James

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Books of the Bible


The Book of James (or the Letter of James) is the 20th book of the New Testament. In this book, written as a short letter to a church he was most likely a pastor to, James addresses several topics on acceptable versus unacceptable behaviors.

  • Testing one's faith
  • Sin of partiality (partially fulfilling the moral law instead of only completely)
  • Being careful about what one says (you can curse as well as bless)
  • Warning about worldliness (not getting too involved with worldly affairs)
  • Don't boast about what tomorrow will bring, since you really don't know
  • Warning about being rich
  • Being patient with suffering
  • The efficacy of prayer versus health issues

Notable Verses

  • "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." James 2:8-10 Bible-icon.png
  • "You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4 Bible-icon.png
  • "You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:8 Bible-icon.png
  • "But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works." James 2:18-22 Bible-icon.png

Contradiction with Romans on Justification

Romans 4:2-5 reads: "For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness."

This passage obviously contradicts James 2:18-22 in its agreement on how the Christian is to be justified. Following this one must be called to question the unity of the Biblical Scriptures as well as its claim to infallibility.

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