by Stan Coffey

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James: Christianity in Shoe Leather (25 Of 32)
Through the Bible Survey
Dr. Stan Coffey
November 10, 1991

AUTHORSHIP: There has been controversy waged about the author of the book of James. The writer calls himself "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." The traditional view is that he was "the Lord's brother" (Gal. 1:19), an individual prominent in the Jerusalem church and one who took a leading part in the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15; see also Matt. 13:55, Gal. 2:9). During the Lord's earthly life James was not a believer, but the Lord appeared to him after His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:7). Other men named James in Scripture include James the son of Zebedee and brother of John (Matt. 4:17-22), James the son of Alphaeus (Matt. 10:3), James the father of Judas the disciple (Luke 6:16).

James, the brother of the Lord, who we believe wrote this book was a Jew reared in the tradition of the law of Moses. As a result of over 50 imperatives in the epistle of James, James did not suggest - he commanded. James led the church in Jerusalem during a very difficult time. It was a time of transition and a time of persecution.

RECEPIENTS: The epistle of James is addressed to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad. " It is evident from its content that it is primarily addressed to Jewish Christians. It is generally agreed that the epistle was written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and probably even-before the Council of Jerusalem. Some maintain that it is the earliest of all the New Testament documents. It could well have been written to those who had been present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and who had carried away with them the barest essentials of Christianity. It has been pointed out that more than any other book in the New Testament; the Book of James reflects the language of the Sermon on the Mount. The book is not intended to be a theological treatise but a moral appeal.

PURPOSE: The epistle of James was written to correct the m ...

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