The letter of James, a series of loosely related homilies, resists clear structural demarcation. But five general sections can be discerned. Trials and Christian maturity (Jas. 1:1-18). After the address and salutation (1:1), James opens with a section in which he attacks several issues, among which Christian suffering (“trials”) is the most prominent (1:2-18). He encourages his readers to find meaning and purpose in their suffering (1:2-4), to pray in faith for wisdom (1:5-8), and to apply a Christian worldview to poverty and wealth (1:9-11). After coming back to the subject of trials (1:12), he moves into the issue of temptation (1:13-15), a transition eased by the fact that the words “peirazo” and “peirasmos” can connote either “trials” or “temptations.” The section concludes with a reminder of God’s goodness in giving (1:16-18).
- D. A. Carson & Douglas J. Moo - An Introduction to the New Testament