Y’all- I don’t really know what to say about chapter 3. I feel like the study pretty much summed it up, so rather than reiterate…let’s just move on to chapter 4.
I had to dive back into a bit of history this week for James. As I read back through what scholars had to say on James, I realized this is one of the places James probably receives some of its critiques for being random. As I looked at commentaries, I found comparison of James to the way Proverbs is written. That got the english person in me thinking…. James was writing a letter. He wasn’t recounting a story or event. He wasn’t writing a song or poem or singing praises like David in Psalms. He was telling the 12 tribes “how it is”. There is no fluff. No pretty words or parables to maybe lighten the sting. It’s an “it is what it is” kind of book.
That realization opened my eyes to the message of chapter 4. Unlike other books in the bible, each verse is not necessarily dependent on the verse that came before & the one that came before that. (Now we do dig into to context a bit this week, so just hold your thoughts on what I just said). Many of the chapter 4 verses can stand on their own & their meaning is the same. It is almost written more like a list.
So if you’re a bit taken back by the context, like I was, go back & revisit the introduction on James & then come back to chapter 4 & read each verse for what it is as a stand alone command, rather than a line in a story. Pulling the verses apart, was helpful for me to shoulder the weight of those commands & instructions. So it might be helpful for you too to revisit who James is speaking to & thinking of it as a list rather than a story type letter.
This week, again, lets do something a bit different- because the whole point of this study is to learn to study the bible & there are different ways to do that; so here’s another…
Again, as always, hop over to Instagram & share your experience with James using the hashtags #hflcommunity & #hflstudies. I would love to hear from you.
Just joing us & need to catch up?