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  #1  
Old 09-08-2010, 10:14 AM
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Default Facts about the book of James

Facts about the book of James:
Note; All scriptures are from the NKJ Bible:
Everyone should be familiar with what James wrote in James 2:20-24
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
22  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
23  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.
24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

The above is used by many to show that true faith must be accompanied by works if it is true faith.
Let us explore what James wrote to see if his conclusions are based on facts.

Genesis 15:4-6
4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir."
5 Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

In the above we see that God accounted Abraham as righteous solely for his faith in His Promises, and not by anything that He did.  This event happened many years before Isaac was born. Paul accurately reports this.
It is a fact that James is using Genesis 22 to base his conclusions. However, it seems that James did not consider the account in Genesis 15.  James conclusions are based on the account given in Genesis 22, many years after Isaac was born, when Abraham was well over 100 years old, and he agreed to offer Isaac.
 
Okay, let us look at the facts:
It is a fact that nowhere does the OT Scripture say that Abraham "was called God's friend" BECAUSE he was willing to offer up his son Isaac. In Isaiah 41:8 it states that God called Abraham His friend but nowhere in the context of the chapter does He say it was because Abraham offered up his son Isaac. Nor does it say in Genesis 22 that Abraham was accounted as righteous BECAUSE he offered up his son Isaac.
What James wrote, as shown above, is a direct contradiction of the Gospel that Paul taught and the account given in Genesis 15:4-6. Abraham was righteous before God solely because he believed God’s promises.
In my opinion, based on the facts, the book of James is devoid of the gospel of grace as taught by Paul. Here are some facts that support my opinion. I find them interesting.
1. The word “Law” is found in 18 places
2. The word “grace” is found in 2 places
3. The word “Christ” is found in 2 places
4. The word “Justified” is found in 2 place with the words “by works” after them
5. The words “by faith” is found 1 time (justified by works and not by faith only)
6. The word “cross” is not found
7. The word “reconciled” is not found
8. The word “sanctified” is not found
9. The word “saved” is not found
10. The words “in Christ” are not found
Romans 4:1-7 Abraham Justified by Faith (Genesis 17:10)
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

David Celebrates the Same Truth
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
NKJV
So what do we do with the book of James? Should it be in the Bible? --- Of course it should. It was written to the believing Jews; JAMES Greeting to the Twelve Tribes; James 1:1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. --- The above is a fact. It was written to the believing Jews who were still under the law of Moses. --- to apply what James said to the grace church that is under Paul’s gospel of grace is wrong.
Now will come those who will refuse to discuss the facts as presented above but will try to marginalize and demonize me for having the audacity to say the above. But facts are facts and truth is truth.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2010, 10:31 AM
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I believe that Martin Luther refused to have James in his canon.

[saying something to the effect of "it's an epistle of straw."]
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:49 AM
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Well that was fun.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by angellous_evangellous View Post
I believe that Martin Luther refused to have James in his canon.
He did. One could almost admire the audacity of someone who espouses the doctrine of sola scriptura, and then proceeds to tailor the scriptures to his doctrinal preferences.
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Last edited by Smoke; 09-08-2010 at 10:37 PM..
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by angellous_evangellous View Post
I believe that Martin Luther refused to have James in his canon.

[saying something to the effect of "it's an epistle of straw."]
Martin Luther was designed to lead a reformation, not a Canon definition.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:13 AM
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When we formulate doctrine, we have to look at ALL passages relating to a particular topic. In my opinion, James balances other views by inconveniently insisting that works are evidence of faith - and that a lack of works is evidence of a lack of faith.

Personally, this seems like common sense to me. Actions speak louder than words.

If a person is claiming to be a person of faith but their life holds no real evidence of this faith - they need to examine themselves and re evaluate the difference between FAITH and BELIEF.

Even the demons believe - and tremble.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:08 AM
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He did. One could almost admire the audacity of someone who espouses the doctrine of sola scriptura, and then proceeds to tailor the scriptures to his doctrinal preferences.
It isn't nearly as suprising as one would think.

The biblical canon is but one of many canons in the Roman Catholic Church. He rejected or redacted most of canon law, so it's perfectly natural that he adjusted the canon of Scripture.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:12 AM
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I believe that Martin Luther refused to have James in his canon.
Well of course not. Martin Luther had no respect for the Jewish roots of Christianity, let alone Jews.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:26 AM
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James was the defacto leader of the whole Church.

He maintained his mission to the Jews in Jerusalem.
It was James who gave Paul authority to Preach to the Gentiles
It was James that Paul consulted over the question of gentiles being free of Jewish Law.

It is true that Paul and James came to different conclusions about "Faith and works"

It is clear that Luther preferred "Paul's understanding" as it fitted into his general arguments far better.
I believe that both Luther and Calvin were more interested in the logic of their own agenda, than any possibility that James might be right.

If James is right.... the whole "Faith alone" edifice falls.

Logic and authority is on James side.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:29 AM
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James was the defacto leader of the whole Church.
Yeah, he's the guy to whom Jesus said, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."
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