Listen to Book of James using ESV Audio Bible online. choose a chapter of the King James version of the Bible. Introduces the epistle of James as the New Testament book of wisdom, and examines the author, audience, occasion of writing, and the letter's structure and .

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The Book is a one-minute radio program that features unusual stories and is part of the volume Crucial Questions series, available in both audio and print. Dr. J. Vernon McGee Media - James James: Intro James: Date and Purpose . In addition to these audio and video commentaries, you can review the. The King James Audio Bible: Authorized Version (Audible Audio Edition): Jodacom International Inc., Eric Martin: Books.

I squinted in the bright fluorescent lights. When an older woman noticed us by the door, she assumed we were in the wrong place until Mom showed her my paperwork. Suddenly she was glad to see us. In a brief tour, the librarian walked us down aisles of metal shelves, pointing to a stack of relics from the years books were recorded on vinyl rather than cassettes. Instead, requests were made over the phone, and books were shipped for free through the mail. The plastic scent in the air came from the pale green cartons that held the tapes.

A second librarian—were they still librarians if all the books were on tape? It weighed around ten pounds and was twice the size of my biggest textbook. I thought we were here to check out school textbooks, but the first librarian said that a place called Recordings for the Blind handled those.

The books here were the sort found in a regular library. When she asked if there was anything I wanted to check out, the question caught me off guard. In the future, he believed, this would be the primary way people enjoyed books. Half a century would go by before technology allowed for longer recording. Around that time, an act of Congress established the Talking Books program, which provided millions of visually impaired Americans access to the written word. By the s, its collection was exponentially bigger than the books-on-tape section of a public library, still dominated by self-help titles, but it generally took bestsellers a year to reach shelves.

I asked if they had Deliverance.

A further limitation of the library was that the patron needed to know what he was looking for. When she said they had Deliverance, I tried to think of other movies that started out as books.

The librarian returned with the green cartons containing my selections. In light of ocular events, only television and sleep remained in the mix. Holding a magnifier against the computer screen until the pixelated words came into focus proved tedious and eventually impossible. As for watching TV, if I got close enough to the set, portions of the picture were large enough to follow what was happening.

The small telescope we had downloadd from the low vision clinic justified its hefty price when I grew tired of sitting on the foot of my bed. Lying on my bed, I held the telescope to my better eye and aimed it at the TV. When my arm became tired, I shifted it to my other hand. What I came to find, in these minutes when the blurry picture reverted to dancing light, was how well memory and imagination replaced the picture. The reason they call them movies, after all, is the same reason television surpassed radio in popularity.

For every interchangeable car or sunrise, there are countless images we can behold a million times and never tire of seeing: the ocean, kittens, the naked body, one of those Hollywood smiles you feel in the pit of your stomach.

Gradually I discovered that watching movies and TV with my ears felt a lot like reading. Narrated by John Stratton. Introduction by I. Milo Shepard. Approximate reading time: Thirty-four hours and forty-six minutes. To skip past any prefatory material, press fast-forward until a beep is heard.

At that point, press play for the table of contents or fast-forward until another beep is heard to hear the beginning of the book. But do not be dismayed, this study bible breaks down the scriptures providing references, commentaries and definition of some words. This study bible is a gem, and helps to truly understand the written word for godly edification and helps me to know sound doctrine when preached.

What this bible has: Doctrinal footnotes An introduction on how to use the bible and how to study it Short biographies of the people introduced Information on the archaeological sites, cities and region Christ's teachings in red An introduction to each book providing the authorship, short background, and the purpose of it.

Maps and color maps at the back of the book and SO much more. The overall presentation is simply breathtaking. The font is very easy to read, printed on the creamy white pages. Bonded Leather Verified download.

This Study bible gives you a full color Presentation Page to present this bible to someone, "How To" pages on how to use the references, and footnotes, Book Intoductions to all 66 books of the Bible, Words of Christ in Red, Topical index to Christ and the Gospels, Money and Weight measurements, alphabetical Concordance with word studies, Full colored maps in the back of the Bible, and a nice Red gift box that the Bible comes in.

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The chain references are pretty extensive and my favorite thing about this bible is if you don't understand the meaning of a certain word in the verse, it will have a number next to it that will take you to the center column and give you a different word that helps that verse make better sense.

The print is pretty large and very easy on the eyes and the footnotes are very helpful. The doctrinal footnotes are very explanatory and easy to understand. I would highly recommend this bible for anyone!

Very helpful to study! Truly Excellent Indeed! My words that I write here cannot truly express the full picture of this beautiful Bible. You have to personally hold it, experience its "feel" in your hand weight, flex, etc. The Nelson KJV study Bible has long been recognized as perhaps the "true leader" in study Bibles because of the clear and concise notes and references that it provides the reader, and even if you "know" the Bible I am sure that there are times that checking these notes is rewarding and enlightening they are for me personally at least.

This Bible is truly very well constructed and from high quality materials and you can truly trust me on this. For myself personally, if I have my choice, I will never download a "hard cover" edition of a Bible for two very clear reasons to me.

The first is that because of its size and weight of all of its pages a hard cover copy is much heavier, also harder to handle and balance and hold because of the awkwardness of its rigidity created by the board covers.

Also, the weight of the pages, through frequent handling and use, create very heavy stress on the binding and the volume itself becomes loose and "sloppy" at its joining the covers because the flyleaves at the front and back that hold it in the covers break down and will frequently tear the book from its covers. A flexible cover allows the entire book to take the stress of handling, etc. It's like a law of nature The type-face is 11pt and very clear and easy to read Also, while Christ's words are in color, the publisher has chosen to use a much more suitable sienna brown ink instead of the usual "shocking" red used in most Bibles.

I really found this to be a wonderful touch. The notes, maps, concordance, etc. The bonded leather cover is tough, durable, and just "feels right" to your fingers and in your hands and its construction is first-class high quality. A final lovely touch to me is the silver embossing of "Holy Bible" alone on the front cover, repeated on the spine with added "The King James Study Bible second edition" with two beautiful flourishes and also the logo alone for the Thomas Nelson publishing company which just keeps the whole spine clean and un-cluttered looking.

The Final Finishing Touch to the beauty of this Bible is the silver-edged pages, instead of the usual gold One last note to you here is that I have recently donated my other KJV Bibles and, for me, "this is it I'm betting that you will also be this satisfied yourself after you have seen and have felt this lovely Bible in your own hands!

I am not writing this here to "sell Bibles", but I am wanting to convey to you just how well produced and finished this Bible is, and to express how pleased that I think you will also be once you have seen it, read some of it, and held it for yourself. I'm in the process of figuring out how to get this corrected by ChristianAudio. So hopefully, they will do the right thing and replace or send me audio files for Proverbs.

Otherwise this is a great no frills audio book of the Bible. Second, some critical scholars assume pseudonymity because the book gives evidence that the author was aware of Hellenistic — or Greek — culture, and James was a Jew from Palestine.

It's true that the writer of James had some awareness of Greek culture. For instance, in James 3: But at the time James' letter was written, many well-educated Jews in Palestine had more than a passing knowledge of Hellenistic philosophy and religion. In addition, while the Greek of James is more sophisticated than what we find in other portions of the New Testament, it isn't, by any means, the most sophisticated Greek in the New Testament.

In fact, the letter is quite similar in style to books such as Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and other Hellenistic Jewish writings of that time. A third argument for pseudonymity points to inconsistencies with the theological portrait of James in the books of Acts and Galatians. This view suggests that some of the ideas expressed in the epistle of James don't match theological outlooks attributed to James in these other New Testament books. For instance, critical interpreters point to passages like Acts They argue that, in these verses, James appears to be a spokesman for a rather conservative Jewish-Christian position on the law.

But in James 1: But these differences simply are not as great as critical scholars make them out to be. On closer review, the verses cited in Acts and Galatians don't portray an extreme Jewish-Christian point of view. And James' position on the law in Acts and Galatians is, actually, very consistent with the theology of the letter of James. As we can see, the arguments against James, the brother of Jesus, being the author of this book are weak at best. The arguments in favor of James' authorship are much more compelling.

And because of this, most evangelical scholars rightly affirm that James, the brother of Jesus, was the author of the letter that bears his name.

We've considered the authorship of James by looking at the traditional outlook. Now, let's look more closely at James' personal history. Matthew This family connection may account for the many similarities between James' epistle and Jesus' teachings recorded in the Gospels. But Scripture makes it clear that when James and his other brothers were growing up, they didn't recognize who their oldest sibling really was. As John 7: But, at some point in his life, James came to have saving faith in Jesus as his Lord.

In fact, James rose to such prominence in the early church that Paul called him, in Galatians 2: In addition, we know that, according to 1 Corinthians James' position of authority is well documented in the New Testament.

For instance, he appears three times in the book of Acts as the leader of the Jerusalem church. And in Acts 15, we see him as the spokesman for the apostolic council.

Even non-Christians acknowledged James' importance in the church. One of the most well known accounts of James' violent death in A. Listen to Antiquities , Book 20, Chapter 9, section 1, written in A. While growing up, James may not have understood who his older brother really was. But, we can see from Josephus' account, and from Scripture and other historical records, that later in his adult life, James had an unwavering commitment to Jesus as the Christ.

As Eusebius wrote in his Ecclesiastical History , Book 2, chapter 23, quoting the early Christian historian Hegesippus:. Now that we've considered the background of James' epistle by looking at some of the issues surrounding authorship, let's explore the original audience of this letter. Theologians often spend a great deal of time and energy trying to learn as much as possible about the author of a particular biblical book.

But discovering the identity of the original audience is just as important. If we want to interpret correctly what a biblical writer was saying, it helps us to know who the writer's original readers were and what they were facing at that particular time in history.

As we saw earlier, in James 1: This seems to be a reference to Jews who lived outside of Israel. And, in 2: Taken together, these verses indicate that James' original audience was made up, primarily, of Jewish Christians who lived outside of Palestine. On several occasions in his book, James addressed his audience affectionately as "brothers.

Well, in Acts 8: It's possible then that James, as the leader of the Jerusalem church, was writing to these scattered members of "the twelve tribes. The vocabulary James used also supports the idea that his original readers were Jewish followers of Jesus. For example, in 2: This was a typical way to refer to Jewish gatherings. And in 5: Language of this kind makes much more sense if the recipients have strong Jewish roots. Knowing the background of James' audience is extremely important because it helps us set a trajectory as to how we understand the message that he's trying to articulate to his audience… James' audience, as a Jewish community, are recipients of a long tradition of the Torah of Moses, the message of the prophets and the writings… James draws on this rich tradition as he talks to them about the life of faith, the wise life.

And they need to understand how they should apply it into their own lives in light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Scott Redd]. Now, when we say that James was writing to Jewish Christians, we don't mean that there were no Gentile believers in the churches James addressed.

As early as Acts 8 we know of an Ethiopian convert. And, as we learn in Acts 10, there were many Gentile, God-fearing converts to Judaism who attended synagogues. So, it wouldn't have been surprising to find at least some Gentile believers in these churches as well. Still, according to Romans 9: We've looked at the background of James by considering the epistle's authorship and its original audience.

Now, we're ready to examine the occasion of its writing. We'll explore the occasion of the writing of James in three steps. First, we'll touch on the location of both the author and audience.

Second, we'll consider the date of composition. Third, we'll think about the purpose of James' epistle. Let's begin by looking at the location of both the author and the audience of this letter. The location of the author isn't difficult to discern. Both the New Testament and early church fathers suggest that James lived his life of ministry in Jerusalem. And he remained in Jerusalem until he was martyred in A.

Because of this, there's no reason to think that he wrote the epistle from any other location. The location of the original audience is also somewhat straightforward. As we just mentioned, the letter's recipients were most likely Jewish believers who had been scattered throughout Judea and Samaria after the murder of Stephen.

Acts We can't be positive that James wrote to believers in these specific locations. Yet, based on James' initial greeting to the "twelve tribes scattered among the nations," these areas are strong possibilities for the location of James' original audience. We really think that these are truly dispersed tribes. That is, the parishioners of Jerusalem who were scattered into Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch by the persecution after Stephen's martyrdom, that it's quite possible, in fact, I think it likely, that James was writing to these folks as his own parishioners.

And the reason I think that is that he, surprisingly, gives us no theology or virtually none overtly; he doesn't talk in terms of the structure of the gospel. There are quite a few things that he doesn't mention, and as a pastor, I'm thinking, well, he probably covered those things earlier in his ministry, and now he's speaking to his well known audience in the way that a pastor would… And so, it has great affect on our sense of James, that we look at this audience scattered, this audience already under his ministry, and see him building in that way.

Michael Kennison]. Keeping in mind this first aspect of the occasion of James' epistle — the location of the author and audience — now, let's consider the date of the letter's composition. The earliest and latest likely dates for this letter are fairly easy to establish.

First, the earliest likely date for the letter's composition is A. We know that James wrote his epistle as the leader of the early church in Jerusalem.

Introduction to James

According to Acts This makes it most likely that the epistle was not written much before this date. Second, the latest possible date of composition for the epistle is A. As we saw earlier, according to Josephus, James died at the hands of the priest Ananus near this time.

This provides a brief window for the letter's composition. The letter itself doesn't include specific references to historical events that would date it more specifically. But there are at least two reasons to think that the date of composition was earlier, rather than later. For one, as we mentioned before, in 2: The use of "synagogue" seems to indicate an early stage in the development of the Christian movement.

James may have written before Christians were forced out of the synagogues. Or, at the very least, he wrote at a time when Christians were still calling their gatherings a "synagogue. In addition, there's no mention in James' epistle of the Jewish-Gentile controversies that received so much attention in the writings of Peter and Paul.


In the early church, as Gentiles came to faith in Christ in large numbers, conflicts arose over whether or not these new believers should be required to conform to Jewish customs. Perhaps James simply chose not to deal with these controversies. But more likely, they hadn't yet become a major factor in the life of the young churches that James addressed.

Having looked at the letter's occasion both in its location and its date, let's examine James' purpose in writing this letter. One of the most helpful ways to summarize the overarching purpose of James is to look at James 1: In his opening words, James told his readers:. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1: As this passage indicates, James' audience was facing trials of many kinds. But James called them to have pure joy in their trials.

Trials, he explained, produce perseverance. And those who persevere will become "mature and complete, not lacking anything. In verse 5, James completed his thought with these words:.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you James 1: We'll discuss these verses in more detail later in the lesson. But for now, this passage gives us a window into the heart of the entire epistle. To experience pure joy in the midst of trials, "ask God" for wisdom, and "it will be given to you.

James called his audience to pursue wisdom from God so that they would have joy in their trials. It was important for James' audience to hear this message. As we said earlier, James' audience was no longer in Palestine. They were living "scattered among the nations," far from their homes.

No doubt, it wasn't easy for them to find joy in their trials. This appears to have led some of them to abandon their loyalty to Christ. Instead, they were pursuing what James called "friendship with the world.

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God James 4: Clearly, there were some in James' audience who had strayed far from the faith.

And James warned them that being friends with the world made them "an enemy of God. It's no wonder then that James exerted his authority as a leader of the church. Repeatedly, James commanded his readers to live in a manner consistent with a sincere profession of faith.

He used more than 50 imperatives, or direct commands, in his verses. And he often used other grammatical forms that functioned just like imperatives within their contexts. But James' principal solution to the problems his audience faced was not merely to command them to do this or that.

For him, the heart of the matter was that they needed to pursue wisdom from God. Wisdom from God was the key to receiving joy as they endured their many trials. Listen to these well-known words of 4: Come near to God and he will come near to you… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up James 4: James directed believers to humble [them]selves so that God would lift [them] up.

He taught that humility before God is a path to wisdom.

And when Christ's followers draw near to God in humble submission, the wisdom they receive brings joy, even as they persevere through trials. So far in our Introduction to James , we've looked at the background of James.

Now we're ready to examine the epistle's structure and content. We've just suggested that the book of James focuses a great deal of attention on wisdom as the way to find joy in times of trial. But this emphasis on wisdom helps us understand something more than just the purpose of this book.

Many interpreters have spoken of the book of James as the New Testament book of wisdom. And this perspective also helps us grasp the unusual structure and content of the epistle. By the time James wrote his letter, there had been a long history of wisdom literature stemming from the Old Testament. Old Testament wisdom writings include Job and Ecclesiastes, as well as the book of Proverbs and a number of so-called wisdom psalms and prophetic wisdom sayings. James' indebtedness to this Old Testament literature is evident in a number of ways.

For instance, in 5: Beyond this, James touched on topics such as speech, the treatment of widows and orphans, poverty, and favoritism. These topics reflect numerous parallels with the content of the book of Proverbs. When we read through the epistle of James, one of the things that we see as a common thread is the word "wisdom. And that very value in wisdom and the structure of the epistle makes us think that there's a great influence in his life on wisdom literature that's come before him.

Now, I think we see that most explicitly in his citation and use of the book of Proverbs, and also in the way that he remembers the words of our Lord, of Jesus, who also spoke often in a wisdom context… Alongside that, there was a development of wisdom thought and wisdom writing, a genre, really, of wisdom writing, in the intertestamental time.

And I think we see some of the same themes through that wisdom literature in James. Occasionally we see the same structure.

But I think a lot of the themes also were really started with the book of Proverbs and also with Jesus, and so I think the bigger influence on James is probably going to come out of Jesus and Proverbs. But that genre and the importance of proverbial wisdom throughout Second Temple Judaism, around the time of Jesus, is also very important in James.

David W.

Publisher's Summary

The letter of James also reflects the content of influential wisdom books outside of Scripture like The Wisdom of Sirach , also known simply as Sirach, and The Wisdom of Solomon. These books were well known in James' day, and there are striking parallels to both in his letter. As just one example, in 1: If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will bestow it on you.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him James 1: In addition to these types of wisdom literature, much of Jesus' instruction recorded in the Gospels is characteristic of wisdom teaching in Israel.

And interpreters have noted a number of similarities between James' writing and Jesus' instruction. Consider, for instance, Matthew 5: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him James 1: The wisdom literature of Judaism in the first century and a little bit before then had a considerable influence on James, especially in terms of the cultural and literary milieu that he was working with.

In fact, there are dozens of allusions and parallels between James and other literature both in the Old Testament and in other Jewish literature. You know that James quotes from Proverbs twice, at least once and probably twice, and he has many allusions particularly to the wisdom of Jesus Ben Sirach, a work that was written in, about a century before the time of the New Testament… But there is one thing that is unique to James in terms of wisdom, and that is, he links his wisdom very closely with the teaching of Jesus… James is probably one of the most colorful illustrators in the New Testament with depictions of ships being guided by little rudders, and farmers that are patiently waiting, and merchants that are travelling.

There's many, many illustrations. That's all wisdom influence. But the content of James is really carrying forward the way in which Jesus presents the kingdom and the way the presence of the kingdom changes your life.

Dan McCartney]. Because of James' close ties to wisdom literature, the structure of the epistle is quite different from what we might expect. Even a brief look at this letter tells us that its organization isn't simple.SBL format. I am not writing this here to "sell Bibles", but I am wanting to convey to you just how well produced and finished this Bible is, and to express how pleased that I think you will also be once you have seen it, read some of it, and held it for yourself.

Reading the bible as a newborn Christian is not easy for me and cannot be taken at face value. Both James and Proverbs pointed out that words can lead to all kinds of trouble among God's people. He called himself "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. We've looked at the background of James by considering the epistle's authorship and its original audience.

And in Acts 15, we see him as the spokesman for the apostolic council. Second, we'll explore the author's personal history. They'd been scattered from their homes.