In Greek, religious (adjective) and religion (noun) refer to ceremonial service and worship to God (implying the fear of God). The adjective is used only here. The noun is used in a positive sense here and in v. 27, in a negative sense in Col. 2:18 (for worship), and in a general sense in Acts 26:5. James's writing concerning God's New Testament economy is not as striking as Paul's, Peter's, and John's. Paul focuses on Christ living and being formed in us (Gal. 2:20; 4:19) and Christ being magnified in us and lived out of us (Phil. 1:20-21) that we as the church, His Body, may become His fullness, His expression (Eph. 1:22-23). Peter stresses the fact that God regenerated us through the resurrection of Christ (1 Pet. 1:3), making us partakers of His divine nature, that we may live a life of godliness (2 Pet. 1:3-7) and be built up as a spiritual house to express His virtues (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). John emphasizes the eternal life, given to us for our fellowship with the Triune God (1 John 1:2-3), and the divine birth, which brings into us the divine life as the divine seed that we may live out a life that is like God (1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:17) and be the church, a lampstand, which bears the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 1:9, 11-12) and which will consummate in the New Jerusalem for God's expression unto eternity (Rev. 21:2-3, 10-11). Of the matters that are characteristic of the New Testament, James stresses only God's begetting of us (v. 18), the perfect law of freedom (v. 25), the indwelling Spirit (James 4:5), and a minor aspect of the church (James 5:14). He does not speak of Christ as our life or of the church as the expression of Christ, the two most outstanding and dispensational characteristics of the New Testament. This Epistle shows that James must have been very religious. It might have been because of this and his practical Christian perfection that he was reputed to be, along with Peter and John, a pillar, even the first, in the church at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:9). However, he was not strong in the revelation of God's New Testament economy in Christ but was still under the influence of the background of the old Judaic religion, the primary elements of which were to worship God by ceremonies and to live a life in the fear of God. This is proved by the words in Acts 21:20-24 and in Acts 2:2-11 of this Epistle. Because his spiritual sight was covered by Judaism, he could not fully enter into the revelation of God's New Testament economy as Paul, Peter, and John were able to do.