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James 3:13–4:3

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? mBy his good conduct let him show his works nin the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter ojealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not pthe wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, qdemonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But rthe wisdom from above is first pure, then speaceable, gentle, open to reason, tfull of mercy and good fruits, uimpartial and vsincere. 18 And wa harvest of righteousness xis sown in peace by those who make peace.

Warning Against Worldliness

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are yat war within you?2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask zwrongly, to spend it on your passions.

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James 3:13–4:3 — The New International Version (NIV)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But 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. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye 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 ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 3:13–4:3 — New Living Translation (NLT)

13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

James 3:13–4:3 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — New Century Version (NCV)

13 Are there those among you who are truly wise and understanding? Then they should show it by living right and doing good things with a gentleness that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are selfish and have bitter jealousy in your hearts, do not brag. Your bragging is a lie that hides the truth. 15 That kind of “wisdom” does not come from God but from the world. It is not spiritual; it is from the devil. 16 Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom that comes from God is first of all pure, then peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help those who are troubled and to do good for others. It is always fair and honest. 18 People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living.

Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you. You want things, but you do not have them. So you are ready to kill and are jealous of other people, but you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God. Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things so you can use them for your own pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.

Whence come wars and whence come fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your pleasures that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war; ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you; let him shew out of a good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom; 14 but if ye have bitter emulation and strife in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom which comes down from above, but earthly, natural, devilish. 16 For where emulation and strife are, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above first is pure, then peaceful, gentle, yielding, full of mercy and good fruits, unquestioning, unfeigned. 18 But the fruit of righteousness in peace is sown for them that make peace.

Whence come wars and whence fightings among you? Is it not thence, —from your pleasures, which war in your members? Ye lust and have not: ye kill and are full of envy, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war; ye have not because ye ask not. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask evilly, that ye may consume it in your pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

13 Do any of you have wisdom and insight? Show this by living the right way with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and filled with self-centered ambition, don’t brag. Don’t say that you are wise when it isn’t true. 15 That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic. 16 Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

17 However, the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. Then it is peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good deeds, impartial, and sincere. 18 A harvest that has God’s approval comes from the peace planted by peacemakers.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren’t they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you? You want what you don’t have, so you commit murder. You’re determined to have things, but you can’t get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them. When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure.

James 3:13–4:3 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

13 Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.

What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.

James 3:13–4:3 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good behavior his works, with the humility of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, obedient, full of mercy and good fruits, nonjudgmental, without hypocrisy, 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace among those who make peace.

From where are conflicts and from where are quarrels among you? Is it not from this, from your pleasures that wage war among your members? You desire and do not have; you murder and are filled with envy, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, in order that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

13 Are any of you wise and understanding? You should show it by living a good life. Wise people aren’t proud when they do good works.

14 But suppose your hearts are jealous and bitter. Suppose you are concerned only about getting ahead. Don’t brag about it. Don’t say no to the truth. 15 Wisdom like that doesn’t come down from heaven. It belongs to the earth. It doesn’t come from the Holy Spirit. It comes from the devil.

16 Are you jealous? Are you concerned only about getting ahead? Then your life will be a mess. You will be doing all kinds of evil things.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is pure. That’s the most important thing about it. And that’s not all. It also loves peace. It thinks about others. It obeys. It is full of mercy and good fruit. It is fair. It doesn’t pretend to be what it is not.

18 Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed. If they do, it will produce a crop of right living.

Why do you fight and argue among yourselves? Isn’t it because of your sinful longings? They fight inside you.

You want something, but you can’t get it. You kill and want what others have. But you can’t have what you want. You argue and fight. You don’t have what you want, because you don’t ask God. When you do ask for something, you don’t receive it. Why? Because you ask for the wrong reason. You want to spend your money on your sinful pleasures.

James 3:13–4:3 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.