The Epistle of James, the Book of James, or simply James, is one of the twenty-two epistles (didactic letters) in the New Testament.The author identifies himself as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ," who is writing to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" (James 1:1). The epistle is traditionally attributed to James the Just, and the audience is generally considered to be Jewish Christians who were dispersed outside of Palestine due to persecution.Framed within an overall theme of patient perseverance during trials and temptations, James writes to encourage believers to live consistently with what they have learned in Christ. He desires for his readers to mature in their faith in Christ by living what they say they believe. James condemns various sins including pride, hypocrisy, favoritism, and slander. James encourages believers to humbly live heavenly wisdom rather than worldly wisdom, and to pray in all situations.CompositionAuthorshipThere are four views concerning authorship and dating of the Epistle of James: that the letter was written by James before the Pauline Epistles, that the letter was written by James after the Pauline Epistles, that the letter is pseudonymous, that the letter comprises material originally from James but reworked by a later editor. The writer only refers to himself as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." There are seven possible authors of James. As many as six different men may be referred to in the Bible as James, and if none of these men wrote this letter, a seventh man not mentioned in the Bible by the name of James could be the author.