This week I read James every day. Yesterday I shared with my friends an idea on how to enhance our reading of James. Here it is:
If you need to get your study revved up a bit then try this.
Take the word "faith" and write that on a blank piece of paper.
Then *every time* the word "faith" appears in James write down in some 4 or 5 words what the text said about faith.
Go ahead and give that a try if you want to. Don't read this blog post any further until after you've done that because I have included below the results of my doing my own assignment. If you are not inclined to try that then read on.
Here are my results:
I looked for the word "faith" and listed everything that James said about it.
Using a reverse concordance (after I studied and searched the hard way) I was able to make certain that "faith" is used 16 times in the original writings which, of course, were in Greek.
I can tell you that every time the word faith is used it is the Greek word "pistis" which is Strong's # 4102. That Greek word means faith so it's no wonder that Bible translators decided to translate pistis into the word faith. It's the same word used in Eph for the well-known verse "by faith you have been saved through grace."
I can also pass along that #5218 hupakoe (or hupakoee) never appears in James. That is a word best translated as obedience or attentive listening, there is even a submission factor to the word due to the "hup" part that has to do with putting yourself under a teaching or teacher.
Some Bible versions have translated hupakoe as "faith" rather than as obedience. It is interesting, in any case, that James never used hupakoe due to that fact that he was pressing the "works" issue to such a huge degree. One might think that he would have used that word at some point and that is exactly why I looked into the matter.
Here is what James taught us about faith:
#1) Faith gets tested which produces patience ~~1:3
#2) Ask for wisdom in faith ~~1:6
#3) Don't hold the faith of Jesus with partiality toward rich people which is judgment ~~2:1
#4) The poor are rich in faith ~~2:5
#5) Faith without works is dead ~~2:14-26
#6) Prayer of faith will save the sick ~~5:15
Many blessings of Jesus to you,