You know, it’s really amazing. when it comes to most commentaries on the book of James, most of them are no help at all. The closest ones to helping are quite simply, the “Things Hard to be Understood” book by David Cloud… and my footnotes in my King James Study Bible.
Most commentaries resort to a “well, it’s an early book, so it’s full of faulty doctrine, because James didn’t know blah blah blah.” That’s pretty much a good, conventional unbelievers’ answer. It’s not good enough for me, and I know it’s not good enough for you.
So today, I’ll open both big guns – Quickverse 2010 Platinum and Logos – to start our line by line study – in my new 500 words or less format!
I might end up going a little over 500 words a day… sorry.
“JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” (James 1:1, KJV)
Why to the twelve tribes, scattered abroad? Before you can shout “Judah and Ephraim!” I’m going to tell you that 1). it’s a completely refuted premise 2). it’s replacement theology, and 3). that at the time this letter was written, the only members of the church in Jerusalem were all – Jewish.
No kidding, this is before the “Rise Peter, kill and eat”.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2–4, KJV)
“In these passages, however, we are not to rejoice in the pain, but in the future reward beyond the pain. James believes we should rejoice because trials give us an opportunity to develop the virtue of perseverance, which will in turn lead to a mature Christian character.” Hard Saying of the Bible
Literally, what it means is this… as we go through trials, our patience is put on the line. Like weightlifting, as you increase the weight you pick up (I’m up to 10 pounds myself), the stronger your patience gets – and the stronger your faith gets. Allow it to happen, as this leads to being a mature Christian.
See? That wasn’t hard!