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James Through the Centuries

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5114-6
360 pages
December 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
James Through the Centuries (1405151145) cover image

Description

This unique reception history of the Epistle of James is a prominent addition to the Blackwell Bible Commentaries series. Written by an outstanding New Testament specialist, it chronicles the major theological, political, and aesthetic responses to the text over the centuries, and to James as a historical figure.

  • Surveys the many theological, cultural, literary, political, and artistic uses of the Epistle of James, and the broader influence his letters have had throughout the ages
  • Includes extensive excerpts offering vital historiographical context
  • Examines James’s impact on popular culture, including examples such as Charles Schulz’s Peanuts
  • Unearths a range of neglected writings and opens access to material not readily available elsewhere
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Table of Contents

List of Plates ix

Series Editors’ Preface xii

Preface xiv

Acknowledgements xviii

Introduction 1

James 1:1–11: Trials, Endurance, Wisdom, and the Exalted Poor 63

James 1:12–27: Trials, Endurance, and Doers of the Word 99

James 2:1–13: Deeds of Faith, the Chosen Poor, and the Law of Liberty 143

James 2:14–26: Faith without Works Is Dead 173

James 3:1–12: The Power and Danger of Speech 204

James 3:13–4:12: The Fruits of Wisdom versus Friendship with the World 219

James 4:13–5:6: The Sovereignty of God and God’s Judgment upon the Rich 252

James 5:7–11: The Patience of the Faithful and the Compassion of the Lord 278

James 5:12–20: Speech and Actions in the Community of the Faithful 288

Biographies 317

References 323

Index of Names 331

Index of Subjects 335

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Author Information

David B. Gowler is The Dr Lovick Pierce and Bishop George F. Pierce Chair of Religion at Oxford College, Emory University, USA.  He has published dozens of books, articles, book chapters, and book reviews, and since 1991 has served as co-editor of Emory Studies in Early Christianity.

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Reviews

"...This commentary offers a fascinating read of the multifarious ways in which James has been interpreted and appropriated through the centuries." - Review & Expositor

“Gowler’s commentary locates James not only at various intersections in the history of learned commentary, from Chrysostom to Kirkegaard, but even more richly in the history of icons, mediaeval woodcuts and other artistic representations, in monastic rules, hymnody, literature, political polemics, and much more. This is a breathtaking survey of the ways, both overt and subtle, that James has become embedded in multiple aspects of Western culture.”
John S Kloppenborg, University of Toronto

“In an engaging manner, David Gowler tells the story of the reception of the letter of James through the centuries. Along the way we meet an eclectic group of interpreters, some well-known and others not. The result is that we learn not only about how James was read in scholarly circles, but also among the more marginal, outside of the academy. Such a story is indeed a tribute to the letter of James.”
Alicia Batten, Conrad Grebel University College at University of Waterloo

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