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James
 

James

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My notes on the book of James

My notes on the book of James

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  • Probably: Earliest new testament book. Pre-dates the Gospels James writes from his memory of the teachings of his brother! Writing from the period where Christianity was slowly coming apart from Judaism the hope that perhaps the Jewish faith would realise that Christ was Messiah

James James Presentation Transcript

  • The Book of James
  • Authorship five different ‘James’ James son of Zebedee Son of Alphaeus ‘ The younger’ Father of Judas Brother of Jesus
  • James, brother of Jesus Only mentioned twice by name in gospels Jesus brothers mentioned Converted around resurrection time Arose to prominence in Jerusalem church Acts 12:17, Gal 1:19, Gal 2:9, Gal 2:12, Acts 15, Acts 21:18
  • James: his death The date varies according to whether one follows Josephus (AD, 62) or Hegesippus (ca. 66). Josephus on the Death of James brother of Jesus, in 62 C.E. Josephus, Antiquities Book 20: chapter 9 CONCERNING ALBINUS UNDER WHOSE PROCURATORSHIP JAMES WAS SLAIN; AS ALSO WHAT EDIFICES WERE BUILT BY AGRIPPA. 1. AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent. ames ... “ Festus was now dead, and Albinus …assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned …” Josephus
  • James and Acts 15 Parallels ‘ Greeting’ Jas 1:1 – Acts 14:23 ‘ called by my name’ 2:7 – 15:17 ‘ Listen, brethren’ 2:5 – 15:13 ‘ to turn to’ 5:19-20 – 15:19 ‘ Keep yourself’ 1:27 – 15:29 ‘ beloved’ 1:16-19, 15:25
  • Dating Two approaches… Ask God to speak… find someone you like Find someone you like… Ask God to speak
  • Dating
    • Two considerations…
    • The Author
      • James – martyred AD.62
    • The Content…
  • Dating the content No mention of fall of Jerusalem (AD.70) Rich and poor in letter: pre-seige No mention of Judaisers Primitive church order Jewish tone
  • Dating Conclusion… Anywhere between AD.40-AD62
  • Audience v.1:1 12 tribes (Jews) in dispersion v. 2:2 They met in synagogues v.2:21 Abraham their father Reference to OT characters
  • Purpose Correcting interpretation of Paul? Moral life, not theology Not merely believing, but doing
  • Structure Called a letter but… ‘ String of pearls’ Chapter 1 an introduction? Jewish sermon structure? Chiastic?
  • Structure (sermon-like) v.1:2 brothers, my brothers, my beloved brothers v.5:1 You rich v.2:20 You shallow man v.4:8 You men of double mind v.4:8 You sinners
  • Characteristics Very Jewish Very Practical What is not mentioned 54 imperatives Sudden end Unique literary phrases
  • James and the sermon on the mount Joy in the midst of trials 1:2-4 /5:10-12 Faith and works 2:14f / 7:21-27 Against Judging others 4:11-12 / 7:1-5 These are not quotes Carrying on his brother’s preaching
  • Final thoughts Passion for the Jews to be saved Sin of omission - passivity Grace to the humble