3

«You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.» ‭‭James‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The underlying Greek word for “murder” here is exactly the one about physical bloodshed. Who is exactly James talking to? There were murderers amongst the Hebrews converted to Christ (to whom, I have always assumed, this letter is addressed to)?

5

" Anyone who hates his brother commits murder" (1 John 3:15)

James 4:1-4 (NRSV)

4 "Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask."

3 "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."

James is writing to the Christian Congregations

4:1 -James is addressing his follow Christians that were embroiled in unending quarrels and asks them: "Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? " then he answers the question by exposing their greed and envy for material craving that is within their fleshy bones.

4:2- They are materialistic which leads them to jealousy and covet others for having better things, they cannot have, so they commit murder, naturally not literal murder but on the same lines as John, who wrote ,"that anyone who hates his brother commits murder" (1 John 3:15) "2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask."

4:3 They ask , they pray that is, but they ask for the wrong things, and do not receive, because God will not satisfy their selfish desires, He does not answer such prayers. 3 "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures."

Conclusion:

In the scriptures hatred is equated with murder,therefore anyone hating his spiritual brother or any other person is a man-slayer-murderer, for John wrote: " Anyone who hates his brother commits murder" (1 John 3:15) and Jesus said he is liable to the supreme court -Divine judgement.

Matthew 5:21-22 (NASB)

Personal Relationships

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the [d}fiery Gehenna.

| improve this answer | |
0

In verse 4 James refers to his readers as "adulterers" and "friends with the System". I don't see anything in the context to suggest that the issue he was addressing had anything to do with adultery or any kind of promiscuity but instead is focused on intense fighting about money among several of the assembly. So I take James' use of "adultery" to refer to "spiritual adultery". This is the charge that God levels against the Jerusalem theocracy whenever they turned to other gods, armies or other stays other than their God. In this case it appears that the "adultery" involved was in turning to the Jewish authorities and bringing some kind of formal charges against their brothers in order to have the money turned over to them. This was dangerous for a Christian because they may wind up answering for the charge of practicing an illegal religion, which is a capital offence. If they deny the charge then they lose their lives; if they deny the charge they lose their souls. So by going to the "world" (the Jewish theocracy) they become friends, murderers, etc.

[Jas 4:1-12 NLT]

1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

I don't see "judging" here as just "criticism" or "having an opinion" but rather taking them to authorities.

Related:

In 1 Peter 5:8 is "your adversary, the devil" a reference to persecuting Jews in cahoots with Rome?

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.