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James now brings his teachings about the impact of the tongue to a close in chapter three: With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out […]

I learned as a child this little ditty: “Sticks and stones may break my bones,but names will never hurt me.” The intent was good — to deflect unkind words. The truthfulness of the ditty, however, questionable. What is said can […]

So important is the tongue to teaching that James can say this in James 3:2: We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his […]

James 3:1 begins a new section. There are a variety of proposals of where the section ends in James, but our view is that it ends at 4:12. Some see the entire section to be a mixed bag of exhortations […]

No one knows for sure why James moves to Rahab as his second example, though some suggestions are clever. Hospitality seems the best explanation: the messanists for not showing it to the poor, Abraham for entertaining strangers, and Rahab for […]

We better quote the text from James 2:20-24 again: 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on […]

The next seven verses are some of the most fought-over verses in the Bible. These verses led Luther to his famous “right strawy epistle.” It led him to put James further back in the German New Testament. Calvin wrestled these […]

These two verses are considered by some to be the most difficult verses in the whole Bible to interpret. Questions abound for all. Here’s the NIV translation of James 2:18-19: 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” […]

The last lines in James 2:14-17 simply put forth what has been implicit all along: 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother […]

James 2:14-17 probes deeply into those who see needs (or ignore needs) and do nothing to alleviate needs. James, in fact, says that kind of response indicates the lack of faith — the lack of saving faith. Notice his words: […]