Listen to the reflection on James 1:1-8, Pure Joy vs. Double Mind (11 mins):

  • 1:1—the 12 Tribes = Christians (see Gal 6:16), probably from a Jewish background.
  • If James is like Ephesians (a circular letter) then it's possible the original letter or material was adapted after James's death for a broader Jewish-Christian audience (in the diaspora).
  • The nature of James: A letter? A sermon? A collection or compendium? Or Wisdom Literature?
  • Date: Could be as early as 45 AD, but in 50s and 60s the social unrest suggested by the later chapters of James is a better fit.
  • 1:2ff—Trials are God's plan for growth. See Rom 5:3-4 and Romans 8 for parallel material.
  • Sometimes we need wisdom to cope with our trials. God generously provides! More about wisdom in chapter 3.
  • There's a connection between unhealthy doubt and joy. Double-mindedness is draining—making it harder to experience joy. Consider also the rabbinic comment on Deut 26:16: “When you make your prayer to God, do not have two hearts, one for God and one for something else” (Ta'an 23b).

.In the next reflection, we will learn about James as a person, and explore James 1:9-12, "Pride vs. Humility."