If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a](A) you are doing right. But if you show favoritism,(B) you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.(C) 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles(D) at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.(E) 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b](F) also said, “You shall not murder.”[c](G) If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged(H) by the law that gives freedom,(I) 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.(J) Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?(K) Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.(L) 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?(M) 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.(N)

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds,(O) and I will show you my faith(P) by my deeds.(Q) 19 You believe that there is one God.(R) Good! Even the demons believe that(S)—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]?(T) 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?(U) 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together,(V) and his faith was made complete by what he did.(W) 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e](X) and he was called God’s friend.(Y) 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?(Z) 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.(AA)

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers,(AB) my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged(AC) more strictly.(AD) We all stumble(AE) in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say(AF) is perfect,(AG) able to keep their whole body in check.(AH)

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.(AI) Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.(AJ) Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire,(AK) a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body,(AL) sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.(AM)

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.(AN)

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.(AO) 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?(AP) Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Two Kinds of Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it(AQ) by their good life, by deeds(AR) done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition(AS) in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.(AT) 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven(AU) but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.(AV) 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition,(AW) there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven(AX) is first of all pure; then peace-loving,(AY) considerate, submissive, full of mercy(AZ) and good fruit, impartial and sincere.(BA) 18 Peacemakers(BB) who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.(BC)


  1. James 2:8 Lev. 19:18
  2. James 2:11 Exodus 20:14; Deut. 5:18
  3. James 2:11 Exodus 20:13; Deut. 5:17
  4. James 2:20 Some early manuscripts dead
  5. James 2:23 Gen. 15:6

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