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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of James. Joshua rated it it was amazing Feb 01, Jason Pittman rated it it was amazing Sep 23, Marshall Walter rated it liked it Mar 06, Dennis Munn rated it liked it Jul 01, Matt rated it really liked it Feb 29, Brad N rated it really liked it Nov 18, Davey Ermold rated it liked it Apr 26, David Parks rated it it was amazing Jul 06, Nik White rated it really liked it Jan 23, Billy Kangas rated it liked it Oct 24, Geoff rated it really liked it Oct 10, Jason rated it liked it Nov 21, Samuel Sutter rated it it was amazing Apr 15, Alfred Vaughan rated it it was amazing Jul 17, Matthew Gillette rated it liked it Jan 07, Paul Vittay rated it really liked it Mar 30, Bo Cogbill rated it really liked it Mar 19, Rodrigo Sanchez rated it really liked it Nov 01, Sheldon Mann rated it really liked it Mar 30, William marked it as to-read Mar 20, Brian Prentiss added it Aug 15, Sergio Fesiuk added it Sep 22, Mark Belonga added it Nov 26, Mick Hyam added it May 28, Brian Dempsey added it Jul 10, Camden added it Nov 20, Timothy Berg marked it as to-read Jan 29, Martha Anderson marked it as to-read Mar 20, Todd Shaffer marked it as to-read Aug 08, Michael marked it as to-read Sep 11, Brian Stevenson is currently reading it Nov 16, Jacob Walker marked it as to-read Jan 25, Brian Condra marked it as to-read Mar 07, Z added it Jul 09, Nic added it Oct 11, Shaynor Newsome added it Nov 15, Tyler Harrington marked it as to-read Nov 23, Ken added it Sep 26, In some cases, evangelicals appear to make use of critical scholarship not for the purpose of genuine interaction but only to dismiss it.
In other cases, the interaction glides over into assimilation, theological distinctives are ignored or suppressed, and the end product cannot be differentiated from works that arise from a fundamentally different starting point. The contributors to this series attempt to avoid these pitfalls. On the one hand, they do not consider traditional opinions to be sacrosanct, and they are certainly committed to doing justice to the biblical text whether or not it supports such opinions. On the other hand, they will not quickly abandon a long-standing view, if there is persuasive evidence in its favor, for the sake of fashionable theories.
What is more important, the contributors share a belief in the trustworthiness and essential unity of Scripture.
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They also consider that the historic formulations of Christian doctrine, such as the ecumenical creeds and many of the documents originating in the sixteenth-century Reformation, arose from a legitimate reading of Scripture, thus providing a proper framework for its further interpretation. No doubt, the use of such a starting point sometimes results in the imposition of a foreign construct on the text, but we deny that it must necessarily do so or that the writers who claim to approach the text without prejudices are invulnerable to the same danger.
Accordingly, we do not consider theological assumptions—from which, in any case, no commentator is free—to be obstacles to biblical interpretation. On the contrary, an exegete who hopes to understand the apostle Paul in a theological vacuum might just as easily try to interpret Aristotle without regard for the philosophical framework of his whole work or without having recourse to those subsequent philosophical categories that make possible a meaningful contextualization of his thought.
It must be emphasized, however, that the contributors to the present series come from a variety of theological traditions and that they do not all have identical views with regard to the proper implementation of these general principles.
In the end, all that matters is whether the series succeeds in representing the original text accurately, clearly, and meaningfully to the contemporary reader. Shading has been used to assist the reader in locating salient sections of the treatment of each passage: introductory comments and concluding summaries.
The only exceptions to this system are well-known reference works e. Full publication data and a complete set of indexes can be found at the end of the volume. The Epistle of James is perhaps best known for its declaration Faith without works is dead and its assertion that a nonworking faith cannot justify anyone. It is vital to the health of the church that we remember this. Orthodoxy is worthless unless it produces orthopraxy.
Jesus declared, By their fruits you will know them Matt. One cannot have Jesus as Savior without owning him as Lord, and one cannot have him as Lord without a commitment to obey him. The Epistle of James serves as a reminder that a faith claim and genuine faith are two different things.
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This is not at all to set the voice of James against that of Paul. Paul, no less than James and Jesus , insists that right belief must result in right behavior and that those who live wicked lives have no part in the kingdom of God Gal.
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Even a mountain-moving faith, if it has not love, is nothing 1 Cor. It is a grotesque caricature of Paul to turn his doctrine of justification by faith into a ticket to heaven by a one-time receiving Jesus into your heart. James has other concerns, of course.
Matthew. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
His letter touches on a number of issues of practical Christian life: temptation, anger, speech, care of the poor, respect for everyone regardless of social status, relationships within the church, business plans, prayer, illness, and more. In fact, James talks about faith considerably more than he talks about works as such. It is precisely because faith is so crucial that James insists that it must be genuine and active. This commentary is offered in the hope that the epistle that it seeks to expound will be heard more clearly in the church of our day. Several words of thanks are in order here.
First, my thanks to my colleagues and the Board of Westminster Seminary for granting me a study leave to complete the manuscript. Second, I am indebted to my research assistant for one summer and now my colleague, Dr. Adrian Smith, for his help in digging up and preprocessing numerous journal articles and chapters in multiauthor works. Third, I greatly appreciate the patience that Wells Turner has shown in helping me get the details right. Finally, how could I ever express adequate thanks to my wife, Kathy, dearest companion, most trusted advisor, faithful prayer partner, occasional research assistant, and best friend?
The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. The abbreviations below are used for the names of the tractates in the Mishnah indicated by a prefixed m. The transliteration of asper rough breathing precedes a vowel or diphthong e. Upsilon is transliterated u only when it is part of a diphthong i. The document known as the Epistle of James has a unique voice in the NT. Its orientation to practical theology, its interest in true godly wisdom and consistent Christian behavior, and its large supply of memorable phrases and aphorisms that encapsulate many aspects of the practical Christian life have made it useful for purposes of moral exhortation.
Further, the second half of James 2 appears at first glance to clash with certain statements by Paul on justification by faith. This, along with the less-developed Christology of James, led Martin Luther to question its validity as an expression of the gospel of Jesus, even calling it an epistle of straw. It is in fact the thesis of this commentary that James should be seen as a book about true faith as opposed to a false one.
People often deceive themselves, and it is quite possible for people to think that they have faith when in fact they are hypocrites. But James wants those who profess to believe in Christ to be real disciples and manifest living faith, and he wants to awaken people who complacently think that they are believers but do not act like believers—in other words, those who have deceived themselves. Further, the threats to faith that can come by way of persecution, illness, and the delay of the coming of the Lord are met with exhortations to persevere, which is the stance of faith.
Truly, James as a whole is a book about genuine faith. Controversy has continued to swirl about the book, however. Almost every aspect of interpretation, its author, its date, its original audience, its theological substructure, its organization or lack of organization , its overall purpose especially whether it is in any way a reaction to some form of Paulinism , its unity, and even the meaning of several of its words, phrases, and sentences have been heavily debated, and many matters remain without anything close to a scholarly consensus.
All these questions of introduction, authorship, dating, original audience, text, genre, and canonical acceptance are tangled together, and even the meaning of the text and the questions of introduction are interlinked. As a result, no obvious starting point presents itself. Change any piece, and the whole puzzle must be assembled differently.
Nevertheless, the book gives us some clues about these things, and if we listen sympathetically to its message and pay close attention to the world in which it was written, we can, with some measure of confidence, answer many of those questions. Following the lead of Johnson 3—4 , we will begin with a preliminary and brief attempt to listen to the voice of the letter and ascertain how it might fit in the story of the earliest church. This will give us a means of tentatively dating the letter.
We can also determine how well it fits with what can be known of its putative author, whom the letter itself identifies as simply James, servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. As we will note shortly, this must refer to the James who appears in Acts as the leader of the Jerusalem church, whom Paul identifies as the brother of the Lord Gal.
James is interested primarily in practical Christianity. He assumes the content and saving power of the Christian gospel ; see Theology below , but his interest is on how that is worked out in life, and he denounces a kind of faith that does not act accordingly. The letter is also heavily imperatival, containing some fifty-four imperative verbs plus a few negative aorist subjunctives that serve as prohibitions , and it displays an exhortational tone throughout.
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