James (Ιακωβος Iakōbos). Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew Ιακωβ 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.Servant (δουλος doulos). Bond-servant or slave as Paul (Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1). Of the Lord Jesus Christ (κυριου Ιησου Χριστου kuriou Iēsou Christou). Here on a par with God (τεου theou) and calls himself not αδελπος adelphos (brother) of Jesus, but δουλος doulos The three terms here as in James 2:1 have their full significance: Jesus is the Messiah and Lord. James is not an Ebionite. He accepts the deity of Jesus his brother, difficult as it was for him to do so. The word κυριος kurios is frequent in the lxx for Elohim and Jahweh as the Romans applied it to the emperor in their emperor worship. See 1 Corinthians 12:3 for Κυριος Ιησους Kurios Iēsous and Philippians 2:11 for Κυριος Ιησους Χριστος Kurios Iēsous Christos the twelve tribes (ταις δωδεκα πυλαις tais dōdeka phulais). Dative case. The expression means “Israel in its fulness and completeness” (Hort), regarded as a unity (Acts 26:7) with no conception of any “lost” tribes. Which are of the Dispersion (ταις εν τηι διασποραι tais en tēi diasporāi). “Those in the Dispersion” (repeated article). The term appears in Deuteronomy 28:25 (lxx) and comes from διασπειρω diaspeirō to scatter (sow) abroad. In its literal sense we have it in John 7:34, but here and in 1 Peter 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. Greeting (χαιρειν chairein). Absolute infinitive (present active of χαιρω chairō) as in Acts 15:23 (the Epistle to Antioch and the churches of Syria and Galatia). It is the usual idiom in the thousands of papyri letters known to us, but in no other New Testament letter. But note χαιρειν λεγετε chairein legete in 2 John 1:10, 2 John 1:11.
Count it (ηγησαστε hēgēsasthe). First aorist middle imperative of ηγεομαι hēgeomai old verb to consider. Do it now and once for all.All joy (πασαν χαραν pāsan charan). “Whole joy,” “unmixed joy,” as in Philippians 2:29. Not just “some joy” along with much grief. When (οταν hotan). “Whenever,” indefinite temporal conjunction. Ye fall into (περιπεσητε peripesēte). Second aorist active subjunctive (with the indefinite οταν hotan) from περιπιπτω peripiptō literally to fall around (into the midst of), to fall among as in Luke 10:30 ληισταις περιεπεσεν lēistais periepesen (he fell among robbers). Only other N.T. example of this old compound is in Acts 27:41. Thucydides uses it of falling into affliction. It is the picture of being surrounded (περι peri) by trials. Manifold temptations (πειρασμοις ποικιλοις 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 πειρασμος peirasmos (from πειραζω peirazō late form for the old πειραω peiraō as in Acts 26:21, both in good sense as in John 6:6, and in bad sense as in Matthew 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 James 1:12 (clearly in πειραζω peirazō in James 1:13) and so in Hebrews 3:8. Trials rightly faced are harmless, but wrongly met become temptations to evil. The adjective ποικιλος poikilos (manifold) is as old as Homer and means variegated, many coloured as in Matthew 4:24; 2 Timothy 3:6; Hebrews 2:4. In 1 Peter 1:6 we have this same phrase. It is a bold demand that James here makes.
Knowing (γινωσκοντες ginōskontes). Present active participle of γινωσκω ginōskō (experimental knowledge, the only way of getting this view of “trials” as “all joy”).The proof (το δοκιμιον to dokimion). Now known (Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 259ff.) from the papyri examples of δοκιμιος dokimios as an adjective in the same sense (good gold, standard gold) as δοκιμος dokimos proved or tested (James 1:12). The use of το δοκιμιον to dokimion (neuter article with neuter single adjective) here and in 1 Peter 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 James 1:6; James 2:1; James 5:15, regards faith (πιστις pistis) like Paul “as the very foundation of religion” (Mayor). Worketh (κατεργαζεται katergazetai). Present (durative) middle indicative of the compound verb with the perfective sense of κατα kata as in Philippians 2:12, which see. Patience (υπομονην hupomonēn). Old and common word for remaining under (υπομενω hupomenō), “staying power” (Ropes), as in Colossians 1:11.
Let have (εχετω echetō). Present active imperative of εχω echō let it keep on having.Perfect (τελειον teleion). See Romans 5:3. for a like chain of blessings. Carry on the work to the end or completion (from τελος telos end) as in John 17:4 (το εργον τελειωσας to ergon teleiōsas having finished the work). That ye may be (ινα ητε hina ēte). Purpose clause with ινα hina and present active subjunctive of ειμι eimi This is the goal of patience. Perfect and entire (τελειοι και ολοκληροι teleioi kai holoklēroi). Perfected at the end of the task (τελος telos) and complete in all parts (ολοκληροι holoklēroi ολος holos whole and κληρος klēros lot or part). “Perfected all over.” These two adjectives often occur together in Philo, Plutarch, etc. See Acts 3:16 for ολοκληριαν holoklērian (perfect soundness). Lacking in nothing (εν μηδενι λειπομενοι en mēdeni leipomenoi). Present passive participle of λειπω leipō to leave. Negative statement of the preceding positive as often in James (cf. James 1:6). There is now a digression (James 1:5-8) from the discussion of πειρασμος peirasmos which is taken up again in James 1:9. The word λειπομενοι leipomenoi (lacking) suggests the digression.
Lacketh wisdom (λειπεται σοπιας leipetai sophias). Condition of first class, assumed as true, ει ei and present passive indicative of λειπω leipō to be destitute of, with ablative case σοπιας sophias “If any one falls short of wisdom.” A banking figure, to have a shortage of wisdom (not just knowledge, γνωσεως gnōseōs but wisdom σοπιας sophias the practical use of knowledge).Let him ask (αιτειτω aiteitō). Present active imperative of αιτεω aiteō “let him keep on asking.” Of God (παρα του τεου para tou theou). “From (from beside) God,” ablative case with παρα para Liberally (απλως haplōs). This old adverb occurs here only in the N.T. (from απλους haplous single-fold, Matthew 6:22, and απλοτης haplotēs simplicity, generosity, is common - 2 Corinthians 8:2; Romans 12:8). But the adverb is common in the papyri by way of emphasis as simply or at all (Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary). Mayor argues for the sense of “unconditionally” (the logical moral sense) while Hort and Ropes agree and suggest “graciously.” The other sense of “abundantly” or “liberally” suits the idea in απλοτης haplotēs in 2 Corinthians 8:2; Romans 12:8, but no example of the adverb in this sense has been found unless this is one here. See Isaiah 55:1 for the idea of God‘s gracious giving and the case of Solomon (1 Kings 3:9-12; Proverbs 2:3). Upbraideth not (μη ονειδιζοντος mē oneidizontos). Present active participle of ονειδιζω oneidizō (old verb to reproach, to cast in one‘s teeth, Matthew 5:11) in the ablative case like διδοντος didontos agreeing with τεου theou and with the usual negative of the participle (με me). This is the negative statement of διδοντος απλως 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. Hebrews 4:16. And it shall be given him (και δοτησεται αυτωι kai dothēsetai autōi). First future passive of διδωμι didōmi a blessed promise in accord with the words of Jesus (Matthew 7:7, Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13), meaning here not only “wisdom,” but all good gifts, including the Holy Spirit. There are frequent reminiscences of the words of Jesus in this Epistle.
In faith (εν πιστει en pistei). Faith here “is the fundamental religious attitude” (Ropes), belief in God‘s beneficent activity and personal reliance on him (Oesterley).Nothing doubting (μηδεν διακρινομενος mēden diakrinomenos). Negative way of saying εν πιστει en pistei (in faith), present passive participle of διακρινω diakrinō old verb to separate (κρινω krinō) between (δια dia), to discriminate as shown clearly in Acts 11:12, Acts 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 διαμεριζομαι diamerizomai in Luke 11:18 and occurs in Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; Acts 10:20; Romans 2:4; Romans 4:20; Romans 14:23. It is a vivid picture of internal doubt. Is like (εοικεν eoiken). Second perfect active indicative with the linear force alone from εικω eikō to be like. Old form, but in N.T. only here and James 1:23 (a literary touch, not in lxx). The surge of the sea (κλυδωνι ταλασσης kludōni thalassēs). Old word (from κλυζω kluzō to wash against) for a dashing or surging wave in contrast with κυμα kuma (successive waves), in N.T. only here and Luke 8:24. In associative instrumental case after εοικεν eoiken In Ephesians 4:14 we have κλυδονιζω kludonizō (from κλυδων kludōn), to toss by waves. Driven by the wind (ανεμιζομενωι anemizomenōi). Present passive participle (agreeing in case with κλυδωνι kludōni) of ανεμιζω anemizō earliest known example and probably coined by James (from ανεμος anemos), who is fond of verbs in ιζω ̇izō (Mayor). The old Greek used ανεμοω anemoō In Ephesians 4:14 Paul uses both κλυδονιζω kludonizō and περιπερω ανεμωι peripherō anemōi It is a vivid picture of the sea whipped into white-caps by the winds. Tossed (ριπιζομενωι ripizomenōi). Present passive participle also in agreement with κλυδωνι kludōni from ριπιζω ripizō rare verb (Aristophanes, Plutarch, Philo) from ριπις 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.
That man (ο αντρωπος εκεινος ho anthrōpos ekeinos). Emphatic use of εκεινος ekeinos the Lord (παρα του κυριου para tou kuriou). Ablative case with παρα para like τεου theou in James 1:5.
Man (ανηρ anēr). Instead of αντρωπος anthrōpos (general term) in James 1:7, perhaps for variety (Ropes), but often in James (James 1:12, James 1:23; James 2:2; James 3:2), though in other Epistles usually in distinction from γυνη gunē (woman).Double-minded (διπσυχος dipsuchos). First appearance of this compound known and in N.T. only here and James 4:8. Apparently coined by James, but copied often in early Christian writings and so an argument for the early date of James‘ Epistle (Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary). From δις dis twice and πσυχη psuchē soul, double-souled, double-minded, Bunyan‘s “Mr. Facing-both-ways.” Cf. the rebuke to Peter (εδιστασας edistasas) in Matthew 14:31. Unstable (ακαταστατος akatastatos). Late double compound (alpha privative and καταστατος katastatos verbal from κατιστημι kathistēmi), in lxx once (Isa 54:11) and in Polybius, in N.T. only here and James 3:8. It means unsteady, fickle, staggering, reeling like a drunken man. Surely to James such “doubt” is no mark of intellectuality.
But (δε de). Return to the point of view in James 1:2.Of low degree (ο ταπεινος ho tapeinos). “The lowly” brother, in outward condition (Luke 1:52), humble and poor as in Psalm 9:12; Proverbs 30:14, not the spiritually humble as in Matthew 11:29; James 4:6. In the lxx ταπεινος 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. Glory in his high estate (καυχαστω εν τωι υπσει αυτου kauchasthō en tōi hupsei autou). Paradox, but true. In his low estate he is “in his height” (υπσος hupsos old word, in N.T., also in Luke 1:78; Ephesians 3:1; etc.).
In that he is made low (εν τηι ταπεινωσει αυτου en tēi tapeinōsei auton). “In his low estate.” Play on ταπεινωσις tapeinōsis (from ταπεινοω tapeinoō Philippians 3:7), like ταπεινος tapeinos of James 1:9, old word in various senses, in N.T. only here, Luke 1:48; Acts 8:33; Philippians 3:21. The Cross of Christ lifts up the poor and brings down the high. It is the great leveller of men.As the flower of the grass (ως αντος χορτου hōs anthos chortou). From the lxx (Isa 40:6). Χορτος Chortos means pasture, then grass (Mark 6:39) or fodder. Αντος Anthos is old word, in N.T. only here, James 1:11; 1 Peter 1:24 (same quotation). This warning is here applied to “the rich brother,” but it is true of all. He shall pass away (παρελευσεται pareleusetai). Future middle indicative (effective aoristic future, shall pass completely away from earth).
Ariseth (ανετειλεν aneteilen). Gnomic or timeless aorist active indicative of the old compound ανατελλω anatellō used here of plants (cf. αναταλλω anathallō in Philippians 4:10), often of the sun (Matthew 13:6).With the scorching wind (συν τωι καυσωνι sun tōi kausōni). Associative instrumental case with συν sun In the lxx this late word (from καυσος kausos) is usually the sirocco, the dry east wind from the desert (Job 1:19). In Matthew 20:12; Luke 12:55 it is the burning heat of the sun. Either makes sense here. Withereth (εχηρανεν exēranen). Another gnomic aorist active indicative (Robertson, Grammar, p. 837) of χηραινω xērainō old verb (from χηρος xēros dry or withered, Matthew 12:10), to dry up. Grass and flowers are often used to picture the transitoriness of human life. Falleth (εχεπεσεν exepesen). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist active indicative) of εκπιπτω ekpiptō to fall out (off). The grace (η ευπρεπεια hē euprepeia). Old word (from ευπρεπης euprepēs well-looking, not in the N.T.), only here in N.T. Goodly appearance, beauty. Of the fashion of it (του προσωπου αυτου tou prosōpou autou). “Of the face of it.” The flower is pictured as having a “face,” like a rose or lily. Perisheth (απωλετο apōleto). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist middle indicative of απολλυμι apollumi to destroy, but intransitive here, to perish). The beautiful rose is pitiful when withered. Shall fade away (μαραντησεται maranthēsetai). Future passive indicative of μαραινω marainō old verb, to extinguish a flame, a light. Used of roses in Wisdom 2:8. Goings (πορειαις poreiais). Old word from πορευω poreuō to journey, in N.T. only here and Luke 13:22 (of Christ‘s journey toward Jerusalem). The rich man‘s travels will come to “journey‘s end.”
Endureth (υπομενει hupomenei). Present active indicative of υπομενω hupomenō Cf. James 1:3.Temptation (πειρασμον peirasmon). Real temptation here. See James 1:2 for “trials.” When he hath been approved (δοκιμος γενομενος dokimos genomenos). “Having become approved,” with direct reference to το δοκιμιον to dokimion in James 1:3. See also Romans 5:4 for δοκιμη dokimē (approval after test as of gold or silver). This beatitude (μακαριος makarios) is for the one who has come out unscathed. See 1 Timothy 6:9. The crown of life (τον στεπανον της ζωης ton stephanon tēs zōēs). The same phrase occurs in Revelation 2:10. It is the genitive of apposition, life itself being the crown as in 1 Peter 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 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8, nor to the linen fillet (διαδημα diadēma) of royalty (Psalm 20:3, where στεπανος stephanos is used like διαδημα diadēma the kingly crown). Στεπανος Stephanos has a variety of uses. Cf. the thorn chaplet on Jesus (Matthew 27:29). The Lord. Not in the oldest Greek MSS., but clearly implied as the subject of επηγγειλατο epēggeilato (he promised, first aorist middle indicative).
Let no one say (μηδεις λεγετω mēdeis legetō). Present active imperative, prohibiting such a habit.When he is tempted (πειραζομενος peirazomenos). Present passive participle of πειραζω peirazō here in evil sense of tempt, not test, as in Matthew 4:1. James 1:12-18 give a vivid picture of temptation. I am tempted of God (απο τεου πειραζομαι apo theou peirazomai). The use of απο apo shows origin (απο apo with ablative case), not agency (υπο hupo), as in Mark 1:13, of Satan. It is contemptible, but I have heard wicked and weak men blame God for their sins. Cf. Proverbs 19:3; Sirach 15:11f. Temptation does not spring “from God.” Cannot be tempted with evil (απειραστος κακων apeirastos kakōn). Verbal compound adjective (alpha privative and πειραζω 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 απειρατος apeiratos (from πειραω peiraō), but this is the earliest example of απειραστος apeirastos (from πειραζω peirazō) made on the same model. Only here in the N.T. Hort notes απειρατος κακων apeiratos kakōn as a proverb (Diodorus, Plutarch, Josephus) “free from evils.” That is possible here, but the context calls for “untemptable” rather than “untempted.” And he himself tempteth no man (πειραζει δε αυτος ουδενα peirazei de autos oudena). Because “untemptable.”
When he is drawn away by his own lust (υπο της ιδιας επιτυμιας εχελκομενος hupo tēs idias epithumias exelkomenos). Επιτυμια Epithumia is old word for craving (from επιτυμεω epithumeō to have a desire for) either good (Philemon 1:23) or evil (Romans 7:7) as here. Like a fish drawn out from his retreat.Enticed (δελεαζομενος deleazomenos). Present passive participle of δελεαζω deleazō old verb from δελεαρ delear (bait), to catch fish by bait or to hunt with snares and Philo has υπ ηδονης δελεαζεται huph' hēdonēs deleazetai (is enticed by pleasure). In N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:14, 2 Peter 2:18. Allured by definite bait.
Then (ειτα eita). The next step.The lust (η επιτυμια hē epithumia). Note article, the lust (James 1:14) which one has. When it hath conceived (συλλαβουσα sullabousa). Second aorist active participle of συλλαμβανω sullambanō old word to grasp together, in hostile sense (Acts 26:21), in friendly sense of help (Philippians 4:3), in technical sense of a woman taking a man‘s seed in conception (Luke 1:24), here also of lust (as a woman), “having conceived.” The will yields to lust and conception takes place. Beareth sin (τικτει αμαρτιαν tiktei hamartian). Present active indicative of τικτω 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 Psalm 7:14 for this same metaphor. The sin (η αμαρτια hē hamartia). The article refers to αμαρτια hamartia just mentioned. When it is full-grown (αποτελεστεισα apotelestheisa). First aorist passive participle of αποτελεω apoteleō old compound verb with perfective use of απο apo in N.T. only here and Luke 13:32. It does not mean “full-grown” like τελειοω 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 (Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:5). Bringeth forth death (αποκυει τανατον apokuei thanaton). Late compound (κυεω kueō to be pregnant, perfective use of απο 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 τικτω 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 Romans 6:21-23; Romans 8:6. “The birth of death follows of necessity when one sin is fully formed” (Hort).
Be not deceived (μη πλαναστε mē planāsthe). Prohibition with μη mē and the present passive imperative of πλαναω planaō common verb to lead astray. This is the way of sin to deceive and to kill (Romans 7:7-14). The devil is a pastmaster at blinding men‘s eyes about sin (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 1:27; Ephesians 4:14; etc.).
Gift (δοσις dosis) - boon (δωρημα dōrēma). Both old substantives from the same original verb (διδωμι didōmi), to give. Δοσις Dosis is the act of giving (ending σις ̇sis), but sometimes by metonymy for the thing given like κτισις ktisis for κτισμα ktisma (Colossians 1:15). But δωρημα dōrēma (from δωρεω dōreō from δωρον dōron a gift) only means a gift, a benefaction (Romans 5:16). The contrast here argues for “giving” as the idea in δοσις dosis Curiously enough there is a perfect hexameter line here:
πασα δο ̀ σις αγα ̀ τη και ̀ παν δω ̀ ρημα τε ̀ λειον pāsa do / δωρημα sis aga / ανωτεν thē kai / καταβαινον pān dō / καταβαινω rēma te / δωρημα 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 ανωτεν dōrēma but that is not conclusive.From above (απο του πατρος των πωτων anōthen). That is, from heaven. Cf. John 3:31; John 19:11. Coming down (πατηρ katabainon). Present active neuter singular participle of παρ ωι katabainō agreeing with παρα dōrēma expanding and explaining παρα τωι τεωι anōthen (from above). From the Father of lights (ουκ ενι apo tou patros tōn phōtōn). “Of the lights” (the heavenly bodies). For this use of εν patēr see Job 38:28 (Father of rain); 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:17. God is the Author of light and lights. With whom (ενεστι par' hōi). For ενι εν para (beside) with locative sense for standpoint of God see εινε para tōi theōi (Mark 10:27; Romans 2:11; Romans 9:14; Ephesians 6:9. Can be no (ειναι ouk eni). This old idiom (also in Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11) may be merely the original form of παραλλαγη en with recessive accent (Winer, Mayor) or a shortened form of παραλλασσω enesti The use of παραλλαχις eni en in 1 Corinthians 6:5 argues for this view, as does the use of τροπης αποσκιασμα eine (Τροπη einai) in Modern Greek (Robertson, Grammar, p. 313). Variation (τρεπω parallagē). Old word from Αποσκιασμα parallassō to make things alternate, here only in N.T. In Aristeas in sense of alternate stones in pavements. Dio Cassius has αποσκιασμος parallaxis without reference to the modern astronomical parallax, though James here is comparing God (Father of the lights) to the sun (Malachi 4:2), which does have periodic variations. Shadow that is cast by turning (αποσκιαζω tropēs aposkiasma). απο σκια Tropē is an old word for “turning” (from αποσκιαζω trepō to turn), here only in N.T. η τροπης αποσκιασματος Aposkiasma is a late and rare word (aposkiasmos in Plutarch) from aposkiazō (aposkia) 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.
Of his own will (βουλητεις boulētheis). First aorist passive participle of βουλομαι boulomai Repeating the metaphor of birth in James 1:15, but in good sense. God as Father acted deliberately of set purpose.He brought us forth (απεκυησεν apekuēsen). First aorist active indicative of αποκυεω apokueō (James 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 (Acts 17:28.). By the word of truth (λογωι αλητειας logōi alētheias). Instrumental case λογωι logōi The reference is thus to the gospel message of salvation even without the article (2 Corinthians 6:7) as here, and certainly with the article (Colossians 1:5; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:15). The message marked by truth (genitive case αλητειας alētheias). That we should be (εις το ειναι ημας eis to einai hēmās). Purpose clause εις το eis to and the infinitive ειναι einai with the accusative of general reference ημας hēmās (as to us). A kind of first-fruits (απαρχην τινα aparchēn tina). “Some first-fruits” (old word from απαρχομαι aparchomai), of Christians of that age. See Romans 16:5.
Ye know this (ιστε iste). Or “know this.” Probably the perfect active indicative (literary form as in Ephesians 5:5; Hebrews 12:17, unless both are imperative, while in James 4:4 we have οιδατε oidate the usual vernacular Koiné perfect indicative). The imperative uses only ιστε iste and only the context can decide which it is. Εστο Esto (let be) is imperative.Swift to hear (ταχυς εις το ακουσαι tachus eis to akousai). For this use of εις το eis to with the infinitive after an adjective see 1 Thessalonians 4:9. For εις το eis to after adjectives see Romans 16:19. The picture points to listening to the word of truth (James 1:18) and is aimed against violent and disputatious speech (James 3:1-12). The Greek moralists often urge a quick and attentive ear. Slow to speak (βραδυς εις το λαλησαι bradus eis to lalēsai). Same construction and same ingressive aorist active infinitive, slow to begin speaking, not slow while speaking. Slow to anger (βραδυς εις οργην 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.
The wrath of man (οργη ανδρος orgē andros). Here ανηρ anēr (as opposed to γυνη gunē woman), not αντρωπος anthrōpos of James 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 τυμος 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 Acts 10:35 for “working righteousness,” and James 2:9 for “working sin” (εργαζομαι ergazomai both times).
Wherefore (διο dio). Because of this principle. See Ephesians 4:25.Putting away (αποτεμενοι apothemenoi). Second aorist middle participle of αποτιτημι apotithēmi to put off, metaphor of removing clothing as in Romans 13:12; Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 4:22, Ephesians 4:25; 1 Peter 2:1. Filthiness (ρυπαριαν ruparian). Late word (Plutarch) from ρυπαρος ruparos dirty (James 2:2), here only in N.T. Surely a dirty garment. Overflowing of wickedness (περισσειαν κακιας perisseian kakias). Περισσεια Perisseia is a late word (from περισσος perissos abundant, exceeding), only four times in N.T., in 2 Corinthians 8:2 with χαρας charas (of joy), in Romans 5:17 with χαριτος charitos (of grace). Κακια Kakia (from κακος kakos evil) can be either general like ρυπαρια ruparia (filthiness, naughtiness), or special like “malice.” But any of either sense is a “superfluity.” With meekness (εν πρατητι en praūtēti). In docility. “The contrast is with οργη orgē rather than κακιας kakias ” (Ropes). The implanted word (τον εμπυτον λογον ton emphuton logon). This old verbal adjective (from εμπυω emphuō to implant, to grow in), only here in N.T., meaning properly ingrown, inborn, not εμπυτευτον emphuteuton (engrafted). It is “the rooted word” (James 1:18), sown in the heart as the soil or garden of God (Matt 13:3-23; Matthew 15:13; 1 Corinthians 3:6). Able to save (δυναμενον σωσαι dunamenon sōsai). Cf. 1 Peter 1:9; James 2:14; James 4:12; James 5:20; Romans 1:16. Ultimate salvation (effective aorist active infinitive σωσαι sōsai from σωζω sōzō).
But be ye (γινεστε δε ginesthe de). Rather, “But keep on becoming” (present middle imperative of γινομαι ginomai).Doers of the word (ποιηται λογου poiētai logou). Old word for agent (της ̇tēs) from ποιεω poieō to do as in James 4:11; Romans 2:13, but in Acts 17:28 our “poet” (long regarded as a “doer” or “maker”). Hearers (ακροαται akroatai). Old word for agent again from ακροαμαι akroamai (to be a hearer), in N.T. only here and Romans 2:13. Deluding yourselves (παραλογιζομενοι εαυτους paralogizomenoi heautous). Present middle (direct) participle of παραλογιζομαι paralogizomai to reckon aside (παρα para) and so wrong, to cheat, to deceive. Redundant reflexive εαυτους heautous with the middle. In N.T. only here and Colossians 2:4. Such a man does not delude anyone but himself.
And not a doer (και ου ποιητης kai ou poiētēs). Condition of first class, assumed as true, and ου ou (rather than μη mē) contrasts ποιητης poiētēs with ακροατης akroatēs a man beholding (ανδρι κατανοουντι andri katanoounti). Associative instrumental case after εοικεν eoiken as in James 1:6. Note ανδρι andri as in James 1:8 in contrast with γυναικι gunaiki (woman), not αντρωπωι anthrōpōi (general term for man). Present active participle of κατανοεω katanoeō to put the mind down on (κατα νους kataκατενοησεν nous), to consider attentively, to take note of, as in James 1:24 (το προσωπον της γενεσεως αυτου katenoēsen).His natural face (γενεσις to prosōpon tēs geneseōs autou). “The face of his birth” (origin, lineage, nativity). For this use of εν εσοπτρωι genesis see James 3:6; Matthew 1:1, Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:13. In a mirror (εισ οπτω en esoptrōi). Old word (from κατοπτριζομαι eisoptō) in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 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 2 Corinthians 3:18.
He beholdeth himself (κατενοησεν εαυτον katenoēsen heauton). Usually explained as gnomic aorist like those in James 1:11, but the ordinary force of the tenses is best here. “He glanced at himself (κατενοησεν katenoēsen aorist) and off he has gone (απεληλυτεν apelēluthen perfect active) and straightway forgot (επελατετο epelatheto second aorist middle indicative of επιλαντανομαι epilanthanomai) what sort of a man he was” (οποιος ην 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).
He that looketh into (ο παρακυπσας ho parakupsas). First aorist active articular participle of παρακυπτω parakuptō old verb, to stoop and look into (John 20:5, John 20:11), to gaze carefully by the side of, to peer into or to peep into (1 Peter 1:12). Here the notion of beside (παρα para) or of stooping (κυπτω kuptō) is not strong. Sometimes, as Hort shows, the word means only a cursory glance, but the contrast with James 1:24 seems to preclude that here.The perfect law (νομον τελειον nomon teleion). For τελειον teleion see James 1:17. See Romans 7:12 for Paul‘s idea of the law of God. James here refers to the word of truth (James 1:18), the gospel of grace (Galatians 6:2; Romans 12:2). The law of liberty (τον της ελευτεριας ton tēs eleutherias). “That of liberty,” explaining why it is “perfect” (James 2:12 also), rests on the work of Christ, whose truth sets us free (John 8:32; 2 Corinthians 3:16; Romans 8:2). And so continueth (και παραμεινας kai parameinas). First aorist active articular participle again of παραμενω paramenō parallel with παρακυπσας parakupsas Παραμενω Paramenō is to stay beside, and see Philemon 1:25 for contrast with the simplex μενω menō (γενομενος genomenos). Rather, “having become” (second aorist middle participle of γινομαι ginomai to become). Not a hearer that forgetteth (ουκ ακροατης επιλησμονης ouk akroatēs epilēsmonēs). “Not a hearer of forgetfulness” (descriptive genitive, marked by forgetfulness). Επιλησμονη Epilēsmonē is a late and rare word (from επιλησμων epilēsmōn forgetful, from επιλαντομαι epilanthomai to forget, as in James 1:24), here only in N.T. But a doer that worketh (αλλα ποιητης εργου alla poiētēs ergou). “But a doer of work,” a doer marked by work (descriptive genitive εργου ergou), not by mere listening or mere talk. In his doing (εν τηι ποιησει αυτου en tēi poiēsei autou). Another beatitude with μακαριος makarios as in James 1:12, like the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. Ποιησις Poiēsis is an old word (from ποιεω poieō for the act of doing), only here in N.T.
Thinketh himself to be religious (δοκει τρησκος ειναι dokei thrēskos einai). Condition of first class (ειδοκει ei̇dokei). Τρησκος Thrēskos (of uncertain etymology, perhaps from τρεομαι threomai to mutter forms of prayer) is predicate nominative after ειναι einai agreeing with the subject of δοκει dokei (either “he seems” or “he thinks”). This source of self-deception is in saying and doing. The word τρησκος 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.While he bridleth not his tongue (μη χαλιναγωγων γλωσσαν εαυτου mē chalinagōgōn glōssan heautou). “Not bridling his own tongue.” A reference to James 1:19 and the metaphor is repeated in James 3:12. This is the earliest known example of the compound χαλιναγωγεω chalinagōgeō (χαλινος chalinos bridle αγο 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 (πιμοω phimoō) one‘s mouth (Matthew 22:12 επιμωτη ephimōthē). Deceiveth (απατων apatōn). Present active participle from απατη apatē (deceit). He plays a trick on himself. Religion (τρησκεια thrēskeia). Later form of τρησκιη thrēskiē (Herodotus) from τρησκος 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 Acts 26:5 of Judaism and in Colossians 2:18 of worshipping angels. It is vain (ματαιος mataios feminine form same as masculine) or empty. Comes to nothing.
Pure religion and undefiled (τρησκεια καταρα και αμιαντος thrēskeia kathara kai amiantos). Numerous examples in papyri and inscriptions of τρησκεια 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.Before our God and Father (παρα τωι τεωι και πατρι para tōi theōi kai patri). By the side of (παρα para) and so from God‘s standpoint (Mark 10:27). Αμιαντος Amiantos (compound verbal adjective, alpha privative, μιαινω miainō to defile), puts in negative form (cf. James 1:4, James 1:6) the idea in καταρα kathara (pure, clean). This (αυτη hautē). Feminine demonstrative pronoun in the predicate agreeing with τρησκεια thrēskeia visit (επισκεπτεσται episkeptesthai). Epexegetic (explaining αυτη hautē) present middle infinitive of επισκεπτομαι episkeptomai common verb to go to see, to inspect, present tense for habit of going to see. See Matthew 25:36, Matthew 25:43 for visiting the sick. The fatherless and widows (ορπανους και χηρας orphanous kai chēras). “The natural objects of charity in the community” (Ropes). Ορπανος Orphanos is old word for bereft of father or mother or both. In N.T. only here and John 14:18. Note order (orphans before widows). Unspotted (ασπιλον aspilon). Old adjective (alpha privative and σπιλος spilos spot), spotless. This the more important of the two illustrations and the hardest to execute. To keep (τηρειν tērein). Present active infinitive, “to keep on keeping oneself un-specked from the world” (a world, κοσμος kosmos full of dirt and slime that bespatters the best of men).
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on James 1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany