posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 07:17 PM
Interesting comparison; James and Revelation
James ch5 vv7-11 has the same background as the book of Revelation. In both cases, the community is dealing with the experience of persecution.
Not surprisingly, we can find similarities in the way they deal with the problem
James tells the brethren to wait for the Lord’s return.
This can be identified with the “last days”, when the persecutors will lose their wealth, and the “day of slaughter”, for which, all
unconsciously, they’ve been preparing themselves.
Similarly, the purpose of all the plagues of Revelation is to express God’s wrath against the persecuting world, culminating in the downfall of that
The Lord’s victorious return to the world is described in Revelation ch19.
James tells the brethren to be patient while waiting for this event, and to be steadfast in their hearts.
Similarly Revelation has the refrain “Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints” (ch13 v10, ch14 v12), which neatly sums up the
reason for the book’s existence.
James points the brethren to the example of Job.
Similarly, some of the observations in Revelation are indirect allusions to the same story.
In the time of the fifth trumpet, people long for a death which does not come (Revelation ch9 v6), just as Job did (Job ch3 v21).
In the time of the fifth bowl, they suffer from pains and sores and curse the God of heaven (Revelation ch16 v10), just as Job suffered from loathsome
sores and was invited to curse God (Job ch2 vv7-10).
So the fifth trumpet and bowl are describing the spiritual state of a world which suffers, like Job, but lacks the ultimate Faith which he was
The implied moral is what James states outright, that the patience of Job is the right example to be followed in the midst of suffering.
Finally James draws attention to “the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful”. I suggested that he was pointing the
brethren to the story of Christ and the gospel message.
Similarly Christ is the central figure in the hopes of Revelation.
The first chapter highlights his resurrection, which implies that Christ is able to save the church from persecution through the same resurrection
The fifth chapter presents the death and resurrection of the Lamb as the central event of the whole book; they make it possible for Christ to “open
the seals” of the scroll which contains the rest of salvation history, and that sets in motion all the remaining events, right down to the
appearance of the “new Jerusalem”.
These similarities are not surprising if James and Revelation come from what is fundamentally the same community, sharing that common experience.