1 From James, a worker of Yahweh God and of Yeshua the Christ, Hello to the twelve families which are scattered out.
[2-18] My Christians, be happy when you’re tested by all kinds of temptations; Knowing that the testing of your faith brings patience. But let the work of patience outlast the temptation, so that you can be complete and whole, not needing anything. If any of you lack wisdom, ask God for it, who gives freely to all who ask, and doesn’t scold them; and it’ll be given to them. But ask in faith, not doubting. Whoever doubts is like a wave of the sea blown by the wind and tossed around. Don’t think that you’ll get anything from God that way. A doubtful person is unsure of themselves in everything. Let the Christian of low social status celebrate in the fact that they’re rich in Christ: But the rich, in that they’re humbled in Christ: Like a flower of the grass they’ll all come to an end. As soon as the sun comes up with its burning heat, the grass wilts, and the flower falls off it, and its beauty is gone: so the rich person will also fade away even as they go about their business. Blessed are those who outlast their temptations because after they’re tested, they’ll get the crown of life, which Yahweh God has promised to those who love God. No one should say when they’re tempted, I am being tempted by God because God can’t be tempted with evil, nor does God tempt anyone: But when someone is tempted, they’re lured away by what they want, and convinced that they need it. Then when they get what they want, they sin: and when they sin, death follows. Don’t go wrong here, my dear Christians. Everything good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes from the Light we are from, with whom is no shading, nor moving shadows. God chose to make us with the Word of truth, so that we would be the best of all God’s creatures.
[19-27] So, my dear Christians, let everyone first listen, then answer carefully, and not get angry so fast: because a person’s anger doesn’t bring about the goodness of God. So put away everything evil that is unnecessary, and with gentleness, accept the Word growing in you, which is able to save your souls. But do what the Word tells you to do, not just hearing it only, lying to your own selves. If anyone only hears the Word, but doesn’t do it, they’re like someone looking at their face in a glass, who sees themself, and then goes on their way, quickly forgetting what they just saw. But whoever looks into the complete Word of freedom, and lives by it, not being a forgetful hearer, but does what it says, this person will be blessed in what they do. So if anyone among you is religious, but doesn’t control what they say, misleading their own heart, this person’s religion is meaningless. True religion, which is holy to Yahweh God, is to go to those without a parent and single parents in need, and to keep yourself without fault from the world.
2[1-12] My Christians, have the faith of our Christ, Yeshua, God of victory, without prejudice. If someone comes to your church with a gold ring, in nice clothes, and also a poor person comes in with raggedy clothes, and you show more respect to the one who wears the nice clothes, and say to them, Sit here in the best place; and say to the one who is poor, Stand over there, or sit here at my feet: Then aren’t you being prejudiced in your heart, and haven’t you judged them with your evil thinking? Listen carefully, my dear Christians, hasn’t God chosen those who are poor in this world who are rich in faith, and heirs of the realm of God which has been promised to those who love God? But those who are poor, you hate. Don’t people, who are well off, keep you down and take you to court? Don’t they dishonor and disrespect that worthy name of Christian, by which you’re called? If you follow the law of God as the Word says, You should love your neighbor as yourself; you’re doing what’s right: But if you’re disrespectful to some people, you’re sinning, and are found guilty by the Word of God as sinners. Whoever keeps the whole law, but breaks it in one area, is guilty of breaking it all. Didn’t the One who said, Don’t sin sexually, also say, Don’t kill. Now if you don’t sin sexually, but you kill someone, you have broken the law of the Word of God. So speak and do, as those who will be judged by the Word of God, which frees us from sin.
[13-26] Those who have shown no mercy will also be judged without mercy. It is much better to have mercy on someone than to judge them. What good does it do, my Christians, if someone says they have faith, but doesn’t follow up their faith with actions? Can their faith save them? If a Christian brother or sister is unclothed, and doesn’t even have their daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, I hope you get warm and full; but in spite of this you don’t give them what they need for the body; what good did it do? In the same way, faith, if not followed by actions, by itself, is dead. Yes, someone might say, You have faith, and I have actions: I say show me your faith without doing anything about it, and I’ll show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there’s one God and this is good, but even the evil spirits believe, and shake with fear. But do you want proof, you thoughtless person, that faith without your actions is dead? Wasn’t Abraham our ancestor made right by what he did, when he had offered Isaac, his child, on the altar? Do you see how faith worked along with his actions, and by actions, faith was made complete? And the Word was completed which said, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for goodness: and he was called the friend of God. You see then that a person is made right by what they do, and not by faith only. In the same way also, wasn’t Rahab, a sexually immoral person, made right by what she did, when she took in the spies, and helped them escape. So as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith that is not followed by actions is dead also.
3 My dear Christians, many of you shouldn’t be leaders, because leaders will be held to a stricter judgment. We all do many things that are wrong. If a person doesn’t offend anyone with their words, they are a complete person, and able also to keep their whole body under control. We put bits in the mouths of horses, so that they’ll obey us; and with it we turn their whole body. And also the ships, which are so big, and are driven by very strong winds, are still turned around with a very small helm, wherever the captain wants it to go. In the same way, the tongue is a very small part of the body, but brags about a great many things. See how great a thing a little fire kindles! And the tongue is like a fire, a world of sin. In the same way, the tongue is the worst of our body parts, because it makes the whole body filthy, and changes the whole course of a person’s life, setting it on fire by hell. Every kind of beast, bird, snake, and even the things in the sea, can be tamed, and has been tamed by humanity: But no one can tame the tongue; it’s an unruly, evil thing, full of deadly poison. With our tongue we bless the God we come from; and with the same tongue we curse others, which are made in the very likeness of God. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My dear Christians, it shouldn’t be this way. Does a creek give out both good water and bad at the same place? Can the fig tree, my dear Christians, make olive berries? Or a vine, figs? No creek will have both salt water and fresh. Who is wise and has knowledge among you? Let them show by their good lifestyle that their actions are done with the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have jealousy and resentment in your hearts, don’t praise yourself, and lie about what is true. This wisdom doesn’t come from above, but is based on feelings, earthly, and devilish. Where there is jealousy and resentment, confusion and evil actions will follow. But the wisdom that is from above is first without any evil, then peaceful, gentle, willing to give in, full of mercy and good actions, without any partiality, and without any falsehood. And those who make peace do acts of goodness in peace.
4[1-12] Where do these wars and fights among you come from? Don’t they come from the things you want, which fight within you? You want, but you don’t have: you kill, and want to have, but can’t get what you want: you fight and war, but still you don’t have, because you don’t ask. And when you do ask, you don’t get what you want, because you ask wrongly, so that you can use it only for the things that you want. You’re like sexually unfaithful people. Don’t you know that to love the world is to hate the things of God? So whoever wants to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that the Word said for no reason, The spirit that lives in us is very jealous for us? But God gives us more grace, which is why it was said, God doesn’t accept the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So accept what God says. Fight the devil, who’ll quickly go away from you. Come closer to God, and God will come closer to you. Wash your hands of your evil acts, you sinners; and get your hearts right, you doubting ones. Mourn, grieve, and cry: let your laughter turn into crying, and your joy into sadness. Humble yourselves in the sight of God, who will lift you up. Don’t speak evil of one another, Christians. Whoever speaks evil of another, and judges with prejudice, speaks evil of the Word of God, and judges the Word of God: but if you judge the Word of God, you’re no longer a follower of the Word of God, but a judge. There’s only One Lawgiver, who is able to save and to kill: so who are you that you should judge one another?
[13-17] Now listen, you that say, Today or tomorrow we’ll go into a certain city, and stay there a year, buying and selling, and make some money: When you don’t even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? It’s just a breath, which is here today, and then disappears tomorrow. But you should say instead, If it’s God will, we’ll live, and do this, or that. But now you celebrate with your bragging, but all this kind of celebrating is evil. Those who know to do good, and don’t do it are sinning.
5[1-6] Now listen, you rich people, cry and scream for the miseries that will come on you. Your riches are all gone, and all your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is corroded; and the rust of them will be a witness against you, and your body will be consumed as by a fire. You’ve selfishly kept your wealth for yourself in the last days. You haven’t paid the workers who worked your fields; you kept back their pay by your lies. The cries of those who worked for you have been heard by the God of All. You’ve lived in excess and pleasure on the earth, fattening your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. You’ve accused and killed the good, who didn’t fight you back.
[7-12] So be patient, Christians, until Christ comes again. As the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has great patience for it, until the early and latter rains come, you be patient also. Settle your hearts because Christ’s coming is very near. Don’t be unforgiving toward one another, Christians, or you won’t be forgiven: the Judge stands at the door. My dear Christians, the great preachers, who have spoken in the Name of God, are a good example of patient suffering. We consider them blessed who kept on going. You’ve heard about the patience of Job, and seen what God did in the end; God is very forgiving, and tenderhearted. But above everything else, my Christians, don’t swear, not by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other promise: but let your yes be yes; and your no be no; or you’ll fall into judgment.
[13-20] Is anyone among you troubled? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the Name of Yeshua, the Christ: And when you pray in faith, the sick will be saved, and Christ will heal them; and if they have sinned, they’ll be forgiven. So be honest and admit your faults to one another, and pray for one another, so that you can be healed. The heartfelt prayer of a good person is very powerful. Elijah was a person with the same nature as us, who prayed passionately that it wouldn’t rain: and it didn’t rain on the earth for three and a half years. And when he prayed again, the heaven gave rain, and the earth gave its food. So all of you remember, if any of you do go astray from the truth, and someone changes their mind; Let them know, that whoever helps the sinner change from their wrongful ways will save a soul from death, and will bury a great deal of sins.