James

Authorship

James, Jesus’ Brother, Leader of the Church of Jerusalem (particularly after Peter took to Missions – interesting to see how he went from leading doubter to aggressive promoter. Written from Palestine to Palestinians, probably A.D. 49 – in light of the battles that Paul fought, James’s battle must have been an early one, probably before the Acts 15 Jerusalem council.

Audience

The “12 tribes dispersed abroad” is probably referring to the post-Stephen persecution dispersion. Circulation was probably limited in scope to Jews of Palestine being that the dispersion was still in the early stages.

Setting

Garbled versions of the gospel of “grace” promoted laxity.  Jews faced socio-economic persecution (1:2-4, 5:1-11), temptation to join the zealot movement (4:1-10).

Purpose

Rich vs. Poor Harmony (2).  Practical Faith – faithfulness in hardships, practice what you preach (2).  Tame tongues (3-4).   Harmony – non-prejudicial relationships between the poor/rich (2).

How to Read it

Look to make faith practical, not doctrinal.  Read it as addressing holy community, not personal piety.

Outline

I.  Trials at Hand (1:1-18) – read 2-5,13-14,17 maturing by trials, 9-10 rich vs. poor 

Chapters 2-5 bounce between the topics of community & practice.  Here’s my best attempt at clusters

II.  Faith by Practice (1:19-27, 2) – read 1.22,26-27 tongue & deeds, 2.3-4 favoritism, 2.14,17,19,26,24 deeds

III. Community Maintenance (3-5) – read 3.4-6 tongue, 3.13-14 community deeds, 4.1-3 lack of community, 4.10,12 judging, 5:13-16 communal dependence

Remember…

James 2 as the key chapter on faith evidenced by works; James 3 for taming the tongue, James 4-5 for its directives on prayer.

Advertisements

One response to “James

  1. Pingback: License to Legalize « Root48

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s