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The Letter of James: Wisdom that Comes from Above

A Structural Commentary on the So-Called Antilegomena, I, The Letter of James: Wisdom that Comes from Above, Eastern and Central European Voices III/1, tłum. M. Konopko, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ISBN 978-3-525-57330-3, Göttingen 2021, pp. 332 [coauthor: K. Wojciechowska]

Description

Controversies regarding the authorship of the Letter of James, the date of its composition, its addressees and, when compared to other biblical writings, similarities and differences on lexical, semantic and theological levels generated debates concerning its literary genre, coherence, its associations with other texts as well as intertextual strategies. This structural commentary is part of this discussion. What is emphasized in the commentary is not the issue of justification and the relationship between deeds and faith but the sapiential character of the Letter of James. The new analytical approach has become possible due to an innovative view of the structure of the letter. The authors propose a structure organized around the catalogue of attributes of wisdom enumerated in James 3:17. The second important value of this study is its ecumenical (Catholic-Lutheran) dimension.

The Letter of James ranks among the most enigmatic and ambiguous texts of early Christian literature in general. Controversies regarding the authorship of the Letter of James, the date of its composition, its addressees and, when compared to other biblical writings, similarities and differences on lexical, semantic and theological levels generated debates concerning its literary genre, coherence, its associations with other texts as well as intertextual strategies.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Bibliographic abbreviations

Grammar abbreviations

Apocrypha

Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran Caves Scrolls)

Early Christian Writings

Ancient non-Christian Scriptures

Preface

  1. Introduction

1.1       Textual Evidence and Canonicity

1.2       Authorship

1.3       Dating

1.4       Vocabulary, style, structure

1.5       Genre

1.6       Sender and addressees

  1. The Structural Commentary

2.1       Wisdom comes from above (James 1:5–8.16–18)

2.2       Wisdom is pure (James 1:12–15.21a.27)

2.3       Wisdom is irenic/peace-loving/aiming at peace (James 1:19–20, 4:1–3)

2.4       Wisdom is humble/compassionate (James 1:21b, 4:7–10.16, 5:10-11)

2.5       Wisdom is obedient [to the law] (James 1:22–25, 2:10–12)

2.6       Wisdom is full of mercy (James 2:13–17.20.26, 5:4–6.19–20)

2.7       Wisdom is full of good fruits (James 1:2–4, 2:18.21–25, 3:1–12.18, 4:17, 5:7–8.13–18)

2.8       Wisdom is impartial (James 1:9–11, 2:1–9, 4:4–6.13–15, 5:1–3)

2.9       Wisdom is unhypocritical (James 1:26, 2:19, 3:14–16, 4:11–12, 5:9.12)

2.10     Conclusion (James 3:13)

  1. Summary

Bibliography

Indexes

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