To the Twelve Tribes of Israel
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Faith Strengthened by Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.
8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
The Poor and the Rich
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and its flower falls, and the beauty of the appearance of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
All Good Comes from God
12 Blessed is the man that endures trial: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak
19 Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger:
20 For the anger of man works not the righteousness of God.
Be Doers, Not Hearers Only
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and extreme wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 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 mirror:
24 For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was.
25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seems to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.