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.
  • 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).

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