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."
Latin: Epistula lacobi
Greek: lakdbou, Of James
Author: James the half brother of Jesus
Date: 40-50, during 2nd missionary journey
Place: Probably Jerusalem
Writing to: Jewish Christians of the Dispersion
Doctrinal Classification: Soteriology
General Theme: Practical outworking of salvation
Important Points: Man is saved by Works, IF it is God's work which is working Through Him. A practical exhortation to live a Christian life which is proven by regeneration. The Book of James urges self examination of the evidence of the changed life.
James. "THE writer of this epistle was not James the son of Zebedee; for he was put to death by Herod (Acts 12:1,2) before Christianity had gained so much ground among the Jews of the dispersion as is here implied. But it was the other James, the son of Alpheus, who was cousin-german to Christ, and one of the twelve apostles, Matthew 10:3. He is called a pillar (Galatians 2:9), and this epistle of his cannot be disputed, without loosening a foundation-stone. It is called a general epistle, because (as some think) not directed to any particular person or church, but such a one as we call a circular letter. Others think it is called general, or catholic, to distinguish it from the epistles of Ignatius, Barnabas, Polycarp, and others who were noted in the primitive times, but not generally received in the church, and on that account not canonical, as this is. Eusebius tells us that this epistle was "generally read in the churches with the other catholic epistles." His. Eccles. page 53. Ed. Val. Anno 1678. James, our author, was called the just, for his great piety. He was an eminent example of those graces which he presses upon others. He was so exceedingly revered for his justice, temperance, and devotion, that Josephus the Jewish historian records it as one of the causes of the destruction of Jerusalem, "That St. James was martyred in it." This is mentioned in hopes of procuring the greater regard to what is penned by so holy and excellent a man. The time when this epistle was written is uncertain. The design of it is to reprove Christians for their great degeneracy both in faith and manners, and to prevent the spreading of those libertine doctrines which threatened the destruction of all practical godliness. It was also a special intention of the author of this epistle to awaken the Jewish nation to a sense of the greatness and nearness of those judgments which were coming upon them; and to support all true Christians in the way of their duty, under the calamities and persecutions they might meet with. The truths laid down are very momentous, and necessary to be maintained; and the rules for practice, as here stated, are such as ought to be observed in our times as well as in preceding ages." - Matthew Henry (Read More)
Outline of the Book of James (Scriptures and Topics Covered)
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
Questions for further study.
Who was James?
Why was James written?
What is the clear focus of the Book of James?
Who was the author of the book of James?
When was the book of James written?
Where was the book of James written?
What language was the book of James written in?
What is the main theme in the book of James?
Where can the main theme of James be found?
What is Christian works?
What damage can the tongue do?
What is regeneration?
Why does persecution follow true conversion?
What is the Book of James best advice?
What Old Testament person is used as an example in James?
Map of New Testament Israel
Map of the Roman Empire
Map of the New Testament World
Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey
Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey
Map of New Testament Cities
Map of the 7 Churches of Revelation (Asia Minor)
Map of the Roman Empire In the Time of Jesus
Map of Asia in Roman Times
Map of New Testament Greece
Table of Contents
The New Testament
Charts and Information
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. Heb. 8:6 (The Book of Hebrews)
The New Testament is the most wonderful book. It reveals how God has kept every promise that He made to the nation Israel and ultimately fulfilled His covenant with them in One Man, Jesus Christ. It contains an accurate account of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His life, His history on earth, His Words, and His plan for all nations including Israel. It reveals how God used a single man, a Jew, who courageously went out to the farthest parts of the known world, to preach the gospel, and would eventually die for his faith in Jesus Christ. It reveals the end of the world, and how Jesus Christ would receive the kingdom that God had promised Him from the beginning.
The New Covenant - A Heart Message
List of New Testament Books
|1 Corinthians||2 Corinthians||Galatians|
|1 Thessalonians||2 Thessalonians||1 Timothy|
|2 Peter||1 John||2 John|
Charts and Information