Re: James 1:14

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Apr 23 1997 - 13:02:28 EDT

At 10:39 AM -0500 4/23/97, Mike MacKinnon wrote:
>Dear Friends,
>I am currently in discussion with someone about James 1:14 and its proper
>translation. The Greek (from the UBS4) text reads like this:
>JAS 1:14 hekastos de peirazetai hupo ts idias epithumias exelkomenos kai
>Which I have rendered literally as this:
>"But each one is tempted by one's own [passion/]lust when one is drawn away
>and enticed..."
>The participles "exelkomenos" and "deleazomenos" can be either middle or
>passive, I suppose, but I chose passive to correspond with "peirazetai."
>The reason I am wondering about my translation is because of the NASB
>JAS 1:14 "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by
>his own lust."
>As a seminary student who has just completed his introductory Greek, I am
>wondering if my translation has merit??? Perhaps people could comment...

I think you're right to identify EXELKOMENOS and DELEAZOMENOS as passive
participles; the only thing I'd question about your translation is that it
seems to indicate that the person being attracted and seduced could be
someone other than the subject of PEIRAZETAI. But the agreement of number,
gender, and case of the participles with hEKASTOS makes it quite clear that
these are circumstantial (adverbial) participles used to further clarify
the general statement made by the main verb PEIRAZETAI. The problem would
go away if you'd simply substitute a "he" for your "one": " ... each one is
tempted by HIS own lust when HE is drawn away and enticed"--or more freely,
"An individual becomes subject to temptation by his own lust when he is
distracted and/or seduced."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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