The General Letter of James


James, servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the dispersion: greetings.

2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you shall fall into various temptations, 3 knowing this, that the testing of your faith produces patience; 4 but patience should have its perfected work, that you may be perfect and whole, not lacking in anything.

5 If any of you lack in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all people generously without rebuke, and it shall be given him; 6 but he should ask in faith, hesitating in nothing—for one who hesitates is like a wave in the sea, tossed and driven by the wind. 7 Nor ought that man to presume that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 A man of two minds is inconstant in all his ways.

9 The brother who is humble ought to glory in his being lifted up, 10 but the one who is rich, in his being brought down; for like the flower of grass he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with the hot wind, than it dries up the grass, and its flower falls, and the attractiveness of its appearance perishes; so also shall the rich person fade away in his abundance.

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he is tried, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say that God is tempting them, for God will not be tempted with evil, nor does he tempt anyone. 14 But everyone is tempted, when they are led and lured away by their own lust. 15 Then lust, after it has conceived, bears sin; and sin, when perfected, teems with death.

16 Do not err, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good giving, every perfect gift is descending from the father of light, with whom is no transmutation or turning to shadow. 18 From his own will he fathered us with the word of truth, so that we may be some manner of firstfruit of all his creatures.

19 Therefore, my beloved brothers, every person ought to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. 20 For an angry man does not work the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, setting aside all filthiness and superfluity of evil, in meekness receive the word implanted, which can give back salvation to your souls.

22 And be doers of the word, not merely hearers, deceiving yourselves; 23 for if someone were to hear the word and not act on it, he is like a man considering the face of his birth in a mirror; 24 for he considers himself, and leaves, and at once has forgotten how he was. 25 But the one who shall look into the perfect law, which is liberty, and shall so remain, becoming not an oblivious hearer, but a doer of deeds, will be blessed in his deeds.

26 If one would seem to be religious among you, who will not restrain his tongue, but shall lead his own heart astray, his religion is in vain. 27 The pure and spotless religion with God and the Father is this, to visit the orphans and the widows in their suffering, and to maintain oneself spotless from the world.


My brothers, do not have the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ in partiality to people. 2 For if there should enter into your gathering place a man with a gold ring, splendidly clothed, and there should also enter a shabbily dressed poor man, 3 and you give respect to the splendidly clothed one, and say to him, “Sit here in a good place”, and to the poor you say, “Stand over there, or sit under my footstool”, 4 are you not discriminatory in yourselves, and making yourselves judges of evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers: has not God chosen the poor of this world as rich in faith, and heirs to the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6 And you have contempt for the poor. Do not the rich act as tyrants over you, and haul you to the judgment seats? 7 And do they not speak evilly of the good name upon which you are called? 8 But if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Love your neighbor like yourself, you do well; 9 but if you are partial to one person over another, you commit a sin, and like transgressors, are convicted by the law.

10 For whoever shall keep the entire law and stumble on one matter has become guilty of all things. 11 For the one who said, Do not commit adultery, also said, Do not commit murder; so if you do not commit adultery, but you do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 Speak thus, and do thus, as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For the one who shall judge without mercy will be the one who receives no mercy; and mercy glories against judgment.

14 What use is it, my brothers, if someone should say he has faith, and does not have the action? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister should be naked, and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you should say to that person, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”, but you do not give what is necessary for the body, what use is it? 17 And thus faith, if it should not be backed by action, is inherently dead. 18 But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have action; show me your faith from your deeds, and I will show you my faith from my deeds.” 19 Do you believe that God is one? You do well; even the demons believe and shudder. 20 But will you not know, you empty-headed man, that faith without action is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by his deeds when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 Do you see how faith acted through his deeds, and from the deeds his faith was perfected? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled, which said, Abraham believed in God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, and he was called a friend of God. 24 So do you see that a person is justified by his deeds, and not solely by faith? 25 And likewise also, Rahab the prostitute: was she not justified by her deeds when she took in the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also, faith without action is dead.


Do not, my brothers, be many masters, knowing that we shall receive a greater judgment. 2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, who can restrain even the whole of his body. 3 Behold, we put a restraint, a bridle, in the mouth of a horse so that they will obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Behold ships, as large as they are, and driven by fierce winds; but they can be turned with a small rudder, wherever the helmsman wishes. 5 So also, the tongue is a small part of the body and boasts great things. Behold, how great a fire is lit from very little kindling! 6 And the tongue is fire, a world of iniquity; thusly the tongue stands among our members as something which blemishes the whole body, and inflames the wheel of our birth, and is inflamed by Gehenna. 7 For all of nature, and wild animals, birds, snakes, and sea creatures, can be tamed, and has been tamed to the human nature; 8 but the tongue, no one can tame its uncontrollable evil, full of deadly venom. 9 With it, we bless God and the Father; and with it, we curse people, who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. These things, my brothers, should not be. 11 Does a spring from the same pace emanate both sweet and brackish water? 12 Or can, my brothers, a fig tree produce olives, or a grape vine figs? Neither can a spring produce both salty and sweet water.

13 Who among you is wise and knowledgeable? He should show his deeds from good behavior in meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you should have bitter envy, and contention in your hearts, do not glory and be liars against the truth, 15 for this wisdom is not coming from above, but is earthly, beastly, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and contention there is inconstancy and every bad deed. 17 And the wisdom which is from above is first pure, then modest, peaceful, gentle, full of mercy and good fruit, without discrimination or insincerity. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in the peace of those who make peace.


From where come wars and battles among you? Not here? Not from your own lusts that wage war among your members? 2 You lust, and do not have; you kill, and are jealous, and cannot obtain; you fight and wage war, you do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask, and do not receive, for you ask evilly, so that you may consume it in your lust. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship to the world is enmity of God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of this age makes themselves an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the scripture says for no reason, To envy lusts the spirit which abides in you? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore he said, God resists the proud, but to the humble he gives grace. 7 Therefore, be subject to God; and resist the devil, and he will flee from you; draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

8 Wash your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Suffer, weep and mourn; your laughter is turned to mourning, your joy into dejection. 10 Be humble in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Do not speak against one another, brothers. Whoever speaks against a brother, whoever judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law. And if you should judge the law, you are not a doer, but a judge, of the law. 12 For there is one legislator and judge, who can cure and destroy, and who are you to judge another?

13 Now carry on, you who say, “Today and tomorrow we will eat in this city, and make for a year here, and buy, sell and make money”, 14 unaware of what shall happen the next day. 15 For what is your life? It is but a puff of smoke, that for a short time appears, and then vanishes. Therefore you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes”, and, “If we live, we will do this or that.” 16 And now you rejoice in your boasting; all such rejoicing is evil. 17 Therefore, to the one who knows to do good, and does not do so, it is sin.


Now carry on, rich people; cry and howl in your miseries which shall come to you. 2 Your riches have become rotten, your clothes eaten away by moths. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness to you, and will eat away at your flesh like fire. You have gathered up treasure for the last days. 4 Behold the wages of your workers, who have reaped down your countryside, which you have fraudulently withheld, screaming, and the screams of the reapers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Troops. 5 You live luxuriously and wastefully upon the earth, nourishing your hearts as in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and slaughtered the righteous, who has not resisted you.

7 So be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, patient for it until it receives the early and late rain. 8 Therefore, you too, be patient; and make firm your hearts; for the coming of the Lord is approaching.

9 Do not grudge one against another, brothers, so that you not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing at the door. 10 Take, my brothers, the suffering and patience of the prophets as an example, who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we deem the ones who survive to be blessed. You have heard the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is merciful and has mercy. 12 And above all, my brothers, do not swear, neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by anything else by which you may swear. Have it be for you as “yes, yes,”, “no, no”, lest you fall into hypocrisy.

13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Or is anyone cheerful? He should sing psalms. 14 Is there anyone among you who may be ill? He should call on the older members of the community; and they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer of faith will save the one who is struggling, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he shall be in sin, it will be forgiven to him. 16 Confess your failings one to another, and pray for each other, that you may be healed; for the prayer of the righteous is highly effective. 17 Elijah was a man of similar emotion to us, and he prayed a prayer that it might not rain, and it did not rain upon the earth for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave its rain, and the earth produced its fruit. 19 My brothers, if any of you should err from the truth, and one turn him back, 20 know that the one who turns the sinner back from the error of his way saves the soul from death, and shall cover the multitude of sins.