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Please help me to write this acceptably.

James 1:5 in the NIV states that:

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:7 tells us:

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

In James 1:1 James is a "servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Does this mean that the Lord in James 1:7 is then Jesus Christ who is also being asked for wisdom?

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    This is a classic case of an "opinion-based" question, meaning that to answer requires taking a stand based primarily on doctrine. The text can be read either way. However, I think this site should not rule out such questions. I'll attempt to write an answer that is not opinion-based by giving both sides of the argument. Jan 24 at 0:05
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    @DanFefferman—Disagree. Hermeneutics should be capable of providing an answer based on context and grammar. Jan 24 at 0:22
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    According to the surrounding text, it would seem somewhat obvious that we are not talking Jesus Christ but are indeed talking about God Himself. In the 'New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures', they even translate the Greek Kyrios (Lord), to mean "Jehovah", in this particular instance. The copyists, most likely, having been derelict in their duties towards the translating of the original language, who may well have not understood or appreciated the divine name, or had developed an aversion to it. Jan 24 at 2:21
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    In my opinion, yes! One and the same. Jan 24 at 23:02
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    @Olde English – Hi, it’s me again. Hope this does not slip into a verbal tug of war. I liked your answer to JosephDoggie. If I follow your line of thought, then it becomes obvious that Christ is equal to God. “not being without Law of God, but under the law of Christ” (1 Cor 9:21). Paul says ‘not without God’ equals ‘with Christ’. That is, God equals Christ. I am sure you cannot agree to this sure conclusion. Jan 25 at 5:56

8 Answers 8

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I see that James is consistent and we can give a non-“opinion-based” answer. He follows the general NT rule. When James talks about God, he means God the Father and when he talks about Lord, he means Jesus Christ.

“Pure and undefiled religion before (the) God and Father” (James 1:27).

(TSKS shows God and Father are the same).

“By this we bless (the) God and Father” (James 3:9).

(TSKS shows God and Father are the same).

“James, a slave ………..of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1).

(Plain and obvious that the Lord is Jesus Christ).

“have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (James 2:1).

“be long-suffering until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7). “because the coming of the Lord has drawn near” (James 5:8).

(Jesus Christ is the Lord to come).

“and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).

(Acts 3:6 shows this is Jesus called Lord here).

The General Rule in NT

“but to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we by Him” (1 Cor 8:6).

[If God the Father cannot be Lord, then Lord Jesus Christ cannot be God. But Scripture says that God the Father is Lord and that the Lord Jesus Christ is God]

“every tongue should confess" that Jesus Christ is "Lord” (Phil 2:11).

“And no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3).

[If men find it easy to call their masters as Lord, without the Holy Spirit or if Sara can call Abraham her Lord without much difficulty, why do believers need the Holy Spirit to acknowledge Jesus as Lord if Jesus was simply a “master”? But as Paul clearly states in Philippians 2:10-11 obviously referring to Isaiah 45:23, when the believers confess Jesus as Lord, they are confessing in Holy Spirit that Jesus is indeed the Yahweh of the Old Testament!]

Conclusion

The OP is right: “the Lord in James 1:7 is then Jesus Christ who is also being asked for wisdom”.

This is not surprising because all the Apostles interchangeably use several functional terms between God and Christ as:

Church of God = church of Christ; love of God = love of Christ; law of God = law of Christ; Spirit of God = Spirit of Christ; word of God = word of Christ etc., etc.

So, yes, we can conclude: wisdom from God is same as wisdom from Christ.

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  • If James is truly consistent and not confusing then if we compare James 5:7 and James 5:10 then James believes the Lord in all of these verses are the same too. The Lord who is coming is the same name of the Lord that the prophets spoke in. James 5:7a: Be patient, therefore, brothers,[a] until the coming of the Lord James 5:10b: take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Jan 25 at 15:52
  • @JosephDoggie – Please read my statement in my answer, “But as Paul clearly states in Philippians 2:10-11 obviously referring to Isaiah 45:23, when the believers confess Jesus as Lord, they are confessing in Holy Spirit that Jesus is indeed the Yahweh of the Old Testament!]”. Surprised you missed it. Jan 25 at 17:28
  • Also context is a great clue. Jan 25 at 17:29
  • I agree that Philippians 2:10-11 and Isaiah 45:23 show that Jesus is Yahweh. I was just trying to make the Trinity a little more probable to non-Trinitarians who might believe that James is consistent and not confusing. Your post was very helpful. Jan 25 at 17:59
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    @OldeEnglish you are only wasting your time with me. But I will check out Alex Balilo's answer more thoroughly as I have respect for your efforts and arguments. Also, others will show up to read your insights. Jan 25 at 18:33
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Trinitarians and non-trinitarians take different approaches to the question.

For trinitarians, the use of the title "the Lord" to refer to Jesus means that James sees Jesus as Yahweh, who is also called Adonai in Hebrew and Kyrios in Greek - as suggested by Oscar Cullman in @Revelation Lad's answer. "God" does sometimes refer to God the Father, but since "the Lord" is mentioned shortly after, the likelihood is that "God" refers to Jesus (as argued in @Dottard's answer).

Non-trinitarians take a different approach. Not only does "God" mean the deity and not Jesus, but "Lord" in the NT is not necessarily a substitute for God's name. When "Lord" is applied to Jesus it means "master," just as it does countless of other times in the OT when a person refers to a social superior. So for non-trinitarians, it is quite clear that the text of James 1:5 refers to God, who is not a trinity but a unity.

Conclusion: the text is unclear. Answers often depend on whether one believes in the Trinity or not. However, as @Dottard's answer suggests, it is possible for trinitarians to recognize that "God" here refers to God the Father. Non-trinitarians do not admit to the possibility that "God" could refer to Jesus.

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  • It would appear that your last two paragraphs concentrate on James 1:5, which is only said in passing in the OP's Q. The OP's gist is toward James 1:7 and the use of the word "Lord" there. As to the scope of meaning of "Lord" there, see my comment under the OP's Q. Jan 24 at 6:31
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    As you are presumably aware, there are several varieties of 'non-trinitarians" such as binitarians, full Arians, semi-arians, unitarians, and promotionalists, etc.
    – Dottard
    Jan 24 at 20:08
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    @Dottard... I definitely do mean to paint them all with the same brush. Your comment raises the question as to who is a "non-trinitarian?" Arians accepted the Trinity in a certain sense, including Jesus' pre-existence... but rejected the Nicene formula defining it. Jan 24 at 21:10
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James 1:1

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 8:6:

yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

As Oscar Cullman states:

The designation of Jesus as Kyrios has the further consequence that actually all the titles of honor for God himself (with the exception of 'Father') may be transferred to Jesus. Once he was given the 'name which is above every name', God's own name ("Lord", Adonai, Kyrios), then no limitations at all could be set for the transfer of divine attributes to him. 1

Christians have one Lord, which James states is the Lord Jesus Christ.


1. Oscar Cullman, The Christology of the New Testament, Revised Edition, Translated by Shirley C. Guthrie and Charles A. M. Hall, The Westminster Press, 1959, pp. 236-237

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  • Up-voted +1 but see also my comment to @Dottard .
    – Nigel J
    Jan 23 at 22:40
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The OP's question essentially reduces to the following of James 1:7:

Is the "Lord" of James 1:7 Jesus, or the Father, or both?

This naturally implies another question: If "Lord" in V7 refers to Jesus, then does that imply that James is calling Jesus, "God"? Many have drawn preciely this conclusion as per Meyer:

The designation of God as the Lord naturally suggested itself to James, because he was here speaking of the power of God manifested in giving or not giving; it is not, as Lange thinks, chosen in order to characterize God as “Jehovah the living covenant-God, who has now fully manifested Himself in Christ.”

The Cambridge commentary offers another view:

of the Lord It is a question whether the Divine Title is used in the Old Testament sense, for the Father, or, as generally, though not exclusively, in the New Testament, for the Son. On the whole, looking (1) to the meaning of the word in ch. James 5:7; James 5:14-15, (2) and to the frequent use of “God” and “the Father,” where Christ is not meant, there seems a balance of evidence in favour of the latter meaning. Christ also, not less than the Father, is thought of as giving or not giving, in answer to prayer. Possibly, however, the word was used without the thought of a distinction between the Divine Persons.

This is correct - "Lord" in the NT is almost always referring to Jesus Christ; however, in a few instances, the Father, eg, Matt 11:25, Luke 10:21. [A few others are debatable such as Rev 11:17, etc] Indeed, in these very few instances, it is Jesus Himself addressing the Father. Thus, apart from these very few, all the others refer to Jesus.

Thus, all that can be said in the case of James 1:7 is that it very highly probably referring to Jesus Christ, but there is a very small probability it refers to the Father, or, more likely, to both.

Note that the NT repeatedly portrays the relationship between the Father and Jesus as "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ", Rom 15:6, 2 Cor 1:3, 11:31, Eph 1:3, Col 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3, etc.

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  • Up-voted +1. In the nature of the Deity (the 'Trinity' as we refer to it) there will always be the fact that 'I and the Father are one'. Thus, in addressing one person as 'Lord' one inevitably includes the Unity of Deity within that expression. So I do agree with your 'few instances' and with your 'highly probable' but also 'very small probability'. Fully agree. {But I also up-voted @Revelation Lad as his statement is, also, true.}
    – Nigel J
    Jan 23 at 22:39
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Does this mean that the Lord in James 1:7 is then Jesus Christ who is also being asked for wisdom?

Jesus himself prayed to his God, the Father. To say that James 1:7 mean that Jesus Christ is being ask for wisdom is contradictory to what Jesus taught in Matthew 6 about prayer. Jesus is lord because his God made him both lord and Christ as Acts 2:33-36 show. (Abraham was Sarah's lord, 1 Peter 3:6; Genesis 18:12) was Abraham then Sarah's only true God?

Acts 2:33-36

33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. 34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.

1 Peter 3:6 ASV

as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.

Genesis 18:12

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

The fulfillment of Psalm 110:1 as shown in Acts 2:33:36 shows us that Jesus is not YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah/the LORD. Jesus is the one that Jehovah made lord and Christ. Jesus was never the God of the Old Testament Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the New Testament as Acts 3;13 shows

Acts 3:13

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His child Jesus, whom you delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, he having given judgment to release [Him],

"LORD” or “the LORD” in the OT represents (YHWH) God. This is not to be confused with the Greek word Kurios, which is used for Jesus and is a title of respect, honor, and authority. The title “Lord” is used by many people in the Bible not just to God and to Jesus. God made Jesus both lord and Christ. Nobody makes God lord.

Examining LORD and lord we find Jesus referring tp Psalm 110:1 in Matthew 22:44=45

Matthew 22:44=45 Literal Standard Version

The LORD said to my Lord, | Sit at My right hand, | Until I may make Your enemies Your footstool? If then David calls Him Lord, how is He his son?

The 1st LORD in Psalm 110:1 is Jehovah/YHWH. The second lord is translated from the Hebrew word adoni as Biblehub shows it.

to my Lord: לַֽאדֹנִ֗י (la·ḏō·nî) Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular Strong's 113: Sovereign, controller

My Lord.--Heb., adoni, an address of honour to those more noble than the speaker, or superior in rank: to a father, Genesis 31:35; to a brother, Numbers 12:11; a royal consort, 1Kings 1:17-18; to a prince, 1Kings 3:17; with the addition of the royal title, "my Lord, O king," 2Samuel 14:19.

The word adoni is a title which never refers to God.

Was Jesus given the name YHWH/LORD? No. Jesus or Jehoshua is his name. It is not YHWH /Yahweh/Jehovah. Young's Literal Translation shows YHWH, LORD as Jehovah in ISAIAH 45:5 YLT we read,

I am Jehovah, and there is none else, Except Me there is no God, I gird thee, and thou hast not known Me.

The construction of theophoric names, starting with the letters “Jeho” is evidence that God’s name is actually ‘Jehovah’ (and that Christ’s name is actually Jehoshua)”– Smith’s 1863 “A Dictionary of the Bible” Section 2.1

1 Corinthians 15:27-28 shows that even if everyone confesses Jesus Christ is Lord, he still is subject to his Father/ God.

27 For, “He put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when he says, “All things are put in subjection”, it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him. 28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.

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  • Love it when you jump in on this kind of subject matter. It's another upvote from me. Jan 24 at 6:10
  • 1) Is it reasonable to depricate the significance of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection which resulted in Jesus being called Lord to the glory of God the Father, by equating Abraham as Sarah's lord? Do you apply the same logic to those who call someone other than God "father?" 2) The word adoni is a title which never refers to God. Can you offer any support for this claim? 3) There is no "J" in the Hebrew language. It might be Yehovah but the Hebrew cannot correctly be pronounced as Jehovah. Jan 25 at 7:05
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In James 1:1 "God" and "Lord" can apply, both grammatically and ontologically to the same person of Jesus Christ. But even if in this passage "God" applies to the Father and the "Lord" to the Son/Christ, still it claims equal divinity of Both, because nobody says "I am a servant of God" in any relative terms, but only in absolute terms, for to state "I am a servant of the Archangel Raphael" will amount to an idolatry. Now, in James 1:1 James claims that he is servant, in the same semantics of this word, of the God and the Lord; therefore, even if "God" here denotes Father and the "Lord" the Son (which is less plausible grammatically) still equal divinity of Both is affirmed given that James is servant of Both with the same semantics.

Moreover, as it is impossible to be a servant of the Father without simultaneously being a servant of the Son, so it is impossible for the Father to give anything (wisdom, love etc.) without the Son simultaneously co-giving this thing, for Father never acts, neither can He act, alone, but only through and with His Son.

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If you are interpreting as sectarians, then none of this makes sense. In the Apostolic Church, according to the 6th Ecumenical Council, it is necessary to follow the interpretation of the holy fathers, i.e. the best representatives of the Church since its foundation. We can see how the Holy Fathers interpreted it at Commentaries on James 1:7.

The Holy Fathers of the Church are people who were moved by the Holy Spirit. You cannot interpret the Holy Scriptures "as I want" or "as I understand" - this leads to hell. It should be interpreted in the way the Church teaches and has always taught.

That is why we can say that it is the Orthodox Church that has preserved the most complete and true interpretation of Scripture because it is very important to understand it correctly. A false interpretation is fatal. Yes, and everyone can see that the interpretation of Scripture by the holy fathers has an extraordinary depth to which we ourselves cannot reach - for this, we must be spiritually at least at their level, and in our time this is hardly possible. Anyone who thinks otherwise, apparently, has a very high conceit. A misunderstanding of the Holy Scriptures can and has led to heresy in history, and heresy is a mortal sin.

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    – agarza
    Jan 24 at 14:54
  • You can improve your answer by stating what the Holy Fathers of the Church said if Jesus is being asked for wisdom. Jan 25 at 6:43
  • I appreciate the attempt by @DimsanSuper to respond to the OP’s question, in that it exemplifies still another valid doctrinal viewpoint on this complex matter. Perspective is key, and in certain things there is, perhaps, only opinion, and no “right” answer.
    – Rachel
    Jan 30 at 5:29
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The 'revelation' is that Jesus is God himself; dwelling in a human body ( Beit-lechem).

The Shekinah in the temple, which is the human body, is God with us.

Pilate's inscription above the crucifixion was written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, I.N.R.I in the correct Hebrew grammar is- Yeho'shua HaNotsri V'Melech Hayehudim

YHVH. Our saviour, our rock , our God.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a SON is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And HE will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, Prince of Peace.

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