's sigh...

Man's angry zeal in debating, as if jealous for the honor of God's righteousness, is far from working that which is really righteousness in God's sight. True "righteousness is sown in peace," not in wrath (Jam 3:18). The oldest and best reading means "worketh," that is, practiceth not: the received reading is "worketh," produceth not.

JFB: Jam 1:21 - lay apart "once for all" (so the Greek): as a filthy garment. Compare Joshua's filthy garments, Zec 3:3, Zec 3:5; Rev 7:14. "Filthiness" is cleansed away by hea...

"once for all" (so the Greek): as a filthy garment. Compare Joshua's filthy garments, Zec 3:3, Zec 3:5; Rev 7:14. "Filthiness" is cleansed away by hearing the word (Joh 15:3).

JFB: Jam 1:21 - superfluity of naughtiness Excess (for instance, the intemperate spirit implied in "wrath," Jam 1:19-20), which arises from malice (our natural, evil disposition towards one ano...

Excess (for instance, the intemperate spirit implied in "wrath," Jam 1:19-20), which arises from malice (our natural, evil disposition towards one another). 1Pe 2:1 has the very same words in the Greek. So "malice" is the translation, Eph 4:31; Col 3:8. "Faulty excess" [BENGEL] is not strong enough. Superfluous excess in speaking is also reprobated as "coming of evil" (the Greek is akin to the word for "naughtiness" here) in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5:37), with which James' Epistle is so connected.

JFB: Jam 1:21 - with meekness In mildness towards one another [ALFORD], the opposite to "wrath" (Jam 1:20): answering to "as new-born babes" (1Pe 2:2). Meekness, I think, includes ...

In mildness towards one another [ALFORD], the opposite to "wrath" (Jam 1:20): answering to "as new-born babes" (1Pe 2:2). Meekness, I think, includes also a childlike, docile, humble, as well as an uncontentious, spirit (Psa 25:9; Psa 45:4; Isa 66:2; Mat 5:5; Mat 11:28-30; Mat 18:3-4; contrast Rom 2:8). On "receive," applied to ground receiving seed, compare Mar 4:20. Contrast Act 17:11; 1Th 1:6 with 2Th 2:10.

JFB: Jam 1:21 - engrafted word The Gospel word, whose proper attribute is to be engrafted by the Holy Spirit, so as to be livingly incorporated with the believer, as the fruitful sh...

The Gospel word, whose proper attribute is to be engrafted by the Holy Spirit, so as to be livingly incorporated with the believer, as the fruitful shoot is with the wild natural stock on which it is engrafted. The law came to man only from without, and admonished him of his duty. The Gospel is engrafted inwardly, and so fulfils the ultimate design of the law (Deu 6:6; Deu 11:18; Psa 119:11). ALFORD translates, "The implanted word," referring to the parable of the sower (Mat. 13:1-23). I prefer English Version.

JFB: Jam 1:21 - able to save A strong incentive to correct our dulness in hearing the word: that word which we hear so carelessly, is able (instrumentally) to save us [CALVIN].

A strong incentive to correct our dulness in hearing the word: that word which we hear so carelessly, is able (instrumentally) to save us [CALVIN].

JFB: Jam 1:21 - souls Your true selves, for the "body" is now liable to sickness and death: but the soul being now saved, both soul and body at last shall be so (Jam 5:15, ...

Your true selves, for the "body" is now liable to sickness and death: but the soul being now saved, both soul and body at last shall be so (Jam 5:15, Jam 5:20).

JFB: Jam 1:22 - -- Qualification of the precept, "Be swift to hear": "Be ye doers . . . not hearers only"; not merely "Do the word," but "Be doers" systematically and co...

Qualification of the precept, "Be swift to hear": "Be ye doers . . . not hearers only"; not merely "Do the word," but "Be doers" systematically and continually, as if this was your regular business. James here again refers to the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 7:21-29).

JFB: Jam 1:22 - deceiving your own selves By the logical fallacy (the Greek implies this) that the mere hearing is all that is needed.

By the logical fallacy (the Greek implies this) that the mere hearing is all that is needed.

JFB: Jam 1:23 - For The logical self-deceit (Jam 1:22) illustrated.

The logical self-deceit (Jam 1:22) illustrated.

JFB: Jam 1:23 - not a doer More literally, "a notdoer" [ALFORD]. The true disciple, say the rabbis, learns in order that he may do, not in order that he may merely know or teach...

More literally, "a notdoer" [ALFORD]. The true disciple, say the rabbis, learns in order that he may do, not in order that he may merely know or teach.

JFB: Jam 1:23 - his natural face Literally, "the countenance of his birth": the face he was born with. As a man may behold his natural face in a mirror, so the hearer may perceive his...

Literally, "the countenance of his birth": the face he was born with. As a man may behold his natural face in a mirror, so the hearer may perceive his moral visage in God's Word. This faithful portraiture of man's soul in Scripture, is the strongest proof of the truth of the latter. In it, too, we see mirrored God's glory, as well as our natural vileness.

JFB: Jam 1:24 - beholdeth More literally, "he contemplated himself and hath gone his way," that is, no sooner has he contemplated his image than he is gone his way (Jam 1:11). ...

More literally, "he contemplated himself and hath gone his way," that is, no sooner has he contemplated his image than he is gone his way (Jam 1:11). "Contemplate" answers to hearing the word: "goeth his way," to relaxing the attention after hearing--letting the mind go elsewhere, and the interest of the thing heard pass away: then forgetfulness follows [ALFORD] (Compare Eze 33:31). "Contemplate" here, and in Jam 1:23, implies that, though cursory, yet some knowledge of one's self, at least for the time, is imparted in hearing the word (1Co 14:24).

JFB: Jam 1:24 - and . . . and The repetition expresses hastiness joined with levity [BENGEL].

The repetition expresses hastiness joined with levity [BENGEL].

JFB: Jam 1:24 - forgetteth what manner of man he was In the mirror. Forgetfulness is no excuse (Jam 1:25; 2Pe 1:9).

In the mirror. Forgetfulness is no excuse (Jam 1:25; 2Pe 1:9).

JFB: Jam 1:25 - looketh into Literally, "stoopeth down to take a close look into." Peers into: stronger than "beholdeth," or "contemplated," Jam 1:24. A blessed curiosity if it be...

Literally, "stoopeth down to take a close look into." Peers into: stronger than "beholdeth," or "contemplated," Jam 1:24. A blessed curiosity if it be efficacious in bearing fruit [BENGEL].

JFB: Jam 1:25 - perfect law of liberty The Gospel rule of life, perfect and perfecting (as shown in the Sermon on the Mount, Mat 5:48), and making us truly walk at liberty (Psa 119:32, Chur...

The Gospel rule of life, perfect and perfecting (as shown in the Sermon on the Mount, Mat 5:48), and making us truly walk at liberty (Psa 119:32, Church of England Prayer Book Version). Christians are to aim at a higher standard of holiness than was generally understood under the law. The principle of love takes the place of the letter of the law, so that by the Spirit they are free from the yoke of sin, and free to obey by spontaneous instinct (Jam 2:8, Jam 2:10, Jam 2:12; Joh 8:31-36; Joh 15:14-15; compare 1Co 7:22; Gal 5:1, Gal 5:13; 1Pe 2:16). The law is thus not made void, but fulfilled.

JFB: Jam 1:25 - continueth therein Contrasted with "goeth his way," Jam 1:24, continues both looking into the mirror of God's word, and doing its precepts.

Contrasted with "goeth his way," Jam 1:24, continues both looking into the mirror of God's word, and doing its precepts.

JFB: Jam 1:25 - doer of the work Rather, "a doer of work" [ALFORD], an actual worker.

Rather, "a doer of work" [ALFORD], an actual worker.

JFB: Jam 1:25 - blessed in his deed Rather, "in his doing"; in the very doing there is blessedness (Psa 19:11).

Rather, "in his doing"; in the very doing there is blessedness (Psa 19:11).

JFB: Jam 1:26-27 - -- An example of doing work.

An example of doing work.

JFB: Jam 1:26-27 - religious . . . religion The Greek expresses the external service or exercise of religion, "godliness" being the internal soul of it. "If any man think himself to be (so the G...

The Greek expresses the external service or exercise of religion, "godliness" being the internal soul of it. "If any man think himself to be (so the Greek) religious, that is, observant of the offices of religion, let him know these consist not so much in outward observances, as in such acts of mercy and humble piety (Mic 6:7-8) as visiting the fatherless, &c., and keeping one's self unspotted from the world" (Mat 23:23). James does not mean that these offices are the great essentials, or sum total of religion; but that, whereas the law service was merely ceremonial, the very services of the Gospel consist in acts of mercy and holiness, and it has light for its garment, its very robe being righteousness [TRENCH]. The Greek word is only found in Act 26:5, "after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." Col 2:18, "worshipping of angels."

JFB: Jam 1:26-27 - bridleth not . . . tongue Discretion in speech is better than fluency of speech (compare Jam 3:2-3). Compare Psa 39:1. God alone can enable us to do so. James, in treating of t...

Discretion in speech is better than fluency of speech (compare Jam 3:2-3). Compare Psa 39:1. God alone can enable us to do so. James, in treating of the law, naturally notices this sin. For they who are free from grosser sins, and even bear the outward show of sanctity, will often exalt themselves by detracting others under the pretense of zeal, while their real motive is love of evil-speaking [CALVIN].

JFB: Jam 1:26-27 - heart It and the tongue act and react on one another.

It and the tongue act and react on one another.

JFB: Jam 1:27 - Pure . . . and undefiled "Pure" is that love which has in it no foreign admixture, as self-deceit and hypocrisy. "Undefiled" is the means of its being "pure" [TITTMANN]. "Pure...

"Pure" is that love which has in it no foreign admixture, as self-deceit and hypocrisy. "Undefiled" is the means of its being "pure" [TITTMANN]. "Pure" expresses the positive, "undefiled" the negative side of religious service; just as visiting the fatherless and widow is the active, keeping himself unspotted from the world, the passive side of religious duty. This is the nobler shape that our religious exercises take, instead of the ceremonial offices of the law.

JFB: Jam 1:27 - before God and the Father Literally, "before Him who is (our) God and Father." God is so called to imply that if we would be like our Father, it is not by fasting, &c., for He ...

Literally, "before Him who is (our) God and Father." God is so called to imply that if we would be like our Father, it is not by fasting, &c., for He does none of these things, but in being "merciful as our Father is merciful" [CHRYSOSTOM].

JFB: Jam 1:27 - visit In sympathy and kind offices to alleviate their distresses.

In sympathy and kind offices to alleviate their distresses.

JFB: Jam 1:27 - the fatherless Whose "Father" is God (Psa 68:5); peculiarly helpless.

Whose "Father" is God (Psa 68:5); peculiarly helpless.

JFB: Jam 1:27 - and Not in the Greek; so close is the connection between active works of mercy to others, and the maintenance of personal unworldliness of spirit, word, a...

Not in the Greek; so close is the connection between active works of mercy to others, and the maintenance of personal unworldliness of spirit, word, and deed; no copula therefore is needed. Religion in its rise interests us about ourselves in its progress, about our fellow creatures: in its highest stage, about the honor of God.

JFB: Jam 1:27 - keep himself With jealous watchfulness, at the same time praying and depending on God as alone able to keep us (Joh 17:15; Jud 1:24).

With jealous watchfulness, at the same time praying and depending on God as alone able to keep us (Joh 17:15; Jud 1:24).

Clarke: Jam 1:1 - James, a servant of God James, a servant of God - For an account of this person, or rather for the conjectures concerning him, see the preface. He neither calls himself an ...

James, a servant of God - For an account of this person, or rather for the conjectures concerning him, see the preface. He neither calls himself an apostle, nor does he say that he was the brother of Christ, or bishop of Jerusalem; whether he was James the elder, son of Zebedee, or James the less, called our Lord’ s brother, or some other person of the same name, we know not. The assertions of writers concerning these points are worthy of no regard. The Church has always received him as an apostle of Christ

Clarke: Jam 1:1 - To the twelve tribes - scattered abroad To the twelve tribes - scattered abroad - To the Jews, whether converted to Christianity or not, who lived out of Judea, and sojourned among the Gen...

To the twelve tribes - scattered abroad - To the Jews, whether converted to Christianity or not, who lived out of Judea, and sojourned among the Gentiles for the purpose of trade or commerce. At this time there were Jews partly traveling, partly sojourning, and partly resident in most parts of the civilized world; particularly in Asia, Greece, Egypt, and Italy. I see no reason for restricting it to Jewish believers only; it was sent to all whom it might concern, but particularly to those who had received the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; much less must we confine it to those who were scattered abroad at the persecution raised concerning Stephen, Act 8:1, etc.; Act 11:19, etc. That the twelve tribes were in actual existence when James wrote this epistle, Dr. Macknight thinks evident from the following facts

"1.    Notwithstanding Cyrus allowed all the Jews in his dominions to return to their own land, many of them did not return. This happened agreeably to God’ s purpose, in permitting them to be carried captive into Assyria and Babylonia; for he intended to make himself known among the heathens, by means of the knowledge of his being and perfections, which the Jews, in their dispersion, would communicate to them. This also was the reason that God determined that the ten tribes should never return to their own land, Hos 1:6; Hos 8:8; Hos 9:3, Hos 9:15-17

2.    That, comparatively speaking, few of the twelve tribes returned in consequence of Cyrus’ s decree, but continued to live among the Gentiles, appears from this: that in the days of Ahasuerus, one of the successors of Cyrus, who reigned from India to Ethiopia, over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, Est 3:8, The Jews were dispersed among the people in all the provinces of his kingdom, and their laws were diverse from the laws of all other people, and they did not keep the king’ s laws; so that, by adhering to their own usages, they kept themselves distinct from all the nations among whom they lived

3.    On the day of pentecost, which happened next after our Lord’ s ascension, Act 2:5, Act 2:9, There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven; Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, etc.; so numerous were the Jews, and so widely dispersed through all the countries of the world

4.    When Paul traveled through Asia and Europe, he found the Jews so numerous, that in all the noted cities of the Gentiles they had synagogues in which they assembled for the worship of God, and were joined by multitudes of proselytes from among the heathens, to whom likewise he preached the Gospel

5.    The same apostle, in his speech to King Agrippa, affirmed that the twelve tribes were then existing, and that they served God day and night, in expectation of the promise made to the fathers, Act 26:6

6.    Josephus, Ant. i. 14, cap. 12, tells us that one region could not contain the Jews, but they dwelt in most of the flourishing cities of Asia and Europe, in the islands and continent, not much less in number than the heathen inhabitants. From all this it is evident that the Jews of the dispersion were more numerous than even the Jews in Judea, and that James very properly inscribed this letter to the twelve tribes which were in the dispersion, seeing the twelve tribes really existed then, and do still exist, although not distinguished by separate habitations, as they were anciently in their own land

Clarke: Jam 1:1 - Greeting Greeting - Χαιρειν· Health; a mere expression of benevolence, a wish for their prosperity; a common form of salutation; see Act 15:23; Act...

Greeting - Χαιρειν· Health; a mere expression of benevolence, a wish for their prosperity; a common form of salutation; see Act 15:23; Act 23:26; 2Jo 1:11.

Clarke: Jam 1:2 - Count it all joy Count it all joy - The word πειρασμος, which we translate temptation, signifies affliction, persecution, or trial of any kind; and in this...

Count it all joy - The word πειρασμος, which we translate temptation, signifies affliction, persecution, or trial of any kind; and in this sense it is used here, not intending diabolic suggestion, or what is generally understood by the word temptation.

Clarke: Jam 1:3 - The trying of your faith The trying of your faith - Trials put religion, and all the graces of which it is composed to proof; the man that stands in such trials gives proof ...

The trying of your faith - Trials put religion, and all the graces of which it is composed to proof; the man that stands in such trials gives proof that his religion is sound, and the evidence afforded to his own mind induces him to take courage, bear patiently, and persevere.

Clarke: Jam 1:4 - Let patience have her perfect work Let patience have her perfect work - That is, Continue faithful, and your patience will be crowned with its full reward; for in this sense is ερ...

Let patience have her perfect work - That is, Continue faithful, and your patience will be crowned with its full reward; for in this sense is εργον, which we translate work, to be understood. It is any effect produced by a cause, as interest from money, fruit from tillage, gain from labor, a reward for services performed; the perfect work is the full reward. See many examples in Kypke

Clarke: Jam 1:4 - That ye may be perfect and entire That ye may be perfect and entire - Τελειοι, Fully instructed, in every part of the doctrine of God, and in his whole will concerning you. ...

That ye may be perfect and entire - Τελειοι, Fully instructed, in every part of the doctrine of God, and in his whole will concerning you. Ὁλοκληροι, having all your parts, members, and portions; that ye may have every grace which constitutes the mind that was in Christ, so that your knowledge and holiness may be complete, and bear a proper proportion to each other. These expressions in their present application are by some thought to be borrowed from the Grecian games: the man was τελειος, perfect, who in any of the athletic exercises had got the victory; he was ὁλοκληρος, entire, having every thing complete, who had the victory in the pentathlon, in each of the five exercises. Of this use in the last term I do not recollect an example, and therefore think the expressions are borrowed from the sacrifices under the law. A victim was τελειος, perfect, that was perfectly sound, having no disease; it was ὁλοκληρος, entire, if it had all its members, having nothing redundant, nothing deficient. Be then to the Lord what he required his sacrifices to be; let your whole heart, your body, soul, and spirit, be sanctified to the Lord of hosts, that he may fill you with all his fullness.

Clarke: Jam 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom If any of you lack wisdom - Wisdom signifies in general knowledge of the best end, and the best means of attaining it; but in Scripture it signifies...

If any of you lack wisdom - Wisdom signifies in general knowledge of the best end, and the best means of attaining it; but in Scripture it signifies the same as true religion, the thorough practical knowledge of God, of one’ s self, and of a Savior

Clarke: Jam 1:5 - Let him ask of God Let him ask of God - Because God is the only teacher of this wisdom

Let him ask of God - Because God is the only teacher of this wisdom

Clarke: Jam 1:5 - That giveth to all men liberally That giveth to all men liberally - Who has all good, and gives all necessary good to every one that asks fervently. He who does not ask thus does no...

That giveth to all men liberally - Who has all good, and gives all necessary good to every one that asks fervently. He who does not ask thus does not feel his need of Divine teaching. The ancient Greek maxim appears at first view strange, but it is literally true: -

Αρχη γνωσεως της αγνοιας ἡ γνωσις

"The knowledge of ignorance is the beginning of knowledge.

In knowledge we may distinguish these four things: -

1.    Intelligence, the object of which is intuitive truths

2.    Wisdom, which is employed in finding out the best end

3.    Prudence, which regulates the whole conduct through life

4.    Art, which provides infallible rules to reason by.

Clarke: Jam 1:6 - Let him ask in faith Let him ask in faith - Believing that God IS; that he has all good; and that he is ever ready to impart to his creatures whatever they need

Let him ask in faith - Believing that God IS; that he has all good; and that he is ever ready to impart to his creatures whatever they need

Clarke: Jam 1:6 - Nothing wavering Nothing wavering - Μηδεν διακρινομενος· Not judging otherwise; having no doubt concerning the truth of these grand and fundamen...

Nothing wavering - Μηδεν διακρινομενος· Not judging otherwise; having no doubt concerning the truth of these grand and fundamental principles, never supposing that God will permit him to ask in vain, when he asks sincerely and fervently. Let him not hesitate, let him not be irresolute; no man can believe too much good of God

Clarke: Jam 1:6 - Is like a wave of the sea Is like a wave of the sea - The man who is not thoroughly persuaded that if he ask of God he shall receive, resembles a wave of the sea; he is in a ...

Is like a wave of the sea - The man who is not thoroughly persuaded that if he ask of God he shall receive, resembles a wave of the sea; he is in a state of continual agitation; driven by the wind, and tossed: now rising by hope, then sinking by despair.

Clarke: Jam 1:7 - Let not that man think Let not that man think - The man whose mind is divided, who is not properly persuaded either of his own wants or God’ s sufficiency. Such perso...

Let not that man think - The man whose mind is divided, who is not properly persuaded either of his own wants or God’ s sufficiency. Such persons may pray, but having no faith, they can get no answer.

Clarke: Jam 1:8 - A double-minded man A double-minded man - Ανηρ διψυχος· The man of two souls, who has one for earth, and another for heaven; who wishes to secure both wor...

A double-minded man - Ανηρ διψυχος· The man of two souls, who has one for earth, and another for heaven; who wishes to secure both worlds; he will not give up earth, and he is loth to let heaven go. This was a usual term among the Jews, to express the man who attempted to worship God, and yet retained the love of the creature. Rabbi Tanchum, fol. 84, on Deu 26:17, said: "Behold, the Scripture exhorts the Israelites, and tells them when they pray, לא יהיה להם שתי לבבות lo yiyeh lahem shetey lebaboth , that they should not have two hearts, one for the holy blessed God, and one for something else."A man of this character is continually distracted; he will neither let earth nor heaven go, and yet he can have but one. Perhaps St. James refers to those Jews who were endeavoring to incorporate the law with the Gospel, who were divided in their minds and affections, not willing to give up the Levitical rites, and yet unwilling to renounce the Gospel. Such persons could make no progress in Divine things.

Clarke: Jam 1:9 - Let the brother of low degree Let the brother of low degree - The poor, destitute Christian may glory in the cross of Christ, and the blessed hope laid up for him in heaven; for,...

Let the brother of low degree - The poor, destitute Christian may glory in the cross of Christ, and the blessed hope laid up for him in heaven; for, being a child of God, he is an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ.

Clarke: Jam 1:10 - But the rich, in that he is made low But the rich, in that he is made low - Εν τῃ ταπεινωσει· In his humiliation - in his being brought to the foot of the cross to re...

But the rich, in that he is made low - Εν τῃ ταπεινωσει· In his humiliation - in his being brought to the foot of the cross to receive, as a poor and miserable sinner, redemption through the blood of the cross: and especially let him rejoice in this, because all outward glory is only as the flower of the field, and, like that, will wither and perish.

Clarke: Jam 1:11 - For the sun is no sooner risen For the sun is no sooner risen - We need not pursue this metaphor, as St. James’ meaning is sufficiently clear: All human things are transitor...

For the sun is no sooner risen - We need not pursue this metaphor, as St. James’ meaning is sufficiently clear: All human things are transitory; rise and fall, or increase and decay, belong to all the productions of the earth, and to all its inhabitants. This is unavoidable, for in many cases the very cause of their growth becomes the cause of their decay and destruction. The sun by its genial heat nourishes and supports all plants and animals; but when it arises with a burning heat, the atmosphere not being tempered with a sufficiency of moist vapours, the juices are exhaled from the plants; the earth, for lack of moisture, cannot afford a sufficient supply; vegetation becomes checked; and the plants soon wither and die. Earthly possessions are subject to similar mutations. God gives and resumes them at his pleasure, and for reasons which he seldom explains to man. He shows them to be uncertain, that they may never become an object of confidence to his followers, and that they may put their whole trust in God. If for righteousness’ sake any of those who were in affluence suffer loss, or spoiling of their goods, they should consider that, while they have gained that of infinite worth, they have lost what is but of little value, and which in the nature of things they must soon part with, though they should suffer nothing on account of religion.

Clarke: Jam 1:12 - Blessed is the man that endureth temptation Blessed is the man that endureth temptation - This is a mere Jewish sentiment, and on it the Jews speak some excellent things. In Shemoth Rabba, sec...

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation - This is a mere Jewish sentiment, and on it the Jews speak some excellent things. In Shemoth Rabba, sec. 31, fol. 129, and in Rab. Tanchum, fol. 29, 4, we have these words: "Blessed is the man שהיה עומד בנסיונו shehayah omed benisyono who stands in his temptation; for there is no man whom God does not try. He tries the rich, to see if they will open their hands to the poor. He tries the poor, to see if they will receive affliction and not murmur. If, therefore, the rich stand in his temptation, and give alms to the poor, he shall enjoy his riches in this world, and his horn shall be exalted in the world to come, and the holy blessed God shall deliver him from the punishment of hell. If the poor stand in his temptation, and do not repine, (kick back), he shall have double in the world to come."This is exactly the sentiment of James. Every man is in this life in a state of temptation or trial, and in this state he is a candidate for another and a better world; he that stands in his trial shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. It is only love to God that can enable a man to endure the trials of life. Love feels no loads; all practicable things are possible to him who loveth

There may be an allusion here to the contests in the Grecian games. He is crowned who conquers; and none else.

Clarke: Jam 1:13 - Let no man say Let no man say - Lest the former sentiment should be misapplied, as the word temptation has two grand meanings, solicitation to sin, and trial from ...

Let no man say - Lest the former sentiment should be misapplied, as the word temptation has two grand meanings, solicitation to sin, and trial from providential situation or circumstances, James, taking up the word in the former sense, after having used it in the latter, says: Let no man say, when he is tempted, (solicited to sin), I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he (thus) any man. Thus the author has explained and guarded his meaning.

Clarke: Jam 1:14 - But every man is tempted But every man is tempted - Successfully solicited to sin, when he is drawn away of his own lust - when, giving way to the evil propensity of his own...

But every man is tempted - Successfully solicited to sin, when he is drawn away of his own lust - when, giving way to the evil propensity of his own heart, he does that to which he is solicited by the enemy of his soul

Among the rabbins we find some fine sayings on this subject. In Midrash hanaalam, fol. 20, and Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 17, it is said: "This is the custom of evil concupiscence, יצר הרע yetser hara : To-day it saith, Do this; to-morrow, Worship an idol. The man goes and worships. Again it saith, Be angry.

"Evil concupiscence is, at the beginning, like the thread of a spider’ s web; afterwards it is like a cart rope."Sanhedrim, fol. 99

In the words, drawn away by his own lust and enticed, ὑπο της ιδιας επιθυμιας εξελκομενος και δελεαζομενος, there is a double metaphor; the first referring to the dragging a fish out of the water by a hook which it had swallowed, because concealed by a bait; the second, to the enticements of impure women, who draw away the unwary into their snares, and involve them in their ruin. Illicit connections of this kind the writer has clearly in view; and every word that he uses refers to something of this nature, as the following verse shows.

Clarke: Jam 1:15 - When lust hath conceived When lust hath conceived - When the evil propensity works unchecked, it bringeth forth sin - the evil act between the parties is perpetrated

When lust hath conceived - When the evil propensity works unchecked, it bringeth forth sin - the evil act between the parties is perpetrated

Clarke: Jam 1:15 - And sin, when it is finished And sin, when it is finished - When this breach of the law of God and of innocence has been a sufficient time completed, it bringeth forth death - t...

And sin, when it is finished - When this breach of the law of God and of innocence has been a sufficient time completed, it bringeth forth death - the spurious offspring is the fruit of the criminal connection, and the evidence of that death or punishment due to the transgressors

Any person acquainted with the import of the verbs συλλαμβανειν, τικτειν , and αποκυειν, will see that this is the metaphor, and that I have not exhausted it. Συλλαμβανω signifies concipio sobolem, quae comprehenditur utero; concipio foetum ; - τικτω, pario, genero, efficio ; - αποκυεω ex απο et κυω, praegnans sum, in utero gero. Verbum proprium praegnantium, quae foetum maturum emittunt. Interdum etiam gignendi notionem habet . - Maius, Obser. Sacr., vol. ii., page 184. Kypke and Schleusner

Sin is a small matter in its commencement; but by indulgence it grows great, and multiplies itself beyond all calculation. To use the rabbinical metaphor lately adduced, it is, in the commencement, like the thread of a spider’ s web - almost imperceptible through its extreme tenuity or fineness, and as easily broken, for it is as yet but a simple irregular imagination; afterwards it becomes like a cart rope - it has, by being indulged produced strong desire and delight; next consent; then, time, place, and opportunity serving, that which was conceived in the mind, and finished in that purpose, is consummated by act

"The soul, which the Greek philosophers considered as the seat of the appetites and passions, is called by Philo το θηλυ, the female part of our nature; and the spirit το αρῥεν, the male part. In allusion to this notion, James represents men’ s lust as a harlot; which entices their understanding and will into its impure embraces, and from that conjunction conceives sin. Sin, being brought forth, immediately acts, and is nourished by frequent repetition, till at length it gains such strength that in its turn it begets death. This is the true genealogy of sin and death. Lust is the mother of sin, and sin the mother of death, and the sinner the parent of both."See Macknight.

Clarke: Jam 1:16 - Do not err Do not err - By supposing that God is the author of sin, or that he impels any man to commit it.

Do not err - By supposing that God is the author of sin, or that he impels any man to commit it.

Clarke: Jam 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above - Whatever is good is from God; whatever is evil is from man himself. As from the sun, which is...

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above - Whatever is good is from God; whatever is evil is from man himself. As from the sun, which is the father or fountain of light, all light comes; so from God, who is the infinite Fountain, Father, and Source of good, all good comes. And whatever can be called good, or pure, or light, or excellence of any kind, must necessarily spring from him, as he is the only source of all goodness and perfection

Clarke: Jam 1:17 - With whom is no variableness With whom is no variableness - The sun, the fountain of light to the whole of our system, may be obscured by clouds; or the different bodies which r...

With whom is no variableness - The sun, the fountain of light to the whole of our system, may be obscured by clouds; or the different bodies which revolve round him, and particularly the earth, may from time to time suffer a diminution of his light by the intervention of other bodies eclipsing his splendor; and his apparent tropical variation, shadow of turning; when, for instance, in our winter, he has declined to the southern tropic, the tropic of Capricorn, so that our days are greatly shortened, and we suffer in consequence a great diminution both of light and heat. But there is nothing of this kind with God; he is never affected by the changes and chances to which mortal things are exposed. He occupies no one place in the universe; he fills the heavens and the earth, is everywhere present, sees all, pervades all, and shines upon all; dispenses his blessings equally to the universe; hates nothing that he has made; is loving to every man; and his tender mercies are over all his works: therefore he is not affected with evil, nor does he tempt, or influence to sin, any man. The sun, the source of light, rises and sets with a continual variety as to the times of both, and the length of the time in which, in the course of three hundred and sixty-five days, five hours, forty-eight minutes, and forty-eight seconds, it has its revolution through the ecliptic, or rather the earth has its revolution round the sun; and by which its light and heat are, to the inhabitants of the earth, either constantly increasing or decreasing: but God, the Creator and Preserver of all things, is eternally the same, dispensing his good and perfect gifts - his earthly and heavenly blessings, to all his creatures, ever unclouded in himself, and ever nilling Evil and willing Good. Men may hide themselves from his light by the works of darkness, as owls and bats hide themselves in dens and caves of the earth during the prevalency of the solar light: but his good will to his creatures is permanent; he wills not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may come unto him and live; and no man walks in wretchedness or misery but he who will not come unto God that he may have life. See diagram and notes at the end of this chapter.

Clarke: Jam 1:18 - Of his own will begat he us Of his own will begat he us - God’ s will here is opposed to the lust of man, Jam 1:15; his truth, the means of human salvation, to the sinful ...

Of his own will begat he us - God’ s will here is opposed to the lust of man, Jam 1:15; his truth, the means of human salvation, to the sinful means referred to in the above verse; and the new creatures, to the sin conceived and brought forth, as above. As the will of God is essentially good, all its productions must be good also; as it is infinitely pure, all its productions must be holy. The word or doctrine of truth, what St. Paul calls the word of the truth of the Gospel, Col 1:5, is the means which God uses to convert souls

Clarke: Jam 1:18 - A kind of first fruits A kind of first fruits - By creatures we are here to understand the Gentiles, and by first fruits the Jews, to whom the Gospel was first sent; and t...

A kind of first fruits - By creatures we are here to understand the Gentiles, and by first fruits the Jews, to whom the Gospel was first sent; and those of them that believed were the first fruits of that astonishing harvest which God has since reaped over the whole Gentile world. See the notes on Rom 8:19, etc. There is a remarkable saying in Philo on this subject, De Allegoris, lib. ii. p. 101: God begat Isaac, for he is the father of the perfect nature, σπειρων εν ταις ψυχαις, sowing seed in souls, and begetting happiness.

Clarke: Jam 1:19 - Swift to hear Swift to hear - Talk little and work much, is a rabbinical adage. - Pirkey Aboth, cap. i. 15 The righteous speak little, and do much; the wicked spe...

Swift to hear - Talk little and work much, is a rabbinical adage. - Pirkey Aboth, cap. i. 15

The righteous speak little, and do much; the wicked speak much, and do nothing. - Bava Metzia, fol. 87

The son of Sirach says, cap. v. 11: Γινου ταχυς εν τῃ ακροασει σου, και εν μακροθυμιᾳ φθεγγου αποκρισιν . "Be swift to hear, and with deep consideration give answer.

Clarke: Jam 1:19 - Slow to wrath Slow to wrath - " There are four kinds of dispositions,"says the Midrash hanaalam, cap. v. 11: "First, Those who are easily incensed, and easily pac...

Slow to wrath - " There are four kinds of dispositions,"says the Midrash hanaalam, cap. v. 11: "First, Those who are easily incensed, and easily pacified; these gain on one hand, and lose on the other. Secondly, Those who are not easily incensed, but are difficult to be appeased; these lose on the one hand, and gain on the other. Thirdly, Those who are difficult to be incensed, and are easily appeased; these are the good. Fourthly, Those who are easily angered, and difficult to be appeased; these are the wicked."Those who are hasty in speech are generally of a peevish or angry disposition. A person who is careful to consider what he says, is not likely to be soon angry.

Clarke: Jam 1:20 - The wrath of man The wrath of man - A furious zeal in matters of religion is detestable in the sight of God; he will have no sacrifice that is not consumed by fire f...

The wrath of man - A furious zeal in matters of religion is detestable in the sight of God; he will have no sacrifice that is not consumed by fire from his own altar. The zeal that made the Papists persecute and burn the Protestants, was kindled in hell. This was the wrath of man, and did not work any righteous act for God; nor was it the means of working righteousness in others; the bad fruit of a bad tree. And do they still vindicate these cruelties? Yes: for still they maintain that no faith is to be kept with heretics, and they acknowledge the inquisition.

Clarke: Jam 1:21 - All filthiness All filthiness - Πασαν ῥυπαριαν . This word signifies any impurity that cleaves to the body; but applied to the mind, it implies all...

All filthiness - Πασαν ῥυπαριαν . This word signifies any impurity that cleaves to the body; but applied to the mind, it implies all impure and unholy affections, such as those spoken of Jam 1:15, which pollute the soul; in this sense it is used by the best Greek writers

Clarke: Jam 1:21 - Superfluity of naughtiness Superfluity of naughtiness - Περισσειαν κακιας· The overflowing of wickedness. Perhaps there is an allusion here to the part cut ...

Superfluity of naughtiness - Περισσειαν κακιας· The overflowing of wickedness. Perhaps there is an allusion here to the part cut off in circumcision, which was the emblem of impure desire; and to lessen that propensity, God, in his mercy, enacted this rite. Put all these evil dispositions aside, for they blind the soul, and render it incapable of receiving any good, even from that ingrafted word of God which otherwise would have saved their souls

Clarke: Jam 1:21 - The ingrafted word The ingrafted word - That doctrine which has already been planted among you, which has brought forth fruit in all them that have meekly and humbly r...

The ingrafted word - That doctrine which has already been planted among you, which has brought forth fruit in all them that have meekly and humbly received it, and is as powerful to save your souls as the souls of those who have already believed. I think this to be the meaning of εμφυτον λογον, the ingrafted word or doctrine. The seed of life had been sown in the land; many of them had received it to their salvation; others had partially credited it, but not so as to produce in them any saving effects. Besides, they appear to have taken up with other doctrines, from which they had got no salvation; he therefore exhorts them to receive the doctrine of Christ, which would be the means of saving them unto eternal life. And when those who were Jews, and who had been originally planted by God as altogether a right vine, received the faith of the Gospel, it is represented as being ingrafted on that right stock, the pure knowledge of the true God and his holy moral law. This indeed was a good stock on which to implant Christianity. This appears to be what the apostle means by the ingrafted word, which is able to save the soul.

Clarke: Jam 1:22 - But be ye doers of the word But be ye doers of the word - They had heard this doctrine; they had believed it; but they had put it to no practical use. They were downright Antin...

But be ye doers of the word - They had heard this doctrine; they had believed it; but they had put it to no practical use. They were downright Antinomians, who put a sort of stupid, inactive faith in the place of all moral righteousness. This is sufficiently evident from the second chapter

Clarke: Jam 1:22 - Deceiving your own selves Deceiving your own selves - Παραλογιζομενοι ἑαυτους· Imposing on your own selves by sophistical arguments; this is the me...

Deceiving your own selves - Παραλογιζομενοι ἑαυτους· Imposing on your own selves by sophistical arguments; this is the meaning of the words. They had reasoned themselves into a state of carnal security, and the object of St. James is, to awake them out of their sleep.

Clarke: Jam 1:23 - Beholding his natural face in a glass Beholding his natural face in a glass - This metaphor is very simple, but very expressive. A man wishes to see his own face, and how, in its natural...

Beholding his natural face in a glass - This metaphor is very simple, but very expressive. A man wishes to see his own face, and how, in its natural state, it appears; for this purpose he looks into a mirror, by which his real face, with all its blemishes and imperfections, is exhibited. He is affected with his own appearance; he sees deformities that might be remedied; spots, superfluities, and impurities, that might be removed. While he continues to look into the mirror he is affected, and wishes himself different to what he appears, and forms purposes of doing what he can to render his countenance agreeable. On going away he soon forgets what manner of person he was, because the mirror is now removed, and his face is no longer reflected to himself; and he no longer recollects how disagreeable he appeared, and his own resolutions of improving his countenance. The doctrines of God, faithfully preached, are such a mirror; he who hears cannot help discovering his own character, and being affected with his own deformity; he sorrows, and purposes amendment; but when the preaching is over, the mirror is removed, and not being careful to examine the records of his salvation, the perfect law of liberty, Jam 1:25, or not continuing to look therein, he soon forgets what manner of man he was; or, reposing some unscriptural trust in God’ s mercy, he reasons himself out of the necessity of repentance and amendment of life, and thus deceives his soul.

Clarke: Jam 1:25 - But whoso looketh into the perfect law But whoso looketh into the perfect law - The word παρακυψας, which we translate looketh into, is very emphatic, and signifies that deep an...

But whoso looketh into the perfect law - The word παρακυψας, which we translate looketh into, is very emphatic, and signifies that deep and attentive consideration given to a thing or subject which a man cannot bring up to his eyes, and therefore must bend his back and neck, stooping down, that he may see it to the greater advantage. The law of liberty must mean the Gospel; it is a law, for it imposes obligations from God, and prescribes a rule of life; and it punishes transgressors, and rewards the obedient. It is, nevertheless, a law that gives liberty from the guilt, power, dominion, and influence of sin; and it is perfect, providing a fullness of salvation for the soul: and it may be called perfect here, in opposition to the law, which was a system of types and representations of which the Gospel is the sum and substance. Some think that the word τελειον, perfect, is added here to signify that the whole of the Gospel must be considered and received, not a part; all its threatenings with its promises, all its precepts with its privileges

Clarke: Jam 1:25 - And continueth And continueth - Παραμεινας· Takes time to see and examine the state of his soul, the grace of his God, the extent of his duty, and the...

And continueth - Παραμεινας· Takes time to see and examine the state of his soul, the grace of his God, the extent of his duty, and the height of the promised glory. The metaphor here is taken from those females who spend much time at their glass, in order that they may decorate themselves to the greatest advantage, and not leave one hair, or the smallest ornament, out of its place

Clarke: Jam 1:25 - He being not a forgetful hearer He being not a forgetful hearer - This seems to be a reference to Deu 4:9 : "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forg...

He being not a forgetful hearer - This seems to be a reference to Deu 4:9 : "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life."He who studies and forgets is like to a woman who brings forth children, and immediately buries them. Aboth R. Nathan, cap. 23

Clarke: Jam 1:25 - Shall be blessed in his deed Shall be blessed in his deed - In Pirkey Aboth, cap. Deu 4:14, it is said: "There are four kinds of men who visit the synagogues 1.   ...

Shall be blessed in his deed - In Pirkey Aboth, cap. Deu 4:14, it is said: "There are four kinds of men who visit the synagogues

1.    He who enters but does not work

2.    He who works but does not enter

3.    He who enters and works

4.    He who neither enters nor works

The first two are indifferent characters; the third is the righteous man; the fourth is wholly evil.

As the path of duty is the way of safety, so it is the way of happiness; he who obeys God from a loving heart and pure conscience, will infallibly find continual blessedness.

Clarke: Jam 1:26 - Seem to be religious Seem to be religious - The words θρησκος and θρησκεια, which we translate religious and religion, (see the next verse), are of ver...

Seem to be religious - The words θρησκος and θρησκεια, which we translate religious and religion, (see the next verse), are of very uncertain etymology. Suidas, under the word θρησκευει, which he translates θεοσεβει, ὑπηρετει τοις θεοις, he worships or serves the gods, accounts for the derivation thus: "It is said that Orpheus, a Thracian, instituted the mysteries (or religious rites) of the Greeks, and called the worshipping of God θρησκευειν threskeuein , as being a Thracian invention."Whatever its derivation may be, the word is used both to signify true religion, and superstition or heterodoxy. See Hesychius, and see on Jam 1:27 (note)

Clarke: Jam 1:26 - Bridleth not his tongue Bridleth not his tongue - He who speaks not according to the oracles of God, whatever pretences he makes to religion, only shows, by his want of scr...

Bridleth not his tongue - He who speaks not according to the oracles of God, whatever pretences he makes to religion, only shows, by his want of scriptural knowledge, that his religion is false, ματαιος, or empty of solid truth, profit to others, and good to himself. Such a person should bridle his tongue, put the bit in his mouth; and particularly if he be a professed teacher of religion; ho matter where he has studied, or what else he has learned, if he have not learned religion, he can never teach it. And religion is of such a nature that no man can learn it but by experience; he who does not feel the doctrine of God to be the power of God to the salvation of his soul, can neither teach religion, nor act according to its dictates, because he is an unconverted, unrenewed man. If he be old, let him retire to the desert, and pray to God for light; if he be in the prime of life, let him turn his attention to some honest calling; if he be young, let him tarry at Jericho till his beard grows.

Clarke: Jam 1:27 - Pure religion, and undefiled Pure religion, and undefiled - Having seen something of the etymology of the word θρησκεια, which we translate religion, it will be well to...

Pure religion, and undefiled - Having seen something of the etymology of the word θρησκεια, which we translate religion, it will be well to consider the etymology of the word religion itself

In the 28th chapter of the 4th book of his Divine Instructions, Lactantius, who flourished about a.d. 300, treats of hope, true religion, and superstition; of the two latter he gives Cicero’ s definition from his book De Natura Deorum, lib. ii. c. 28, which with his own definition will lead us to a correct view, not only of the etymology, but of the thing itself

"Superstition,"according to that philosopher, "had its name from the custom of those who offered daily prayers and sacrifices, that their children might Survive Them; ut sui sibi liberi superstites essent . Hence they were called superstitiosi , superstitious. On the other hand, religion, religio , had its name from those who, not satisfied with what was commonly spoken concerning the nature and worship of the gods, searched into the whole matter, and perused the writings of past times; hence they were called religiosi , from re , again, and lego , I read.

This definition Lactantius ridicules, and shows that religion has its name from re , intensive, and ligo , I bind, because of that bond of piety by which it binds us to God, and this he shows was the notion conceived of it by Lucretius, who labored to dissolve this bond, and make men atheists

Primum quod magnis doceo de rebus, et Arcti

Religionum animos Nodis Exsolvere pergo

For first I teach great things in lofty strains

And loose men from religion’ s grievous chains

Lucret., lib. i., ver. 930, 93

As to superstition, he says it derived its name from those who paid religious veneration to the memory of the dead, ( qui superstitem memoriam defunctorem colunt ), or from those who, surviving their parents, worshipped their images at home, as household gods; aut qui, parentibus suis superstites, colebant imagines eorum domi, tanquam deos penates . Superstition, according to others, refers to novel rites and ceremonies in religion, or to the worship of new gods. But by religion are meant the ancient forms of worship belonging to those gods, which had long been received. Hence that saying of Virgil: -

Vana superstitio veterumque ignara deorum

"Vain superstition not knowing the ancient gods.

Here Lactantius observes, that as the ancient gods were consecrated precisely in the same way with these new ones, that therefore it was nothing but superstition from the beginning. Hence he asserts, the superstitious are those who worship many and false gods, and the Christians alone are religious, who worship and supplicate the one true God only. St. James’ definition rather refers to the effects of pure religion than to its nature. The life of God in the soul of man, producing love to God and man, will show itself in the acts which St. James mentions here. It is pure in the principle, for it is Divine truth and Divine love. It is undefiled in all its operations: it can produce nothing unholy, because it ever acts in the sight of God; and it can produce no ungentle word nor unkind act, because it comes from the Father

The words καθαρα και αμιαντος, pure and undefiled, are supposed to have reference to a diamond or precious stone, whose perfection consists in its being free from flaws; not cloudy, but of a pure water. True religion is the ornament of the soul, and its effects, the ornament of the life

Clarke: Jam 1:27 - To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction - Works of charity and mercy are the proper fruits of religion; and none are more especially ...

To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction - Works of charity and mercy are the proper fruits of religion; and none are more especially the objects of charity and mercy than the orphans and widows. False religion may perform acts of mercy and charity; but its motives not being pure, and its principle being defiled, the flesh, self, and hypocrisy, spot the man, and spot his acts. True religion does not merely give something for the relief of the distressed, but it visits them, it takes the oversight of them, it takes them under its care; so επισκεπτεσθαι means. It goes to their houses, and speaks to their hearts; it relieves their wants, sympathizes with them in their distresses, instructs them in Divine things and recommends them to God. And all this it does for the Lord’ s sake. This is the religion of Christ. The religion that does not prove itself by works of charity and mercy is not of God. Reader, what religion hast thou? Has thine ever led thee to cellars, garrets, cottages, and houses, to find out the distressed? Hast thou ever fed, clothed, and visited a destitute representative of Christ

The subject in Jam 1:11 suggests several reflections on the mutability of human affairs, and the end of all things

1.    Nature herself is subject to mutability, though by her secret and inscrutable exertions she effects her renovation from her decay, and thus change is prevented from terminating in destruction. Yet nature herself is tending, by continual mutations, to a final destruction; or rather to a fixed state, when time, the place and sphere of mutability, shall be absorbed in eternity. Time and nature are coeval; they began and must terminate together. All changes are efforts to arrive at destruction or renovation; and destruction must be the term or bound of all created things, had not the Creator purposed that his works should endure for ever. According to his promise, we look for a new heaven and a new earth; a fixed, permanent, and endless state of things; an everlasting sabbath to all the works of God

I shall confirm these observations with the last verses of that incomparable poem, the Faery Queene, of our much neglected but unrivalled poet, Edmund Spenser: -

"When I bethink me on that speech whylear

Of mutability, and well it weigh

Me seems, that though she all unworthy wer

Of the heaven’ s rule; yet very sooth to say

In all things else she bears the greatest sway

Which makes me loath this state of life so tickle

And love of things so vain to cast away

Whose flow’ ring pride, so fading and so fickle

Short Time shall soon cut down with his consuming sickle

Then gin I think on that which Nature sayd

Of that same time when no more change shall be

But stedfast rest of all things, firmly stay

Upon the pillours of eternity

That is contrayr to mutability

For all that moveth, doth in change delight

But thenceforth all shall rest eternall

With him that is the God of Sabaoth hight

O that great Sabaoth God, grant me that Sabaoth’ s sight!

When this is to be the glorious issue, who can regret the speedy lapse of time? Mutability shall end in permanent perfection, when time, the destroyer of all things, shall be absorbed in eternity. And what has a righteous man to fear from that "wreck of matter and that crush of worlds,"which to him shall usher in the glories of an eternal day? A moralist has said, "Though heaven shall vanish like a vapour, and this firm globe of earth shall crumble into dust, the righteous man shall stand unmoved amidst the shocked depredations of a crushed world; for he who hath appointed the heavens and the earth to fail, hath said unto the virtuous soul, Fear not! for thou shalt neither perish nor be wretched.

Dr. Young has written most nervously, in the spirit of the highest order of poetry, and with the knowledge and feeling of a sound divine, on this subject, in his Night Thoughts. Night vi. in fine

Of man immortal hear the lofty style: -

"If so decreed, th’ Almighty will be done

Let earth dissolve, yon ponderous orbs descen

And grind us into dust: the soul is safe

The man emerges; mounts above the wreck

As towering flame from nature’ s funeral pyre

O’ er desolation, as a gainer, smiles

His charter, his inviolable rights

Well pleased to learn from thunder’ s impotence

Death’ s pointless darts, and hell’ s defeated storms.

After him, and borrowing his imagery and ideas, another of our poets, in canticis sacris facile princeps , has expounded and improved the whole in the following hymn on the Judgment

"Stand the Omnipotent decree

Jehovah’ s will be done

Nature’ s end we wait to see

And hear her final groan

Let this earth dissolve, and blen

In death the wicked and the just

Let those ponderous orbs descen

And grind us into dust

Rests secure the righteous man

At his Redeemer’ s beck

Sure to emerge, and rise again

And mount above the wreck

Lo! the heavenly spirit tower

Like flames o’ er nature’ s funeral pyre

Triumphs in immortal powers

And claps her wings of fire

Nothing hath the just to los

By worlds on worlds destroy’ d

Far beneath his feet he views

With smiles, the flaming void

Sees the universe renew’ d

The grand millennial reign begun

Shouts with all the sons of Go

Around th’ eternal throne.

Wesle

One word more, and I shall trouble my reader no farther on a subject on which I could wear out my pen and drain the last drop of my ink. The learned reader will join in the wish

" Talia saecla suis dixerunt, currite, fusi

Concordes stabili fatorum numine Parcae

Aggredere O magnos (aderit jam tempus!) honores

Cara Deum soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum

Aspice convexo nutantem pondere mundum

Terrasque, tractusque maris, coelumque profundum

Aspice, venturo laetentur ut omnia saeclo

O mihi tam longae maneat pars ultima vitae

Spiritus, et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta !

Virg. Eclog. iv

    There has never been a translation of this, worthy of the poet; and to such a piece I cannot persuade myself to append the hobbling verses of Mr. Dryden

2.    Taken in every point of view, Jam 1:17 is one of the most curious and singular in the New Testament. It has been well observed, that the first words make a regular Greek hexameter verse, supposed to be quoted from some Greek poet not now extant; and the last clause of the verse, with a very little change, makes another hexameter: -

Πασα δοσις αγαθη, και παν δωρημα τελειον

Εστ απο των φωτων Πατρος καταβαινον ανωθεν.

"Every goodly gift, and every perfect donation

Is from the Father of lights, and from above it descendeth.

    The first line, which is incontestably a perfect hexameter, may have been designed by St. James, or in the course of composition may have originated from accident, a thing which often occurs to all good writers; but the sentiment itself is immediately from heaven. I know not that we can be justified by sound criticism in making any particular distinction between δοσις and δωρημα· our translators have used the same word in rendering both. They are often synonymous; but sometimes we may observe a shade of difference, δοσις signifying a gift of any kind, here probably meaning earthly blessings of all sorts, δωρημα signifying a free gift - one that comes without constraint, from the mere benevolence of the giver; and here it may signify all spiritual and eternal blessings. Now all these come from above; God is as much the Author of our earthly good, as he is of our eternal salvation. Earthly blessings are simply good; but they are imperfect, they perish in the using. The blessings of grace and glory are supreme goods, they are permanent and perfect; and to the gift that includes these the term τελειον, perfect, is here properly added by St. James. There is a sentiment very similar to this in the ninth Olympic Ode of Pindar, l. 41: -

- - Αγαθοι δε

Και σοφοι κατα Δαιμον ανδρες.

Man, boast of naught: whate’ er thou hast is given

Wisdom and virtue are the gifts of Heaven

    But how tame is even Pindar’ s verse when compared with the energy of James

3.    In the latter part of the verse, παρ ᾡ ουκ ενι παραλλαγη, η τροπης αποσκιασμα, which we translate, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, there is an allusion to some of the most abstruse principles in astronomy. This is not accidental, for every word in the whole verse is astronomical. In his Πατηρ των φωτων, Father of lights, there is the most evident allusion to the Sun, who is the father, author, or source of all the lights or luminaries proper to our system. It is not only his light which we enjoy by day, but it is his light also which is reflected to us, from the moon’ s surface, by night. And it is demonstrable that all the planets - Mercury, Venus, the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Jupiter, Saturn, Saturn’ s Rings, and Herschel, or the Georgium Sidus, with the four satellites of Jupiter, the seven satellites of Saturn, and the six satellites of the Georgium Sidus, thirty-one bodies in all, besides the comets, all derive their light from the sun, being perfectly opaque or dark in themselves; the sun being the only luminous body in our system; all the rest being illumined by him

The word παραλλαγη, which we translate variableness, from παραλλαττω, to change alternately, to pass from one change to another, evidently refers to parallax in astronomy. To give a proper idea of what astronomers mean by this term, it must be premised that all the diurnal motions of the heavenly bodies from east to west are only apparent, being occasioned by the rotation of the earth upon its axis in an opposite direction in about twenty-four hours. These diurnal motions are therefore performed uniformly round the axis or polar diameter of the earth, and not round the place of the spectator, who is upon the earth’ s surface. Hence every one who observes the apparent motion of the heavens from this surface will find that this motion is not even, equal arches being described in unequal times; for if a globular body, such as the earth, describe equally the circumference of a circle by its rotatory motion, it is evident the equality of this motion can be seen in no other points than those in the axis of the circle, and therefore any object viewed from the center of the earth will appear in a different place from what it does when observed from the surface. This difference of place of the same object, seen at the same time from the earth’ s center and surface, is called its parallax

As I shall make some farther use of this point, in order to make it plain to those who are not much acquainted with the subject, to which I am satisfied St. James alludes, I shall introduce the following diagram: Let the circle OKNS. in the annexed figure, represent the earth, E its center, O the place of an observer on its surface, whose visible or sensible horizon is OH, and the line EST, parallel to OH, the rational, true, or mathematical horizon. Let ZDFT be considered a portion of a great circle in the heavens, and A the place of an object in the visible horizon. Join EA by a line produced to C: then C is the true place of the object, and H is its apparent place; and the angle CAH is its parallax; and, because the object is in the horizon, it is called its horizontal parallax. As OAE, the angle which the earth’ s radius or semidiameter subtends to the object, is necessarily equal to its opposite angle CAH, hence the horizontal parallax of an object is defined to be the angle which the earth’ s semidiameter subtends at that object

The whole effect of parallax is in a vertical direction; for the parallactic angle is in the plane passing through the observer and the earth’ s center, which plane is necessarily perpendicular to the horizon, the earth being considered as a sphere. The more elevated an object is above the horizon, the less the parallax, the distance from the earth’ s center continuing the same. To make this sufficiently clear, let B represent an object at any given altitude above the visible horizon OAH; then the angle DBF, formed by the straight lines OB and EB produced to F and D, will be the parallax of the object at the given altitude, and is less than the parallax of the same object when in the visible horizon OAH, for the angle DBF is less than the angle CAH. Hence the horizontal parallax is the greatest of all diurnal parallaxes; and when the object is in the zenith, it has no parallax, the visual ray passing perpendicularly from the object through the observer to the earth’ s center, as in the line Zoe

The quantity of the horizontal parallax of any object is in proportion to its distance from the place of observation, being greater or less as the object is nearer to or farther removed from the spectator. In illustration of this point, let I be the place of an object in the sensible horizon; then will LIH be its horizontal parallax, which is a smaller angle than CAH, the horizontal parallax of the nearer object A

The horizontal parallax being given, the distance of the object from the earth’ s center, EA or EI, may be readily found in semidiameters of the earth by the resolution of the right-angled triangle OEA, in which we have given the angle OAE, the horizontal parallax, the side OE, the semidiameter of the earth, considered as unity, and the right angle AOE, to find the side EA, the distance of the object from the earth’ s center. The proportion to be used in this case is: The sine of the horizontal parallax is to unity, the semidiameter of the earth, as radius, i.e. the right angle AOE, the sine of ninety degrees being the radius of a circle, is to the side EA. This proportion is very compendiously wrought by logarithms as follows: Subtract the logarithmic sine of the horizontal parallax from 10, the radius, and the remainder will be the logarithm of the answer

Example. When the moon’ s horizontal parallax is a degree, what is her distance from the earth’ s center in semidiameters of the earth

10.0000000
Subtract the sine of 1 degree 8.2418553
Remainder the logarithm of 57.2987 1.7581447

Which is the distance of the moon in semidiameters of the earth, when her horizontal parallax amounts to a degree. If 57.2987 be multiplied by 3977, the English miles contained in the earth’ s semidiameter, the product, 227876.9, will be the moon’ s distance from the earth’ s center in English miles

The sun’ s horizontal parallax is about eight seconds and three-fifths, as is evident from the phenomena attending the transits of Venus, of 1761 and 1769, as observed in different parts of the world: a method of obtaining the solar parallax abundantly less liable to be materially affected by error of observation than that of Hipparchus, who lived between the 154th and 163d Olympiad, from lunar eclipses; or than that of Aristarchus the Samian, from the moon’ s dichotomy; or even than that of modern astronomers from the parallax of Mars when in opposition, and, at the same time, in or near his perihelion. The sun’ s horizontal parallax being scarcely the four hundred and eighteenth part of that of the moon given in the preceding example, if 227876.9, the distance of the moon as found above, be multiplied by 418.6, (for the horizontal parallax decreases nearly in proportion as the distance increases), the product will be the distance of the sun from the earth’ s center, which will be found to be upwards of ninety-five millions of English miles

When we know the horizontal parallax of any object, its magnitude is easily determined. The apparent diameter of the sun, for example, at his mean distance from the earth, is somewhat more than thirty-two minutes of a degree, which is at least a hundred and eleven times greater than the double of the sun’ s horizontal parallax, or the apparent diameter of the earth as seen from the sun; therefore, the real solar diameter must be at least a hundred and eleven times greater than that of the earth; i.e. upwards of 880,000 English miles. And as spherical bodies are to each other as the cubes of their diameters, if 111 be cubed, we shall find that the magnitude of the sun is more than thirteen hundred thousand times greater than that of the earth

The whole effect of parallax being in a vertical circle, and the circles of the sphere not being in this direction, the parallax of a star will evidently change its true place with respect to these different circles; whence there are five kinds of diurnal parallaxes, viz. the parallax of longitude, parallax of latitude, parallax of ascension or descension, parallax: of declination, and parallax of altitude, the last of which has been already largely explained; and the meaning of the first four, simply, is the difference between the true and visible longitude, latitude, right ascension, and declination of an object. Besides these, there is another kind of parallax, called by modern astronomers the parallax of the earth’ s Annual Orbit, by which is meant the difference between the places of a planet as seen from the sun and the earth at the same time, the former being its true or heliocentric place, and the latter its apparent or geocentric place. The ancient astronomers gave the term parallax only to the diurnal apparent inequalities of motion in the moon and planets; Ptolemy, who lived in the second century, calling prosaphaeresis orbis what is now named the parallax of the great or annual orbit. This parallax is more considerable than the diurnal parallax, as the earth’ s annual orbit is more considerable than the earth’ s semidiameter. This parallax, when greatest, amounts in Mars, the nearest superior planet, to upwards of forty-seven degrees; in Jupiter to near twelve degrees; in Saturn to more than six degrees, etc. In the region of the nearest fixed stars, i.e. those new ones of 1572 and 1604, double the radius of the earth’ s orbit does not subtend an angle of a single minute of a degree; whence it is evident the nearest fixed stars are at least hundreds of times more distant from us than the Georgium Sidus is, whose greatest annual parallax amounts to upwards of three degrees. The annual parallaxes of the fixed stars are, in general, too minute to be measured; hence their distances from the earth must be inconceivably great

Any farther description of parallax would be useless in reference to the subject to be illustrated

The words τροπης αποσκιασμα, shadow of turning, either refer to the darkness in which the earth is involved in consequence of its turning round its axis once in every twenty-four hours, by means of which one hemisphere, or half of its surface, is involved in darkness, being hidden from the sun by the opposite hemisphere; or to the different portions of the earth which come gradually into the solar light by its revolution round its orbit, which, in consequence of the pole of the earth being inclined nearly twenty-three degrees and a half to the plane of its orbit, and keeping its parallelism through every part of its revolution, causes all the vicissitudes of season, with all the increasing and decreasing proportions of light and darkness, and of cold and heat

Every person who understands the images will see with what propriety St. James has introduced them; and through this his great object is at once discernible. It is evident from this chapter that there were persons, among those to whom he wrote, that held very erroneous opinions concerning the Divine nature; viz. that God tempted or influenced men to sin, and, consequently, that he was the author of all the evil that is in the world; and that he withholds his light and influence when necessary to convey truth and to correct vice. To destroy this error he shows that though the sun, for its splendor, genial heat, and general utility to the globe and its inhabitants, may be a fit emblem of God, yet in several respects the metaphor is very imperfect; for the sun himself is liable to repeated obscurations; and although, as to his mass, he is the focus of the system, giving light and heat to all, yet he is not everywhere present, and both his light and heat may be intercepted by a great variety of opposing bodies, and other causes. St. James refers particularly to the Divine ubiquity or omnipresence. Wherever his light and energy are, there is he himself; neither his word nor his Spirit gives false or inconsistent views of his nature and gracious purposes. He has no parallax, because he is equally present everywhere, and intimately near to all his creatures; He is never seen where he is not, or not seen where he is. He is the God and Father of all; who is Above all, and Through all, and In all; "in the wide waste, as in the city full;"nor can any thing be hidden from his light and heat. There can be no opposing bodies to prevent him from sending forth his light and truth, because he is everywhere essentially present. He suffers no eclipses; he changes not in his nature; he varies not in his designs; he is ever a full, free, and eternal fountain of mercy, goodness, truth, and good will, to all his intelligent offspring. Hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth! Amen

In concluding these observations, I think it necessary to refer to Mr. Wakefield’ s translation of this text, and his vindication of that translation: Every good gift, and every perfect kindness, cometh down from above, from the Father of lights, with whom is no parallax, nor tropical shadow. "Some have affected,"says he, "to ridicule my translation of this verse, if it be obscure, the author must answer for that, and not the translator. Why should we impoverish the sacred writers, by robbing them of the learning and science they display? Why should we conceal in them what we should ostentatiously point out in profane authors? And if any of these wise, learned, and judicious critics think they understand the phrase shadow of turning, I wish they would condescend to explain it."Yes, if such a sentiment were found in Aratus, or in any other ancient astronomical writer, whole pages of commentary would be written on it, and the subtle doctrine of the parallactic angle proved to be well known in itself, and its use in determining the distances and magnitudes of the heavenly bodies, to the ancients some hundreds of years before the Christian era

The sentiment is as elegant as it is just, and forcibly points out the unchangeableness and beneficence of God. He is the Sun, not of a system, but of all worlds; the great Fountain and Dispenser of light and heat, of power and life, of order, harmony, and perfection. In him all live and move, and from him they have their being. There are no spots on his disk; all is unclouded splendor. Can he who dwells in this unsufferable and unapproachable light, in his own eternal self-sufficiency, concern himself with the affairs of mortals? Yes, for we are his offspring; and it is one part of his perfection to delight in the welfare of his intelligent creatures. He is loving to every man: he hates nothing that he has made; and his praise endureth for ever!

Calvin: Jam 1:1 - To the twelve tribes 1.To the twelve tribes. When the ten tribes were banished, the Assyrian king placed them in different parts. Afterwards, as it usually happens in the...

1.To the twelve tribes. When the ten tribes were banished, the Assyrian king placed them in different parts. Afterwards, as it usually happens in the revolutions of kingdoms (such as then took place,) it is very probable that they moved here and there in all directions. And the Jews had been scattered almost unto all quarters of the world. He then wrote and exhorted all those whom he could not personally address, because they had been scattered far and wide. But that he speaks not of the grace of Christ and of faith in him, the reason seems to be this, because he addressed those who had already been rightly taught by others; so that they had need, not so much of doctrine, as of the goads of exhortations. 98

Calvin: Jam 1:2 - All joy 2.All joy. The first exhortation is, to bear trials with a cheerful mind. And it was especially necessary at that time to comfort the Jews, almost ov...

2.All joy. The first exhortation is, to bear trials with a cheerful mind. And it was especially necessary at that time to comfort the Jews, almost overwhelmed as they were with troubles. For the very name of the nation was so infamous, that they were hated and despised by all people wherever they went; and their condition as Christians rendered them still more miserable, because they held their own nation as their most inveterate enemies. At the same time, this consolation was not so suited to one time, but that it is always useful to believers, whose life is a constant warfare on earth.

But that we may know more fully what he means, we must doubtless take temptations or trials as including all adverse things; and they are so called, because they are the tests of our obedience to God. He bids the faithful, while exercised with these, to rejoice; and that not only when they fall into one temptation, but into many, not only of one kind, but of various kinds. And doubtless, since they serve to mortify our flesh, as the vices of the flesh continually shoot up in us, so they must necessarily be often repeated. Besides, as we labor under diseases, so it is no wonder that different remedies are applied to remove them.

The Lord then afflicts us in various ways, because ambition, avarice, envy, gluttony, intemperance, excessive love of the world, and the innumerable lusts in which we abound, cannot be cured by the same medicine.

When he bids us to count it all joy, it is the same as though he had said, that temptations ought to be so deemed as gain, as to be regarded as occasions of joy. He means, in short, that there is nothing in afflictions which ought to disturb our joy. And thus, he not only commands us to bear adversities calmly, and with an even mind, but shews us that this is a reason why the faithful should rejoice when pressed down by them.

It is, indeed, certain, that all the senses of our nature are so formed, that every trial produces in us grief and sorrow; and no one of us can so far divest himself of his nature as not to grieve and be sorrowful whenever he feels any evil. But this does not prevent the children of God to rise, by the guidance of the Spirit, above the sorrow of the flesh. Hence it is, that in the midst of trouble they cease not to rejoice.

Calvin: Jam 1:3 - Knowing this, that the trying 3.Knowing this, that the trying. We now see why he called adversities trials or temptations, even because they serve to try our faith. And there i...

3.Knowing this, that the trying. We now see why he called adversities trials or temptations, even because they serve to try our faith. And there is here a reason given to confirm the last sentence. For it might, on the other hand, be objected, “How comes it, that we judge that sweet which to the sense is bitter?” He then shews by the effect that we ought to rejoice in afflictions, because they produce fruit that ought to be highly valued, even patience. If God then provides for our salvation, he affords us an occasion of rejoicing. Peter uses a similar argument at the beginning of his first Epistle, “That the trial of your faith, more precious than gold, may be,” etc. [1Pe 1:7.] We certainly dread diseases, and want, and exile, and prison, and reproach, and death, because we regard them as evils; but when we understand that they are turned through God’s kindness unto helps and aids to our salvation, it is ingratitude to murmur, and not willingly to submit to be thus paternally dealt with.

Paul says, in Rom 5:3, that we are to glory in tribulations; and James says here, that we are to rejoice. “We glory,” says Paul, “in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” What immediately follows seems contrary to the words of James; for he mentions probation in the third place, as the effect of patience, which is here put first as though it were the cause. But the solution is obvious; the word there has an active, but here a passive meaning. Probation or trial is said by James to produce patience; for were not God to try us, but leave us free from trouble, there would be no patience, which is no other thing than fortitude of mind in bearing evils. But Paul means, that while by enduring we conquer evils, we experience how much God’s help avails in necessities; for then the truth of God is as it were in reality manifested to us. Hence it comes that we dare to entertain more hope as to futurity; for the truth of God, known by experience, is more fully believed by us. Hence Paul teaches that by such a probation, that is, by such an experience of divine grace, hope is produced, not that hope then only begins, but that it increases and is confirmed. But both mean, that tribulation is the means by which patience is produced.

Moreover, the minds of men are not so formed by nature, that affliction of itself produces patience in them. But Paul and Peter regard not so much the nature of men as the providence of God through which it comes, that the faithful learn patience from troubles; for the ungodly are thereby more and more provoked to madness, as the example of Pharaoh proves. 99

Calvin: Jam 1:4 - But let patience have her perfect work 4.But let patience have her perfect work As boldness and courage often appear in us and soon fail, he therefore requires perseverance. “Real patien...

4.But let patience have her perfect work As boldness and courage often appear in us and soon fail, he therefore requires perseverance. “Real patience,” he says, “is that which endures to the end.” For work here means the effort not only to overcome in one contest, but to persevere through life. His perfection may also he referred to the sincerity of the soul, that men ought willingly and not feignedly to submit to God; but as the word work is added, I prefer to explain it of constancy. For there are many, as we have said, who shew at first an heroic greatness, and shortly after grow weary and faint. He therefore bids those who would be perfect and entire, 100 to persevere to the end. But what he means by these two words, he afterwards explains of those who fail not, or become not wearied: for they, who being overcome as to patience, be broken down, must, by degrees, be necessarily weakened, and at length wholly fail.

Calvin: Jam 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom // That giveth to all men liberally // And upbraideth not 5.If any of you lack wisdom As our reason, and all our feelings are averse to the thought that we can be happy in the midst of evils, he bids us to a...

5.If any of you lack wisdom As our reason, and all our feelings are averse to the thought that we can be happy in the midst of evils, he bids us to ask of the Lord to give us wisdom. For wisdom here, I confine to the subject of the passage, as though he had said, “If this doctrine is higher than what your minds can reach to, ask of the Lord to illuminate you by his Spirit; for as this consolation alone is sufficient to mitigate all the bitterness of evils, that what is grievous to the flesh is salutary to us; so we must necessarily be overcome with impatience, except we be sustained by this kind of comfort.” Since we see that the Lord does not so require from us what is above our strength, but that he is ready to help us, provided we ask, let us, therefore, learn, whenever he commands anything, to ask from him the power to perform it.

Though in this place to be wise is to submit to God in the endurance of evils, under a due conviction that he so orders all things as to promote our salvation; yet the sentence may be generally applied to every branch of right knowledge.

But why does he say If any one, as though all of them did not want wisdom. To this I answer, that all are by nature without it; but that some are gifted with the spirit of wisdom, while others are without it. As, then, all had not made such progress as to rejoice in affliction, but few there were to whom this had been given, James, therefore, referred to such cases; and he reminded those who were not as yet fully convinced that by the cross their salvation was promoted by the Lord, that they were to ask to be endued with wisdom. And yet there is no doubt, but that necessity reminds us all to ask the same thing; for he who has made the greatest progress, is yet far off from the goal. But to ask an increase of wisdom is another thing than to ask for it at first.

When he bids us to ask of the Lord, he intimates, that he alone can heal our diseases and relieve our wants.

That giveth to all men liberally. By all, he means those who ask; for they who seek no remedy for their wants, deserve to pine away in them. However, this universal declaration, by which every one of us is invited to ask, without exception, is very important; hence no man ought to deprive himself of so great a privilege.

To the same purpose is the promise which immediately follows; for as by this command he shews what is the duty of every one, so he affirms that they would not do in vain what he commands; according to what is said by Christ,

“Knock, and it shall be opened.”
(Mat 7:7; Luk 11:9.)

The word liberally, or freely, denotes promptitude in giving. So Paul, in Rom 12:8, requires simplicity in deacons. And in 2Co 8:0 and 2Co 9:0, when speaking of charity or love, he repeats the same word several times. The meaning, then, is, that God is so inclined and ready to give, that he rejects none, or haughtily puts them off, being not like the niggardly and grasping, who either sparingly, as with a closed hand, give but little, or give only a part of what they were about to give, or long debate with themselves whether to give or not. 101

And upbraideth not This is added, lest any one should fear to come too often to God. Those who are the most liberal among men, when any one asks often to be helped, mention their formal acts of kindness, and thus excuse themselves for the future. Hence, a mortal man, however open-handed he may be, we are ashamed to weary by asking too often. But James reminds us, that there is nothing like this in God; for he is ready ever to add new blessings to former ones, without any end or limitation.

Calvin: Jam 1:6 - But let him ask in faith // He that wavereth 6.But let him ask in faith. He shews here, first the right way of praying; for as we cannot pray without the word, as it were, leading the way, so we...

6.But let him ask in faith. He shews here, first the right way of praying; for as we cannot pray without the word, as it were, leading the way, so we must believe before we pray; for we testify by prayer, that we hope to obtain from God the grace which he has promised. Thus every one who has no faith in the promises, prays dissemblingly. Hence, also, we learn what is true faith; for James, after having bidden us to ask in faith, adds this explanation, nothing wavering, or, doubting nothing. Then faith is that which relies on God’s promises, and makes us sure of obtaining what we ask. It hence follows, that it is connected with confidence and certainty as to God’s love towards us. The verb διακρίνεσθαι, which he uses, means properly to inquire into both sides of a question, after the manner of pleaders. He would have us then to be so convinced of what God has once promised, as not to admit a doubt whether he shall be heard or not.

He that wavereth, or doubteth. By this similitude he strikingly expresses how God punishes the unbelief of those who doubt his promises; for, by their own restlessness, they torment themselves inwardly; for there is never any calmness for our souls, except they recumb on the truth of God. He, at length, concludes, that such are unworthy to receive anything from God.

This is a remarkable passage, fitted to disprove that impious dogma which is counted as an oracle under the whole Papacy, that is, that we ought to pray doubtingly, and with uncertainty as to our success. This principle, then, we hold, that our prayers are not heard by the Lord, except when we have a confidence that we shall obtain. It cannot indeed be otherwise, but that through the infirmity of our flesh we must be tossed by various temptations, which are like engines employed to shake our confidence; so that no one is found who does not vacillate and tremble according to the feeling of his flesh; but temptations of this kind are at length to be overcome by faith. The case is the same as with a tree, which has struck firm roots; it shakes, indeed, through the blowing of the wind, but is not rooted up; on the contrary, it remains firm in its own place.

Calvin: Jam 1:8 - A double-minded man 8.A double-minded man, or, a man of a double mind. This sentence may be read by itself, as he speaks generally of hypocrites. It seems, however, to ...

8.A double-minded man, or, a man of a double mind. This sentence may be read by itself, as he speaks generally of hypocrites. It seems, however, to me to be rather the conclusion of the preceding doctrine; and thus there is an implied contrast between the simplicity or liberality of God, mentioned before, and the double-mindedness of man; for as God gives to us with a stretched out hand, so it behooves us in our turn to open the bosom of our heart. He then says that the unbelieving, who have tortuous recesses, are unstable; because they are never firm or fixed, but at one time they swell with the confidence of the flesh, at another they sink into the depth of despair. 102

Calvin: Jam 1:9 - Let the brother of low degree 9.Let the brother of low degree. As Paul, exhorting servants submissively to bear their lot, sets before them this consolation, that they were the fr...

9.Let the brother of low degree. As Paul, exhorting servants submissively to bear their lot, sets before them this consolation, that they were the free-men of God, having been set free by his grace from the most miserable bondage of Satan, and reminds them, though free, yet to remember that they were the servants of God; so here James in the same manner bids the lowly to glory in this, that they had been adopted by the Lord as his children; and the rich, because they had been brought down into the same condition, the world’s vanity having been made evident to them. Thus the first thing he would have to do is to be content with their humble and low state; and he forbids the rich to be proud. Since it is incomparably the greatest dignity to be introduced into the company of angels, nay, to be made the associates of Christ, he who estimates this favor of God aright, will regard all other things as worthless. Then neither poverty, nor contempt, nor nakedness, nor famine nor thirst, will make his mind so anxious, but that he will sustain himself with this consolation. “Since the Lord has conferred on me the principal thing, it behooves me patiently to bear the loss of other things, which are inferior.”

Behold, how a lowly brother ought to glory in his elevation or exaltation; for if he be accepted of God, he has sufficient consolation in his adoption alone, so as not to grieve unduly for a less prosperous state of life.

Calvin: Jam 1:10 - But the rich, in that he is made low // As the flower of the grass 10.But the rich, in that he is made low, or, in his lowness. He has mentioned the particular for the general; for this admonition pertains to all th...

10.But the rich, in that he is made low, or, in his lowness. He has mentioned the particular for the general; for this admonition pertains to all those who excel in honor; or in dignity, or in any other external thing. He bids them to glory in their lowness or littleness, in order to repress the haughtiness of those who are usually inflated with prosperity. But he calls it lowness, because the manifested kingdom of God ought to lead us to despise the world, as we know that all the things we previously greatly admired, are either nothing or very little things. For Christ, who is not a teacher except of babes, checks by his doctrine all the haughtiness of the flesh. Lest, then, the vain joy of the world should captivate the rich, they ought to habituate themselves to glory in the casting down of their carnal excellency. 103

As the flower of the grass. Were any one to say that James alludes to the words of Isaiah, I would not much object; but I cannot allow that he quotes the testimony of the Prophet, who speaks not only of the things of this life and the fading character of the world, but of the whole man, both body and soul; [Isa 40:6;] but here what is spoken of is the pomp of wealth or of riches. And the meaning is, that glorying in riches is foolish and preposterous, because they pass away in a moment. The philosophers teach the same thing; but the song is sung to the deaf, until the ears are opened by the Lord to hear the truth concerning the eternity of the celestial kingdom. Hence he mentions brother; intimating that there is no place for this truth, until we are admitted into the order of God’s children.

Calvin: Jam 1:11 - NO PHRASE Though the received reading is ἐν ταῖς πορείαις, yet I agree with Erasmus, and read the last word, πορίαις, without the diph...

Though the received reading is ἐν ταῖς πορείαις, yet I agree with Erasmus, and read the last word, πορίαις, without the diphthong “in his riches,” or, with his riches; and the latter I prefer. 104

Calvin: Jam 1:12 - Blessed is the man // For when he is tried 12.Blessed is the man. After having applied consolation, he moderated the sorrow of those who were severely handled in this world, and again humbled ...

12.Blessed is the man. After having applied consolation, he moderated the sorrow of those who were severely handled in this world, and again humbled the arrogance of the great. He now draws this conclusion, that they are happy who magnanimously endure troubles and other trials, so as to rise above them. The word temptation may indeed be otherwise understood, even for the stings of lusts which annoy the soul within; but which is here commended, as I think, is fortitude of mind in enduring adversities. It is, however, a paradox, that they are not happy to whom all things come according to their wishes, but such as are not overcome with evils.

For when he is tried. He gives a reason for the preceding sentence; for the crown follows the contest. If, then, it be our chief happiness to be crowned in the kingdom of God, it follows, that the contests with which the Lord tries us, are aids and helps to our happiness. Thus the argument is from the end or the effect: hence we conclude, that the faithful are harassed by so many evils for this purpose, that their piety and obedience may be made manifest, and that they may be thus at length prepared to receive the crown of life.

But they reason absurdly who hence infer that we by fighting merit the crown; for since God has gratuitously appointed it for us, our fighting only renders us fit to receive it.

He adds, that it is promised to those who love God. By speaking thus, he means not that the love of man is the cause of obtaining the crown, (for God anticipates us by his gratuitous love;) but he only intimates that the elect who love him are alone approved by God. He then reminds us that the conquerors of all temptations are those who love God, and that we fail not in courage when we are tried, for no other cause than because the love of the world prevails in us.

Calvin: Jam 1:13 - Let no man, when he is tempted 13.Let no man, when he is tempted. Here, no doubt, he speaks of another kind of temptation. It is abundantly evident that the external temptations, h...

13.Let no man, when he is tempted. Here, no doubt, he speaks of another kind of temptation. It is abundantly evident that the external temptations, hitherto mentioned, are sent to us by God. In this way God tempted Abraham, (Gen 22:1,) and daily tempts us, that is, he tries us as to what are we by laying before us an occasion by which our hearts are made known. But to draw out what is hid in our hearts is a far different thing from inwardly alluring our hearts by wicked lusts.

He then treats here of inward temptations which are nothing else than the inordinate desires which entice to sin. He justly denies that God is the author of these, because they flow from the corruption of our nature.

This warning is very necessary, for nothing is more common among men than to transfer to another the blame of the evils they commit; and they then especially seem to free themselves, when they ascribe it to God himself. This kind of evasion we constantly imitate, delivered down to us as it is from the first man. For this reason James calls us to confess our own guilt, and not to implicate God, as though he compelled us to sin.

But the whole doctrine of scripture seems to be inconsistent with this passage; for it teaches us that men are blinded by God, are given up to a reprobate mind, and delivered over to filthy and shameful lusts. To this I answer, that probably James was induced to deny that we are tempted by God by this reason, because the ungodly, in order to form an excuse, armed themselves with testimonies of Scripture. But there are two things to be noticed here: when Scripture ascribes blindness or hardness of heart to God, it does not assign to him the beginning of this blindness, nor does it make him the author of sin, so as to ascribe to him the blame: and on these two things only does James dwell.

Scripture asserts that the reprobate are delivered up to depraved lusts; but is it because the Lord depraves or corrupts their hearts? By no means; for their hearts are subjected to depraved lusts, because they are already corrupt and vicious. But since God blinds or hardens, is he not the author or minister of evil? Nay, but in this manner he punishes sins, and renders a just reward to the ungodly, who have refused to be ruled by his Spirit. (Rom 1:26.) It hence follows that the origin of sin is not in God, and no blame can be imputed to him as though he took pleasure in evils. (Gen 6:6.)

The meaning is, that man in vain evades, who attempts to cast the blame of his vices on God, because every evil proceeds from no other fountain than from the wicked lust of man. And the fact really is, that we are not otherwise led astray, except that every one has his own inclination as his leader and impeller. But that God tempts no one, he proves by this, because he is not tempted with evils 105 For it is the devil who allures us to sin, and for this reason, because he wholly burns with the mad lust of sinning. But God does not desire what is evil: he is not, therefore, the author of doing evil in us.

Calvin: Jam 1:14 - When he is drawn away by his own lust 14.When he is drawn away by his own lust As the inclination and excitement to sin are inward, in vain does the sinner seek an cause from an external ...

14.When he is drawn away by his own lust As the inclination and excitement to sin are inward, in vain does the sinner seek an cause from an external impulse. At the same time these two effects of lust ought to be noticed — that it ensnares us by its allurements, and that it does us away; each of which is sufficient to render us guilty. 106

Calvin: Jam 1:15 - Then when lust hath conceived 15.Then when lust hath conceived. He first calls that lust which is not any kind of evil affection or desire, but that which is the fountain of all...

15.Then when lust hath conceived. He first calls that lust which is not any kind of evil affection or desire, but that which is the fountain of all evil affections; by which, as he shews, are conceived vicious broods, which at length break forth into sins. It seems, however, improper, and not according to the usage of Scripture, to restrict the word sin to outward works, as though indeed lust itself were not a sin, and as though corrupt desires, remaining closed up within and suppressed, were not so many sins. But as the use of a word is various, there is nothing unreasonable if it be taken here, as in many other places, for actual sin.

And the Papists ignorantly lay hold on this passage, and seek to prove from it that vicious, yea, filthy, wicked, and the most abominable lusts are not sins, provided there is no assent; for James does not shew when sin begins to be born, so as to be sin, and so accounted by God, but when it breaks forth. For he proceeds gradually and shews that the consummation of sin is eternal death, and that sin arises from depraved desires, and that these depraved desires or affections have their root in lust. It hence follows that men gather fruit in eternal perdition, and fruit which they have procured for themselves.

By perfected sin, therefore, I understand, not any one act of sin perpetrated, but the completed course of sinning. For though death is merited by every sin whatever, yet it is said to be the reward of an ungodly and wicked life. Hence is the dotage of those confuted who conclude from these words, that sin is not mortal until it breaks forth, as they say, into an external act. Nor is this what James treats of; but his object was only this, to teach that there is in us the root of our own destruction.

Calvin: Jam 1:16 - Do not err 16.Do not err. This is an argument from what is opposite; for as God is the author of all good, it is absurd to suppose him to be the author of evil....

16.Do not err. This is an argument from what is opposite; for as God is the author of all good, it is absurd to suppose him to be the author of evil. To do good is what properly belongs to him, and according to his nature; and from him all good things come to us. Then, whatever evil he does, is not agreeable to his nature. But as it sometimes happens, that he who quits himself well through life, yet in some things fails, he meets this doubt by denying that God is mutable like men. But if God is in all things and always like himself, it hence follows that well-doing is his perpetual work.

Calvin: Jam 1:17 - NO PHRASE This reasoning is far different from that of Plato, who maintained that no calamities are sent on men by God, because he is good; for though it is ju...

This reasoning is far different from that of Plato, who maintained that no calamities are sent on men by God, because he is good; for though it is just that the crimes of men should be punished by God, yet it is not right, with regard to him, to regard among evils that punishment which he justly inflicts. Plato, indeed, was ignorant; but James, leaving to God his right and office of punishing, only removes blame from him. This passage teaches us, that we ought to be so affected by God’s innumerable blessings, which we daily receive from his hand, as to think of nothing but of his glory; and that we should abhor whatever comes to our mind, or is suggested by others, which is not compatible with his praise.

God is called the Father of lights, as possessing all excellency and the highest dignity. And when he immediately adds, that there is in him no shadow of turning, he continues the metaphor; so that we may not measure the brightness of God by the irradiation of the sun which appears to us. 107

Calvin: Jam 1:18 - Of his own will // That we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures 18.Of his own will. He now brings forward a special proof of the goodness of God which he had mentioned, even that he has regenerated us unto eternal...

18.Of his own will. He now brings forward a special proof of the goodness of God which he had mentioned, even that he has regenerated us unto eternal life. This invaluable benefit every one of the faithful feels in himself. Then the goodness of God, when known by experience, ought to remove from them all a contrary opinion respecting him.

When he says that God of his own will, or spontaneously, hath begotten us, he intimates that he was induced by no other reason, as the will and counsel of God are often set in opposition to the merits of men. What great thing, indeed, would it have been to say that God was not constrained to do this? But he impresses something more, that God according to his own goodwill hath begotten us, and has been thus a cause to himself. It hence follows that it is natural to God to do good.

But this passage teaches us, that as our election before the foundation of the world was gratuitous, so we are illuminated by the grace of God alone as to the knowledge of the truth, so that our calling corresponds with our election. The Scripture shews that we have been gratuitously adopted by God before we were born. But James expresses here something more, that we obtain the right of adoption, because God does also call us gratuitously. (Eph 1:4.) Farther, we hence learn, that it is the peculiar office of God spiritually to regenerate us; for that the same thing is sometimes ascribed to the ministers of the gospel, means no other thing than this, that God acts through them; and it happens indeed through them, but he nevertheless alone doeth the work.

The word begotten means that we become new men, so that we put off our former nature when we are effectually called by God. He adds how God begets us, even by the word of truth, so that we may know that we cannot enter the kingdom of God by any other door.

That we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. The word τινὰ, “some,” has the meaning of likeness, as though he had said, that we are in a manner firstfruits. But this ought not to be restricted to a few of the faithful; but it belongs to all in common. For as man excels among all creatures, so the Lord elects some from the whole mass and separates them as a holy offering, to himself. 108 It is no common nobility into which God extols his own children. Then justly are they said to be excellent as firstfruits, when God’s image is renewed in them.

Calvin: Jam 1:19 - Let every man // Slow to wrath 19.Let every man. Were this a general sentence, the inference would be farfetched; but as he immediately adds a sentence respecting the word of truth...

19.Let every man. Were this a general sentence, the inference would be farfetched; but as he immediately adds a sentence respecting the word of truth suitable to the last verse, I doubt not but that he accommodates this exhortation peculiarly to the subject in hand. Having then set before us the goodness of God, he shews how it becomes us to be prepared to receive the blessing which he exhibits towards us. And this doctrine is very useful, for spiritual generation is not a work of one moment. Since some remnants of the old man ever abide in us, we must necessarily be through life renewed, until the flesh be abolished; for either our perverseness, or arrogance, or sloth, is a great impediment to God in perfecting in us his work. Hence, when James would have us to be swift to hear, he commends promptitude, as though he had said, “When God so freely and kindly presents himself to you, you also ought to render yourselves teachable, lest your slowness should cause him to desist from speaking.”

But inasmuch as we do not calmly hear God speaking to us, when we seem to ourselves to be very wise, but by our haste interrupt him when addressing us, the Apostle requires us to be silent, to be slow to speak. And, doubtless, no one can be a true disciple of God, except he hears him in silence. He does not, however, require the silence of the Pythagorean school, so that it should not be right to inquire whenever we desire to learn what is necessary to be known; but he would only have us to correct and restrain our forwardness, that we may not, as it commonly happens, unseasonably interrupt God, and that as long as he opens his sacred mouth, we may open to him our hearts and our ears, and not prevent him to speak.

Slow to wrath. Wrath also, I think, is condemned with regard to the hearing which God demands to be given to him, as though making a tumult it disturbed and impeded him, for God cannot be heard except when the mind is calm and sedate. Hence, he adds, that as long as wrath bears rule there is no place for the righteousness of God. In short, except the heat of contention be banished, we shall never observe towards God that calm silence of which he has just spoken.

Calvin: Jam 1:21 - Wherefore lay apart // Which is able to save 21.Wherefore lay apart. He concludes by saying how the word of life is to be received. And first, indeed, he intimates that it cannot be rightly rece...

21.Wherefore lay apart. He concludes by saying how the word of life is to be received. And first, indeed, he intimates that it cannot be rightly received except it be implanted, or strike roots in us. For the expression, to receive the implanted word, ought to be thus explained, “to receive it, that it may be really implanted.” For he alludes to seed often sown on and ground, and not received into the moist bosom of the earth; or to plants, which being cast on the ground, or laid on dead wood, soon wither. He then requires that it should be a living implanting, by which the word becomes as it were united with our heart.

He at the same time shews the way and manner of this reception, even with meekness. By this word he means humility and the readiness of a mind disposed to learn, such as Isaiah describes when he says,

“On whom does my Spirit rest, except on the humble and meek?” (Isa 57:15.)

Hence it is, that so far profit in the school of God, because hardly one in a hundred renounces the stubbornness of his own spirit, and gently submits to God; but almost all are conceited and refractory. But if we desire to be the living plantation of God, we must subdue our proud hearts and be humble, and labor to become like lambs, so as to suffer ourselves to be ruled and guided by our Shepherd.

But as men are never thus tamed, so as to have a calm and meek heart, except they are purged from depraved affections, so he bids us to lay aside uncleanness and redundancy of wickedness. And as James borrowed a comparison from agriculture, it was necessary for him to observe this order, to begin by rooting up noxious weeds. And since he addressed all, we may hence conclude that these are the innate evils of our nature, and that they cleave to us all; yea, since he addresses the faithful, he shews that we are never wholly cleansed from them in this life, but that they are continually sprouting up, and therefore he requires that care should be constantly taken to eradicate them. As the word of God is especially a holy thing; to be fitted to receive it, we must put off the filthy things by which we have been polluted.

Under the word κακία, he comprehends hypocrisy and obstinacy as well as unlawful desires or lusts. Not satisfied with specifying the seat of wickedness as being in the soul of man, he teaches us that so abounding is the wickedness that dwells there, that it overflows, or that it rises up as it were into a heap; and doubtless, whosoever will well examine himself will find that there is within him an immense chaos of evils. 109

Which is able to save. It is a high eulogy on heavenly truth, that we obtain through it a sure salvation; and this is added, that we may learn to seek and love and magnify the word as a treasure that is incomparable. It is then a sharp goad to chastise our idleness, when he says that the word which we are wont to hear so negligently, is the means of our salvation, though for this purpose the power of saving is not ascribed to the word, as if salvation is conveyed by the external sound of the word, or as if the office of saving is taken away from God and transferred elsewhere; for James speaks of the word which by faith penetrates into the hearts of men, and only intimates that God, the author of salvation, conveys it by his Gospel.

Calvin: Jam 1:22 - Be ye doers of the word 22.Be ye doers of the word. The doer here is not the same as in Rom 2:13, who satisfied the law of God and fulfilled it in every part, but the doer i...

22.Be ye doers of the word. The doer here is not the same as in Rom 2:13, who satisfied the law of God and fulfilled it in every part, but the doer is he who from the heart embraces God’s word and testifies by his life that he really believes, according to the saying of Christ,

“Blessed are they who hear God’s word and keep it,”
(Luk 11:28;)

for he shews by the fruits what that implanting is, before mentioned. We must further observe, that faith with all its works is included by James, yea, faith especially, as it is the chief work which God requires from us. The import of the whole is, that we ought to labor that the word of the Lord should strike root in us, so that it may afterwards fructify. 110

Calvin: Jam 1:23 - He is like to a man 23.He is like to a man. Heavenly doctrine is indeed a mirror in which God presents himself to our view; but so that we may be transformed unto his im...

23.He is like to a man. Heavenly doctrine is indeed a mirror in which God presents himself to our view; but so that we may be transformed unto his image, as Paul says in 2Co 3:18. But here he speaks of the external glance of the eye, not of the vivid and efficacious meditation which penetrates into the heart. It is a striking comparison, by which he briefly intimates, that a doctrine merely heard and not received inwardly into the heart avails nothing, because it soon vanishes away.

Calvin: Jam 1:25 - The perfect law of liberty // And continueth 25.The perfect law of liberty. After having spoken of empty speculation, he comes now to that penetrating intuition which transforms us to the image ...

25.The perfect law of liberty. After having spoken of empty speculation, he comes now to that penetrating intuition which transforms us to the image of God. And as he had to do with the Jews, he takes the word law, familiarly known to them, as including the whole truth of God.

But why he calls it a perfect law, and a law of liberty, interpreters have not been able to understand; for they have not perceived that there is here a contrast, which may be gathered from other passages of Scripture. As long as the law is preached by the external voice of man, and not inscribed by the finger and Spirit of God on the heart, it is but a dead letter, and as it were a lifeless thing. It is, then, no wonder that the law is deemed imperfect, and that it is the law of bondage; for as Paul teaches in Gal 4:24, separated from Christ, it generates to condemn and as the same shews to us in Rom 8:13, it can do nothing but fill us with diffidence and fear. But the Spirit of regeneration, who inscribes it on our inward parts, brings also the grace of adoption. It is, then, the same as though James had said, “The teaching of the law, let it no longer lead you to bondage, but, on the contrary, bring you to liberty; let it no longer be only a schoolmaster, but bring you to perfection: it ought to be received by you with sincere affection, so that you may lead a godly and a holy life.”

Moreover, since it is a blessing of the Old Testament that the law of God should reform us, as it appears from Jer 31:33, and other passages, it follows that it cannot be obtained until we come to Christ. And, doubtless, he alone is the end and perfection of the law; and James adds liberty, as an inseparable associate, because the Spirit of Christ never regenerates but that he becomes also a witness and an earnest of our divine adoption, so as to free our hearts from fear and trembling.

And continueth. This is firmly to persevere in the knowledge of God; and when he adds, this man shall be blessed in his deed, or work, he means that blessedness is to be found in doing, not in cold hearing. 111

Calvin: Jam 1:26 - Seem to be religious // But deceiveth his own heart 26.Seem to be religious. He now reproves even in those who boasted that they were doers of the law, a vice under which hypocrites commonly labor, tha...

26.Seem to be religious. He now reproves even in those who boasted that they were doers of the law, a vice under which hypocrites commonly labor, that is, the wantonness of the tongue in detraction. He has before touched on the duty of restraining the tongue, but for a different end; for he then bade silence before God, that we might be more fitted to learn. He speaks now of another thing, that the faithful should not employ their tongue in evil speaking.

It was indeed needful that this vice should be condemned, when the subject was the keeping of the law; for they who have put off the grosser vices, are especially subject to this disease. He who is neither an adulterer, nor a thief, nor a drunkard, but, on the contrary, seems brilliant with some outward shew of sanctity will set himself off by defaming others, and this under the pretense of zeal, but really through the lust of slandering.

The object here, then, was to distinguish between the true worshippers of God and hypocrites, who are so swollen with Pharisaic pride, that they seek praise from the defects of others. If any one, he says, seems to be religious, that is, who has a show of sanctity, and the meantime flatters himself by speaking evil of others, it is hence evident that he does not truly serve God. For by saying that his religion is vain, he not only intimates that other virtues are marred by the stain of evil-speaking, but that the conclusion is, that the zeal for religion which appears is not sincere.

But deceiveth his own heart. I do not approve of the version of Erasmus — “But suffers his heart to err;” for he points out the fountain of that arrogance to which hypocrites are addicted, through which, being blinded by an immoderate love of themselves, they believe themselves to be far better than they really are; and hence, no doubt, is the disease of slandering, because the wallet, as Aesop says in his Apologue, hanging behind, is not seen. Rightly, then, has James, wishing to remove the effect, that is, the lust of evil-speaking, added the cause, even that hypocrites flatter themselves immoderately. For they would be ready to forgive were they in their turn to acknowledge themselves to be in need of forgiveness. Hence the flatteries by which they deceive themselves as to their own vices, make them such supercilious censors of others.

Calvin: Jam 1:27 - Pure religion 27.Pure religion. As he passes by those things which are of the greatest moment in religion, he does not define generally what religion is, but remin...

27.Pure religion. As he passes by those things which are of the greatest moment in religion, he does not define generally what religion is, but reminds us that religion without the things he mentions is nothing; as when one given to wine and gluttony boasts that he is temperate, and another should object, and say that the temperate man is he who does not indulge in excess as to wine or eating; his object is not to express the whole of what temperance is, but to refer only to one thing, suitable to the subject in hand. For they are in vain religious of whom he speaks, as they are for the most part trifling pretenders.

James then teaches us that religion is not to be estimated by the pomp of ceremonies; but that there are important duties to which the servants of God ought to attend.

To visit in necessity is to extend a helping hand to alleviate such as are in distress. And as there are many others whom the Lord bids us to succor, in mentioning widows and orphans, he states a part for the whole. There is then no doubt but that under one particular thing he recommends to us every act of love, as though he had said, “Let him who would be deemed religious, prove himself to be such by self denial and by mercy and benevolence towards his neighbors.”

And he says, before God, to intimate that it appears in deed otherwise to men, who are led astray by external masks, but that we ought to seek what pleases him. By God and Father, we are to understand God who is a father.

Defender: Jam 1:1 - James James was prominent in the early Jerusalem church; one of the "pillars" along with Peter and John (Gal 2:9). He was one whom the Lord Jesus went to se...

James was prominent in the early Jerusalem church; one of the "pillars" along with Peter and John (Gal 2:9). He was one whom the Lord Jesus went to see after His resurrection (1Co 15:7).

Defender: Jam 1:1 - Jesus Christ James is called "the Lord's brother" (Gal 1:19) and is apparently the one mentioned in Mar 6:3 and Mat 13:55 as the first of four "brethren" of Jesus ...

James is called "the Lord's brother" (Gal 1:19) and is apparently the one mentioned in Mar 6:3 and Mat 13:55 as the first of four "brethren" of Jesus who were sons of Mary. He became the presiding elder in the church at Jerusalem (Act 15:13; Act 21:18). Because of such credentials, one might expect his epistle to have more personal references, but he only identifies himself in this one verse, as a "bondservant" of the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his brothers did not believe in Jesus during His earthly ministry (Joh 7:5), and they were not with Mary at the cross (Joh 19:26). Later, however, possibly as a result of James' encounter with the Lord after His resurrection (1Co 15:7), they were converted. They were with their mother in the upper room as all the disciples were awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (Act 1:14). James, then, quickly became a leader in the Jerusalem church (Act 12:17). One of the other brothers, Jude, also became a leader (Jud 1:1), writing the New Testament epistle that bears his name.

Defender: Jam 1:1 - scattered abroad James was writing to his Jewish brethren who were "scattered abroad" in the dispersion. They may well have included many of those he had met on the da...

James was writing to his Jewish brethren who were "scattered abroad" in the dispersion. They may well have included many of those he had met on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came, and the 120 disciples (Act 1:15) were supernaturally endowed with ability to proclaim "the wonderful works of God" to those Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the feast "out of every nation under heaven" (Act 2:4-6, Act 2:11). Many of these were converted (Act 2:41), and all were profoundly stirred. When James became leader of the Jewish church in Jerusalem, he, no doubt, was also greatly concerned with all those Jews who had returned to their homes in various countries, both those who had professed faith in Christ and those who were still undecided. His epistle was addressed to both these groups. It reveals a keen awareness of the Jewish law and its true implications, as well as the earthly ministry of Jesus. It seems to have been the first written of the New Testament epistles, written even before the council met in Jerusalem to decide the proper way to deal with Gentile Christians (Acts 15), since there is little, if any, mention of this question in the epistle.

Defender: Jam 1:1 - greeting An incidental confirmation that the epistle of James was written by the same James who presided at the Jerusalem council is the fact that both begin w...

An incidental confirmation that the epistle of James was written by the same James who presided at the Jerusalem council is the fact that both begin with the word "greetings" (Act 15:23), a term not used by writers of the other New Testament epistles."

Defender: Jam 1:2 - temptations The "temptations" that were coming were actually testings. James realized that persecutions would inevitably reach these Jewish Christians and wanted ...

The "temptations" that were coming were actually testings. James realized that persecutions would inevitably reach these Jewish Christians and wanted to help them prepare for them. They had already been severe in Jerusalem. Stephen had been slain (Act 7:59, Act 7:60), as had James, the son of Zebedee and brother of John (Act 12:1, Act 12:2) and, no doubt, others. According to the historian Josephus, James himself, author of this epistle, was executed in a.d. 62."

Defender: Jam 1:12 - crown of life On the "crown of life," see Rev 2:10, where persecuted overcomers in Smyrna-type churches are also promised "the crown of life.""

On the "crown of life," see Rev 2:10, where persecuted overcomers in Smyrna-type churches are also promised "the crown of life.""

Defender: Jam 1:13 - God cannot be tempted Since Jesus was God, and did not cease being God when He also became man, this statement assures us that Jesus not only did not sin, but also that He ...

Since Jesus was God, and did not cease being God when He also became man, this statement assures us that Jesus not only did not sin, but also that He could not sin."

Defender: Jam 1:15 - finished The word used for "finished" (Greek apoteleo) occurs only here. It is an emphatic word, implying an ultimate and final consummation. Thus sin, if allo...

The word used for "finished" (Greek apoteleo) occurs only here. It is an emphatic word, implying an ultimate and final consummation. Thus sin, if allowed to continue without repentance and redemption, must result in eternal and irrevocable spiritual death."

Defender: Jam 1:17 - Father of lights God's first recorded words were "Let there be light" (Gen 1:3). He is the "Father of lights," but He did not create light, for "God is light" (1Jo 1:5...

God's first recorded words were "Let there be light" (Gen 1:3). He is the "Father of lights," but He did not create light, for "God is light" (1Jo 1:5) and is "dwelling in the light" (1Ti 6:16). In fact, He had to "create darkness" but only had to "form the light" (Isa 45:7). Scientifically speaking, as far as the physical creation is concerned, all matter is essentially energy in motion, and light is the most basic form of energy.

Defender: Jam 1:17 - no variableness This attribute of the Father of lights - that is, no variableness - is suggested by the most basic and universal law of science, the law of conservati...

This attribute of the Father of lights - that is, no variableness - is suggested by the most basic and universal law of science, the law of conservation of energy. God can "form the light" into many different kinds of energy, but the total quantity is conserved, neither being augmented by creation nor decreased by annihilation. "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it" (Ecc 3:14).

Defender: Jam 1:17 - shadow of turning The word "turning" is from the Greek trope. When combined with the Greek for "in" (that is, en), it becomes entrope, which means in the Greek "confusi...

The word "turning" is from the Greek trope. When combined with the Greek for "in" (that is, en), it becomes entrope, which means in the Greek "confusion" or "shame." We get our English word entropy from this source, which thus literally means "in-turning." In science, any system which turns in on itself, without drawing on external sources of energy or information (in other words, a closed system), will experience an increase of entropy, or disorganization. This is, so far as all evidence goes, a universal principle of science and seems to reflect God's primeval curse on "the whole creation" (Rom 8:22). That is, even though all things are being conserved in quantity by God, they are deteriorating in quality, running down toward physical chaos and biological death. But God Himself, who imposed these laws on His creation, is not bound by them. There is not even a "shadow of turning" with Him."

Defender: Jam 1:18 - word of truth We are "born again" through the incorruptible "word of God" (1Pe 1:23; note also Jam 1:21; Eph 5:25, Eph 5:26).

We are "born again" through the incorruptible "word of God" (1Pe 1:23; note also Jam 1:21; Eph 5:25, Eph 5:26).

Defender: Jam 1:18 - firstfruits Christ is, Himself, the "firstfruits" from among the dead (1Co 15:20, 1Co 15:23), but among His creatures, we are His firstfruits. There may be also a...

Christ is, Himself, the "firstfruits" from among the dead (1Co 15:20, 1Co 15:23), but among His creatures, we are His firstfruits. There may be also a suggestion here, since James was writing specifically to and about Jewish believers in Christ, that these were considered His firstfruits, with Gentiles coming later. Even Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, agreed that the gospel should be preached "to the Jew first" (Rom 1:16)."

Defender: Jam 1:21 - superfluity of naughtiness Instead of "superfluity of naughtiness," read "abundance of wickedness."

Instead of "superfluity of naughtiness," read "abundance of wickedness."

Defender: Jam 1:21 - engrafted This is the only occurrence of the word; the basic meaning is probably "implanted.""

This is the only occurrence of the word; the basic meaning is probably "implanted.""

Defender: Jam 1:23 - in a glass The Word of God is like a mirror which enables us to see ourselves as we are (Jam 1:25; 1Co 13:12; 2Co 3:18)."

The Word of God is like a mirror which enables us to see ourselves as we are (Jam 1:25; 1Co 13:12; 2Co 3:18)."

TSK: Jam 1:1 - James // a servant // to // scattered // greeting James : Mat 10:3, Mat 13:55; Mar 3:18; Luk 6:15; Act 1:13, Act 12:17, Act 15:13, Act 21:18; Gal 1:19, Gal 2:9, Gal 2:12; Jud 1:1 a servant : Joh 12:26...

TSK: Jam 1:2 - count // divers count : Jam 1:12; Mat 5:10-12; Luk 6:22, Luk 6:23; Act 5:41; Rom 8:17, Rom 8:18, Rom 8:35-37; 2Co 12:9; 2Co 12:10; Phi 1:29, Phi 2:17; Col 1:24; Heb 1...

TSK: Jam 1:3 - that // patience that : Rom 5:3, Rom 5:4, Rom 8:28; 2Co 4:17 patience : Rom 2:7, Rom 8:25, Rom 15:4; Col 1:11; 2Th 1:4, 2Th 3:5; Heb 10:36, Heb 12:1; 2Pe 1:6

TSK: Jam 1:4 - let // perfect and // wanting let : Jam 5:7-11; Job 17:9; Psa 37:7, Psa 40:1; Hab 2:3; Mat 10:22; Luk 8:15, Luk 21:19; Gal 6:9 perfect and : Jam 3:2; Pro 4:8; Mat 5:48; Joh 17:23; ...

TSK: Jam 1:5 - any // let // and upbraideth any : Exo 31:3, Exo 31:6, Exo 36:1-4; 1Ki 3:7-9, 1Ki 3:11, 1Ki 3:12; Job 28:12-28; Pro 3:5-7, Pro 9:4-6; Jer 1:6, Jer 1:7; 2Co 2:16 let : Jam 1:17, Ja...

TSK: Jam 1:6 - let // he let : Mat 21:22; Mar 11:22-24; 1Ti 2:8; Heb 11:6 he : Gen 49:4; Eph 4:14; Heb 10:23, Heb 13:9; 2Pe 2:17; Jud 1:12, Jud 1:13

TSK: Jam 1:7 - -- Jam 4:3; Pro 15:8, Pro 21:27; Isa 1:15, Isa 58:3, Isa 58:4

TSK: Jam 1:8 - -- Jam 4:8; 1Ki 18:21; 2Ki 17:33, 2Ki 17:41; Isa 29:13; Hos 7:8-11, Hos 10:2; Mat 6:22, Mat 6:24; 2Pe 2:14, 2Pe 3:16

TSK: Jam 1:9 - the brother // rejoice // in the brother : Jam 2:5, Jam 2:6; Deu 15:7, Deu 15:9, Deu 15:11; Psa 62:9; Pro 17:5, Pro 19:1; Luk 1:52 rejoice : or, glory, Jer 9:23, Jer 9:24; Rom 5:2...

TSK: Jam 1:10 - in // because in : Isa 57:15, Isa 66:2; Mat 5:3; Phi 3:8; 1Ti 6:17 because : Jam 4:14; Job 14:2; Psa 37:2, Psa 37:35, Psa 37:36, Psa 90:5, Psa 90:6, Psa 102:11, Psa...

TSK: Jam 1:11 - risen // so risen : Isa 49:10; Jon 4:7, Jon 4:8; Mat 13:6; Mar 4:6 so : Jam 5:1-7; Job 21:24-30; Psa 37:35, Psa 37:36, Psa 49:6-14, Psa 73:18-20; Ecc 5:15; Isa 28...

TSK: Jam 1:12 - the man // when // the crown // which // them the man : Jam 1:2-4, Jam 5:11; Job 5:17; Psa 94:12, Psa 119:67, Psa 119:71, Psa 119:75; Pro 3:11, Pro 3:12; Heb 6:15; Heb 10:32, Heb 12:5; Rev 3:19 wh...

TSK: Jam 1:13 - no man // evil no man : Jam 1:2, Jam 1:12; Gen 3:12; Isa 63:17; Hab 2:12, Hab 2:13; Rom 9:19, Rom 9:20, evil : or, evils

no man : Jam 1:2, Jam 1:12; Gen 3:12; Isa 63:17; Hab 2:12, Hab 2:13; Rom 9:19, Rom 9:20,

evil : or, evils

TSK: Jam 1:14 - when when : Jam 4:1, Jam 4:2; Gen 6:5, Gen 8:21; Jos 7:21-24; 2Sa 11:2, 2Sa 11:3; 1Ki 21:2-4; Job 31:9; Job 31:27; Pro 4:23; Isa 44:20; Hos 13:9; Mat 5:28,...

TSK: Jam 1:15 - when // when when : Gen 3:6, Gen 4:5-8; Job 15:35; Psa 7:14; Isa 59:4; Mic 2:1-3; Mat 26:14, Mat 26:48-59; Act 5:1-3 when : Gen 2:17, Gen 3:17-19; Psa 9:17; Rom 5:...

TSK: Jam 1:16 - Do // my Do : Mat 22:29; Mar 12:24, Mar 12:27; Gal 6:7; Col 2:4, Col 2:8; 2Ti 2:18 my : Jam 1:19, Jam 2:5; Phi 2:12, Phi 4:1; Heb 13:1

TSK: Jam 1:17 - good // from the // no variableness good : Jam 1:5, Jam 3:15, Jam 3:17; Gen 41:16, Gen 41:38, Gen 41:39; Exo 4:11, Exo 4:12, Exo 31:3-6, Exo 36:1, Exo 36:2; Num 11:17, Num 11:25; 1Ch 22:...

TSK: Jam 1:18 - his own // with // kind his own : Joh 1:13, Joh 3:3-5; Rom 4:17, Rom 8:29-31, Rom 9:15-18; Eph 2:4, Eph 2:5; Col 1:20,Col 1:21; 2Th 2:13, 2Th 2:14; 1Pe 1:3, 1Pe 1:23 with : J...

TSK: Jam 1:19 - let // slow to speak // slow to wrath let : Neh 8:2, Neh 8:3, Neh 8:12-14, Neh 8:18, Neh 9:3; Pro 8:32-35; Ecc 5:1; Mar 2:2, Mar 12:37; Luk 15:1; Luk 19:48; Act 2:42, Act 10:33, Act 13:42-...

TSK: Jam 1:20 - -- Jam 3:17, Jam 3:18; Num 20:11, Num 20:12; 2Ti 2:24, 2Ti 2:25

TSK: Jam 1:21 - lay // filthiness // and receive // the engrafted // which lay : Isa 2:20, Isa 30:22; Eze 18:31; Rom 13:12, Rom 13:13; Eph 4:22; Col 3:5-8; Heb 12:1; 1Pe 2:1, 1Pe 2:11 filthiness : Jam 4:8; Eze 36:25; 2Co 7:1;...