James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

When I started my first series of talks at the Brockley Baptist chapel prayer meeting twelve years ago in 1992 James was the book I chose to study. It was comparatively easy for me to speak on James because we shared an attitude and an interest. James was rather insular. He was preoccupied with his people - the Jews. He addressed his letter to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations. James never had much time for the Gentiles. See my exposition on Acts21v17to36. My chief concern is for the small church I attend and lack sufficient interest in what is happening elsewhere. James was the servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He dealt with the practical outworking of the Christian faith. This is a topic I am happiest teaching about. However I am aware that James was always in danger of becoming legalistic. This was the great weakness of the Jerusalem church. The consequences proved disastrous. There is no Jewish Christian church now! Nonetheless James' epistle found its way into the New Testament canon. I am glad it did despite the comments of Martin Luther and others. We need frequent reminders about how to live as subjects of Christ's Kingdom.

I have used four books for my studies:
(1) 'Be Mature,' by Warren W. Wiersbee.
(2) 'The Tyndale New Testament Commentary on James,' by Douglas J. Moo.
(3) 'The Pulpit Commentary on James'.
(4) 'The Letters of James and Peter,' by William Barclay.