1James, the servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve kindreds, that be in (the) scattering abroad, health. (James, the servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, who be in the scattering abroad, or in the dispersion, or the Diaspora, greetings.)
2My brethren, deem ye (it) all joy, when ye fall into diverse temptations, (My brothers, judge it to be most joyful, when ye undergo different tests,) 3witting that the proving of your faith worketh patience; (knowing that the proving of your faith produceth patience, or increaseth endurance;) 4and patience hath a perfect work, that ye be perfect and whole, and fail in nothing.
5And if any of you needeth wisdom, ask he of God, which giveth to all men largely (who giveth generously to everyone), and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him. 6But ask he in faith, and doubt nothing; for he that doubteth, is like to a wave of the sea, which is moved and borne about of the wind. (But ask he with faith, and do not doubt; for he who doubteth, is like a wave of the sea, which is moved and carried about by the wind.) 7Therefore guess not that man, that he shall take anything of the Lord. (And so do not let that man think, that he shall receive anything from the Lord.) 8A man double in soul is unstable in all his ways.
9And a meek brother have glory in his enhancing, (And a humble man have glory in his exalting,) 10and a rich man in his lowness; for as the flower of grass he shall pass (away). 11The sun rose up with heat, and dried the grass, (or the hay), and the flower of it felled down, and the fairness of his cheer perished (and the beauty of his face perished); and so a rich man withereth in his ways.
12Blessed is the man, that suffereth temptation (Happy is the man, who undergoeth testing); for when he shall be proved, he shall receive the crown of life, which God promised to men that love him. 13No man when he is tempted, say, that he is tempted of God; for why God is not a tempter of evil things, for he tempteth no man. (Let no man say, when he is tempted, or tested, that he was tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he tempteth no one.) 14But each man is tempted, drawn and stirred, of his own coveting. [Soothly each man is tempted of, (or by), his own coveting, drawn from reason, and snared, or deceived.] (But each person is tempted, or tested, drawn and stirred, by his own lusts and envies.) 15Afterward coveting [Then coveting], when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin; but sin, when it is [ful]filled, (en)gendereth death. 16Therefore, my most dearworthy brethren, do not ye err. 17Each good gift, and each perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is none other changing, nor overshadowing of reward. [+Each best thing given, and all perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom is not any changing, neither shadowing of whileness, or (of) time.] 18For willfully he begat us by the word of truth, that we be a beginning of his creature(s). (For willingly, or by free will, he begat us by the Word of Truth, so that we hold the first rank among all his creatures.)
19Know ye, my brethren most (be)loved, be each man swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to wrath; 20for the wrath of man worketh not the rightwiseness of God. 21For which thing cast ye away all uncleanness, and plenty of malice, and in mildness, (or in humility, or in meekness), receive ye the word that is planted, that may save your souls (that can save your souls). 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if any man is an hearer of the word, and not a doer, this shall be likened to a man that beholdeth the cheer of his birth in a mirror (he shall be like a man who seeth his face in a mirror); 24for he beheld himself, and went away, and anon he forgot which, (or what), he was (and at once he forgot what he was). 25But he that beholdeth into the law of perfect freedom, and dwelleth in it, and is not made a forgetful hearer, but a doer of work(s), this shall be blessed in his deed(s).
26And if any man guesseth himself to be religious, and refraineth not his tongue, but deceiveth his heart, the religion of him is vain (his religion is empty and useless). 27A clean religion, and unwemmed with God and the Father, is this, to visit fatherless and motherless children, and widows in their tribulation, and to keep himself undefouled from this world. (A clean religion, and unspotted, or without blemish, with God the Father, is this, to visit fatherless and motherless children, and widows in their distress, and to keep himself undefiled from this world.)
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission