James New Testament — 2023 Lesson 46 November 13-19, 2023


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This is a commentary on the book of James the text for Lesson 46 in the Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families manual for 2023. James is the first of seven short books called the General Epistles, since they were written to the Church at large rather than to a specific branch as most of Paul’s letters were.

The epistle of James is a letter from the apostle James, the half-brother of Jesus. It is one of the first books written that would later be included in the canon of the New Testament. It is a book written with a Jewish perspective on ethics and morality. It is, however, fully Christian in doctrine. In content and style, it is like Proverbs or a prophetic book such as Amos in the Old Testament rather than the other books of the New Testament.

It was written in a prophetic voice in the classical style of the Jewish prophets. It is not that it foretells the future; but, it forthrightly teaches the people what they should be doing. It is all about prayer, justice, fairness, and ministering. The diatribes against oppression of all kinds, and the rich in particular, echo the writings of Amos and Isaiah. On a personal level, it challenges us to choose whether to be friends of the world or friends of God. It affirms the positive moral prescriptions in the law of Moses while not encouraging its ordinances or rituals—much as Isaiah 1 did. Doctrinally and stylistically, it could be placed in amongst the Old Testament writings without much change. It’s a short but good study. pp.24.


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