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James’ epistle is considered by some to be the most difficult New Testament book to comprehend. Its focus is on doing good works, as opposed to the faith that is central to the majority of the other books in the New Testament. This is easy to misunderstand, especially when this seemingly contradictory focus is supported by extensive quotations from Jesus. James’ essential concern, however, is putting our faith into practice. He addresses the challenge of living out what Jesus taught us to do in a world that makes such a life extremely difficult. In a world where Christians hardly stand out from the people around them, the book of James is invaluable, encouraging us to live a Christ-centered life.
David Nystrom teaches at three universities. Fully realizing the difficulties that accompany James scholarship, his contribution to the NIV Application Commentary series is designed to explain James in its original context and also what that means for our lives today.
Many Bible commentaries offer us an exciting tour through the ancient world of Biblical times. They give us cultural backdrop and add new, wonderful layers of meaning to familiar stories and passages. But when the time comes to return to normal, everyday life, we are left disconnected from the memories of our trip—without the knowledge of practical, real-life application. This is where the NIV Application Commentary series picks up the task. It merges the original, ancient context with right now, showing us both how ancient readers would have read the Bible and how we can connect to this living word of God from a modern context. Most importantly, however, it helps us begin the life-changing process of true application, showing how God’s word can continue to have a powerful voice in our lives today.
The NIV Application Commentary uses a highly accessible, three-tiered method of bringing readers to a fuller understanding of each Biblical book. Original Meaning will explore a book’s meaning in light of its historical and cultural context. Bridging Contexts, as its name implies, will help the reader link the text’s original meaning to its Contemporary Significance—the final tier that helps you apply the Bible to everyday life.
“This series promises to become an indispensable tool for every pastor and teacher who seeks to make the Bible's timeless message speak to this generation.”
“It takes more than interpretation of God's Word to change lives, it takes application.
Application is the bottom line in preaching and teaching. Without it, we've missed the point of the Bible. The NIV Application Commentary is an outstanding resource for pastors and anyone else who is serious about developing ‘doers of the Word.’”
-Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church