James 1:27
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

King James Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Darby Bible Translation
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

World English Bible
Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Young's Literal Translation
religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation -- unspotted to keep himself from the world.

James 1:27 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Pure religion - On the word here rendered "religion" (θρησκεία thrēskeia), see the notes at Colossians 2:18. It is used here evidently in the sense of piety, or as we commonly employ the word religion. The object of the apostle is to describe what enters essentially into religion; what it will do when it is properly and fairly developed. The phrase "pure religion" means that which is genuine and sincere, or which is free from any improper mixture.

And undefiled before God and the Father - That which God sees to be pure and undefiled. Rosenmuller supposes that there is a metaphor here taken from pearls or gems, which should be pure, or without stain.

Is this - That is, this enters into it; or this is religion such as God approves. The apostle does not say that this is the whole of religion, or that there is nothing else essential to it; but his general design clearly is, to show that religion will lead to a holy life, and he mentions this as a specimen, or an instance of what it will lead us to do. The things which he specifies here are in fact two:

(1) that pure religion will lead to a life of practical benevolence; and,

(2) that it will keep us unspotted from the world. If these things are found, they show that there is true piety. If they are not, there is none.

To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction - To go to see, to look after, to be ready to aid them. This is an instance or specimen of what true religion will do, showing that it will lead to a life of practical benevolence. It may be remarked in respect to this:

(1) that this has always been regarded as an essential thing in true religion; because

(a) it is thus an imitation of God, who is "a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows in his holy habitation," Psalm 68:5; and who has always revealed himself as their friend, Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 14:29; Psalm 10:14; Psalm 82:3; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 7:7; Jeremiah 49:11; Hosea 14:3.

(b) Religion is represented as leading its friends to do this, or this is required everywhere of those who claim to be religious, Isaiah 1:17; Deuteronomy 24:17; Deuteronomy 14:29; Exodus 22:22; Job 29:11-13.

(2) where this disposition to be the real friend of the widow and the orphan exists, there will also exist other corresponding things which go to make up the religious character. This will not stand alone. It will show what the heart is, and prove that it will ever be ready to do good. If a man, from proper motives, is the real friend of the widow and the fatherless, he will be the friend of every good word and work, and we may rely on him in any and every way in doing good.

And to keep himself unspotted from the world - Compare the Romans 12:2 note; James 4:4 note; 1 John 2:15-17 note. That is, religion will keep us from the maxims, vices, and corruptions which prevail in the world, and make us holy. These two things may, in fact, be said to constitute religion. If a man is truly benevolent, he bears the image of that God who is the fountain of benevolence; if he is pure and uncontaminated in his walk and deportment, he also resembles his Maker, for he is holy. If he has not these things, he cannot have any well-founded evidence that he is a Christian; for it is always the nature and tendency of religion to produce these things. It is, therefore, an easy matter for a man to determine whether he has any religion; and equally easy to see that religion is eminently desirable. Who can doubt that that is good which leads to compassion for the poor and the helpless, and which makes the heart and the life pure?

James 1:27 Parallel Commentaries

Library
George Buchanan, Scholar
The scholar, in the sixteenth century, was a far more important personage than now. The supply of learned men was very small, the demand for them very great. During the whole of the fifteenth, and a great part of the sixteenth century, the human mind turned more and more from the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages to that of the Romans and the Greeks; and found more and more in old Pagan Art an element which Monastic Art had not, and which was yet necessary for the full satisfaction of their
Charles Kingsley—Historical Lectures and Essays

An Address to the Regenerate, Founded on the Preceding Discourses.
James I. 18. James I. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. I INTEND the words which I have now been reading, only as an introduction to that address to the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, with which I am now to conclude these lectures; and therefore shall not enter into any critical discussion, either of them, or of the context. I hope God has made the series of these discourses, in some measure, useful to those
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Antecedents of Permanent Christian Colonization --The Disintegration of Christendom --Controversies --Persecutions.
WE have briefly reviewed the history of two magnificent schemes of secular and spiritual empire, which, conceived in the minds of great statesmen and churchmen, sustained by the resources of the mightiest kingdoms of that age, inaugurated by soldiers of admirable prowess, explorers of unsurpassed boldness and persistence, and missionaries whose heroic faith has canonized them in the veneration of Christendom, have nevertheless come to naught. We turn now to observe the beginnings, coinciding in time
Leonard Woolsey Bacon—A History of American Christianity

The Puritan Beginnings of the Church in virginia ---Its Decline Almost to Extinction.
THERE is sufficient evidence that the three little vessels which on the 13th of May, 1607, were moored to the trees on the bank of the James River brought to the soil of America the germ of a Christian church. We may feel constrained to accept only at a large discount the pious official professions of King James I., and critically to scrutinize many of the statements of that brilliant and fascinating adventurer, Captain John Smith, whether concerning his friends or concerning his enemies or concerning
Leonard Woolsey Bacon—A History of American Christianity

Cross References
Deuteronomy 14:29
"The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

Job 31:16
"If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

Job 31:17
Or have eaten my morsel alone, And the orphan has not shared it

Psalm 146:9
The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked.

Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:23
Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow's plea come before them.

Matthew 12:32
"Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

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