James may be the earliest of the epistles. We left Paul, in Acts, on his first missionary journey which has been dated around A.D. 47-48.  By the way, Paul was thought to have been born in A.D. 10, which would make him in his mid to late 30’s on his first journey.

The epistle of James is most likely written around Paul’s first journey, or even before this time since James addresses his letter to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad (See Acts 8:1, 4; 11:19). The twelve tribes would mean Jewish Christians. Therfore, while profitable for Gentiles in many respects, this letter is addressed specifically to Christian Jews.

C.I. Scofield notes,

“The Jewish-Christian writings deal with the elementary and foundational things of the Gospel, while to Paul were given the revelations concerning the church, her place in the counsels of God, and the calling of the hope of the believer as vitally united to Christ in the one body.”

Keep in mind the jewishness of the letter as you read it.

Read James 1:1 – 5:20

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