The Geneva Bible 1587 Edition
one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language,
preceding the King James translation by 51 years.
E. C. Marsh
P.O. Box 342
Saint Ansgar, IA 50472
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the That is, written to no one man, city, or country, but to all the Jews generally, being now dispersed. twelve tribes which are To all the believing Jews, whatever tribe they are from, dispersed throughout the whole world. scattered abroad, greeting.
2 The first place or part concerning comfort in afflictions, in which we should not be cast down and be faint hearted, but rather rejoice and be glad. My brethren, Seeing their condition was miserable because of the scattering abroad, he does well to begin as he does. count it all joy The first argument, because our faith is tried through afflictions: which ought to be most pure, for so it suits us. when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 The second, because patience, a surpassing and most excellent virtue, is brought about in us by this means. Knowing [this], that the That by this your faith is tried, that is, those various temptations. trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 The third argument, proposed in manner of an exhortation, that true and lasting patience may be discerned from false and temporary. Affliction is the instrument God uses to polish and refine us. Therefore through the work and effect of afflictions, we are perfected in Christ. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 An answer to a private objection; It is easily said, but not so easily done. He answers that we need, in this case, a different type of wisdom than the wisdom of man, to determine those things that are best for us, since they are disagreeable to the flesh: but we shall easily obtain this gift of wisdom, if we ask correctly, that is, with a sure confidence in God, who is entirely bountiful and liberal. If any of you lack By wisdom he means the knowledge of that doctrine previously mentioned, that is, why we are afflicted by God, and the fruit we reap from affliction. wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, Why then, what need is there of another mediator or priest? nothing wavering. A digression or going aside from his matter, as compared to prayers which are conceived with a doubting mind, but we have a trustworthy promise from God, and this is the second part of the epistle. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 Neither let that man thinke that hee shall receiue any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man [is] unstable in In all his thoughts and his deeds. all his ways.
9 He returns to his purpose repeating the proposition, which is, that we must rejoice in affliction, for it does not oppress us, but exalt us. Let the brother of Who is afflicted with poverty, or contempt, or with any kind of calamity. low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 Before he concludes, he gives a doctrine contrasted to the former: that is, how we ought to use prosperity, that is, the abundance of all things: that is, so that no man pleases himself, but rather be humble. But the Who has all things at his will. rich, in that he is made low: An argument taken from the very nature of the things themselves, for that they are empty and unreliable. because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For 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 Whatever he purposes in his mind or does. ways.
12 The conclusion: Therefore we must patiently bear the affliction: and he adds a fourth argument, which comprehends the sum of all the former, that is, we gain the crown of life in this way, yet by grace according to the promise. Blessed [is] the man that endureth Affliction, by which the Lord tries him. temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 The third part of this epistle, in which he descends from outward temptations, that is, from afflictions by which God tries us: to inward, that is, to those lusts by which we are stirred up to do evil. The sum is this: Every man is the author of these temptations by himself, and not God: for we carry in our bodies that wicked corruption, which seeks opportunity forever, to stir up evil in us, from which eventually proceeds wicked behaviour, and in conclusion follows death, the just reward of them. Let no man say when he is When he is provoked to do evil. tempted, I am tempted of God: Here a reason is shown, why God cannot be the author of evil behaviour in us, since he does not desire evil behaviour. for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But euery man is tempted, when hee is drawen away by his owne concupiscence, and is entised.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth By sin, in this place, he means actual sin. sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Another reason taken from opposites: God is the author of all goodness, and so, since he is always like himself; how then can he be thought to be the author of evil? Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the From him who is the fountain and author of all goodness. Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither He goes on in the metaphor: for the sun by his many and various kinds of turning, makes hours, days, months, years, light and darkness. shadow of turning.
18 The fourth part concerning the excellency and fruit of the word of God, The sum is this: we must listen to the word of God most carefully and diligently, seeing it is the seed, through which God by his free favour and love has begotten us to himself, picking us out of the number of his creatures. The apostle condemns two faults, which greatly trouble us in this matter. For we so please ourselves, that we would rather speak ourselves, than hear God speaking. Indeed, we are angry when we are reproached and ignore it. Opposed to these faults, he sets a peaceable and quiet mind, and such as desires purity. Of his own This is what Paul calls gracious favour, an good will, which is the fountain of our salvation. will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of As it were an holy type of offering, taken out of the remnant of men. firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore my deare brethren, let euery man be swift to heare, slowe to speake, and slowe to wrath.
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the That which God appoints. righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with By meekness he means modesty, and anything that is contrary to a haughty and proud spirit. meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 Another admonition: therefore God's word is heard, that we may model our lives according to the laws it contains. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, He adds reasons, and those most weighty: first, because they that do otherwise seriously harm themselves. deceiving your own selves.
23 Secondly: because they lose the most important use of God's word, if they do not use it to correct the faults that they know. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his He alludes to that natural stain, which is contrary to the purity that we are born again into, the living image which we see in the law. natural face in a glass:
24 For when he hath considered himselfe, hee goeth his way, and forgetteth immediately what maner of one he was.
25 But 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 Behaviour: for works show faith. deed.
26 The third admonition: the word of God lays down a rule to not only do well, but also to speak well. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his The fountain of all babbling, cursed speaking, and impudence is this, that men do not know themselves. own heart, this man's religion [is] vain.
27 The fourth: the true service of God exists in charity towards our neighbours, especially those who need the help of others (fatherless and widows), and purity of life. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To To care for them and to help them as much as we can. visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.Presented by The Common Man's Prospective. Copyright© 1999-2012 Ernest C. Marsh