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James was a member of a church in which no one had need (Ac 4:34). The theme of rich and poor is recurrent in the letter. His great call is that all believers should hold whatever of this world's good they possess in trust for the needy. Long-standing tradition attributes the letter to James the Lord's brother. No other James could sign his letter 'James' and expect everyone to know who was meant. It appears to be written to well-established churches living in settled times.
1 1James [Iakōbos; Heb. Ya'akov], a servant [doulos]
Can also mean 'slave'.
Diaspora (Dispersion) was the technical name for the Jewish community that lived 'dispersed' among the nations outside of Israel (see 2 Macc 1:27; Jn 7:35).
Word play on chairein above.
Has two basic meanings in the NT. It can refer to the inner enticement to sin (1 Tim 6:9). Or it can denote external affliction, particularly persecution (cf. 1 Pet 4:12). Mt 26:41 and //s may contain both senses.
Found only elsewhere in the NT in 1 Peter 1:7 and in the LXX in Ps 11:7 and Prov 27:21. The LXX refers to the process of refining silver or gold by fire.
Patience (makrothymia) is that which Christians are to exercise towards people and hypomonē that which Christians are to exercise to external difficulties.
Leipetai is a word play on leipomenoi in v4.
Occurs only here in the NT. It is from a root whose basic meaning is 'single', 'simple' (in the sense of undivided, unwavering intent, unreserved, uncalculating), a meaning retained in Paul's use of the noun haplotēs in Eph 6:5 (cf. Col 3:22).
Means 'to differentiate'. From this root idea it was extended to include the ideas of 'judging' (1 Cor 14:29) and 'disputing' (Ac 11:2), and hence, in the middle voice, 'to dispute with oneself', 'to waver', 'to doubt' (cf. 2:4).
Lit. a 'billowing' or 'surging' rather than 'wave'. The ceaseless, sometimes violent motion of the sea was a popular image of change and instability in ancient literature. See Ecclus. 33:2; Philo, 'On the Giants', 51; 'On the Sacrifice of Abel and Cain', 90; 'On the Eternity of the World', 125.
Lit. 'double-souled'. Used here for the first time in Greek literature, and some think James may have coined it. Cf. OT 'divided heart' (Ps 12:2; Ho 10:2) and the blessing of following God with a 'whole heart' (Ps 119:2). The rabbis depicted the human condition as as having two tendencies, good and evil, warring in the soul. Cf. Jesus' quotation of the Shema, Dt 6:5, in Mt 22:37.
Someone low down on a socio-economic scale, poor and powerless. Cf. Ps 10:18; 34:18; 102:17; Is 11:4; Am 2:7. Jewish Christians in Israel and Syria would have been poor. A famine that struck at about this time would have struck the poor most severely.
Used elsewhere to describe the heavenly realm to which Christ ascended (Eph 4:8) and from which the Holy Spirit descends (Lk 24:49). Cf. Phil 3:20.
The Romans understood the passage of time. Forbidden great architecture like the Greeks who also immortalised youth in the construction of marble statues, the Romans made an art form out of festival instead. Theatres were elaborately set up, only to be torn down the moment a festival was over.
The image of the quickly fading flower would have been a familiar one for Middle Eastern readers who annually saw the early spring flowers wither suddenly under the sun's heat.
Possibly the 'sharav,' a hot, dry wind from the deserts east of Israel. The word occurs in the LXX to denote the 'east wind', the hot desert wind, and is frequent in images of judgment; cf. Hos 13:15.
Can mean 'way' in the sense of 'way of life' but often has a more specific sense, a 'journey'. In this context and in the light of 4:13 the word probably denotes the profit-motivated business trip in the midst of which the rich Christian is suddenly 'taken away'.
The crown sometimes refers to a royal crown, but more frequently is used of the laurel wreath given to the victorious athlete (see 1 Cor 9:25). Symbolizes glory and honour.
Cf Ecclus 15:11-12 in which Jesus the son of Sirach protests against the tendency to blame God for temptation.
'Inexperienced.' Word play on peirazō (recurrent in v13).
Connotes a forceful dragging out or away.
Desire is pictured as the mother (epithymia is feminine), giving birth to sin, her child. Cf. Prov 5-9. Does not always have a bad meaning (cf. Lk 22:15; Phil 1:23). The rabbis spoke of 'the evil impulse' ('yeser hara') that inhabits every person.
Suggests the attraction exerted by proffered bait. In 2 Pet 2:14, 18, deleazō is used of the enticements of false teachers. Cf. Philo; 'There is no single thing that does not yield to the enticement (deleasthēn) of pleasure, and get caught (helkō 'drag') and dragged along in her entangling nets …' ('On Husbandry', 103). Both these words in v 14 were originally associated with fishing.
Tropē and parallagē are often used with astronomical meaning. The changeableness of creation was frequently used to highlight, by contrast, the unchanging nature of God the Creator (cf. Philo, 'Allegorical Interpretation', 2:33: 'Every created thing must necessarily undergo change, for this is its property, even as unchangeableness is the property of God').
The first eight Greek words of the verse form an almost perfect hexameter, evidence of idiomatic Hellenistic Greek and perhaps a quote from an unknown source.
Philo uses apokyeō of creation. Only NT occurrences of this verb here and in v15.
For righteousness as the righteous activity that meets God's approval for which poieō and ergazomai (to do or practice righteousness) have this meaning see Ps 15:2; Ac 10:35; Heb 11:33. In the only place where 'work' (ergazomai) and 'righteouness' are used together in the LXX (PS 15:2), the context has to do with sins of speech.
Paul has in mind works that precede conversion and James works that follow conversion, so it follows that the 'justification' for which these works are the basis must be something different in Paul than in James. Paul uses dikaioō to describe the dynamic activity whereby the sinner is graciously given a new status, based on the sinner's union with Christ and secured through faith. For Paul, dikaioō is a term that denotes the initial transfer of a person from the realm of sin and death into the realm of holiness and life. Because the sinner has no righteousness of his own to offer, 'works' can have no place in effecting this transfer. In James, however, dikaioō has a meaning that is well attested in the OT, in Matthew, and in many Jewish sources. It describes a verdict that is based on the actual facts of the case; a judge declares a person 'righteous' because that person can be proven to be innocent (cf. Gn 38:26; 44:16; Je 3:11; Ezk 16:51-52). This verdict is associated with the last judgment (cf. 1 Sa 12:7; Is 43:26; Mi 7:9). See the link between justification in 2:21-25 and salvation in 2:14, where salvation is to be related to the verdict pronounced at the last judgment (Is 43:9; 45:25; 50:8; 53:11). That verdict takes into account the works that must inevitably be produced by true faith (cf. Mi 6:11; 1 Ki 8:31-32; with which Paul agrees; 2 Cor 5:10). With this comes the recognition that people cannot merit God's acquittal in themselves; cf. Ps 143:2 which is the precedent for Paul's emphasis on grace (Ro 3:20 and Gal 2:16).
Generally used of 'taking off' a set of clothes (cf. Ac 7:58) and applied widely in the NT to 'putting off' old patterns of behaviour (Rom 13:12; Eph 4:22, 25; Col 3:8; Heb 12:1; 1 Pet 2:1).
Used only here in biblical Greek, but its adjective is used in 2:2 to describe the clothes of the poor man, and in Zech 3:3-4 of the garments that the high priest Joshua had to put off before he can be given a new, rich set of clothes by the angel of the Lord.
Means surplus or abundance.
'Planted in you' has the sense 'inborn', (cf. Wisdom 12:10, the only other occurrence of the word in 'biblical' Greek) but likely not to refer to innate knowledge here, rather something that has become implanted (see Herodotus 9:94, Epistle of Barnabas 1:2; 9:9), Jer 31:33.
There was a widespread Jewish belief of James' day that 'not the expounding (of the law) is the chief thing, but the doing (of it)' (the second-century rabbi (Simeon b. Gamaliel in Mishnah, 'Abot' 1:17).
Not a hasty or cursory glance but thoughtful, attentive consideration (as in Lk 12:27; 'consider the lilies').
Genesis can mean 'existence' (Wisdom of Solomon 7:5; Judith 12: 8) but usually carries the sense of 'birth' or 'creation'. Another possibility is that genesis is used, as often in Philo, to connote that which is creaturely and transitory, as opposed to the divine realm of eternity. Maybe genesis should not receive particular emphasis here.
The mirror was often used as a figure of moral law in ancient philosophy and religion but James may not be intending to draw parallels between v23 and 25.
Can refer to a quick glance, but often reflects its root meaning: para, 'beside' and kyptō, 'bend'; suggesting the physical effort involved in stooping to look at something carefully (1 Pet 1:12).
Cf. Ps 19:7. The law was sometimes ascribed the power to give true freedom (cf. Mishnah, 'Abot.' 6:2) but James is more likely referring to the gospel.
Remains or perseveres.
The term is not specifically Christian and is used widely in Greek religion to denote the reverencing and worshipping of a god or gods. Often connotes outward acts of worship.
Lit. 'receiving the face', a literal rendering of the OT Hebrew for partiality.
'With gold rings'; such as members of the upper-class Roman 'equestrian' class wore.
Elsewhere in the NT refers to the Jewish place of worship (with the possible exception of Rev 2:9 and 3:9) but used generally of an assembly of people for various purposes. Perhaps an assembly to judge issues which had arisen, cf. 1 Cor 6, but not likely with visitors present. Synagōgē is used of an 'assembly' of Christians ('righteous men') in Hermas, 'Mandates' 11:9.
Lit. 'under (hypo) my footstool'; lower than my low down seat; beneath my floor-stool.
The verb can refer to the activity of making distinctions (cf. Ac 11:12; 15:9) but James uses the same verb in 1:6 to mean the divided, conflicting thoughts of the person who lacks faith. Among yourselves (en heautois) would then mean 'in each of you'.
Frequently occurs in the LXX to describe the exploitation of the poor (cf. Am 4:1), and orphans and widows (cf. Ezk 22:7), by the rich.
Lit. 'which has been called on you'. This translates a common Hebrew idiom and is found in James' quotation of Amos 9:12 in Ac 15:17. The phrase connotes close relationship, even possession, and is frequently found in the OT to describe the relationship between YHWH and his people.
In its seven other NT occurrences, mentoi means 'however'.
While the OT law could be described by Jews as 'royal' (Philo, 'Posterity of Cain' 102), the word here must be seen in the light of James' mention of the kingdom of God in 2:5. Cf. Lev 19:18 in this context. Philo, allegorizing the 'royal highway' of Nu 20:17, frequently calls the way to God and his words the 'royal road' (cf. e.g., op cit).
Descriptions of the liberating effect of law were common among both pagans (esp. the Stoics; cf. Epictetus, 'Diss.' IV. 1. 158; Seneca, 'Ce vita beata' 15.7) and Jews (Philo, 'Every Good Man is Free 45; b. Abot. 6,2b).
While sometimes used to describe the initial entrance of a person into God's kingdom, it often denotes the final deliverance from sin, death and judgement in the last day. This is the meaning the word seems to have in James.
Often refers to the lack of the outer garment, the [chitōn].
Useless, inactive, inert. Cf. Ro 7:8; Heb 6:1; 9:14.
The phrase is consistently used in Greek literature to introduce an objection to or disagreement with the view being presented (see 1 Cor 15:35 and numerous e.g.s from the 'diatribe' style which use the device of the imaginary objector to knock down any possible objections).
As the Jews frequently make out in the [Shema], Dt 6:4.
Used in some ancient magical texts of the effect that the sorcerer wished to bring about.
Kenos (lit. empty) is rarely applied to people, but probably suggests deficiency in understanding as well as moral perversity.
Means lit. 'not-working', or 'idle'. Used of the workers who had not been hired for the day (Mt 20:3, 6). James' choice of the word here creates a play on words: 'faith that has no works does not work'.
Used in a declarative sense (probably not demonstrative; i.e., demonstrating their righteous status by performing good works; cf., Gen 44:16; Lk 7:29, 35). James 2 is not asking 'How can righteousness be demonstrated? but 'What kind of faith secures righteousness?' James differs from Paul in applying the word to God's ultimate declaration of a person's righteousness rather than to the initial securing of the righteousness by faith, i.e., James uses 'justify' where Paul speaks of judgement. Wesley distinguishes between 'initial justification' and 'final justification'. In the OT dikaioō generally denotes a verdict of innocence which is demonstrated on the basis of demonstrated righteousness or covenant loyalty (cf., Mat 12:37).
Word play in Greek on ergois and synergei here.
'to perfect' or 'bring to maturity'. A parallel to James' language is found in Philo, 'On Husbandry', 42, where he says that Jacob was 'one who was perfected as a result of discipline'. Perhaps the imaginary objector interpreted Abraham's faith in accordance with some Jewish traditions, as his turning from idolatry (e.g., Philo, 'The Virtues', 216; Josephus, 'Ant', 1.154-157; 'Jubilees' 11-12.
Heb. in the Tanakh.
Basically means 'to fill' or 'fill up' and can be used of fishing nets (Mt 13:48) and houses (Jn 12:3). More typically used in NT to designate the 'filling up' or 'culmination' of the OT through the advent of Jesus.
The title was a popular one in intertestamental literature, cf., Philo, 'On Sobriety', 5b; 'On Abraham', 273; Jubilees 19:9.
Applied figuratively to spiritual failure both in Judaism and the NT (cf., 2:10: Rom 11:11; 2 Pet 1:10). It may suggest sins of a relatively minor, even inadvertent nature. Jesus ben Sirach highlights sins of speech in conjunction with inadvertent sins: 'A person may make a slip without intending it. Who has never sinned with his tongue?' (Ecclus. 19:16). James is about to illuminate the problem of the tongue with a series of illustrations popular among Greek and Hellenistic-Jewish moralists. These illustrations are of a type that would have been widely known among those with even a minimal acquaintance with Hellenistic culture.
Cf. the fifth century BC playwright Sophocles: 'I know that spirited horses are broken by the use of a small bit' ('Antigone', 477).
Aristotle specifically contrasted the small size of the rudder, turned by one man, with the 'huge mass' of the ship it controls ('Quaest. Mechan.' 5), and both man and God were often compared to a helmsman. Horse and ship analogies are found together as combined imagery to illustrate God's control of the cosmos (Pseudo-Aristotle, 'Mund.' 6; frequently in Philo) and sometimes of man's derived authority over creation (Philo, 'On the Creation', 88). Man's mind, or higher nature, is also compared to the charioteer and helmsman, as that which must control the whole person (Philo, 'On the Migration of Abraham', 67; Strobaeus 'Ecl.' 3:17.17; Plutarch 'Quorm. adol. poet. aud. deb. 33F). Sometimes fire is included along with the horse and the ship.
The same Greek word [hēlikos] is given opposite meanings, expressing magnitude in either direction. Cf. Philostratus, 'Vit. Ap.' 2.11.1 - 'for it seems to me a super-human feat for such a tiny [tēlikoud] mite to manage so huge [tēlikouto] an animal'.
Could refer to the brush which covered so many Palastinian hills, and which, in that dry Mediterranean climate, could easily and disastrously burst into flame.
As an image, the rapid destructive spread of fire was frequently used to convey a warning about the effect of unrestrained passions. The OT compares the speech of a fool to 'a scorching fire' (Pr 16:27; cf., Sirach, in Ecclus 28:22).
Transliteration of the Hebrew, 'Valley of Hinnom', which had an evil reputation in the OT and in the intertestamental period came to be used of the place of final judgement.
Cf. similar classification of animals in Gen 1:26 and Philo, 'On the Spedial Laws', 4. 110-116. Philo also compares man to the driver of a chariot (cf. Jas 3:3) and the pilot of a ship (3:4) in stressing his dominion over creation; 'On the Creation', 8.
Augustine suggests: '…he does not say that no-one can tame the tongue, but no-one of men; so that when it is tamed we confess that this is brought about by the pity, the help, the grace of God' ('de Nat. et Grat'., c.15).
Cf. 1:8. Evil is 'always liable to break out' (Phillips). Or evil is volatile. Cf., Hermas, 'Mandate'. 2.3: 'Slander is evil; it is a restless (akatastaton) demon, never at peace' (cf. Jas 4:1). The word is also linked with sins of speech in Pr 26:28, LXX.
The blessing of God was a prominent part of Jewish devotion. 'The Holy One, Blessed by He' is one of the most frequent descriptions of God in rabbinic literature and 'the eighteen benedictions', a liturgical formula used daily, concluded each of its parts with a blessing of God. Christians also blessed God in prayer (cf., Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 1:3).
Cf. Dt 30:19. The curse was seen to have great power in the ancient world. For to curse someone is not just to swear at them; it is to desire that they be cut off from God and experience eternal punishment. Cf. James' allusion to Gn 1:26 in v 7. The rabbis cautioned against cursing for the same reason: one should not say '"Let may neighbour be put to shame" - for then you put to shame one who is in the image of God' ('Bereshith Rabba' 24, on Gn 5:1).
Cf., Benjamin 6:5, 'the good set of mind does not talk from both sides of its mouth: praises and curses, abuse and honour, calm and strife, hypocrisy and truth, poverty and wealth, but it has one disposition, uncontaminated and pure, towards all men'.
The existence of many villages depended on spring water.
'Bitter' is not normally used of water: it may be that James assimilates his description of the water to language associated with the tongue, whose speech is often said to be 'bitter' (Ps 64:3; Pr 5:4; Sirach 29:25; and cf. 3:14).
The image of the plant that produces according to its nature was a popular one in ancient literature. Epictetus, for instance, asked: 'How can a vine be moved to act, not like a vine, but like an olive, or again an olive to act, not like an olive, but like a vine? It is impossible, inconceivable' ('Discourses', 2.20.18-19). Cf. Mt 7:16.
Wise and understanding are not regularly used as titles for teachers, although they occur several times in the LXX together, once with reference to the qualities leaders should possess (Dt 1:13, 15) but also with application to all of Israel (Dt 4:6; cf. Dn 5:12).
Meekness was hardly a virtue to be sought after in the minds of most Greeks: it suggested a servile, ignoble debasement.
This section is reminiscent of, and perhaps modelled on, a popular Hellenistic-Jewish moral tradition that traced social ills back to jealousy (zēlos) and envy (phthonos). Close to James' teaching are some sections of The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, a Jewish pseudepigraphical work of around 100 BC. In this book, slander (katalalia, Testament of Gad 3:3), violence (polemos) and murder (Testament of Simeon 4:5) are all connected to jealousy - and these topics are treated by James in 4:1-12. The problem of 'double-mindedness' is frequently mentioned in the Testaments, cf. 4:8.
In its only pre-NT occurrences (in Aristotle), the word refers to the selfish ambition, the narrow partisan zeal of factional, greedy politicians.
Can be neutral (cf. Jn 3:12) but takes on negative connotations, describing that which is transitory, weak and imperfect (see 1 Cor 15:40; 2 Cor 5:1; Phil 3:19).
Has a negative nuance in the NT, always being contrasted with 'spiritual' (1 Cor 2:14; 15:44,46; Jude 19).
Lit. 'pertaining to demons'. Only occurs here in the Greek Bible and may mean either that the wisdom is demonic in nature, and, more probably, in origin.
Noun form of the adjective used in 1:8 and 3:8 to characterize the 'double-minded' man and the 'double-speaking' tongue. Also used in Lk 21:9 and 1 Cor 14:33.
Cf. Gal 5:22-23. What Paul says the Spirit produces, James says wisdom produces. The fact that James never mentions the Holy Spirit (except perhaps in 4:5) may point to the 'equivalence' of wisdom and spirit in James' thinking. The two were associated in Jewish literature.
Connotes moral blamelessness. Cf. 2 Cor 11:2.
Lit. 'easily persuaded' in the sense a willing deference to others.
Note the alliteration of these last four adjectives and the rhyming similarity of the next few.
The adverb is used in the Testament of Zebulon 7:2 with reference to showing mercy. This context favours the translation 'without discrimination'.
Both these words were most often used to describe physical conflicts between individuals or nations. Metaphorically, they describe violent verbal disputes (cf., Tit 3:9; and The Psalms of Solomon 12:3: slanderous lips 'kindle strife (polemos).
Has a consistently negative meaning in the NT (Lk 8:14; Tit 3:3; 2 Pet 2:13). Cf., 4 Maccabees 1:25-6: 'in hēdonē there exists even a malevolent tendency, which is the most complex of all the emotions. In the soul it is boastfulness, covetousness, thirst for honour, rivalry, malice; in the body, indiscriminate eating, gluttony, and solitary gormandizing'.
The verb form of hēdonē is never used in the NT; Tit 3:3 shows how hēdonē and epithymia were often interchangeable.
The Testament of Simeon describes the way in which envy led Simeon to seize and almost murder his brother Joseph. Simeon warns his children that 'envy dominates the whole of man's mind' and 'keeps prodding him to destroy the one whom he envies' (3:2-4). Epictetus, a second-century AD moralist, notes that Caesar can free people from 'wars and fightings' (polemoi kai machai) but not from envy (phthonos)', 'Discourses', III.13:9. Cf. Mk 15:10; Ac 5:17; 13:45; Phil 3:6). Some Jewish Christian converts among James' readers could have been members of the radical Jewish Zealot movement, which advocated assassination of prominent Romans and their collaborators as a policy of terror.
Feminine noun, meaning 'adulteresses'. Cf., Je 3:20; Hos 2:5,7; Mt 12:39; 16:4.
Perhaps James has in mind such verses as Ex 20:5; 34:14; Zech 8:2.
While not used elsewhere of God, this verb always has a positive connotation in the NT.
Not used elsewhere in the NT with reference to God but occasionally used by Greek writers of the jealousy of the Olympian gods.
Often associated with jealousy.
Used in the LXX to translate Satan. The idea of Satan fleeing is found in 1 Peter and in pre-Christian Judaism; cf. Testament of Naphtali 8:4; Issachar 7:7.
Laughter in the OT and Judaism is often the scornful laughter of the fool (Ec 7:6; Ecclus 27:13). Cf. Lk 6:25b; Mt 5:4. It was said of the Roman that he would rather lose a friend than an opportunity for a joke, such was his love of histrionics. Neither did he feel the slightest embarrassment at displays of wild emotion.
Speaking evil [katalalia] is often linked to jealousy [zēlos] (2 Cor 12:20, 1 Pet 2:1), selfishness (2 Cor 12:20), quarrels ([polemas] in Psalms of Solomon 12:3) and pride (Testament of Gad 3:3), and is seen as a manifestation of double-mindedness (Hermas, 'Similitude' 8.7.2; see 'Mandate' 2). Katalaleō literally means 'to speak against' and describes many kinds of harmful speech (Nu 21:4; Ps 101:5; 1 Pet 2:12; 3:16).
Lit. 'go to now', a form of address that is found elsewhere, particularly in 'popular' Greek style. James is addressing businessmen who are deliberate and self-confident. The first century was a period of great commercial activity and the Greek cities of Israel (e.g., Decapolis) were heavily involved in commerce. Many Jews were involved in business and large numbers had settled in cities throughout the Mediterranean world for commercial reasons.
Could also be translated 'a puff of smoke' (Phillips; cf., Ac 2:19).
James uses a connective 'therefore' to link this traditional saying. Cf. Lk 12:47.
An onomatopoeic word. Weep and wail are words used by the prophets (cf., e.g., Is 13:6; 15:3; Am 8:3). [Ololyzō] is found only in the prophets in the OT and always in the context of judgment.
Sometimes understood as a reference to crops. Garments and gold and silver specified the other two most common forms of wealth in the ancient world.
Can refer to the decay or transitoriness of all forms of human endeavour (Ecclus. 14:19).
Rust had been applied to gold and silver in the Epistle of Jeremiah 10 and the image seems to have become a traditional way of designating the temporality of even the most precious metals (cf. Ecclus 29:10).
An image of God's judgment (Judith 16:17).
First-century Israel before AD70 witnessed an increasing concentration of land in the hands of a small group of very wealthy landowners. Consequently, the small holdings of many farmers were assimilated into these large estates, and these farmers were forced to earn their living by hiring themselves out to their rich landlords. Jesus' parable of Mt 20:1-16 is cast against this familiar rural background and it is significant that the workers expect their pay at the end of the day (cf. Dt. 24:14-15; Lev 19:13; Mal 3:5). In a society where credit was not readily available, the failure to pay workers promptly could jeopardize life itself.
Cf., Gn 4:10; Ps 18:6.
Sabaōth is the transliteration of a Hebrew word that means 'army'. Cf., 1 Sa 17:45; Is 6).
Cf., 2 Pet 2:13 which uses the cognate noun tryphē to denote the daytime 'revelling' in which depraved false teachers delight.
Found elsewhere Scripture only in 1 Tim 5:6 and Ex 16:49 (LXX) where the people of Sodom are condemned for their 'prosperous ease' and for not aiding 'the poor and needy'. Cf. Lk 16:25 for parallel verse.
Not found in the LXX but has an equivalent in the Hebrew text of Is 30:25. 1 Enoch also uses the phrase (90:4).
A judicial term which suggests that the rich are using and perhaps perverting the legal processes available to them to accumulate property and gain wealth (cf., Am 2:6; 5:12; Mi 2:2, 6-9; 3:1-3,9-12; 6:9-16).
Can be used to indicate the long-suffering, loving attitude we are to have towards others (1 Cor 13:4; Eph 4:2; 1 Thes 5:14). [Hypomenō] then generally denotes the strong, determined attitude with which we are to face difficult circumstances (2 Thes 1:4). No distinction between these terms can be found here, and a similar overlap in meaning can be observed in the Testament of Joseph 2:7; cf. also Col 1:11.
'Presence' or 'coming' - a technical term in the early church for the expected return of Jesus in glory to judge the wicked and deliver the saints.
Three-quarters of the average rainfall in Israel falls in December through to February, but the rain at the beginning and end of the growing season is critical (cf. Dt 11:14).
Cf. 1 Thes 3:13; 2 Thes 2:17; Heb 13:9.
'Grumble' or 'groan'. Usually used absolutely; only here in biblical Greek does it have an object ('against each other'). The meaning may be that believers should not grumble to others about their difficulties, or (and) that believers should not blame others for their difficulties.
Cf. 4 Macc 1:10; Mt 5:10.
Can mean 'purpose' but also 'end' or 'outcome'.
Concern about the devaluation of oaths because of their indiscriminate use and the tendency to try to avoid fulfilling them by swearing by 'less sacred' things (cf. Mt 23:16-22) led to warnings against using them too often (cf. Ecclus.23:9,11; Philo, 'On the Decalogue' 84-95. Cf. Mt 5:34.
A general term that denotes the experience of all sorts of afflictions and trials. Cf., 2 Tim 2:9; 4:5.
Refers not to outward circumstances, but the cheerfulness and happiness of heart that one can have in good times or bad.
Taken from a Greek word that designated a kind of harp, the word was used in the LXX to describe certain types of songs, especially songs of praise. Cf. English word 'psalm', and 1 Cor 14:15.
The office of elder must have been a widespread one in the early church and was possibly taken over from the synagogue. Pastors are never mentioned along with elders so the function of what we know as the 'pastor' was carried out by the elders.
Only here in biblical Greek is [proseuchomai] followed by [epi], indicating physical position or implying that hands were also laid on the sick, cf., Mt 19:13.
Oil was widely used in the ancient world as a medicine, cf. Lk 10:34. Other ancient sources attest to its helpfulness in curing everything from toothache to paralysis (the famous second-century physician Galen recommended oil as 'the best of all remedies for paralysis', 'Mod. Temp.,2). On the basis of this text the early Greek church practised what they called the 'euchaelaion' (euchē - prayer and elaion - oil) and the Western church continued this practice. Cf. also Mk 6:13. In the LXX eleiphō is used equivalently to chriō with reference to the consecrating of priests.
Connotes a strong, fervent wish or petition. Cf. euchomai in Ac 26:29; 27:29; Rom 9:3.
Usually refers to deliverance from spiritual death in the NT.
Used to describe the renewed physical vigour of those who have been healed, Mt 9:6; Mk 1:31; Ac 3:7.
Consistently applied to physical affliction. In the LXX describes the 'healing' of sin or 'faithlessness' (cf. Dt 30:3; Is 6:10; 53:5; Je 3:22), but in contexts which have already been compared to a 'wound'.
Our word 'planet', a heavenly 'wanderer' is taken from planaō. Widely used to describe any deviation whether wilful or not (1 Pet 2:25; Wisdom 5:6; and 2 Pet 2:15.
Can describe turning to God (Ac 14:15; 15:19; 26:18; 1 Thes 1:9) and turning back to God (Mk 4:12; Lk 1:15; 22:32).