New International Version
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
King James Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Darby Bible Translation
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
World English Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Young's Literal Translation
religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation -- unspotted to keep himself from the world.
James 1:27 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Pure religion, and undefiled - Having seen something of the etymology of the word θρησκεια, which we translate religion, it will be well to consider the etymology of the word religion itself.
In the 28th chapter of the 4th book of his Divine Instructions, Lactantius, who flourished about a.d. 300, treats of hope, true religion, and superstition; of the two latter he gives Cicero's definition from his book De Natura Deorum, lib. ii. c. 28, which with his own definition will lead us to a correct view, not only of the etymology, but of the thing itself.
"Superstition," according to that philosopher, "had its name from the custom of those who offered daily prayers and sacrifices, that their children might Survive Them; ut sui sibi liberi superstites essent. Hence they were called superstitiosi, superstitious. On the other hand, religion, religio, had its name from those who, not satisfied with what was commonly spoken concerning the nature and worship of the gods, searched into the whole matter, and perused the writings of past times; hence they were called religiosi, from re, again, and lego, Iread."
This definition Lactantius ridicules, and shows that religion has its name from re, intensive, and ligo, I bind, because of that bond of piety by which it binds us to God, and this he shows was the notion conceived of it by Lucretius, who labored to dissolve this bond, and make men atheists.
Primum quod magnis doceo de rebus, et Arctis
Religionum animos Nodis Exsolvere pergo.
For first I teach great things in lofty strains,
And loose men from religion's grievous chains.
Lucret., lib. i., ver. 930, 931
As to superstition, he says it derived its name from those who paid religious veneration to the memory of the dead, (qui superstitem memoriam defunctorem colunt), or from those who, surviving their parents, worshipped their images at home, as household gods; aut qui, parentibus suis superstites, colebant imagines eorum domi, tanquam deos penates. Superstition, according to others, refers to novel rites and ceremonies in religion, or to the worship of new gods. But by religion are meant the ancient forms of worship belonging to those gods, which had long been received. Hence that saying of Virgil: -
Vana superstitio veterumque ignara deorum.
"Vain superstition not knowing the ancient gods."
Here Lactantius observes, that as the ancient gods were consecrated precisely in the same way with these new ones, that therefore it was nothing but superstition from the beginning. Hence he asserts, the superstitious are those who worship many and false gods, and the Christians alone are religious, who worship and supplicate the one true God only. St. James' definition rather refers to the effects of pure religion than to its nature. The life of God in the soul of man, producing love to God and man, will show itself in the acts which St. James mentions here. It is pure in the principle, for it is Divine truth and Divine love. It is undefiled in all its operations: it can produce nothing unholy, because it ever acts in the sight of God; and it can produce no ungentle word nor unkind act, because it comes from the Father.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryFebruary 28. "Count it all Joy" (James i. 2).
"Count it all joy" (James i. 2). We do not always feel joyful, but we are to count it all joy. The word "reckon" is one of the key-words of Scripture. It is the same word used about our being dead. We do not feel dead. We are painfully conscious of something that would gladly return to life. But we are to treat ourselves as dead, and neither fear nor obey the old nature. So we are to reckon the thing that comes as a blessing. We are determined to rejoice, to say, "My heart is fixed, O God, I will …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
October the Eighteenth Unanimity in the Soul
Sermon on a Martyr's Day
The Sixth Petition Corresponds as we have Observed to the Promise of Writing the Law...
so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
"If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
if I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless--
The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
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Jump to NextAccepts Affliction Children Evil Eyes Fatherless Fathers Faultless Free Holy One's Oneself Orphans Polluted Pure Religion Religious Service Sight Time Trouble Undefiled Unspotted Unstained Untouched Visit Widowed Widows Women World
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