Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

James 2

1 - My brothers, don't hold the faith of our Lord JesusChrist of glory with partiality.

2 - For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in;

3 - and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, "Sit here in a good place"; and you tell the poor man, "Stand there," or "Sit by my footstool";

4 - haven't you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 - Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn't God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him?

6 - But you have dishonored the poor man. Don't the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?

7 - Don't they blaspheme the honorable name by which you are called?

8 - However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well.Leviticus 19:18

9 - But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.

10 - For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

11 - For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder."Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18 Now if you do not commit adultery, but murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.Exodus 10:13; Deuteronomy 5:17

12 - So speak, and so do, as men who are to be judged by a law of freedom.

13 - For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

14 - What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?

15 - And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food,

16 - and one of you tells them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled"; and yet you didn't give them the things the body needs, what good is it?

17 - Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.

18 - Yes, a man will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

19 - You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder.

20 - But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?

21 - Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

22 - You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;

23 - and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.Genesis 15:6

24 - You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

25 - In the same way, wasn't Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way?

26 - For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

James Images and Notes

The Book of James

James 1:22-25 - But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For 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: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 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 deed.

James 4:17 - Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.

James in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Icon of St. James the Just
Icon of St. James the Just

Introduction to The Book of James

Brief Summary. The Epistle of James has a clear focus on the necessity of Christian works, and this is in contrast but not in conflict with the doctrine of justification by faith set forth by the apostle Paul. The heart of the book of James takes one back to the time of Abraham, who believed first before any works, and he was justified before God. This is because God knew his heart and saw him through his omniscient eyes. Since man cannot see into of other men's hearts, he can only see the true faith of an individual by his works. To James Christian works do not make a man saved, but is the true test that a genuine Christian has already received salvation. Some of the points that James brings up is hearing the word of God and not doing the word of God, loving worldly possessions more than giving, not restraining the tongue, not trusting in God's providence, partiality toward the rich and contempt for the poor, and other attitudes and actions which would not be in harmony with a "pure and undefiled religion."

Summary of The Book of James

Author. The author of this epistle identifies himself as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." Most scholars agree that the book of James was written by James the Just, brother of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Gal. 1:9), and leader of the mother Church at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:9). He is the same James to whom Jesus appeared, according to the words of Paul, and who made the speech at the Jerusalem council admitting Gentiles into the Church. James acted as president of the conference on circumcision (Acts 15:18; Acts 12:17; 21:18). Paul called him one of the "pillars of the Church." Josephus spoke of James as a man of "preeminent justice."

Date. There is no doubt that the book of James was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but there is no way to be certain exactly when the book of James was written. The Epistle was written from Jerusalem, probably about 61 AD.

Audience. James addresses his book, "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad," which indicates that he was writing from Jerusalem to the Jews of the "dispersion" and  "my brethren," indicates that these were Jewish Christians living away from Jerusalem.

Outline of the Book of James

Faith Tested by Trials - Chapter 1
Faith Shown by Works - Chapter 2
Faith Proven by Conduct - Chapters 3-4
With Faith Comes Persecution - Chapter 5

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

James Maps and Resources

Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Greece This map reveals the cities within Greece in the ancient world during the first century A.D.,The map includes the principal cities of Greece like: Athens, Corinth, and Thessalonica, and provinces like Macedonia and Achaia. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)

Study Bible Icon Picture James