Modern English Version
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:
Faith and Wisdom
2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations, 3 knowing that the trying of your faith develops patience. 4 But let patience perfect its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and without criticism, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without wavering. For he who wavers is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed with the wind. 7 Let not that man think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Poverty and Riches
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted, 10 but the rich in that he is made low, because as the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a burning heat and it withers the grass, and its flowers fall, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man wither away in his ways.
Trial and Temptation
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 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither does He tempt anyone. 14 But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. 15 Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no change or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and remaining wickedness and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 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 viewing his natural face in a mirror. 24 He views himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in his deeds.
26 If anyone among you seems to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.