The Book of James - Narrated by David Suchet
Updated: Dec 17, 2022
Video from God's Able
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness [ 2 Timothy 3:16 ]" from video introduction
Summary of the Book of James
Author: The author of this epistle (letter) is James, also called James the Just, who is thought to be the brother of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). James was not a believer (John 7:3-5) until after the resurrection (Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). He became the head of the Jerusalem church and is mentioned first as a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9).
Date of Writing: The Book of James is probably the oldest book of the New Testament, written perhaps as early as A.D. 45, before the first council of Jerusalem in A.D. 50. James was martyred in approximately A.D. 62, according to the historian Josephus.
Purpose of Writing: Some think that this epistle was written in response to an overzealous interpretation of Paul’s teaching regarding faith. This extreme view, called antinomianism, held that through faith in Christ one is completely free from all Old Testament law, all legalism, all secular law, and all the morality of a society. The Book of James is directed to Jewish Christians scattered among all the nations (James 1:1). Martin Luther, who detested this letter and called it “the epistle of straw,” failed to recognize that James’s teaching on works complemented—not contradicted—Paul’s teaching on faith. While Pauline teachings concentrate on our justification with God, James’ teachings concentrate on the works that exemplify that justification. James was writing to Jews to encourage them to continue growing in this new Christian faith. James emphasizes that good actions will naturally flow from those who are filled with the Spirit and questions whether someone may or may not have a saving faith if the fruits of the Spirit cannot be seen, much as Paul describes in Galatians 5:22-23.
James 1:2-3: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
James 1:19: "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
James 2:17-18: "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
James 3:5: "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark."
James 5:16b: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” from the article: Summary of the Book of James