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The Letter of James (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Letter of James (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Luke Timothy Johnson(Author)

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The Letter of James is one of the most significant, yet generally overlooked, New Testament books. Because Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, disliked this letter for its emphasis on good deeds, the book has come to be viewed as being in opposition to Paul’s letters, which emphasize faith in God. To correct these and other misperceptions about James, Luke Timothy Johnson embarks on an unprecedented history of the interpretation of this pivotal letter, highlighting the vast appreciation for James over the centuries.
Johnson boldly identifies the first-century author as none other than James, the brother of Jesus Christ. While modern skepticism casts doubt on this conclusion, early textual witnesses, as well as saints and scholars throughout the centuries, corroborate Johnson’s position.

A thorough examination of the original-language texts and an explanation of the literary context of James help illuminate the original meaning of the letter. Johnson’s sensitivity to both the biblical text and the sensibilities of the modern reader, coupled with his convincing scholarly presentation, set this apart as one of the premier commentaries on James for present and future generations.

James is one of the most significant, yet generally overlooked, letters of the New Testament. Because Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, disliked the book of James for its emphasis on good deeds, the book has come to be viewed in opposition to Paul's letters, which emphasize faith in God. To correct these and other misperceptions about James, Scripture scholar Luke Timothy Johnson embarks on a thorough history of the interpretation of this pivotal letter, which highlights the vast appreciation for James over the centuries. With respect to the question of who wrote the letter of James, Johnson boldly identifies the writer as none other than James, the brother of Jesus Christ. While modern skepticism casts doubt on this conclusion, early textual witnesses, as well as saints and scholars throughout the centuries, corroborate Johnson's position. A thorough examination of the original language texts and an explanation of the literary context of James helps illuminate the original meaning of the letter. In addition, Johnson offers the general reader insights into the letter's relevance for today. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. James is one of the most significant, yet  generally overlooked, letters of the New Testament.  Because Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant  Reformation, disliked the book of James for its emphasis  on good deeds, the book has come to be viewed in  opposition to Paul's letters, which emphasize  faith in God. To correct these and other  misperceptions about James, Scripture scholar Luke Timothy  Johnson embarks on a thorough history of the  interpretation of this pivotal letter, which highlights the  vast appreciation for James over the centuries.  With respect to the question of who wrote the letter  of James, Johnson boldly identifies the writer as  none other than James, the brother of Jesus  Christ. While modern skepticism casts doubt on this  conclusion, early textual witnesses, as well as saints  and scholars throughout the centuries, corroborate  Johnson's position. A thorough examination of the  original language texts and an explanation of the  literary context of James helps illuminate the  original meaning of the letter. In addition, Johnson  offers the general reader insights into the  letter's relevance for today. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Book details

  • PDF | 432 pages
  • Luke Timothy Johnson(Author)
  • Yale University Press (September 5, 2005)
  • English
  • 3
  • Christian Books & Bibles

Read online or download a free book: The Letter of James (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)

 

Review Text

  • By E. T. Veal on April 8, 2000

    A reader who encounters the Epistle of St. James without preconceptions is unlikely to see anything in it that would account for its position as one of the most disputed and problematic works in the New Testament canon. On the surface, the book is a series of apparently disjointed reflections and injunctions, emphasizing the absolute goodness of God, human responsibility for sin, the need to restrain intemperate speech and other passions, and the deadness of religious faith that does not lead to action on behalf of the poor and suffering. Both form and content reflect what one would expect from a very early Christian writing in the tradition of Jewish Wisdom literature. If the same reader consults the typical modern commentary, he will get a very different picture: of a pseudonymous composition, dating from as late as 150 A.D., whose real point is to attack the theology of St. Paul (which is allegedly either misrepresented or misunderstood). This negative view goes back as far as Martin Luther, who branded James "a right strawy epistle" and only reluctantly included it in his translation of the Bible. Luke Timothy Johnson's commentary ably defends the epistle against its detractors and reveals the profound beauty of its thought. In a lucid fashion, with almost (but only almost) no academic jargon and turgidity (he really ought to find synonyms for "rich" as an adjective and worry less about James' failure to use "gender-neutral" language), Johnson presents a wealth of information about the epistle's literary and historical background, its reception by the Church and its place in Christian thought and worship. Especially acute is his analysis of James' line of argument, which he shows to be remarkably coherent, albeit not linear and easy to grasp. There has lately been a revival of scholarly interest in James, "the Brother of the Lord". Before turning to the solid but plodding John Painter ("Just James") or the wild-eyed Robert Eisenman, one would do well to absorb Johnson's thorough and informative study.

  • By Reader on August 6, 2011

    Originally published in 1995, Luke Timothy Johnson's `The Letter of James' is an instalment in the Anchor Bible commentary series. For those unfamiliar with the author Johnson is a on a short list of leading contemporary `critical' New Testament scholar. The following comments pertain to the soft cover version of the text. Potential readers are well advised to peruse the available on-line portion of the text prior to purchase.While providing a good overview of opposing interpretive opinions Johnson advocates early dating, traditional authorship and a generally unified reading of the James, as opposed many critical scholars who have tended to advocate a late, pseudonymous and discontinuous interpretation, in other words reading James as largely a response to Pauline theology.As previous reviewers have noted this is an outstanding academic commentary within an excellent series (Anchor Bible). A knowledgeable commenter and skilled communicator Johnson's analysis is simply masterful - resulting in an invaluable resource to scholars and laymen alike. The text is laid out in what has become the standard format for modern commentaries; an introduction, situating the text and detailing issues such as socio-cultural context , authorship, dating, intended audience, historic reception and the like followed by an section by section translation and analysis of the text. The analysis in turn, is composed of notes and a commentary, the commentary being focused on broad issues of content and interpretation (of interest to all readers) while the notes examine issues of a more academic nature, i.e. manuscript variants, terminology and literary antecedents.The one small criticism I have of the text is that of physical size - it is smaller than the hard-cover instalments I have in this series and the reduced size results in a dense 400 page text with tiny font. If cost is not a crucial issue I would suggest considering the hard-cover edition. Despite this small drawback, I highly recommend the text for readers seeking a good modern academic commentary on the letter of James

  • By Quentin D. Stewart on April 25, 2009

    There is a very thorough scholarly introduction to the epistle with discussions on the relationship between James and Paul and the highly influential 19th century interpetation of F.C. Baur and his "Early Catholicism" that depicted James at war with Paul and the Gentile party.The commentator dispels such antiquated fantasies about James and Paul and argues that James and Paul are not at odds, but share different concerns. James's discussion of justification is not at odds with Paul's. This is all the more impressive since the author is a Roman Catholic.


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