You will find and introduction to “James” here.

A prayer from the Book of Common Worship:

O Lord our God, your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Give us grace to receive your truth in faith and love, that we may be obedient to your will and live always for your glory; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

3:1-12 The Control of Speech: the importance and difficulty of wise and useful speech.

3:13-4:10 Friendship with God: Luke Johnson considers this section the “heart of Jame’s writing and the key to its understanding.” (Johnson, 1165 in HarperCollins ) Verse 4 “Adulterers” The prophets compared the covenant with marriage and so those who break the covenant were referred to as adulterers (Isa 1:21, Jer 3:6-10, Hos 2.2). What do you think are James main points?

4:11-17 Against Arrogance:  warnings against judging others and assuming we are in control of our future.

5:1-11 Persecution and Patience: verse 1-6 warnings against arrogance and injustice.  verses 7-11 the response to persecution. Does James mean we should not work against injustice? Or is he advocating for a particular sort of response to injustice?

5:12-20 Life in the Community:  verse 14 oil was used as a medical treatment.

Martin Luther thought “James” was worth reading but he also thought James contradicted Paul’s teaching on faith and righteousness. What do you think? Is it appropriate to compare James’ teaching to Paul’s? Or should James be evaluated on its own merits?

Read More About It:

Johnson, Luke Timothy, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, rev. ed. (Minneapolis:Fortress Press) 1999. Chapter 23 “The Letter of James”.

Johnson, Luke T. “James”  in HarperCollins Bible Commentary, rev. ed.James L Mays, ed. (New York: Society of Bible Literature) 2000.

Quanbeck, Warren A., Pheme Perkins,  “James in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Bruce M. Metzger, Roland E. Murphy eds. (New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.