Dating

Dating this letter depends on who you believe is the author.  It has been dated from the early 40s CE up until 120 CE.  However, there is a growing belief that it may be among the earliest of New Testament compositions.  There are no references to the events in Jesus’ life, but it highlights Jesus’ words.  It is certainly not dependent on the written canonical gospels.  The best guess now is between 40-69 CE. However, the earliest extant manuscripts of James date from the mid-to-late 3rd century.  Like Hebrews, James is not so much a letter as an exhortation.  The style of the Greek language-text makes it unlikely that it was actually written by James, the brother of Jesus.  Many scholars regard this letter as pseudonymous from the late first century.  Have you ever tried to date a letter?

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