James Chapter 2

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Don’t show Partiality
  1. My brothers, hold to the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus the Anointed, but not with partiality.
  2. For if a man comes into your synagogue wearing a gold ring and magnificent clothes, and also a poor man in filthy clothes comes,
  3. yet you’re attentive to the man who wears the magnificent apparel and say. “You sit here honorably” and to the poor man you say: “You, stand there or sit under my footstool”,
  4. haven’t you distinguished between yourselves and become judges with wicked thoughts?
  5. Listen my beloved brothers: didn’t God choose the poor of the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to the men who show preference(1)“show preference” is literal, though it’s often translated “love” here.  The Greek word here is “ἀγαπάω” (agapaó), the verb form of “ἀγάπη” (agapé).  It literally means “to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of” (Thayer’s).  Unlike the English word “love”, agapaó does not center on feelings.  It’s the “love” based on will, choice, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word “φιλέω” (phileó), which properly means “brotherly love/affection”.) to Him?
  6. Yet you dishonored the poor.  Don’t the rich oppress you and don’t they drag you into court?
  7. Don’t they blaspheme the noble name by which you were called?
  8. Nevertheless, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture: “You shall show preference(2)“show preference”; see previous note to your neighbor as yourself“,(3)quotation/allusion to Leviticus 19:18 you do well.
  9. But if you show partiality you commit a sin, being convicted by the law as deliberate violator.
  10. For whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles at one point has become guilty of all of it.
  11. For the One who said you shouldn’t have sex with another man’s wife(4)Quotation/allusion to Exodus 20:14; “have sex with another man’s wife” is one word in the Greek, typically translated “commit adultery”. However, the Greek word (and Hebrew too) is more limited in scope than our English word adultery. In English, “adultery” means illicit sex between a married person – man or woman – and someone who isn’t their spouse. In Greek (and Hebrew also), it meant “a man having sex with another man’s wife”. A married man having sex with an unmarried woman was called fornication. also said you shouldn’t murder.(5)Quotation/allusion to Exodus 20:13  Yet if you don’t have sex with another man’s wife but do murder, you have become a deliberate violator of the law.
  12. Speak this way and act this way; like someone about to be judged by the law of liberty,
  13. for judgement is merciless to the man who didn’t show mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgement.
Faith and Works
  1. My brothers, what is the benefit if someone claims to have faith but has no works?  That faith isn’t able to save him, is it?
  2. If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacking daily food,
  3. and someone from among you says: “Depart in peace; warm and feed yourself”,(6)“warm and feed yourself” could also be translated “be warmed and fed”.  Both Greek verbs here have the same inflections for the middle voice (warm and feed yourselves) and the passive voice (be warmed and fed), making either a legitimate translation. but didn’t give them what’s necessary for the body, what’s the benefit?
  4. In this way also, faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t have works.
  5. But someone will say: “You have faith and I have works”.  Demonstrate your faith to me without works and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
  6. You believe that God is one.  You do well.  Even the demons believe and tremble.
  7. And do you want to realize, O empty-headed man, that faith without works is useless?
  8. Wasn’t our father Abraham proved righteous by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
  9. You see that his faith was working together with his works, and by the works his faith was perfected.
  10. And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: “And Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”(7)quotation/allusion to Genesis 15:6 and he was called a friend of God.
  11. You see that a man is proved righteous by works and not by faith alone.
  12. And likewise also, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute proved righteous by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out another way?
  13. For just as the body without a spirit is dead, in this way also faith without works is dead.

 

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