unfoldingWord® Translation Notes https://www.unfoldingword.org/utn/
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Be doers of the word

AT: "Be people who follow God's instructions"(See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche).

deceiving yourselves

"fooling yourselves"

For if anyone is a hearer of the word

AT: "For if anyone listens to the God's message in the scriptures" (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche).

but not a doer

The word "is" and "of the word" are understood from the previous phrase. The noun "doer" can also be expressed with the verbs "do" or "obey." AT: "but is not a doer of the word" or "but does not obey the word" (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis)

he is like a man who examines his natural face in a mirror

A person who hears God's word is like someone who looks in the mirror. (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-simile)

his natural face

The word "natural" clarifies that James is using the ordinary meaning of the word "face." AT: "his face"

then goes away and immediately forgets what he was like

It is implied that though he may see that he needs to do something, such as wash his face or fix his hair, he walks away and forgets to do it. This what a person who does not obey God's word is like. AT: "then goes away and immediately forgets to do what he saw he needed to do" (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit and rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-simile)

the person who looks carefully into the perfect law

This expression continues the image of the law as a mirror. (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-simile)

the perfect law of freedom

"Freedom" here is an idiom for the ability to live as one truly wants to live. AT: "the perfect way of living exactly the way you want to live" (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-idiom).

this man will be blessed in his actions

This can be stated in active form. AT: "God will bless this man as he obeys the law" (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive)


  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/wordofgod
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/other/deceive
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/lawofmoses
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/other/free
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/bless