4:1 Where do the conflicts and where 1 do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, 2 from your passions that battle inside you? 3 4:2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; 4:3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.
4:4 Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? 4 So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy. 4:5 Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says, 5 “The spirit that God 6 caused 7 to live within us has an envious yearning”? 8
1 tn The word “where” is repeated in Greek for emphasis.
2 tn Grk “from here.”
3 tn Grk “in your members [i.e., parts of the body].”
4 tn Grk “is hostility toward God.”
5 tn Grk “vainly says.”
6 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tc The Byzantine text and a few other
8 tn Interpreters debate the referent of the word “spirit” in this verse: (1) The translation takes “spirit” to be the lustful capacity within people that produces a divided mind (1:8, 14) and inward conflicts regarding God (4:1-4). God has allowed it to be in man since the fall, and he provides his grace (v. 6) and the new birth through the gospel message (1:18-25) to counteract its evil effects. (2) On the other hand the word “spirit” may be taken positively as the Holy Spirit and the sense would be, “God yearns jealously for the Spirit he caused to live within us.” But the word for “envious” or “jealous” is generally negative in biblical usage and the context before and after seems to favor the negative interpretation.
sn No OT verse is worded exactly this way. This is either a statement about the general teaching of scripture or a quotation from an ancient translation of the Hebrew text that no longer exists today.