For each section of the Bible, the Focus on the Bible Commentaries summarize the passage of Scripture, including the intentions of the authors, the historical and cultural environment, and the questions and issues raised by a particular passage. But most importantly, the Focus on the Bible Commentaries brings you into the heart of the Bible, by explaining Scripture in an accessible way that makes sense for daily Christian living.
The epistle of James is one of the most controversial included in the canon of the New Testament. Why the controversy? James (almost certainly Jesus' brother) sets out in his letter to deal with the problem of a church that does church—yet really does nothing! James is forthright in spelling out some home truths to his readers.
What’s more, with the Logos edition, Scripture passages are linked to your favorite English translation for quick reference, or to your Greek and Hebrew texts for original-language study! That gives you quick access to the message of the Bible as you study it! You can also read the James: Wisdom for the Community along with your Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the wealth of other Bible study tools in your digital library. This commentary will serve as a vital aid for sermon preparation, for personal and group Bible study, and for anyone looking to apply the text of Scripture to practical Christian life.
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“The verse reveals five areas of arrogant certainty about their plans: certainty of future (we will go), certainty of place (into ‘this or that’ city, tēnde), certainty of time (spend a year), certainty of activity (carry on business), and certainty of result (make money). The error of these merchants is their confidence in the certainty of their plans.” (Page 161)
“But the command here is not simply ‘be,’ but ‘become’ (from the verb ginomai). And it is present tense: ‘become people who do the Word and continue in it.’” (Page 81)
“James’ argument in this section is: ‘Now that you have been born again your new life should have the characteristics of that new kind of life. This new life must be in obedience to God and in order to do that we must be ready to hear and apply God’s Word.’” (Page 76)
“The next four verses give the readers a spiritual exercise on how to repent and receive God’s grace. The verses present a series of imperative verbs that stress repentance and have their culmination in purifying faith.” (Page 150)
“James’ reproof here reminds me of the story I heard about a woodpecker that landed on a tree and began frenetically pecking away. Suddenly a storm came up and a bolt of lightning struck the tree, splitting it in half and knocking the woodpecker to the ground. Dazed momentarily, he picked himself up, flew away, and came back moments later with several friends in tow. ‘There it is, boys,’ he bragged, ‘I did it all by myself.’ People who think they can master their own ship and be captain of their own fate are just as wrongheaded as that bird!” (Page 164)
. . . this is a solid and useful commentary written by two pastor-scholars to help the church be the church as God intended.
—Robert A. Peterson, Professor of Systematic Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary
Dr. Dale Ellenburg and Dr. Chris Morgan are a lot like James. They are wonderful theologians and serve as pastors. They do not merely study in a cloistered setting, but also are involved in the lives of church members and the people in the communities where they serve. Both are godly men, excellent scholars . . . live what they believe. That's what James is calling all of us to do. You will learn that as you study the book of James, verse by verse, in this wonderful commentary written by my dear friends.
—Steve Gaines, Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee
B. Dale Ellenburg was associate pastor at Kirby Woods Baptist Church and Vice-President of Academics at Mid-America Baptist Seminary and is now pastor of Dotson Memorial Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee.
Christopher W. Morgan is Professor of Theology at California Baptist University and Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Barstow, California.