The eponymous writer of the book of James is thought to be the Lord Jesus half brother, prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus he was not a believer, but it seems came to faith afterwards, and was doubtless present at the prayer meeting mentioned in Acts 1. He soon rose to be a prominent member of the Jerusalem Church; the Apostle Paul calls him a “pillar of the church”.
Early church historians describe James as a man of prayer and one who lived a holy life. Indeed he prayed so much on his knees he earned the nickname “old camel knees” Early church tradition says James was martyred by the Jewish leaders who took him to a pinnacle of the temple taunting him before throwing him off and stoning him to death.
The letter is addressed to Christians in exile, dispersed as a result of opposition in Jerusalem, it is full of direct and uncompromising advice to Christians on how their faith must be lived out practically.