Lesson 1, Topic 2
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Background

Nikolas December 15, 2021
Lesson Progress
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Background:

OCCASION, AUDIENCE, DATE & AUTHORSHIP

James Who?

What’s some of the basic background information we need to keep in mind as we pick up James?

In this video, we’re going to talk about the debate around the author of the book (which James!?), the possible dates for when the book was written, the author’s likely audience, and primary purpose in writing.

Before watching the video, think for a moment about which James you think might be the author of this book, and who do you think he was probably writing to?

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Which James?

There’s been some debate about who the author of James really is.  This, in turn, has led to questions about whether it should be included in the New Testament canon of Scripture.  All New Testament books need to be connected to an eye-witness of Jesus.  If James is written by someone other than an eye-witness, or is a collection of sayings from James, Jesus’ half-brother, from after his death, then you can see why some scholars would raise questions about James’ inclusion in the canon. However, what is clear is that this is a church leader with some important things to say to Jewish Christians and the early Christian movement, and the historical emphasis has held that the author being an eye-witness of Jesus.

"James? The brother of Jesus? What would your brother have to do to convince you he was the Son of God? James' recognition of his brother as his Lord may be the best argument for the deity of Jesus."

Test Yourself

Which James has traditionally been considered the author of the epistle?

Answer

James, the half-brother of Jesus.

Talk it Through

Home Forums 1.2 – Modern Conflicts

  • 1.2 – Modern Conflicts

    Posted by ECO on January 6, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    Respond in paragraph format to the following prompt(s):

    • Like James, many of the New Testament writers address church conflict or false teaching in their epistles.  What conflicts do you see between people in church today?  What false teaching have you encountered that needs to be addressed in our time?
    Ruth replied 1 month, 1 week ago 6 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Dolores

    Member
    February 4, 2022 at 12:25 pm
    Rank: Level 1

    Most of the conflicts I currently see in the church today is the split between political views. There are those that feel the government mandates have overreached into our churches. This has caused great resentment towards the government and even towards churches for following the mandates. I know of people who have stopped going to church or leaving their church to attend churches that refuse to comply with provincial mandates.

    I don’t know if prosperity preaching is a false teaching, but I do feel that it definitely needs to be addressed in churches that do not preach on salvation and preach the standards by which the Lord instructs us to live. I think many churches that preach prosperity and only that are afraid of losing people. I personally fell that now more than ever in history is it critical to preach the full gospel.

    • Nikolas

      Member
      February 7, 2022 at 3:02 pm
      Rank: Level 2

      Hi Dolores, I think you’re right that one of the biggest areas of controversy in our day has been the response to the pandemic and navigating government mandates as church communities. Because it is such an emotionally charged issue (and, as you mentioned, very politicized), it can be difficult for people even in the same church (or the same family!) to have civil conversations without things becoming heated. Thankfully, the biblical call to extend love and compassion to one another, even if we don’t always share the same views remains paramount for maintaining Christian unity.

  • Ian

    Member
    March 17, 2022 at 10:21 pm
    Rank: Level 1

    One conflict that’s driving the church community today is theology. Now, do not get me wrong. I love theology, and I believe it is good to study theology. However, from my observation, I often see Christians, especially in social media, use their theology to bring people down instead of using their theology as a motivation to love and share the gospel. Theologizing without humility is a dangerous thing. If your theology that does not move you to love others, then something is wrong with your theology. Though this may not be a false teaching per se, it is good reminder for all of us to keep in mind.

    • ECO

      Administrator
      March 22, 2022 at 9:59 am
      Rank: Level 2

      @ianabad this is an interesting observation. Sometimes when we grow in theology we think that we have the ability to judge and correct others, but our tone can be all wrong. A theology that isn’t loving is not really a theology at all. We need to imitate Jesus who was full of GRACE and TRUTH.

  • Melanie

    Member
    July 14, 2022 at 10:28 am
    Rank: Level 2

    One of the conflicts in the church, that I see, is the message that is given verses the realty of what is. When there is a difference between what is said either during a sermon, in the values/beliefs of the church or another form of communication to what actually takes places, we loss all credibility of being a people trying to do better. Christianity doesn’t mean we are perfect, but it does mean that we continually look to do better.

  • Ruth

    Member
    December 15, 2022 at 11:40 am
    Rank: Level 2

    I feel like the church has incorporated a lot of humanism into it’s teaching making the “gospel” more about how “I am to fulfill my destiny” , how “God wants me to know who I am” , how important I am in God’s kingdom…It’s a very small part of the truth blown out of proportion. When in reality it’s all about Him. This is probably partially why, as someone else mentioned, the prosperity gospel is still flourishing only under different names. “God wants me to be happy , healthy and wealthy because I’m His child”… I see a focus on finding ourselves and knowing who we are “in Him” instead of on loosing ourselves and taking up our cross.

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