James 2:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

New Living Translation
Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

English Standard Version
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

New American Standard Bible
If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well.

King James Bible
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Indeed, if you keep the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.

International Standard Version
Nevertheless, you are doing the right thing if you obey the royal Law in keeping with the Scripture, "You must love your neighbor as yourself."

NET Bible
But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And if you fulfill The Written Law of God in this, as it is written: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, you are doing well.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You are doing right if you obey this law from the highest authority: "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Jubilee Bible 2000
If ye truly fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well;

King James 2000 Bible
If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well:

American King James Version
If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well:

American Standard Version
Howbeit if ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:

Douay-Rheims Bible
If then you fulfil the royal law, according to the scriptures, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; you do well.

Darby Bible Translation
If indeed ye keep [the] royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.

English Revised Version
Howbeit if ye fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Webster's Bible Translation
If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:

Weymouth New Testament
If, however, you are keeping the Law as supreme, in obedience to the Commandment which says "You are to love your fellow man just as you love yourself," you are acting rightly.

World English Bible
However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well.

Young's Literal Translation
If, indeed, royal law ye complete, according to the Writing, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' -- ye do well;
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

Verse 8 - What is the connection with the foregoing? Μέντοι is ignored altogether by the A.V. Translate, with R.V., howbeit if ye fulfill, etc.; Vulgate, tamen. According to Huther, St. James here meets the attempt which his readers might, perhaps, make to justify their conduct towards the rich with the law of love; whilst he grants to them that the fulfillment of that law is something excellent, he designates προσωποληπτεῖν directly as a transgression of the law. Alford thinks that the apostle is simply guarding his own argument from misconstruction - a view which is simpler and perhaps more natural. The royal law. Why is the law of love thus styled? (The Syriac has simply "the law of God.")

(1) As being the most excellent of all laws; as we might call it the sovereign principle of our conduct (cf. Plato 'Min.,' p. 317, c, Τὸ ὀρθὸν νόμος ἐστὶ βασιλικός). Such an expression is natural enough in a Greek writer; but it is strange in a Jew like St. James (in the LXX. βασιλικός is always used in its literal meaning); and as the "kingdom" has been spoken of just before (ver. 5), it is better

(2) to take the expression as literal here - "the law of the kingdom" (cf. Plumptre, in loc.). Thou shalt love, etc. (Leviticus 19:18). The law had received the sanction of the King himself (Matthew 22:39; Luke 10:26-28).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If ye fulfil the royal law,.... Which is the law of love to men, without distinction of rich and poor, high and low, bond and free; and is so called, because it is the law of the King of kings; hence the Syriac version renders it, "the law of God", it is the law of Christ, who is King of saints; and because it is a principal law, the chief of laws; as love to God is the sum of the first and great commandment in the law, and may be called the king of laws; so love to the neighbour is the second and next unto it, and may very well bear the name of the queen of laws, and so has royalty in it; and indeed this last is said to be the fulfilling of the law, Romans 13:8 and it is also submitted to, and obeyed by such who are made kings and priests to God; and that in a royal manner, with a princely spirit, willingly, and with all readiness: the same word, in the Hebrew language, signifies "princes", and to be willing. The Jews frequently ascribe royalty to the law, and often speak of , "the crown of the law" (w); and they suppose the Israelites had crowns upon their heads, when the law was given them on Mount Sinai, in which were engraven the name of God, and which they were stripped of when they made the golden calf (x): now this royal law is fulfilled, when it is regarded without respect of persons,

according to the Scripture, in Leviticus 19:18

thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself; and which is to be understood of every nation, without distinction of Jews and Gentiles, and of persons of every state and condition, rich and poor, without any difference: and when this law is so observed, it is commendable:

ye do well: that which is right, and which is a man's duty to do; this, when done from right principles, and to a right end, is a good work, and is doing a good work well.

(w) Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 13. & Abot R. Nathan, c. 41. T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 28. 2. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 4. fol. 183. 2. & sect. 14. fol. 215. 2. & Midrash Kohelet, fol. 73. 4. Targum Jon in Deuteronomy 34.5. (x) Vid. Targum. Jon. & Jerus. in Exodus 32.25. & xxxiii. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. The Greek may be translated, "If, however, ye fulfil," &c., that is, as Alford, after Estius, explains, "Still I do not say, hate the rich (for their oppressions) and drive them from your assemblies; if you choose to observe the royal law … well and good; but respect of persons is a breach of that law." I think the translation is, "If in very deed (or 'indeed on the one hand') ye fulfil the royal law … ye do well, but if (on the other hand) ye respect persons, ye practice sin." The Jewish Christians boasted of, and rested in, the "law" (Ac 15:1; 21:18-24; Ro 2:17; Ga 2:12). To this the "indeed" alludes. "(Ye rest in the law): If indeed (then) ye fulfil it, ye do well; but if," &c.

royal—the law that is king of all laws, being the sum and essence of the ten commandments. The great King, God, is love; His law is the royal law of love, and that law, like Himself, reigns supreme. He "is no respecter of persons"; therefore to respect persons is at variance with Him and His royal law, which is at once a law of love and of liberty (Jas 2:12). The law is the "whole"; "the (particular) Scripture" (Le 19:18) quoted is a part. To break a part is to break the whole (Jas 2:10).

ye do well—being "blessed in your deed" ("doing," Margin) as a doer, not a forgetful hearer of the law (Jas 1:25).

James 2:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Warning against Favoritism
7Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? 8If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.…
Cross References
Leviticus 19:18
"'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:10
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.

James 4:11
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
Treasury of Scripture

If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well:

the royal.

James 2:12 So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

James 1:25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues …

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, …

Thou.

Leviticus 19:18,34 You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of …

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:31-33 And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor …

Luke 10:27-37 And he answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all …

Romans 13:8,9 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves …

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall …

Galatians 6:2 Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love you need not that I write to you: …

ye do.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, …

1 Kings 8:18 And the LORD said to David my father, Whereas it was in your heart …

2 Kings 7:9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day …

Jonah 4:4,9 Then said the LORD, Do you well to be angry…

Matthew 25:21,23 His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you …

Philippians 4:14 Notwithstanding you have well done, that you did communicate with my affliction.

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