New American Standard Bible

James 1

Testing Your Faith

1[a]James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes who are [b]dispersed abroad: Greetings.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various [c]trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces [d]endurance. And let [e]endurance have its perfect [f]result, so that you may be [g]perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [h]without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a [i]double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

But the [j]brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like [k]flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with [l]a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.

12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has [m]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 being tempted [n]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [o]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin [p]is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be [q]deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [r]shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be [s]a kind of first fruits [t]among His creatures.

19 [u]This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all [v]that remains of wickedness, in [w]humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his [x]natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, [y]he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but [z]an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in [aa]what he does.

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not [ab]bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained [ac]by the world.

Footnotes

  1. James 1:1 Or Jacob
  2. James 1:1 Lit in the Dispersion
  3. James 1:2 Or temptations
  4. James 1:3 Or steadfastness
  5. James 1:4 V 3, note 1
  6. James 1:4 Lit work
  7. James 1:4 Or mature
  8. James 1:5 Lit does not reproach
  9. James 1:8 Or doubting, hesitating
  10. James 1:9 I.e. church member
  11. James 1:10 Lit the flower of the grass
  12. James 1:11 Lit the
  13. James 1:12 Or passed the test
  14. James 1:13 Lit from
  15. James 1:13 Lit of evil things
  16. James 1:15 Lit is brought to completion
  17. James 1:16 Or misled
  18. James 1:17 Lit shadow of turning
  19. James 1:18 Or a certain first fruits
  20. James 1:18 Lit of
  21. James 1:19 Or Know this
  22. James 1:21 Lit abundance of malice
  23. James 1:21 Or gentleness
  24. James 1:23 Lit the face of his birth; or nature
  25. James 1:24 Lit and he
  26. James 1:25 Lit a doer of a work
  27. James 1:25 Lit his doing
  28. James 1:26 Or control
  29. James 1:27 Lit from

Amplified Bible

James 1

Testing Your Faith

1[a]James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve [Hebrew] tribes [scattered abroad among the Gentiles] in the dispersion: Greetings (rejoice)!

Consider it nothing but joy, my [b]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides].

Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position [as a born-again believer, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God]; 10 and the rich man is to glory in being humbled [by trials revealing human frailty, knowing true riches are found in the grace of God], for like the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; its flower falls off and [c]its beauty fades away; so too will the rich man, in the midst of his pursuits, fade away.

12 Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. 16 Do not be misled, my beloved brothers and sisters. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow [d]cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes]. 18 It was of His own will that He gave us birth [as His children] by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creatures [a prime example of what He created to be set apart to Himself—sanctified, made holy for His divine purposes].

19 Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; 20 for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. 21 So get rid of all uncleanness and [e]all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. 23 For if anyone only listens to the word [f]without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets [g]what he looked like. 25 But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but [h]an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren). 27 Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world.

Footnotes

  1. James 1:1 James, the leader of the Jerusalem church, was the half brother of Jesus. He became a believer after the resurrection of Jesus and was later martyred for his faith.
  2. James 1:2 Lit brethren.
  3. James 1:11 Lit the beauty of its face perishes.
  4. James 1:17 Lit of turning.
  5. James 1:21 Lit surplus of.
  6. James 1:23 Lit and is not a doer.
  7. James 1:24 Lit what sort he was.
  8. James 1:25 Lit a doer of work.