James; The Wisdom from above

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posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

The chapter divisions were imposed later, so they can't be relied upon as units.
And . . so how does this figure?
I don't think there is any validity to your claim as you are apparently trying to use it.
Verse numbers were rather arbitrarily assigned late in the game, with the invention of the printing press, but chapters have been recognized since these letters were written and have to do with the constraints placed upon the writer by the medium, which was animal hides, usually of a calf (though there would likely have been papyrus versions), and the hand printing, and the construction of codices.
I am not aware of any commentators on James not seeing chapter three as a thematic unit. That being said, there are some differences between them on what that theme is exactly. I would see the chapter as a sort of mini-manual for teachers, starting out with the stated fact that the most important qualification is not worldly wisdom, but heavenly wisdom. Then he goes on to say that words are in fact tied together with deeds. The lesson ends by stating the goal, which is by having the proper leadership, the seeds of righteousness are planted.
edit on 5-7-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

Yes, assuming that James has got particular people in mind as targets for his criticism, I think they're more likely to be people who are themselves misreading Paul, giving him a more antinomian interpetation.
Paul and James appear to differ more than they really do, because Paul rejects "works" as a cause of salvation, whereas James advocates "works" as an effect of salvation.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

I'm seeing chapter three as part of a larger structure, but it might be easier to see that structure when it can be shown developing from the beginning of the letter.
I'm planning to double back to the earlier chapters in later threads.


P.S. I've discovered on Google that New Testament chapter divisions are being attributed to Archbishop Stephen Langton in the thirteenth century.

And it seems to me that v13 onwards ("by his good life") is talking about life as a whole and isn't just restrictable to the business of teaching.


edit on 5-7-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

. . . New Testament chapter divisions are being attributed to Archbishop Stephen Langton in the thirteenth century.
According to Wikipedia, the divisions were already there, they were just not give numbers, which required a system, which Langton supplied. (or at least that is the impression I get from the article)
chapters



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

The link you cite says that Stephen Langton "divided the Bible into the standard modern arrangement of chapters".
My understanding of that sentence is that he brought the chapter divisions into existence.
Isn't that the natural reading of the verb "divide"?
The Wikipedia article on "chapters and verses of the Bible" does mention that a couple of division systems for the New testament were available in the fourth century, but adds "Neither of these systems corresponds with modern chapter divisions". In other words, they did not necessarily occur in the same places as modern chapters.

However, this is a small point. I think these passages are part of a larger structure, and I'm hoping to lay this out in due course.



edit on 6-7-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

However, this is a small point.

Those divisions seen to be more about the Old Testament, where the NT divisions seen to be not controversial, which is my point, that the NT has always had built-in divisions.



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

No, the section which I paraphrased was specifically about the New Testament. I'll give a fuller quotation.

The New Testament was divided into topical sections known as kephalaia by the fourth century. Eusebius of Caesarea divided the gospels into parts that he listed in tables or canons. Neither of these systems corresponds with modern chapter divisions.[4] (See fuller discussions below.)

This is the Wikipedia article on "chapters and verses in the Bible"



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


All that Wikipedia stuff seems rather ambiguous to me.
A lot of my attitude comes from reading a book, Paul's Letter Collection: Tracing the Origins by David Trobisch and more recently, a book I just got a few days ago, Romans: A Commentary (Hermeneia: A Critical & Historical Commentary on the Bible) by Robert Jewett. I can quote a line from the introduction:
"This commentary will seek to interpret this letter . . . as far as possible as created by the author who created a sixteen chapter letter . . ."
So I am merely extending these principles that seem to hold true with the earliest "new testament" to the wider New Testament of the canon.



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

I've been working on first principles, asking the question "Has this letter been put together with any overall purpose, or has it all been thrown together at random?"
On the hypothesis that there's a purpose in the overall structure of the letter, I start looking for relationships between the different parts.
I've already drawn attention to two important points about the relationships of ch3 vv13-18.
One is that this passage is patently talking about behaviour with an impact over the whole of life, not just limited to the teaching field. You would not want to limit the scope of vv17-18.
The other is that the advice about "showing works" is in continuity with the end of ch2. In fact you could jump staright from ch2 v26 to ch3 v13 without noticing a change of subject.
I don't see any reason why these insights should be overridden by the rigid assumption that every chapter is a unity and every chapter ending a change of subject, especially when we're aware that chapter divisions don't come from the author.




edit on 6-7-2012 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Is this some sort of exercise in figuring things out on your own, without outside influences like Bible commentaries?
Just wondering because my approach would be to see what I could find out from people who specialize in these things on a professional, academic level.
I'm in the process right now of accumulating some commentaries, including on James and I can look into some for what sort of arrangement the authors of these books see in the letter.
My guess would be that James could cover multiple subjects in a single letter.
I also do not see it as being necessarily a reaction to any work being done by Paul, and could be about any number of people taking to preaching a version of the Gospel.
"Interpreters of James are often, indeed, puzzled to figure out a clear organization in the letter."
From the Introduction to The Letter of James by Douglas J. Moo.
edit on 6-7-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

Yes, it is.
I've got enough confidence in my own insight to try tackling questions like what James was getting at and how the pieces fit together, which ought to be answerable from the text itself.
I did the same thing in the Revelation series, and I thought that went well enough.
The approach is justified if it allows me to pick up things which other people have missed, as seems to be the case about the relationship between ch3 vv1-12 and the larger discussion which surrounds it.
It's vindication will be in whether it comes up with an explanation which holds together and works.

(Two or three decades ago, I was interested in doing a Ph.D but got diverted to another qualification. If this had gone ahead, it would have been on James. So I might have had a James commentary of my own by now, if I had been willing to undertake learning German.)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 09:26 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Well, see what you can come up with.
I can criticize the stuff you have already settled on.

Did you try to learn German?
My current approach is to read it when it comes up in an untranslated version, even if I have no idea what it is saying. I do the same thing with Greek and Hebrew. The way I look at it is that if you don't do at least that, then you have zero chance of learning it.



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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Here is a quote from Douglas J. Moo in The Letter of James that I think should be useful to you in your analysis of the Book of James.
"Indeed, the closest parallel to the style of James in the NT is found in Rom. 12:9-21, where Paul quickly touches on key components of the "sincere love" that believers are to exhibit."



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

No, I didn't attempt German, though one picks up the odd word in theological study.
I was obliged to study Hebrew to qualify for a course, but the official notification pointed out that my Hebrew paper was "a bare passing standard". I've forgotten it all since then.
On the other hand, my grasp of Greek is good enough to get me by.



posted on Jul, 8 2012 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 

Thank you, I'll bear it in mind.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 12:36 PM
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For information, this thread is the sequel to a previous thread on;
James; The use of the tongue



posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 05:49 AM
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A little off-topic for the main theme of the thread, but relative to something we were discussing earlier, about the importance of reading German. Here is something I found just now that fits into my theory of learning languages, where you listen to the correct pronunciation while following along in the text.



posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 02:26 PM
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Thank you.
Lord Macaulay also had an interesting approach to learning languages (mentioned somewher in Trevelyan's biography). He knew the New Testament by heart, so he would just get a copy in the language that he wanted to learn and pick up the meanings of the words as he read through it.



posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 02:42 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

That's an idea, find an mp3 of someone reading the Bible in German, and follow along with the same version as the reader is using, as you listen. That's what I do with the Greek New Testament.
edit on 10-7-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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After this thread I will be doubling back into the first couple of chapters.
Probably next week, assuming that I can get it together.





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