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Chapter 2


2:1 Brothers (adelphoi) of me (mou), do not hold (mē echete) the (tēn) belief (pistin) of the (tou) lord (kuriou) of us (hēmōn), Jesus (Iēsou) Christ (Christou), [lord, RE] of the (tēs) glory (doxēs), in (en) face value (prosōpolēmpsiais).


2:2 Because (gar) if perhaps (ean) [a] golden ring-fingered (chrusodaktulios) male (anēr) in (en) shining (lampra) apparel (esthēti) may enter in (eiselthē) into (eis) [a] synagogue (sunagōgēn) of you (humōn), but (de) [a] poor one (ptōchos) also (kai) may enter in (eiselthē), in (en) dirty (rhupara) apparel (esthēti),


2:3 but (de) you may look over (epiblepsēte) upon (epi) the one (ton) wearing (phorounta) the (tēn) apparel (esthēta), the (tēn) shining (lampran) [apparel, RE], and (kai) you may enunciate (eipēte), “You (su) cause yourself to sit down (kathou) here (hōde) beautifully (kalōs),” and (kai) to the (tō) poor one (ptōchō) you may enunciate (eipēte), “You (su) stand (stēthi) there (ekei),” or (ē) “cause yourself to sit down (kathou) under (hupo) the (to) footstool (hupopodion) of me (mou),”


2:4 were you absolutely not caused to thoroughly question (ou diekrithēte) among (en) yourselves (heautois), and (kai) you caused yourselves to become (egenesthe) judges (kritai) of evil (ponērōn) dialogues (dialogismōn)!?


2:5 Hear (akousate), beloved (agapētoi) brothers (adelphoi) of me (mou), <did> the (ho) God (theos) absolutely not (ouch) cause himself to call out (exelexato) the (tous) poor ones (ptōchous) [in, RE] the (tō) cosmos (kosmō), ones wealthy (plousious) in (en) belief (pistei), and (kai) heirs (klēronomous) of the (tēs) Kingdom932 (basileias) which (hēs) he caused himself to promise (epēngeilato) to the ones (tois) loving (agapōsin) him (auton)!?


2:6 But (de) you (humeis) dishonored (ētimasate) the (ton) poor one (ptōchon).


The (hoi) wealthy ones (plousioi), do they absolutely not press you down with inherent power (ouch katadunasteuomenous humōn), and (kai) they (autoi) draw (helkousin) you (humas) into (eis) [dialogues, v4, RE] of judicial criterion (kritēria)!?


2:7 Do they (autoi) absolutely not blaspheme (ouk blasphēmousin) the (to) beautiful (kalon) name (onoma), the (to) [name, RE] having been called aloud (epiklēthen) over (eph) [the sake, AE] of you (humas)!?


2:8 If (ei), yet truly (mentoi), you complete (teleite) [a/the] kingly (basilikon) law (nomon) down according to (kata) the (tēn) writing (graphēn), “Love (agapēseis) the (ton) neighborly one (plēsion) of you (sou) as (hōs) yourself (seauton),” you do (poieite) beautiully (kalōs)!


2:9 But (de) if (ei) you take [the neighborly one, v8, RE] toward face value (prosōpolēmpteite), you cause yourselves to work (ergazesthe) sin (hamartian), you being reproved (elenchomenoi) under (hupo) [authority, AE] of the (tou) law (nomou) as (hōs) side-steppers (parabatai).


2:10 Because (gar) one who (hostis) may watchfully keep (tērēsē) the (ton) whole (holon) law (nomon), but (de) he may stumble (ptaisē) in (en) one place (heni), he has become (gegonen) one liable (enochos) of all (pantōn) [of the law, v9, RE].


2:11 Because (gar) the one (ho) having enunciated (eipōn), “Do not do adultery (mē moicheusēs), enunciated (eipen), “Do not kill (mē ) also (kai).


But (de) if (ei) you absolutely do not do adultery (ou moicheueis) but (de) you murder (phoneueis), have you become (gegonas) [a] side-stepper (parabatēs) of law (nomou)!?


2:12 Speak (laleite) thusly (houtōs), and (kai) do (poieite) thusly (houtōs), as (hōs) one being about (mellontes) to be judged (krinesthai) through (dia) [the] Law (nomou) of Freedom1657 (eleutherias).


2:13 Because (gar) the (hē) judgment (krisis) [is] unmerciful (aneleos) to the one (tō) not (mē) having done (poiēsanti) mercy (eleos).


<Does> [the God, v5, RE] cause himself to boast (katakauchatai) of mercy (eleos) [or, AE] of judgment (kriseōs)?


(For God boasting of his mercy see Hos. 6:6; Exod. 15:13, *25:21-22; Psalm 103:11, 17; Mat. 5:7, 9:13, 12:7, 23:23; Luke 1:50-54, 58, 72, 78; Rom. 9:15, 15:9; Eph. 2:4; Tit. 3:5; James 2:13, 3:17; 1 Pet. 1:3)


2:14  What (ti) [is] the (to) profit (ophelos), brothers (adelphoi) of me (mou), if perhaps (ean) anyone (tis) may say (legē) to have (echein) belief (pistin), but (de) may not have (me echē) works (erga)?


<Can> not (mē) the (hē) belief (pistis) [of him, RE] inherently power itself (dunatai) to keep him whole (sōsai auton)?


2:15 If perhaps (ean) [a] naked (gumnoi) brother (adelphos) or (ē) sister (aelphē) may be [a] subordinate one (huparchōsin) [of you, AE], and (kai) ones causing themselves to be left behind (leipomenoi) of the (tēs) ephemeral (ephēmerou) nourishment (trophēs),


2:16 but (de) [if, v15, RE] anyone (tis) out (ex) of you (humōn) enunciates (eipē) to them (autois), “Get underway (hupagete) in (en) peace (eirēnē), keep yourselves warm (thermainesthe), and (kai) feed yourselves (chortazesthe)”, but (de) may not give (mē dōte) to them (autois) the (ta) things required (epitēdeia) of the (tou) body (sōmatos), what (ti) [is] the (to) profit (ophelos)!?


2:17 Thusly (houtōs) [is] the (hē) belief (pistis) also (kai), [as your enunciation, v16, RE], if perhaps (ean) it may not have (mē echē) works (erga) [it, AE] is (estin) dead (nekra), down on account of (kath’) [it, AE] [is] by itself (heautēn)!


2:18 BUT (all’), [if, AE] someone (tis) shall enunciate (erie), “Do you hold (su echeis) belief (pistin)”, and I (kagō) have (echō) works (erga), [then I shall enunciate to him, AE], "Thoroughly show (deixon) to me (moi) the (tēn) belief (pistin) of you (sou) without (chōris) the (tōn) works (ergōn), and I (kagō) shall thoroughly show (deixō) [to you, AE] the (tēn) belief (pistin) [of me, AE] out (ek) of the (tōn) works (ergōn) of me (mou)!"


2:19 You (su) believe (pisteueis) that (hoti) the (ho) God (theos) is (estin) one (heis), you do (poieis) beautifully (kalōs).  


The (ta) demons (diamonia) also (kai) believe (pisteuousin) and (kai) bristle (phrissousin).


2:20 But (de) do you desire (theleis) to know (gnōnai), O (ō) empty (kenē) mortal (anthrōpe), that (hoti) the (hē) belief (pistis) without (chōris) the (tōn) works (ergōn) is (estin) non-working (argē)!?


2:21 Abraham (Abraam), the (ho) father (patēr) of us (hēmōn), was he absolutely not made righteousness (ouk edikaiōthē) out (ex) of works (ergōn), having brought up (anenenkas) Isaac (Isaak), the (ton) son (huion) of him (autou), upon (epi) the (to) altar (thusiastērion)!?


2:22 Do you see (blepeis) that (hoti) the (hē) belief (pistis) was working together with (sunērgei) the (tois) works (ergois) of him (autou);


and (kai) out (ek) of the (tōn) works (ergōn) the (hē) belief (pistis) was made complete (eteleiōthē)!?


2:23 And (kai) the (hē) writing (graphē) was fulfilled (eplērōthē), the one (hē) saying (legousa), “But (de) Abraham (Abraam) believed (episteusen) the (tō) God (theō), and (kai) it was counted3049 (elogisthē) to him (autō) into (eis) righteousness (dikaiosunēn);


and (kai) he was called aloud (eklēthē), “[a] loved one (philos) of God (theou)!”


(See Gen. 22)


2:24 You see (horate) that (hoti) out (ek) of works (ergōn) [a] mortal (anthrōpos) [is] made righteous (dikaioutai), and (kai) [righteousness, AE] [is] absolutely not (ouk) out (ek) of belief (pisteōs) alone (monon)!


2:25 But (de) likewise (homoiōs), Rahab (Rhaab) also (kai), the (hē) fornicator (pornē), was she absolutely not made righteous (ouk edikaiōthē) out (ex) of works (ergōn), she having caused herself to be received under (hupodexamenē) [authority, AE] of the (tous) messengers (angelous), and (kai) she having thrown [the messengers, RE] out (ekbalousa) another (hetera) way (hodō)!?


2:26 Because (gar) so be it as (hōsper) the (to) body (sōma) without (chōris) Spirit (pneumatos) is (estin) dead (nekron), thusly (houtōs) the (hē) belief (pistis) also (kai) without (chōris) works (ergōn) is (estin) dead (nekra)!


(See Joshua 2:1-; Heb. 11:31)


(I believe Apostle James and Apostle Paul’s teachings that one’s works for God should be flowing out of one’s belief of God’s Word, are not as contradictory as the biblical texts may cause it to appear. Apostle James appears to be approaching this discrete topic from the point of view of the old covenant law, the Law of Works (Rom. 3:27-28).  Under the old covenant a believer in God’s Word had to keep all of the points of the Mosaic Law to personally obtain, or maintain, a level of righteousness in God’s eyes, a level of righteousness “counted” or “measured” to them to the extent righteousness could be counted or measured to an individual under authority of the Mosaic Law. The measurement was commensurate based upon one’s amount or level of belief in the totality of God’s Word.


But Apostle Paul refers to the new covenant as the Law of Belief (Rom. 3:27-28). Apostle Paul explains that under the new covenant most all of the judicial routines of the law which believers had to personally keep on doing, and which the priests and chief sacrificial priests were to do, such as bringing burnt or un-burnt offering to God, the various sprinklings of bloods, circumcision of the males, and so on, were no longer necessary, on account of Jesus Christ being the final and ultimate sacrificial lamb of God.  What sacrifices and associated routines need to follow if Jesus Christ was, and is, the final sacrificial lamb of all time? 


The level of righteous now available (What is that level? Hint: it's much higher now.) to the children of Israel, and now to anyone in the entire cosmos, can be attained through simply believing upon the name of Jesus, belief based upon knowing and understanding what his personal sacrifice for everyone means for them. Under God’s new covenant put through by Jesus’ shed blood and death, the personal reception of God’s grace and mercy is no longer dependent upon all of the various “works” which the priests, chief sacrificial priests, and individuals were to do, but now simply upon one’s own belief in the precious name of Jesus! 


Salvation, wholeness, ultimately eternal life, wasn’t available under the old Mosaic Law, even if the children of Israel, and the priests, and the chief sacrificial priests did everything required, perfectly!  It was not available because the promised coming redeemer hadn’t arrived yet, and died yet!  Apostle Paul teaches about not needing to do the works of the law, or any kind of good works, to receive salvation, because under the new covenant salvation is based simply upon one’s belief in the name of Jesus.  But Apostle Paul agrees with James, that if one does believe upon the name of Jesus, he or she will be out there doing good works to love both his fellow man and God, especially to be pleasing in God’s sight.  Apostle James’ conceptual teaching of good works is in agreement with apostle Paul’s, that because of one’s belief he or she will be doing good works. 


For my understanding, which is dependent upon the period of time Apostle James and Paul wrote their letters, James’ letter in about 45 AD, and Paul’s letter to the Romans in about 58 AD, and most all other letters of Paul subsequent to that, at the time of James’ letter he likely did not yet fully know and understand Apostle Paul’s teaching of the revelation of the new covenant, the Law of Belief (Rom. 3:27-28). Apostle Paul had to learn this as the Father taught him, and as Christ Jesus revealed to him, throughout Paul’s subsequent itineraries.  At the time of Apostle James letter, his yet incomplete knowledge and understanding of doing ”works” was likely the best and latest revelation that anyone could have known.  Apostle Paul’s teaching of the relevance of “works” under the new covenant, the Law of Belief, justifiably replaced James concept of works related to one's acceptance by God, to make the fine distinction about one's belief being required for one's salvation, apart from the required works of the Mosaic Law.