James Chapter 4

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.(3)"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

The Source of Disputes and Quarrels
  1. From where come the fights, and from where come the quarrels among you?  Aren’t they from your passions on each side which wage war among your members?
  2. You crave and don’t have, you murder and envy and aren’t able to obtain; you dispute and quarrel.  You don’t have because you don’t ask.
  3. You ask and don’t receive because you ask wickedly so you might squander it on your passions.
  4. You adulteresses!  *Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility to God?  Therefore, whoever decided to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
  5. Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks pointlessly? The spirit which dwells in us yearns with envy,(1)James 4:5 verse note. This verse is notoriously difficult to translate, especially the second clause, with multiple legitimate constructions possible.  Some constructions have God being jealous over our (human) spirit, some have God desiring the (Holy) Spirit placed in us, and there are others as well. Most take the second clause as a scripture quotation, but there’s no scripture in the Old Testament which matches James words here.  Therefore, it hasn’t been translated as a quotation because it doesn’t match any Old Testament scripture, and because it flows neatly into the following verse with the translation chosen here.
  6. but He gives greater grace.  Therefore it says: “God arrays Himself in battle against the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(2)quotation/allusion to Psalm 138:6
  7. Therefore submit yourselves to God, but resist The Accuser and he will flee from you.
  8. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.  Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hears you double-minded.
  9. Grieve, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into gloom.
  10. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord and He will exalt you.
  11. Brothers, don’t slander one another.  The man who slanders a brother or judges his brother also slanders the law and judges the law.  And if you judge the law, you aren’t a doer of the law but a judge of it.
  12. There is one lawgiver and judge; the One who is able to save and to destroy.  But who are you O’ man who judges his neighbor?
  13. You men who say “Come now, today or tomorrow we’ll travel into that city and we’ll work a year there, and will trade, and will gain a profit”;
  14. men who don’t know what tomorrow brings.  What is your life?  For it’s merely vapor; appearing for a short time and afterwards vanishing.
  15. Instead, you’re to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and will do this or that.”
  16. But now you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is wicked.
  17. Therefore, to a man who has known to do good and doesn’t do it, it’s sin to him.

 

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