Arguments For A Pseudepigraphon
Some view the Epistle of James as pseudonymous and consider the epistle to be pseudepigrapha for these reasons:
- The author introduces himself merely as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” without invoking any special family relationship to Jesus or even mentioning Jesus widely in the book.
- The cultured Greek language of the Epistle, it is contended, could not have been written by a Jerusalem Jew. Some scholars argue for a primitive version of the letter composed by James and then later polished by another writer.
- Some see parallels between James and 1 Peter, 1 Clement, and the Shepherd of Hermas and take this to reflect the socio-economic situation Christians were dealing with in the late 1st or early 2nd century, so it could have been written anywhere in the Empire that Christians spoke Greek. Some scholars have argued for Syria.
Here Are 9 Reasons Why I Think The Conversion Of James Is One Of The Best Evidence For Christianity That There Is:
1. Josephus gives us a nice external confirmation of what we read in the gospels, Acts and epistles of Paul.
2. Both Mark and John tell us that James wasnt always a believer in Jesus.
3. Paul gives us a big clue to why James may have changed he was an eyewitness of the resurrected Jesus.
In defending the resurrection of the dead to the church of Corinth, Paul quotes an early Christian tradition he received from others. The creed mentions resurrection appearances includes James. Well, that would probably explain a lot about James sudden change of tune!
4. James endorsed Pauls gospel.
In Galatians 2:9 we read that Paul met with several pillars in the Jerusalem church and they gave his message his stamp of their approval. This included James. This is a big deal because Paul preached that Jesus was not just the Messiah, but also the God of Israel.
In Romans 10:9-13 Paul says: if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is savedFor there is no distinction between Jew and Greek for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
5. Pauls James-endorsed Gospel also included Jesus Davidic roots.
6. James and Jesus other brothers traveled abroad, preaching the gospel .
8. James was killed in Jerusalem.
B Living For The Lord In Times Of Temptation
1. A blessing for those who endure temptation.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
a. Blessed is the man: This sounds like one of Jesus Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount . In those great statements of blessing, Jesus did not tell us the only ways we can be blessed. Here we learn we can be blessed as we endure temptation.
i. It does not say, Blessed is the man who is never tempted. Nor does it say, Blessed is the man who finds all temptation easy to conquer. Instead the promise of blessedness is given to the one who endures temptation. There is a special gift of blessedness from God to the one who can say no to temptation, thereby saying yes to God.
b. For when he has been approved: Here James states the purpose of God in allowing temptation. The purpose is to approve us that through the testing we would be revealed as genuine and strong in our faith.
c. Who endures temptation: Temptation is one of the various trials we face. As we persevere through temptation, we are approved, and will be rewarded as the work of God in us is evident through our resistance of temptation.
d. The crown of life which the Lord has promised: James reminds us that it really is worth it to endure under the temptations we face. Our steadfastness will be rewarded as we demonstrate our love for Jesus by resisting temptation.
2. How temptation comes and works.
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Fought In The Battle Of Clavijo
The Battle of Clavijo is a mythical battle that occurred about 800 years after James death. The first accounts of the battle emerged hundreds of years after it was supposed to have happened, but it was still widely accepted as historical at the time. As the legend goes, a Spanish Christian army was vastly outnumbered by Muslim invaders.
So what does this have to do with James? Supposedly he appeared in the flesh and led the Christian army to victory, earning him the title Matamoros, the Moor-killer. It was a complete fabrication, but it turned Saint James into one of Spains biggest Christian icons.
James The Son Of Alphaeus
Though mentioned ten times in the New Testament, we know very little about this James. His father was Alphaeus and his mother was evidently Mary . He is called James the less . This could mean that he was either younger or shorter than the other apostle by that name.
James the son of Alphaeus is one of the unknown apostles. We know nothing of his particular character and none of his individual actions are recorded in scripture. He is mentioned as being in the upper room as the disciples pray for the promise of the Father . Then, he disappears from the divine record. Some have tried to identify him as the same James who is the brother of Jesus. But, since the brethren of Christ did not believe in Him during His lifetime , this is impossible. Yet, his disappearance from scripture does not mean that he accomplished nothing further for God. Several of the apostles are not mentioned by name after Acts 1:13.
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Book Of James Summary
What is the main message of James? The book of James is an exhortation to live out Jesus message of the Gospel of the Kingdom. James shows what it looks like to live out the Sermon on the Mount .
James references the Sermon on the Mount many times, so without understanding this connection, the teaching of James can be misunderstood and misapplied. Some people throughout history have even doubted the usefulness of James in the Bible because this connection was not fully understood.
To apply the book of James is to respond to Jesus message of the Gospel. The response that Jesus is looking for is repentance and faith. In Matthews Gospel, repent is the first word that Jesus speaks in His public ministry.
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The primary word for repent in the New Testament means to think differently afterwards.To repent means to change your mind about God, yourself, and the world around you. To repent is to reconsider, to come to a new way of thinking, see from a new perspective.
To repent is not just feeling sorry for your sin. Repentance makes you see everything differently, and that includes how you view your sin.
To repent is to change your mind about how you think about God, the world, and yourself.
There is a distinctly Kingdom perspective on life that Jesus brings. Its a distinctly heavenly wisdom that Jesus declares.
Jesus calls people to Himself as one who came from the Father.
Possibly James The Less
James the Less, also referred to as the Lesser, the Younger, the Little, and the Minor, is mentioned four times in the gospels, always in relation to his mother, Mary, whom John refers to as Mary of Clopas in John 19:25.
Technically, the moniker the Less is only used once, in Mark 15:40, but early Christians used it widely to distinguish which James they were referring to. The moniker is ambiguous, but its clearly intended to distinguish this James from James son of Zebedee, who was one of the most prominent disciples. It could mean he was younger, shorter, or less significant.
Some scholars believe the fact that the gospel writers used the Lesser here implies there were only two Jameses they needed to distinguish between, and Jerome and other early Christian writers were quick to identify James the Less as James son of Alphaeus and James, the brother of Jesus .
One of the key arguments for why James the Less should be identified with James son of Alphaeus depends on whether or not you consider him an apostle, and how you define apostle. Many early Christians reserved the title for members of the Twelve, or the Seventy, but it technically just means one who is sent, and has been applied to other early Christians.
Heres what Jerome suggests in The Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mary:
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Anointing Of The Sick
The epistle is also the chief biblical text for the Anointing of the Sick. James wrote:
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
G. A. Wells suggested that the passage was evidence of late authorship of the epistle, on the grounds that the healing of the sick being done through an official body of presbyters ” rel=”nofollow”> elders) indicated a considerable development of ecclesiastical organisation “whereas in Paul’s day to heal and work miracles pertained to believers indiscriminately .”
The 5 Major Themes Of James:
Well look at some of these themes in the summary of each chapter below. But first, lets consider: Who is the author of the Book of James? Understanding who James is will give us insight into the letter that James wrote.
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The Benefits Of Studying The Book Of James In The Bible
The key verses in James are James 1:21b-22. These 2 verses summarize the entire teaching of James.
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James explains, as Jesus did, that the seed is the Word of God . The commands of Christ need to be received with meekness. This means that the Word of God needs to be received as Gods Word and joyful obedience will be the result.
The book of James is not a random collection of wisdom sayings in the New Testament. Sometimes James is compared to the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. There are several themes and topics that James focuses on and returns to throughout his epistle.
Which James A Character Study
Well, James is a common name in the Bible. Which one is this? Lets see what we can find in the Olive Tree Bible App to help us.
Thankfully, the Resource Guide makes this work incredibly easy for us. If we scroll down to the People section we find a listing for James. Then, if we tap on that, the Resource Guide presents us a list of articles. This second article, titled James, Letter of, from the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary looks promising.
Heres what it says about the epistles authorship:
With this information, given the options available, it looks like James, the half-brother of Jesus is the most likely author of this epistle. But our character study is far from over
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What Can We Learn From James
When it comes to learning from the life of James, the brother of Jesus, there is one thing that stands out above the rest, and it is this: the resurrected Christ has the power to change lives. Like the religious leaders of their day, James had seen Jesus perform countless miracles, but none of that convinced him that Jesus was the Messiah . But when he witnessed the resurrected Jesus his entire life changed. He went from skeptic to believer to church leader.
Its amazing to see the same work that happened in the life of James happen in our own lives. One moment were dead in our sins with no faith in who Jesus is. Upon witnessing the resurrected Christ through gospel proclamation, the Holy Spirit makes us alive and our lives are never the same.
Jesus’ Brother Was A Radical Advocate
Its a passion for James, who repeatedly demands justice for the poor in the Epistle of James. About a quarter of the book is devoted to advocating for and encouraging the needy, condemning favoritism based on wealth, and confronting the rich about their greed, apathy, exploitation, and foolish pride. The only other person in the New Testament who talks this much about social inequality is Jesus Himself. Like his brother, James minces no words.
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter .
James not only urges compassion and care for the poor, he elevates and honors them. Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? .
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How Did James Son Of Alphaeus Die
If we connect James son of Alphaeus with James the Just , then tradition tells us that he was pushed from the pinnacle of a temple, where he was preaching, and then beaten with a fullers club and stoned to death. In art, James son of Alphaeus is typically portrayed with a fullers club, reflecting the churchs assumption that he was the same person as James the Just.
However, the tradition which claims James son of Alphaeus preached in Egypt says he was crucified in the city of Ostrakine.
Hippolytus, a theologian who lived in the second and third centuries, allegedly recorded James death in On the Twelve Apostles of Christ:
And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.
This is the same death tradition ascribes to James, brother of Jesus, but scholars have little reason to trust On the Twelve Apostles of Christ. The text wasnt discovered until the nineteenth century, and most believe its pseudepigrapha .
So unfortunately, the ambiguities and unknowns surrounding James son of Alphaeus prevent us from being certain how or where he died. However, most members of the Twelve were martyred, so it would be surprising if one of the least known disciples simply died of old age, like John.
True Wisdom Comes From God
13 If you are wise and understand Gods ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, dont cover up the truth with boasting and lying.15 For jealousy and selfishness are not Gods kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
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James The Brother Of Our Lord
This James was not one of the twelve, but was a brother of Jesus in the flesh . He is one of four brothers of Jesus mentioned by the Jews in Nazareth . These later sons of Mary explain why Jesus was called her firstborn son . The attempts by some to make these cousins and not brothers of Jesus are ill-advised attempts to deny scripture.
James would be included in the brethren of Christ who did not believe in Him during His earthly ministry . However, something happened around the time of the Christs crucifixion and resurrection. For one thing, Jesus made a special appearance to James after His resurrection . Then, we see that Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his brethren prayed in the upper room before the day of Pentecost . James is now a believer and a disciple.
We do not read about James again until after the death of James the son of Zebedee in Acts, chapter twelve. When the angel of the Lord released Peter from prison, he interrupted the prayer meeting being held for him and told them, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren . By this time, James had a prominent place in the church at Jerusalem.
James continued to be a force in the church at Jerusalem and by all accounts would be considered its senior pastor. Paul recognized James, along with Cephas and John, to be pillars in the church . He also speaks of receiving certain men who came from James .