The Book of St. James….
Today, we begin studying the Book of St. James:
James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings. -James 1:1, NAB
Like many other New Testament epistles (or letters), the Book of St. James begins by naming its author: James. Some might think that this is obvious because the book is named after him, but the Book of St. Timothy was actually a letter written by St. Paul to St. Timothy.
Regardless of the name of the book, who was St. James? The Bible mentions a couple of men by that name, and it was a common name back then – just as it is today. So who was he?
Scholars have debated whether it was St. James the Greater, who was an Apostle and the brother of St. John, or St. James the Less, a brother of Jesus (family member, i.e. cousin or brethren). Catholic scholars and theologians tend to agree that it was St. James the Less, who became the Bishop of Jerusalem.
If it was St. James the Less, we can read it as a letter from a bishop to his people. St. James tries to encourage his flock and set them back on the right path again. The principles he taught them back then still apply in the world today.
Regardless of the author, the Book of St. James is filled with some fantastic teachings. I look forward to exploring it with you. If you haven’t followed our Daily Bible Verses on a regular basis, now is a good time to start.