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James 1:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Of his own will he hath begotten us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— According to his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we should be a certain first-fruits of *his* creatures.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Because he was so minded, he hath brought us forth with a word of truth, to the end we should be a sort of firstfruit of his creatures
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— having counselled, He did beget us with a word of truth, for our being a certain first-fruit of His creatures.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of his creature.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Of his owne will begate hee vs, with the word of Trueth, that wee should bee a kinde of first fruites of his creatures.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— He willed, and begat us by the word of truth, that we might be the first-ones of his creatures.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— He saw fit, and begat us by the word of truth; that we might be the first-fruits of his creatures.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Of his own will 1014
{1014} Prime
Middle voice of a primary verb; to 'will', that is, (reflexively) be willing.
<5679> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Passive Deponent (See G5789)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 164
begat x616
(0616) Complement
From G0575 and the base of G2949; to breed forth, that is, (by transformation) to generate (figuratively).
he y616
[0616] Standard
From G0575 and the base of G2949; to breed forth, that is, (by transformation) to generate (figuratively).
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
us 2248
{2248} Prime
Accusative plural of G1473; us.
with the word 3056
{3056} Prime
From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ).
of truth, 225
{0225} Prime
From G0227; truth.
that y1519
[1519] Standard
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
we 2248
{2248} Prime
Accusative plural of G1473; us.
should be 1511
{1511} Prime
Present infinitive from G1510; to exist.
<5750> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 135
a kind 5100
{5100} Prime
An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.
of firstfruits 536
{0536} Prime
From a compound of G0575 and G0756; a beginning of sacrifice, that is, the (Jewish) first fruit (figuratively).
of his y846
[0846] Standard
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
(0848) Complement
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
creatures. 2938
{2938} Prime
From G2936; an original formation (concretely), that is, product (created thing).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

James 1:18

_ _ (John 1:13). The believer’s regeneration is the highest example of nothing but good proceeding from God.

_ _ Of his own will — Of his own good pleasure (which shows that it is God’s essential nature to do good, not evil), not induced by any external cause.

_ _ begat he us — spiritually: a once-for-all accomplished act (1 Peter 1:3, 1 Peter 1:23). In contrast to “lust when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin ... death” (James 1:15). Life follows naturally in connection with light (James 1:17).

_ _ word of truth — the Gospel. The objective mean, as faith is the appropriating mean of regeneration by the Holy Spirit as the efficient agent.

_ _ a kind of first-fruits — Christ is, in respect to the resurrection, “the first-fruits” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:23): believers, in respect to regeneration, are, as it were, first-fruits (image from the consecration of the first-born of man, cattle, and fruits to God; familiar to the Jews addressed), that is, they are the first of God’s regenerated creatures, and the pledge of the ultimate regeneration of the creation, Romans 8:19, Romans 8:23, where also the Spirit, the divine agent of the believer’s regeneration, is termed “the first-fruits,” that is, the earnest that the regeneration now begun in the soul, shall at last extend to the body too, and to the lower parts of creation. Of all God’s visible creatures, believers are the noblest part, and like the legal “first-fruits,” sanctify the rest; for this reason they are much tried now.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on James 1:13-18.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

James 1:18

Of his own will — Most loving, most free, most pure, just opposite to our evil desire, James 1:15. Begat he us — Who believe. By the word of truth — The true word, emphatically so termed; the gospel. That we might be a kind of first — fruits of his creatures — Christians are the chief and most excellent of his visible creatures; and sanctify the rest. Yet he says, A kind of — For Christ alone is absolutely the first — fruits.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

James 1:18

(14) Of his own (q) will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of (r) firstfruits of his creatures.

(14) The fourth part concerning the excellency and fruit of the word of God, The sum is this: we must listen to the word of God most carefully and diligently, seeing it is the seed, through which God by his free favour and love has begotten us to himself, picking us out of the number of his creatures. The apostle condemns two faults, which greatly trouble us in this matter. For we so please ourselves, that we would rather speak ourselves, than hear God speaking. Indeed, we are angry when we are reproached and ignore it. Opposed to these faults, he sets a peaceable and quiet mind, and such as desires purity.

(q) This is what Paul calls gracious favour, an good will, which is the fountain of our salvation.

(r) As it were an holy type of offering, taken out of the remnant of men.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
his own:

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ... Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Romans 8:29-31 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. ... What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?
Romans 9:15-18 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. ... Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, ... Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Colossians 1:20-21 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven. ... And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: ... Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.


James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [have ye] not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.


Leviticus 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Jeremiah 2:3 Israel [was] holiness unto the LORD, [and] the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
Amos 6:1 Woe to them [that are] at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, [which are] named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
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Lv 23:10. Jr 2:3. Am 6:1. Jn 1:13; 3:3. Ro 4:17; 8:29; 9:15. 1Co 4:15. Ep 1:12; 2:4. Col 1:20. 2Th 2:13. He 12:23. Jm 1:21. 1P 1:3, 23. 1Jn 3:9. Rv 14:4.

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