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1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting.

2Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into manifold temptations; 3Knowing that the proving of your faith works patience. 4And let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. 5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubts is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord; 8a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways. 9But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate: 10and the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass: and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his goings. 12Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him.

13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no man: 14but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin: and the sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16Be not deceived, my beloved brethren. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19You know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. 21Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. 23For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 24for he beholds himself, and goes away, and immediately forget what manner of man he was. 25But he that looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continues, being not a hearer that forgets but a doer that works, this man shall be blessed in his doing. 26If any man thinks himself to be religious, while he bridles not his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.


2 My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing; 3and you have regard to him that wears the fine clothing, and say, Sit you here in a good place; and you say to the poor man, Stand over there, or sit under my footstool; 4Do you not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brethren; did not God choose them that are poor as to the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to them that love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and themselves drag you before the judgment-seats? 7Do they not blaspheme the honorable name by which you are called?

8Howbeit if you fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well: 9but if you have respect of persons, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is become guilty of all. 11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not kill. Now if you do not commit adultery, but kill, you are become a transgressor of the law. 12So you speak, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty. 13For judgment is without mercy to him that has showed no mercy: mercy rejoices against judgment.

14What does it profit, my brethren, if a man say he has faith, but have not works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, 16and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be you warmed and filled; and yet you give them not the things needful to the body; what does it profit? 17Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself. 18Yes, a man will say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; you do well: the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But will you know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? 22You see that faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect; 23and the scripture was fulfilled which said, And Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. 24You see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith. 25And in like manner was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.


3 Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive the heavier judgment. 2For in many things we all stumble. If any stumbles not in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. 3Now if we put the horses’ bridles into their mouths that they may obey us, we turn about their whole body also. 4Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, where the impulse of the steersman wills. 5So the tongue also is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire! 6And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell. 7For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. 8But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. 9Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God: 10out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be. 11Does the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter? 12Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs? Neither can salt water yield sweet.

13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. 15This wisdom is not a wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.


4 1Where do the wars and fightings among you come from? Do they not come from within—from your desires for pleasures that war in your members? 2You lust, and have not: you kill, and covet, and cannot obtain because you fight and war. You have not, because you ask not. 3You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it in your pleasures. 4You are an adulterous generation. Know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that the scripture speaks in vain? Does the spirit that he made to dwell in us long unto envying? 6But he gives more grace. Wherefore the scripture said, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 7Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. 9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you.

11Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law: but if you judges the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12One only is the lawgiver and judge, even he who is able to save and to destroy: but who are you that judges your neighbor? 13Come now, you that say, Today or to-morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain: 14whereas you know not what shall be even on tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. 15For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or that. 16But now you glory in your boastings: all such glorying is evil. 17To him therefore that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.


5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you. 2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and your silver are rusted; and their rust shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days. 4Behold, the hire of the laborers who mowed your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries out: and the cries of them that reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5You have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure; you have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned, you have killed the righteous one; he does not resist you. 7Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain. 8You also be patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9Murmur not, brethren, one against another, that you be not judged: behold, the judge stands before the doors. 10My brethren, take for an example the suffering and the patience of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11Behold, we call them blessed that endured: you have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful.

12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; that you fall not under judgment. 13Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14Is 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: 15and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. 16Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man avails much in its workings. 17Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months. 18And he prayed again; and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 19My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him; 20let him know, that he who converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.


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  All text copyright © 2005 Aaron Randall. All rights reserved.  Photos, unless otherwise credited, are the property of the auth, all rights reserved.  Originally posted February 24, 2004.  Revised: April 07, 2010.