James 2
Berean Study Bible

A Warning against Favoritism

1My brothers, as you hold out your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, do not show favoritism.

2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If you lavish attention on the man in fine clothes and say, “Here is a seat of honor,” but say to the poor man “You must stand,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5Listen, my beloved brothers: Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the noble Name by which you have been called?

8If you really keep the royal law stated in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”a you are doing well. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

10Whoever keeps the whole Law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,”b also said, “Do not murder.”c If you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the Law that gives freedom. 13For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith and Works
(Genesis 15:1-7; Romans 4:1-12; Galatians 3:1-9; Hebrews 11:8-19)

14What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? 17So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead.

18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19You believe that God is one. Good for you! Even the demons believe that, and shudder!

20O foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is worthless?d 21Was not our father Abraham justified by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith was working with his actions, and his faith was perfected by what he did. 23And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”e and he was called a friend of God. 24As you can see, a man is justified by his deeds and not by faith alone.

25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute justified by her actions when she welcomed the messengers and sent them off on another route? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

a 8 Leviticus 19:18
b 11 Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18
c 11 Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17
d 20 BYZ and TR dead
e 23 Genesis 15:6

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