James 1 is the first chapter of the Epistle of James in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author identifies himself as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ" and the epistle is traditionally attributed to James the brother of Jesus.
The original text is written in Koine Greek.
Some of the oldest manuscripts containing this chapter are:
Papyrus 23 (~AD 250)
Codex Vaticanus (AD 325-350)
Codex Sinaiticus (AD 330-360)
Papyrus 6 (AD 350; in Coptic language)
Codex Alexandrinus (ca. AD 400-440)
Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (ca. AD 450; extant: verses 3-27)
This chapter is divided into 27 verses.
This chapter can be grouped (with cross references to other parts of the Bible):James 1:1 = Greeting to the Twelve Tribes
James 1:2-8 = Profiting from Trials
James 1:9-11 = The Perspective of Rich and Poor
James 1:12-18 = Loving God Under Trials
James 1:19-20 = Qualities Needed in Trials
James 1:21-27 = Doers—Not Hearers Only
New King James VersionJames, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:
New King James VersionBut let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
New King James VersionIf any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
New King James VersionBlessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
New King James VersionLet no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
Let no man say when he is tempted
Here the apostle uses the word "tempted", in another sense than he did before. Before he speaks of temptations, as matter of joy and boasting, here of temptations, which are criminal, and issue in shame and death; the temptations he before makes mention of, being patiently endured, denominate men happy, but here such are designed, which are to be deprecated, and watched against; before he treats of temptations, which were the means of trying and exercising grace, and of purging away the dross of sin and corruption, but here of temptations to sin, and which are in themselves sinful; before he discourses of temptations in which God was concerned; but here of temptations which he removes from him, and denies of him, as being unworthy of him: wherefore, when any man is tempted to sin, whether when under adversity, or in prosperity, let him not say,I am tempted of God;
for God is holy, and without iniquity, nor does he delight in sin, but hates and abhors it; nor can he commit it, it being contrary to his nature, and the perfections of it; whereas no one can tempt another to sin, unless he is sinful himself, and delights in sin, and in those that commit it, nor without committing it himself; and yet sinful men are apt to charge God with their sins, and temptations to them, in imitation of their first parent, Adam, when fallen, ( Genesis 3:12 ) who, to excuse himself, lays the blame upon the woman, and ultimately upon God, who gave her to him; and suggests, that if it had not been for the woman, he should not have ate of the forbidden fruit, nor should he have had any temptation to it, had not God given him the woman to be with him, and therefore it was his fault; and in this sad manner do his sons and daughters reason, who, when, through affliction, they murmur against God, distrust his providence, or forsake his ways, say, if he had not laid his hand upon them, or suffered such afflictions to befall them, they had not been guilty of such sin: he himself is the occasion of them; but let no man talk at this wicked rate,for God cannot be tempted with evil;
or "evils", He was tempted by the Israelites at Massah and Meribah, from which those places had their names, who by their murmuring, distrust and unbelief, proved and tried his patience and his power; and so he may be, and has been tempted by others in a like way; he may be tempted by evil men, and with evil things, but he cannot be tempted "to evil", as the Ethiopic version renders it; he is proof against all such temptations: he cannot be tempted by anything in himself, who is pure and holy, or by any creature or thing without him, to do any sinful action:neither tempteth he any man;
that is, to sin; he tempted Abraham, to try his faith, love, and obedience to him; he tempted the Israelites in the wilderness, to try them and humble them, and prove what was in their hearts; and he tempted Job, and tried his faith and patience; and so he tempts and tries all his righteous ones, by afflictions, more or less: but he never tempts or solicits them to sin; temptations to sin come from another quarter, as follows.
New King James VersionReligion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.