1: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus
Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting.
2: Count it
all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials,
3: for you know
that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4: And let
steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
5: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given
6: But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts
is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man,
in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.
9: Let the
lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
10: and the rich in his
humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.
11: For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass;
its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the
midst of his pursuits.
12: Blessed is the man who endures trial, for
when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has
promised to those who love him.
13: Let no one say when he is
tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he
himself tempts no one;
14: but each person is tempted when he is
lured and enticed by his own desire.
15: Then desire when it has
conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.
16: Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
18: Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we
should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
19: Know this, my
beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,
20: for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
21: Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness
and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving
23: For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a
doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror;
for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25: But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and
perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be
blessed in his doing.
26: If any one thinks he is religious, and does
not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain.
27: Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is
this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself
unstained from the world.
1: My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
2: For if a man
with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in
shabby clothing also comes in,
3: and you pay attention to the one
who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say
to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet,"
4: have you not
made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5: Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor
in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised
to those who love him?
6: But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it
not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court?
7: Is it not they who blaspheme that honorable name which was invoked
8: If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the
scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well.
9: But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by
the law as transgressors.
10: For whoever keeps the whole law but
fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
11: For he who
said, "Do not commit adultery," said also, "Do not kill." If you do not commit
adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.
13: For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet
mercy triumphs over judgment.
14: What does it profit, my brethren,
if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
15: If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food,
16: and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled,"
without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
17: So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith
apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and
20: Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith
apart from works is barren?
21: Was not Abraham our father justified
by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
22: You see
that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,
23: and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed
God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend
24: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith
25: And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot
justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another
26: For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith
apart from works is dead.
1: Let not many of you become teachers, my
brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater
2: For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no
mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body
3: If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey
us, we guide their whole bodies.
4: Look at the ships also; though
they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very
small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5: So the tongue
is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze
by a small fire!
6: And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an
unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire
the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell.
7: For every kind of
beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by
8: but no human being can tame the tongue -- a restless
evil, full of deadly poison.
9: With it we bless the Lord and Father,
and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be
11: Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water
12: Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a
grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
13: Who is wise
and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the
meekness of wisdom.
14: But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish
ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.
This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual,
16: For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there
will be disorder and every vile practice.
17: But the wisdom from
above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and
good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.
18: And the harvest
of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
1: What causes wars, and what causes fightings
among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?
2: You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot
obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask.
3: You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it
on your passions.
4: Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that
friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a
friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5: Or do you
suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the
spirit which he has made to dwell in us"?
6: But he gives more grace;
therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
7: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will
flee from you.
8: Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.
9: Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to
mourning and your joy to dejection.
10: Humble yourselves before the
Lord and he will exalt you.
11: Do not speak evil against one
another, brethren. He that speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother,
speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you
are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12: There is one lawgiver and
judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge
13: Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will
go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain";
14: whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For
you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this
16: As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such
boasting is evil.
17: Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to
do it, for him it is sin.
1: Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the
miseries that are coming upon you.
2: Your riches have rotted and
your garments are moth-eaten.
3: Your gold and silver have rusted,
and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.
You have laid up treasure for the last days.
4: Behold, the wages of
the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and
the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5: You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have
fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
6: You have condemned,
you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you.
patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer
waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it
receives the early and the late rain.
8: You also be patient.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold,
the Judge is standing at the doors.
10: As an example of suffering
and patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11: Behold, we call those happy who were steadfast. You have heard of
the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the
Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12: But above all, my brethren,
do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your
yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation.
13: Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful?
Let him sing praise.
14: Is any among you sick? Let him call for the
elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the
name of the Lord;
15: and the prayer of faith will save the sick man,
and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be
16: Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray
for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great
power in its effects.
17: Eli'jah was a man of like nature with
ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years
and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18: Then he prayed again
and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.
My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him
20: let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the
error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of