James 1 Expanded Bible (EXB)
To ·all of God’s people [L the twelve tribes; C an allusion to the twelve tribes of Israel; referring either to Jewish Christians or all believers as the new covenant people of God] ·who are scattered everywhere in the world [L in the Diaspora/Dispersion; C a reference to the scattering of the Jews during the Babylonian captivity, now applied to the church]: Greetings.
Faith and Wisdom
2 My brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], when you have many kinds of ·troubles [trials; testing], ·you should be full of joy [L consider it all/pure joy], 3 because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you ·patience [perserverance; endurance]. 4 [L And] Let your ·patience [perserverance; endurance] ·show itself perfectly in what you do [have its full effect; finish its work]. Then you will be ·perfect and complete [mature and whole; or completely mature] and will ·have everything you need [L lack nothing]. 5 But if any of you ·needs [lacks] wisdom, you should ask God for it [Prov. 2:6]. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom ·without criticizing you [without finding fault; ungrudgingly; Matt. 7:7]. 6 But when you ask God, you must ·believe [ask with faith] and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, ·blown up and down [driven and tossed] by the wind.
9 ·Believers [Brothers or sisters] who are ·poor [in lowly/humble circumstances] should ·take pride [boast] ·that God has made them spiritually rich [in being raised up; in their exaltation; in their high position]. 10 [L But] Those who are ·rich [wealthy] should ·take pride [boast] ·that God has shown them that they are spiritually poor [in their humiliation; in their lowly state; Jer. 9:23–24]. [L Because] The rich will ·die [pass away; wither] like a ·wild flower in the grass [or flower in the field]. 11 [L For] The sun rises with ·burning [scorching] heat and ·dries up [withers] the ·plants [or grass]. The flower falls off, and its beauty is ·gone [destroyed]. In the same way the rich will ·die [L wither away] ·while they are still taking care of business [in the midst of their pursuits; L in his journeys; Ps. 49:16–17; 103:15–16; Is. 40:6–8].
Temptation Is Not from God
12 ·When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy [L Blessed is the one who perserveres/endures trials/temptations]. After they have ·proved their faith [stood/endured/passed the test], ·God will reward them with life forever [L they will receive the crown of life; C alludes to the laurel crown given for a victory]. ·God [L He] promised this to all those who love him. 13 When people are ·tempted [undergoing a trial], they should not say, “God is tempting me.” [L For] God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But ·people are [L each person is] tempted when their own evil desire ·leads [lures; drags] them away and ·traps [entices; lures] them. 15 ·This desire leads to sin [L Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin], and then the sin ·grows [or becomes full-grown] and ·brings [gives birth to] death.
16 My ·dear [beloved] brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], do not be ·fooled [deceived] about this. 17 Every good ·action [or act of giving] and every perfect gift ·is from God [L comes from above]. These good gifts come down from the ·Creator of the sun, moon, and stars [L the father of lights; C referring to God’s creation of the heavenly bodies (Gen. 1:14–19; Ps. 136:7–9; Jer. 31:35)], who does not change like their shifting shadows. 18 God ·decided [chose; willed] to give us ·life [birth] through the ·word of truth [true message] so we might be ·the most important [or the first of many; L a kind of firstfruits; C firstfruits were the first crops to be harvested and guaranteed the coming harvest; Ex. 34:22; 2 Thess. 2:13; Rev. 14:4] of all ·the things he made [or his creatures].
Listening and Obeying
19 My ·dear [L beloved] brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], [L under-stand/know this:] ·always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily [L be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; Prov. 17:28], 20 ·because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants [L because human anger does not produce God’s righteousness]. 21 So ·put out of your life [get rid of; lay aside] every ·evil thing [moral filth/defilement] and every ·kind of wrong [excessive evil]. Then in ·gentleness [humility] ·accept [welcome] God’s ·teaching [word] that is planted in your hearts, which can save ·you [L your souls; C referring to the whole person].
22 ·Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves [L Be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deceiving yourselves; Luke 11:28; Rom. 2:13]. 23 Those who hear God’s ·teaching [word] and do nothing are like people who look at ·themselves [their natural face; L the face of their birth] in a mirror. 24 [L For] They ·see their faces [gaze at themselves] and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like. 25 But ·the truly happy people are [L blessed are] those who ·carefully study [look intently into; L stoop down to look at] God’s perfect law that makes people free [C probably refers to the law of Moses as it is fulfilled in Christ; 2:8, 12], and they ·continue to study it [persevere in it]. ·They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says [L not being a forgetful hearer but an active doer]. Those who do this will be ·made happy [blessed].
The True Way to Worship God
26 People who think they are religious but ·say things they should not say [L do not bridle their tongues; 3:1–12; 4:11–12] are just ·fooling [deceiving] themselves. Their “religion” is ·worth nothing [empty; meaningless]. 27 Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and ·without fault [undefiled] is this: caring for orphans and widows [2:1–13, 15–16; Ex. 22:22; Deut. 14:29] ·who need help [L in their trouble/distress/persecution], and keeping yourself ·free from the world’s evil influence [L unstained/unpolluted by the world; 4:4–10].
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll gain access to a vast digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads to minimize distractions from God's Word. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.