scattered abroad

James 1:1

1:1 scattered abroad. James was writing to his Jewish brethren who were “scattered abroad” in the dispersion. They may well have included many of those he had met on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came, and the 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) were supernaturally endowed with ability to proclaim “the wonderful works of God” to those Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the feast “out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:4-6,11). Many of these were converted (Acts 2:41), and all were profoundly stirred. When James became leader of the Jewish church in Jerusalem, he no doubt was also greatly concerned with all those Jews who had returned to their homes in various countries, both those who had professed faith in Christ and those who were still undecided. His epistle was addressed to both these groups. It reveals a keen awareness of the Jewish law and its true implications, as well as the earthly ministry of Jesus. It seems to have been the first written of the New Testament epistles, written even before the council met in Jerusalem to decide the proper way to deal with Gentile Christians (Acts 15), since there is little, if any, mention of this question in the epistle.

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