James 3:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

New Living Translation
For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

English Standard Version
This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

New American Standard Bible
This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

King James Bible
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

International Standard Version
That kind of wisdom does not come from above. No, it is worldly, self-centered, and demonic.

NET Bible
Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because this wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, from the thoughts of the self and from demons.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic.

Jubilee Bible 2000
This wisdom is not that which descends from above, but is earthly, natural, diabolical.

King James 2000 Bible
This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

American King James Version
This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

American Standard Version
This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish.

Darby Bible Translation
This is not the wisdom which comes down from above, but earthly, natural, devilish.

English Revised Version
This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Webster's Bible Translation
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, demoniacal.

Weymouth New Testament
That is not the wisdom which comes down from above: it belongs to earth, to the unspiritual nature, and to evil spirits.

World English Bible
This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic.

Young's Literal Translation
this wisdom is not descending from above, but earthly, physical, demon-like,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 15-18. - Contrast between the earthly and the heavenly wisdom:

(1) the earthly (vers. 15, 16);

(2) the heavenly (vers. 17, 18). Verse 15. - " This wisdom [of which you boast] is not a wisdom which cometh down from above." Vulgate, non est enim ista sctpientia desursum descendens. But is earthly, sensual, devilish. Dr. Farrar well says that this wisdom is "earthly because it avariciously cares for the goods of earth (Philippians 3:19); animal, because it is under the sway of animal lusts (1 Corinthians 2:14); demon-like, because full of pride, egotism, malignity, and ambition, which are the works of the devil (1 Timothy 4:1)." Sensual (ψυχική), Vulgate, animalis; R.V. margin, natural or animal. The position of the word is remarkable, occurring between ἐπίγειος and δαιμονιώδης. it is never found in the LXX., nor (apparently) in the apostolic Fathers. In the New Testament it occurs six times - three times of the "natural" body, which is contrasted with the σῶμα πνευματικόν (1 Corinthians 15:44 (twice), 46); and three times with a moral emphasis resting upon it, "and in every instance a most depreciatory" (see 1 Corinthians 2:14), "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God," and Jude 1:19, Ψυχικοὶ, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες. The ψυχή in general in the New Testament is that which is common to man with the brute creation, including the passions, appetites, etc.; and therefore, by the use of this word ψυχικός to describe the wisdom which cometh not from above, but is "earthly, sensual [or, 'animal'], devilish," we are reminded of the contrast between the spirit of man which goeth upward and the spirit of a beast which goeth downward (Ecclesiastes 3:21). The "animal" man, then, is one who is ruled entirely by the ψυχή in the lower sense of the word; and by the depreciatory sense given to the adjective we are strongly reminded that "nature" is nothing without the aid of grace. See further Archbishop Trench's 'Synonyms of the N. T.,' § 71, and for the later history of the word (it was applied by the Montanists to the orthodox), Suicer's 'Thesaurus,' vol. it. p. 1589.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

This wisdom descendeth not from above,.... If it must be called wisdom, as it ought not; an envious, quarrelsome, and contentious spirit, does not deserve such a name; yet if any will call it so, or can think that a man of such a disposition is a man possessed of wisdom; it is such wisdom as does not come from above, from heaven, from the Father of lights, from Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and from the spirit of wisdom and revelation: what the Jews say (o) of the wisdom of Egypt, may be said of this, that it is "wisdom from below", or inferior wisdom, as it follows:

but is earthly, sensual, and devilish; it is "earthly", or of the earth, and springs from thence; and it is only conversant about earthly things, and is only suitable to earthly minds: it is sensual, or natural; what a natural man, one destitute of the Spirit of God, and without the knowledge of the things of the Spirit, may have; it is what is acquired by the mere strength of nature, and only relates to natural things; and is only agreeable to corrupt nature, or to a natural and unregenerate man: yea, it is devilish, or such as the devil himself has; and which comes from him, and being used, serves only his kingdom and interest.

(o) Zohar in Gen. fol. 119. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15. This wisdom—in which ye "glory," as if ye were "wise" (Jas 3:13, 14).

descendeth not from above—literally, "is not one descending," &c.: "from the Father of lights" (true illumination and wisdom), Jas 1:17; through "the Spirit of truth," Joh 15:26.

earthly—opposed to heavenly. Distinct from "earthy," 1Co 15:47. Earthly is what is IN the earth; earthy, what is of the earth.

sensual—literally, "animal-like": the wisdom of the "natural" (the same Greek) man, not born again of God; "not having the Spirit" (Jude 19).

devilish—in its origin (from "hell," Jas 3:6; not from God, the Giver of true wisdom, Jas 1:5), and also in its character, which accords with its origin. Earthly, sensual, and devilish, answer to the three spiritual foes of man, the world, the flesh, and the devil.

James 3:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
True Wisdom from Above
14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 2:6
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness";

2 Corinthians 1:12
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.

2 Thessalonians 2:9
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,

1 Timothy 4:1
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Jude 1:19
These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Revelation 2:24
Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets, 'I will not impose any other burden on you,
Treasury of Scripture

This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

wisdom.

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

James 1:5,17 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all …

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but …

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

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory …

but.

2 Samuel 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah …

2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators …

2 Samuel 16:23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counceled in those days, …

Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are silly …

Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely…

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

1 Corinthians 1:19,20,27 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will …

1 Corinthians 2:6,7 However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the …

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, …

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that …

Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

sensual. or, natural.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: …

devilish.

Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which …

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you …

Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, you child of the …

2 Corinthians 11:3,13-15 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through …

1 John 3:8-10 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the …

Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless …

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, …

Jump to Previous
Belongs Demonic Descendeth Descending Devil Earth Earthly Evil Flesh Heaven Natural Nature Physical Sensual Spirits Unspiritual Wisdom
Jump to Next
Belongs Demonic Descendeth Descending Devil Earth Earthly Evil Flesh Heaven Natural Nature Physical Sensual Spirits Unspiritual Wisdom
Links
James 3:15 NIV
James 3:15 NLT
James 3:15 ESV
James 3:15 NASB
James 3:15 KJV

James 3:15 Bible Apps
James 3:15 Bible Suite
James 3:15 Biblia Paralela
James 3:15 Chinese Bible
James 3:15 French Bible
James 3:15 German Bible

Alphabetical: above but come comes demonic devil does down earthly from heaven is natural not of Such that the This unspiritual which wisdom

NT Letters: James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes (Ja Jas. Jam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
James 3:14
Top of Page
Top of Page