posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 05:28 PM
I got another commentary in the mail today on James, this one by Ralph Martin. This book is listed in the bibliography of Douglas Moo's James
commentary, being an earlier book with a copyright date of 1988. I like the series though, The Word Commentary.
So looking to Themes of James, in the introduction, Martin lists three: Perfection, Wisdom, and the Piety of the Poor.
He lays out a proposed "plan" for the letter, I can give an abbreviated rundown:
a. True religion is announced (1:27a), and its practical outworking is dramatized in 2:1-13 in the keeping of the royal law of love to one's neighbor
and the call of freedom to obey.
b. At the heart of James' understanding of religion is "the word", which is to be observed as well as heard (1:22-24), since it is planted within
believer's as a seed intended to grow into evident fruit (1:18). The emphasis on root-fruit comes to the fore in 2:14-26.
c. The hook device of the term "word" connects with a disquisition on the human "words" (1:18-20,26), which is elaborated in 3:1-13, a set piece
on the power of words for good or ill and inserted against a background of the role of church teachers (3:1-2).
d. Wrong use of words (1:19) especially by teachers leads on to a diptych, a two-paneled contrast, between Dame Folly and Dame Wisdom (heavily
indebted to Israel's wisdom school in, e.g., Prov 8-9) in 3:15-18; it is prefaced by the connecting allusion to teachers who are placed in that
sapiential tradition (3:13).
e. Christians have a duty to live "in the world" (a theme first announced in 1:27b). The major segment of 4:1-5:11 takes the rest of the letter . .
So that is the bulk of it and I think it goes along pretty much with what I was saying the other day.