The letter from James was intended for a large audience. In the first verse, he says, “Greetings to all God’s people scattered over the whole world.” James then proceeds to offer his counsel on a wide variety of topics.
He gives some advice on how to cope with trials. He discusses the problem of the wild tongue and how to control it. He writes about the dangers of wealth and how to pray for the sick. Other topics include temptation, quarreling, pride, prejudice, and patience.
One characteristic of the book of James is its vivid style. James uses several figures of speech.
In Chapter 3, for example, he compares the tongue to:
- the rudder of a ship
- the bit in a horse’s mouth
- and the spark that sets a forest ablaze.
For practical counsel, the book of James is unparalleled in the New Testament.