Tobit 12:9


6 Then Raphael called the two of them privately and said to them, "Bless God and acknowledge him in the presence of all the living for the good things he has done for you. Bless and sing praise to his name. With fitting honor declare to all people the deeds of God. Do not be slow to acknowledge him. 7 It is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to acknowledge and reveal the works of God, and with fitting honor to acknowledge him. Do good and evil will not overtake you. 8 Prayer with fasting is good, but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold. 9 For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, 10 but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies.

Didache 4:6


1 My child, remember day and night the one who teaches you God's word, and honor him as you would the Lord, for where God's nature is spoken of, He is present. 2 Seek the company of holy people every day so you may find comfort in their words. 3 Don't seek division but reconcile those in conflict. Make fair judgments; don't show favoritism when correcting wrongs. 4 Don't be double-minded about whether something should be or not. 5 Don't be someone who is eager to receive but reluctant to give. 6 Give a portion of what you've earned with your hands as a ransom for your sins. 7 Don't hesitate to give, nor complain when you do, for you'll know who rewards you well.

 Notes and References

"... Since it makes no sense to think James thought believers would never die physically, since it seems unlikely that he is referring in 5:19-20 simply to being healed and saved from physical death, and since life and death in an ultimate sense were the options (Didache 1), it is probable that James sees "save the sinner's soul from death" as referring to eternal death. The Greek text does not say "the sinner's soul" but "his life" and one can conceivably think the "his" is the restorer: that is, by his action of caring for the wanderer the restorer saves his own soul. In fact, there is evidence to support this suggestion, even if it goes against Reforma­tion instincts — something we have seen James do already. God tells Ezekiel that if he does not warn the wicked, both they and he will die; if he warns the wicked, they will not repent but he will save himself (3:16-21; compare 33:9). Dan­iel 4:27 can speak of atoning for sins with deeds of righteousness, and 12:3 can say those who lead many to righteousness will be like the stars. Tobit 4:10 and 12:9 say almsgiving saves one from death (see Sirach 3:30). In fact, Tobit 12:9-10 is so similar to James 5:20 that many think they have to be read together: 'For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies.' Sirach 3:3 finds atonement in honoring one's father ... Didache 4:6 approaches the same issue ..."

McKnight, Scot The Letter of James (pp. 457-459) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011

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