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. Chapter 1.

Practical religion

Salutation (written from Jerusalem (?))

1 FROM JAMES,
a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Greetings to the Twelve Tribes dispersed throughout the world.

Faith and Wisdom

2 My brothers, whenever you have to face trials of many kinds, count yourselves supremely happy, 3 in the knowledge that such testing of your faith breeds fortitude, 4 and if you give fortitude full play you will go on to complete a balanced character that will fall short in nothing. 5 If any of you falls short in wisdom, he should ask God for it and it will be given him, for God is a generous giver who neither refuses nor reproaches anyone. 6 But he must ask in faith, without a doubt in his mind; for the doubter is like a heaving sea ruffled by the wind. 7 A man of that kind must not expect the Lord to give him anything; 8 he is double-minded, and never can keep [Or: anything; a double-minded man never keeps ...] a steady course.

Poverty and Riches

9 The brother in humble circumstances may well be proud that God lifts him up; 10 and the wealthy brother must find his pride in being brought low. For the rich man will disappear like the flower of the field; 11 once the sun is up with its scorching heat the flower withers, its petals fall, and what was lovely to look at is lost for ever. So shall the rich man wither away as he goes about his business.

Trial and Temptation

12 Happy the man who remains steadfast under trial, for having passed that test he will receive for his prize the gift of life promised to those who love God. 13 No one under trial or temptation should say, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God is untouched by evil, [Or: God cannot be tempted by evil.] and does not himself tempt anyone. 14 Temptation arises when a man is enticed and lured away by his own lust; 15 then lust conceives, and gives birth to sin; and sin full-grown breeds death.

16 Make no mistake, my friends. 17 All good giving, every perfect gift comes [Or: All giving is good, and every perfect gift comes ...] from above, from the Father of the lights of heaven. With him there is no variation, no play of passing shadows. [Some witnesses read: no variations, or shadow caused by change.] 18 Of his set purpose, by declaring the truth, he gave us birth to be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 Of that you may be certain, my friends. But each of you must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry. 20 For a man's anger cannot promote the justice of God. 21 Away then with all that is sordid, and the malice that hurries to excess, and quietly accept the message planted in your hearts, which can bring you salvation.

22 Only be sure that you act on the message and do not merely listen; for that would be to mislead yourselves. 23 A man who listens to the message but never acts upon it is like one who looks in a mirror at the face nature gave him. 24 He glances at himself and goes away, and at once forgets what he looked like. 25 But the man who looks closely into the perfect law, the law that makes us free, and who lives in its company, does not forget what he hears, but acts upon it; and that is the man who by acting will find happiness.

26 A man may think he is religious, but if he has no control over his tongue, he is deceiving himself; that man's religion is futile. 27 The kind of religion which is without stain or fault in the sight of God our Father is this: to go to the help of orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself untarnished by the world.

| James: 1 | >>

NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.