Monday, April 08, 2013

The book of James

My church is encouraging people to read and study the book of James through out the month of April.  This is a short introduction to the book:

The book of James

The book of James challenges us to live out our faith.  James emphasizes that we need to not simply listen to the bible we need to obey it.  This short book is filled with practical wisdom.  It covers a range of topics: from temptation to watching what we say, from favoritism to prayer, from making future plans to suffering.

Author: James
He was the half-brother to Jesus (Galatians 1:19)
James did not believe in Jesus at first (John 7:5; Mark 3:21)
He accepted Jesus as the Messiah after the resurrection
He is sometimes referred to as “James the Just”
James was key leader in the early church, especially in Jerusalem
He was a leader in the important Jerusalem council that is mentioned in Acts 15
When Paul traveled to Jerusalem to meet with the church leaders he sought out James (Galatians 1:19)
James was martyred in 61 AD in Jerusalem by stoning[1]

Date of writing: Unknown
We are not sure exactly when this book was written.  However it may actually be the first New Testament book to have been written.

Written to: Early Jewish Christians who were not residing in Jerusalem 
At first the early church consisted primarily of Jewish believers.  The church later expanded to include those who were not of Jewish origin. 

It is likely that this letter was written to be circulated among different congregations. 

Key verses:
            James 1:5
            James 1:22
            James 1:27
            James 2:17
            James 3:13
            James 4:17
            James 5:16

Douglas, JD.  Who’s Who in Christian History, “James, Brother of Jesus” page 351-352.  Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Wheaton Illinois, 1992.

The works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, translated by William Whiston, Hendrickson Publishers, Massachusetts, 1987.

[1] The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, page 537-538

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