Introduction to the
Book of James
I. Author / Penman:
A. God is the author of all scriptures
(II Timothy 3:16-17, John 16:13, and I Corinthians 2:11-13).
B. Man’s word accounts for nothing in the
realm of spiritual things (Galatians 1:10-12).
C. James is identified as the author.
D. There are three James’ noted in the N.T.
that have been considered as authors.
1. James the son of Alphaeus (Acts
2. James the son of Zebedee (Matthew 10:2) and
brother to John (Matthew 4:21).
a. Little is written about this
James making it highly unlikely that he would be the author of this book.
a. Died in AD 44 (Acts 12:1-2).
3. James the brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55),
is the most likely candidate.
a. He was involved with Paul at
Jerusalem (Galatians 1:18-19).
b. James was vocal in Acts 15:13-29 seemingly
as an elder (Acts 15:6 and Acts 21:18).
c. This James is also the brother of Judas
who penned the book of Jude (Jude 1).
II. Time Period and
History of the Writing of This Book
A. The dating of this book ranges
from 45-49 AD.
1. The dating of this book could
mean that it was one of the first penned books of the New Testament.
B. Agabus prophesies a famine; Herod kills James
of Zebedee and imprisons Peter; Herod is struck dead (Acts 10-12).
2. It was addressed to Jewish Christians.
a. Notice the passages suggesting
such by name or reference to Old Testament passages: (1:1; 2:11-12, 21-25;
4:5; 5:11, 17-18).
b. One cannot overlook that the Jews were
the “first fruits” of the Gospel (Acts 2:1ff. and James 1:18).
C. Herod Agrippa II rules Judea.
D. Paul's first missionary journey.
E. The messages in this book can be an indicator
of what was going on with these Christians:
1. They were being tried, and needed
to look to the Lord (1:2-18).
2. Not only hearing but doing, thus practicing
pure and undefiled religion (1:21-27).
3. Respecting persons (2:1-13).
4. Faith AND works (2:14-26).
5. Teachers need to be concerned of the
good and evil the tongue can bring forth (3:1-12).
6. Heavenly wisdom is superior to earthly
7. Evil at work (4:1-6).
8. Various exhortations (4:7-12).
9. How brief life is (4:13-17).
10. Warnings to those of wealth (5:1-6).
11. Patience (5:7-12).
12. Prayer (5:13-18).
13. Restoring the erring (5:19-20).
III. Some Final Thoughts
About James the Brother of Christ
A. He did not claim fame to who
he was, but called himself a servant (James 1:1).
B. He doubted who Christ was prior to the
Resurrection (John 7:5).
1. Of which he saw Jesus (I Corinthians
C. He would have been taught that his fleshly
relationship was less than his spiritual relationship to Christ (Matthew
D. James and the rest of the physical family
of Christ were present at the Ascension of Christ (Acts 1:13-14).
Here To Go to a Study in James Chapter 1
by Brian A. Yeager may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes at no
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