(1) James and the Synoptic Discourses. — In the first place, the ethical teaching of James is permeated by the spirit of Jesus. Even the form of the epistle displays a marked affinity for the discourses of the Synoptic Gospels, and the affinity in content is even more apparent. Many striking parallels could be cited; but what is more convincing than such details is the indefinable spirit of the whole. The way in which James treats the covetousness, the pride, the heartlessness, the formalism, the pettiness and the meanness of his readers, is strikingly similar to the way in which his Master dealt with the Pharisees. James does not indeed actually cite the words of Jesus; but the absence of citations makes the underlying similarity all the more significant. The writer of this epistle did not live at a time when the knowledge of the words of Jesus was derived from books; rather he had himself listened to the Master — even though he was not at first a disciple — and was living in a community where the impression of Jesus’ teaching and Jesus’ person was still fresh in the memory of those who had known him on earth.