Greeting

James,(A) a servant of God(B) and of the Lord Jesus Christ:

To the twelve tribes(C) dispersed abroad.[a](D)

Greetings.(E)

Trials and Maturity

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials,(F) because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.(G) But let him ask in faith without doubting.[b] For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, being double-minded and unstable in all his ways.[c](H)

Let the brother of humble circumstances boast in his exaltation, 10 but let the rich boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field.(I) 11 For the sun rises and, together with the scorching wind, dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance perishes. In the same way, the rich person will wither away while pursuing his activities.(J)

12 Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown(K) of life that God[d] has promised to those who love him.(L)

13 No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. 14 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire.(M) 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.(N)

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.(O) 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.(P) 18 By his own choice, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.(Q)

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,(R) 20 for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent,[e] humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.(S)

22 But(T) be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face[f] in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does.(U)

26 If anyone[g] thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue,(V) his religion is useless and he deceives himself. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows(W) in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.(X)

Footnotes

  1. 1:1 Gk diaspora; Jewish people scattered throughout Gentile lands
  2. 1:6 Or without divided loyalties
  3. 1:8 Or in all his conduct
  4. 1:12 Other mss read that the Lord
  5. 1:21 Or the abundance of evil
  6. 1:23 Or at his natural face
  7. 1:26 Other mss add among you

James,(A) a servant of God(B) and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes(C) scattered(D) among the nations:

Greetings.(E)

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,(F) because you know that the testing of your faith(G) produces perseverance.(H) Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature(I) and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,(J) who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.(K) But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,(L) because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded(M) and unstable(N) in all they do.

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.(O) 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.(P) 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat(Q) and withers(R) the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.(S) 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(T) because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life(U) that the Lord has promised to those who love him.(V)

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(W) evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;(X) and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.(Y)

16 Don’t be deceived,(Z) my dear brothers and sisters.(AA) 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above,(AB) coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,(AC) who does not change(AD) like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth(AE) through the word of truth,(AF) that we might be a kind of firstfruits(AG) of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters,(AH) take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak(AI) and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger(AJ) does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of(AK) all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you,(AL) which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.(AM) 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,(AN) and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.(AO)

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues(AP) deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after(AQ) orphans and widows(AR) in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. James 1:2 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.

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