James 1:21

Tonight in Greek we looked at a very interesting difference in the NASB and King James version of the Bible when it comes to James 1:21. Below are the two versions to compare.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility recieve the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

King James Version

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

On the surface the two look like the mean similar things. However, looking closer the King James implies a duality of responsibility that are ongoing:

  1. Lay apart all filthiness
  2. Receive the word

However, the NASB, which apparently reflects the Greek (according to my Greek teacher), there is only one ongoing task: receive the word. The laying aside of filthiness will then be an ongoing result of taking in the word! This is a powerful contrast to the King James’ implications. I’m often reminded that the Holy Spirit gives us righteousness and that we are not able to be righteous on our own. If we’re imbibing God’s word then it will be less likely that we’re sinning. How wonderful it is that the Lord renews our minds (Romans 12:2) and prepares us in condition for what our position has already obtained, the heavenlies (Colossians 3:1-3)!

2 Replies to “James 1:21”

  1. Yes, I’ve been through some seminary and am currently taking Greek at church.

    As for why the passages aren’t rendering correctly – I’ll contact you privately with questions.

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