Last week, I gave you a printable of introduction work as prep for this week. Who did it? If not, pause for a little bit, go back to last week’s post & get that introduction work done.
If you are ready to move on to discussion, keep reading:
Who, what, when, where, why, how?
Who is the author & who is the audience? Vs. 1 tell us the author was James, a servant of God. Upon further investigation this is most likely James, the half brother of Jesus; although there were many James’ close to Jesus (Mark 3:18, Luke 6:16) most historians believe it was his half brother.
Who was the audience? Vs. 1 says it was the 12 tribes scattered among the nations.
*in the margins are verses that give a little more explanation or background on particular sections. So anytime you have a question, first keep reading. If it isn’t answered by reading a bit further, go to those verses in the margins. The Logos App places them within the text & you can click right from where you are reading. Inductive study bibles have verses noted in the margins.
What is the general topic of the book? This isn’t quite as simple as the who, it may have taken a bit more digging. Many bibles, especially study bibles, have an introduction at the beginning of each chapter but you can get more information from a commentary also.
In my bible it describes James as a “how to book on christian living”. Another describes it as “designed to exhort & encourage, to challenge & convict, to rebuke & to revive, to describe practical holiness & drive believers toward the goal of faith that works.” (Inductive Study Bible- NASB)
But let’s just go with the simple explanation from Life Application Study Bible of a “how-to book”. This might be something that you don’t figure out right away & that is ok. It is all a learning process.
When did it take place? AD 49, but before AD 50.
Let’s get some perspective for that answer. Jesus was crucified around 30 AD, so his disciples had been ministering about 20ish years without him at this point.
Where did the book seem to take place? Verse 1 says the 12 tribes were scattered among the nations, our reference is John 7:35- Which says they were scattered among the Greeks. Digging further into a commentary it is said James was addressing the Jewish Christians scattered to the east in Babylon & Mesopotamia. I am in NO way a map expert when it comes to translating biblical land vs modern-day land, but it looks like that would be modern-day Israel, Jordan, & possibly Syria, Iraq, Iran, & Egypt.
Why was the message being delivered? We sort of answered this with the “what” but let’s dig a bit more. Commentaries state that christians were scattered among unbelieving nations & the temptation to think with their brains instead of their faith was strong. So this was written as a letter to remind them how they are to live & conduct themselves.
How was the book delivered? James is a letter from James to the scattered tribes.
There you go…that is the history.
So now it is on to Chapter 1. Here is your printable for this week. Now if you have not watched the video yet, please do before you open this. If you open this before you watch the video, I claim no responsibility or blame for the words that could potentially fly out of your mouth when you see how long it is. For real, scroll back up & watch the video first.
This week is different because, we are actually digging into the word. So get those pens & highlighters out. This is the perfect place to post about your study & the findings & ah-ha moments & questions. Just comment below & let’s start to build the HFL community through studying the bible together. Don’t forget to join the HFL community over on Instagram with the hashtag #hflcommunity & hflstudies.
Just joining us?