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Epistle of James

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The Epistle of James is a letter written by James to all Christians; although it is addressed "to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations", identifying the early Christians with the Israelites. Its author has been variously thought to be the apostle James the brother of John, the other apostle James, James the Just, or some other unknown James. It is included in the Bible, alongside the other letters in the New Testament.

In the letter, James encourages Christians to persevere in the face of hardship and temptation, advising against treasuring worldly possessions in a manner reminiscent of the book of Ecclesiastes (James 1:10-11). He warns against anger, favouritism and careless speech (James 3:6), and emphasises the importance of loving all others equally (James 2:8).

In a discussion of faith, James points out that true faith does not exist on its own, but causes the people to hold it to do good deeds as well (James 2:14, 26). Similarly, wisdom must be demonstrated by wise actions (James 3:13).

Towards the end of the letter, James begins to talk about arrogance, urging Christians to be humble, and specifically not to be too certain about the future (James 4:14, again recalling Ecclesiastes). He foretells a woeful fate for those who abuse wealth and power (James 5:1) and reaffirms the importance of patience and faith, citing the example of the prophet Elijah.



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