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NT-Paper #2 James

NT-Paper #2 James - Steven Vecchio New Testament Dr Tullock...

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Steven Vecchio New Testament Dr. Tullock 12 December, 2007 The Message of James The book of James can somewhat be viewed as a series of tests, tests by which a person’s faith can be measured. With a quick study of the book of James it is apparent that the author, James, puts a much stronger emphasis on works. This aspect almost seems to challenge Paul’s intense focus on faith, though it does not contradict the idea of justification through faith alone. In this essay I will try to summarize the message that James was trying to get across by picking apart some of his tests of faith, many of them relational to the modern day Christian. First of all, all of the major epistles were named after their author, besides Hebrews, and James is no exception. There are four mentions of different James’ in the New Testament, but only two of those mentioned are even candidates for authorship of the book. Those out of consideration are James the Less, the son of Alphaeus, and James the father of Judas, not Iscariot. One suggested was James the son of Zebedee and brother of John,
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but this idea is obsolete with evidence in Acts 12:2 that he was martyred too early to have written it. This only leaves James, the eldest half-brother of Jesus Christ and brother of the author of the epistle of Jude, Jude. John 7:5 gives us the indication that James, along with all of his other brothers, didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah. It wasn’t until after Christ had risen and appeared to James (I Corinthians 15:7) that he believed that Jesus was actually who he said He was. James soon began to play a key role in the Jerusalem church, being called one of the “pillars” of that church in Galatians 2:9, along with Peter and John. James’ dedication to the pursuit of righteousness made him traditionally known as James the Just. According to first century historian Josephus, James was martyred in 62 AD. James never addressed himself as an Apostle, rather he would present himself as a bond servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is seen in the beginning of the book where James gives us an idea as to whom he was writing this epistle.
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