A Dozen SBL Papers on James

As in 2009, the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature includes twelve papers related to James and his letter. This year the meeting takes place in Atlanta, Georgia from November 20 – 23. These twelve papers will be delivered during eight different sessions representing seven different program units…

Letters of James, Peter, and Jude
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Theme: James and Q/Early Jesus Tradition
These papers will only be summarized so as to allow maximum discussion. The papers will be distributed in advance to all those who have added their name to the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude Section list in past years. If you have not yet added your name to this list, you may do so by contacting Robert Webb.

Robert Webb, McMaster University, Presiding

Dale C. Allison, Jr., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
The Jesus Tradition in James 4.1-12
James 4.1-12 is intertextually rich. It consistently interaacts with the Jewish Bible–borrowing several scriptural idioms, quoting an unknown “graphe,” citing Prov 3:34, and interpreting Lev 19.15-18–and further makes good use of the Jesus tradition. V. 3 ironically takes up the Q text in Mt 7.7-8 = Lk 11.9-10. Vv. 11-12 interpret Lev 19:15-18 through the lens of another Q text, Mt 7.1-5 = Lk 6.37, 41-42. And 4.20 might be partly inspired by Lk 6.25 (Q?).

Alicia Batten, University of Sudbury
The Impact of an Urban Setting on Jesus Traditions in James
Although little consensus exists as to the provenance of the Letter of James, scholars have noticed details in the missive, such as the references to fine clothes, rings and crowns, and thematic elements, including allusions to philosophical concepts, that support an urban setting. The rhetoric and overall elegance of the document also suggests that it was written for an audience that would have appreciated such literary sophistication. This paper begins by reviewing some of the thematic and literary aspects of James that point to a city or town as its site of origin. It then turns to some of the parallels between James and teachings associated with Jesus (the paper concurs with many scholars that there are connections between a form of Jesus sayings and James) in order to analyse how James’ urban environment has influenced the manner in which the author adapts some of these antecedent traditions.

Patrick J. Hartin, Gonzaga University
Wholeness in James and the Q Source
The sayings traditions of Jesus of Nazareth lie at the foundation of the moral exhortations in both the Letter of James are the Q Source. An examination of both James and Q reveals that they hold some moral exhortations in common. The purpose of this paper will be to examine these common links with the Jesus tradition by focusing on their vision of God and its consequence for action. This study demonstrates that faith in action captures the vision of James and the Q source. James’s vision embraced an understanding of works that occurred in the context of one’s whole life of faith (Jas 1:14) as does the Q Source (Q 6:46-49). A social-scientific examination of the Israelite value of ‘wholeness’ demonstrates that this value is reflected equally in James and Q. Patterns of all-or-nothing (characteristic of the Israelite value of wholeness) are common to James and Q. Some examples that are examined: God demands total allegiance; people cannot serve both God and mammon (Q 16:13). Friendship with the world is enmity with God (Jas 4:4); the need to keep the whole Law (Q 16:17 and Jas 2:10), etc. Through this analysis of the moral exhortations in James and Q, this paper illustrates that the Q tradition as it developed further in the Sermon on the Mount is also reflected in the Jesus tradition at the heart of James’s ethical teaching. The common links in the traditions between James and Q are explained from the fact that James is aware of the Jesus tradition as it is being handed on within the Q community and its developing tradition as seen in the Q Sermon on the Mount.

David A. Kaden, University of Toronto
Stoicism, Social Stratification, and the Q Tradition in James: A Suggestion about James’ Audience
James is addressed to “the twelve tribes in the Diaspora”. “Twelve tribes” has been interpreted as a metaphor for “Christians”. But if the greeting is taken at face value, then James’ audience would be Diaspora Judaeans, and the letter itself would be situated in the larger milieu of Hellenistic Judaism. There were several Diasporic centers in antiquity. This paper will argue that James’ audience was in Rome in the early second century CE. This assumes of course that “James” is a pseudonym. Other scholars have argued for a Roman provenance based, for example, on connections between James and the Shepherd of Hermas. This paper is intended to substantially strengthen this hypothesis. First, by detailing linguistic similarities between James and the Stoic Epictetus, who began his teaching career in Rome. Second, by examining how James adapts the Jesus tradition from Q for an audience higher up the social register than the Q people. Finally, by analyzing James’ rhetorical usage of the categories “rich” and “poor” to situate the audience somewhere in between. When these data are linked with the social situation in Rome in the early second century CE after the Dacian Wars led by Trajan, a remarkable picture emerges. Trajan’s wars precipitated an economic revival in the capital city, and the letter of James seems to reflect this. The writer’s affinity for Stoicism, the ideology of the Roman “bourgeois”, locks together nicely with the adaptation of the Q tradition for an audience higher up the social register. It also explains why the writer rhetorically locates the audience between the rich and poor, on the one hand urging them to care for the latter, and on the other warning them not to become greedy like the former.

John Kloppenborg, University of Toronto, Respondent

Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Theme: First Martyrs

Shelly Matthews, Furman University
The Second-Century Construction of the First Christian Martyr: Acts’ Stephen and Hegessipus’ James
This paper argues that Acts’ narrative of the Stoning of Stephen and Hegessipus’ narrative of the martyrdom of James are variations on the same trope. While Hegessipus is typically characterized as a “Jewish-Christian,” and the author of Acts clearly privileges a more Hellenistic, “Pauline” Christianity, both authors employ nearly identical means to construct the first Christian martyr.

Speech and Talk: Discourses and Social Practices in the Ancient Mediterranean World
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Jeremy Hultin, Yale University
James and the Abusive Tongue
In terms of the content of its advice about speech, the Epistle of James is largely conventional. What is not so common is the way James sets the tongue at the heart of a cosmic and primeval struggle. True religion, says James, consists in keeping oneself “unstained by the world” (1:27), but the tongue — which is itself “the unrighteous world” — stains the body (3:6). The defiling world is present in the human body. The tongue sets “the wheel of creation aflame” and is itself “set on fire by hell.” The tongue is not only a portal between Hell and Creation, but it, unlike the animals (!), has not been brought under human control (3:7-8). James has, in effect, configured “the world,” “religion,” and “the tongue” in such a way so that to use the tongue improperly is actually to grant “the world” access to one’s mouth. Thus the male and female addressees are alike “adulteresses” (4:4). Whereas most Greeks and Romans viewed abusive language as the mark of a manly brio (cf. Catullus 16 or Priapic poetry), in James’s apocalyptic discourse, verbal assaults constitute a sexual humiliation.

The KJV at 400: Assessing its Genius as Bible Translation and its Literary Influence
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Scot McKnight, North Park University
KJV Theology/Exegesis through the Lens of James
No abstract available.

Letters of James, Peter, and Jude
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Theme: Open Papers

David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary
James and the Testament of Job: The Evidence for Intertextuality
The prominence of the language of “patient endurance” (makrothymia, hypomone) in James 5:7-11, thematic also throughout T. Job 1-27, together with the explicit mention of Job as exemplary in this regard, typically invite some comparison between the two texts. The connections between the passages, however, are more intricate than scholars usually discern. The passage from James is a well-constructed argument promoting the virtue of endurance, specifically with an eye to God’s future intervention, as in the Testament. Job’s example serves directly to support the call to “patiently endure” (Jas 5:7), as it does in Job’s commendation of this virtue to his children (T. Job 27:7). James adds a rationale to explain the cause of the happy outcome of Job’s endurance: “because the Lord is very sympathetic and compassionate” (Jas 5:11), qualities of God that also promote endurance in T. Job. 26.4-6. Both – and, as far as I can tell, only – James and the Testament invoke these qualities of God specifically as a rationale for endurance and an assurance of the better consequences that attend endurance in connection with Job’s story. James and Testament of Job, unlike canonical Job, do not raise the problem of suffering without knowing why. Both texts prepare readers to interpret sufferings and challenges as “trials” by means of which virtue can be tested, proven, and eventually rewarded, even crowned with victory (Jas 1:12; T. Job 4:10). This fundamental orientation runs throughout both texts. While the difficulties arriving at consensus regarding the date of Testament of Job give one pause in arguing for direct literary dependency, the linguistic, rhetorical, and thematic connections between James and the Testament suggest some kind of close relationship between the two documents, with the former presupposing the traditions expressed – and the formulations in which they are expressed – of the latter.

Historical Jesus
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Theme: The Historical Jesus in Recent Research

John Paul Dickson, Macquarie University
The Epistle of James as a “Source” for the Historical Jesus
Pursuing a recent suggestion of Prof James H. Charlesworth that the letter of James perhaps “should be recognized as a source for Jesus” this paper examines the methodological issues involved in such a line of inquiry. Scholars have long noted the unusual number of allusions to Jesus traditions in this epistle. While most think it unlikely that this material is directly dependent on one or more of the canonical Gospels, most agree that the affinities between James and Q are impressive. This paper argues that the author of the epistle self-consciously portrays himself throughout as a custodian of the words of Jesus and that this fact heightens the need to unravel the puzzle of whether James is simply a third witness to Q or an independent witness to Jesus.

Jewish Christianity / Christian Judaism
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Petri Luomanen, University of Helsinki
Jesus’ appearance to James the Just
In Illustrious Men, Jerome describes how Jesus appeared to his brother, James the Just: “But the Lord after he had given linen cloth to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him (for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from the hour in which he drank the cup of the Lord until he had seen him rising again from those who sleep), and again, a little later, it says: Bring the table and bread, said the Lord. And immediately it is added: He brought bread and blessed and brake it and gave it to James the Just and said to him: My brother, eat thy bread for the Son of Man is risen from those who sleep.” (Jerome, Vir. Ill. 2; Trans. Klijn, Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition, 1992).” The Eucharistic allusions of the passage have often been noted but they have not been paid much attention in the discussion about the passage, except that a meal is recognized as one of the usual settings for Jesus’ appearance. Usually it is also assumed that one of the basic motives behind the passage is to provide a story of James as a witness of resurrection, mentioned in Cor 15:7 but not described in the canonical gospels. But why does the story include James’ vow? The paper explores the possibility that the vow is related to the so-called “Easter controversy” that arose towards the end of second century between Asian and other dioceses (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. V 23-25). The controversy concerned the timing of Easter and, consequently, the length of “Christian” Easter fast: should it always end on “the day of Savior’s resurrection” or on the fourteenth of Nisan.

Søren Kierkegaard Society
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Theme: Kierkegaard, Hermeneutics, and the Epistle of James
This session will give special attention to Kierkegaard’s interpretive practice in regard to the Epistle of James and the Johannine writings. The ways in which his theological convictions shaped his reading of Scripture and his reading of Scripture shaped his theological convictions will be explored.

Paul Martens, Baylor University
Grace in Creation: Kierkegaard on James 1:18 and the Condition for Receiving Gods Gifts
Luke Timothy Johnson, following Richard Bauckham (1999), claims that Kierkegaard “does not so much try to figure out what James meant as to consider what his own life means in light of James” (2004, 243). The purpose of this paper is to challenge the either/or implicit in Johnson’s assessment by attending to Kierkegaard’s interpretation of James 1:18. In the intense scholarly debates surrounding this passage, there are three basic options concerning who is brought forth by the “word of truth”: humanity, Jews, or Christians. In his idiosyncratic “upbuilding discourses” devoted to James 1:17-22, Kierkegaard seems oblivious to the minute details of this debate. Yet, this paper displays how a careful reading of Kierkegaard’s 1843 “Every Good Gift” discourse places him right in the middle of the debate. In short, this paper shows how Kierkegaard’s exegetical reflections on James 1:18 provide a sort of theological anthropology, an account of how God’s grace is the first word: God extends grace to all humanity in that God creates everyone with the absolute need for God, a good and perfect gift that (a) must be awakened and (b) can only be satisfied by the gift of the received Word (James 1:21). The proposed paper begins by briefly summarizing the scholarly debates surrounding this verse. Second, in conversation with Timothy Polk (1997) and Bauckham, it carefully examines Kierkegaard’s cryptic comments in the second of “Four Upbuilding Discourses” published in 1843. Third, it explores related texts in Kierkegaard’s corpus—“To Need God is a Human Being’s Highest Perfection” (1844), Philosophical Fragments (1844), and Works of Love (1847)—to illuminate the depth of Kierkegaard’s interpretive insight. In conclusion, coming full circle, the paper argues that it is precisely through considering his own life in light of James that Kierkegaard passionately sought to interpret what James meant.

Richard B. Purkarthofer, Howard V. and Edna H. Hong Kierkegaard Library
Kierkegaard’s First Love: On the Role of the Epistle of James in Kierkegaard’s Authorship
As early as 1835-36, we find Kierkegaard translating portions of the Epistle of James from Greek into Latin. References and allusions to the Epistle are to be found throughout Kierkegaard’s subsequent writings. In what would become his last edifying discourse, in the last year of his life, Kierkegaard returned once more to a pericope from the Epistle, calling it “my first love.” My proposed paper will survey the Epistle’s significance for Kierkegaard’s authorship as a whole. Following a brief historical account of Kierkegaard’s use of James, I will investigate a number of stylistic features common to the Epistle and to Kierkegaard’s writings (both published and unpublished). These include dialogical elements, the use of fictive interlocutors, rhetorical questions, and other features typical of the Cynic/Stoic diatribe form, along with the use of Stichwortverbindungen. I will then turn to a number of Kierkegaardian concepts that are heavily influenced by the Epistle of James, such as despair, purity/purification, and simple-mindedness. By way of conclusion, I will comment on evidence from Kierkegaard’s own copies of the Bible. This includes underlining, notes, and other marks in the Epistle of James, presumably by Kierkegaard’s own hand. I will cite this evidence to support key details of my proposed account of the stylistic and conceptual influence of the Epistle of James on Kierkegaard.


Kamell on Grace and Imitatio Dei in James

I have added the following article to the James Bibliography and Recent James Scholarship pages.

Kamell, Mariam J. 2009. “The Nature of Eternal Security in James: Divine Grace Pairs with the Imitatio Dei.” Paper in the current open online volume 2 of Testamentum Imperium, 28 pages.

The pdf article is available online here.

Mariam and I are very much on the same page regarding the overall message in James. While it is so easy to focus on the commands in the letter and the believer’s responsibility to have faith with works, Mariam recognizes the crucial message in James that such a living faith ultimately comes from the grace of God through his word. It also includes the extravagant mercy of God that triumphs over judgment. Thus, James conveys a theology that spans election through eternity, and this perspective is foundational to understanding the imperatives in the letter.

It’s good stuff to think about at Easter. While the moral obligation in James is hopeless for humanity, everything is possible with God. It reminds me of a quote I saw entering the library the other day: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” –Pope John Paul II

Thank you Mariam, and congratulations on nearing the completion of your program at St Andrews! We look forward to much more good stuff from you.

40 Titles on James Added

I have added about 40 more titles to the Recent James Scholarship page. They are in chronological order there, so I list them below in alphabetical order. A few of the titles are not entirely related to James, but they do touch on James.

Andria, Solomon. 2006. “James.” Pages 1509-16 in Africa Bible Commentary. Ed. By Tokunboh Adeyemo. Nairobi: Word Alive Publishers.

Bond, Helen K. 2002. “Book Review: James the Just.” Expository Times 113: 278.

Bottini, Claudio. 1998. “Letter of James (1): Content and the Theological Message of the Letter of James.” Essay prepared by the faculty of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem.

Bottini, Claudio. 1998. “Letter of James (2): The Moral Message of the Letter of James.” Essay prepared by the faculty of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem.

Bottini, Claudio. 1998. “Letter of James (3): Confession of Sins and Intercession (I).” Essay prepared by the faculty of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem.

Bottini, Claudio. 1998. “Letter of James (4): Confession of Sins and Intercession (II).” Essay prepared by the faculty of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem.

Bowman, Christopher. 2000. “Review of Patrick J. Hartin’s A Spirituality of Perfection: Faith in Action in the Letter of James.” Review of Biblical Literature.

Byron, Gay L. 2007. “James.” In True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 461-75.

Cargal, Timothy B. 1999. “James.” In Full Life Bible Commentary to the New Testament, 1401-29. Ed. by French L. Arrington and Roger Stronstad. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Catchpole, David. 1991. “Book Review: The Enigma of James.” Expository Times 103: 26.

Cranfield, C. E. B. 1990. “Book Review: James.” Expository Times 102: 23.

Davids, Peter H. 2000. “Review of Todd C. Penner’s The Epistle of James and Eschatology: Re-reading an Ancient Christian Letter.” Review of Biblical Literature.

Deppe, Dean B. 1990. The Sayings of Jesus in the Paraenesis of James: A PDF Revision of the Doctoral Dissertation The Sayings of Jesus in the Epistle of James.

Eve, Eric. 2005. “Book Review: James and Jude.” Expository Times 117: 35.

Felder, Cain Hope. 1982. “Wisdom, Law and Social Concern in the Epistle of James.” Ph.D. dissertation, Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Felder, Cain Hope. 1998. “James.” In A Catholic and Ecumenical Commentary for the Twenty-First Century, ed. by William R. Farmer, 1786-1801. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.

Foster, Paul. 2006. “Book Review: Studies on James.” Expository Times 117: 481.

Green, Joel B. 2002. “Review of Matt A. Jackson-McCabe’s Logos and Law in the Letter of James: The Law of Nature, the Law of Moses and the Law of Freedom.” Review of Biblical Literature.

Hagner, Donald A. 2008. “A Response to John P. Meier’s ‘Did the Historical Jesus Prohibit All Oaths?” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6: 25-32.

Hill, David. 1981. “Book review of S. Laws, A Commentary on the Epistle of James.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 13: 123-26.

Hockman, David. 2006. “Sanctification Day by Day.” Paper presented at the Conference on Baptist Fundamentalism. Watertown, WI: Maranatha Baptist Bible College.

Horbury, William. 1977. “Book Review: James.” Expository Times 89: 88.

Johnson, David Keith. 1971. “James’ Use of the Old Testament.” Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary.

Gwilliam, G. H. 1893. “Mayor’s ‘Epistle of St. James’.” Expository Times 4: 345.

Klawans, Jonathan. 2008. “The Prohibition of Oaths and Contra-scriptural Halakhot: A Response to John P. Meier.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6: 33-48.

Meier, John P. 2007. “Did the Historical Jesus Prohibit All Oaths? Part 1.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 5: 175-204.

Meier, John P. 2008. “Did the Historical Jesus Prohibit All Oaths? Part 2.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6: 3-24.

Meier, John P. 2008. “The Historical Jesus and Oaths: A Response to Donald A. Hagner and Jonathan Klawans.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6: 49-58.

Pahl, Michael W. 2006. “The ‘Gospel’ and the ‘Word’: Exploring Some Early Christian Patterns.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 29: 211-27.

Penner, Todd C. 2000. “Review of Martin Klein’s ‘Ein vollkommenes Werk’: Vollkommenheit, Gesetz und Gericht als theologische Themen des Jakobusbriefes.” Review of Biblical Literature.

Reis, David M. 2005. “Book Review: The Letter of James: Historical and Theological Essays.” Expository Times 116: 173.

Robbins, Vernon K. 1996. “Making Christian Culture in the Epistle of James.” Scriptura 59: 341-351.

Robbins, Vernon K. 2002. “A Comparison of Mishnah Gittin 1:1-2:2 and James 2:1-13 from a Perspective of Greco-Roman Rhetorical Elaboration.” In Jack N. Lightstone, Mishnah and the Social Formation of the Early Rabbinic Guild: A Socio-Rhetorical Approach. Studies in Christianity and Judaism 11. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press for the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion: 201-216.

Scott, J. Julius, Jr. 1979. “Non-Canonical References to James, the Relative of Jesus.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. New York, NY.

Scott, J. Julius, Jr. 1982. “James the Relative of Jesus and the Expectation of an Eschatological Priest.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 25: 323-331.

Scott, J. Julius, Jr. 1999. “Commas and the Christology of the Epistle of James.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Danvers, MA.

Spitaler, Peter. 2006. “Doubt or Dispute (Jude 9 and 22-23): Rereading a Special New Testament Meaning through the Lense of Internal Evidence.” Biblica 87: 201-222.

Spitaler, Peter. 2007. “Doubting in Acts 10:27?” Filología Neotestamentaria 20: 81-93.

Webb, Robert L., and John S. Kloppenborg, eds. 2007. Reading James with New Eyes: Methodological Reassessments of the Letter of James. Library of New Testament Studies 342. London: T&T Clark.

100 Titles on James Added

I just added nearly 100 new titles to the Recent James Scholarship page. About 40 of them are German titles and there’s also a handful of French titles. They’re in chronological order there, but I list the new titles below in alphabetical order. I basically tried to pick out the James titles from the recent bibliographies found in Niebuhr and Wall’s The Catholic Epistles & Apostolic Tradition and from Batten’s What Are They Saying About James? I was surprised that a lot of these weren’t already here. I know there’s still many more that I haven’t entered, but this is a good jump.

Adamson, J. B. 1993. The Epistle of James. 2d ed. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Adamson, J. B. 1989. James: The Man and His Message. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Avemarie, F. 2001. “Die Werke des Gesetzes im Spiegel des Jakobusbriefs: A Very Old Perspective on Paul.” Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche, 98: 282-309.

Baasland, E. 1988. “Literarische Form, Thematik und geschichtliche Einordnung des Jokobusbriefes.” Pages 3646-84 in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung 2.25.5. Ed. by W. Haase and H. Temporini. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Baker, W. R. 1995. Personal Speech-Ethics in the Epistle of James. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2.68. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Balz, H. 1993. “Der Brief des Jakobus.” Pages 1-59 in Balz and Schrage, Die “Katholischen” Briefe: Die Briefe des Jakobus, Petrus, Johannes und Judas. Das Neue Testament Deutsch 10. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Balz, H., and W. Schrage. 1993. Die “Katholischen” Briefe: Die Briefe des Jakobus, Petrus, Johannes und Judas. Das Neue Testament Deutsch 10. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1973; 4th ed., 1993.

Batten, Alicia. 2004. “God in the Letter of James: Patron or Benefactor?” New Testament Studies, 50: 257-72.

Bede the Venerable. 1985. Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles. Translated by D. Hurst. Cistercian Studies 82. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications.

Bernheim, Pierre Antoine. 1997. James, Brother of Jesus. Trans. by John Bowden. London: SCM Press.

Beyschlag, W. 1874. “Der Jakobusbrief als urchristliches Geschichtsdenkmal.” Theologische Studien und Kritiken, 48: 105-66.

Bockmuehl, M. 1999. “Antioch and James the Just.” Pages 155-98 in James the Just and Christian Origins. Ed. by B. Chilton and C. A Evans. Leiden: Brill.

Boyle, M. O’Rourke. 1985. “The Stoic Paradox of James 2:10.” New Testament Studies, 31: 611-17.

Brooks, J. A. 1969. “The Place of James in the New Testament Canon.” Scottish Journal of Theology, 12: 41-51.

Brosend II, William F. 2004. James and Jude. NCBC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brückner, W. 1874. “Zur Kritik des Jakobusbriefes.” Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, 17: 530-41.

Burchard, Christoph. 1990. “Nächstenliebegebot, Dekalog und Gesetz in Jak 2,8-11.” Pages 517-33 in Die Hebräische Bibel und ihre zweifache Nachgeschichte. Ed. by Erhard Blum, Christian Macholz, and Ekkehard W. Stegemann. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener.

Burchard, Christoph. 1991. “Zu einigen christologischen Stellen des Jakobusbriefes.” Pages 353-68 in Anfänge der Christologie. Ed. by Cilliers Breytenbach and Henning Paulsen. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Carroll, K. L. 1961. “The Place of James in the Early Church.” Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 44: 49-67.

Catchpole, D. R. 1977. “Paul, James and Apostolic Decree.” New Testament Studies, 23: 428-44.

Chilton, B., and C. Evans. 1999. James the Just and Christian Origins. Leiden: Brill.

Chilton, B., and J. Neusner. 2001. The Brother of Jesus: James the Just and his Mission. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox.

Coker, R. Jason. 2007. “Nativism in James 2:14-26: A Post-Colonial Reading?” In Reading James with New Eyes. Methodological Reassessments of the Letter of James, ed. by Robert L. Webb and John S. Kloppenborg, 27-48. LNTS 342. London: T&T Clark.

Cooper, R. M. 1968. “Prayer: A Study in Matthew and James.” Encounter, 29: 268-77.

Dautzenberg, G. 1981. “Ist das Schwurverbot Mt 5,33-37; Jak 5,12 ein Beispiel für die Thorakritik Jesu?” Biblische Zeitschrift NF 25: 47-66.

Davids, Peter H. 1988. “The Epistle of James in Modern Discussion.” Pages 3621-45 in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung 2.25.5. Ed. by W. Haase and H. Temporini. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Davids, Peter H. 1985. “James and Jesus.” In The Jesus Tradition outside the Gospels. Ed. by David Wenham. Vol. 5 of Gospel Perspectives. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 63-84.

Dibelius, Martin. 1984. Der Brief des Jakobus: Mit Ergänzungen von H. Greeven, mit einem Literaturverzeichnis und Nachtrag hg. v. F. Hahn. Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament 15. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1921. 12th ed., 1984.

Dillman, C. N. 1978. “A Study of Some Theological and Literary Comparisons of the Gospel of Matthew and the Epistle of James.” Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh.

Elliott, John H. 1993. “The Epistle of James in Rhetorical and Social Scientific Perspective: Holiness-Wholeness and Patterns of Replication,” Biblical Theology Bulletin, 23:71-81.

Farmer, W. R. 1999. “James the Lord’s Brother, According to Paul.” In James the Just and Christian Origins. Ed. by B. Chilton and C. A Evans. Leiden: Brill, 133-53.

Feine, P. 1893. Der Jakobusbrief nach Lehranschauungen und Entstehungsverhältnissen. Eisenach: Wilckens.

Ferris, T. E. S. 1939. “The Epistle of James in Relation to I Peter.” Church Quarterly Review, 128: 303-8.

Frankemölle, Hubert. 1994. Der Brief des Jakobus. Ökumenischer Taschenbuch-Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 17.2. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus.

Frankemölle, Hubert. 1990. “Das semantische Netz des Jakobusbriefes: Zur Einheit eines umstrittenen Briefes.” Biblische Zeitschrift, 34: 161-97.

Gammie, John J. 1990. “Paraenetic Literature: Toward the Morphology of a Secondary Genre.” Semeia, 50: 41-77.

Gowan, D. E. 1993. “Wisdom and Endurance in James.” Horizons in Biblical Theology, 15: 145-53.

Gryglewicz, F. 1961. “L’Épître de St. Jacques et l’Évangile de St. Matthieu.” Roczniki Teologiczno-Kanoniczne, 8:33-55.

Hahn, F., and P. Müller. 1998. “Der Jakobusbrief.” Theologische Rundschau, 63:1-73.

Halson, B.R. 1968. “The Epistle of James: ‘Christian Wisdom?’” Studia Evangelica 4 = Texte und Untersuchungen 102. Berlin: de Gruyter, 308-14.

Harner, Philip B. 2004. What Are They Saying About the Catholic Epistles? New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist.

Hartin, P. J. 1989. “James and the Q Sermon on the Mount/Plain.” In Society of Biblical Literature 1989 Seminar Papers. Ed. by David J. Lull. Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers, 28. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 440-57.

Hartin, P. J. 1996. “Who is Wise and Understanding Among You? (James 3:13): An Analysis of Wisdom, Eschatology and Apocalypticism in the Epistle of James.” In Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 483-503.

Hauck, F. 1926. Der Brief des Jakobus. Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 16. Leipzig: Deichert.

Haupt, E. 1896. “F. Spitta, Der Brief des Jakobus.” Theologische Studien und Kritiken, 69: 747-68.

Heiligenthal, R. 1999. “‘Petrus und Jakobus, der Gerechte’: Gedanken zur Rolle der beiden Säulenapostel in der Geschichte des frühen Christentums.” Zeitschrift fürNeues Testament, 2: 32-40.

Hengel, M. 1987. “Der Jakobusbrief als antipaulinische Polemik.” In Tradition and Interpretation in the New Testament. Ed. by G. F. Hawthorne and O. Betz. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 248-78.

Hengel, M. 1985. “Jakobus der Herrenbruder – der erste ‘Papst’?” In Glaube und Eschatologie. Ed. by Erich Gräßer and Otto Merk. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 71-104.

Hengel, M. 2002. Paulus und Jakobus: Kleine Schriften, 3. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 141. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Hoppe, R. 2001. “Der Jakobusbrief als briefliches Zeugnis hellenistisch und hellenistisch-jüdisch geprägter Religiositä.” In Der neue Mensch in Christus. Ed. by J. Beutler. Quaestiones disputatae 190. Freiburg: Herder, 164-89.

Hoppe, R. 1977. Der theologische Hintergrund des Jakobusbriefes. Forschung zur Bibel 28. Würzburg: Echter-Verlag.

Huther, J. E. 1870. Kritisch exegetisches Handbuch über den Brief des Jacobus. Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament 15. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1921. 3rd ed., 1984.

Johnson, L. T. 1998. “The Letter of James.” In The New Interpreter’s Bible 12. Nashville: Abingdon, 117-225.

Kittel, G. 1942. “Der geschichtliche Ort des Jakobusbriefes.” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, 41: 71-105.

Kloppenborg, John S. 1998. “Status und Wohltägtigkeit bei Paulus und Jakobus.” In Von Jesus zum Christus. Christologischen Studien. Festgabe für Paul Hoffman zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. by R. Hoppe and U. Busse, 127-54. BZNW 93. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Konradt, M. 2003. “Der Jakobusbrief als Brief des Jakobus: Erwägungen zum historischen Kontext des Jakobusbriefes im Lichte der traditionsgeschichtlichen Beziehungen zum 1 Petr und zum Hintergrund der Autorfiktion.” Pages 16-53 in Der Jakobusbrief: Beiträge zur Aufwertung der “strohernen Epistel.” Ed. by P. von Gemünden, M. Konradt, and G. Theißen. Münster: Lit.

Konradt, M. 1999. “Theologie in der ‘strohernen Epistel’: Ein Literaturbericht zu neueren Ansätzen in der Exegese des Jakobusbriefes.” Verkündigung und Forschung, 44: 54-78.

Krodel, G. 1995. The General Letters: Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, Jude, 1-2-3 John. Minneapolis: Fortress.

Kuechler, C. G. 1818. De rhetorica epistolae Jacobi indole. Leipzig: Glueck.

Kürzdörfer, K. 1966. “Der Charakter des Jakobusbriefes: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit den Thesen von A. Meyer und M. Dibelius.” Ms. diss., Tübingen.

Limberis, Vasiliki. 1997. “The Provenance of the Caliphate Church: James 2:17-26 and Galatians 3 Reconsidered.” In Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel: Investigations and Proposals, ed. by Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, 397-420. JSNTSup 148. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Lohse, E. 1957. “Glaube und Werke: Zur Theologie des Jakobusbriefes.” Zeitschrift für di neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, 48: 1-22.

Luck, Ulrick. 1971. “Der Jakobusbrief und die Theologie des Paulus.” Theologie und Glaube 61: 161-79.

Ludwig, M. 1994. Wort als Gesetz: Eine Untersuchung zum Verständnis von “Wort” und “Gesetz” in israelitisch-frühjüdischen und neutestamentlichen Schriften: Gleichzeitig ein Beitrag zur Theologie des Jakobusbriefes. Europäische Hochschulschriften, 23, 502. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

Marcus, Joel. 1982. “The Evil Inclination in the Epistle of James.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 44: 606-21.

Martin, G. C. 1907. “The Epistle of James as a Storehouse of the Sayings of Jesus.” Pages 174-84 in The Expositor. Ed. by Samuel Cox, William Robertson Nicoll, and James Moffatt. Seventh Series 3. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Mayor, Joseph B. 1892. The Epistle of James: The Greek Text with Introduction, Notes and Comments. London: Macmillan, 1892. 2d ed., 1897. 3d ed., 1913. Repr., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990.

McKnight, S. 1999. “A Parting within the Way: Jesus and James on Israel and Purity.” Pages 83-129 in James the Just and Christian Origins. Ed. by Bruce D. Chilton and Craig A. Evans. Leiden: Brill.

Meyer, A. 1930. Das Rätsel des Jakobusbriefes. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für di neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 10. Gießen: Töpelmann.

Michl, J. 1968. Die katholischen Briefe. 2d ed. Regensburger Neues Testament 8.2. Regensburg: Pustet.

Mussner, Franz. 1964. Der Jakobusbrief: Auslegung. Herders theologischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 13/1. Freiburg: Herder, 3d ed., 1975. 4th ed., 1981. 5th ed., 1987.

Niebuhr, K.-W. 2004. “A New Perspective on James? Neuere Forschungen zum Jakobusbrief.” Theologische Literaturzeitung, 129: 1019-1044.

Niebuhr, K.-W. 2000. Review of M. Konradt, Christliche Existenz nach dem Jakobusbrief. Theologische Literaturzeitung, 125: 756-59.

Niebuhr, K.-W. 1999. “Tora ohne Tempel: Paulus und der Jakobusbrief im Zusammenhang frühjüdischer Torarezeption für die Diaspora.” Pages 427-60 in Gemeinde ohne Tempel—Community without Temple: Zur Substituierung und Transformation des Jerusalemer Tempels und seines Kults im Alten Testament, antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum. Ed. by B. Ego, A. Lange, and P. Pilhofer. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 118. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Painter, J. 2006. “James as the First Catholic Epistle.” Interpretation, 60.3: 245-59.

Painter, J. 1999. Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. Minneapolis: Fortress. 2d ed. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004.

Patry, R. 1899. L’Épitre de Jacques: dans ses rapports avec la prédication de Jésus. Alençon: Guy.

Popkes, W. 1986. Adressaten, Situation, und Form des Jakobusbriefes. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 125/126. Stuttgart: Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk.

Popkes, W. 1994. “The Law of Liberty (James 1:25; 2:12).” Pages 131-42 in International Theological Studies: Contributions of Baptist Scholars 1. Ed. by the Faculty of Baptist Theological Seminary Rüschlikon. Bern: Peter Lang.

Popkes, W. 1996. Paränese und Neues Testament. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 168. Stuttgart: Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk.

Porter, S. E. 1991. “Is δίψυχος (James 1,8; 4,8) a ‘Christian’ Word?” Biblica 71: 469-98.

Reese, James M. 1982. “The Exegete as Sage: Hearing the Message of James.” Biblical Theology Bulletin 12: 82-85.

Rose, V. 1896. “L’Épitre de saint Jacques est-elle un écrit chrétien?” Revue biblique, 5: 519-34.

Schlatter, A. 1932. Der Brief des Jakobus. Stuttgart: Calwer.

Seitz, O. J. F. 1944. “The Relationship of the Shepherd of Hermas to the Epistle of James.” Journal of Biblical Literature, 63: 131-40.

Spitta, F. 1896. Der Brief des Jakobus. Vol. 2 of Zur Geschichte und Litteratur des Urchristentums. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Syreeni, Kari. 2002. “James and the Pauline Legacy: Power Play in Corinth?” In Fair Play: Diversity and Conflicts in Early Christianity. Essays in Honour of Heikki Räisänen, ed. by Ismo Dunderberg, Christopher Tuckett and Kari Syreeni, 397-437. NovTSup 103. Leiden: Brill.

Theißen, G. 2003. “Nächstenliebe und Egalität: Jak 2,1-13 als Höhepunkt urchristlicher Ethik.” Pages 120-42 in Der Jakobusbrief. Beiträge zur Rehabilitierung der “strohernen Epistel.” Ed. by Petra von Gemünden, Matthias Konradt, and Gerd Theißen. Beiträge zum Verstehen der Bibel 3. Münster: Lit.

Tiller, Patrick A. 1998. “The Rich and Poor in James. An Apocalyptic Proclamation.” Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers 37: 909-20.

van der Westhuizen, J. D. N. 1991. “Stylistic Techniques and their Functions in James 2:14-26.” Neotestamentica 25: 89-107.

Vhymeister, Nancy. 1995. “The Rich Man in James 2: Does Ancient Patronage Illumine the Text?” Andrews University Seminary Studies 33: 265-83.

Ward, R. 1992. “James of Jerusalem in the First Two Centuries.” Pages 779-812 in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung 2.26.1. Ed. by W. Haase and H. Temporini. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Wifstrand, A. 1948. “Stylistic Problems in the Epistles of James and Peter.” Studia theologica 1: 170-82.

Wilson, Walter T. 2002. “Sin as Sex and Sex with Sin: The Anthropology of James 1:12-15.” Harvard Theological Review, 95:147-68.

Windisch, H. 1911. Die katholischen Briefe. Handbuch zum Neuen Testament 4.2. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2d ed., 1930.

Wolmarens, J. L. P. 1994. “Male and Female Sexual Imagery: James 1:14-15, 18.” Acta Patristica et Byzantina 5: 134-41.

Wuellner, W. H. 1978. “Der Jakobusbrief im Licht der Rhetorik und Textpragmatik.” Linguistica Biblica, 43: 5-66.

James Papers at ETS – Five!

There were 5 papers on James presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society last week. The Recent James Scholarship page on this site has been updated with these plus the 12 papers from the SBL Annual Meeting and the 8 articles in the recent SNTS volume. A total of 29 titles on James in 2009 so far.

From ETS…

Baker, William. 2009. “Global Christianity and the Gospel According to James.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society; New Orleans, LA, November 18.

Kamell, Mariam J. 2009. “Endurance unto Salvation: The Witness of 1 Peter and James.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society; New Orleans, LA, November 18 (also presented at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting; New Orleans, LA, November 22.

Lim, Do-Kyun. 2009. “Rhetoric Sensitive Sermon in the Epistle of James: Revitalizing Biblical Rhetorical Effects from James’ Protreptic Epistle.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society; New Orleans, LA, November 18 (also presented at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting; New Orleans, LA, November 22).

Savelle, Charles. 2009. “A Theology of God in the Epistle of James.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society; New Orleans, LA, November 18.

Sawilowski, Michael. 2009. “Who’s the Man? James 2 and the Jesus Tradition of Matthew 2.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society; New Orleans, LA, November 18.

“the Lord, Jesus, the Christ” in James 1:1

Well, I see that Nick Norelli identified this blog here as having a focus on James, and it made me realize that although I have posted much on bibliographic resources for James, I haven’t posted much on James myself. So I thought I’d start making some short observations on James. I’ll start with verse 1.

Ἰάκωβος θεοῦ καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοῦλος ταῖς δώδεκα φυλαῖς ταῖς ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ χαίρειν.

James, a slave of God and of the Lord, Jesus, the Christ, to the twelve tribes in the diaspora: greetings!

Right away, you’ll notice an abundance of commas in my translation above. This is very intentional. Is “the Lord Jesus Christ” to be understood as one big proper name? I don’t think so. ‘Jesus’, of course, is a proper name, but what about ‘Lord’ and ‘Christ’? Certainly the authors of the New Testament wrote the name of Jesus in combination with ‘Lord’ and/or ‘Christ’ very frequently, and references to Jesus along with these titles became somewhat formulaic. However, even though the name of Jesus was commonly uttered along with ‘Lord’ and/or ‘Christ’, this in no way means that these titles lost their meaning, especially if there is evidence in the context that supports the possibility that the meaning of these titles is in view. So, in James 1:1, I see this as a statement by James that he is a slave of God and of the Lord. Who is the Lord? There’s only one Lord — Jesus. Jesus the Messiah (Christ).

I find myself being convinced of this by the argument that Julius Scott makes on this issue in his paper “Commas and the Christology of the Epistle of James.” This paper was presented in 1999 at the Evangelical Theological Society, National Meeting, in Danvers, MA. It used to be available on his webpage on the Wheaton College site, but that is no longer available since he is now retired. I can’t seem to find it elsewhere on the web. I reproduce the relevant portion here…

Punctuation, such as that which appears in our modern Greek texts and translations, is, of course, of recent vintage.  Hence, it is legitimate to ask if the authors, and much of early Christendom with them, may have assumed some relation between the terms other than that suggested by the lack of commas in our contemporary texts.  May they have intended “Lord, Jesus Christ,” “Lord Jesus, Christ (= [the] Messiah)”, or “Lord, Jesus, Christ (= [the] Messiah)”?

Paul gives us a glimpse into his world when he says,

For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth — as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords” — yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist (1 Cor 8:5-6).

It is interesting that in this context the RSV editors (but not those of the Nestle-Aland 26th edition of the Greek NT) insert a comma between “Lord” and “Jesus Christ,” thus placing “Jesus Christ” in apposition to “Lord” and defining which of the many lords is the intended reference.  Why, I ask, is specificity needed only here?  The situation to which Paul refers was rampant throughout the world of the NT.  There is, I suggest, evidence of just such an attempt for preciseness in the NT text itself.  Again, working from statistics gleaned from the RSV, six (17%) of the occurrences of “Lord Jesus” are prefaced with the  pronoun “our,” “our” precedes one of the two occurrences of “Lord Christ,” and the possessive pronoun is found forty-one times (or 65%) of the sixty three appearances of “Lord Jesus Christ”; the writers want to make clear that they refer solely to the Christian’s lord, “our Lord, [comma!] Jesus Christ.” Note that our statistical survey did not include such phrases with built-in specificity as “Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:39; Eph 3:11; 2 Tim 1:2), “Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 1:3), “Jesus our Lord” (Rom 4:24), “Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8), or “Christ Jesus the Lord” (Col 2:6).

Virtually all of the occurrences of “our Lord” are evidences of early, pre-punctuation precision in the Christian affirmation of belief that, in a world claiming “many lords,” it is none other than Jesus who is Lord.  Hence, I believe, the comma should follow kurios/lord in most cases where that title is followed by Jesus, Christ, or Jesus Christ; for the NT writers there was only one Lord (cf. Eph 4:5)!  A more accurate modern English translation would usually be “our Lord, [comma] Jesus Christ.”

Against this background we return to the Epistle of James. In the first verse we are confronted with the statement, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1:1, RSV). Is it not legitimate, indeed mandatory, that we consider translating these words, “James, slave[1] of God and of the Lord, Jesus, the Messiah”? Such a rendering immediately transports us into a very different world than that often assumed for the epistle. It is a world of slaves and lords. And, for Christians, there is no Lord other than Jesus. In this Semitic world the Greek Christos is not merely part of a proper name but a reverential title, “The Anointed One.” Hence, James conveys the same affirmation as did Peter at Pentecost, “Jesus himself is both the Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:36).

Although we have preferred to translate “servant” (doulos) “slave,” it is noteworthy that Ralph Martin, rejecting a sociological sense, insists on “servant.” This, he notes, was a designation of honor and authority for such leaders as Moses, David, and the prophets. It may carry overtones of Phil 2:11 where the humiliated one received honor and glory.[2]

This introduction in 1:1 sets the stage for the epistle with phrases which, in a Jewish Christian setting, assume a high Christology. It erects the framework within which the epistle is to be understood.

[1] If the author was “James, the Lord’s brother,” a member of Jesus’ boyhood home, who during his public ministry did not “believe in him” (John 7:5), the self-designation “slave” (doulos) is all the more surprising.  It gives such terms as “Lord” and “Messiah” even more force.[2] James, 4-8.


So if the rest of the Letter of James is read in light of James having identified himself as “a slave of God and of the Lord, Jesus, the Christ [=Messiah], what happens?

This issue comes up again in James 2:1. We’ll look at that next time.

BestCommentaries.com is getting even better!

John Dyer over at BestCommentaries.com is working hard to make his new site even better. He had already…

  • received great support from publishers for using volumes that specifically review and rate commentaries.
  • made a “Best of the Best” page so you can quickly find the two highest ranked commentaries for each Bible book.
  • added the function of pulling in Amazon.com reviews into the site (see blog here).
  • updated the algorithm for scoring commentaries. You can keep up to date with his blog here.

Even better than all of this is the fact that he has started to add monographs! He hasn’t blogged about it yet–probably because this latest feature is so limited at this point–but he has begun to add “Special Studies” for Bible books. You can see what he has already done for the Letter of James at http://www.bestcommentaries.com/category/special-studies-in-james/

It will also take a lot of work (and probably a bit of help), but John has also told me that he wants to eventually include

  • PhD dissertations
  • M.A. theses
  • journal articles