How many books did James write?

Updated: 11/3/2022
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11y ago

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There is a General Epistle of James, which identifies a James as the letter writer, but there are several James mentioned in the gospels and there is also the possibility that it comes from any one of innumerable James outside the gospels or was only written in the name of James.

There are reasons to believe that this epistle was not written by either James the brother of Jesus or James, the son of Zebedee. If either of these persons had been the author, one would expect him to mention the historical Jesus and perhaps even remind the reader of the teachings or miracles of Jesus. The Epistle mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief and nowhere does it reference a historical Jesus. Similarly, James the brother of Jesus or James, the son of Zebedee, could be expected to have designated himself as such, if only to add weight to his message. Yet James 1:1 only describes James as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, an improbable designation for someone so close to Jesus. Furthermore, the author looks to the Old Testament for his authority on moral issues, apparently unaware of Jesus' teachings on the same matters.

Modern scholars say that the one book attributed to James is a forgery written much later to combat 'heretical' (gnostic) ideas within the early Church.

Another Answer:

Biblical Scholars who worked on the New King James Version (translation) are in consensus that the Book of James was written by James, the Head of the Jerusalem Church of God and the half-brother of Jesus. This is the only biblical writing associated with this James.

There are several named 'James' and four are mentioned during Jesus' time: the brother of John and one of the 'sons of Zebedee; the son of Alphaeus called the 'Less or Younger' in Matthew 10:3; James the father of Judas in Luke 6:16; and James, the half-brother and of Jesus and author of the Book of James and Head of the Church of God at Jerusalem?

In Acts 12:1-2 we can read of the son of Zebedee, James being 'beheaded.' He was the first of the Apostles martyred. Tradition holds that the half-brother of Jesus was thrown of a roof to his death in circa 62 AD after penning his writing.

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Q: How many books did James write?
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