-Classified as General letter. (wide audience - not a single church like many of Paul’s writings
-Written to Jewish believers
-James is the 1/2 brother of Jesus. He was well known to his original readers as he simple says, “Yo, this is James. I am a slave to Jesus. What up 12 tribes all abroad.” (Joshua’s literal translation.)
-Scholars believe that James was written before 50AD after Stephen was murdered by being stoned to death. Makes it the earliest of the NT letters.
-James wrote this letter to encourage Jewish Christians who were suffering opposition and experiencing various difficulties that were testing their faith.
-Correct wrong ideas about he nature of true saving faith in Christ, and
-To challenge, encourage and instruct the readers about the practical aspects of faith in action
Special Features of this book
-Most likely first book written of NT
-It only contains 2 references to Christ by name, but there are more points and subjects pointing back to Jesus’ teaching (including at least 15 implied references to the Sermon on the mount, than ALL other NT teachings combined.
-More than 1/2 of its 108 verses are commands/imperatives (action oriented)
-Considered the proverbs of the NT because of Godly wisdom and practical instruction for living a genuine Christian life.
-James draws lessons from nature in order to expose the tendencies and realities of the sinful human nature.
-More than any other book, it ties a link between faith and works — belief and behavior.
-He is considered the Amos of the NT as He dealt with social injustice issues as well.
5 chapters, 108 verses and we can see a picture of a life lived for Jesus…