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“Did James write James?”

“Did James write James?”

JANUARY 7, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Did James write James?”

Steve Brown:
Did James write James? We’ll talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions, so here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man, how you doing?

Steve Brown:
You know, some background information on what we do is that we record these a good while in advance. And we’re about at the end of our gasoline, don’t you think?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, that was a good teaser though. It really was.

Steve Brown:
And Jeremy, who has to run all the controls and produces this program. I think he just fainted dead away until somebody gave him a cookie. And he seems to be feeling good. That’s Pete Alwinson, by the way. And he comes in every Friday and we answer questions. Go to ForgeTruth.com and you’ll be glad you did. It’s all things Pete Alwinson. And Jeremy Birdsall is the producer of this program. And when he walks out of the control room and tells us to wait, that’s all we can do. Because as a matter of fact, we can’t do what he does. By the way, we love getting your questions and we love spending time talking about it. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7. Whenever you have a question, just get it off your chest by picking up the phone, calling us and asking it. And sometimes we’ll put your voice on the air. Or you can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or in Canada

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can send your question e-mail [email protected] And if you can help us financially, please do. You can charge it on your credit card or included in your envelope and we’ll be grateful and rise up and call you blessed. And a lot of other people who can’t help us financially will do the same thing. And by the way, we understand if you’re not called to support this ministry, or if you just can’t. Say a prayer for what we’re doing. We would value that too. Enough said, Pete lead us in prayer and then we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Well, Father, we do come to you at the end of this week and we come into the presence of the only God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We worship you. We praise you. We’re so thankful that we belong to you. We thank you for our forgiveness. We thank you that you’re not angry at us. We thank you that you have a plan for our lives that is good. And that Lord, we can pray. We can come into your presence. Thank you, that we’re not alone. Thank you, that even the challenges of our life have the promise attached to them that all things work together for good to those who are called according to your purpose. And so, we have so much to be thankful for, we commit this week to you and we ask that you would continue to be glorified in our lives, but to help us have your perspective and to think your thoughts after you as well. And we pray that this week-end, our pastors and priests and teachers and leaders would be able to help us do that, as we sit into their teaching, as we sing hymns and songs of worship and praise, and we give you praise. So, this week-end we commit to you and ask that you would sort of tie up our week and enable us to see your hand at work in our lives. We commit ourselves to you, even commit this time of Q&A. Ask that you would bring answers that would help us grow. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
I just heard Pete speaking about James, the so-called brother of our Lord. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem was the son of Alpheus. So, it’s rather hard to imagine how he could have been our Lord’s brother.

Steve Brown:
Well, you, I expect you to have a very informed, scholarly, balanced, rational answer to that question. And I’m going to be looking at the next one that follows.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, yeah. You know, it’s interesting. She, she makes that point with strong certainty. But if there was a first Pope, in Jerusalem, it would have been James. I mean, he was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. No doubt about it.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
But it was James, the brother of the Lord, not James son of Alphaeus, as far as we know. And as far as church history seems to convey that. And so, therefore he would have been the logical author of the book of James.

Steve Brown:
And the church has said that from the beginning. I mean, it has been traditionally named the author, the brother of the Lord, that James is that, but there is nothing in the text that makes it an argument you can die on a hill for. You know, we make a mistake, for instance, if you have old Bibles, they say in the book of Hebrews, the Letter of Paul to the Hebrews. And we assume that that title is inerrant. It’s not, it wasn’t in the original manuscript. And Paul did not write the book of Hebrews. And it’s the same thing with James. His names was James, but it could have been another James, but there’s a lot of evidence, that it was the brother of of Jesus.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, that’s right. And at this point, as we study some of the ascriptions that are put to earlier texts of Scriptures, we do lean on pretty heavily on that tradition, but like you said, don’t die on that hill.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And don’t assume that something is authoritative, when it isn’t in the original manuscript.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. There you go.

Steve Brown:
Okay. I’ve been doing, this is an e-mail. I’ve been doing research in order to support my witness to a friend who doesn’t believe in the Trinity, where does the name Yahweh or Jehovah fit? Is it the same or just the Father or does the name cover the entirety of the Trinity? Do Jesus’ statements I am lay claim to that name as well?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Well, so one thing is that the phrase, the Trinity or the two words, the Trinity is not found in the Bible, but the concept is

Steve Brown:
clear.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Very clear. So, I would say, and again, you can straighten this out, but I think yes, Yahweh is the name of the covenant God of Israel, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, applied particularly to the Father, but yes, Jesus uses all those I am statements. It literally connects with this word Yahweh, the name Yahweh.

Steve Brown:
And you got, you know, you get places in Scripture, for instance, in Isaiah where God says I am the first and the last. You go to Revelation and then Jesus says, I am the first and the last. And you say, wait, wait, wait, there can’t be two firsts and two lasts. So therefore, something’s going on here and it’s called the Trinity and the Trinity is taught over and over. It’s a major, wonderful doctrine and it simply means that we believe in God and three persons. And we don’t believe in modalism, that you play one role, one time and another role the next time. But we see it as the love and relationship within the Trinity. Those religions who would put down the Trinity, have a God who is harsh and judgmental, who doesn’t understand love because they don’t believe in the Trinity. You know, a lot of people don’t like Paul Young, but he’s a close friend of mine and he wrote the book, The Shack. And, you know, there are some things that he changed later to make sure it was theologically accurate, but that idea of the Trinity is a gift to God’s people.

Pete Alwinson:
Yes, God is in community and has been in community forever. And it reminds us that he created us to become a part of that community. He didn’t create us cause he was lonely. He created us to join the Trinity.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, he did, but we brought it, and that’s what Jesus prayed for in John 17. It’s a cool prayer where you begin to see, wow, look where he invited me. I can’t, I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
What is the difference between soul and spirit? This is an e-mail, in the Bible? Are they two terms for the same thing? And do animals have souls and spirits?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, how do you, how do you approach that? You know, we haven’t had this in a while.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I have a profound answer.

Pete Alwinson:
Okay.

Steve Brown:
I don’t have the foggiest. Well, I know Biblically there’s a lot of teaching Watchman Nee and a number of others that go back a long time, who separate soul and spirit and body, and make that into a Trinity, which the Bible does not do. The Bible says at Creation, that God breathed and created a soul. So we’re all, that’s what we are, body, mind and spirit. And so, you have to be careful about making too many separations in Scripture.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. You know, the theological formulation was, are we bipartite or tripartite? You know, and when Paul says in the New Testament, I pray that your body, soul and spirit will be preserved at the day of the Lord Jesus. He’s really bringing up this idea of that there is the body and there’s the material part of us and there’s the immaterial part of us and we are living soul. So, that’s what you were saying. And so, I think you get into some philosophical and theological problems, if you try to separate the soul, spirit deal. Now, do animals have a soul or spirit?

Steve Brown:
Yours may not, mine does. I have a bunch of German shepherds in heaven, to be perfectly honest.

Pete Alwinson:
Exactly, I have a boxer in heaven.

Steve Brown:
You know, you don’t know, I, you know, the Scripture and where the Scripture doesn’t speak, we shouldn’t speak. And, I’m not, you know, I just don’t know?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I think there, that animals have personalities and in that sense, they have something that’s more than just the body. And there’s some indications that animals will be the lion and the lamb and in the new kingdom, that might suggest that animals are going to be in heaven. But who knows?

Pete Alwinson:
We don’t know? I mean, I’ve never seen a snake with personality, but I’ve seen a lot of dogs with personality.

Steve Brown:
I’ve never heard that point made. Good point. Alright, one quick question. When a person who is blind or deaf dies, will they then be able to see and hear in heaven?

Pete Alwinson:
Yes.

Steve Brown:
Yes.

Pete Alwinson:
Amen.

Steve Brown:
That was good.

Pete Alwinson:
That would be great.

Steve Brown:
Definitive answer from Sinai.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go.

Steve Brown:
From Pete and Steve, but that’s the last point you are going to get on this program cause we’re out of time. And by the way, thank you for joining us and we appreciate your kind remarks. Key Life is a listener supported production Key Life Network.

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