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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(James: Chapter 1)

1:1 {James} (Iak“bos). Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew Iak“b (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} (doulos). Bond-servant or slave as Paul (Ro 1:1; Php 1:1; Tit 1:1).
{Of the Lord Jesus Christ} (kuriou Iˆsou Christou). Here on a par with God (theou) and calls himself not adelphos (brother) of Jesus, but doulos. The three terms here as in 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 Iˆsous and Php 2:11 for Kurios Iˆsous Christos.
{To the twelve tribes} (tais d“deka phulais). Dative case. The expression means "Israel in its fulness and completeness" (Hort), regarded as a unity (Ac 26:7) with no conception of any "lost" tribes.
{Which are of the Dispersion} (tais en tˆi diasporƒi). "Those in the Dispersion" (repeated article). The term appears in De 28:25 (LXX) and comes from diaspeir“, 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 ("Koin‚", 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 "Koin‚" but in the Hebraic tone.
{Greeting} (chairein). Absolute infinitive (present active of chair“) as in Ac 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 1:10,11.

1:2 {Count it} (hˆgˆsasthe). First aorist middle imperative of hˆgeomai, old verb to consider. Do it now and once for all. {All joy} (pƒsan charan). "Whole joy," " unmixed joy," as in Php 2:29. Not just "some joy" along with much grief.
{When} (hotan). "Whenever," indefinite temporal conjunction.
{Ye fall into} (peripesˆte). Second aorist active subjunctive (with the indefinite hotan) from peripipt“, literally to fall around (into the midst of), to fall among as in Lu 10:30 lˆistais periepesen (he fell among robbers). Only other N.T. example of this old compound is in Ac 27:41. Thucydides uses it of falling into affliction. It is the picture of being surrounded (peri) by trials.
{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 peiraz“, late form for the old peira“ as in Ac 26:21, both in good sense as in Joh 6:6, and in bad sense as in Mt 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 verse 12 (clearly in peiraz“ in verse 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 Mt 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.

1:3 {Knowing} (gin“skontes). Present active participle of gin“sk“ (experimental knowledge, the only way of getting this view of "trials" as "all joy").
{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 (Jas 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 verse 6; 2:1; 5:15, regards faith (pistis) like Paul "as the very foundation of religion" (Mayor).
{Worketh} (katergazetai). Present (durative) middle indicative of the compound verb with the perfective sense of kata as in Php 2:12, which see.
{Patience} (hupomonˆn). Old and common word for remaining under (hupomen“), "staying power" (Ropes), as in Col 1:11.

1:4 {Let have} (echet“). Present active imperative of ech“, let it keep on having.
{Perfect} (teleion). See Ro 5:3f. 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 telei“sas, having finished the work).
{That ye may be} (hina ˆte). Purpose clause with hina and present active subjunctive of eimi. This is the goal of patience.
{Perfect and entire} (teleioi kai holoklˆroi). Perfected at the end of the task (telos) and complete in all parts (holoklˆroi, holos whole and klˆros lot or part). "Perfected all over." These two adjectives often occur together in Philo, Plutarch, etc. See Ac 3:16 for holoklˆrian (perfect soundness).
{Lacking in nothing} (en mˆdeni leipomenoi). Present passive participle of leip“ to leave. Negative statement of the preceding positive as often in James (cf. 1:6). There is now a digression (verses 5-8) from the discussion of peirasmos, which is taken up again in verse 9. The word leipomenoi (lacking) suggests the digression.

1:5 {Lacketh wisdom} (leipetai sophias). Condition of first class, assumed as true, ei and present passive indicative of leip“ 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, gn“se“s, but wisdom sophias, the practical use of knowledge) .
{Let him ask} (aiteit“). Present active imperative of aite“, "let him keep on asking." {Of God} (para tou theou). "From (from beside) God," ablative case with para. Liberally (hapl“s). This old adverb occurs here only in the N.T. (from haplous, single-fold, Mt 6:22, and haplotˆs, simplicity, generosity, is common-- 2Co 8:2; Ro 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 haplotˆs in 2Co 8:2; Ro 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; Pr 2:3).
{Upbraideth not} (mˆ oneidizontos). Present active participle of oneidiz“ (old verb to reproach, to cast in one's teeth, Mt 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 hapl“s (giving graciously). The evil habit of giving stinging words along with the money is illustrated in Sirach 41:22 and Plutarch ("De adulat.", p. 64A). ] Cf. Heb 4:16.
{And it shall be given him} (kai dothˆsetai aut“i). First future passive of did“mi, a blessed promise in accord with the words of Jesus (Mt 7:7,11; Lu 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.

1:6 {In faith} (en pistei). Faith here "is the fundamental religious attitude" (Ropes), belief in God's beneficent activity and personal reliance on him (Oesterley).
{Nothing doubting} (mˆden diakrinomenos). Negative way of saying en pistei (in faith), present passive participle of diakrin“, old verb to separate (krin“) between (dia), to discriminate as shown clearly in Ac 11:12, 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 Lu 11:18 and occurs in Mt 21:21; Mr 11:23; Ac 10:20; Ro 2:4; 4:20; 14:23. It is a vivid picture of internal doubt.
{Is like} (eoiken). Second perfect active indicative with the linear force alone from eik“ to be like. Old form, but in N.T. only here and verse 23 (a literary touch, not in LXX).
{The surge of the sea} (klud“ni thalassˆs). Old word (from kluz“ to wash against) for a dashing or surging wave in contrast with kuma (successive waves), in N.T. only here and Lu 8:24. In associative instrumental case after eoiken. In Eph 4:14 we have kludoniz“ (from klud“n), to toss by waves. {Driven by the wind} (anemizomen“i). Present passive participle (agreeing in case with klud“ni) of anemiz“, earliest known example and probably coined by James (from anemos), who is fond of verbs in -iz“ (Mayor). The old Greek used anemo“. In Eph 4:14 Paul uses both kludoniz“ and peripher“ anem“i. It is a vivid picture of the sea whipped into white-caps by the winds. {Tossed} (ripizomen“i). Present passive participle also in agreement with klud“ni from ripiz“, 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.

1:7 {That man} (ho anthr“pos ekeinos). Emphatic use of ekeinos.
{Of the Lord} (para tou kuriou). Ablative case with para like theou in verse 5.

1:8 {Man} (anˆr). Instead of anthr“pos (general term) in verse 7, perhaps for variety (Ropes), but often in James (1:12,23; 2:2; 3:2), though in other Epistles usually in distinction from gunˆ (woman).
{Double-minded} (dipsuchos). First appearance of this compound known and in N.T. only here and 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 psuchˆ soul, double-souled, double-minded, Bunyan's "Mr. Facing-both-ways." Cf. the rebuke to Peter (edistasas) in Mt 14:31.
{Unstable} (akatastatos). Late double compound (alpha privative and katastatos verbal from kathistˆmi), in LXX once (Is 54:11) and in Polybius, in N.T. only here and 3:8. It means unsteady, fickle, staggering, reeling like a drunken man. Surely to James such "doubt" is no mark of intellectuality.

1:9 {But} (de). Return to the point of view in verse 2.
{Of low degree} (ho tapeinos). "The lowly" brother, in outward condition (Lu 1:52), humble and poor as in Ps 9:39; Pr 30:14, not the spiritually humble as in Mt 11:29; Jas 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.
{Glory in his high estate} (kauchasth“ en t“i hupsei autou). Paradox, but true. In his low estate he is "in his height" (hupsos, old word, in N.T., also in Lu 1:78; Eph 3:1; etc.).

1:10 {In that he is made low} (en tˆi tapein“sei autou). "In his low estate." Play on tapein“sis (from tapeino“, Php 3:7), like tapeinos of verse 9, old word in various senses, in N.T. only here, Lu 1:48; Ac 8:33; Php 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} (h“s anthos chortou). From the LXX (Isa 40:6). Chortos means pasture, then grass (Mr 6:39) or fodder. Anthos is old word, in N.T. only here, verse 11; 1Pe 1:24 (same quotation). This warning is here applied to "the rich brother," but it is true of all.
{He shall pass away} (pareleusetai). Future middle indicative (effective aoristic future, shall pass completely away from earth).

1:11 {Ariseth} (aneteilen). Gnomic or timeless aorist active indicative of the old compound anatell“, used here of plants (cf. anathall“ in Php 4:10), often of the sun (Mt 13:6). {With the scorching wind} (sun t“i kaus“ni). 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 Mt 20:12; Lu 12:55 it is the burning heat of the sun. Either makes sense here.
{Withereth} (exˆranen). Another gnomic aorist active indicative (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 837) of xˆrain“, old verb (from xˆros, dry or withered, Mt 12:10), to dry up. Grass and flowers are often used to picture the transitoriness of human life.
{Falleth} (exepesen). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist active indicative) of ekpipt“ to fall out (off).
{The grace} (hˆ euprepeia). Old word (from euprepˆs well-looking, not in the N.T.), only here in N.T. Goodly appearance, beauty.
{Of the fashion of it} (tou pros“pou autou). "Of the face of it." The flower is pictured as having a "face," like a rose or lily. {Perisheth} (ap“leto). Another gnomic aorist (second aorist middle indicative of apollumi, to destroy, but intransitive here, to perish). The beautiful rose is pitiful when withered. {Shall fade away} (maranthˆsetai). Future passive indicative of marain“, old verb, to extinguish a flame, a light. Used of roses in Wisdom 2:8.
{Goings} (poreiais). Old word from poreu“ to journey, in N.T. only here and Lu 13:22 (of Christ's journey toward Jerusalem). The rich man's travels will come to "journey's end."

1:12 {Endureth} (hupomenei). Present active indicative of hupomen“. Cf. verse 3.
{Temptation} (peirasmon). Real temptation here. See verse 2 for "trials."
{When he hath been approved} (dokimos genomenos). "Having become approved," with direct reference to to dokimion in verse 3. See also Ro 5:4 for dokimˆ (approval after test as of gold or silver). This beatitude (makarios) is for the one who has come out unscathed. See 1Ti 6:9.
{The crown of life} (ton stephanon tˆs z“ˆs). The same phrase occurs in Re 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 (diadˆma) of royalty (Ps 20:3, where stephanos is used like diadˆma, the kingly crown). Stephanos has a variety of uses. Cf. the thorn chaplet on Jesus (Mt 27:29).
{The Lord}. Not in the oldest Greek MSS., but clearly implied as the subject of epˆggeilato ({he promised}, first aorist middle indicative).

1:13 {Let no one say} (mˆdeis leget“). Present active imperative, prohibiting such a habit.
{When he is tempted} (peirazomenos). Present passive participle of peiraz“, here in evil sense of tempt, not test, as in Mt 4:1. Verses 12-18 give a vivid picture of temptation.
{I am tempted of God} (apo theou peirazomai). The use of apo shows origin (apo with ablative case), not agency (hupo), as in Mr 1:13, of Satan. It is contemptible, but I have heard wicked and weak men blame God for their sins. Cf. Pr 19:3; Sirach 15:11f. Temptation does not spring "from God."
{Cannot be tempted with evil} (apeirastos kak“n). Verbal compound adjective (alpha privative and peiraz“), 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 peira“), but this is the earliest example of apeirastos (from peiraz“) made on the same model. Only here in the N.T. Hort notes apeiratos kak“n 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} (peirazei de autos oudena). Because "untemptable."

1:14 {When he is drawn away by his own lust} (hupo tˆs idias epithumias exelkomenos). Epithumia is old word for craving (from epithume“, to have a desire for) either good (Php 1:23) or evil (Ro 7:7) as here. Like a fish drawn out from his retreat.
{Enticed} (deleazomenos). Present passive participle of deleaz“, old verb from delear (bait), to catch fish by bait or to hunt with snares and Philo has huph' hˆdonˆs deleazetai (is enticed by pleasure). In N.T. only here and 2Pe 2:14,18. Allured by definite bait.

1:15 {Then} (eita). The next step.
{The lust} (hˆ epithumia). Note article, the lust (verse 14) which one has.
{When it hath conceived} (sullabousa). Second aorist active participle of sullamban“, old word to grasp together, in hostile sense (Ac 26:21), in friendly sense of help (Php 4:3), in technical sense of a woman taking a man's seed in conception (Lu 1:24), here also of lust (as a woman), "having conceived." The will yields to lust and conception takes place.
{Beareth sin} (tiktei hamartian). Present active indicative of tikt“ 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 Ps 7:14 for this same metaphor.
{The sin} (hˆ hamartia). The article refers to hamartia just mentioned.
{When it is full-grown} (apotelestheisa). First aorist passive participle of apotele“, old compound verb with perfective use of apo, in N.T. only here and Lu 13:32. It does not mean "full-grown" like teleio“, 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 (Ro 6:6; Col 3:5).
{Bringeth forth death} (apokuei thanaton). Late compound (kue“ 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 tikt“. 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 Ro 6:21-23; 8:6. "The birth of death follows of necessity when one sin is fully formed" (Hort).

1:16 {Be not deceived} (mˆ planƒsthe). Prohibition with and the present passive imperative of plana“, common verb to lead astray. This is the way of sin to deceive and to kill (Ro 7:7-14). The devil is a pastmaster at blinding men's eyes about sin (2Co 4:4; Ro 1:27; Eph 4:14; etc.).

1:17 {Gift} (dosis) {--boon} (d“rˆma). Both old substantives from the same original verb (did“mi), 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 d“rˆma (from d“re“, from d“ron a gift) only means a gift, a benefaction (Ro 5:16). The contrast here argues for "giving" as the idea in dosis. Curiously enough there is a perfect hexameter line here: pƒsa do / sis aga / thˆ kai / pƒn d“ / rˆma 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 d“rˆma, but that is not conclusive.
{From above} (an“then). That is, from heaven. Cf. Joh 3:31; 19:11.
{Coming down} (katabainon). Present active neuter singular participle of katabain“ agreeing with d“rˆma, expanding and explaining an“then (from above). {From the Father of lights} (apo tou patros t“n ph“t“n). "Of the lights" (the heavenly bodies). For this use of patˆr see Job 38:28 (Father of rain); 2Co 1:3; Eph 1:17. God is the Author of light and lights.
{With whom} (par' h“i). For para (beside) with locative sense for standpoint of God see para t“i the“i (Mr 10:27; Ro 2:11; 9:14; Eph 6:9).
{Can be no} (ouk eni). This old idiom (also in Ga 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).
{Variation} (parallagˆ). Old word from parallass“, 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.
{Shadow that is cast by turning} (tropˆs aposkiasma). Tropˆ is an old word for "turning" (from trep“ to turn), here only in N.T. Aposkiasma is a late and rare word (aposkiasmos in Plutarch)
from aposkiaz“ (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 (aposkiaz“ 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 hˆ tropˆs 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.

1:18 {Of his own will} (boulˆtheis). First aorist passive participle of boulomai. Repeating the metaphor of birth in verse 15, but in good sense. God as Father acted deliberately of set purpose.
{He brought us forth} (apekuˆsen). First aorist active indicative of apokue“ (verse 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 (Ac 17:28f.).
{By the word of truth} (log“i alˆtheias). Instrumental case log“i. 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 alˆtheias).
{That we should be} (eis to einai hˆmƒs). Purpose clause eis to and the infinitive einai with the accusative of general reference hˆmƒs (as to us).
{A kind of first-fruits} (aparchˆn tina). "Some first-fruits" (old word from aparchomai), of Christians of that age. See Ro 16:5.

1:19 {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 Jas 4:4 we have oidate, the usual vernacular "Koin‚" perfect indicative). The imperative uses only iste and only the context can decide which it is. Esto (let be) is imperative.
{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 Ro 16:19. The picture points to listening to the word of truth (verse 18) and is aimed against violent and disputatious speech (chapter 3:1-12). The Greek moralists often urge a quick and attentive ear.
{Slow to speak} (bradus eis to lalˆsai). Same construction and same ingressive aorist active infinitive, slow to begin speaking, not slow while speaking.
{Slow to anger} (bradus eis orgˆn). He drops the infinitive here, but he probably means that slowness to speak up when angry will tend to curb the anger.

1:20 {The wrath of man} (orgˆ andros). Here anˆr (as opposed to gunˆ woman), not anthr“pos of verse 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 Ac 10:35 for "working righteousness," and Jas 2:9 for "working sin" (ergazomai both times).

1:21 {Wherefore} (dio). Because of this principle. See Eph 4:25.
{Putting away} (apothemenoi). Second aorist middle participle of apotithˆmi, to put off, metaphor of removing clothing as in Ro 13:12; Col 3:8; Eph 4:22,25; 1Pe 2:1. {Filthiness} (ruparian). Late word (Plutarch) from ruparos, dirty (Jas 2:2), here only in N.T. Surely a dirty garment. {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 Ro 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."
{With meekness} (en pra–tˆti). In docility. "The contrast is with orgˆ rather than kakias" (Ropes).
{The implanted word} (ton emphuton logon). This old verbal adjective (from emphu“ to implant, to grow in), only here in N.T., meaning properly ingrown, inborn, not emphuteuton (engrafted). It is "the rooted word" (verse 18), sown in the heart as the soil or garden of God (Mt 13:3-23; 15:13; 1Co 3:6).
{Able to save} (dunamenon s“sai). Cf. 1Pe 1:9; Jas 2:14; 4:12; 5:20; Ro 1:16. Ultimate salvation (effective aorist active infinitive s“sai from s“z“).

1:22 {But be ye} (ginesthe de). Rather, "But keep on becoming" (present middle imperative of ginomai).
{Doers of the word} (poiˆtai logou). Old word for agent (-tˆs) from poie“ to do as in 4:11; Ro 2:13, but in Ac 17:28 our "poet" (long regarded as a "doer" or "maker").
{Hearers} (akroatai). Old word for agent again from akroamai (to be a hearer), in N.T. only here and Ro 2:13.
{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.

1:23 {And not a doer} (kai ou poiˆtˆs). Condition of first class, assumed as true, and ou (rather than mˆ) contrasts poiˆtˆs with akroatˆs.
{Unto a man beholding} (andri katanoounti). Associative instrumental case after eoiken as in 1:6. Note andri as in 1:8 in contrast with gunaiki (woman), not anthr“p“i (general term for man). Present active participle of katanoe“ to put the mind down on (kata, nous), to consider attentively, to take note of, as in verse 24 (katenoˆsen).
{His natural face} (to pros“pon tˆs genese“s autou). "The face of his birth" (origin, lineage, nativity). For this use of genesis see 3:6; Mt 1:1,18; Lu 1:13.
{In a mirror} (en esoptr“i). Old word (from eis, opt“) 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.

1:24 {He beholdeth himself} (katenoˆsen heauton). Usually explained as gnomic aorist like those in 1:11, but the ordinary force of the tenses is best here. "He glanced at himself (katenoˆsen aorist) and off he has gone (apelˆluthen perfect active) and straightway forgot (epelatheto, second aorist middle indicative of epilanthanomai) what sort of a man he was" (hopoios ˆn, 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).

1:25 {He that looketh into} (ho parakupsas). First aorist active articular participle of parakupt“, old verb, to stoop and look into (Joh 20:5,11), 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 (kupt“) is not strong. Sometimes, as Hort shows, the word means only a cursory glance, but the contrast with verse 24 seems to preclude that here. {The perfect law} (nomon teleion). For teleion see 1:17. See Ro 7:12 for Paul's idea of the law of God. James here refers to the word of truth (1:18), the gospel of grace (Ga 6:2; Ro 12:2).
{The law of liberty} (ton tˆs eleutherias). "That of liberty," explaining why it is "perfect" (2:12 also), rests on the work of Christ, whose truth sets us free (Joh 8:32; 2Co 3:16; Ro 8:2).
{And so continueth} (kai parameinas). First aorist active articular participle again of paramen“, parallel with parakupsas. Paramen“ is to stay beside, and see Php 1:25 for contrast with the simplex men“.
{Being} (genomenos). Rather, "having become" (second aorist middle participle of ginomai to become).
{Not a hearer that forgetteth} (ouk akroatˆs epilˆsmonˆs). "Not a hearer of forgetfulness" (descriptive genitive, marked by forgetfulness). Epilˆsmonˆ is a late and rare word (from epilˆsm“n, forgetful, from epilanthomai, to forget, as in verse 24), here only in N.T.
{But a doer that worketh} (alla poiˆtˆs ergou). "But a doer of work," a doer marked by work (descriptive genitive ergou), not by mere listening or mere talk.
{In his doing} (en tˆi poiˆsei autou). Another beatitude with makarios as in 1:12, like the Beatitudes in Mt 5:3-12. Poiˆsis is an old word (from poie“ for the act of doing), only here in N.T.

1:26 {Thinketh himself to be religious} (dokei thrˆskos einai). Condition of first class (ei-dokei). Thrˆskos (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 thrˆskos 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 (Mt 6:1-18). It is the Pharisaic element in Christian worship.
{While he bridleth not his tongue} (mˆ chalinag“g“n gl“ssan heautou). "Not bridling his own tongue." A reference to verse 19 and the metaphor is repeated in 3:12. This is the earliest known example of the compound chalinag“ge“ (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 (phimo“) one's mouth (Mt 22:12 ephim“thˆ).
{Deceiveth} (apat“n). Present active participle from apatˆ (deceit). He plays a trick on himself.
{Religion} (thrˆskeia). Later form of thrˆskiˆ (Herodotus) from thrˆskos 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 Ac 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.

1:27 {Pure religion and undefiled} (thrˆskeia kathara kai amiantos). Numerous examples in papyri and inscriptions of thrˆskeia 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} (para t“i the“i kai patri). By the side of (para) and so from God's standpoint (Mr 10:27). Amiantos (compound verbal adjective, alpha privative, miain“ to defile), puts in negative form (cf. 1:4,6) the idea in kathara (pure, clean). This (hautˆ). Feminine demonstrative pronoun in the predicate agreeing with thrˆskeia.
{To visit} (episkeptesthai). Epexegetic (explaining hautˆ) present middle infinitive of episkeptomai, common verb to go to see, to inspect, present tense for habit of going to see. See Mt 25:36,43 for visiting the sick.
{The fatherless and widows} (orphanous kai chˆras). "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).
{Unspotted} (aspilon). Old adjective (alpha privative and spilos, spot), spotless. This the more important of the two illustrations and the hardest to execute. {To keep} (tˆrein). 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).

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(James: Chapter 1)

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