Arguments For A Pseudepigraphon
There is a majority view that it is pseudonymous. Most scholars consider the epistle to be pseudepigrapha because of these factors:
- 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. It thus could have been written anywhere in the Empire that Christians spoke Greek. There are some scholars who argued for Syria.
Who Wrote The Letter Of James
As you know, we have been examining the authorship of the New Testament letters over the past few weeks. Thus far, we have learned that good reasons exist to accept the apostles Matthew and John as authors of the First and Fourth Gospels John Mark as the author of the Second Gospel, who in turn served as a preserver of Simon Peters testimony Dr. Luke, the beloved physician and colleague of Paul, as the author of the Third Gospel Paul as the most reasonable author for the 13 letters attributed to him and most likely Luke as the author of Hebrews. But what about the letter attributed to James? Who is the most likely candidate for the pastoral letter? That is the topic of this article.
Date: Interestingly, the letter attributed to James is most likely the oldest letter in the entire New Testament. Evidence suggests that the letter of James was probably written around the year A.D. 48 as the letter holds more a kinship with Jewish wisdom literature than does further developed Christian literature. Jamess tie with the Jerusalem church as well as a thoroughly Jewish focus leads one to believe that the letter was written prior to the Jerusalem Council .
Three people are candidates for authorship of this early letter: James the son of Zebedee, James the son of Alphaeus , and James the brother of Jesus . James the son of Zebedee could not have authored the letter as he died in A.D. 44 .
Anointing Of The Sick
The epistle is also the chief biblical text for the Anointing of the Sick. James wrote:
14Is 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. 15And 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 .”
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Who Was Jesus Did He Really Exist
Most scholars agree that Jesus, a first-century religious leader and preacher, existed historically. He was born in c4 BC and died reportedly crucified on the orders of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in cAD 3033. Then, for around 40 years, news of his teachings was spread by word of mouth until, from around AD 70, four written accounts of his life emerged that changed everything.
The gospels, or good news, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are critically important to the Christian faith. It is their descriptions of the life of Jesus Christ that have made him arguably the most influential figure in human history.
We cant be sure when the gospels were written, says Barton, and we know little about the authors. But the guess is that Mark came first, in the 70s, followed by Matthew and Luke in the 80s and 90s, and John in the 90s or early in the second century.
In general, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the same story with variations, and hence are called the synoptic gospels, whereas John has a very different style, as well as telling a markedly different version of the story of Jesus. Matthew and Luke seem to be attempts to improve on Mark, by adding more stories and sayings from sources now lost. John is a different conceptualisation of the story of Jesus, portraying a more obviously divine figure.
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.
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James: A Brief Character Study
James is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Ive read through it many times, heard it preached, studied it verse-by-verse, wrote a devotional commentary on it, and more. There is so much to explore and learn in this short letter. So, Im excited that were exploring James epistle on the Olive Tree blog . Together, were going to learn some fantastic insights from this letter with a character study.
Lets get started.
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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Challenges To The Traditional View
This traditional view that Jesus brother wrote the Book of James has been challenged for a number of reasons in modern scholarship. Most recently Dale Allisons magisterial commentary on James in the ICC series weighs the evidence and concludes James is likely not the author. He points out there is there is no clear knowledge of James before the time of Origen . In order to evaluate this claim, Allison surveys many of the alleged allusions to James in early Christian literature, especially in Shepherd of Hermas. He concludes that informed opinion is dramatically divided over the meaning of these parallels . For some it is obvious James used Shepherd of Hermas , for others James was the inspiration for Hermas .
Karen Jobes, on the other hand, points to the use of Q as evidence of an early date . Q refers to the sources used by both Matthew and Luke. If James can be shown to use Q then perhaps this is evidence for an earlier date, before the canonical Gospels were written and circulated.
In my view, the letter is the best representative of Jewish Christianity in the New Testament. While I fully understand there were Jewish Christians in Jerusalem will into the third and fourth centuries, the Christian community was almost entirely Jewish until Pauls missionary activity in the late 40s. The letter of James fits the historical context of Acts 1-12 better than the second century.
Restored The Priesthood To Joseph Smith
According to Mormon tradition, in the nineteenth century, John the Baptist allegedly appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and gave them the Aaronic priesthood. Smith carefully documented the event.
At another time, Smith said he heard the voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times! The Mormon church claims that in this moment, Peter, James, and John gave Joseph Smith the Melchizedek priesthood, which is the greater order of priesthood in Mormonism.
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Who Wrote The Book Of James
- ZA Blog
According to James 1:1, the letter is written by James himself. He was the son of Joseph, a construction worker who originally lived in Nazareth in Galilee.
He is always named next after Jesus in lists of Jesus brothers, so he was presumably considered to be Jesus next younger brother.
Its also possible that James was the oldest of Jesus cousins if one follows Jeromes interpretation that adelphos means cousin, the children of Mary wife of Clopas, also identified as the mother of James and Joses.
James was a prominent figure among the communities of the followers of Jesus living in Palestine in the first century. Paul names him, along with Cephas and John, an acknowledged pillar of the Jerusalem community emissaries from that community are designated by Paul as from James . Acts tells us that James is the only one whom Peter wanted informed about his release from prison . James chaired the so-called Jerusalem Council , and Paul visited him and took advice from him on his final visit to Jerusalem . On this virtually the whole tradition of literature on this work is agreed.
However, was it really James who wrote the book? Or was it simply attributed to him? This issue involves several questions.
Lets take a look at each of these questions.
Iii Recipients Of James: Probably Christian Jews Who Fled Jerusalem During The Persecution Of Stephen In Acts 7
A. James identifies his audience as the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad
1. The designation twelve tribes suggests a Jewish audience
a. This could be unconverted Jews
b. This could be Christian Jews
c. This could be Hellenistic Jews
d. This could even be Christians generally 18
2. The following evidence suggests limiting the audience to Christian Jews:
a. The congregations meeting is a synagogue
b. The Hebrew title Lord Sabaoth is Jewish
c. The author identifies his readers as Christians
3. It is difficult to identify the exact location of these recipients:
a. The fact that they are dispersed abroad implies that they are not in one location
b. One possible reconstruction is that these believers fled during the persecution which came upon the heals of Stephens death in Acts 7–8.19
1) Acts reports that the Jewish Christians spread out over Judea and Samaria , Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Syrian Antioch as a result of the persecution of Stephen
2) If this is the case, than James would have felt responsible as their former pastor to offer instruction to them at this time
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Who Was King David
The first wave of scribes may, its been suggested, have started work during the reign of King David . Whether thats true or not, David is a monumental figure in the biblical story the slayer of Goliath, the conqueror of Jerusalem. David is also a hugely important figure in the quest to establish links between the Bible and historical fact, for he appears to be the earliest biblical figure to be confirmed by archaeology.
I killed king of the house of David. So boasts the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone dating from 870750 BC and discovered in northern Israel in the 1990s. Like the Merneptah Stele before it, it documents a warlords victory over the Israelites . But it at least indicates that David was a historical figure.
The Tel Dan Stele also suggests that,no matter how capable their rulers, the people of Israel continued to be menaced by powerful, belligerent neighbours. And, in 586 BC, one of those neighbours, the Babylonians, would inflict on the Jews one of the most devastating defeats in their history: ransacking the sacred city of Jerusalem, butchering its residents, and dragging many more back to Babylonia.
Who Wrote The Bible
Until the 17th century, received opinion had it that the first five books of the Bible Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were the work of one author: Moses. That theory has since been seriously challenged.
Scholars now believe that the stories that would become the Bible were disseminated by word of mouth across the centuries, in the form of oral tales and poetry perhaps as a means of forging a collective identity among the tribes of Israel. Eventually, these stories were collated and written down. The question is by whom, and when?
A clue may lie in a limestone boulder discovered embedded in a stone wall in the town of Tel Zayit, 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem, in 2005. The boulder, now known as the Zayit Stone, contains what many historians believe to be the earliest full Hebrew alphabet ever discovered, dating to around 1000 BC. What was found was not a random scratching of two or three letters, it was the full alphabet, Kyle McCarter of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland has said of the stone. Everything about it says this is the ancestor of the Hebrew script.
Ask the expert: John Barton
John Barton is a former professor of holy scriptures at the University of Oxford and the author of A History of the Bible: The Books and Its Faiths.
Q:Just how reliable is the Old Testament as an historical document?
Q:How much does archaeology support the historicity of the Old Testament?
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Who Wrote The King James Bible
Let there be light. My brothers keeper. Fight the good fight. A number of the most well-known phrases in the English language originated not in novels, plays, or poems but in a seminal translation of the Bible, the King James Version , which was published in 1611 at the behest of King James I of England. It is likely the most famous translation of the bible and was the standard English Bible for nearly three centuries. Many people think that its so named because James had a hand in writing it, but thats not the case. As king, James was also the head of the Church of England, and he had to approve of the new English translation of the Bible, which was also dedicated to him.
So if James didnt write it, who did? To begin with, theres no single author. One individualRichard Bancroft, the archbishop of Canterburywas notable for having the role of overseer of the project, something akin to a modern editor of a collection of short stories. The actual translating of the KJV was done by a committee of 47 scholars and clergymen over the course of many years. So we cannot say for certain which individual wrote a given passage.
Does James Contradict Paul
The Epistle of James highlights the need to practice your faith by living a proper life as a reflection of your inward beliefs. His appeal to the masses Faith without works is dead! Exhorts believers to practice what they preach and to live out their Faith as a proper example to others.
This has nothing to do with salvation as such, and so does not contradict the Apostle Pauls message to the Ephesians of salvation by Grace alone and not works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Unfortunately I have witness over the years many times when this Gospel of Grace message is mixed up with the Old Testament Law in many churches that otherwise preach a good gospel message.
The Gospel of Grace mixed with the letter of the O.T Law produces a mongrel gospel that will save no-one and condemn many along the way.
Paul warn Christians about mixing Grace with the Law and indeed refers to The Law or the ten commandments as that Ministry of death
These are sobering teachings from the master himself warning about mixing Grace with Law for the New Testament Christian.
James himself would of course know this and so he does not preach against Grace as such, but rather to let everyone know by your general behavior and works that you are indeed a follower of Jesus
James In a Nutshell:
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Popular Bible Verses From The Book Of James
Below are some of the most well-known Bible verses and Scripture passages from the book of James.
- James 5:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
- James 1:2-3 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance..”
- James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- James 1:13 – “When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone”
- James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”