Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Word for Wednesday, November 19

Continuing in James, chapter 4, verses 11 and 12:
Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbor?
A short passage, but one requiring some head-scratching. It won't do to read "speak against a brother" too narrowly, as James has already been speaking (or writing, anyway) against his brothers earlier in this same book, and is going to do so again before he's finished. Pairing it with "judges his brother" provides, I think, a clue as to how to read this. It seems to me that this gives "speaking against" a condemnatory flavor, as in helping to prosecute. Then, too, there's the parallel treatment of our brothers with the law: also a head-scratcher. To speak against one, or to judge one, is to judge the other. Well, what does my brother have in common with the law? The plainest and most immediate common factor that springs to mind is that both are the creations of the Living God. As the law is holy, so too is your brother (and sister, as I hope it goes without saying) holy: an image of God. They are to be treated accordingly, with care and respect.

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7 comments:

AKA Angrywhiteman said...

Jim,
I always study from a King James Version. Not because it is necessarily a superior translation, but because when combined with a Strong's concordance I am able to cross reference the english to the original language in which it was written.

Your verses when taken from the KJV are to me clearer in meaning;
James 4:11-12

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
KJV

Now to go a step beyond that I use an online study tool which allows me to cross reference to Strong's and get to the root meaning of what has been said.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jam&c=4&v=11&t=KJV&sstr=1

I realize we all have different appetites for the word, and this may be beyond where you choose to go. If so, that's fine, I think you do quite well and hope to read more of your WFW posts in the future.

akaGaGa said...

You know what? All that mopping today must have used up my limited brain power, so as Arnold would say, "I'll be bahk."

akaGaGa said...

Well, I'm bahk. And I still don't have anything to say. I guess this passage is not for me to understand at this time.

BTW, if you ever get a glimmer of understanding on 1 Cor 11:10, let me know. It's been driving me nuts for years.

Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

What can headcoverings possibly have to do with the angels???

Jim Wetzel said...

That is indeed pretty opaque. As a guess, I might conjecture that some aspect of angel-ology that might connect the two was known in the first century, but not so much now.

And that tiny bit of hot air and vapor is all I can come up with. Quite unsatisfactory, really.

akaGaGa said...

Hey, your hot air and vapor is more than I've gotten from any biblical "scholars" that I've asked.

itsmecissy said...

What can headcoverings possibly have to do with the angels???
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Maybe because the angels assist in worship and desire to see the order of creation maintained?

Just a thought.

akaGaGa said...

Thanks for the thought, itsmecissy. AKA did a whole post on it the next week, if you're interested:

http://tinyurl.com/yljvhqf