reply to post by jmdewey60
The chapter divisions were imposed later, so they can't be relied upon as units.
In my "Use of the tongue" thread, I detected a three-stage process in the middle of James.
1) At the end of ch2, he is famously criticising those who say they have faith and leave it at that.
He points out that they also need to show their faith by their works.
I suggest this debate involves an implied criticism of those whose one-sided teaching encourages that viewpoint.
2) ch3 vv1-12, his remarks on the use of the tongue.
I suggested that James had collected these thoughts together from his generalised teaching, but that in this context they were more pointedly directed
at the same "teachers" whose teaching was being criticised at the end of the previous chapter.
In his eyes, these over-enthusiastic faith-merchants were the ones who were over-eager to be teachers, not sufficiently conscious of the fact that
they could be misguided, using the tongue bitterly in controversy, perhaps even cursing their opponents.
You only have to think about the history of theological controversy over the next two thousand years to realise just how plausible this picture is.
3) Then vv13-18.
v13 says "By his good life let him show his works".
In other words, James is returning to the previous theme of "showing faith by works".
In short, at the end of ch2 and the end of ch3 James is putting certain people right on the content
of their teaching, and he takes time out in
the middle to comment on the manner
of their teaching.
The advantage of that analysis is that it presents the "use of the tongue" theme as part of a deliberate literary structure, and not just something
thrown in at random.
edit on 5-7-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)