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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes


- James

by E.W. Bullinger

Jam THE EPISTLE OF JAMES. THE STRUCTURE AS A WHOLE. James 1:1-4 . PATIENCE. James 1:5-8 . PRAYER. James 1:9-10 . THE LOW EXALTED. THE RICH MADE LOW. James 1:10-11 . LIFE LIKENED TO GRASS. James 1:11 . END OF THE RICH. James 1:12-16 . LUST. James 1:17 . GOOD GIFTS FROM ABOVE. James 1:18-27 . GOD''S WORD AND ITS EFFECTS. James 2:1-7 . THE FAITH. WITHOUT PARTIALITY. James 2:8 . THE ROYAL LAW. James 2:9-10 . MOSES'' LAW. ONE OFFENCE BREAKS IT. James 2:11 . MOSES'' LAW. ONE OFFENCE BREAKS IT. James 2:12-13 . THE LAW OF LIBERTY. James 2:14-26 . FAITH. WITHOUT WORKS. James 3:1-14 . MANS'' WORD AND ITS EFFECT. James 3:15-18 . THE WISDOM FROM ABOVE. James 4:1-5 . LUSTS. James 4:6-10 . THE PROUD RESISTED. THE HUMBLE EXALTED. James 4:11-17 . LIFE LIKENED TO A VAPOUR. James 5:1-6 . END OF THE RICH. James 5:7-12 . PATIENCE. James 5:13-20 . PRAYER. NOTES ON THE EPISTLE OF JAMES. 1 . The Epistle of James has been the subject of controversy both as regards the identity of the writer, and as to the time of writing. There is little doubt, however, that the writer was James, "the Lord''s brother" (Galatians 1:19 ), he who was one of the "pillars" (Galatians 2:9 ), he who gave the "judgment" of the apostles and elders of the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:13 , Acts 15:19 ). 2 . The distinctly Jewish character of the teaching marks off the epistle as having been written at an early period of the Acts history, and it is noticeable that the doctrinal tone closely follows the precepts of "the Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:7 ). The Jews still assembled in synagogues (James 2:2 ); the "poor" (John 12:8 ) were heirs of the kingdom (James 2:5 ); they were reproved according to the law (James 2:8 , &c.); they had Abraham to their father (James 2:21 ), and were, in harmony with Acts 3:19 Acts 3:21 , looking for the coming ( parousia ) of the Lord which was "at hand" (James 5:7 , James 5:8 ). If we distinguish the dispensations, James affords instruction for all believers, but is plainly addressed "to the twelve tribes "which are scattered abroad", lit. "in the dispersion". The dispersion, Gr. diaspora , which is referred to in 1 Peter 1:1 also, and is before our eyes even now. In days not far off the epistle will appeal to Israel when to them the gospel of the Kingdom (see Appdx-140) is once more announced. To the preachers will again be committed the "powers" of Pentecostal days, to be exercised as exemplified in James 5:14-15 . 3 . Some commentators rightly place the time of writing before the Jerusalem Council of about A.D. 45. (According to tradition, James was martyred in 62 or 68.) One well qualified to value fairly the evidence says, "And a careful study of the chronological question has convinced me that they are right who hold the Epistle of James to be perhaps the earliest of the New Testament writings. It belongs to that period of the Pentecostal dispensation when the whole Church was Jewish, and when their meeting-places still bore the Jewish designation of synagogues'' (ch James 2:2 )." See Appdx-180. James 1:18-27 . GOD''S WORD AND ITS EFFECTS. James 1:18 . Statement. James 1:19 . Exhortation. James 1:20 . Reason. James 1:22 . Exhortation. James 1:23-25 . Reason. James 1:26-27 . Statement. James 3:1-14 . MAN''S WORD AND ITS EFFECTS. James 3:1-2 . Deprecation. The tongue. James 3:3-4 . Comparisons. James 3:5-6 . The tongue. James 3:7 . Comparisons. James 3:8-10 . The tongue. James 3:11-12 . Comparisons. James 3:13-14 . Exhortation. Behavior.