James 5:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

New Living Translation
you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

English Standard Version
let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

New American Standard Bible
let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

King James Bible
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.

International Standard Version
you may be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from his wrong path will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

NET Bible
he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way gives life to his soul from death and blots out the multitude of his sins.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Realize that whoever brings a sinner back from the error of his ways will save him from death, and many sins will be forgiven.

Jubilee Bible 2000
let that one know, that whosoever causes the sinner to convert from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall cover a multitude of sins.

King James 2000 Bible
Let him know, that he who converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

American King James Version
Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

American Standard Version
let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

Darby Bible Translation
let him know that he that brings back a sinner from [the] error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall cover a multitude of sins.

English Revised Version
let him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will hide a multitude of sins.

Weymouth New Testament
let him know that he who brings a sinner back from his evil ways will save the man's soul from death and throw a veil over a multitude of sins.

World English Bible
let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.

Young's Literal Translation
let him know that he who did turn back a sinner from the straying of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:19,20 It is no mark of a wise or holy man, to boast of being free from error, or to refuse to acknowledge an error. And there is some doctrinal mistake at the bottom of every practical mistake. There is no one habitually bad, but upon some bad principle. This is conversion; to turn a sinner from the error of his ways, not merely from one party to another, or from one notion and way of thinking to another. There is no way effectually and finally to hide sin, but forsaking it. Many sins are hindered in the party converted; many also may be so in others whom he may influence. The salvation of one soul is of infinitely greater importance than preserving the lives of multitudes, or promoting the welfare of a whole people. Let us in our several stations keep these things in mind, sparing no pains in God's service, and the event will prove that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. For six thousand years He has been multiplying pardons, and yet his free grace is not tired nor grown weary. Certainly Divine mercy is an ocean that is ever full and ever flowing. May the Lord give us a part in this abundant mercy, through the blood of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Let him know. So א, A, K, L, Latt., Syriac, B has γινώσκετε, "know ye." After ψυχὴν, א, A, and Vulgate add αὐτοῦ. B has it after θανάτου. And shall cover a multitude of sins (καλύψει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν). The same expression occurs in 1 Peter 4:8, "Charity covereth a multitude of sins." It is founded on Proverbs 10:12, תְּכַסֶּה אַהֲבָה וְעַל כָּל־פְשָׁעִים, "Love covereth all sins," where the LXX. goes entirely astray: Πάντας δὲ τοὺς μὴ φιλονεικοῦντας καλύπτει φιλία: but cf. Psalm 31:1; Psalm 84:3, in the LXX. It is difficult to believe that St. Peter and St. James independently hit upon the rendering πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν for the Hebrew כָּל־פְּשָׂעִים, as there was nothing to suggest it, the LXX. never rendering כֹּל by πλῆθος. Probably the one was consciously or unconsciously influenced by the other. The striking position which the words occupy here, as those with which the Epistle closes, would make them linger in the memory; and there is nothing to militate against the conclusion, which appeared probable on the occasion of previous coincidences between the two writers, that St. James is the earlier of the two (comp. on James 4:6). The expression used by the apostle leaves it undetermined whose sins are thus "covered," whether

(1) those of the man who is "converted from the error of his way," or

(2) those of the man who wins him back, and through this good action obtains, by the grace of God, pardon for his own "multitude of sins." It has been well noticed that "there is a studied generality in the form of the teaching which seems to emphasize the wide blessedness of love. In the very act of seeking to convert one for whom we care we must turn to God ourselves, and in covering the past sins of another our own also are covered. In such an act love reaches its highest point, and that love includes the faith in God which is the condition of forgiveness" (Plumptre). The Epistle ends abruptly, with no salutation and no doxology. In this it stands almost by itself in the New Testament; the First Epistle of St. John alone approaching it in the abruptness of its conclusion.





Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Let him know,.... And observe it for his encouragement:

that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way; who is the instrument of restoring a backsliding professor, for such an one is meant by a sinner, and not a profane person; or of turning a poor bewildered believer, who is got out of the way of truth and holiness, into the right way again; or of convincing him of the error of his way, whether it be in point of doctrine, or of duty; and so of bringing him to the fold of Christ again, from whence he has strayed:

shall save a soul from death; not efficiently, but instrumentally, as in 1 Timothy 4:16 for otherwise Christ is the only Saviour; and he will be the means of saving "a soul", which is of more worth than a world; and that from death, the second death which lies in the separation of the soul from God, and in a sense of his wrath; which apostasy threatens with, and leads unto, if grace prevents not. The Alexandrian copy and others, and the Vulgate Latin version read, "his soul"; but the common reading is more emphatic; the Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "his own soul"; and the Ethiopic version, "himself", as respecting him that is the instrument of the conversion of the other, and not the person converted:

and shall hide a multitude of sins; either "his own", as the same versions read; and then the sense is, he shall be blessed with a discovery and application of the forgiveness of all his sins, though they have been many and great; or rather the sins of the person converted. Sin is only covered by the blood and righteousness of Christ; and thereby it is so covered, as not to be seen by the eye of vindictive justice and in such manner as that the persons of those who are covered therewith are all fair, without fault and unreproveable in the sight of God; and though their sins are many, even a multitude, they are blotted out as a thick cloud, and are abundantly pardoned; yea, all their sins are covered, be they ever so many, for God forgives all trespasses, for Christ's sake; and the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin, and his righteousness justifies from all: and whoever is an instrument of bringing a backslider to a sense of the evil of his ways, and to true repentance for the same; as he, upon such repentance, has his iniquities caused to pass from him, or, in other words, to be covered, as from the sight of God, so from his own; he may be said to be the instrument of this also.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. Let him—the converted.

know—for his comfort, and the encouragement of others to do likewise.

shall save—future. The salvation of the one so converted shall be manifested hereafter.

shall hide a multitude of sins—not his own, but the sins of the converted. The Greek verb in the middle voice requires this. Pr 10:12 refers to charity "covering" the sins of others before men; James to one's effecting by the conversion of another that that other's sins be covered before God, namely, with Christ's atonement. He effects this by making the convert partaker in the Christian covenant for the remission of all sins. Though this hiding of sins was included in the previous "shall save," James expresses it to mark in detail the greatness of the blessing conferred on the penitent through the converter's instrumentality, and to incite others to the same good deed.

James 5:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Restoring a Sinner
19My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Cross References
Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.

Proverbs 17:9
Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Romans 11:14
in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

James 1:21
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

James 5:15
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Treasury of Scripture

Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

that he.

James 5:19 Brothers, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

shall save.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.

Romans 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, …

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made …

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself, and to the doctrine; continue in them: for …

Philemon 1:19 I Paul have written it with my own hand, I will repay it: albeit …

from death.

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when …

Proverbs 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivers from death.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on …

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on …

hide.

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strifes: but love covers all sins.

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity …

CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE EPISTLE OF JAMES.

James, the son of Alphaeus, the brother of Jacob, and the near relation of our Lord, called also James the Less, probably because he was of lower stature, or younger, than the other James, the son of Zebedee, is generally allowed to be the writer of this Epistle; and the few that have doubted this have assigned very slight reasons for their dissent, and advanced very weak arguments on the other side. It is recorded in ecclesiastical history, and the book of the Acts of the Apostles confirms the fact, that he generally resided at Jerusalem, superintending the churches in that city, and in the neighbouring places, to the end of his life, which was terminated by martyrdom about A.D.

Jump to Previous
Cause Cover Death Error Evil Forgiveness Hide Keeps Multitude Save Sinner Sins Soul Straying Throw Turn Turned Turns Veil Way Ways
Jump to Next
Cause Cover Death Error Evil Forgiveness Hide Keeps Multitude Save Sinner Sins Soul Straying Throw Turn Turned Turns Veil Way Ways
Links
James 5:20 NIV
James 5:20 NLT
James 5:20 ESV
James 5:20 NASB
James 5:20 KJV

James 5:20 Bible Apps
James 5:20 Bible Suite
James 5:20 Biblia Paralela
James 5:20 Chinese Bible
James 5:20 French Bible
James 5:20 German Bible

Alphabetical: a and cover death error from he him his know let multitude of over remember save sinner sins soul that the this turns way who Whoever will

NT Letters: James 5:20 Let him know that he who turns (Ja Jas. Jam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
James 5:19
Top of Page
Top of Page