[b-greek] Re: James 1:13

From: Jim West (jwest@highland.net)
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 17:31:34 EDT

At 08:11 PM 7/11/00 +0000, you wrote:
>James 1:13
>I can not see the reasoning, or logical conclusion, to James' argument as it
>relates to the phrase "hO GAR QEOS APEIRASTOS ESTIN KAKWN."

why are you looking for "logic" in the greek/western sense of the word from
a writer that isnt interested in "logic" but "truth"? The truth James here
expresses is in contradistinction to the truth his pagan neighbors accepted-
i.e.- that Zeus (god) was the tempter as well as the helper. He is using
rabbinic argumentation-- from the greater to the lesser. If the greater is
true then it follows that the lesser is true--- so he states it like this:

A- God is not subject to temptation
B- God doesnt tempt anyone
- therefore- when you are tempted you arent tempted by God.

A- is the "greater" leg of the triangle-- God- who is greatest of all, is
not subject to temptation. All would most likely agree with this.

B- is the "lesser" leg of the triangle- God doesnt tempt you if he himself
cant be tempted for God doesnt do to you what he himself does not endure.

C- Therefore the simple truth follows that when you are tempted- its source
isnt God.

Now you might expect that James would word it in this order-- but in
Rabbinic argumentation the conclusion is offered first and not last. (you
greek/westerner you-- wanting th proof before the conclusion!!!!) :-)

In short- James is a Rabbi and he writes like one. He argues like one. And
he demonstrates truth like one-- not like a philosopher from Athens.

>I do not see the connection. The fact that God cannot be tempted does not
>seem to relate to whether or not I may think God is tempting me.

Because you are a modern westerner- influenced so profoundly by your
heritage that in many cases you dont even see the influence operative- as it
is here.
Become a first century Jew and you will have no problem at all understanding
what James says.

>In fact, I
>might respond, "Yes, I agree. God himself cannot be tempted by evil, but
>that is not my accusation. I am saying that God appears to be tempting me to
>I suspect that the resolution to this will involve, to some extent, a better
>understanding of the force of APEIRASTOS.

No- you have rightly understood this verb. It is the interpretive matrix
which has escaped you.

>Any help would be greatly appreciated.
>Last question: IAKWBOS
>Why is this James, and not Jacob?

AHHHHHHH-- Because we are westerners and we prefer our anglicized
pronunciation to an accurate rendering of the text itself......





Jim West, ThD

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