Thursday, May 5, 2016
1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
The Greek word for filthiness means literally that: dirtiness or anything that befouls, defiles or dishonors. The KJV originally translated wickedness as "naughtiness," a silly term in today's nomenclature but carried a strong connotation hundreds of years prior. Naughtiness carries its base term "naught" which is essentially nothing or worthless. To call someone naughty essentially meant their life had no value to it; they were sons of Belial or sons of worthlessness. Someone's life wasn't empty or worthless because they did nothing; it was because they excelled only at sinning. James here instructs us to lay aside our moral impurities and our overflow (an excess or overabundance) of wickedness as a prerequisite to truly appropriating something of genuine value. That is, the implanted word or the Gospel which is able to save our souls.