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James 3:15 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— This wisdom is not [a wisdom] that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demoniacal.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— This is not the wisdom which comes down from above, but earthly, natural, devilish.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— This wisdom is not one, from above, coming down, but is earthly, born of the soul, demoniacal!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— this wisdom is not descending from above, but earthly, physical, demon-like,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— This wisedome descendeth not from aboue, but [is] earthly, sensuall, deuilish.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— because this wisdom from above descendeth not; but is earthly, from the reasonings of the soul, and from demons.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For this wisdom cometh not down from above; but is earthly, and from the devices of the soul, and from demons.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
This 3778
{3778} Prime
Including the nominative masculine plural (second form), nominative feminine signular (third form), and the nominate feminine plural, (fourth form). From the article G3588 and G0846; the he (she or it), that is, this or that (often with the article repeated).
wisdom 4678
{4678} Prime
From G4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).
descendeth 2718
{2718} Prime
From G2596 and G2064 (including its alternate); to come (or go) down (literally or figuratively).
[2076] Standard
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
<5740> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 544
not 3756
{3756} Prime
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
from above, 509
{0509} Prime
From G0507; from above; by analogy from the first; by implication anew.
but 235
{0235} Prime
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
[is] earthly, 1919
{1919} Prime
From G1909 and G1093; worldly (physically or morally).
sensual, 5591
{5591} Prime
From G5590; sensitive that is, animate (in distinction on the one hand from G4152, which is the higher or renovated nature; and on the other from G5446, which is the lower or bestial nature).
devilish. 1141
{1141} Prime
From G1140 and G1142; daemon like.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

James 3:15

_ _ This wisdom — in which ye “glory,” as if ye were “wise” (James 3:13, James 3:14).

_ _ descendeth not from above — literally, “is not one descending,” etc.: “from the Father of lights” (true illumination and wisdom), James 1:17; through “the Spirit of truth,” John 15:26.

_ _ earthly — opposed to heavenly. Distinct from “earthy,” 1 Corinthians 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 1:19).

_ _ devilish — in its origin (from “hell,” James 3:6; not from God, the Giver of true wisdom, James 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.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on James 3:13-18.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

James 3:15

This wisdom — Which is consistent with such zeal. Is earthly — Not heavenly; not from the Father of Lights. Animal — Not spiritual; not from the Spirit of God. Devilish — Not the gift of Christ, but such as Satan breathes into the soul.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

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 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Philippians 3:19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)


2 Samuel 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name [was] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab [was] a very subtil man.
2 Samuel 15:31 And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
2 Samuel 16:23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, [was] as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so [was] all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
Jeremiah 4:22 For my people [is] foolish, they have not known me; they [are] sottish children, and they have none understanding: they [are] wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
1 Corinthians 1:19-20 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. ... Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Corinthians 2:6-7 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: ... But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

or, natural,
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.


Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? ... For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
John 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. ... Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
1 John 3:8-10 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. ... In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
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 pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 3:1. 2S 13:3; 15:31; 16:23. Jr 4:22. Lk 16:8. Jn 3:17; 8:44. Ac 13:10. Ro 1:22. 1Co 1:19, 27; 2:6, 14; 3:3, 19. 2Co 1:12; 11:3, 13. Php 3:19. Jm 1:5, 17; 3:17. 1Jn 3:8. Jde 1:19. Rv 9:11; 12:9.

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