1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dusty ground will awake—some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence. 3 But the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse. And those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever. 4 “But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will dash about, and knowledge will increase.” 5 I, Daniel, watched as two others stood there, one on each side of the river. 6 One said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, “When will the end of these wondrous events occur?” 7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river as he raised both his right and left hands to the sky and made an oath by the one who lives forever: “It is for a time, times, and half a time. Then, when the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted, all these things will be finished.”
15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up—and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. 17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and there was no rain on the land for three years and six months! 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land sprouted with a harvest. 19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, 20 he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Notes and References
"... Since it makes no sense to think James thought believers would never die physically, since it seems unlikely that he is referring in 5:19-20 simply to being healed and saved from physical death, and since life and death in an ultimate sense were the options (Didache 1), it is probable that James sees "save the sinner's soul from death" as referring to eternal death. The Greek text does not say "the sinner's soul" but "his life" and one can conceivably think the "his" is the restorer: that is, by his action of caring for the wanderer the restorer saves his own soul. In fact, there is evidence to support this suggestion, even if it goes against Reformation instincts — something we have seen James do already. God tells Ezekiel that if he does not warn the wicked, both they and he will die; if he warns the wicked, they will not repent but he will save himself (3:16-21; compare 33:9). Daniel 4:27 can speak of atoning for sins with deeds of righteousness, and 12:3 can say those who lead many to righteousness will be like the stars. Tobit 4:10 and 12:9 say almsgiving saves one from death (see Sirach 3:30). In fact, Tobit 12:9-10 is so similar to James 5:20 that many think they have to be read together: 'For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies.' Sirach 3:3 finds atonement in honoring one's father ... Didache 4:6 approaches the same issue ..."
McKnight, Scot The Letter of James (pp. 457-459) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011