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James 3:13 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show by a good deportment his works with meekness of wisdom.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Who [is] wise and understanding among you; let him shew out of a good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Who is wise and well-instructed-among you? Let him show, out of his comely behaviour, his works, in meekness of wisdom.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Who [is] wise and intelligent among you? let him shew out of the good behaviour his works in meekness of wisdom,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge, among you? Let him shew, by a good contestation, his work in the meekness of wisdom.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Who is a wise man and indued with knowledge amongst you? let him shew out of a good conuersation his workes with meekenes of wisedome.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— Who of you is wise and instructed? let him show his works in good conversations in meek wisdom.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Who is wise and instructed among you? Let him show his works in praiseworthy actions, with modest wisdom.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Who 5101
{5101} Prime
τίς
tis
{tis}
Probably emphatic of G5100; an interrogitive pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions).
[is] a wise man 4680
{4680} Prime
σοφός
sophos
{sof-os'}
Akin to σαφής [[saphes]] (clear); wise (in a most general application).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
endued with knowledge 1990
{1990} Prime
ἐπιστήμων
epistemon
{ep-ee-stay'-mone}
From G1987; intelligent.
among 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
you? 5213
{5213} Prime
ὑμῖν
humin
{hoo-min'}
Irregular dative case of G5210; to (with or by) you.
let him shew 1166
{1166} Prime
δείκνυω
deiknuo
{dike-noo'-o}
A prolonged form of an obsolete primary of the same meaning; to show (literally or figuratively).
z5657
<5657> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 376
out of 1537
{1537} Prime
ἐκ
ek
{ek}
A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause; literally or figuratively; direct or remote).
a good 2570
{2570} Prime
καλός
kalos
{kal-os'}
Of uncertain affinity; properly beautiful, but chiefly (figuratively) good (literally or morally), that is, valuable or virtuous (for appearance or use, and thus distinguished from G0018, which is properly intrinsic).
conversation 391
{0391} Prime
ἀναστροφή
anastrophe
{an-as-trof-ay'}
From G0390; behavior.
his y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
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.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
works 2041
{2041} Prime
ἔργον
ergon
{er'-gon}
From ἔργω [[ergo]] (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act.
with 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
meekness 4240
{4240} Prime
πραΰτης
prautes
{prah-oo'-tace}
From G4239; mildness, that is, (by implication) humility.
of wisdom. 4678
{4678} Prime
σοφία
sophia
{sof-ee'-ah}
From G4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

James 3:13

_ _ Who — (Compare Psalms 34:12, Psalms 34:13). All wish to appear “wise”: few are so.

_ _ show — “by works,” and not merely by profession, referring to James 2:18.

_ _ out of a good conversation his works — by general “good conduct” manifested in particular “works.” “Wisdom” and “knowledge,” without these being “shown,” are as dead as faith would be without works [Alford].

_ _ with meekness of wisdom — with the meekness inseparable from true “wisdom.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

James 3:13-18

_ _ As the sins before condemned arise from an affectation of being thought more wise than others, and being endued with more knowledge than they, so the apostle in these verses shows the difference between men's pretending to be wise and their being really so, and between the wisdom which is from beneath (from earth or hell) and that which is from above.

_ _ I. We have some account of true wisdom, with the distinguishing marks and fruits of it: Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom, James 3:13. A truly wise man is a very knowing man: he will not set up for the reputation of being wise without laying in a good stock of knowledge; and he will not value himself merely upon knowing things, if he has not wisdom to make a right application and use of that knowledge. These two things must be put together to make up the account of true wisdom: who is wise, and endued with knowledge? Now where this is the happy case of any there will be these following things: — 1. A good conversation. If we are wiser than others, this should be evidenced by the goodness of our conversation, not by the roughness or vanity of it. Words that inform, and heal, and do good, are the marks of wisdom; not those that look great, and do mischief, and are the occasions of evil, either in ourselves or others. 2. True wisdom may be known by its works. The conversation here does not refer only to words, but to the whole of men's practice; therefore it is said, Let him show out of a good conversation his works. True wisdom does not lie in good notions or speculations so much as in good and useful actions. Not he who thinks well, or he who talks well, is in the sense of the scripture allowed to be wise, if he do not live and act well. 3. True wisdom may be known by the meekness of the spirit and temper: Let him show with meekness, etc. It is a great instance of wisdom prudently to bridle our own anger, and patiently to bear the anger of others. And as wisdom will evidence itself in meekness, so meekness will be a great friend to wisdom; for nothing hinders the regular apprehension, the solid judgment, and impartiality of thought, necessary to our acting wisely, so much as passion. When we are mild and calm, we are best able to hear reason, and best able to speak it. Wisdom produces meekness, and meekness increases wisdom.

_ _ II. We have the glorying of those taken away who are of a contrary character to that now mentioned, and their wisdom exposed in all its boasts and productions: “If you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, etc., James 3:14-16. Pretend what you will, and think yourselves ever so wise, yet you have abundance of reason to cease your glorying, if you run down love and peace, and give way to bitter envying and strife. Your zeal for truth or orthodoxy, and your boasts of knowing more than others, if you employ these only to make others hateful, and to show your own spite and heart-burnings against them, are a shame to your profession of Christianity, and a downright contradiction to it. Lie not thus against the truth.” Observe, 1. Envying and strife are opposed to the meekness of wisdom. The heart is the seat of both; but envy and wisdom cannot dwell together in the same heart. Holy zeal and bitter envying are as different as the flames of seraphim and the fire of hell. 2. The order of things here laid down. Envying is first and excites strife; strife endeavours to excuse itself by vain-glorying and lying; and then (James 3:16) hereupon ensue confusion and every evil work. Those who live in malice, envy, and contention, live in confusion, and are liable to be provoked and hurried to any evil work. Such disorders raise many temptations, strengthen temptations, and involve men in a great deal of guilt. One sin begets another, and it cannot be imagined how much mischief is produced: there is every evil work. And is such wisdom as produces these effects to be gloried in? This cannot be without giving the lie to Christianity, and pretending that this wisdom is what it is not. For observe, 3. Whence such wisdom cometh: It descendeth not from above, but ariseth from beneath; and, to speak plainly, it is earthly, sensual, devilish, James 3:15. It springs from earthly principles, acts upon earthly motives, and is intent upon serving earthly purposes. It is sensual indulging the flesh, and making provision to fulfil the lusts and desires of it. Or, according to the original word, psuchik, it is animal of human — the mere working of natural reason, without any supernatural light. And it is devilish, such wisdom being the wisdom of devils (to create uneasiness and to do hurt), and being inspired by devils, whose condemnation is pride (1 Timothy 3:6), and who are noted in other places of scripture for their wrath, and their accusing the brethren. And therefore those who are lifted up with such wisdom as this must fall into the condemnation of the devil.

_ _ III. We have the lovely picture of that wisdom which is from above more fully drawn, and set in opposition to this which is from beneath: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, etc., James 3:17, James 3:18. Observe here, True wisdom is God's gift. It is not gained by conversing with men, nor by the knowledge of the world (as some think and speak), but it comes from above. It consists of these several things: — 1. It is pure, without mixture of maxims or aims that would debase it: and it is free from iniquity and defilements, not allowing of any known sin, but studious of holiness both in heart and life. 2. The wisdom that is from above is peaceable. Peace follows purity, and depends upon it. Those who are truly wise do what they can to preserve peace, that it may not be broken; and to make peace, that where it is lost it may be restored. In kingdoms, in families, in churches, in all societies, and in all interviews and transactions, heavenly wisdom makes men peaceable. 3. It is gentle, not standing upon extreme right in matters of property; not saying nor doing any thing rigorous in points of censure; not being furious about opinions, urging our own beyond their weight nor theirs who oppose us beyond their intention; not being rude and overbearing in conversation, nor harsh and cruel in temper. Gentleness may thus be opposed to all these. 4. Heavenly wisdom is easy to be entreated, eupeiths; it is very persuadable, either to what is good or from what is evil. There is an easiness that is weak and faulty; but it is not a blamable easiness to yield ourselves to the persuasions of God's word, and to all just and reasonable counsels or requests of our fellow-creatures; no, nor to give up a dispute, where there appears a good reason for it and where a good end may be answered by it. 5. Heavenly wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits, inwardly disposed to every thing that is kind and good, both to relieve those who want and to forgive those who offend, and actually to do this whenever proper occasions offer. 6. Heavenly wisdom is without partiality. The original word, adiakritos, signifies to be without suspicion, or free from judging, making no undue surmises nor differences in our conduct towards one person more than another. The margin reads it, without wrangling, not acting the part of sectaries, and disputing merely for the sake of a party; nor censuring others purely on account of their differing from us. The wisest men are least apt to be censurers. 7. That wisdom which is from above is without hypocrisy. It has no disguises nor deceits. It cannot fall in with those managements which the world counts wise, which are crafty and guileful; but it is sincere and open, steady and uniform, and consistent with itself. O that you and I may always be guided by such wisdom as this! that with Paul we may be able to say, Not with fleshly wisdom, but in simplicity and godly sincerity, by the grace of God, we have our conversation. And then, lastly, true wisdom will go on to sow the fruits of righteousness in peace, and thus, if it may be, to make peace in the world, James 3:18. And that which is sown in peace will produce a harvest of joys. Let others reap the fruits of contentions, and all the advantages they can propose to themselves by them; but let us go on peaceably to sow the seeds of righteousness, and we may depend upon it our labour will not be lost. For light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart; and the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

James 3:13

Let him show his wisdom as well as his faith by his works; not by words only.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

James 3:13

(9) Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

(9) The eighth part, which goes with the former concerning meekness of mind, against which he sets envy and a contentious mind: in the beginning he shuts the mouth of the main fountain of all these mischiefs, that is, a false persuasion of wisdom, whereas nonetheless there is no true wisdom, but that which is heavenly, and shapes our minds to all types of true discipline and modesty.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
is a:

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Psalms 107:43 Whoso [is] wise, and will observe these [things], even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who [is] as the wise [man]? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.
Ecclesiastes 8:5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
Jeremiah 9:12 Who [is] the wise man, that may understand this? and [who is he] to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth [and] is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches:
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
1 Corinthians 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

endued:

2 Chronicles 2:12-13 Huram said moreover, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom. ... And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.
Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

let:

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
2 Corinthians 8:24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

a good:

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Hebrews 13:5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; ... While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear.
1 Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

with meekness:

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
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.
Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses [was] very meek, above all the men which [were] upon the face of the earth.)
Psalms 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
Psalms 45:4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness [and] righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
Psalms 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isaiah 29:19 The meek also shall increase [their] joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Matthew 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence [am] base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
1 Peter 3:4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Nu 12:3. 2Ch 2:12. Jb 28:28. Ps 25:9; 45:4; 107:43; 149:4. Ec 8:1, 5. Is 11:3, 4; 29:19; 60:6; 61:1. Jr 9:12, 23. Dn 2:21. Zp 2:3. Mt 5:5; 7:24; 11:29; 21:5. 1Co 6:5. 2Co 8:24; 10:1. Ga 5:23; 6:1, 4. Ep 4:2. Php 1:27. Col 3:12. 1Ti 4:12; 6:11. 2Ti 2:25. Tit 3:2. He 13:5. Jm 1:21; 2:18; 3:1, 17. 1P 2:9, 12; 3:1, 4, 15, 16.

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