Re: James 2:9

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Wed May 13 1998 - 13:03:40 EDT

George Athas wrote;

>It may be only coincidence, but quite often, the person(s) who ran
>beside the chariot of the king in the ancient near east was a
>'transgressing' monarch or chief of some kind. He was put there as a
>punishment to humiliate him and show his real subordination to the king,
>or he was sometimes lashed to the spokes or side of the chariot to die
>as the chariot entered the battle. I don't know if this is what James
>had in mind, though.
No, George, you have now committed the etymological falacy. What James
says has nothing to do with a "transgressing" monarch. It simply says that
a person who shows prejudice has accomplished a sin and is judged by the
law as one who has transgressed, i.e., gone beyond the law of Christ, love.
As Edward said, etymology can be fun and it can help us understand how the
same word can come to two different things, but we must not try and make
every occurance have some of the same meaning. Note: I BANK at 5600 Main
Street. Any doubt about what bank means. The plane BANKS as it comes in
to land. I'm BANKING on you. I stood on the BANK and fished. Now I'm
sure that there is some interesting etymology here, but I don't need any of
it to understand perfectly what each of these sentences means.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Pineville, LA 71359

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