DATE, DESTINATION, PLACE WRITTEN: This letter was written
between A.D. 45-49, from the city of Jerusalem, before
Acts 15 (A.D. 50) and it is addressed ďto the twelve
tribes scattered among the nationsí (James 1:1).
OCCASION AND PURPOSE: There were unsatisfactory conditions
among Jewish Christian congregations. Their lives did
not match their profession of faith:
Mishandling of diverse trials (1:2)
2. Failure to
appropriate the available resources through prayer (1:5)
3. Unfair treatment of brothers (2:6-7; 5:4); worldly
attitudes (4:10-12; 5:9-10)
4. Strife and dissensions
5. Attitude that Christian faith would suffice
to save them without a holy life (2:.14-26)
VERSES: James 1:19; 2:26; 1:25-27 = Self-control
summarizes a person of genuine faith.
Do (21); Work/s (18 KJV); Brother/s (18); Faith (14);
Perfect/Complete (6); Wise/dom (6);
Say (6); Believe/r/ed (5); Blessed (3).
CHARACTERISTICS: This letter is
classified as the Wisdom Literature of the NT. It is
filled with pithy, pungent sentences, authoritative tone,
and ethical emphasis (54 imperatives in 108 verses).
Direct thrust of the OT prophets, as Amos draws much of
its imagery from nature and offers a stinging rebuke to
social injustice. It is deeply rooted in the OT (53
references to OT Law) and the Sermon on the Mount (26
In addition, this letter contains more verbal
reminiscences of the teachings of Jesus than all the other
apostolic writings taken together. It is distinctive for
no mention of incarnation, atonement, sufferings, death
and resurrection of Christ, or future life. However, it is
compressed theology (James 1:8, 21, 25; 2:1, 5; 4:5; 5:7).
Most Jewish writing of the NT, yet James developed the
teaching of Jesus the most (see
James and Jesus). James interprets
Christís Beatitudes for the Christian. He explains how the
Fruit of the Spirit is manifested in self-control. The
letter is written in good koine Greek but not as well as
Paulís or the writer of Hebrews. Yet, it is literary
structure is a highly developed acrostic, skillfully
moving back and forth between subjects and themes.
Themes in James
The writer of James