James is addressing poor christians who are employed

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“James is addressing poor Christians who are employed as farm labourers for wealthy landowners. A few rich may be included among his Christian readers (cf. 4:13–17), but James is primarily concerned with the poor. His statements denouncing the rich (especially 5:1–6) are among the strongest in the NT.” Wessel (2002:n.p.). 1.2 The Literary Context in James 1.2.1. The structure of James Concerning the structure of the epistle of James, it is a very different book to the Pauline epistles, it is noted that James doesn’t start his book with salutations and doesn’t end it off with the normal benedictions. Instead we see that this book isn’t quite a dogmatic book when it comes to the major theological themes. Strange enough James didn’t focus as much on Jesus Christ and what He has done for us, the book of James only mentions the name of Jesus twice and doesn’t mention His sufferings, death or resurrection at all, Wessel (2002:n.p.). Another visible fact is that James wrote from a practical point of view on active Christianity, which of some examples is origin of temptation; law and ethics; real faith and faith vs. works; wisdom and also judgement. 1.2.2. The use of figurative language in the book Wessel (2002:963) states that the author "uses words and phrases in good literary Koine style". Further he comments that he seems to be fond of compounds and picturesque words. He employs technical terms and phrases, without using then in their strict technical sense. 2
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Deissman (in Wessel 2000:963) stated, "The epistle of James will be understood in the open air beside the piled sheaves of a harvest field". Its vocabulary "reflects the local color of the country side". "Numerous words are drawn from agriculture". "Words used for fishing are also employed". Another example is how James makes a portrait of God, beginning by painting a robust creator who rules (1:17) and promises a new cosmic order (1:18) (Wall 2000:np). 1.2.3. The figurative of speech in James 3:4 - 5 Metaphors and similes are methods of comparison, speaking of one thing in terms of another. James employs these figures from all areas of life: a. Rural Life He speaks of earthly prosperity as a flower that withers (1:10), speech as a spring and a tree (3:11), righteousness as fruit (3:18), life as a fog that is soon gone (4:14), etc. b. Marine Life & Astronomy A man who cannot make up his mind to trust God is compared to a wave of the sea (1:6). God, the source of good gifts is unchanging as the sun (1:17). etc. c. Domestic Life The development and result of sin is likened to conception, birth, growth, and death (1:15). The careless listener is likened to the man who doesn't look into the mirror very well (1:23). In 4:4 unfaithfulness is compared to adultery. etc. d. Public Life The future bliss of believers is compared to receiving the victor's "crown" (1:12).
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