The Bible Book by BookThe Author. Three persons called James are mentioned in the New Testament. One of these is James, the Lord's brother (Matt. 13:55), who did not believe on Jesus until after the resurrection, Jno. 7:2-9; Mar. 3:21, 31; Acts 1:13-14. This James occupies and important place as pastor at Jerusalem, and made an important speech at the council of the Apostles, Acts 15: 13-21. He is mentioned elsewhere, in Acts, 12:17; Gal. 1:19; 2:9-12. Josephus tells us that he was stoned to death about 62 A. D. on a charge of departing from the Jewish law. This James, the Lord's brother, is supposed to be the author of this epistle.
To Whom Written. This letter was written to the Jews scattered everywhere, 1:1, and evidently to Christian Jews, 2:1. Some of them were rich, some poor, 2:1-10. They were lustful, greedy, and proud, 4:1-12, and were omitting to do the Lord's work as they should. 1:22-27.
The Epistle. The chief characteristic of style is abruptness. Change is made from one subject to another with no effort to connect them. There is, therefore, no general subject, and a lack of close connection between the points of analysis. "Faith without works is dead" flashes in every section as a sort of bond of unity. It is eloquent, stern and sincere, and has a distinct Jewish tone. It lacks the doctrinal emphasis found in Paul and states the Christian faith in terms of moral excellence and instructs them in the subject of Christian morals. It is notable for its omissions. It does not havethe resurrection or ascension and only mentions Christ's name twice.Date and Place of Writing. It was no doubt written from Jerusalem where he was pastor, but the date is much disputed. Some put it as early as A. D. 40. Others among whom is Dr. Robertson say it was written not later than A. D. 50. Still others put it about A. D. 61 or 62, just before the martyrdom of James. It is probably safe to say that it was one of the very earliest of the New Testament books.
I. Proper Attitude Toward Trials. 1:2-18.
II. Proper Altitude Toward God's Word, 1:19-27 end.
III. Various Warnings. 2:1-4:12.
IV. Various Denunciations, 4:13-5:6.
V. Various Exhortations, 5:7-20 end.
For Study and Discussion. (1) From the following scriptures make a list of all the things James advises us not to do: 1;6, 13, 16, 22; 2:1, 14; 3:1. 10; 4:1, 11, 13; 5:9, 12. (2) From the following scriptures make a list of all the things James advises us to do; 1:2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 22, 26; 2:8, 12; 3:13; 4:8. 5:7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 19. (3) Make a sketch of heavenly wisdom, showing the different things said about it, studying especially, 1:5-8 and 3:13-18. (4) Study the ethics of speech and of the tongue, 1:19-21 and 3:1-12. (5) Life's trial and temptations, 1:2-4, 12-15. (6) Make a list of ail the figures of speech, especially similes and metaphors as "a doubter is like a surge of the sea," 1:6. (7) James' rebuke of selfishness, 5:1-6. (8) The utility and power of prayer, 5:13-18.
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1916 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS Waco, Texas
ChaptersJames 1. Trials and Temptations; Be Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only
1. James greets the twelve tribes among the nations;
2. exhorts to rejoice in trials and temptations;
5. to ask patience of God;
13. and in our trials not to impute our weakness, or sins, to him,
19. but rather to hearken to the word, to meditate on it, and to do thereafter.
26. Otherwise men may seem, but never be, truly religious.
James 2. The Sin of Favoritism; Faith and Deeds
1. Do not regard the rich and despise the poor brothers;
13. rather we are to be loving and merciful;
14. and not to boast of faith without deeds;
17. because faith without deeds is useless;
19. as is the faith of the demons;
21. however, Abraham displayed both faith and actions;
25. as did Rahab.
James 3. Taming the Tongue; the Wisdom from above
1. We are not rashly or arrogantly to reprove others;
5. but rather to bridle the tongue, a little member,
9. but a powerful instrument of much good, and great harm.
13. The truly wise are mild and peaceable, without envy and strife.
James 4. Submit to God; Resist the Devil; the Lord's Will
1. We are to strive against covetousness;
11. detraction and rash judgment of others;
13. and not to be boastful of our future plans.
James 5. Misuse of Riches; Patience; The Prayer Offered in Faith
1. Rich oppressors are to fear God's vengeance.
7. We ought to be patient in afflictions, after the example of the prophets, and Job;
12. to forbear swearing;
13. to pray in adversity, to sing in prosperity;
14. to acknowledge mutually our several faults, to pray one for another;
19. and to correct a straying brother.