I received the following question:

A portion of James 1:1 in the TransLine reads: “To the twelve tribes in the dispersion.” I get that the book of James is just to the Jews.  My question is about the ‘dispersion’ part.  What authority did James have regarding the ethnos?  It seems to me that he stayed in Jerusalem.  Got any insight on why he is writing this and not the apostle to the ethnos?

My thought is that this was before Paul was really placed into his position. Most are in agreement that James was written very early, perhaps the first written of the books of the Bible. I would suggest that this book could have been written as part of the apostles in Jerusalem responding to the events mentioned in Acts 11:19-26. This would have been before Paul ever received his commission, and before he was given primary authority over the ancestral Israelites outside of the land.

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