3rd person imperative

From: Eric Weiss (eweiss@acf.dhhs.gov)
Date: Mon Jun 10 1996 - 14:03:21 EDT

James 1:4

        And/but let patience have [its] perfect/complete work

Since we don't have a 3rd person imperative in English, this translation can
imply that YOU (the reader) are to let patience have its perfect work--in
other words, it now sounds like a [implied] second-person imperative. Is
there a better way to translate this so the force of the third-person
imperative comes out? (E.g., "patience must have [its] perfect work"--but
this isn't without problems, either, because it can now be construed as an
axiom or aphorism, rather than an imperative.) Or is the third person
imperative in James 1:4 really an idiom that in fact does mean that the
reader is the one who is to "let" this happen?

How about the third person imperatives in "the Lord's prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13),
i.e., "let your name be hallowed, let your kingdom come," etc.? Are these
idiomatic usages for what is really a second-person imperative, i.e.,
"Father: hallow your name; send your kingdom," etc.? Or is the imperatival
"command" in these verses really directed not at God but at God's name and
His kingdom, for them to "be hallowed" and "come," respectively?

Thanks for any help!

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