James - The Epistle of James

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Title: James
Section: New Testament

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Title: James
Section: New Testament

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Eastern Orthodox Bibles
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Section: New Testament

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Rejected by:
Jewish Tanakh

Chapters in James:
1  2  3  4  5 
Total verses: 108

This letter (Epistle, in Greek) was forged around 80-100 CE, too late to actually be written by James, and was written by someone who knew the Greek version of the Old Testament but not the Hebrew version1 (i.e., it wasn't written by James, who was Jewish). It also shows absolutely no concern for the adherence to Jewish Law despite this being the prime concern of the real James1. Also strange is that any witness of Jesus would actually write such a letter without mentioning Jesus once throughout the text except inconsequentially name-dropping him in the introduction to two of the chapters. The text says that James' brethren should not be ambitious nor seek wealth, they should care for the poor, pray and sing for the sick to heal them, be patient and temper any anger or jealously, that "works" are as important as beliefs for salvation. Some of the details in James contradict the rest of the Bible.

1. The Epistle of James is a Forgery by a Greek Christian and Was Not Written by the Brother of Jesus2

Book CoverJames was a very common name amongst Jews in first-century Palestine, and among Christians as well. [...] Matthew 10:3-4 indicates that two of Jesus's twelve disciples had the name. [...] There seems to be little doubt [that James] is claiming to be the most famous James of all, Jesus's brother. This view is corroborated by the fact that he writes his letter to the 'twelve tribes in the Dispersion,' a reference to the twelve tribes of Israel who are scattered throughout the Roman world. James, the chief Jewish Christian, is writing to the dispersed Jewish Christians. [...]

There are excellent reasons for thinking that this letter was not written by the brother of Jesus, but was forged in his name. For one thing, the teaching being opposed [in the book of James] must have arisen later than the writings of Paul. That is to say, it is a later development of Pauline thinking in a later Pauline community. The teaching is indeed similar to the teaching found in Ephesians, written after Paul's lifetime in his name. But it goes even farther than Ephesians, since the author of Ephesians would never have said that it didn't matter how you lived so long as you have faith. Just the opposite in fact! (See Eph. 2:10.). Whoever is writing the book of James is presupposing an ever later situation found among Paul's churches. But since the historical James was probably martyred in 62 CE, two decades or so before Ephesians was written, the book could not very well have been written by him

Moreover, the one thing we know best about James of Jerusalem is that he was concerned that Jewish followers of Jesus continue to keep the requirements of Jewish law. But this concern is completely and noticeably missing in this letter. This author, claiming to be James, is concerned with people doing 'good deeds'; he is not at all concerned with keeping kosher, observing the Sabbath and Jewish festivals, or circumcision. His concerns are not those of James of Jerusalem.

The real clincher, though, is one we have seen before in relation to both Peter and Jude. This author has written a very fluent and rhetorically effective composition in Greek. He is intimately familiar with the Greek version of the Old Testament. The historical James, on the other hand, was an Aramaic-speaking peasant from Galilee who almost certainly never learned to read. Or if he did learn to read, it was to read Hebrew. If he ever learned Greek, it would have been as a second language in order to speak it, haltingly no doubt. He never would have gone to school. He never would have become proficient in Greek. He never would have learned how to write, even in his native language, let alone a second tongue. He never would have studied the Greek Old Testament. He never would have taken Greek composition classes. He never would have become skilled in Greek rhetoric.

"Forged" by Bart Ehrman (2011)1

Another point is that it is strange that any witness of Jesus would actually write such a letter without mentioning Jesus once throughout the text except inconsequentially name-dropping him in the introduction to two of the chapters. In James 1:1 the author says that he is a servant of Jesus, and in James 2:1 says, in complex Greek, that James' brethren shouldn't respect other people, but should instead respect Jesus. And that's it. Many of the comments and morals demanded by the author in this text are similar to those that Jesus taught, but, Jesus is not quoted on any of them by his very own brother! This letter was written in order to emphasize some morals and practices which the author thought important, and in order to emphasize the point, the author name-drops Jesus twice so as to boost his own influence, and then sends the letter to Christians "of the twelve tribes" (James 1:1) in order to maximize its readership.

2. The contents of James chapter 5 (20 verses)

James chapter 1 (27 verses) - Enduring faith & wisdom from God, glad with poverty or riches, faithful in difficulties & temptation, hearing & doing good3

KJVYLTNotes
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.James, of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ a servant, to the Twelve Tribes who are in the dispersion: Hail!

James 1:1 commentary above: 1. The Epistle of James is a Forgery by a Greek Christian and Was Not Written by the Brother of Jesus

James 1:1 commentary above: 1. The Epistle of James is a Forgery by a Greek Christian and Was Not Written by the Brother of Jesus

Some comments on James 1:13 are on Is Omniscience Possible? Does God Know Everything?: 4.1. Christianity: Times in the Bible When God Doesn't Know All, and Tests People to Find Things Out

James 1:13 is mentioned on Is God All-Powerful? Can God or Anything Truly Be Omnipotent?: 4. Is God All-Powerful According to the Christian Bible and Qur'an?

James 1:13 is mentioned on God Never Needs to Test Us: 4.1. God Testing People in the Christian Bible

James 1:13 comments: Can God Lie? Is God Always Truthful in the Christian Bible?: 1. Verses from the Bible in More Detail

James 1:13 is referenced on Iyyōbh, in the Jewish Book of Truth - Known to Christians as the Book of Job: 1. God Testing People in The Bible

2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;All joy count `it', my brethren, when ye may fall into temptations manifold;
3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.knowing that the proof of your faith doth work endurance,
4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.and let the endurance have a perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire -- in nothing lacking;
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.and if any of you do lack wisdom, let him ask from God, who is giving to all liberally, and not reproaching, and it shall be given to him;
6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.and let him ask in faith, nothing doubting, for he who is doubting hath been like a wave of the sea, driven by wind and tossed,
7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.for let not that man suppose that he shall receive anything from the Lord --
8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.a two-souled man `is' unstable in all his ways.
9Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:And let the brother who is low rejoice in his exaltation,
10But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.and the rich in his becoming low, because as a flower of grass he shall pass away;
11For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.for the sun did rise with the burning heat, and did wither the grass, and the flower of it fell, and the grace of its appearance did perish, so also the rich in his way shall fade away!
12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.Happy the man who doth endure temptation, because, becoming approved, he shall receive the crown of the life, which the Lord did promise to those loving Him.
13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:Let no one say, being tempted -- `From God I am tempted,' for God is not tempted of evil, and Himself doth tempt no one,
14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.and each one is tempted, by his own desires being led away and enticed,
15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.afterward the desire having conceived, doth give birth to sin, and the sin having been perfected, doth bring forth death.
16Do not err, my beloved brethren.Be not led astray, my brethren beloved;
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.every good giving, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, with whom is no variation, or shadow of turning;
18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.having counselled, He did beget us with a word of truth, for our being a certain first-fruit of His creatures.
19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:So then, my brethren beloved, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,
20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.for the wrath of a man the righteousness of God doth not work;
21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.wherefore having put aside all filthiness and superabundance of evil, in meekness be receiving the engrafted word, that is able to save your souls;
22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.and become ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,
23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:because, if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one hath been like to a man viewing his natural face in a mirror,
24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.for he did view himself, and hath gone away, and immediately he did forget of what kind he was;
25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.and he who did look into the perfect law -- that of liberty, and did continue there, this one -- not a forgetful hearer becoming, but a doer of work -- this one shall be happy in his doing.
26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.If any one doth think to be religious among you, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his heart, of this one vain `is' the religion;
27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.religion pure and undefiled with the God and Father is this, to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation -- unspotted to keep himself from the world.

James chapter 2 (26 verses)

KJVYLTNotes
1My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.My brethren, hold not, in respect of persons, the faith of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ,

James 2:1 commented on above: 1. The Epistle of James is a Forgery by a Greek Christian and Was Not Written by the Brother of Jesus

2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;for if there may come into your synagogue a man with gold ring, in gay raiment, and there may come in also a poor man in vile raiment,
3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:and ye may look upon him bearing the gay raiment, and may say to him, `Thou -- sit thou here well,' and to the poor man may say, `Thou -- stand thou there, or, Sit thou here under my footstool,' --
4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?ye did not judge fully in yourselves, and did become ill-reasoning judges.
5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?Hearken, my brethren beloved, did not God choose the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the reign that He promised to those loving Him?
6But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?and ye did dishonour the poor one; do not the rich oppress you and themselves draw you to judgment-seats;
7Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?do they not themselves speak evil of the good name that was called upon you?
8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:If, indeed, royal law ye complete, according to the Writing, `Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' -- ye do well;
9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.and if ye accept persons, sin ye do work, being convicted by the law as transgressors;
10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.for whoever the whole law shall keep, and shall stumble in one `point', he hath become guilty of all;
11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.for He who is saying, `Thou mayest not commit adultery,' said also, `Thou mayest do no murder;' and if thou shalt not commit adultery, and shalt commit murder, thou hast become a transgressor of law;
12So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.so speak ye and so do, as about by a law of liberty to be judged,
13For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.for the judgment without kindness `is' to him not having done kindness, and exult doth kindness over judgment.
14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?What `is' the profit, my brethren, if faith, any one may speak of having, and works he may not have? is that faith able to save him?
15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,and if a brother or sister may be naked, and may be destitute of the daily food,
16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?and any one of you may say to them, `Depart ye in peace, be warmed, and be filled,' and may not give to them the things needful for the body, what `is' the profit?
17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.so also the faith, if it may not have works, is dead by itself.
18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.But say may some one, Thou hast faith, and I have works, shew me thy faith out of thy works, and I will shew thee out of my works my faith:
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.thou -- thou dost believe that God is one; thou dost well, and the demons believe, and they shudder!
20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?And dost thou wish to know, O vain man, that the faith apart from the works is dead?
21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?Abraham our father -- was not he declared righteous out of works, having brought up Isaac his son upon the altar?
22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?dost thou see that the faith was working with his works, and out of the works the faith was perfected?
23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.and fulfilled was the Writing that is saying, `And Abraham did believe God, and it was reckoned to him -- to righteousness;' and, `Friend of God' he was called.
24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.Ye see, then, that out of works is man declared righteous, and not out of faith only;
25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?and in like manner also Rahab the harlot -- was she not out of works declared righteous, having received the messengers, and by another way having sent forth?
26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also the faith apart from the works is dead.

James chapter 3 (18 verses) - Our tongue & words influence our whole being & others; tongue needs to be controlled; wisdom from heaven & unspiritual wisdom3

KJVYLTNotes
1My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.Many teachers become not, my brethren, having known that greater judgment we shall receive,
2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.for we all make many stumbles; if any one in word doth not stumble, this one `is' a perfect man, able to bridle also the whole body;
3Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.lo, the bits we put into the mouths of the horses for their obeying us, and their whole body we turn about;
4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.lo, also the ships, being so great, and by fierce winds being driven, are led about by a very small helm, whithersoever the impulse of the helmsman doth counsel,
5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!so also the tongue is a little member, and doth boast greatly; lo, a little fire how much wood it doth kindle!
6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.and the tongue `is' a fire, the world of the unrighteousness, so the tongue is set in our members, which is spotting our whole body, and is setting on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by the gehenna.
7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:For every nature, both of beasts and of fowls, both of creeping things and things of the sea, is subdued, and hath been subdued, by the human nature,
8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.and the tongue no one of men is able to subdue, `it is' an unruly evil, full of deadly poison,
9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.with it we do bless the God and Father, and with it we do curse the men made according to the similitude of God;
10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.out of the same mouth doth come forth blessing and cursing; it doth not need, my brethren, these things so to happen;
11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?doth the fountain out of the same opening pour forth the sweet and the bitter?
12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.is a fig-tree able, my brethren, olives to make? or a vine figs? so no fountain salt and sweet water `is able' to make.
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.Who `is' wise and intelligent among you? let him shew out of the good behaviour his works in meekness of wisdom,
14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.and if bitter zeal ye have, and rivalry in your heart, glory not, nor lie against the truth;
15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.this wisdom is not descending from above, but earthly, physical, demon-like,
16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.for where zeal and rivalry `are', there is insurrection and every evil matter;
17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.and the wisdom from above, first, indeed, is pure, then peaceable, gentle, easily entreated, full of kindness and good fruits, uncontentious, and unhypocritical: --
18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.and the fruit of the righteousness in peace is sown to those making peace.

James chapter 4 (17 verses) - Friendship with the world means to be an enemy of God; warnings against judging each other; not good to boast about our plans3

KJVYLTNotes
1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?Whence `are' wars and fightings among you? not thence -- out of your passions, that are as soldiers in your members?

For more on James 4:2 see What Does the Christian Bible say About Prayer? How Should Christians Pray?: 3. Those With Some Faith Will Have Prayers Come True

2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.ye desire, and ye have not; ye murder, and are zealous, and are not able to attain; ye fight and war, and ye have not, because of your not asking;
3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.ye ask, and ye receive not, because evilly ye ask, that in your pleasures ye may spend `it'.
4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.Adulterers and adulteresses! have ye not known that friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever, then, may counsel to be a friend of the world, an enemy of God he is set.
5Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?Do ye think that emptily the Writing saith, `To envy earnestly desireth the spirit that did dwell in us,'
6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.and greater grace he doth give, wherefore he saith, `God against proud ones doth set Himself up, and to lowly ones He doth give grace?'
7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.be subject, then, to God; stand up against the devil, and he will flee from you;
8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you; cleanse hands, ye sinners! and purify hearts, ye two-souled!
9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.be exceeding afflicted, and mourn, and weep, let your laughter to mourning be turned, and the joy to heaviness;
10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.be made low before the Lord, and He shall exalt you.
11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.Speak not one against another, brethren; he who is speaking against a brother, and is judging his brother, doth speak against law, and doth judge law, and if law thou dost judge, thou art not a doer of law but a judge;
12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; thou -- who art thou that dost judge the other?
13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:Go, now, ye who are saying, `To-day and to-morrow we will go on to such a city, and will pass there one year, and traffic, and make gain;'
14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.who do not know the thing of the morrow; for what is your life? for it is a vapour that is appearing for a little, and then is vanishing;
15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.instead of your saying, `If the Lord may will, we shall live, and do this or that;'
16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.and now ye glory in your pride; all such glorying is evil;
17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.to him, then, knowing to do good, and not doing, sin it is to him.

James 5:1-6 - The rich will suffer misery because of their corruptions and for killing the just

KJVYLTNotes
1Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.Go, now, ye rich! weep, howling over your miseries that are coming upon `you';
2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.your riches have rotted, and your garments have become moth-eaten;
3Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.your gold and silver have rotted, and the rust of them for a testimony shall be to you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye made treasure in the last days!
4Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.lo, the reward of the workmen, of those who in-gathered your fields, which hath been fraudulently kept back by you -- doth cry out, and the exclamations of those who did reap into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth have entered;
5Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.ye did live in luxury upon the earth, and were wanton; ye did nourish your hearts, as in a day of slaughter;
6Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.ye did condemn -- ye did murder the righteous one, he doth not resist you.

James 5:7-13 - Be patient, don't hold grudges and above all, don't make promises

KJVYLTNotes
7Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.Be patient, then, brethren, till the presence of the Lord; lo, the husbandman doth expect the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it, till he may receive rain -- early and latter;
8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.be patient, ye also; establish your hearts, because the presence of the Lord hath drawn nigh;
9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.murmur not against one another, brethren, that ye may not be condemned; lo, the Judge before the door hath stood.
10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.An example take ye of the suffering of evil, my brethren, and of the patience, the prophets who did speak in the name of the Lord;
11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.lo, we call happy those who are enduring; the endurance of Job ye heard of, and the end of the Lord ye have seen, that very compassionate is the Lord, and pitying.
12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.And before all things, my brethren, do not swear, neither by the heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, and let your Yes be Yes, and the No, No; that under judgment ye may not fall.
13Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.Doth any one suffer evil among you? let him pray; is any of good cheer? let him sing psalms;

James 5:14-18 - Pray, anoint and sing for the sick and it will heal them and save them2

KJVYLTNotes
14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:is any infirm among you? let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil, in the name of the Lord,

Rather than ask the sick to see doctors, physicians or to live healthy lifestyles, the author of James says in James 5:14-18 that we should sing, pray and anoint the sick with oil, as this will heal them. Needless to say, this part of James is much endorsed by Christian faith-healers, and even in the modern world there are unfortunate cases of Christians who have died needlessly as a result.

The worst cases are those in which parents have trusted in the singing, praying and anointing technique when it comes to their own sick children, and several of these cases are discussed on this page: Christianity and Child Abuse: Fatal Cases of Faith Healing and Exorcisms by Priests and Clergy.

James 5:14-15 is referenced on Christianity and Child Abuse: Fatal Cases of Faith Healing and Exorcisms by Priests and Clergy: 2.3. Faith Healing and The Christian Bible

15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.and the prayer of the faith shall save the distressed one, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if sins he may have committed, they shall be forgiven to him.
16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.Be confessing to one another the trespasses, and be praying for one another, that ye may be healed; very strong is a working supplication of a righteous man;
17Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.Elijah was a man like affected as we, and with prayer he did pray -- not to rain, and it did not rain upon the land three years and six months;
18And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.and again he did pray, and the heaven did give rain, and the land did bring forth her fruit.

James 5:19-20 - Saving people from being converted away from Christianity is saving a life2

KJVYLTNotes
19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;Brethren, if any among you may go astray from the truth, and any one may turn him back,

The harsh doctrine of the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures is confirmed by the Christian New Testament in Hebrews 6:4-6. These versus say it is impossible to return to the faith if someone falls away. 2 Peter 2:20-22 says the same thing and notes that because of this, the fate of the apostate is worse than that of the unconverted. The death penalty for losing faith is proscribed in Deuteronomy 13:6-10. But James 5:19-20 contradicts this and says Christians can save people who have been converted away from Christianity.

James 5:19-20 is referenced on Apostasy: Thought Crime in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: 4. Christianity

20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.let him know that he who did turn back a sinner from the straying of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

By Vexen Crabtree 2012 Jul 14
(Last Modified: 2015 Jul 18)
http://www.holybooks.info/james.html
Parent page: Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Holy Bibles Across Different Traditions

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. Book Review.

Ehrman, Bart
(2011) Forged. Hardback book. Subtitled: "Writing in the Name of God - Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are". Published by HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Footnotes

  1. Ehrman (2011) p193-194, 197-198. Added to this page on 2015 Jul 18.^^
  2. Added to this page on 2015 Jul 18.^^^
  3. www.biblesummary.info was host to a daily Twitter tweet from its author, each of which summarizes a chapter from the Bible. Accessed 2014 Feb.^^^

© 2017 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.