Written by one of the half brothers of the Lord, James is a very practical book, with little doctrine in it. Martin Luther called it an epistle of straw but latter in life saw it as the complement, and not a contradiction of Paul’s teaching
Author & Date
Most commentators agree that the James who wrote this epistle was one of the earthly half brothers of the Lord Jesus I Cor 15:7; Acts 15:13-21; Gal. 2:9.
Tradition has it that he was martyred in 62 AD.
Working out your own salvation
A. Response to temptations Ch.1;1-15
- The purpose Ch1.2-11
- The profit Ch.1:12
- The portal Ch.1:13-14
- The path of Ch.1:15-16
B. Being doers and not just hearers Ch.1:16-27
- Do not err Ch1:17-21
- Do not be deceived Ch.1:22-27
C. Not showing partiality Ch.2:1-13
- With respect to people Ch.2:1-7
- With respect to the law Ch.2:8-13
D. Having works Ch.2:14-26
- Declared Ch.2:14-17
- Defended Ch.2:18-20
- Demonstrated Ch.2:21-26
E. Not offending Ch.3:1-4:17
- In word Ch.3 :1-18
- In worldliness Ch.4 :1-10
- In not judging Ch.4: 11-17
F. Patience Ch.5:1-20
- In waiting for the coming of the Lord Ch.5:1-9
- In suffering Ch.5: 10-12
- In prayer Ch.5:13-20
a. Key verse
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Jms.2:17
b. Its Message
Throughout history there have been arguments as to the value of this book; because of its message many say that it contradicts Paul’s teaching on justification by faith. Since James is part of scripture it cannot contradict another part, but can only supplement and/or complement the other passages. The scriptures in the table below are examples of how Paul and James agree demonstrating that there is no contradiction at all.
|Knowing this that the trying
of your faith worketh patience.
|Knowing that tribulation worketh patience.
|Count it all joy when ye fall into
|We glory also in tribulations
| But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
|That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
|When he is tried, he
shall receive the crown of life.
|There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness
II Tim. 4:8
| Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
| What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
|Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
| And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
| Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
| But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
| But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
|For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
| Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
| But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
I Cor. 1:27