James 2Expanded Bible (EXB)
Love All People
2 My dear brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, never ·think some people are more important than others [show favoritism/partiality; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 10:17–18]. 2 Suppose someone comes into your ·church meeting [gathering; assembly; C the word can mean “synagogue,” but here refers to a house church gathering] wearing nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing ·old, dirty [shabby; filthy] clothes. 3 You ·show special attention to [take notice of; look favorably on] the one wearing nice clothes and say, “Please, sit here in this good seat.” But you say to the poor person, “Stand over there,” or, “Sit on the floor ·by my feet [or beside my footstool].” 4 ·What are you doing? You are making some people more important than others [L Are you not discriminating among yourselves…?], and ·with evil thoughts you are deciding that one person is better [or you are judging with evil thoughts; or you are acting like judges with evil motives].
5 Listen, my ·dear [L beloved] brothers and sisters [C fellow believers]! ·God chose [L Did not God choose…?] the poor in the world [1 Cor. 1:26–29] to be rich with faith and to ·receive [L be heirs of] the kingdom God promised to those who love him [Luke 6:20]. 6 But you ·show no respect to [dishonor; have insulted] the poor. ·The rich are always trying to control your lives. They are the ones who take you to court [L Don’t the rich exploit/oppress you and drag you into court?]. 7 ·And they are the ones who speak against Jesus, who owns you [or Don’t they slander the noble/good name by which you were called? L Don’t they blaspheme the noble/good name that was invoked over you? C The “name” may be the person’s name or the name of Jesus, to whom they belong].
8 This royal law [C because God the king decreed it, or because it is the supreme law] is found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:37–40].” ·If you [or If you really; or If you, however,] ·obey [fulfill; carry out] this law, you are doing ·right [well]. 9 But if you ·treat one person as being more important than another [show favoritism/partiality; 2:1], you are sinning. You are ·guilty of breaking God’s law [L convicted by the law as lawbreakers/ transgressors]. 10 [L For] A person who ·follows [keeps; obeys] all of God’s law but ·fails to obey even one command [L stumbles/falls in one point] is guilty of breaking all the commands in that law. 11 [L For] The same God who said, “You must not ·be guilty of [commit] adultery [Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18],” also said, “You must not murder anyone [Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17].” So if you do not ·take part in [commit] adultery but you murder someone, ·you are guilty of breaking all of God’s law [L you have become a breaker/transgressor of the law; Matt. 5:18–19; Gal. 5:3]. 12 ·In everything you say and do, remember that you [L So speak and so act as those who] will be judged by the law ·that makes people free [L of freedom/liberty]. 13 ·So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you [L For judgment is without mercy to the one who does not act mercifully]. ·But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment [L But mercy triumphs over judgment].
Faith and Good Works
14 My brothers and sisters [C fellow believers], if people ·say [claim] they have faith, but do nothing, ·their faith is worth nothing [what good/profit/gain is it?]. Can faith like that save them? 15 [L Suppose; If] A brother or sister in Christ ·might need clothes or food [L is naked and lacks daily food]. 16 If you say to that person, “·God be with you [or I wish you well; L Go in peace]! ·I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat, [T Be warmed and filled]” but you do not ·give what that person needs [provide for the needs of their body], ·your words are worth nothing [L what good/profit/gain is that?]. 17 In the same way, faith by itself—·that does nothing [L if it does not have works]—is dead.
18 [L But] Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have ·deeds [works].” ·Show me [Prove; Demonstrate] your faith without ·doing anything [L works], and I will ·show you [prove; demonstrate] my faith by ·what I do [my works]. 19 You believe ·there is one God [or that God is one; Deut. 6:4]. ·Good [L You do well]! But the demons believe that, too, and they ·tremble with fear [shudder].
20 You ·foolish [senseless; emptyheaded] person! ·Must you be shown [Do you want evidence; Can’t you see] that faith ·that does nothing [without works] is ·worth nothing [useless; barren]? 21 Abraham, our ·ancestor [father; patriarch; Gen. 12:1–3], was ·made right with God [justified] by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar [Gen. 22]. 22 So you see that Abraham’s faith and ·the things he did [his works] worked together. His faith was made ·perfect [complete] by ·what he did [his works]. 23 This ·shows the full meaning of [fulfills] the Scripture that says: “Abraham believed God, and ·God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God [L it was credited/counted to him as righteousness; Gen. 15:6].” And Abraham was called God’s friend [2 Chr. 20:7; Is. 41:8]. 24 So you see that people are ·made right with God [justified] by ·what they do [their works], not by faith only.
25 ·Another example is Rahab, the prostitute, who was ·made right with God [justified] by ·something she did [works]. She welcomed the ·spies [L messengers; envoys] into her home and ·helped them escape [L sent them out] by a different road [Josh. 2; C she is named in Jesus’ genealogy (Matt. 1:5), and in Heb. 11:31 as a hero of the faith].
26 Just as a person’s body that does not have a spirit [C the force of life that animates the body; Gen. 2:7] is dead, so faith ·that does nothing [T without works] is dead!
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