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James 1-2 (Listen)

Greeting

aJames, a servant1 of God and bof the Lord Jesus Christ,

To cthe twelve tribes in dthe Dispersion:

Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

eCount it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials fof various kinds, for you know that gthe testing of your faith hproduces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be iperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

jIf any of you lacks wisdom, klet him ask God, lwho gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But mlet him ask in faith, nwith no doubting, for the one who doubts is like oa wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; phe is a double-minded man, qunstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and rthe rich in his humiliation, because slike a flower of the grass3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and twithers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 uBlessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive vthe crown of life, wwhich 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 xwhen it has conceived gives birth to sin, and ysin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 zEvery good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from athe Father of lights bwith whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.4 18 cOf his own will he dbrought us forth by the word of truth, ethat we should be a kind of ffirstfruits of his creatures.

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 gKnow this, my beloved brothers: let every person hbe quick to hear, islow to speak, jslow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore kput away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with lmeekness the implanted word, mwhich is able to save your souls.

22 But be ndoers 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, othe law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, phe will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious qand does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's rreligion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: sto visit torphans and widows in their affliction, and uto keep oneself vunstained from the world.

The Sin of Partiality

My brothers,5 wshow no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, xthe Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” ywhile you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become zjudges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, ahas not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be brich in faith and heirs of cthe kingdom, dwhich he has promised to those who love him? But you ehave dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who fdrag you ginto court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable hname by which you were called?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, i“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you jshow partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point khas become accountable for all of it. 11 For he who said, l“Do not commit adultery,” also said, l“Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under mthe law of liberty. 13 For njudgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith obut does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 pIf a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 qand one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good6 is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith rapart from your works, and I will show you my faith sby my works. 19 tYou believe that God is one; you do well. Even uthe demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 vWas not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that wfaith was active along with his works, and faith was completed xby his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, y“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a zfriend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also aRahab the prostitute justified by works bwhen she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 Or slave (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)
[2] 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God's family, the church; also verses 16, 19
[3] 1:10 Or a wild flower
[4] 1:17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
[5] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 14
[6] 2:16 Or benefit