Main point summary
James greets the people and tells them to 1) persevere in trials with wisdom and faith, 2) not to be deceived by thinking God is tempting them in the trial, 3) and followed with instructions that they need to be doers (thus receivers) of the Word in order to do so.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ, To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
e Count it all joy, my brothers, 1 when you meet trials f of various kinds,
for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be i perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
j If any of you lacks wisdom, k let him ask God, l who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given him.
But m let him ask in faith, n with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like o a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
p he is a double-minded man, q unstable in all his ways.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
and r the rich in his humiliation, because s like a flower of the grass 1 he will pass away.
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and t withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
u Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive v the crown of life, w which God has promised to those who love him.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Then desire x when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and y sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived , my beloved brothers.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from a the Father of lights b with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 1
c Of his own will he d brought us forth by the word of truth, e that we should be a kind of f firstfruits of his creatures.
g Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, i slow to speak, j slow to anger;
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Therefore k put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with l meekness the implanted word, m which is able to save your souls.
But be n doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, p he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
It seems to me that James wants to tell the dispersed Jews three main things: 1) They (we) will go through trials and they should persevere in those trials by asking God for wisdom in faith, 2) They (we) need to remain humble in the trials and to not be deceived that God is somehow tempting them, and 3) In order to do this we need to dive into the Word, receive it, and be a doer of the word both in exterior ways (bridling the tongue, visiting orphans and widows) and internal ways (not deceiving themselves and remaining unstained by the world.