I recently began reading my bible again. I came across the book of James and was immediately enthralled by what I was reading. So begins my first bible study hosted on my blog (with the help of other sources on the internet of course).
But before I can begin with said bible study, I knew I had to understand who James was in order to make sense of it all. The historical context behind James is quite interesting. I’ve learned so much about who James the Just was already. He was a martyr counted among Stephen and James the brother of John. One of the most poignant thoughts I have discovered is unlike Paul, who wrote on how to become a Christian, James wrote on how to act like one. He blatantly told the Jews to not only listen to the Word, but to do what it (the Word) says (James 1:22). I love his straightforwardness; he is so frank that it is hard, if not impossible, to miss his point.
There are conflicting accounts of his death. Some sources say he was stoned (like Stephen) while others say he was tossed from a temple and beaten with a club. He is often referred to as James the brother of Jesus (although I did find conflicting information on his relationship to Jesus; he may be his step brother or cousin). He is also often referred to as James the Righteous. I found the following quote which comes from the Christian historian Eusebius and can be found in the 23rd chapter of the 2nd book of his Ecclesiastical History:
“…he was holy from his mother’s womb…he prayed upon his knees insomuch that his knees were like the knees of a camel by means of his being continually upon them, worshipping God, and praying for the forgiveness of people….This James was a true witness, both to Jews and Gentiles, that Jesus is the Christ.”
Topics included in James (the biblical book), taken strait from the NLV Bible include:
- Faith and Endurance
- Listening and Doing
- Warning against Prejudice, Judging Others, and Self Confidence
- Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead
- Controlling the Tongue
- True Wisdom Comes from God
- Drawing Closer to God
- Warning to the Rich
- Patience in Suffering
- The Power of Prayer
- Restoring the Wandering Believer
I have absolutely no idea how long it will take me to complete this study and post it here. However, what I do know is that I want it to speak to me so that I am applying the Word to my life rather than being a listener only.
**Please note, I am not a biblical scholar. I would rate my experience with the Bible as novice for all there is to learn. So (please) if you notice corrections or things to add…do so! I will not be offended at all! I invite you to participate in this journey with me! In fact, I would love nothing more than to have an accountability partner! I will cite all the sources I found along the way. I welcome you to become a follower and/or refer others here as well.
So who’s with me?
What do you know about James the Just? If you have anything to add, please leave it in a comment below!