Exegesis of James Essay

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Exegesis of James

I. Background The exegete of Holy Scripture in order to properly understand the full meaning of the passage must have a thorough knowledge of the background of the passage. It is important to know the author, intended readers and hearers, date, place of writing, occasion and purpose, and the literary genre of the passage. This paper will do all of these in a way that will give the reader a clear understanding of all that is necessary and important to know and understand about the background information on the epistle of James. Also, this paper will give an outline of James 4:1-10 , a paraphrase and exegetical notes on the passage.
The author of the book of James, Iakobos in the Greek, does not
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44 and the epistle is dated by many around A.D. 48 or 49 (Moo 20). Many Bible scholars believe that the book was written by the Lord's brother because of the references to the teachings of Jesus. There are different references especially to the Sermon on the Mount such as James 4:11 compared to Matthew 7:1-2 and James 1:22 compared to Matthew 7:24-27. In other places there are other references to the oral teachings of Jesus that help suggest that this book would be written by the brother of Jesus (Lea 520). There is external evidence also. The early church leaders such as Origen and Eusebius identified this James as the author of the epistle. This is partly because of the Jewish flavor of the book. The Jewish atmosphere of the epistle and the references of the Old Testament present the that the book was most likely written by someone with a Jewish background such as this James (Davids 14).
Intended Readers and Hearers James addressed his letter to "the twelve tribes scattered among the nations"(1:1). This reference leads one to believe that James was writing to a Jewish audience that was leaving Jerusalem because of the persecution of Christians found in Acts 11:19 (Lea 524). James wrote to a generally Jewish audience. This is evident in the references to the Old Testament and the use of the Greek word for synagogue (Moo 31-32). Also, it is believed that the recipients were poor and

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