James 1: 1-27

I’ve started a class that examines the epistle of James, so there will be a series of translations related to that. I’m not sure if the entire letter will be assigned (it’s short and the Greek is not difficult) but here is the first part.

1 James, slave of god and lord Jesus Christ to the twelve tribes in the Diaspora, greetings.

2 Believe eveything a joy, my brothers, whenever you encounter manifold trials, 3 knowing that the test of your faith wins endurance; 4 and let endurance bear the perfected work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5 And if any of you is lacking wisdom, ask it from god, who gives unequivocally to all and does not cast reproach, and it shall be given by him. 6 Ask in faith, doubting nothing, for he who doubts is like the wave of the sea, driven by the wind and blown about; 7 let not that person believe that he will receive anything from the lord, 8 the double-souled man, disorderly in all his ways.

9 Let him boast, the brother humbled in his summit, 10 and the wealthy man in his humiliation, since like the bloom of the pasturage he will be passed unnoticed. 11 For the sun has risen with the summer heat and has parched the pasturage and the bloom has been cast out of it, and the beauty of its face has been destroyed; so too the wealthy man in his journeys will wither away.

12 Blessed is the man who faces a trial, because he becomes esteemed and will receive the crown of life, which was promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one who suffers trials say, “I am tested by god.” For god is incapable of being tested by evils, and he himself tests no one. 14 But each man is tested by his own yearning, he is drawn out and baited; 15 Thereafter, his yearning, seizing him, gives birth to sin, and sin, once accomplished, brings forth death.

16 Do not go astray, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, come down from the father of lights,1 with whom there is no variation or shadow of change 18 Willingly, he brought us forth by the word of truth, for us to be the first fruits of his creations.

19 Know this, my beloved brothers. Let every man be swift to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of god.

21 On which account, by holding back all the filth and surplus of vice, welcome with gentleness the innate word, which has the power to save your souls. 22 Become doers of the word and not mere hearers who mislead themselves with false reasoning. 23 For if someone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who perceives the face of his origin in a mirror; 24 for he perceived himself and had departed and immediately forgot where he was.

25 But he who has peered at the fulfilled law of freedom and has stood fast, becoming not a hearer of forgetfulness, but rather a doer of the deed, he will be blessed in his composition. 26 If someone seems to be religious, yet does not rein his tongue but rather cheats his heart, his religious worship is empty. 27 The religious worship that is spotless and undefiled with the god and father is this: to watch over for the orphans and widows in their oppression, to keep himself unblemished by the world.

1. The Greek word used here for light is φώς, which also means man. The double meaning is probably intentional, but light fits better with the light/shadow pairing of this verse.

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