Augustus Neander began his religious studies
in speculative theory, but his changing interests led him
to the study of church history. As he became more
invested in his historical studies, he embarked on a
mission to put together a substantial work of practical
commentaries on a selection of books from the Bible. His
Epistle of James Practically Explained is one part of this larger
project. In his commentary on James' epistle, Neander shows us James'
personality as well as the nature of the churches he worked with.
Little is known about the specific church to which James' epistle is
addressed, but Neander explains that the Christians were of exclusively
Jewish descent. As a result of their firm roots in Jewish theology,
several confusions were generated about the truth of the Messiah amongst
these Jewish converts. It was James' aim in his epistle to share the
nature of true religion with his correspondents. Through his systematic
commentary, Neander is able to help readers discover new meaning in the
message of James' epistle.