1:1. "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."
Who is this James that penned this epistle? He was James the half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3) and brother of Jude (Matthew 13:55) and leader of the church in Jerusalem. Although some have suggested that this James could have been the son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21) but he was martyred too early to have written this epistle. This leaves only James the half-brother of Jesus, and at first he rejected Jesus as the Messiah (John 7:5), but later became a believer (1 Corinthians 15:7) and became the leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Galatians 2:12) and was called one of the pillars of that church along with Peter and John (Galatians 2:9). According to Josephus, James was martyred in 62 A.D. Comparing the vocabulary used in the letter James wrote in Acts 15 to the vocabulary used by the author of the Epistle of James we have further corroboration that the Epistle was written by James the half-brother of Jesus.
James refers to himself as a "servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek word translated as "servant" is doulos and is better rendered as bond-servant which in the Greek culture of the day referred to the involuntary , permanent service of a slave. The apostle Paul magnifies the meaning of this Greek word by using it in its Hebrew sense to describe a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master whom he respects and loves. (See Exodus 21:5, 6; Galatians 1:10; Titus 1:1; and compare with Genesis 26:24; Numbers 12:17; 2 Samuel 7:5; and Isaiah 53:11).
The twelve tribes of Israel is a common title used in the New Testament to refer to the Jews (Matthew 19:28; Acts 26:7; Revelation 7:4).
Scattered abroad refers to the Jews living outside the land of Palestine (1 Peter 1:1).
Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)