James 1:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror

New Living Translation
For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.

English Standard Version
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

New American Standard Bible
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

King James Bible
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror.

International Standard Version
For if anyone hears the word but is not obedient to it, he is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror

NET Bible
For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For if a man will be a hearer of the word and not a doer of it, this one is like one who sees his face in a mirror,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If someone listens to God's word but doesn't do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror,

Jubilee Bible 2000
For if anyone hears the word and does not put it into practice, this same is like unto the man beholding his natural face in a mirror:

King James 2000 Bible
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror:

American King James Version
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

American Standard Version
For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror:

Douay-Rheims Bible
For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass.

Darby Bible Translation
For if any man be a hearer of [the] word and not a doer, *he* is like to a man considering his natural face in a mirror:

English Revised Version
For if any one is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror:

Webster's Bible Translation
For if any is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

Weymouth New Testament
For if any one listens but does not obey, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own face in a mirror.

World English Bible
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror;

Young's Literal Translation
because, if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one hath been like to a man viewing his natural face in a mirror,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:22-25 If we heard a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in hearing only, it would never bring us to heaven. Mere hearers are self-deceivers; and self-deceit will be found the worst deceit at last. If we flatter ourselves, it is our own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man. Let the word of truth be carefully attended to, and it will set before us the corruption of our nature, the disorders of our hearts and lives; and it will tell us plainly what we are. Our sins are the spots the law discovers: Christ's blood is the laver the gospel shows. But in vain do we hear God's word, and look into the gospel glass, if we go away, and forget our spots, instead of washing them off; and forget our remedy, instead of applying to it. This is the case with those who do not hear the word as they ought. In hearing the word, we look into it for counsel and direction, and when we study it, it turns to our spiritual life. Those who keep in the law and word of God, are, and shall be, blessed in all their ways. His gracious recompence hereafter, would be connected with his present peace and comfort. Every part of Divine revelation has its use, in bringing the sinner to Christ for salvation, and in directing and encouraging him to walk at liberty, by the Spirit of adoption, according to the holy commands of God. And mark the distinctness, it is not for his deeds, that any man is blessed, but in his deed. It is not talking, but walking, that will bring us to heaven. Christ will become more precious to the believer's soul, which by his grace will become more fitted for the inheritance of the saints in light.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 23, 24. - Illustration from life, showing the folly of being led astray. His natural face (τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως αὐτοῦ); literally, the face of his birth. The expression is an unusual one, but there is no doubt of its meaning. In a glass; rather, in a mirror, ἐν ἐσόπτρῳ: cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12, Δἰ ἐσόπτρου. The mirror of burnished brass.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,.... The Arabic version here again reads, "a hearer of the law", and so some copies; not hearing, but practice, is the main thing; not theory, but action: hence, says R. Simeon, not the word, or the searching into it, and the explanation of it, is the root, or principal thing, , "but the work" (p): and if a man is only a preacher, or a hearer, and not a doer,

he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass; or, "the face of his generation"; the face with which he was born; his true, genuine, native face; in distinction from any counterfeit one, or from the face of his mind: it means his own corporeal face. The Ethiopic version renders it, "the lineaments of his face".

(p) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 17.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. For—the logical self-deceit (Jas 1:22) illustrated.

not a doer—more literally, "a notdoer" [Alford]. The true disciple, say the rabbis, learns in order that he may do, not in order that he may merely know or teach.

his natural face—literally, "the countenance of his birth": the face he was born with. As a man may behold his natural face in a mirror, so the hearer may perceive his moral visage in God's Word. This faithful portraiture of man's soul in Scripture, is the strongest proof of the truth of the latter. In it, too, we see mirrored God's glory, as well as our natural vileness.

James 1:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
Hearing and Doing
22But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

James 1:24
and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Treasury of Scripture

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

See on ch.

James 2:14-26 What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, …

Jeremiah 44:16 As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, …

Ezekiel 33:31,32 And they come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you …

Matthew 7:26,27 And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, …

Luke 6:47-49 Whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will …

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