James 2:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.

New Living Translation
For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes.

English Standard Version
For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,

New American Standard Bible
For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,

King James Bible
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For example, a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in.

International Standard Version
Suppose a man wearing gold rings and fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor man in dirty clothes also comes in.

NET Bible
For if someone comes into your assembly wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For if a man will enter your assembly with a gold ring or fine clothing and a poor man enters in dirty clothing,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
For example, two men come to your worship service. One man is wearing gold rings and fine clothes; the other man, who is poor, is wearing shabby clothes.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For if a man with a gold ring and in precious apparel comes into your synagogue and a poor person in vile raiment also comes in,

King James 2000 Bible
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in fine apparel, and there come in also a poor man in shabby clothing;

American King James Version
For if there come to your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

American Standard Version
For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For if there shall come into your assembly a man having a golden ring, in fine apparel, and there shall come in also a poor man in mean attire,

Darby Bible Translation
for if there come unto your synagogue a man with a gold ring in splendid apparel, and a poor man also come in in vile apparel,

English Revised Version
For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing;

Webster's Bible Translation
For if there come into your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

Weymouth New Testament
For suppose a man comes into one of your meetings wearing gold rings and fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man wearing shabby clothes,

World English Bible
For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in;

Young's Literal Translation
for if there may come into your synagogue a man with gold ring, in gay raiment, and there may come in also a poor man in vile raiment,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-13 Those who profess faith in Christ as the Lord of glory, must not respect persons on account of mere outward circumstances and appearances, in a manner not agreeing with their profession of being disciples of the lowly Jesus. St. James does not here encourage rudeness or disorder: civil respect must be paid; but never such as to influence the proceedings of Christians in disposing of the offices of the church of Christ, or in passing the censures of the church, or in any matter of religion. Questioning ourselves is of great use in every part of the holy life. Let us be more frequent in this, and in every thing take occasion to discourse with our souls. As places of worship cannot be built or maintained without expense, it may be proper that those who contribute thereto should be accommodated accordingly; but were all persons more spiritually-minded, the poor would be treated with more attention that usually is the case in worshipping congregations. A lowly state is most favourable for inward peace and for growth in holiness. God would give to all believers riches and honours of this world, if these would do them good, seeing that he has chosen them to be rich in faith, and made them heirs of his kingdom, which he promised to bestow on all who love him. Consider how often riches lead to vice and mischief, and what great reproaches are thrown upon God and religion, by men of wealth, power, and worldly greatness; and it will make this sin appear very sinful and foolish. The Scripture gives as a law, to love our neighbour as ourselves. This law is a royal law, it comes from the King of kings; and if Christians act unjustly, they are convicted by the law as transgressors. To think that our good deeds will atone for our bad deeds, plainly puts us upon looking for another atonement. According to the covenant of works, one breach of any one command brings a man under condemnation, from which no obedience, past, present, or future, can deliver him. This shows us the happiness of those that are in Christ. We may serve him without slavish fear. God's restraints are not a bondage, but our own corruptions are so. The doom passed upon impenitent sinners at last, will be judgment without mercy. But God deems it his glory and joy, to pardon and bless those who might justly be condemned at his tribunal; and his grace teaches those who partake of his mercy, to copy it in their conduct.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 2-4. - Proof that they were guilty of respect of persons. Observe the insight which this passage gives us into the cha-racier of the assemblies of the early Christians, showing

(1) that the entrance of a rich man was not entirely unknown, but

(2) that it was probably exceptional, because so much was made of him. Notice

(3) συναγωγή used here, and here only in the New Testament, of a Christian assembly for worship (cf. Ignatius, 'Ad Polye.,' c. 4, Πυκνότερον συναγωγαὶ γινέσθωσαν). (On the distinction between συναγωγὴ and ἔκκλησία, and the history of the terms and their use, see an interesting section in Trench's ' Synonyms,' p. 1.) Verse 2. - A man with a gold ring (ἀνὴρ χρυσοδακτύλιος). The word is found here only. The English Versions (both A.V. and R.V.) needlessly limit its meaning. The man was probably bedecked with a number of rings, and had not one only. In goodly apparel. The same phrase is rendering "gay clothing" in ver. 3. The variation is quite unnecessary, the Greek being identical in both places, and rightly rendered by R.V. "fine clothing." It is curious to find a similar needless variation in the Vulgate, which has in veste candida in ver. 2, and veste proeclara in ver. 3.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For if there come unto your assembly,.... The place of religious worship where saints are assembled together for that purpose; though some think a civil court of judicature is intended, and to which the context seems to incline; see James 2:6

a man with a gold ring; on his finger, which shows him to be a man of dignity and wealth; so those of the senatorian and equestrian orders among the Romans were distinguished from the common people by wearing gold rings; though in time the use of them became promiscuous (q); the ancients used to wear but one (r), as here but one is mentioned; and only freemen, not servants, might wear it: however, by this circumstance, the apostle describes a rich man, adding,

in goodly apparel; gay clothing, bright shining garments, glistering with gold and silver, very rich and costly, as well as whole, neat, and clean:

and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; mean and despicable, filthy and ragged: in the courts of judicature with the Jews, two men, who were at law with one another, might not have different apparel on while they were in court, and their cause was trying: their law runs thus (s);

"two adversaries (at law with each other), if one of them is clothed "with precious garments", (Myrqy Mydgb, "goodly apparel",) and the other is clothed with , "vile raiment", (the judge) says to the honourable person, either clothe him as thou art, while thou contendest with him, or be clothed as he is, that ye may be alike, or on an equal foot.''

(q) Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 29. (r) Isidor. Hispal. Originum, l. 19. c. 32. p. 171. (s) Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 21. sect. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2, 3. "If there chance to have come" [Alford].

assembly—literally, "synagogue"; this, the latest honorable use, and the only Christian use of the term in the New Testament, occurs in James's Epistle, the apostle who maintained to the latest possible moment the bonds between the Jewish synagogue and the Christian Church. Soon the continued resistance of the truth by the Jews led Christians to leave the term to them exclusively (Re 3:9). The "synagogue" implies a mere assembly or congregation not necessarily united by any common tie. "Church," a people bound together by mutual ties and laws, though often it may happen that the members are not assembled [Trench and Vitringa]. Partly from James' Hebrew tendencies, partly from the Jewish Christian churches retaining most of the Jewish forms, this term "synagogue" is used here instead of the Christian term "Church" (ecclesia, derived from a root, "called out," implying the union of its members in spiritual bonds, independent of space, and called out into separation from the world); an undesigned coincidence and mark of truth. The people in the Jewish synagogue sat according to their rank, those of the same trade together. The introduction of this custom into Jewish Christian places of worship is here reprobated by James. Christian churches were built like the synagogues, the holy table in the east end of the former, as the ark was in the latter; the desk and pulpit were the chief articles of furniture in both alike. This shows the error of comparing the Church to the temple, and the ministry to the priesthood; the temple is represented by the whole body of worshippers; the church building was formed on the model of the synagogue. See Vitringa [Synagogue and Temple].

goodly apparel … gay clothing—As the Greek, is the same in both, translate both alike, "gay," or "splendid clothing."

James 2:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Warning against Favoritism
1My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 2For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"…
Cross References
Zechariah 3:3
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.

Luke 23:11
Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.

James 2:3
If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet,"
Treasury of Scripture

For if there come to your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

assembly. Gr. synagogue. gold.

Esther 3:10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it to Haman the …

Esther 8:2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and …

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and …

goodly.

Genesis 27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her oldest son Esau, which were …

Matthew 11:8,9 But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? …

in vile.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are …

Zechariah 3:3,4 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel…

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