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James Through the Centuries

David Gowler

ISBN: 978-1-405-15114-6 December 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 360 Pages


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
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

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