1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:
Profiting from Trials
2 My brethren,
count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 Knowing that
the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have
its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives
to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a
wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For let not that
man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 He is a
double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
The Perspective of Rich
9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation,
But the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass
11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it
withers the grass; its flower falls and its beautiful appearance perishes. So
the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.
Loving God Under
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has
been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to
those who love Him.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted
by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own
desires and enticed.
15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth
to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
16 Do not
be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect
gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is
no variation or shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will He brought us
forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His
Qualities Needed in Trials
19 So then, my beloved
brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to
20 For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of
Doers—Not Hearers Only
21 Therefore lay aside all
filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted
word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers 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 observing his natural face
in a mirror;
24 For he observes himself, goes away, and immediately
forgets what kind of man he was.
25 But he who looks into the perfect
law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of
the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone among
you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own
heart, this one’s religion is useless.
27 Pure and undefiled religion
before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,
and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory,
2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with
gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy
3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say
to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand
there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”
4 have you not shown partiality
among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my beloved
brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and
heirs of the kingdom which He promises to those who love Him?
6 But you have
dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the
7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;
9 but if you show
partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is
guilty of all.
11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do
not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have
become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak and so do as those who will be
judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment is without mercy to the one
who has shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith Without Works
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has
faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or
sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you says to
them, “Depart in peace, be warmed ad filled,” but you do not give them the
things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 Thus 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 without your
works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
19 You believe that
there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered
Isaac his son on the altar?
22 Do you see that faith was working
together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was
accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of
24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works
when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead
1 My brethren, let not many of you become
teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a
perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Indeed, we put
bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole
4 Look also at ships: althought they are so large and are
driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the
5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts
great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our
members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature;
and it is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beast and bird,
of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by
8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil,
full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our God and Father, and
with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things
ought not to be so.
11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter
from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or
a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and
Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom
13 Who is wise and
understanding among you? Let him show by good contuct that his works are done
in the meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter envy and
self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual,
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every
evil thing are there.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first
pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 Now the fruit of
righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come
from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
2 You lust
and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain.
You fight and war.
Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive,
because you ask amiss, that you may
spend it on your pleasures.
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with
is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend
of the world
makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says
in vain, "The Spirit who
dwells in us yearns jealousy"?
6 But He
gives more grace. Therefore He says:
"God resists the proud,
grace to the humble."
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he
will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you
9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned
mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight
of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
11 Do not speak evil of one
another, brethren. He who speaks evil
of a brother and judges his brother,
speaks evil of the law and
judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are
not a doer of the
law but a judge.
12 There is one Lawgiver, who is
able to save and to destroy. Who
are you to judge another?
now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and
such a city,
spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit";
14 whereas you do
not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is
your life? It is even a
vapor that appears for a little time and
then vanishes away.
Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and
do this or
16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to
it is sin.
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for
your miseries that are
coming upon you!
2 Your riches are corrupted,
and your garments are moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded,
and their corrosion will be a
witness against you and will eat your flesh
like fire. You have
heaped up treasure in the last days.
4 Indeed the
wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you
kept back by fraud,
cry out; and the cries of the reapers have
reached the ears of the Lord of
5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxery; you have
fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned,
you have murdered the just; he does not resist
7 Therefore be
patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See
how the farmer waits
for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting
patiently for it until it
receives the early and latter rain.
8 You also be patient. Establish your
hearts, for the coming of the
Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble
against one another, brethren, lest you be
condemned. Behold, the Judge is
standing at the door!
10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the
name of the
Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the
perseverance of Job
and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the
Lord is very compassionate
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by
heaven or by
earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes" be "Yes," and
"No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.
13 Is anyone among you
suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone
cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
Is anyone 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
15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will
raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another,
may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed
that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three
years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave
rain, and the earth
produced its fruit.
19 Brethren, if anyone among
you wanders from the truth, and someone
turns him back,
20 let him
know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way
will save a soul
from death and cover a multitude of sins.
St. Paul Orthodox Press