James is a New Testament book which is approximated to have been written in the early A.D 45 by James, the reference to the environment and particularly the climatic conditions reveals that this book was probably written around the Palestinian town of Jerusalem which was the hometown of James. This was before the first council of Jerusalem that was held in the A.D 50.The information about James was retrieved from the historian Josephus, According to this historian, James was probably the brother of Jesus (Anders, 73). It was until after the resurrection Jesus Christ when James converted in to a believer, and Subsequently, James was Martyred during the A.D 62.
The analysts at that time thought that the book of James was written to respond to the interpretations of the Pauline teachings in regard to faith. The teachings of Paul emphasized that having faith in Jesus Christ emancipates one from the Old Testament law, the secular laws and the societal moralities. This is a compliment to Pauline's teachings concerning faith, Paul emphasizes on the Justification with God while James on the other hand dwells on the Christian works which can help them to exemplify the justification (Biblebb, Par 5 ). James specifically addressed the Jews who were scattered all over other nations in his attempt to help them to build their faith based on the newly found Christian Salvation.
He believed that good deeds are as a result of one being filled with the Holy Spirit, he questioned if someone whose deeds are in contrary to the teachings of the spirit is guided by the same Holy Spirit. Although not explicitly stated, James teachings seems to purposely counter the faith prophesized by the assembly of the believers which was false and inactive, he urges his believers to denounce such kind of faith and embrace the saving faith which is alive. According to James, a dead faith is characterized by the pharisaic and specifically the Gentile faults such as idolatry and impurity that the Jews in dispersion were exposed to.
This book outlines how true faith should be practiced in a genuine religious set up, this is evidenced in chapter one verses 1-27, chapter two of this book highlights on the true faith as seen in verses 1-3:12 ,while chapter three, four and five emphasizes on wisdom as evidenced in (3:13 to 5:20). A critical analysis of the book of James relates its teachings to the sermon on the mount which was delivered by Jesus, James begins by highlighting the characteristics/deeds of a genuine walk in faith (chapter one), he continues in chapter two and part of chapter three by describing faith in action and the social justice, towards the end he makes a comparison between worldly wisdom and the Godly one, he asks his followers to shorn away from evil and come close to God, he points out the evils of the rich who hoard commodities and finishes by encouraging Christians to persevere in suffering, be prayerful and care for each other in order bolster their faith especially through faith (Biblebb, par 8)
Key Chapter analysis
James chapter one verses 1-12
This section bases on the test for a living faith, James says that perseverance when one is undergoing trials is a pre-requisite for the Godly once, therefore it is believed that it shows the evidence if one is saved. According to James the trials are part of the part of God's means of developing a strong Christian character, by checking on the Christian faith in terms of its strength and the weaknesses. The trials help the Christians to be humble, independent on the worldly happiness, reveal what they love, develop the strength , help others who are also in trials and value God's blessings. The Christians are therefore encouraged to face their trials with the attitude of joyfulness, with a lot of understanding, a submissive will, a believing heart and the humble spirit.
James chapter two, verses; 1-13; Partiality
The nature of all the Christians as human beings makes them not to be inclined to impartiality, however God expects all the Christians to exercise total impartiality by dealing with the inner person. When it comes on the crucial issues be it on salvation or judgment God is always impartial. James chapter two verses 17-18: he says, "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." The Christians are therefore required to prove their faithfulness through righteous deeds.
James chapter three; (Verses; 1-18) self Control
This section entirely deals with the person's ability to exercise self control as a measure of faith, this is demonstrated by the persons speech with the assumption that the tongue replicates whatever is in the inner soul which comprises the mind, will and the emotions, according to James, it is in the inner soul that the sins originate from. In this chapter, James specifically addressed the preachers who play the role of spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ. He urges them to always exemplify self control, he makes a comparison of the horse, the bridle and the rider; the ship, rudder and the pilot whereby large vessel requires just small parts and the rider or the pilot to give directions on what to be done (Thebookofjames, Par 3). He further compares the tongue to the person to the forest and fire. James chapter 3 verse5 he says: "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark."
James chapter four (13-17) The Will of God
James emphasizes the need for the Christians to respect and be ready to do the will of God, therefore doing the will of God is the ultimate measure of the genuineness in a person's faith, if a Christian constantly turns down the will of God, then it shows the possession of a lot of pride in ones self and a kind of unredeemed soul. James discourages the Christians from becoming self-theists who are described by denouncing God's will but instead choose to emulate the ways of Satan. God's will is a form of blessing and those who refuse it are not blessed.
James chapter Five (Verses; 1-11) Injustice
According to James, the genuineness of a Christian's faith is seen when it comes to perseverance to difficult situations such as during the times of prosecution, James advised the followers of Christ to view the injustices committed to them as tests to their faith and they should be patient however how severe the situation (Gnpcb, par 9). James directs his sermon to the wealthy that seem to perpetuate injustices, he uses a lot of imagery but specifically addresses those who treat the Christians unjustly, he then tells the Christians to be patient and wait for the coming of the lord.
James chapter 5: verse 16;"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Here James states that it is not possible for every Christian to experience problems at the same time, he specifically cites the righteous man as one whose prayers releases power.