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N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study: James
About this Series
The widely respected pastor and New Testament scholar, N. T. Wright, walks you book by book through the entire New Testament in this series. Perfect for group use or daily personal reflection, these studies use the popular inductive method combined with Wright's thoughtful insights to bring contemporary application of Scripture to life.
About this Volume
Every generation in the church worries, rightly, about people who just glide along, seeming to enjoy what they hear in church but without it making any real difference. James faced exactly the same problem in the very first generation. So it's not surprising that translating belief into action--making sure faith is the real thing--is near the heart of his message. That kind of faith, he explains, is the faith that matters, the faith that justifies, the faith that saves. We need that kind of faith today. These nine studies on James's passionate letter will help you live out a faith that makes a difference.
This volume also available as part of a money-saving bundle.
- Includes suggestions for individual and group study (with leader's guide)
- Features the popular inductive Bible study method with notes and comments from a world-renowned New Testament scholar
- Designed specifically for lay people to facilitate contemporary application of Scripture
From the Preface
We don't know for sure who James was. It was as common a name in the first century as it is today. But there is a strong chance that this letter was from the best-known James in the early church: James the brother of Jesus, the strong central leader in the Jerusalem church over the first thirty years of Christianity. Peter and Paul and the others went off around the world, but he stayed put in Jerusalem, praying and teaching and trusting that the God who had raised his beloved brother from the dead would complete what he had begun. This letter, then, would be part of that work, written to encourage Christians across the world--whom he saw as the new version of the "twelve dispersed tribes" of Israel--to face up to the challenge of faith.
One of the great themes of the letter is patience. Another theme in parallel with patience is wisdom. James is the most obvious representative in the New Testament of what in the ancient Israelite Scriptures (the Old Testament) we think of as "wisdom literature": the sifted, tested and collected wisdom of those who learned to trust God for everything and to discover how that trust would work out in every aspect of daily life. The followers of Jesus believed the Old Testament had all come rushing together with new meaning in the life, death and resurrection of their lord and master.In this letter, James asks what will last, what is permanent. His answer is clear: God and his Word. This is urgently needed, because without it we look (metaphorically) at beautiful wild flowers which spring up out in the open country: here today and gone tomorrow, or even sooner if the sun is hot. We look at them and think they are what matters. We will see people becoming rich and famous, with fine houses, big cars and luxurious holidays. Today's celebrity culture tells its own story. A famous sports hero one day, out on the street the next; a flashy wedding one day, a messy divorce the next. We know these stories and yet we are seduced by the glitter of it all by the beauty of the wild flowers which passes away.
Another of James's key themes is the dangerous power of the human tongue. This is all a piece of what he says about God's Word. His Word is not just conveying information; it actually does things, brings about a new and lasting state of affairs. So we see God's Word going to work even as we hear a warning about our human words going to work in a rather different direction.Throughout the letter James talks about faith. Faith that works and praying in faith which surrounds all that we are and do as followers of Jesus. Everything that James says flows from the astonishing fact that his older brother, Jesus himself, had embodied new life and forgiveness. Jesus had hung at the place where new life and forgiveness came bursting through from God's world to ours.
As we learn from James through this guide, we seek to understand and obey "the royal law" of love and to get to know Jesus himself. And as that happens, so the patience and humility, the love and the prayer, the wisdom and the true speech on which he has been insisting will become part of our lives. These are the works which will demonstrate faith. Even as James was written to encourage Christians across the world to face up to the challenge of faith, may you be encouraged in the same way and grow as people of faith as you study this letter.
About the Author(s)
N. T. Wright, formerly bishop of Durham in England, is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He was formerly canon theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He also taught New Testament studies for twenty years at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. Wright's full-scale works The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God and The Resurrection of the Son of God are part of a projected six-volume series titled Christian Origins and the Question of God. Among his many other published works are Surprised by Hope and Simply Christian.
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The Fine Print
Copyright © 2010-2017 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Laridian, PocketBible, and MyBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.
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