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The Book of James - Summary

The book of James is a letter in the New Testament of the Bible. People think that the writer was James the brother of Jesus. He became a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Galatians1:19).

James tells his readers about different things:

We may suffer because we follow Jesus. But we must be patient (James 5:7-11). This will make us better people (James 1:2-4)

He speaks against rich people who do wrong things to poor people (James 2:1-4, James 5:1-7). God will say that they are wrong. If poor people trust God, this is better than wealth (James 2:5-7)

God will give wisdom to those who ask for it (James 1:5). This is because true wisdom comes from God (James 1:16-18). God's wisdom teaches us the right behaviour (James 3:13-16).

If we trust in God, we will show it in our actions (James 2:14-26).

James warns us to be careful about our words (James 3:1-12).

He tells us that we should pray sincerely (James 5:13-16).

James is a favourite book for many people.

Listen Download Introduction to Book of James
Listen Download Chapter 1 Greeting; Trials and Maturity; Hearing and Doing the Word.
Listen Download Chapter 2 The Sin of Favortism; Faith and Works.
Listen Download Chapter 3 Controlling the Tongue; The Wisdom from Above.
Listen Download Chapter 4 Proud and Humble; Our Will and His Will.
Listen Download Chapter 5 Warning to the Rich; Waiting for the Lord; Truthful Speech; Effective Prayer.

Book of James Outlines by J.Vernon McGee PDF format <Link>


About James’s letter

James wrote his letter to tell all Christians what they should do. He also told them what they should not do. The letter was in the Greek language. It is different from Paul’s letters. It does not tell people what they must believe. James did not write it to tell them how to become Christians. He is writing to Christians. They know that Jesus died for them. He is writing to help them to live for Jesus. He is telling them how to become better Christians. After he had written his letter, he sent it to every Christian *church. It is important to all Christians today. James was the brother of the *Lord Jesus Christ. James was also a leader of the *church in Jerusalem. (See Acts 12:17 and Acts 15:13-22.)

Chapter 1

v1 This letter is from James, who is a servant of God and of the *Lord Jesus Christ. I say ‘hello’ to the 12 *tribes of the *Jews, who live in many parts of the world.

v2 My Christian brothers, be very happy when all kinds of *tests happen to you. v3 You are continuing to fight these troubles. And you know that your *faith will become stronger then. v4 Continue to be strong for the fight. So you will become completely *mature and you will not need anything. v5 If any of you need *wisdom, ask God for it. He is ready to give to everyone. And he never says that it is wrong to ask. God will give that *wisdom to you. v6 But when you ask, you must believe. You must believe that God will give it to you. Some people are not sure whether God will give it to them. That kind of person is like the water that is in the sea. The wind blows it this way and that way. v7‑8 A person who is like that never knows what to do. He is confused. He does not know what to think. He should not think that he will get anything from the *Lord.

James is the brother of Jesus, but he describes himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. Christians should be servants too. In those days, servants were not free. They were like their master’s things. They had to do everything that their master wanted. Some masters were bad and some were good. Christians are servants of God. And he is the best master that anyone could have.

In the Greek language, the words in verse 1 mean ‘the 12 *tribes who are not in their own country’.

v9 The poor Christian in your group should be happy, because God will make him great. v10 And the rich Christian should be happy that God will make him small. He should remember that he will die like a wild flower. v11 The sun rises and hot winds dry the wild flowers. They fall and die. And they are no longer beautiful. In the same way, while the rich man is busy, he will die like a wild flower.

v12 Some people do not stop believing even when troubles happen. God will *bless a person who is like that. After he has won the fight, God will give a gift to him. That is the gift that God promised. This gift is *eternal life. God will give this gift to all people who love him. v13 Trouble will happen to *tempt us. But do not say that God is causing it to *tempt you. Nothing bad can *tempt God and God does not *tempt anyone. v14 It is our own thoughts that *tempt us sometimes. And then we want to do wrong things. We want what is bad. And that causes us to do wrong things. v15 Sometimes we do the bad things that we wanted to do. When we do that, we *sin. In the end, the result of *sin is death.

v16 Do not make a mistake, my *dear Christian brothers. v17 Every good gift and every *perfect gift comes to us from God. He is the best Father. He is like a strong light that sends away all shadows. He does not change. v18 He chose to make us his children. He made us his children by his true word. The result is that we will be like the first part of his *harvest.

It is not always easy to be a Christian. It is not easy to make God happy in all the things that we do. Life is sometimes very difficult. Sometimes we are sick or we feel pain. Or trouble happens to us. Sometimes other people hurt us because we are Christians. God does not cause these troubles to happen to us. But God loves us very much. He can use these troubles to help us to grow. Even pain can cause us to be more like God. If we ask him for help, he will hear us. He will help us to understand more. Sometimes life is difficult. But then we must not think that God has made it difficult. We must *trust him to use difficult things. He can use them to make us stronger.

Verse 18 Christians are like God’s *harvest.

v19 Understand this, my *dear Christian brothers. We must all be careful to listen. We should not be too quick to speak. We should not get angry easily. v20 When a man is angry, he does not do the right things. He does not do what God wants. v21 So, stop doing and stop saying *evil things. God has put his word in your minds, and it can save your *souls. So, believe what it says.

v22 But do not only listen to the word of God. Do what it says too. If you do not, you will be making a mistake. v23 You will be like a man who sees his face in a mirror. v24 This man looks at himself and then he goes away. And he immediately forgets what he is like. v25 But the person who continues to look into the good *law of God will be free. That is, if he obeys it. That person will not forget what he hears. He will do what it says. And so God will *bless that person in what he does.

v26 We may want to do the things that make God happy. We may think that we are doing those things. But if we speak bad words, we are wrong. We are not making God happy. And what we think is not helping us. v27 Things that really make God our Father happy are good. For example, we should help children that have no parents. We should help women whose husbands have died. And we must keep away from all that is wrong in the world.

All God’s servants must hear and remember his words. We must do what he wants. And we must obey his words. If we do those things, we will be happy. This is how we work for God. We may say that we are his servants. But we might not do what he wants. And so we are not saying what is true. To do good things cannot buy us a place that is near to God. We must not think that it can. But we should do the good things that God wants us to do. That will show our love for God. And so we will be good servants, and we will be God’s good children.

Chapter 2

v1 My Christian brothers, you *trust the *Lord Jesus Christ, who is full of *glory. So, do not think that one person is more valuable than another person. v2 Two men may come into the place where you have your meetings. One of them is wearing good clothes and he has gold rings. The other man is poor, and he is wearing old clothes. v3 You look at the man who is wearing good clothes. You say to him, ‘Please sit here in a good place.’ But you say to the poor man, ‘Stand there’, or ‘Sit at my feet.’ v4 If you do that, you are not doing the right thing. You are thinking that each of them has a different value. You must not think that one of them is better than the other man. This is wrong and your thoughts are not correct.

v5 My *dear Christian brothers, listen to me. This is what God has done. He has chosen those that people of this world call poor. But those poor people believe in God, so he calls them rich. He will give to them a place in his *kingdom. God has promised this to those who love him. v6 But you have done wrong things to the poor man. And so, you have caused him to feel ashamed. It is the rich people who cause trouble to happen to you. They ask *judges to say without a good reason that you have done wrong things. v7 It is rich men who speak badly about the good name (Christ). But you are called his people (Christians).

Every Christian is important to God. Each Christian is valuable to him. Our money and good clothes are not important. God has chosen poor people to show us that his love is better than money or good clothes. We should be good to poor people and to rich people. God wants us to be good to people who are from every family and from every country. We may have more money than other people have. But that does not make us better than they are. God wants us to love other people. And he wants us to love him more than we love anyone else.

v8 But God, who is king, has said in his word, ‘Love other people as you love yourself.’ If you really do that, you do well. v9 But perhaps you think that one man is better than another man. If you think that, you are *sinning. God’s *law says that you are wrong. v10 That is because we must obey all of God’s rules. We must obey every rule that the *law tells us. If we fail to obey one small rule, we have failed to obey the whole *law. v11 For example, God has said in his *law, ‘You must not have sex with another person who is not your husband or your wife.’ But he has also said, ‘Do not kill another person.’ Perhaps you do not have wrong sex but you do murder. If you do that, you have not obeyed the *law of God. v12 Speak as those whom God will *judge by his *law. And remember that, whatever you are doing. This *law makes us free. By this *law, God will say soon if our lives are good or bad. v13 God will not be kind to those who have not been kind. He will be kind to those who have been kind. And that is better than when he says, ‘You are wrong.’

v14 My Christian brothers, you say that you believe in God. But you show this when you do good things. But some people among you may not do any good things. What those people say is not worth anything. If your *faith is like that, it cannot save you. v15 If a Christian brother or sister does not have enough clothes or enough food, he or she needs help. v16 It does not help them if you say to them, ‘Go and be well. Keep yourself warm and eat well.’ But you do not give to them what they need. That does not help them at all. v17 Perhaps you say that you believe. But you do not do good things. That is not worth anything. Christians must do good things. In that way, they show that they really believe in God.

v18 Someone will say, ‘You believe in God but I help people.’ Show me that you believe in God. You cannot show me that if you are not doing any good things. But I will show you that I believe in God. I will show it to you when I help people. v19 You believe that there is one God. Good! The *demons believe that, and it makes them very afraid. v20 You silly person, you should not need me to show you these facts. You may say that you believe. But, if you do not do good things, that is not worth anything. v21 Think about our father Abraham, who offered his son Isaac on an *altar. God called him a good man because he did that. v22 Abraham did what God asked him to do. So you can see that he believed God. He obeyed God. So he showed that he really believed in God. v23 The *Scriptures said that this would happen. They say, ‘Abraham believed God, so God called him a good man.’ God also called him his friend. v24 A person may say that he believes in God. But God does not call a person good only because he says that. God calls a person good when that person does good things too.

v25 It was the same with Rahab. She was a person that men paid to have sex with her. But some *Jews came to her. And then she did something that made God happy. They were enemies of her people and they had come to look at her city. To make God happy, she let them stay in her house. She kept them safe. Then she sent them back by a different way. So, because she did that, God called her good. v26 The body with no *spirit is dead. In the same way, you may say that you believe in God. But perhaps you do not do good things. So, what you say is not worth anything.

If we do only one small wrong thing, God will be angry with us. Any wrong thing that we do makes God sad. He will *punish us one day if we do bad things to other people. If we are kind to other people, God will be kind to us. But we must obey all his rules. We must do the things that make God happy. That is how we show our love to God. Words mean nothing if we do not do any good things. We must show that we are God’s people. We must help other people. And we must do the things that make them happy. We show that we are God’s people in that way. We should *trust God as Abraham and Rahab *trusted him. Rahab was a bad woman. But God *forgave the bad things that she had done. She *trusted God and he saved her whole family. (See Joshua 2:1-20; 6:22-23; James 2:25.) She became one of God’s people, and she became an *ancestor of his kings (Matthew 1:5, 6). She even became an *ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 3

v1 My Christian brothers, not many of you should be teachers. God will *judge everybody. But at that time, he will demand more from teachers than he will demand from other people. v2 That is because we all make many mistakes. Perhaps one person never says anything that is wrong. That person is good in all that he does. He can cause his whole body to do what is right. v3 For example, think about what we do with a horse. We can cause it to obey us. We put a bit of iron in its mouth. After we have done that, we can turn it. And then we can cause its whole body to go where we want it to go. v4 Think about ships that sail on the sea. They are large, and strong winds push them over the water. But we fix a very small piece of wood under the back of the ship. With this piece of wood, a man can cause the ship to turn anywhere that he wants it to go. v5 The *tongue is like that too. It is a very small part of the body but it talks about big things. A very small fire can cause a big forest to burn. v6 And the *tongue is like a fire. It is like a whole world of *evil things. The *tongue is a small part of the body but it makes the whole person bad. It destroys all of his life. That fire is the fire that comes from *hell. And that is what makes the *tongue so dangerous.

v7 Remember this: People can cause all kinds of animals, birds, snakes and fishes to do what they want them to do. v8 But no person can rule his *tongue. No person can stop it from saying bad things. It is like a bad poison and it can cause death. v9 We use the *tongue to *praise our *Lord and Father. We also use it to speak bad things against people. But God made people to be like himself. v10 So we use the same mouth to *praise and to speak bad things. My Christian brothers, we should not do this. v11 Salt water and sweet water cannot come from the same well. v12 My Christian brothers, a *fig tree cannot make *olives. A plant that makes *grapes cannot also make *figs. And a well cannot have salt water and have sweet water too. In the same way, we should not use the *tongue to *praise God, and then to speak bad things.

If we choose to say only one wrong word, it can cause us to go away from God. One small wrong word can turn our minds away from God’s way. Then we do or say more wrong things. This could take us a long way from God. We should let God help us with our minds and our words all the time.

Teachers must be careful to teach God’s word correctly. They must teach all the words of the Bible. They must ask God to help them. And he will help them to understand the Bible. God wants teachers to teach by what they do. They should not only say the words. Teachers must show other Christians what they should do. The teachers should show them because the teachers do the right things themselves.

We must all be careful to speak only good words. The *devil wants us to say bad things. We must not let him cause us to do that. God’s people must not say things that are not true. And they should not say things that are not kind. God’s people should say and do only good things.

v13 Some of you may be *wise. You will understand these things. So show that you are *wise. Show it by what you do. Do things that are good and *wise. v14 Perhaps you think bad things about other people. Some people may have what you want. And perhaps you feel bad because of that. Perhaps you want to make yourselves important and you do not think about anyone else. You may think these bad things. If you do, do not think, ‘We are better than other people.’ Do not say that you are *wise. v15 Perhaps you think bad things about other people. But that is not how God would want you to think. People who do not know God may think like that. The bad parts of human nature cause you to think like that. It is like the way that *demons think. v16 You may think bad things about other people. And you may think that you are better than those people. That will cause trouble among people and lots of bad things will happen. v17 If God makes you *wise, you will first be clean and true. Then you will love to have *peace with other people. You will be quiet. And you will not want to argue with people. You will be loving and kind. And you will do good things to all people. You will be honest. And you will be like that all the time.

v18 Those who bring *peace to other people help them to have *peace with everyone. God will call those people good.

Chapter 4

v1 You very often fight and quarrel among yourselves. You must know why that is. It is because you want to make yourselves happy. You have wrong thoughts. That is why you are doing this to each other. v2 You want something but you do not get it. You kill other people. And you try to take things that are not yours. But you cannot get them. You fight and you quarrel. But you do not get what you want. You do not get it because you do not ask God. v3 When you do ask, you do not receive anything. That is because you ask for the wrong reason. This is why you ask: You want to spend what you get to make yourselves happy. v4 You are like a wife who has sex with other men. Some people do not love God. Those people do the things that he does not like. If you want to do those things, you are against God. Some people choose to be friends of those who do wrong things. People who choose to do that are enemies of God. You should know that! v5 With good reason, the *Scripture says to us: ‘God has caused his Spirit to live in us. He wants very much to keep us for himself.’ v6 But God gives more loving help to us. That is why the *Scripture says, ‘Some people think that they are very important. God is against those people. But some people know that they need God. He gives his loving help to those people.’ v7 So give yourself only to God. Be strong against the *devil and he will run away from you. v8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Do not try to love *sin and to love God at the same time. You cannot do that. So, start to love God only. Make your hearts and your minds clean. I am writing to those who want to go both ways. You cannot love *sin and love God at the same time. v9 Be sorry and weep. Do not laugh but be sad. Do not be happy but be serious.

v10 Think about yourselves as small in front of the *Lord God. Then he will make you great.

v11 My Christian brothers, do not say bad things against each other. Perhaps you speak against another Christian. If you do that, you are speaking against the *law. If you make yourself another Christian’s *judge, you are speaking against the *law too. When you say these things, you are not obeying the *law. You are making yourself a *judge instead. v12 God says what we should do. And he will be the *judge. Only he can save us or kill us. So you must not try to be another person’s *judge.

Some people fight and argue. They are being like the *devil. If we say bad things about God’s word or about his people, we are being like the *devil. If we only want to make ourselves happy, God will not hear us. We must listen to God. We must be sorry about the wrong things that we have done. We must do good things. So God will give to us all that we need. As a result, we will be able to do the things that make him happy. Then we will be happy. We should fight the *devil, and not fight other Christians. God will make us strong to fight. We must be strong against the *devil. If we do that, he will run away. When we really *trust God, the *devil may attack us. But he cannot hurt us.

v13 Listen to me, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this city or to that city. We will stay there for a year. We will buy and sell. And we will get rich.’ v14 You do not know what will happen tomorrow. Your life is like smoke. Smoke appears for a little while and then it is there no longer. v15 What you ought to say is, ‘If the *Lord wants it, we will live here or there. If he wants it, we will do this or that.’ v16 But now you talk about what you will do. You speak as if you can cause it to happen. It is wrong to speak like that. v17 So, we all know the good things that we ought to do. If we do not do them, we *sin.

We do not know what God will do tomorrow or the next day. We do know that he wants to do only the best things for his people. Troubles may happen to us sometimes. But we know that we can *trust God, even at those times. We should obey what he teaches us every part of every day. If we do that, our lives will make him happy.

Chapter 5

v1 So, you rich people, weep and cry aloud. Many troubles will soon happen to you. v2 Your money does not really have any value. Your beautiful clothes are as if *moths had eaten them. v3 You have kept a lot of money for yourselves in these last days. Your money has *mould on it. That *mould will show how bad you are. And it will become like fire that is burning your bodies. v4 You have not paid the *wages of those who worked in your fields. Listen! The *Lord of all the *angels heard the workers when they shouted for his help. The money that you have kept for yourselves shows God something. It shows him that you have done wrong things. v5 You have had all that you wanted. You have lived to make yourselves happy on this earth. You have made yourselves fat. Now you are like animals that are ready for men to kill. v6 You have said about the good man, ‘He is bad. We should kill him.’ He does not try to fight against you.

God and his word should be more important to us than anything else is. Our money and our good clothes do not make him happy. The good things that we do are important to him. And the kind words that we speak are important to him too. He wants us to be good to our workers. It makes God happy when rich people give money to help poor people.

v7 So be patient my Christian brothers until the *Lord comes. Think about this: The farmer is patient while he waits for the land to give food for him. He continues to wait for the rain to come in the autumn and in the spring. v8 You, too, be patient because the *Lord will come soon. And be strong as you hope for that.

v9 Do not say bad things about each other, my Christian brothers. If you do, God will *judge you. He will come very soon to *judge people.

v10 Think about the *prophets who brought messages from the *Lord. They showed us how to be patient, my Christian brothers. They were patient even when much pain happened to them. v11 God *blessed people who were like that. We know that he did. They were in trouble. But they continued to do what God wanted. For example, you have heard about Job. He continued to wait for God to help him. You have heard how, in the end, the *Lord *blessed him. The *Lord was kind and the Lord did very many good things for him.

v12 When you say a promise, never say, ‘as sure as *heaven is there’ or ‘as sure as earth is there’ or anything like that. Your ‘yes’ should mean ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ should mean ‘no’. If you say more than that, God may *punish you.

v13 If one of you is in trouble, talk to God about it. If one of you is happy, sing. And *praise God. v14 If one of you is sick, he should ask the leaders of your *church to come. They will put a little oil on him and they will say, ‘In the name of the *Lord Jesus we do this.’ They will ask God to make him well. v15 Believe that God will answer. If you do, God will make the sick person well. He will become well again. And God will *forgive any wrong things that he has done. v16 So, tell each other about any wrong things that you have done. God makes sick people well, so speak to him on behalf of each other. God really listens to a person who obeys God. God does powerful things when someone like that asks him to. v17 For example, Elijah was a man who was like us. He *prayed that it would not rain. And he believed that God would answer him. And so it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. v18 After that, he asked God to send rain again. Rain came from the sky. And the seeds that were under the ground began to grow.

v19 My Christian brothers, one of you may start to do or to think bad things. If he does, try to bring him back to God. v20 Whoever turns a person from *sin will save that person’s *soul from death. You should know that. Then God will *forgive that person for the many wrong things that he has done.

God always does everything that he has promised to do. He cannot say things that are not true. He can do more than we can understand. He will help us to be happy if we ask him. If we are ill, we should ask for his help. He can make us well again. We may have done something wrong. If another Christian *prays for us, God will answer his *prayer. We may turn away from what God wants us to do. If another Christian helps us to turn back to God, he will be saving us from death. God always listens to the *prayers of people who are really obeying him.

Questions to think about

Chapter 1

·          What things may help us to become *mature Christians?

·          Why should we be careful to say only good things?

Chapter 2

·          Does God love rich people? (See also chapter 5.)

·          What things make God angry?

·          How do we show that we believe in God?

Chapter 3

·          What should a Christian teacher be like?

Chapter 4

·          What are some of the things that cause us to fight each other?

·          If we fight each other, does this make God happy?

Chapter 5

·          How can we help Christians who are sick?

·          Sometimes a Christian brother may do things that do not make God happy. If that happens, what should we do?

·          What should all Christians be waiting for?

Word List

altar ~ special table for people to burn animals or other gifts, which they offer to God.

ancestor ~ people centuries ago that your grandparents’ grandparents were born to.

angel ~ a *spirit who works for God and who fights in his army.

bless ~ to say or to do good things to a person.

church ~ a group of Christians who meet together. A church is not only the building that they meet in. It can also mean all the Christians in the world.

dear ~ what we call someone that we love.

demon ~ bad *spirit from the *devil; *spirit that works for the *devil; *spirit that does bad things.

devil ~ another name for Satan, who is the worst enemy of God.

eternal life ~ a special and new life that a person starts when they accept Jesus. This new life will be with Jesus always.

evil ~ things or people that are very bad. There is nothing good in them.

faith ~ when you believe in something or someone; when you believe that someone will be good to you; when you believe that someone will do the right thing.

fig ~ kind of sweet fruit that grows on a tree.

forgive ~ when someone stops being angry with another person who has done bad things.

glory ~ like a beautiful light from God. It shows how good and how powerful he is.

grape ~ a fruit. People can make a drink that contains alcohol from grapes.

harvest ~ the time when people pick all the fruits that are ready to eat. It may also be the fruits themselves.

heaven ~ the place where God lives and rules.

hell ~ a place where people are not happy; a place that is a long way from God; a place where very hot fire is always burning; always separate from God; the place where people who do not know God go after death.

Jews ~ people who were born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

judge ~ to say what or who is right; or, the person who can say that.

kingdom ~ where a king rules.

law ~ the rules that God or rulers make; we can read about God’s rules in the Bible.

Lord ~ someone who rules or who is a master. God is the Lord who rules everyone. It is also a name that Christians use for Jesus. We use it because we should obey him.

mature ~ like a person who has grown up.

moth ~ an insect that flies; its babies eat clothes.

mould ~ something that grows on cloth or paper and destroys it.

olive ~ a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people used to make oil. They burned the oil to give them light. They used it in other ways too.

peace ~ a time of rest with no war or fights or quarrels; when people do not argue.

perfect ~ there is nothing wrong with it.

praise ~ to say good things about a person.

pray ~ to talk to God.

prayer ~ the words that we say when we talk to God.

prophet ~ a person who speaks on behalf of God. He can sometimes tell people about future events. Someone who says what God thinks; or someone who says what God will do. Some prophets wrote books in the Bible.

punish ~ to hurt someone for the wrong things that they have done. For example, a person who has robbed another person must go to prison.

Scripture ~ the Bible; the Old Testament.

sin ~ when people do not obey God’s rules; or what people do when they do not obey God’s rules.

soul ~ the part inside a person that we cannot see; it is in us during our life; it lives after we die.

spirit ~ part of a living person, which we cannot see; spirits are alive, but we cannot see them. There are good spirits that we usually call angels. Bad spirits (also called evil spirits or demons) live in the air round us. The *devil is their leader.

tempt ~ when we try to cause someone to do something bad.

test ~ almost like an exam to show whether they were good or bad.

tongue ~ large red part (of the body) in the mouth. It helps us to speak.

tribe ~ family from one man. The first *Jews were the 12 sons of Jacob. The family of each son became a tribe.

trust ~ to believe that someone will be good to you.

wages ~ you do work and someone pays you for it. That money is wages.

wisdom ~ we say that a *wise person has wisdom.

wise ~ when we understand God’s word; wise people know what is good and right; and they do it.

Book List

NIV Study Bible

R. V. G. Tasker ~ James ~ Tyndale NT Commentaries

Robert K. Brown and Philip W. Comfort ~ Greek English Interlinear New Testament ~ Tyndale House (1990).

Book 59 James
King James Version
001:001 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
001:002 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
001:003 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
001:004 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
001:005 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.
001:006 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.
001:007 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
001:008 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
001:009 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
001:010 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
001:011 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.
001:012 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.
001:013 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:
001:014 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
001:015 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
001:016 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
001:017 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.
001:018 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
001:019 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
001:020 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
001:021 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
001:022 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
001:023 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:
001:024 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
001:025 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.
001:026 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.
001:027 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.

002:001 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
002:002 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
002:003 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
002:004 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
002:005 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
002:006 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
002:007 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
002:008 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
002:009 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
002:010 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
002:011 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
002:012 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
002:013 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
002:014 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
002:015 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
002:016 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
002:017 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
002:018 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
002:019 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
002:020 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
002:021 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
002:022 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
002:023 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
002:024 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
002:025 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
002:026 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

003:001 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
003:002 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
003:003 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
003:004 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
003:005 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
003:006 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
003:007 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
003:008 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
003:009 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
003:010 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
003:011 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
003:012 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
003:013 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
003:014 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
003:015 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
003:016 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
003:017 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
003:018 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

004:001 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
004:002 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
004:003 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
004:004 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
004:005 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
004:006 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
004:007 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
004:008 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
004:009 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
004:010 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
004:011 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
004:012 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
004:013 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
004:014 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
004:015 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
004:016 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
004:017 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

005:001 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
005:002 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
005:003 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
005:004 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
005:005 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
005:006 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
005:007 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
005:008 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
005:009 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
005:010 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
005:011 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
005:012 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
005:013 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
005:014 Is any sick among you? 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:
005:015 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
005:016 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
005:017 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
005:018 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
005:019 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
005:020 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.



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Note: Chapter topic headings from "The Holman Illustrated Study Bible"; Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. ISBN: 978-1-58640-275-4.
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