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James 4:13-5:3 New American Standard Bible 1995

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 [a]Yet you do not know [b]what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 [c]Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your [d]arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

James 4:13-5:3 New King James Version

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow [a]we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches [b]are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.

James 4:17 New American Standard Bible 1995

17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Nestle-Aland 28 (NA28) James 4:13-5:3

13Ἄγε νῦν οἱ λέγοντες· σήμερον ἢ αὔριον πορευσόμεθα εἰς τήνδε τὴν πόλιν καὶ ποιήσομεν ἐκεῖ ἐνιαυτὸν καὶ ἐμπορευσόμεθα καὶ κερδήσομεν, 14οἵτινες οὐκ ἐπίστασθε τὸ τῆς αὔριον ποία ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν– ἀτμὶς γάρ ἐστε ἡ πρὸς ὀλίγον φαινομένη, ἔπειτα καὶ ἀφανιζομένη– 15ἀντὶ τοῦ λέγειν ὑμᾶς· ἐὰν ὁ κύριος θελήσῃ καὶ ζήσομεν καὶ ποιήσομεν τοῦτο ἢ ἐκεῖνο. 16νῦν δὲ καυχᾶσθε ἐν ταῖς ἀλαζονείαις ὑμῶν· πᾶσα καύχησις τοιαύτη πονηρά ἐστιν. 17εἰδότι οὖν καλὸν ποιεῖν καὶ μὴ ποιοῦντι, ἁμαρτία αὐτῷ ἐστιν.

51Ἄγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι, κλαύσατε ὀλολύζοντες ἐπὶ ταῖς ταλαιπωρίαις ὑμῶν ταῖς ἐπερχομέναις. 2ὁ πλοῦτος ὑμῶν σέσηπεν καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια ὑμῶν σητόβρωτα γέγονεν, 3ὁ χρυσὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ὁ ἄργυρος κατίωται καὶ ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται καὶ φάγεται τὰς σάρκας ὑμῶν ὡς πῦρ. ἐθησαυρίσατε ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις.

Could someone please read the corresponding New Testament Greek Texts, and give your opinion as to if

"one who knows the right thing to do"

----interpreted based on the NT Greek as---->

"one who 'spiritually, mentally' strongly grasps the right thing to do" ?

I ask the aforementioned question because you could grow up in a Nominal Christian household, and just merely mentally know( i.e. mere head knowledge) that adultery is wrong, but Not strongly grasp that adultery is wrong.

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  • 2
    Are you asking about the conscience ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 14:06
  • I'm a little reluctant to use the term "conscience" because there are people in the pseudo-secular world whose "conscience" probably gives them strong genuine feelings that LGBTQ+ lifestyle is acceptable. To elaborate, some of them have a "conscience" that make them genuinely think & feel that LGBTQ+ lifestyle rights is the same as America's 1960's racial civil rights movement against racist practices like segregation Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 14:28
  • 3
    The term is quite correct. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) Rom 2:15 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Tim 4:2.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 14:40

1 Answer 1

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NIV Jas 4:

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know [G1492] that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

James 4:

14 Why, you do not even know [G1987] what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

James 4:

17 If anyone, then, knows [G1492] the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

There are two different Greek words for the idea of knowing in this chapter.

Strong's Concordance, G1987:

epistamai: to know, to understand
Original Word: ἐπίσταμαι

HELPS Word-studies:

[1987 (epistamai) expresses "what comes from close and familiar acquaintance" (B. F. Westcott, Lessons of the Revised Version, 101).

1987 (epistamai) in antiquity meant, "skilled in handicraft" (M. Vincent) – referring to knowledge "resulting from prolonged practice" (Thayer, 118).]

The other Greek word is
Strong's Concordance, G1492:

eidó: be aware, behold, consider, perceive
Original Word: οἶδα

HELPS Word-studies:

1492 eídō (oida) – properly, to see with physical eyes (cf. Ro 1:11), as it naturally bridges to the metaphorical sense: perceiving ("mentally seeing"). This is akin to the expressions: "I see what You mean"; "I see what you are saying."

1492 /eídō ("seeing that becomes knowing") then is a gateway to grasp spiritual truth (reality) from a physical plane. 1492 (eídō) then is physical seeing (sight) which should be the constant bridge to mental and spiritual seeing (comprehension).

"one who 'spiritually, mentally' strongly grasps the right thing to do"?

I think so from the contrast of these two Greek concepts of knowing.

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