James 3:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

New Living Translation
But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying.

English Standard Version
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

Berean Study Bible
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast in it or deny the truth.

Berean Literal Bible
But if you have bitter jealousy and self-interest in your heart, do not boast of it and lie against the truth.

New American Standard Bible
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

King James Bible
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't brag and deny the truth.

International Standard Version
But if you have bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, stop boasting and slandering the truth.

NET Bible
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth.

New Heart English Bible
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and do not lie against the truth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if you have bitter envy or contention in your hearts, do not be puffed up against the truth and lie.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But if you are bitterly jealous and filled with self-centered ambition, don't brag. Don't say that you are wise when it isn't true.

New American Standard 1977
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not and do not be liars against the truth.

King James 2000 Bible
But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not, and lie not against the truth.

American King James Version
But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

American Standard Version
But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts; glory not, and be not liars against the truth.

Darby Bible Translation
but if ye have bitter emulation and strife in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

English Revised Version
But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Weymouth New Testament
But if in your hearts you have bitter feelings of envy and rivalry, do not speak boastfully and falsely, in defiance of the truth.

World English Bible
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast and don't lie against the truth.

Young's Literal Translation
and if bitter zeal ye have, and rivalry in your heart, glory not, nor lie against the truth;
Study Bible
The Wisdom from Above
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good conduct, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast in it or deny the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.…
Cross References
Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow wickedness, there will be wrath and anger.

2 Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I wish, and you may not find me as you wish. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, rage, rivalry, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.

Galatians 5:20
idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions,

1 Timothy 2:4
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

James 1:18
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of His creation.

James 3:16
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.

James 5:19
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,
Treasury of Scripture

But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

if.

James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

James 4:1-5 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even …

Genesis 30:1,2 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied …

Genesis 37:11 And his brothers envied him; but his father observed the saying.

Job 5:2 For wrath kills the foolish man, and envy slays the silly one.

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Isaiah 11:13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah …

Habakkuk 1:3 Why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for …

Matthew 27:18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Acts 5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which …

Acts 7:9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but …

Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, …

Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, …

Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, …

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and …

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs …

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, …

Galatians 5:15,21,26 But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not …

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness …

1 Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes …

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, …

1 Peter 2:1,2 Why laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and …

glory.

Romans 2:17,23 Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God…

1 Corinthians 4:7,8 For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that …

1 Corinthians 5:2,6 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that …

Galatians 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but …

and lie.

2 Kings 10:16,31 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they …

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that …

Acts 26:9 I truly thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary …

(14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts.--Rather, it should be, bitter zeal and party-spirit. "Above all no zeal" was the worldly caution of an astute French prelate. But that against which the Apostle inveighed had caused Jerusalem to run with blood, and afterwards helped in her last hour to add horror upon shame. The Zealots were really assassins, pledged to any iniquity; such were the forty men "who bound themselves under a curse, saying they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul" (Acts 23:12; see Note there). Some of these desperadoes unluckily escaped the swords of the Romans, and fled to the fastnesses of Mount Lebanon. They were probably the nucleus of a still more infamous society, known in the middle ages as that of the Old Man of the Mountain; in fact, our word "assassin" comes from "Hassan," their first sheik. Happily for humanity they were at length exterminated by the Turks.

Glory not.--Boast not yourselves as partakers of this accursed zeal; behold already what ruin it is bringing on us as a nation and a Church. And it were well to take care even in these milder days of religious factions, that the strife of creeds be wholly different in kind from the old zealot feuds, and not merely in degree. Able only to rend and overthrow, party-spirit will, if it be gloried and exulted in, lay down the walls of Zion "even to the ground." But "if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy" (1Corinthians 3:17), and the words must be translated much more sternly, "If any man destroy . . ."

Lie not against the truth.--This is not tautology, nor a Hebraism, but of far deeper import. "What is truth?" said jesting Pilate (John 18:38), and, as Bacon remarks in his Essay on Truth, he would not stay for an answer. Probably he put a question familiar to himself, learned in a certain school of knowledge whose wise conclusion was that mankind could not tell; and the inquirer turned away, unwitting that before him stood the incarnate Truth itself. The world of unbelief repeats the careless utterance of the Roman Governor, and holds with him in its new Agnosticism; and to its self-assurance and pride of life He, Who can only be learned in the doing of His will (John 7:17), is alike unknowable and unknown. But the words of the Apostle have a mournful significance for the ignorant of God; and a terrible one for the Christian who knows and sins against the Light. Falsehood is not the hurt of some abstract virtue, or bare rule of right and wrong, but a direct blow at the living Truth (John 14:6), Who suffered and still "endures such contradiction of sinners against Himself" (Hebrews 12:3). As the fault of Judas was double--personal treachery against his Friend and Master, and a wider attack on Christ, the Truth manifest in the flesh--so in a like two-fold manner we smite at once God and our brother when we speak or act a lie. All faintest shades of falsehood tend to the dark one of a fresh betrayal of the Son of Man if they be conceived against others, while if they be wrought only to shield ourselves, we are. as Montaigne observed, "brave before God, and cowards before men," who are as the dust of His feet.

Verse 14. - Bitter envying, Ζῆλος in itself may be either good or bad, and therefore πικρόν is added to characterize it. Bishop Lightfoot (on Galatians 5:20) points out that "as it is the tendency of Christian teaching to exalt the gentler qualities and to depress their opposites, ζῆλος falls in the scale of Christian ethics (see Clem. Romans, §§ 4-6), while ταπεινότης, for instance, rises." It may, perhaps, be an incidental mark of early date that St. James finds it necessary to characterize ζῆλος as πικρόν. Where St. Paul joins it with ἐριθείαι and ἔρις there is no qualifying adjective (Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:20). (On the distinction between ζῆλος and φθόνος, both of which are used by St. James, see Archbishop Trench on 'Synonyms,' § 26.). Strife (ἐριθείαν); better, party spirit, or faction (cf. Romans 2:8; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:20; Philippians 1:17; Philippians 2:3). The A.V. "strife" comes from a wrong derivation, as if ἐριθεία were connected with ἔρις, whereas it really comes from ἔριθος, a hired laborer, and so signifies

(1) working for hire;

(2) the canvassing of hired partisans; and

(3) factiousness in general (see Lightfoot on Galatians 5:20). Glory not; i.e. glory not of your wisdom, a boast to which your whole conduct thus gives the lie. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts,.... Though these may not be expressed by words, or actions: envy at the happiness of others, whether at the external blessings of Providence, as riches and honours, or at the internal endowments of their minds, as their wisdom and knowledge, their parts and abilities, is a root of bitterness in the heart, which bears wormwood and gall, and produces bitter effects in the persons in whom it is; it embitters their minds against their neighbours and friends; it is rottenness in their bones, and slays and destroys those who are so silly as to be governed by it; and also in the persons the objects of it; for who can stand before it? and strife in the mind, or an intention to strive end quarrel with others, who are the objects of envy, is very sinful, and of pernicious consequence: and if these be fomented and cherished in the minds and breasts of men, though they may not outwardly show themselves, yet

glory not; let not such boast of their being Gnostics, wise men, and endued with knowledge; they are far from deserving such a character; and such boasting is contrary to truth, yea, is lying against it, as follows:

and lie not against the truth; for, for a man to assert himself to be a wise and knowing man, and yet cherishes bitterness in his heart, and quarrelling and contention in his mind, arising from envy, at the equal or superior knowledge of others, he lies both against the truth of God's word and his own conscience, which condemn such things as ignorance, folly, and madness. 14. if ye have—as is the case (this is implied in the Greek indicative).

bitter—Eph 4:31, "bitterness."

envying—rather, "emulation," or literally, "zeal": kindly, generous emulation, or zeal, is not condemned, but that which is "bitter" [Bengel].

strife—rather, "rivalry."

in your hearts—from which flow your words and deeds, as from a fountain.

glory not, and lie not against the truth—To boast of your wisdom is virtually a lying against the truth (the gospel), while your lives belie your glorying. Jas 3:15; Jas 1:18, "The word of truth." Ro 2:17, 23, speaks similarly of the same contentious Jewish Christians.3:13-18 These verses show the difference between men's pretending to be wise, and their being really so. He who thinks well, or he who talks well, is not wise in the sense of the Scripture, if he does not live and act well. True wisdom may be know by the meekness of the spirit and temper. Those who live in malice, envy, and contention, live in confusion; and are liable to be provoked and hurried to any evil work. Such wisdom comes not down from above, but springs up from earthly principles, acts on earthly motives, and is intent on serving earthly purposes. Those who are lifted up with such wisdom, described by the apostle James, is near to the Christian love, described by the apostle Paul; and both are so described that every man may fully prove the reality of his attainments in them. It has no disguise or deceit. It cannot fall in with those managements the world counts wise, which are crafty and guileful; but it is sincere, and open, and steady, and uniform, and consistent with itself. May the purity, peace, gentleness, teachableness, and mercy shown in all our actions, and the fruits of righteousness abounding in our lives, prove that God has bestowed upon us this excellent gift.
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