1 Peter 1 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 767)

1 Peter 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

Greeting.[a] Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen sojourners of the dispersion[b] in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,in the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification by the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ: may grace and peace be yours in abundance.

II. The Gift and Call of God in Baptism

Blessing. [c]Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. [d]In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 [e]Concerning this salvation, prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and investigated it, 11 investigating the time and circumstances that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the glories to follow them. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you with regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you [through] the holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels longed to look.

Obedience. 13 [f]Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind,[g] live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance[h] 15 but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,16 for it is written, “Be holy because I [am] holy.”

Reverence. 17 Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, 18 realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold 19 but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.[i] 20 He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, 21 who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Mutual Love.[j] 22 Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart. 23 You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God,[k] 24 for:

“All flesh is like grass,
    and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers,
    and the flower wilts;
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1–2 The introductory formula names Peter as the writer (but see Introduction). In his comments to the presbyters (1 Pt 5:1), the author calls himself a “fellow presbyter.” He addresses himself to the Gentile converts of Asia Minor. Their privileged status as a chosenand sanctified people makes them worthy of God’s grace and peace. In contrast is their actual existence as aliens and sojourners, scattered among pagans, far from their true country.
  2. 1:1 Dispersion: literally, diaspora; see Jas 1:1 and Introduction to that letter. Pontus…Bithynia: five provinces in Asia Minor, listed in clockwise order from the north, perhaps in the sequence in which a messenger might deliver the letter.
  3. 1:3–5 A prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God who bestows the gift of new life and hope in baptism (new birth1 Pt 1:3through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The new birth is a sign of an imperishable inheritance (1 Pt 1:4), of salvation that is still in the future (to be revealed in the final time1 Pt 1:5).
  4. 1:6–9 As the glory of Christ’s resurrection was preceded by his sufferings and death, the new life of faith that it bestows is to be subjected to many trials (1 Pt 1:6) while achieving its goal: the glory of the fullness of salvation (1 Pt 1:9) at the coming of Christ (1 Pt 1:7).
  5. 1:10–12 The Spirit of Christ (1 Pt 1:11) is here shown to have been present in the prophets, moving them to search, investigate, and prophesy about the grace of salvationthat was to come (1 Pt 1:10), and in the apostles impelling them to preach the fulfillment of salvation in the message of Christ’s sufferings and glory (1 Pt 1:12).
  6. 1:13–25 These verses are concerned with the call of God’s people to holiness and to mutual love by reason of their redemption through the blood of Christ (1 Pt 1:18–21).
  7. 1:13 Gird up the loins of your mind: a figure reminiscent of the rite of Passover when the Israelites were in flight from their oppressors (Ex 12:11), and also suggesting the vigilance of the Christian people in expectation of the parousia of Christ (Lk 12:35).
  8. 1:14–16 The ignorance here referred to (1 Pt 1:14) was their former lack of knowledge of God, leading inevitably to godless conduct. Holiness (1 Pt 1:15–16), on the contrary, is the result of their call to the knowledge and love of God.
  9. 1:19 Christians have received the redemption prophesied by Isaiah (Is 52:3), through the blood (Jewish symbol of life) of the spotless lamb (Is 53:710Jn 1:29Rom 3:24–25; cf. 1 Cor 6:20).
  10. 1:22–25 The new birth of Christians (1 Pt 1:23) derives from Christ, the imperishable seedor sowing that produces a new and lasting existence in those who accept the gospel (1 Pt 1:24–25), with the consequent duty of loving one another (1 Pt 1:22).
  11. 1:23 The living and abiding word of God: or, “the word of the living and abiding God.”
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1 Peter: Introduction (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 766)

1 Peter: Introduction (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 766)

BOOK NAME

1 Peter or First Letter of Peter; abbreviated as 1 Pt

BIBLE CATEGORY

The 21st Book of the New Testament.

THE AUTHOR AND DATE OF WRITING

The author was Apostle Peter, whose name was Simon or Kephas in Aramaic, which means Rock. It was written in Babylon as reference to Chapter 5:13 but many scholars say that Peter is actually referering to Rome with which he symbolized as Babylon. The letter was intended to the Christians in Asia Minor or the modern day Turkey.

He was one of the 12 apostles. His name was Simon, but Jesus changed it to Peter (John 1:42).

Peter was assisted by Silvanus, also known as Silas (5:12), a well-known prophet and missionary in the early church (cf. Ac 15: 32-34,40; 16:19-25; 17:14) who also joined with Paul in writing some of his epistles (cf. 1 Th 1:1; 2 Th 1:1).

The Book of 1 Peter was likely written between A.D. 60 and 65.

Purpose of Writing:

Peter wants to encourage Christians who are suffering for Christ. Although Christians might suffer in this life, they will not suffer for ever. This world is not their real home. Heaven is their real home. One day they will live with God in heaven and share God’s glory.
Peter also wants his readers to understand the grace of God. He wants every Christian to know what God has done for them. He wants them to learn more about God.
This letter is very practical. When a person becomes a Christian his life changes. (‘his’ here refers to both men and women, not just to men.) Peter tells his readers how to live a good Christian life. Peter was with Jesus for about three years. He saw all that Jesus did. He heard all that Jesus said. Peter is writing to encourage Christians to live like Jesus. (sourced)

The Book

This is a circular Letter to the Christians in a Roman Province called Asia Minor, now known as Turkey.

This letter begins with an address by Peter to Christian communities located in five provinces of Asia Minor (1 Pt 1:1), including areas evangelized by Paul (Acts 16:6–7; 18:23). Christians there are encouraged to remain faithful to their standards of belief and conduct in spite of threats of persecution. Numerous allusions in the letter suggest that the churches addressed were largely of Gentile composition (1 Pt 1:14, 18; 2:9–10; 4:3–4), though considerable use is made of the Old Testament (1 Pt 1:24; 2:6–7, 9–10, 22; 3:10–12).

The contents following the address both inspire and admonish these “chosen sojourners” (1 Pt 1:1) who, in seeking to live as God’s people, feel an alienation from their previous religious roots and the society around them. Appeal is made to Christ’s resurrection and the future hope it provides (1 Pt 1:3–5) and to the experience of baptism as new birth (1
Pt 1:3, 23–25; 3:21). The suffering and death of Christ serve as both source of salvation and example (1 Pt 1:19; 2:21–25; 3:18). What Christians are in Christ, as a people who have received mercy and are to proclaim and live according to God’s call (1 Pt 2:9–10), is repeatedly spelled out for all sorts of situations in society (1 Pt 2:11–17), work (even as
slaves, 1 Pt 2:18–20), the home (1 Pt 3:1–7), and general conduct (1 Pt 3:8–12; 4:1–11). But over all hangs the possibility of suffering as a Christian (1 Pt 3:13–17). In 1 Pt 4:12–19 persecution is described as already occurring, so that some have supposed the letter was addressed both to places where such a “trial by fire” was already present and to places where it might break out.

The letter constantly mingles moral exhortation (paraklēsis) with its catechetical summaries of mercies in Christ. Encouragement to fidelity in spite of suffering is based upon a vision of the meaning of Christian existence. The emphasis on baptism and allusions to various features of the baptismal liturgy suggest that the author has incorporated into his exposition numerous homiletic, credal, hymnic, and sacramental elements of the baptismal rite that had become traditional at an early date.
(source:biblegateway NABRE)

Outline
(source: blueletterbible dot org)

INTRODUCTION (1:1-2)
From Peter, an apostle of Christ (1:1a)
To pilgrims of the Dispersion, God’s elect (1:1b-2)

OUR SALVATION IN CHRIST (1:3-12)
BORN AGAIN TO A LIVING HOPE (1:3-5)
PRODUCING JOY IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING (1:6-9)
SERVED BY PROPHETS AND APOSTLES (1:10-12)

OUR DUTIES IN CHRIST (1:13-5:11)

IN VIEW OF OUR PRIVILEGES (1:13-2:10)
A call to holiness (1:13-21)
A call to brotherly love (1:22-25)
A call to spiritual growth (2:1-10)

IN VIEW OF OUR POSITION (2:11-4:11)
As sojourners (2:11-12)
As citizens (2:13-17)
As servants (2:18-25)
As wives and husbands (3:1-7)
As brethren (3:8-12)
As sufferers for righteousness’ sake (3:13-4:6)
As those awaiting the coming of Christ (4:7-11)

IN VIEW OF OUR PERSECUTION (4:12-5:11)
To rejoice and glorify God (4:12-17)
To trust in the will of God (4:18-19)
To fulfill our special roles (5:1-5)
The elders’ duties as shepherds
The youngers’ duties as the flock
To humble ourselves before God (5:6-7)
To resist the devil (5:8-9)

CONCLUSION (5:10-14)
A prayer for God’s blessing (5:10-11)
Final greetings and bestowal of peace (5:12-14)

James 5 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 765)

James 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Warning to the Rich.[a] Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.[b]

Patience and Oaths. [c]Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.[d] You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brothers, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates. 10 Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of the perseverance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, because “the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.[e]

IV. The Power of Prayer

Anointing of the Sick. 13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick?[f] He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.[g]

Confession and Intercession. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. 17 Elijah was a human being like us; yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain upon the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Conversion of Sinners. 19 My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, 20 he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.[h]

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1–6 Continuing with the theme of the transitory character of life on earth, the author points out the impending ruin of the godless. He denounces the unjust rich, whose victims cry to heaven for judgment on their exploiters (Jas 5:4–6). The decay and corrosion of the costly garments and metals, which symbolize wealth, prove them worthless and portend the destruction of their possessors (Jas 5:2–3).
  2. 5:6 The author does not have in mind any specific crime in his readers’ communities but rather echoes the Old Testament theme of the harsh oppression of the righteous poor (see Prv 1:11Wis 2:101220).
  3. 5:7–11 Those oppressed by the unjust rich are reminded of the need for patience, both in bearing the sufferings of human life (Jas 5:9) and in their expectation of the coming of the Lord. It is then that they will receive their reward (Jas 5:7–810–11; cf. Hb 10:251 Jn 2:18).
  4. 5:7 The early and the late rains: an expression related to the agricultural season in ancient Palestine (see Dt 11:14Jer 5:24Jl 2:23).
  5. 5:12 This is the threat of condemnation for the abuse of swearing oaths (cf. Mt 5:33–37). By heaven or by earth: these words were substitutes for the original form of an oath, to circumvent its binding force and to avoid pronouncing the holy name of God (see Ex 22:10).
  6. 5:14 In case of sickness a Christian should ask for the presbyters of the church, i.e., those who have authority in the church (cf. Acts 15:222–231 Tm 5:17Ti 1:5). They are to pray over the person and anoint with oil; oil was used for medicinal purposes in the ancient world (see Is 1:6Lk 10:34). In Mk 6:13, the Twelve anoint the sick with oil on their missionary journey. In the name of the Lord: by the power of Jesus Christ.
  7. 5:15 The results of the prayer and anointing are physical health and forgiveness of sins. The Roman Catholic Church (Council of Trent, Session 14) declared that this anointing of the sick is a sacrament “instituted by Christ and promulgated by blessed James the apostle.”
  8. 5:20 When a Christian is instrumental in the conversion of a sinner, the result is forgiveness of sins and a reinstatement of the sinner to the life of grace.

James 4 (TBRM Day 764)

James 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

Causes of Division.[a] Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions[b] that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Adulterers![c] Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, “The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy”?[d] But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says:

“God resists the proud,
    but gives grace to the humble.”[e]

So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds. Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

11 Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law.[f]If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?

Warning Against Presumption.[g] 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit”— 14 you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.[h] You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears. 15 Instead you should say, “If the Lord wills it,[i] we shall live to do this or that.” 16 But now you are boasting in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.[j]

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–12 The concern here is with the origin of conflicts in the Christian community. These are occasioned by love of the world, which means enmity with God (Jas 4:4). Further, the conflicts are bound up with failure to pray properly (cf. Mt 7:7–11Jn 14:1315:716:23), that is, not asking God at all or using God’s kindness only for one’s pleasure (Jas 4:2–3). In contrast, the proper dispositions are submission to God, repentance, humility, and resistance to evil (Jas 4:7–10).
  2. 4:1–3 Passions: the Greek word here (literally, “pleasures”) does not indicate that pleasure is evil. Rather, as the text points out (Jas 4:2–3), it is the manner in which one deals with needs and desires that determines good or bad. The motivation for any action can be wrong, especially if one does not pray properly but seeks only selfish enjoyment (Jas 4:3).
  3. 4:4 Adulterers: a common biblical image for the covenant between God and his people is the marriage bond. In this image, breaking the covenant with God is likened to the unfaithfulness of adultery.
  4. 4:5 The meaning of this saying is difficult because the author of James cites, probably from memory, a passage that is not in any extant manuscript of the Bible. Other translations of the text with a completely different meaning are possible: “The Spirit that he (God) made to dwell in us yearns (for us) jealously,” or, “He (God) yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us.” If this last translation is correct, the author perhaps had in mind an apocryphal religious text that echoes the idea that God is zealous for his creatures; cf. Ex 20:5Dt 4:24Zec 8:2.
  5. 4:6 The point of this whole argument is that God wants the happiness of all, but that selfishness and pride can make that impossible. We must work with him in humility (Jas 4:10).
  6. 4:11 Slander of a fellow Christian does not break just one commandment but makes mockery of the authority of law in general and therefore of God.
  7. 4:13–17 The uncertainty of life (Jas 4:14), its complete dependence on God, and the necessity of submitting to God’s will (Jas 4:15) all help one know and do what is right (Jas 4:17). To disregard this is to live in pride and arrogance (Jas 4:16); failure to do what is right is a sin (Jas 4:17).
  8. 4:14 Some important Greek manuscripts here have, “You who have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Why, what is your life?”
  9. 4:15 If the Lord wills it: often in piety referred to as the “conditio Jacobaea,” the condition James says we should employ to qualify all our plans.
  10. 4:17 It is a sin: those who live arrogantly, forgetting the contingency of life and our dependence on God (Jas 4:13–16), are guilty of sin.

James 3 (TBRM Day 763)

James 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 3

Power of the Tongue.[a] Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions.

Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. 11 Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh.

True Wisdom.[b] 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom.14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1–12 The use and abuse of the important role of teaching in the church (Jas 3:1) are here related to the good and bad use of the tongue (Jas 3:9–12), the instrument through which teaching was chiefly conveyed (see Sir 5:11–6:128:12–26).
  2. 3:13–18 This discussion of true wisdom is related to the previous reflection on the role of the teacher as one who is in control of his speech. The qualities of the wise man endowed from above are detailed (Jas 3:17–18; cf. Gal 5:22–23), in contrast to the qualities of earthbound wisdom (Jas 3:14–16; cf. 2 Cor 12:20).

James 2 (TBRM Day 762)

James 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

Sin of Partiality.[a] My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?[b]

Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor[c]in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court? Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you? However, if you fulfill the royal[d] law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not kill.” Even if you do not commit adultery but kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom.[e] 13 For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Works.[f] 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? 17 So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 Indeed someone may say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. 19 You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. 20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” 24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1–13 In the Christian community there must be no discrimination or favoritism based on status or wealth (Jas 2:2–4; cf. Mt 5:311:523:61 Cor 1:27–29). Divine favor rather consists in God’s election and promises (Jas 2:5). The rich who oppress the poor blaspheme the name of Christ (Jas 2:6–7). By violating one law of love of neighbor, they offend against the whole law (Jas 2:8–11). On the other hand, conscious awareness of the final judgment helps the faithful to fulfill the whole law (Jas 2:12).
  2. 2:4 When Christians show favoritism to the rich they are guilty of the worst kind of prejudice and discrimination. The author says that such Christians set themselves up as judges who judge not by divine law but by the basest, self-serving motives.
  3. 2:5 The poor, “God’s poor” of the Old Testament, were seen by Jesus as particularly open to God for belief in and reliance on him alone (Lk 6:20). God’s law cannot tolerate their oppression in any way (Jas 2:9).
  4. 2:8 Royal: literally, “kingly”; because the Mosaic law came from God, the universal king. There may be an allusion to Jesus’ uses of this commandment in his preaching of the kingdom of God (Mt 22:39Mk 12:31Lk 10:27).
  5. 2:12–13 The law upon which the last judgment will be based is the law of freedom. As Jesus taught, mercy (which participates in God’s own loving mercy) includes forgiveness of those who wrong us (see Mt 6:1214–15).
  6. 2:14–26 The theme of these verses is the relationship of faith and works (deeds). It has been argued that the teaching here contradicts that of Paul (see especially Rom 4:5–6). The problem can only be understood if the different viewpoints of the two authors are seen. Paul argues against those who claim to participate in God’s salvation because of their good deeds as well as because they have committed themselves to trust in God through Jesus Christ (Paul’s concept of faith). Paul certainly understands, however, the implications of true faith for a life of love and generosity (see Gal 5:613–15). The author of James is well aware that proper conduct can only come about with an authentic commitment to God in faith (Jas 2:1826). Many think he was seeking to correct a misunderstanding of Paul’s view.

James 1 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 761)

James 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

[a]James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.

II. The Value of Trials and Temptation

Perseverance in Trial. Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,[b] for you know that the testing[c] of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom,[d] he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

The brother in lowly circumstances[e] should take pride in his high standing, 10 and the rich one in his lowliness, for he will pass away “like the flower of the field.” 11 For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Temptation. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation,[f] for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him. 13 [g]No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

16 [h]Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: 17 all good giving and every perfect gift[i] is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. 18 He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.[j]

III. Exhortations and Warnings

Doers of the Word. 19 Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear,[k] slow to speak, slow to wrath, 20 for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.

22 Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. 24 He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law[l] of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.

26 [m]If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue[n] but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows[o] in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: a declaration of the writer’s authority for instructing the Christian communities; cf. Rom 1:1. Regarding the identity of the author, see Introduction. Dispersion: see Introduction.
  2. 1:2 Consider it all joy…various trials: a frequent teaching of the New Testament derived from the words and sufferings of Jesus (Mt 5:10–12Jn 10:11Acts 5:41).
  3. 1:3–8 The sequence of testing, perseverance, and being perfect and complete indicates the manner of attaining spiritual maturity and full preparedness for the coming of Christ (Jas 5:7–12; cf. 1 Pt 1:6–7Rom 5:3–5). These steps require wisdom (Jas 1:5).
  4. 1:5 Wisdom: a gift that God readily grants to all who ask in faith and that sustains the Christian in times of trial. It is a kind of knowledge or understanding not accessible to the unbeliever or those who doubt, which gives the recipient an understanding of the real importance of events. In this way a Christian can deal with adversity with great calm and hope (cf. 1 Cor 2:6–12).
  5. 1:9–11 Throughout his letter (see Jas 2:54:1013–165:1–6), the author reaffirms the teaching of Jesus that worldly prosperity is not necessarily a sign of God’s favor but can even be a hindrance to proper humility before God (cf. Lk 6:20–2512:16–2116:19–31).
  6. 1:12 Temptation: the Greek word used here is the same one used for “trials” in Jas 1:2The crown of life: in ancient Palestine, crowns or wreaths of flowers were worn at festive occasions as signs of joy and honor. In the Hellenistic world, wreaths were given as a reward to great statesmen, soldiers, athletes. Life: here means eternal life. He promised: some manuscripts read “God” or “the Lord,” while the best witnesses do not specify the subject of “promised.”
  7. 1:13–15 It is contrary to what we know of God for God to be the author of human temptation (Jas 1:13). In the commission of a sinful act, one is first beguiled by passion (Jas 1:14), then consent is given, which in turn causes the sinful act. When sin permeates the entire person, it incurs the ultimate penalty of death (Jas 1:15).
  8. 1:16–18 The author here stresses that God is the source of all good and of good alone, and the evil of temptation does not come from him.
  9. 1:17 All good giving and every perfect gift may be a proverb written in hexameter. Father of lights: God is here called the Father of the heavenly luminaries, i.e., the stars, sun, and moon that he created (Gn 1:14–18). Unlike orbs moving from nadir to zenith, he never changes or diminishes in brightness.
  10. 1:18 Acceptance of the gospel message, the word of truth, constitutes new birth (Jn 3:5–6) and makes the recipient the firstfruits (i.e., the cultic offering of the earliest grains, symbolizing the beginning of an abundant harvest) of a new creation; cf. 1 Cor 15:20Rom 8:23.
  11. 1:19–25 To be quick to hear the gospel is to accept it readily and to act in conformity with it, removing from one’s soul whatever is opposed to it, so that it may take root and effect salvation (Jas 1:19–21). To listen to the gospel message but not practice it is failure to improve oneself (Jas 1:22–24). Only conformity of life to the perfect law of true freedom brings happiness (Jas 1:25).
  12. 1:25 Peers into the perfect law: the image of a person doing this is paralleled to that of hearing God’s word. The perfect law applies the Old Testament description of the Mosaic law to the gospel of Jesus Christ that brings freedom.
  13. 1:26–27 A practical application of Jas 1:22 is now made.
  14. 1:26 For control of the tongue, see note on Jas 3:1–12.
  15. 1:27 In the Old Testament, orphans and widows are classical examples of the defenseless and oppressed.

Letter of James: Introduction (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 760)

Letter of James: Introduction (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 760)

BOOK NAME

JAMES, abbreviated as Jas, Jm

BIBLE CATEGORY

The 20th Book of the New Testament.
After the 13th Epistle of Paul and the Letter to the Hebrews, the New Testament contains seven other letters. Three of these are attributed to John, two to Peter, and one each to James and Jude, all personages of the apostolic age.

THE AUTHOR AND DATE OF WRITING

James, a relative of Jesus who is usually called “brother of the Lord” is considered to be the author. He was the leader of the Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem whom Paul acknowledged as one of the “pillars” (Gal 2:9), Acts 12:17 and Acts 15:13-22.
James is mention several times in the Bible, in Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal 1:19; so he is neither one of the two Apostle Jameses.

James identifies himself by name but simply describes himself as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

It would have been written sometime before AD 70. Jerusalem would also be the place of writing.

Purpose of Writing:

Framed within an overall theme of patient perseverance during trials and temptations, James writes to encourage believers to live consistently with what they have learned in Christ. He wants his readers to mature in their faith in Christ by living what they say they believe. He condemns various sins, including pride, hypocrisy, favouritism, and slander. He encourages believers to humbly live by Godly rather than worldly wisdom and to pray in all situations.

Within the New Testament canon, the Epistle of James is noteworthy because it makes no reference to the death, resurrection, or divine sonship of Jesus. It refers to Jesus twice, as “the Lord Jesus Christ” and as “our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1, 2:1).
(sourced : wikipedia)

The Book

The letter was in the Greek language.

The pages of James are filled with direct commands to pursue a life of holiness. He makes no excuses for those who do not measure up.

His letter deals more with Christian ethics than Christian theology.
It is different from Paul’s letters. It does not tell people what they must believe. James did not write it to tell them how to become Christians. He is writing to Christians, he is telling them how to become better Christians.

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF JAMES (source: purposequest dot com)

WHAT JAMES LEARNED FROM LIVING WITH HIS BROTHER JESUS

I. There are certain realities of life common to all believers – 1:2-1:18.
A. Trials and testing will come and can be overcome — 1:2-8.
1. Be joyful — 1:2.
2. Persevere — 1:3-4.
3. Ask for wisdom — 1:5.
4. Eliminate doubt — 1:6-8.
B. Riches are attractive but transient — 1:9-11.
1. The poor should glory in their humble position — 1:10.
2. Pursuit of money will pass away — 1:11.
C. Trials of life are the basis for eternal rewards now and later — 1:12.
D. Temptation is inevitable, yet not from God.
1. Understand the process — 1:16
2. Only good comes from God, including salvation — 1:17-18

II. Each believer should develop certain responses to the realities of life
— 1:19-2:13.
A. Anger does not promote God’s purpose — 1:19-20.
B. Moral cleansing is critical — 1:21
C. Doing and not just listening to the word of God — 1:22-25
1. Care for widows and orphans, for instance — 1:26.
2. Eliminate favoritism for rich over poor — 2:1-4.
a. Rich are a source of problems and not worth the special treatment
— 2:5-7
b. The royal law requires that all be treated equally — 2:8-9.
c. Break this command to treat all as yourself and all the law is
broken — 2:10-11
3. Be a source of mercy and not judgment — 2:12-13.

III. There are certain requirements to be met if a believer is to have the proper response
to the realities of life — 2:14-3:18.

A. Faith demands proof — 2:14-26.
1. Faith is more than adherence to doctrine — 2:18-24.
2. Faith without appropriate works is dead — 2:25-26.
B. The tongue must be ruled — 3:1-12.
1. Not many should desire to be teachers — 3:1-2.
2. The tongue, though small, is powerful — 3:3-8.
3. The tongue can be used for both good and evil — 3:9-12.
C. Wisdom must be sought — 3:13-18.
1. Wisdom, like faith, must be shown in deeds — 3:13.
2. There is an earthly wisdom that must be rejected — 3:14-16.
3. Godly wisdom brings harmony and peace — 3:17-18.

IV. Lessons on how to rule the basic relationships of life — 4:1-5:6.
A. Rule lust and pleasure-seeking, which are the basic causes for disputes with
others — 4:1-3.
B. Rule pride, which is a major reason why the Lord will resist you in your
relationship with Him — 4:4-6.
1. Overcome pride by drawing near to God in humility and resisting the
devil — 4:7-10.
2. Do not be proud and slander others — 4:11-12.
3. Do not be proud and boast about tomorrow — 4:13-17.
4. Do not be proud and trust in riches — 5:1-6.

V. Other resources necessary for a blessed life — 5:7-20.
A. Patience — 5:7-11.
B. Simplicity of speech — 5:12.
C. Prayer — 5:13-18.
D. Reaching out to others — 5:19-20.

Hebrews 13 (TBRM Day 759)

Hebrews 13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. Final Exhortation, Blessing, Greetings

Chapter 13

[a]Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Thus we may say with confidence:

“The Lord is my helper,
[and] I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.[b] It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them. 10 We have an altar[c] from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 The bodies of the animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, to consecrate the people by his own blood. 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach that he bore. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come.15 Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

17 [d]Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect. 19 I especially ask for your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon.

20 [e]May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, 21 furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever [and ever]. Amen.

22 Brothers, I ask you to bear with this message of encouragement, for I have written to you rather briefly. 23 I must let you know that our brother Timothy has been set free. If he comes soon, I shall see you together with him. 24 Greetings to all your leaders and to all the holy ones. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:1–16 After recommendations on social and moral matters (Hb 13:1–6), the letter turns to doctrinal issues. The fact that the original leaders are dead should not cause the recipients of this letter to lose their faith (Hb 13:7), for Christ still lives and he remains always the same (Hb 13:8). They must not rely for their personal sanctification on regulations concerning foods (Hb 13:9), nor should they entertain the notion that Judaism and Christianity can be intermingled (Hb 13:10; cf. notes on Gal 2:11–142:15–21). As Jesus died separated from his own people, so must the Christian community remain apart from the religious doctrines of Judaism (Hb 13:11–14). Christ must be the heart and center of the community (Hb 13:15–16).
  2. 13:9 Strange teaching: this doctrine about foods probably refers to the Jewish food laws; in view of Hb 13:10, however, the author may be thinking of the Mosaic sacrificial banquets.
  3. 13:10 We have an altar: this does not refer to the Eucharist, which is never clearly mentioned in Hebrews, but to the sacrifice of Christ.
  4. 13:17–25 Recommending obedience to the leaders of the community, the author asks for prayers (Hb 13:17–19). The letter concludes with a blessing (Hb 13:20–21), a final request for the acceptance of its message (Hb 13:22), information regarding Timothy (Hb 13:23), and general greetings (Hb 13:24–25).
  5. 13:20–21 These verses constitute one of the most beautiful blessings in the New Testament. The resurrection of Jesus is presupposed throughout Hebrews, since it is included in the author’s frequently expressed idea of his exaltation, but this is the only place where it is explicitly mentioned.

Hebrews 12 (TBRM Day 758)

Hebrews 12 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 12

God Our Father.[a] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us[b] and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons:

“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
    or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
    he scourges every son he acknowledges.”

Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards. Besides this, we have had our earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not [then] submit all the more to the Father of spirits and live? 10 They disciplined us for a short time as seemed right to them, but he does so for our benefit, in order that we may share his holiness. 11 At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

12 So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. 13 Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Penalties of Disobedience. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 [c]See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled, 16 that no one be an immoral or profane person like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit his father’s blessing, he was rejected because he found no opportunity to change his mind, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

18 [d]You have not approached that which could be touched[e] and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm 19 and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them, 20 for they could not bear to hear the command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” 22 No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, 23 and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,[f] and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect,24 and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently[g] than that of Abel.

25 See that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much more in our case if we turn away from the one who warns from heaven. 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only earth but heaven.” 27 That phrase, “once more,” points to [the] removal of shaken, created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. 28 Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:1–13 Christian life is to be inspired not only by the Old Testament men and women of faith (Hb 12:1) but above all by Jesus. As the architect of Christian faith, he had himself to endure the cross before receiving the glory of his triumph (Hb 12:2). Reflection on his sufferings should give his followers courage to continue the struggle, if necessary even to the shedding of blood (Hb 12:3–4). Christians should regard their own sufferings as the affectionate correction of the Lord, who loves them as a father loves his children.
  2. 12:1 That clings to us: the meaning is uncertain, since the Greek word euperistatos, translated cling, occurs only here. The papyrus P46 and one minuscule read euperispastos, “easily distracting,” which also makes good sense.
  3. 12:15–17 Esau serves as an example in two ways: his profane attitude illustrates the danger of apostasy, and his inability to secure a blessing afterward illustrates the impossibility of repenting after falling away (see Hb 6:4–6).
  4. 12:18–29 As a final appeal for adherence to Christian teaching, the two covenants, of Moses and of Christ, are compared. The Mosaic covenant, the author argues, is shown to have originated in fear of God and threats of divine punishment (Hb 12:18–21). The covenant in Christ gives us direct access to God (Hb 12:22), makes us members of the Christian community, God’s children, a sanctified people (Hb 12:23), who have Jesus as mediator to speak for us (Hb 12:24). Not to heed the voice of the risen Christ is a graver sin than the rejection of the word of Moses (Hb 12:25–26). Though Christians fall away, God’s kingdom in Christ will remain and his justice will punish those guilty of deserting it (Hb 12:28–29).
  5. 12:18 This remarkably beautiful passage contrasts two great assemblies of people: that of the Israelites gathered at Mount Sinai for the sealing of the old covenant and the promulgation of the Mosaic law, and that of the followers of Jesus gathered at Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the assembly of the new covenant. This latter scene, marked by the presence of countless angels and of Jesus with his redeeming blood, is reminiscent of the celestial liturgies of the Book of Revelation.
  6. 12:23 The assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven: this expression may refer to the angels of Hb 12:22, or to the heroes of the Old Testament (see Hb 11), or to the entire assembly of the new covenant.
  7. 12:24 Speaks more eloquently: the blood of Abel, the first human blood to be shed, is contrasted with that of Jesus. Abel’s blood cried out from the earth for vengeance, but the blood of Jesus has opened the way for everyone, providing cleansing and access to God (Hb 10:19).