New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:8 according to the scripture. This law was first set forth in Scripture in Leviticus 19:18. It was cited by Christ as a parallel law to that of loving God (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27). It is also quoted in Matthew 5:43; 19:19; and Galatians 5:14 (where Paul says it sums up the whole body of the Mosaic laws as they deal with human behavior and relationships). Thus the Bible cites it specifically eight times. No wonder it is called the royal law.
2:10 offend in one point. James no doubt realized that his Jewish readers, accustomed as they had been to trusting in the law for salvation, needed to realize fully that they could never be justified before God by keeping the law, since no one could ever keep it perfectly. Not only Jews, however, but all men need to realize that they can never be saved by their good works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5; Galatians 2:16). One unforgiven sin is enough for condemnation.
2:12 law of liberty. This felicitous phrase is used only by James (see also James 1:25). Liberty is not license, but is freedom in Christ, under grace and the law of Christian love.