17. James

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1. Greeting. 1:1,1.

2. Trials and Joy. 1:2-4.

3. Answer to Prayer. 1:5-8.

4. Curse of Riches. 1:9-11.

5. Reward of the Righteous. 1:12.

6. Temptation and Trial. 1:13-15.

7. Good Comes from God. 1:16-18.

8. Self-control. 1:19-21.

9. Hearing and Doing. 1:22-25.

10. Control the Tongue. 1:26.

11. True Religion. 1:27.

12. Sin and the Rich. 2:1-13.

13. Faith and Works. 2:14-26.

14. Sin of the Tongue. 3:1-12.

15. True Wisdom. 3:13-18.

16. Wrong Desires. 4:1-10.

17. Speak No Evil. 4:11,12.

18. Sinful Self-confidence. 4:13-16.

19. Sins of Omission. 4:17.

20. Judgment of the Rich. 5:1-6.

21. Patience. 5:7-11.

22. Swearing. 5:12.

23. Consecration. 5:13.

24. Sickness. 5:14-18.

25. Save the Erring. 5:19,20.


1. For many reasons it is difficult to accept James, the Lord's brother, as the author of this epistle.

2. Jesus' brothers were slow to accept his divine mission; at the crucifixion he committed his mother to the care of the apostle John.

3. Nothing in this epistle even hints at an intimate association of the author with Jesus.

Note: If James did write it, it may be that he was hesitant to refer to the family relationship with Jesus because of the peculiar circumstances of the aborted meeting of the family with Jesus at Capernaum-when Jesus uttered those words which so shocked his family-"I have no mother; I have no brothers." (Urantia Book, (1722.1) 154:6.5)

4. This book of James was written by a learned writer-it is high class Hellenistic literature.

5. This epistle was written in Greek. James was probably proficient only in Aramaic.

6. There is one item of evidence which demands attention. Many of the 230 words used by James in Acts 15:13-30 do appear in the epistle of James.

7. The early fathers assigned the book to James-the Lord's brother.

8. If James wrote it, then the epistle is among the early writings-since James was martyred in A.D. 62.

9. One theory is that it was written by an unknown Christian teacher about A.D. 90.

10. It is doubtful if James can be dated before A.D. 80. It might be even as late as 100.

11. James was written after Romans, because it refers to Rom. 4. (The probable date for Romans is A.D. 58.)

12. The sum of all the evidence would suggest that this book was not written by James, the Lord's brother, and the original was probably most thoroughly rewritten.


1. While early Christianity had its center in the Jerusalem council of which James was chairman, Paul refused to recognize it as a final authority.

2. But James and the elders regarded themselves as inheritors of "apostolic authority."

3. When Paul wrote that "Christ is the end of the law" (Rom. 10:4), he taught what Peter said was something "hard to understand." 2 Peter 3:16.

4. Their trouble arose from failure to distinguish the two laws-moral law, like the Ten Commandments, and the whole mass of ceremonial law, regarding sacrifices, foods, and scores of other trifling details of living.

5. James seems to have been written to provide a middle-of-the-road document- avoiding Paul's extreme "justification by faith" and the Jewish teaching of "obedience to the law."

6. For twenty years James did preside as head of the church at Jerusalem. It is difficult to understand his addressing this epistle to the 12 tribes.

7. The author is influenced by two apocryphal books-Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon.

8. The epistle seems to teach that action is more important than faith. It is mildly controversial as regards Paul's "justification by faith."


1. The sources of James are more Jewish than Christian. Some editor has made it more Christian than it was in the original.

2. Admonitions are given to most of the 12 sons of Jacob to carry out the "scheme" of the epistle.

3. In many early versions of James, it appears as a "letter to Jacob."

4. In the third century both Origen and Eusebius recognized James as "scripture."

5. Church organization was well advanced when James was written. But the elders had not become priests.

6. James presents a definite plan for "anointing the sick," This is the former practice of the disciples of John the Baptist. (See Urantia Book, p. 1678.)

7. This anointing of the sick with pure olive oil is still practiced by a branch of the Greek Orthodox Church.

8. Most likely it was from this "unction" of anointing the sick that the later rite of anointing the dying-"extreme unction"-was derived.

9. Even today many "divine healers" anoint their subjects with oil.


1. Getting wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him." 1:5.

2. Gaining the crown. "Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of lire which God has promised to those who love him." 1:12.

3. Nature of temptation. "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire." 1:14.

4. Good endowments. "Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." 1:17.

5. Speech control. "If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain." 1:26.

6. Heirs of the kingdom. "Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him." 2:5.

7. Faith and works. "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?" 2:14.

8. Dead faith. "So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." 2:17.

9. Faith and works. "But some one will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith." 2:18.

10. Justified by works. "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." 2:24.

11. Dead faith. "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead." 2:26.

12. Untamable tongue. "But no human being can tame the tongue-a restless evil, full of deadly poison." 3:8.

13. Wisdom. "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity ." 3:17.

14. Submission to God. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." 4:7.

15. True humility. "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you." 4:10.

16. What is sin? "Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." 4:17.

17. Patience. "You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." 5:8.

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