11/22/2018 — The Book of James
Posted on: November 22, 2018 /
First, I am sure you noted that we are leaving the Book of Acts for another book – we will do this several time. Remember that the developers of the reading plan are making their best effort to keep us in “chronological order.” Of course the books are not dated, so in their opinion the Book of James could have been written at about this time in the history of the church.
Several times I have mentioned that I consider the inspired words of the John to be lyrically and poetically. To me James’s inspired words are more like an instruction manual or procedure. He clearly gives the reader practical and simple instructions for living a Godly life.
And there are no more practical instructions than the control of one of our smallest but most difficult to manage organs, our tongue. And I have used a version of these & other instructions in management training classes:
James 1: 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry .
James 3: 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 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. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
As one of the chief leaders in the church at Jerusalem, James wrote from that city prior to the meeting of the Jerusalem Council, which Luke recorded in Acts 15. At that council, James, along with Peter and Paul, affirmed the decision to take the gospel message to the Gentiles. This council met in AD 49, meaning James likely wrote his letter in AD 45–48. Such a significant event as the Jerusalem Council warranted comment from James, as he was writing to a Jewish Christian audience. But James made no mention of Gentile Christians at all, making an early date for the letter most likely. In fact, it was likely the first New Testament book written.