Spirit, Learning and Life

Forming character through the insights of literature, contemporary culture and Scripture.

James: Word and Deed

Why James? When we first began studying this punchy New Testament book, written for the first Christian community ever, it sometimes felt as if the author was shouting at us. James wants to ‘get in your business’ and challenge how you live. Despite that stringent feeling, its wisdom quickly became woven into the quilt of our life together at Watershed. We are all broken people in sore need of wisdom.

Influenced by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the book of Proverbs, it’s one of the earliest books containing the teachings of Jesus. James’ short wisdom speeches were meant for the 1st century, but they seemed written for us as well. God teaches, guides us and moves us to becoming more like his Son.



The Bible Project has excellent free videos and other resources on James and many other books of the Bible — thebibleproject.com


James: Diaspora Rhetoric of a Friend of God by Margaret Aymer

The Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John, and Judah by Tom (NT) Wright - excellent scholarship in a very readable, devotional format with helpful illustrations

James: The Wisdom of the Brother of Jesus by John Dickson - good thematic overviews

The Letter of James by Scot McKnight - very thorough commentary

Brother of Jesus, Friend of God by Luke Timothy Johnson