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James 2:2-9

Context
2:2 For if someone 1  comes into your assembly 2  wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, 2:3 do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, 3  “You sit here in a good place,” 4  and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”? 5  2:4 If so, have you not made distinctions 6  among yourselves and become judges with evil motives? 7  2:5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! 8  Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor! 9  Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts? 2:7 Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one you belong to? 10  2:8 But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, 11 You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” 12  you are doing well. 2:9 But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. 13 

1 tn The word for “man” or “individual” here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which often means “male” or “man (as opposed to woman).” But as BDAG 79 s.v. 2 says, “equivalent to τὶς someone.”

2 tn Grk “synagogue.” Usually συναγωγή refers to Jewish places of worship (e.g., Matt 4:23, Mark 1:21, Luke 4:15, John 6:59). The word can be used generally to refer to a place of assembly, and here it refers specifically to a Christian assembly (BDAG 963 s.v. 2.b.).

3 tn Grk “and you pay attention…and say,” continuing the “if” clauses from v. 2. In the Greek text, vv. 2-4 form one long sentence.

4 tn Or “sit here, please.”

5 tn Grk “sit under my footstool.” The words “on the floor” have been supplied in the translation to clarify for the modern reader the undesirability of this seating arrangement (so also TEV, NIV, CEV, NLT). Another option followed by a number of translations is to replace “under my footstool” with “at my feet” (NAB, NIV, NRSV).

6 tn Grk “have you not made distinctions” (as the conclusion to the series of “if” clauses in vv. 2-3).

7 tn Grk “judges of evil reasonings.”

8 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:2.

9 tn This is singular: “the poor person,” perhaps referring to the hypothetical one described in vv. 2-3.

10 tn Grk “that was invoked over you,” referring to their baptism in which they confessed their faith in Christ and were pronounced to be his own. To have the Lord’s name “named over them” is OT imagery for the Lord’s ownership of his people (cf. 2 Chr 7:14; Amos 9:12; Isa 63:19; Jer 14:9; 15:16; Dan 9:19; Acts 15:17).

11 tn Grk “according to the scripture.”

12 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18 (also quoted in Matt 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14).

13 tn Or “transgressors.”



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