THE STORY OF THE EARLY CHURCH
Verses about the Apostles' "TRAVELS and ACTS"
Part 3 - JAMES LETTER TO JEWISH CHRISTIANS
Introduction to James
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Book 20 of 27 - LETTER OF JAMES
Writer: James, brother of Jesus, and a leader of the church in Jerusalem
Date: c AD45-50, before the Council at Jerusalem of c AD49. The Letter includes no hint of the important decisions made at that time
Where written: Possibly Jerusalem
Readers: Jewish Christians living outside Palestine as Jews of the "Dispersion"
Why: An early letter to Jewish Christians, encouraging them in times of trial, and teaching them how to respond in Godly ways. In language similar to the Sermon on the Mount, James instructs his readers on many aspects of practical Christian living. In doing so, he shows that the Christian life reveals itself through faith leading to good works, not by merely claiming to have faith and holiness.
According to Some Modern Scholarship: Most of the material was written by James in Judea before the Council at Jerusalem, and edited into its final form following his death in c AD62; OR written by an unknown Christian Jew around the end of the 1st century, using James' name to give the letter authority.
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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF REAL RELIGION
3.1 GREETING; THE TRIALS FACED BY JEWISH CHRISTIANS AND HOW THEY SHOULD RESPOND
James 1:1-8 - James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to the twelve dispersed tribes (the Jews living outside Palestine, and throughout the Roman and Parthian Empires and beyond. Some of the areas are shown in the following Map).
Map - Some of the Many Centres of Jewish Population Outside Israel: the 'Dispersion' or 'Diaspora'
The Christian can even welcome trouble
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God - who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty - and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him. But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God's help or not. The man who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from God, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn.
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continuing the Apostle's "Travels and Acts", on to Part 4, Acts 13-14 OR back to J B Phillips HomePage
J.B.Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English", 1962 edition, published by HarperCollins, is presented here with the kind permission of Mrs Vera Phillips and the J.B.Phillips estate
Maps by Gordon Smith can be used without further permission. Please quote http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/JBPhillips.htm