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James, who is also the half-brother of Jesus, writes what is generally accepted as the first book written in our New Testament, to a persecuted group of new believers, encouraging them to hold fast to the faith they have received in Christ. He challenges them to make sure their day-to-day actions line up with the gospel they have come to believe.
James, Jesus’ half-brother.
Traditionally, the date for this letter to the dispersed Jewish Christian population is set before A.D. 50. The persecution that precipitated this letter began in A.D. 32-34.
The Church Persecuted
When persecuted, the church needs to realize God uses unexpected circumstances to refine the faith of His church saints.
This was one of the earliest letters written in the New Testament. James seems to have rejected Jesus for who He claimed to be during most, if not all, of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
However, Jesus appeared to James right away after He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:7) and James was with the apostles praying for the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). He became a pastor of the church in Jerusalem and was also the leader of the Jerusalem Council as recorded in Acts 15.
© Dr. Rick Taylor
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