I enjoy translating. I find James’s letter interesting, particularly its content rather as opposed to issues like authorship. I decided to merge the two and work my way through this letter, noting anything that I find of interest. I always appreciate comments, critiques, and insights. Without further ado:
1 Ἰάκωβος θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοῦλος ταῖς δώδεκα φυλαῖς ταῖς ἐν τῇ δισπορᾷ χαίρειν.
[From] James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: Greetings to the people of God who are scattered across the world.
- Louw-Nida notes that δώδεκα φυλαῖς (lit., “twelve tribes”) is in a figurative sense a reference to the New Israel.
- “The world” in James’s time meant the Roman Empire.
- The phrase θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ is positioned between “James” and “servant” leaving no ambiguity as to of whom James is a servant.
2 Πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε, ἀδελφοί μου, ὅταν πειρασμοῖς περιπέσητε ποικίλοις, 3 γινώσκοντες ὅτι τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως κατεργάζεται ὑπομονήν.
Consider it all joy, my siblings, whenever you undergo various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith results in endurance.
- “All joy” is emphatic here. James seems to encourage the people to always rejoice during trials.
4 ἡ δὲ ὑπομονὴ ἔργον τέλειον ἐχέτω, ἵνα ἧτε τέλειοι καὶ ὁλόκληποι ἐν μηδενὶ λειπόμενοι.
And let endurance be a perfecting work so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing.
- The position of ἔργον τέλειον is between the subject and the verb, possibly indicating an emphasis on it. The following clause seems to confirm this as it expands the idea of endurance being a perfect work. Alternately, the ἵνα clause might be more related to the verb; if this is the case, then the focus could be on one’s allowing endurance to have its “full effect” (NET).