“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Welcome to the James Lyceum Course. This self-paced plan of study exists to foster deep engagement with, and understand of, God’s word. Please follow the course procedures below to get started.
- Purchase the ESV Study Bible. This study Bible has an abundance of scholarly articles, maps, and footnotes that will help you better understand God’s word. Please do not skip this step!
- It is important that you engage with the text by either journaling or writing in your Bible (annotating). Decide which you will do, or if you will do both. Check out How to Mark a Book if you plan on annotating your Bible.
- If you plan on testing for our certificate at the end of the course, please email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you are starting the course.
- Before you begin, I suggest you pray for motivation and resolve. Pray something like this, “Lord, my motivation to read your Word is low. I frequently let sleep, my phone, tv, and other things stop me from reading your Word. Please forgive me for this…and please help me, Lord, to do better. Please send your Helper, the Spirit, to help me love your Word. I promise to get out of bed at _______ time ________ days per week to complete this course. Please, Lord, bless this time. Help me to come to love getting up early to read your Word. Help the scriptures to come alive for me. Help this be a transformational experience for me. Amen.”
- If you have theological, historical, or philosophical questions as you move through the course, please ask them in the discussion thread below or on Instagram @areopaguseducation.
A quick note before we begin. Please keep in mind that James was a real person, who lived boldly for his faith and was martyred in Jerusalem. We actually have an amazing historical account of this (outside of the Bible)! In Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, the Jewish historian Josephus writes “Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned…”
This man lived out everything he is going to ask us to do in this book. Let’s begin!
- Start by watching this video:
- Read the introduction to James in your ESV Study Bible (pg. 2387-2390). Make sure you know about the author, purpose, and background of this text. Read this article on who James was.
- a) Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you understand and apply what you are about to read. b) Now, read James 1:1-8 a few times. c) Now read all of the ESV footnotes that correspond to those verses. d) Take out your journal (or simply write in your Bible) and write down answers to the following questions: what is the main idea of the passage? How am I doing in this particular area? How could I do better? Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you answer these questions.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 1:9-18.
- If you are intrigued by the film, I encourage you to rent it and watch the whole thing.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 1:19-27.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 2:1-13.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 2:14-26.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 3:1-12.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 3:13-18.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 4:1-12.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 4:13-16.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 5:1-6.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 5:7-12.
- Repeat steps a-d for James 5:13-20.