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Ben Mattson
Seminarian at Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis, MN
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James 1
James 1:12-18
Shared May 26th, 2020; Updated May 26th, 2020
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Jame 1:12-18
James 1:12-18
Jame 1:12-18
editing
NT
James 1:12-18
na28
net
mine
Μακάριος ἀνὴρ
Happy is the one 13
Fortunate is the one
ὃς ὑπομένει πειρασμόν,
who endures testing,
who endures a trial
ideaexplanation
ὅτι δόκιμος γενόμενος
because when he has proven to be genuine,
because, after having passed the test,
λήμψεται τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς
he will receive the crown of life
they will receive the crown which is life,
temporal
ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν.
that God 14 promised to those who love him.
the one promised to those loving him.
ground
Μηδεὶς ... λεγέτω
Let no one say
Let no one say,
πειραζόμενος
when he is tempted,
when being tempted,
ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ πειράζομαι •
“I am tempted by God,”
that temptation comes from God.
ὁ γὰρ θεὸς ἀπείραστός ἐστιν κακῶν,
for God cannot be tempted by evil, 15
For God is untemptable by (means of) evil (he is not tempted to do evil things)
πειράζει δὲ αὐτὸς οὐδένα.
and he himself tempts no one.
and he himself tempts no one.
series
ἕκαστος δὲ πειράζεται ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας
But each one is tempted
But each one is tempted by their own desires
ἐξελκόμενος
when he is lured
by being dragged away
καὶ δελεαζόμενος •
and enticed by his own desires.
and enticed [by them]
actionmanner
εἶτα συλλαβοῦσα
Then when desire conceives,
Then when conceived,
ἡ ἐπιθυμία ... τίκτει ἁμαρτίαν,
it gives birth to sin,
desire gives birth to sin to sin,
... δὲ ... ἀποτελεσθεῖσα ...
and when sin is full grown,
and when complete,
ἡ ἁμαρτία ... ἀποκύει θάνατον.
it gives birth to death.
sin gives birth to death.
progression
negativepositive
Μὴ πλανᾶσθε , ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί.
Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. 16
Do not allow yourself to be deceived, my beloved brothers.
πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ
All generous giving
Every good gift
καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον ἄνωθέν ἐστιν καταβαῖνον ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων,
and every perfect gift 17 is from above, coming down 18 from the Father of lights,
and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights,
παρʼ ᾧ οὐκ ἔνι παραλλαγὴ
with whom there is no variation
from whom there is no variation
ἢ τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα.
or the slightest hint of change. 19
or the slightest hint of change.
βουληθεὶς
By his sovereign plan
By his sovereign plan/because he is willing
ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας
he gave us birth 20 through the message of truth,
he gave us birth through the word of truth to us
inference
εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀπαρχήν τινα τῶν αὐτοῦ κτισμάτων.
that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
so that we would be the a kind of firstfruits of his created creatures.
actionpurpose
bilateral
Genitive of Means [by] a. Definition The genitive substantive indicates the means or instrumentality by which the verbal action (implicit in the head noun [or adjective] or explicit in the verb) is accomplished. It answers the question, “How?” This usage is quite rare. (With the preposition ἐκ it is much more frequent, though that technically is not a gen. of means because of the presence of the preposition.) gen. genitive Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 125.
The Passive with agency expressed 1) Ultimate Agent The subject of a passive verb receives the action that is usually expressed by ὑπό + genitive. Sometimes ἀπό + genitive is used, rarely παρά + genitive. The ultimate agent indicates the person who is ultimately responsible for the action, who may or may not be directly involved (though he or she usually is). Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 433.
or grounds?
na28
discourse
James 1:12-18
1:13-15 1:13 Switch of topics from trials to temptations “trial” (πειρασμός), here refers to something that entices one “to improper behavior.”18 Moo explains that what can change a trial into a temptation is the attitude with which we meet it, and we fail the trial when we turn to blaming God.19 Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell, James, vol. 16, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 70. God does not want his people to stumble and gives them strength to endure temptation. For he cannot be tempted to do evil. God does not test with evil intent: 1 Cor 10:13 No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others.9 And God is faithful: He10 will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear,11 but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it 1:14 fishing and hunting imagery... having been caught and lured by improper desires. 1:15 Improper desire as a parent Sin as a child Death as a grandchild Suggestion Experiment Consent (we have been carried away) The metaphors of growth and reproduction remind us that James is not thinking just of the major crises or blatant temptations that assault us but also of the countless little decisions we make on a daily basis, over a lifetime, that mold and shape us into the people we ultimately become.33 As will become even clearer throughout the letter, James regularly judges a person “saved” only from the perspective of 20–20 hindsight, as one looks back on one’s life as a whole. Adore: What did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank him? God does not want his children to stumble. He gives strength to them to endure temptation. He is faithful. We are not singled out to face any trials that no one has ever faced. Even our Savior has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. He is faithful to always provide a way out. How merciful, how compassionate! He tests us to reveal to us our hearts. Abraham was tested to the point of sacrificing his own son, but he trusted in the promise that God was able to raise Issac from the dead, which he did figuratively. Do I trust that happy are the pure in heart for they shall see God? Do I trust that God gives everything, every grace and mercy that I need to get through each testing? It is not that he doesn't test us, but he doesn't test us with evil intent that we might fall. He wants us to be most satisfied in him, not in other things, so why not bring about unsatisfaction in the improper pursuit of other things? What love! Admit: What did you learn about yourself for which you could repent? How easily I give into sin and don't trust in his promise to give me all things that I need and a way out! Why? Because I often love my sin more than God. My heart "busily works to pull me away from the Lord." I am far too easily pleased with other things such as lust, food, drink, comfort, ease, selfishness. Lord, please forgive me. You have not left me alone. You have not made me to settle for the worship of infinitely lesser things. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! Help me to actually believe in my heart that you are good and that you satisfy me. Satisfy me this morning with your steadfast love, for to you do I lift up my soul. Aspire : What did you learn about life that you could aspire to ask for, or act on? I always have a way out. Be killing sin or it will kill you. Lord, help me to repent. 1. Nighttime routine of journaling questions 2. ANTHEM by Piper https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/anthem-strategies-for-fighting-lust 1:16-18 Gift=grace? more likely wisdom If God does not give temptations, what does he give? What is the best gift he has given us? Birth through the Word of truth. The “crown of life” represents one of five “crown” metaphors found in the epistles, all of which refer to unending, perfect paradise in the company of God, Christ, and all the redeemed Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell, James, vol. 16, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 76. But God may lead believers into the place in which the devil and/or their own natural desires will tempt them, just as the Holy Spirit led Christ into the wilderness where Satan tempted him (Mt 4:1–11; Lk 4:1–13). Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell, James, vol. 16, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 77. God is single minded in giving good gifts. Adore: What did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank him? God only gives good gifts. The preeminent gift he has given us is the Gospel through his Son, who made atonement for our sin. God doesn't change. Why is that comforting? That he is single-minded in his purposes to only give good gifts to his children? There is grace and mercy for ALL we need. He gives all grace and all sufficiency at all times. Admit: What did you learn about yourself for which you could repent? I often fail to be single-minded in my pursuit of God and his gifts. I settle for so much less. Aspire : What did you learn about life that you could aspire to ask for, or act on? Ask God for the Spirit. For the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him. Help me to remember your promises to me!
notes
Comments
Jtorgeson
Loving these, Ben, especially your personal reflections. Have you come to any conclusions on how James uses δε? It's something I've been thinking about as I have made my way through the letter.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.