Genre

James is considered to be a New Testament wisdom literature with its dependence on the Hebrew biblical wisdom literature.  There are many examples of traditional moral exhortations and precepts of an eclectic nature in this work.  James urged the readers to have patient perseverance during trials and temptations. They were encouraged to live consistently with what they had learned in Christ.  James also condemned various sins, including pride, hypocrisy, favoritism, and slander.  He encouraged and implored these Christian believers to humbly live by godly rather than worldly wisdom.  He wanted them to pray in all situations.  However, the content of James is directly parallel, in many instances, to the sayings of Jesus which are found in the gospels of Luke and Matthew, the so-called hypothetical Q source.  The Epistle of James contains about thirty direct references, echoes, or allusions to the teachings of Jesus found in that Q source.  This work clearly emphasized Jewish Christians, with little or no mention or hint of any gentile or non-Jewish Christians.  Clearly, this was a work for Jewish Christians, not gentile Christians.  Was this a sermon put into a letter format?

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