James Epistle Commentary – Book

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Tim Hegg walks verse by verse through the Epistle of James, employing his signature interpretive style which looks at the historical context of the book, its place, time, authorship, and various debates taking place at the time, but also paying close attention to the grammatical elements of the original language.

Tim once again brings large scholarly concepts down to a level where believers at any stage in their faith can understand and gain great insights from the teaching.


The name “James” most likely came into the English language as a blending of pronunciations for the Hebrew name Ya’akov (Jacob). The Greek Ιάκωβ, Iakōb in our text clearly links to the patriarch whose name became synonymous with “Israel,” for that was the name given to Jacob by God Himself.

That the epistle is addressed to the “twelve tribes” is therefore perfectly fitting for an author whose name was Iakōb. But as we read the inspired words of this epistle, we recognize that when James addresses himself to the “twelve tribes,” he is not limiting his words specifically to only a Jewish audience. For by the time of the Apostles, it was already known that the Abrahamic covenant promised God’s blessing upon “all nations,” not just the chosen nation of Israel. It seems highly likely, then, that in the opening verse James is emphasizing God’s plan to graft into the believing remnant of Israel the elect from the nations whom God has chosen to save, just as Paul teaches in his epistle to the Romans (11:17-24). Here, once again, we see the plan of God, revealed at the very beginning of the Scriptures, is at the heart of the Apostolic Scriptures. For the faithfulness of God to His promise is shown when both Jew and Gentile are gathered together into one body, being blessed as equal participants in the eternal salvation secured for them by the saving work of Yeshua Himself.