James 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled (qrhskeia kaqara kai amianto). Numerous examples in papyri and inscriptions of qrhskeia for ritual and reverential worship in the Roman Empire (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary; Deissmann, St. Paul, p. 251). As Hort shows, this is not a definition of religion or religious worship, but only a pertinent illustration of the right spirit of religion which leads to such acts. Before our God and Father (para twi qewi kai patri). By the side of (para) and so from God's standpoint ( Mark 10:27 ). Amianto (compound verbal adjective, alpha privative, miainw to defile), puts in negative form (cf. Mark 1:4 Mark 1:6 ) the idea in kaqara (pure, clean). This (auth). Feminine demonstrative pronoun in the predicate agreeing with qrhskeia. To visit (episkeptesqai). Epexegetic (explaining auth) present middle infinitive of episkeptomai, common verb to go to see, to inspect, present tense for habit of going to see. See Matthew 25:36 Matthew 25:43 for visiting the sick. The fatherless and widows (orpanou kai chra). "The natural objects of charity in the community" (Ropes). Orpano is old word for bereft of father or mother or both. In N.T. only here and John 14:18 . Note order (orphans before widows). Unspotted (aspilon). Old adjective (alpha privative and spilo, spot), spotless. This the more important of the two illustrations and the hardest to execute. To keep (threin). Present active infinitive, "to keep on keeping oneself un-specked from the world" (a world, kosmo, full of dirt and slime that bespatters the best of men).