God’s law for free men

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Charlton Heston as Moses
God’s law for free men
Moses and the 10 Commandments

Picture courtesy of www.gerhardy.id.au/lent3_09

But if anyone keeps looking steadily into God’s law for free men, he will not only remember it but he will do what it says, and God will greatly bless him in everything he does.- James 1:25 (TLB)

God’s law for free men? What is this that brings a blessing in everything you do? I went to another translation our (NRSVA) to get some clarity.

But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perse-vere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act — they will be blessed in their doing. – James 1:25 (NRSVA)

The law of liberty? This continued a mystery with KJV and many others until I got to The Message Bible and the Complete Jewish Bible, which shows the value of searching in different translations for full enlightenment.

But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, and then he will be blessed in what he does. – James 1:25 (Complete Jewish Bible).
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God — the free life! — even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.– James 1:25 (The Message)

So the perfect law that James is talking about here according to the Complete Jewish Bible is the TORAH – that is the 1st five books of the Bible. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The Core of Judaism and the Laws handed done from Moses before the Pharisees did any tampering, adding their “traditions” and the extra stuff that Jesus accuses them of in today’s gospel reading. Really what it boils down to for us as Gentiles is that all we have to worry about is 2 Rules.

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.
  2. Love your neighbour as you love yourself.