By Ken Blue
January 10th, 2010. Filed under: ARTICLES.


JewBy Ken Blue “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” James 1:1. The key to James hangs right at the front door. Verse one tells us that it is written to Jews who had believed Jesus was their resurrected Messiah. It is unclear just what they believed beyond that. However, internal evidence reveals that it was written to those Jews who were zealous for the Law and awaited Christ coming to establish His visible kingdom with them.(Acts 21:20). It seems evident that they did not understand that the Law had ended, that Jesus was the Savior of sinners, or that believers in Christ had a perfect standing with God. They were Christians, but apparently not members of the Church, which is Christ’s body. The book fits squarely in the Tribulation. The rich men in James 5:1 are Jews who refuse to use their wealth to help their persecuted Jewish brethren. Chapter 2:19 shows they believe in one God, and they worshipped in the synagogue. See James 2:2. The anointing with oil was a Jewish custom and never part of the church. It is also significant that the incarnation, atonement, redemption, resurrection, and ascension are never mentioned. The book is strictly Jewish; so much so that Luther rejected it and would not put it in his translation of the Bible. The reference to the latter rain 5:7; to the fig, oil, and wine 3:12; to drought 5:17, 18; to salt and bitter springs 3:11, 12; and to the hot wind 1:11 are likewise associated with Jewish Scriptures and customs. One writer believes the epistle to be full of the Sermon on the Mount, which has nothing to this dispensation. He says, “We may compare: James 1:2, 5:10, 11 with Matthew 5:10-12 James 1:4 with Matthew 5:48 James 1:5, 17, 5:15 with Matthew 7:7, 11 James 1:9, 2:5 with Matthew 5:3 James 1:22-25, 2:10, 11 with Matthew 5:19 James 1:20 with Matthew 5:22 James 1:22, 2:14, 5:7-9 with Matthew 7:21-26 James 2:1-3 with Matthew 6:2, 5 James 2:8 with Matthew 7:12 James 2:10, 11 with Matthew 7:12 James 2:13 with Matthew 6:14-15; 7:2 James 2:14 with Matthew 7:21 James 3:1, 4:11 with Matthew 7:1 James 3:12 with Matthew 7:16 James 3:17, 18 with Matthew 5:9 James 4:3 with Matthew 7:8 James 4:4 with Matthew 6:24 James 4:8 with Matthew 5:8 James 4:9 with Matthew 5:4 James 4:10 with Matthew 5:3, 4 James 4:11 with Matthew 7:1 James 4:13-16 with Matthew 6:25 James 5:2 with Matthew 6:19 James 5:10 with Matthew 5:12 James 5:12 with Matthew 5:34 From other parts of the Lord’s teaching in connection with the Kingdom we may compare James 1:14 with Matthew 15:19 James 4:12 with Matthew 10:28 James 5:1 with Luke 6:24.” It is futile to try to harmonize the teaching of James with that of Paul. Paul’s epistles are to the body of Christ in this dispensation of grace. James writes to the twelve tribes of Israel. This means that Baptist pastors should put away their little bottles of oil and understand that we are in the dispensation of grace! Leave James to the Jews.
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  1. Al Hughes

    Amen! Excellent introduction to this often misunderstood book.

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