And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. (James 3:18)
This is a somewhat tricky verse, given the different translations:
- KJV: And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
- NIV: Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
- RSV/ESV: And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
- NET: And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.
But maybe it’s not so hard if we break the metaphor down:
- What is “grown”: righteousness
- Who “plants” it: peacemakers (those who make peace).
- How it is “planted”: in peace
In other words (and in keeping with the tenor of the current chapter), James is saying that righteous living is the result of living a consciously peaceful life (perhaps in living a consciously peaceful life together); in contrast to what results when one lives in an environment of “bitter jealousy and selfishness.”