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Introduction to the Epistle of James

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1 Introduction to the Epistle of James
29 June 2014

2 Author James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. - James 1:1 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? - Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. - Mark 6:3

3 Author Now the Jew's feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. - John 7:2-5

4 Author ... Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles Cor. 15:3-7

5 Author And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain ... And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. – Gal. 2:2,9

6 Author But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. - James 12:16,17

7 Author But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren ... we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they ... And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me ... Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. – Acts 15:5-7, 11 13, 19, 20

8 Author Traditionally nicknamed “James the Just”
Tradition says James had “knees like those of camels” because of much time spent in prayer Perhaps looked like Jesus Josephus recorded that James was martyred during an uprising against Christians in 62 A.D.

9 Namesake King James I of England Named after James
Authorized the 1611 English translation of the Bible; the result was the “King James Bible”, which has had a special anointing and brought salvation to millions of souls.

10 Date Probably around 46 A.D. Perhaps the earliest N.T. epistle

11 Recipients James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. - James 1:1

12 Literary Style and Techniques
Like a sermon Metaphors from rural life, marine life, astronomy, domestic life and public life Illustrations from every day life Rhetorical questions Excellent Greek Plain and direct Authoritative Practical Relevant Jewish Different from Paul Similar to Jesus

13 James Outline 1:1-8 Trials are part of life
1:9-11 Testing / temptation will come 1:12-18 Response to testing 1:19-27 Be doers of the Word, not just hearers 2:1-5 Avoid favoritism and prejudices 2:6-12 Avoid Apathy and wrong mindsets 2:13-26 Obedience and action are proof of faith

14 James Outline 3:1-12 Our words reflect what is in our soul
3:13-18 Heavenly vs. devilish wisdom 4:1-5 Worldly lusts make people enemies of God 4:6-10 God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble 4:11-12 Don’t judge your brother in how he serves God (ref., Mt. 6:33-7:5) 4:13-17 Don’t be presumptuous about the future

15 James Outline 5:1-6 Woe to the rich men in the last days (banksters, powerful elite, Illuminati) 5:7-11 Be patient and endure suffering 5:12 Do not swear or make oaths 5:13-18 Pray for and anoint sick Christians 5:19,20 Help backsliders repent

16 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone – James 2:17
Key verse Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone – James 2:17

17 Closing thought Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. – James 5:8

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