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James is the New Testament counterpart of the Old Testament’s wisdom tradition. The first thing we are to do with our faith, according to James, is to wisely live by it, especially when we undergo trials and temptations.
At first, James did not did not believe in Jesus and even challenged him and misunderstood his mission. Like the other brothers of Jesus, James once disbelieved Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah (John 7:6), but he was won by a special vision of the risen Christ (1 Cor 5:7) and was in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Nevertheless, James met a violent death that was described by the Jewish historian Josephus. Ananus, the high priest, ordered James to be stoned. James’ death, however, came at the hands of the priests who threw him from the roof of the temple, and after he survived the fall he was beaten to death by people with clubs.
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