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Greeting

1 James, a servant1 of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

2 Count it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials of various kinds,
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 generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass3 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 also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under 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 being 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 fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
17 Every good gift 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.4
18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant 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 yourselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
3 Or a wild flower
4 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

Trials and Temptations

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,1 whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
1 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 16 and 19; and in 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19.
2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
3 Or a wild flower
4 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
1 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 16 and 19; and in 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19.
2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
3 Or a wild flower
4 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
1 I, James, am writing this letter. I serve God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sending this letter to you, the 12 tribes that are scattered among the nations. Greetings.

Facing All Kinds of Trouble

2 My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy.
3 Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue.
4 The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.
5 If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesn't find fault.
6 But when you ask, you must believe. You must not doubt. People who doubt are like waves of the sea. The wind blows and tosses them around.
7 A man like that shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 He can't make up his mind. He can never decide what to do.
9 A believer who finds himself in a low position in life should be proud that God has given him a high position.
10 But someone who is rich should take pride in his low position. That's because he will fade away like a wild flower.
11 The sun rises. Its burning heat dries up the plants. Their blossoms fall. Their beauty is destroyed. In the same way, a rich person will fade away even as he goes about his business.
12 Blessed is the man who keeps on going when times are hard. After he has come through them, he will receive a crown. The crown is life itself. God has promised it to those who love him.
13 When you are tempted, you shouldn't say, “God is tempting me.” God can't be tempted by evil. And he doesn't tempt anyone.
14 But your own evil longings tempt you. They lead you on and drag you away.
15 When they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin. When sin has grown up, it gives birth to death.
16 My dear brothers and sisters, don't let anyone fool you.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from God. It comes down from the Father. He created the heavenly lights. He does not change like shadows that move.
18 God chose to give us new birth through the message of truth. He wanted us to be the first and best of everything he created.

Listen to the Word and Do What It Says

19 My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry.
20 A man's anger doesn't produce the kind of life God wants.
21 So get rid of everything that is dirty and sinful. Get rid of the evil that is all around us. Don't be too proud to accept the word that is planted in you. It can save you.
22 Don't just listen to the word. You fool yourselves if you do that. You must do what it says.
23 Suppose you listen to the word but don't do what it says. Then you are like a man who looks at his face in a mirror.
24 After looking at himself, he leaves. Right away he forgets what he looks like.
25 But suppose you take a good look at the perfect law that gives freedom. You keep looking at it. You don't forget what you've heard, but you do what the law says. Then you will be blessed in what you do.
26 Suppose you think your beliefs are right because of how you live. But you don't control what you say. Then you are fooling yourselves. Your beliefs are not worth anything at all.
27 Here are the kinds of beliefs that God our Father accepts as pure and without fault. When widows and children who have no parents are in trouble, take care of them. And keep yourselves from being polluted by the world.
1 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 16 and 19; and in 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19.
2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
3 Or a wild flower
4 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
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