From Series: "James: Living Through God's Wisdom (May 2016)"
GENRE - James is the biblical book of wisdom in the New Testament. For instance - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, and a section of the Psalms are wisdom books in the Old Testament. In this brief book (5 chapters), God challenges us to trust Him enough to trust that His ways are the way to live wisely. There are also many wisdom sections in the New Testament. For example Jesus in the Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5-7) taught wisdom in a way that significantly influenced James in writing his letter. But James is the New Testament book that, from its beginning to its ending, is best understood as wisdom literature.
AUTHOR - For me there is sufficient evidence to conclude that James, the brother of Jesus, is the author of the book that bears his name. He grew beyond his childhood and early adulthood reluctance about Jesus. Ultimately he embraced Jesus as the Messiah, and became a wise & courageous leader in the Early Church. Paul highlighted that Jesus appeared to James at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7) Luke records in Acts that on various occasions James participated in developing the early Christian community. James wisely led the church through the controversy of the Jerusalem Council. (Acts 15)
TIME & AUDIENCE - James or 1 Thessalonians was the first written book of the New Testament, circa 45 A.D. The audience were Jewish Christians who were scattered in various regions of the Roman Empire.