The fault of invoking curses on fellow human beings is deplorable because they are made in the likeness of God. This is obviously a reference to Gen 1.26-27. In the Genesis passage two words are used; one is "image" and the other is "likeness." It is not clear why James chose the second word rather than the first one. In any case there seems to be no need to press for a different sense between the two, as they are obviously meant to have the same meaning. What James wants to communicate here is simply that acting against people who resemble God is the same as acting against God, who created those people. It is logically inconsistent to pretend to bless God and then to curse the representation of God (human beings). In other words, cursing other human beings is in effect cursing God, who created them.
Loh, I., & Hatton, H. (1997). A handbook on the Letter from James. UBS handbook series (p 116). New York: United Bible Societies.
Published on Monday, June 7, 2010 @ 4:58 AM CDT