James 1 Commentary

Practical Christian Wisdom from the New Testament Book of James

A Letter of Practical Christian Wisdom

Introduction (1:1)

Verse 1: “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings” (James 1:1 NIV). 

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1 NIV) tells us that the writer of this letter was James, a younger half-brother of Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 13:55). Once a bonafide skeptic (Mark 3:21) of the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) of his Older Brother, James had now been transformed to become His ardent supporter, humbling himself not only as a “servant [Greek, doulos, slave] of God” (1:1 NIV), but equally, a bond servant by choice of Jesus, who he now admits to be the Jewish Messiah and his master. James’ choice of calling himself a “servant of God” (1:1 NIV) is consistent with the teachings of Christ. “Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me” (John 12:26 NIV). We are servants of the Lord with the benefit of God directing our choices in life. Remember, we are not here to figure out how to use God, but how He can use us. This epistle or letter was addressed to the “twelve tribes scattered among the nations”  (1:1 NIV), since the Early Church was originally Jewish converts returning to their homes from the Acts 2 Pentecost, as well as, to the converted Jewish brothers and sisters “scattered among the nations” (1:1 NIV) by the persecutions of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 8:1). NT scholars date this epistle as sometime before 62 AD, when James was martyred by King Herod (Acts 12:2). The Romans did not destroy Jerusalem and the Temple until 70 AD. “Greetings” (1:1 NIV) is the expected salutation, since this is a letter. 

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Women’s Role in the Church – Part 1

Women Teaching Men: 1Timothy 2:11-15

In the context of the public assembly of the church, Paul gave the direction, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet” (1Timothy 2:12 NIV), he had just prefaced his remark a verse earlier. “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission” (2:11 NIV). 

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