Have you ever tried reading the original King James Version of the Bible? Let’s give it a try; It’s in English, so what could go wrong?
Here’s verse 30 from Genesis, chapter 43:
“And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.”
I know food, especially if it’s gone bad, doesn’t always sit well in our stomachs, but I feel really badly for Joseph’s brothers.
Wait! What’s that you say? That’s not what that means? Elizabethan English is misleading us? OK, let’s take a look at that verse in the New Revised Standard Version, which is in modern English.
“With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep.”
Oh! If your “bowels yearn,” it means you’re “overcome with affection,” it’s a good thing.
I guess words and phrases change meaning over time. Well, that’s the case here as we continue our exploration of the Letter of James.
We may think we know what being “rich” and “poor” mean, but is that what James means?
The Bottom Line: Understanding James in context shows us what it truly means to “love our neighbor.”
"Now, if you fulfill what, according to scripture, is a royal law—“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”—you are doing well; But if you are respecters of persons you are committing a sin, being convicted by the Law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole Law, yet falters in one thing, has become answerable for everything. For he who has said, “Do not commit adultery” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now, if you do not commit adultery yet do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of Law. Speak and act like persons about to be judged by a Law of freedom. For the judgment on the one who has shown no mercy will be merciless; mercy triumphs over judgment." (David Bentley Hart)
"Supposing, however, you keep the royal law, as it is written, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’; if you do this, you will do well. But if you show favouritism, you are committing sin, and you will be convicted by the law as a lawbreaker. Anyone who keeps the whole law, you see, but fails in one point, has become guilty of all of it. For the one who said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, also said, ‘Do not murder.’ So if you do not commit adultery, but do murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act in such a way as people who are going to be judged by the law of freedom. Judgment is without mercy, you see, for those who have shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment." (N.T. Wright)
"You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment." (NRSV)
"But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. For the one who obeys the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law. Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment." (NETS)
Εἰ μέντοι ⸂νόμον τελεῖτε βασιλικὸν⸃ ⸋κατὰ τὴν γραφήν⸌· ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν, καλῶς ποιεῖτε· εἰ δὲ προσωπολημπτεῖτε, ἁμαρτίαν ἐργάζεσθε ἐλεγχόμενοι ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου ὡς παραβάται. ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον ⸀τηρήσῃ ⸁πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί, ⸂γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος⸃. ὁ γὰρ εἰπών· μὴ ⸂μοιχεύσῃς, εἶπεν καί· μὴ φονεύσῃς⸃· εἰ δὲ οὐ ⸄μοιχεύεις φονεύεις⸅ δέ, ⸀γέγονας ⸁παραβάτης νόμου.
Οὕτως λαλεῖτε καὶ οὕτως ποιεῖτε ὡς διὰ ⸀νόμου ἐλευθερίας μέλλοντες κρίνεσθαι. ἡ γὰρ κρίσις ἀνέλεος τῷ μὴ ποιήσαντι ἔλεος· ⸀κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως.
What is The Way?
Fr. Dustin Lyon explores scripture to rediscover Christianity so that we can walk in the Way of the Lord.