Analysis Of The Book ' James '

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The book of James focuses on the importance of “doing” and “working” versus simply “hearing.” In chapter two James carries his audience through a logical argument, settling on conclusive proof that “works” is an important aspect of Christian faith. While focusing on the aspects of dead faith, James implies the nature of living faith. This gives the reader insight on the natural workings of faith. In doing so, he does not contradict Paul by stating works of the law are required for salvation. Instead, he proves how faith and works are connected and cannot exist separately. James brings an alternate, but not opposing, view of faith. Faith requires works not for salvation, instead, works are the by product of faith. Faith will produce action.…show more content…
Traditionally, this refers to a Jewish Christian audience, however, some scholars believe that James is simply writing to all Christians. Some scholars even believe that this is not a letter at all, and instead an 1Donelson, Lewis R. From Hebrews To Revelation: a Theological Introduction. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001. 44 4 ethical essay. This confusion derives from the lack of epistolary benediction at the end of the book. 2 Because of these two facets, it is difficult to construct an historical background to complement the text. Instead, the text must construct the context of itself. At first glance, the book of James looks like a compilation of universal ethics, without any connection between one thought and the next. These ethical maxims do connect, however, and drive the construction of the audience James is writing to. James distinguishes “doers of the word” from “merely 3 hearers”(James 1:25). He connects faith to works in chapter two, claiming that “faith without works is dead.” It is clear that the audience of James struggled with putting their faith to work, instead only claiming faith in words. CONTENT Faith Without Works Leads to Death (2:14) Some believe that James stands in contradiction to Paul’s view of faith from Galatians 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus.” Paul states multiple times that
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