James 1:27
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

New Living Translation
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

English Standard Version
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

New American Standard Bible
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

King James Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

International Standard Version
A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

NET Bible
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For pure and holy ministry before God The Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their affliction, and for a man to keep his soul without defilement from the world.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Pure, unstained religion, according to God our Father, is to take care of orphans and widows when they suffer and to remain uncorrupted by this world.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation and to keep thyself unspotted from this world.

King James 2000 Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

American King James Version
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

American Standard Version
Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one's self unspotted from this world.

Darby Bible Translation
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

English Revised Version
Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Webster's Bible Translation
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Weymouth New Testament
The religious service which is pure and stainless in the sight of our God and Father is to visit fatherless children and widowed women in their time of trouble, and to keep one's own self unspotted from the world.

World English Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Young's Literal Translation
religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation -- unspotted to keep himself from the world.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:26,27 When men take more pains to seem religious than really to be so, it is a sign their religion is in vain. The not bridling the tongue, readiness to speak of the faults of others, or to lessen their wisdom and piety, are signs of a vain religion. The man who has a slandering tongue, cannot have a truly humble, gracious heart. False religious may be known by their impurity and uncharitableness. True religion teaches us to do every thing as in the presence of God. An unspotted life must go with unfeigned love and charity. Our true religion is equal to the measure in which these things have place in our hearts and conduct. And let us remember, that nothing avails in Christ Jesus, but faith that worketh by love, purifies the heart, subdues carnal lusts, and obeys God's commands.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 27. - God and the Father; rather, our God and Father. The article (τῷ) binds together Θεῷ and Πατρί, so that they should not be separated, as in the A.V. To visit the fatherless... and to keep himself unspotted. Observe that our duty towards our fellow-men is placed first; then that towards ourselves. Ἐπισκέπτεσθαι is the regular word for visiting the sick; cf. Ecclus. 7:35, "Be not slow to visit the sick (μὴ ὄκει ἐπισκέτεσπθαι ἀῥῤωστον)." The fatherless and widows (ὀρφανοὺς καὶ χήρας). These stand here (as so often in the Old Testament) as types of persons in distress; the "personae miserabiles" of the Canon Law (see e.g. Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 68:5; Psalm 82:3; Isaiah 1:17; and cf. Ecclus. 4:10). "Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of an husband unto their mother; so shalt thou be as the son of the Most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth." To keep himself unspotted. Man's duty towards himself. (For ἄσπιλον, cf. 1 Timothy 6:14; 1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14.) From the world. This clause may be connected either with τηρεῖν or with ἄσπιλον, as in the phrase, καθαρὸς ἀπὸ in Acts 20:26.





Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Pure religion and undefiled,.... That which is sincere and genuine, and free from adulteration and hypocrisy:

before God and the Father; or in the sight of God the Father of Christ, and all his people; that which is approved of by him, who is the searcher of hearts, and the trier of the reins of men, "is this": not that the apostle is giving a full definition of true religion; only he mentions some of the effects of it, by which it is known, and without which it cannot be true and genuine; and they are these:

to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction; and not only to see them, and speak a word of comfort to them, but to communicate to them, and supply their wants, as they may require, and according to the ability God has given: where there is true religion in the heart, there is love to God; and where there is love to God, there is love to the saints; and this will show itself to them, in times of affliction and distress; and where this is wanting, religion itself is not pure and undefiled:

and to keep himself unspotted from the world: from the men of the world, who defile by their evil communications; and "from the vices of the world", as the Arabic version renders it, which are of a defiling nature; and, where religion is in its power and purity, and the Gospel of the grace of God comes with efficacy, it teaches to separate from the rest of the world, and to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

27. Pure … and undefiled—"Pure" is that love which has in it no foreign admixture, as self-deceit and hypocrisy. "Undefiled" is the means of its being "pure" [Tittmann]. "Pure" expresses the positive, "undefiled" the negative side of religious service; just as visiting the fatherless and widow is the active, keeping himself unspotted from the world, the passive side of religious duty. This is the nobler shape that our religious exercises take, instead of the ceremonial offices of the law.

before God and the Father—literally, "before Him who is (our) God and Father." God is so called to imply that if we would be like our Father, it is not by fasting, &c., for He does none of these things, but in being "merciful as our Father is merciful" [Chrysostom].

visit—in sympathy and kind offices to alleviate their distresses.

the fatherless—whose "Father" is God (Ps 68:5); peculiarly helpless.

and—not in the Greek; so close is the connection between active works of mercy to others, and the maintenance of personal unworldliness of spirit, word, and deed; no copula therefore is needed. Religion in its rise interests us about ourselves in its progress, about our fellow creatures: in its highest stage, about the honor of God.

keep himself—with jealous watchfulness, at the same time praying and depending on God as alone able to keep us (Joh 17:15; Jude 24).

James 1:27 Additional Commentaries
Context
Hearing and Doing
26If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. 27Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Cross References
Deuteronomy 14:29
so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Job 31:16
"If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,

Job 31:17
if I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless--

Psalm 146:9
The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:23
Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.

Matthew 12:32
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Matthew 25:36
I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Romans 2:13
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Galatians 3:11
Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because "the righteous will live by faith."

Ephesians 2:2
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Titus 2:12
It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

James 3:9
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness.

James 4:4
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

2 Peter 1:4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 2:20
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

2 Peter 3:14
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

1 John 5:18
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
Treasury of Scripture

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Pure.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, …

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments …

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and …

1 Timothy 5:4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to …

To visit.

Job 29:12,13 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and …

Job 31:15-20 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion …

Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in …

Isaiah 1:16,17 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before …

Isaiah 58:6,7 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, …

Matthew 25:34-46 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed …

Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; …

Galatians 6:9,10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall …

1 John 3:17-19 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, …

to keep.

James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship …

John 17:14,15 I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because …

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the …

Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this …

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord …

Colossians 3:1-3 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, …

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If …

1 John 5:4,5,18 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the …

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