I have revised my translations of the General Epistles translated from the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform 2018 Greek text. The footnotes I augmented some, and improved the accuracy of the translation some. I have uploaded a new PDF of the document, as well as published a new printed edition on Amazon. The printed book has 194 pages, and was newly published June 26, 2022.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” KJV
Is all prayer “effectual”?
much-is able to do-the prayer-of the righteous-actuated, fully operating
Wycl: For the contynuel preyer of a iust man is myche worth.
Tynd: The prayer of a ryghteous man avayleth moche yf it be fervet.
Gen: for the prayer of a righteous man auaileth much, if it be feruent.
KJV: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
ASV: The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.
ESV: The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
DRP: The fully operating prayer of a righteous person is able to accomplish much.
We can see that the effectiveness of the prayer of the righteous person is conditional on something. It only works if it is “actuated, fully working.”
Tyndale introduced the idea of fervency, “if it be fervent.” I don’t know where he got that from, since that is not in the Greek. The ASV and ESV say “as it is working,” etc. This implies, correctly, that there is a possibility that one’s prayer does not work. What makes prayer effectual, or “working”?
There are quite a few scriptures which tell us some things that cause our prayer not to work.
The Psalmist of Psalm 66 was a righteous man, but he knew that his prayers did not always work. In Psalm 66:18 he says “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
If the person praying is “doubting at all,” the prayer is not effective, James 1:6
If the one praying has unconfessed sin, he is not in fellowship with God, and is in darkness, as it says in many scripture passages such as Psalm 66:18; and in the First Epistle of John.
A married man’s prayers may be hindered if he is not treating his wife like it is layed out in 1 Peter 3:7.
Matthew 5:23,24 says “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, and first go be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” This does not mention prayer specifically, but I think it applies, as God is not interested in what you are bringing to him if you are not resolving what you brother has against you.
This is not a complete list, but are some examples of what might cause prayer to not be “fully operating.”
You can download the DRP translation of James here, with footnotes.
New Upload Byzantine General Epistles
I have uploaded a new PDF document, containing the General Epistles of the New Testament. It has the Robinson-Pierpont 2017 Byzantine Majority Text alternating verse by verse with my new English translation. PDF 3.5 MB, 530 footnotes.
The footnotes contain not only translator’s notes, but extensive notes covering the Greek manuscript variants, including the readings of the following seven (7) Greek New Testament editions: the Textus Receptus, Scrivener 1894 Ed.; Antoniades 1904; Byzantine Greek New Testament (Wilbur Pickering’s Family 35 text); the NA28; the SBL; the Robinson-Pierpont 2017, and the Tyndale House Greek New Testament (2017). Shown in this post is a screen capture of one of the footnotes.
This document has replaced the individual PDF files of those books James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude that had the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text with them.
Please share this post about the Robinson-Pierpont General Epistles.
Translation of the book of James completed.
I have uploaded two pdf files of my translation of the Epistle of James. (See a few excerpts below.) This letter, part of the Bible, was written by the Apostle James, and it almost did not make it into the Bible, into what is called the “canon of scripture.” This is because many thought that its teachings on works contradicted the New Testament’s teachings on grace.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed translating this letter. Many people consider it disjointed, with no discernible outline or organization. I disagree. I like what Shepherd said. He called the letter of James “a series of eight homiletic-didactic discourses” with each discourse developing a principal theme linked together by “skillful use of word-links and thematic recapitulations.” (D. Edmond Hebert quoting Shepherd).
I would venture to say, that those who consider this book of the Bible to be disjointed, possibly have that opinion because of reading a poor translation of it, one which does not translate the Greek transition or segue cues correctly, or whose translators did not understand those cues in the Greek. Not everyone is good at Discourse Analysis.
Excerpts from my new translation of the Letter of James:
“See how a small flame sets ablaze such a large forest. The tongue also is a flame, a world of damage.”
“The fully operating prayer of a righteous person is able to achieve much. ¹⁷Elijah was a human being with emotional weaknesses like we are. And he prayed the prayer for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the land for a period of three years and six months. ¹⁸And he prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the land sprouted up its fruit.”
⁵Or do you think the scripture says for no reason, “The Spirit whom God made to dwell in us craves possession of us, approaching jealousy”?
Or to read James online this link.
More resources on the General Epistle of James may be found at this link.
Please share the Epistle of James
I am having a lot of fun with the Epistle of James. It contains many instances of its author using the same Greek word twice or multiple times. It also contains many instances of intended contrast.
For example, 3 times he uses these words that have the same root:
James 1:8 A double-minded man is ἀκατάστατος – unstable in all his ways
James 3:8 The tongue is a ἀκατάστατον κακόν- volatile menace.
James 3:16 Where there is envy and rivalry, there is ἀκαταστασία– disorder
Read my translation of the Epistle of James.
I’m working on my translation of the Epistle of James. I remind us all how we have constantly heard from Majority Text / Byzantine text enthusiasts about the Royse study on scribal habits, how scribes were more likely to drop a word than add a word. Okay, then, I expect the Majority Text / Byzantine text editors to add at least one or some of the following words back to their texts that are found in the NA28 text but not in theirs.
1:19 ESTW DE, MT has only ESTW
1:27 PARA TWI QEWI, MT has only PARA QEWI
4:1 KAI POQEN MACHAI, MT has only KAI MACHAI
5:10 EN TWI, MT has only EN
5:11 ESTIN hO KURIOS, MT has only ESTIN
5:16 EXOMOLOGEISQE OUN, MT has only EXOMOLOGEISQE
5:19 ADELFOI MOU, MT has only ADELFOI
5:20 PSUCHJN AUTOU, MT has only PSUCHJN
The NA28 has in fact moved a little toward the MT in this regard. For example, in James 2:14, older editions said only TI OFELOS, but now have agreed in the 28th edition with the MT as TI TO OFELOS. And in 2:15, older editions said only LEIPOMENOI, but the NA28 now says LEIPOMENOI WSIN like the MT. And in 4:10 added TOU. Three instances in James where the Nestle-Aland text moved closer to the Majority Text. But will the Majority Text / Byzantine Text-type enthusiasts ever budge? I’m not holding my breath. If it’s not in their favorite family of manuscripts, no amount of reason to the contrary ever suffices.