In the home group Bible study that I’m in, we’re studying the epistle of James. We’re currently in James 4. While preparing for this week’s study, I noticed some interesting things going on in James 4:5-6. There are some ambiguities in James 4.5. This seemed like a good text to examine a bit further using some of the resources and reports found in Logos Bible Software (things that are in some collections, and some things that are supplemental).
First, the text of the ESV:
Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(Jas 4:5-6, ESV)
Seems pretty straightforward, huh? It actually isn’t. When reading the Greek in preparation for the study, I noticed a few things that are ambiguous. And these things are pretty noticeable when you compare English translations. So I made a video that shows how to do this.
- Video: Flash, 4.11 MB, 4:28, sound.
The basic issues discussed in the video, as a result of examining English translations, set the stage for the balance of posts in this series. At present I hope for two more posts plus a summary/conclusion post, though that may change (likely be extended) as I write further posts.
So what are the issues we’ll look at?
- Is it ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’ in James 4.5? That is, is it the Holy Spirit, or is it more along the lines of Genesis 2.7, the life breathed within us?
- What is the subject of the quotation in verse 5? Is it:
- God (also ‘He’)
- Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit)
- spirit (that is, the human spirit, that of Ge 2.7)
- Where does the quotation in v. 5 come from? (I’ve not discussed this yet, but it will come up in later posts).
Further posts will focus on using syntactic annotations, morphology, critical commentaries and syntax searching to look at this verse further.
All in all, I hope to show that there are features and resources that those who aren’t comfy with the original languages can use to think about these things and that there are other features and resources that those comfy with the original languages can use to examine these sorts of issues more fully.