Jesus’ influence on James at Café Apocalypsis

Alan Brady has posted about the influence of Jesus on the Epistle of James on his blog, Café Apocalypsis. It’s a great post. For those of you with access to a library, one of the most useful treatments of the topic is by Deane B. Deppe, “The Sayings of of Jesus in the Epistle of James.” Unfortunately this is a privately published dissertation and it is not widely available (WorldCat only lists 23 libraries that have it). Also worth mentioning are James and the Q Sayings of Jesus by Hartin and The Voice of Jesus in the Social Rhetoric of James by Wachob. Bauckham also treats the topic in James: Wisdom of James, Disciple of Jesus the Sage, pgs. 74-93.

Update (7.16.06): I forgot to mention some articles as well:

Whither the biblical texts of Qumran?

The “sectarian” texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are available in many print formats as well as in a few electronic formats (including BibleWorks, Logos, Accordance and Brill’s own interface).

As far as I know the biblical texts are not available electronically, and the only print versions are published in the expensive Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series, published by Oxford. (Though there is the “ecclectic” English translation of the Old Testament as found at Qumran in The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible.)

Does anyone out there in blogdom know of any electronic versions of the biblical texts? Has anyone out there even heard the faintest whisper of a rumor that these texts will one day be available electronically?

kick.against.the.goads on “Creation Symbolism in James”

ThomasW at kick.against.the.goads has a lengthy blog entry on James’ use of “creation symbolism.” One part I found intersting was his take “Father of lights” (1:17):

The phrase, “Father of lights,” however, is dificult. If James has only the creation account in mind, it is an odd way to speak of God’s relationship with the luminaries of heaven. “Creator,” “Lord,” or “Prince” of lights would be more expected. The use of “Father” thus points not only to the Creator but to the Redeemer, and suggests that the “lights” in view are the Lord’s sons and daughters. The thought becomes clearer when we recall that the heavenly lights are often symbols of God’s redeemed people (Gen. 26:4; Dan. 12:3). Specifically, the heavenly lamps signify God’s people as a royal race. James’s thought, then, is this: God does not tempt because He is not a God who gives birth to sin and death; instead, He is Father to a righteous, royal race that shines like the lights of heaven. His children are not death and sin, but lights.

The observation that light = man is interesting. Peter Davids notes that Amphoux suggests the same thing, but he dismisses it given the astronomical language that James picks up to describe the unchanging nature of the “Father of lights” (NIGTC, 87).

Take a look at the whole post. It is good to see someone rescuing James from a-theological oblivion. See also A.K.M.Adam’s recent comments on 1:17. This also reminds me that I wrote a paper on 1:18 and James’ creation theology. I’ll have to dig it out, neaten it up and post it some day.

Learning German for Reading? Any suggestions?

Any suggestions on grammars that can be used to “self teach” German for reading? I own an old (very marked up) copy of Jannach’s 3rd ed., along with Ziefle’s Modern Theological German. I guess the same question could be applied to French, as I’ll eventually have to tackle it.

To add to my pain, I’ve been salivating over Italian (no, not pizza or pasta, but research). Claudio Bottini has written a monograph on Elijah’s prayer in James (La preghiera di Elia in Giacomo 5,17-18. Studio della tradizione biblica e giudaica, Jerusalem 1981) – the subject of my thesis. I’ve used online translation programs to work through the text in places, but I know the danger involved in relying on Google or BabelFish!

Boy, I wish I had taken German in High School (or at least French) rather than Russian! (Russian was available where I grew up because I lived only a few miles away from NSA at the close of the Cold War.)

Cпасибо!

The Complexities of James 1:17 = Sore Forehead

A.K.M.Adam bangs his head against the wall over the complexities of James 1:17:

πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον ἄνωθέν ἐστιν καταβαῖνον ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων, παρ᾽ ᾧ οὐκ ἔνι παραλλαγὴ ἢ τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα. Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.*(NRSV)

*Other ancient authorities read variation due to a shadow of turning

He comments very briefly on the parallel phrase: πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον, the term “Father of Lights,” and the textual issues involved in παραλλαγὴ ἢ τροπῆς ἀποσκίασμα. He’s writing the James volume for the Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament. I’m very much looking forward to the publication of Adam’s work, as the series shows a great deal of promise based on the already published volumes on I,II,III John and Acts.

Manton’s Exposition of James available on CCEL

Thomas Manton, a 17th c. Puritan minister, wrote an “Exposition of the Epistle of James.” This work has been available at the Christian Classics Etherial Library (CCEL) site since March, 2006, but it’s new to me! I am always happy to see texts made available for free use online, and I hope to contribute some freebies as well.

Note also that CCEL has made available F. J. A. Hort’s The Epistle of St James: Greek Text with Introduction, Commentary as Far as Chapter IV, Verse 7, and Additional Notes (1909) as well as Moffat’s commentary on The General Epistles: James, Peter, and Judas and Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament Explanatory and Practical: James, Peter, John, and Jude.

the beloved disciple he isn’t

Thomas Black at “Truth is Still Truthresponds to Tabor’s claims that the beloved disciple is none other than James the brother of Jesus. He notes:

…the [beloved] disciple names himself in John 21:20,24

John 21:20,24 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them… This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

If you accept the authorship of the gospel of John as being John, than the author has indeed identified himself.

This seems to be an interesting point, and I support johannine authorship (and the johannine identity of the beloved disciple), but the book still says nowhere that John wrote it, only that the beloved disciple did. The identity of the beloved disciple is still in question. It seems, however that the external evidence in support of johannine authorship is quite strong. Irenaeus, who knew Polycarp personally (who knew John himself) states, “John the disciple of the Lord, who leaned back on his breast, published the Gospel while he was resident at Ephesus in Asia” (Against Heresies 3.1.2.). See pgs. 23 ff. in Carson’s Pillar New Testament Commentary.

James Tabor’s Jesus Dynasty Blog

James Tabor, author of The Jesus Dynasty, has entered the biblioblogdom. Check out his Jesus Dynasty Blog. Dr. Tabor has also provided a convenient list of “Primary Sources on James the Just” as well as a student’s essays on James the Just (written for an exam).

Update: Note also his post on the “Beloved Disciple.” He suggests that the identity of this unamed individual is James the Just rather than John. An intriquing suggestion to say the least. I’ll have to take a closer look at his book on this.

The stove and throwing Jimmy into it

Cormorant, of Martin Luther’s Stove, blogs on Martin Luther’s aversion to James in “The stove and throwing Jimmy into it.”

That epistle of James gives us much trouble, for the papists embrace it alone and leave out all the rest. Up to this point I have been accustomed just to deal with and interpret it according to the sense of the rest of Scriptures. For you will judge that none of it must be set forth contrary to manifest Holy Scripture. Accordingly, if they will not admit my interpretations, then I shall make rubble also of it. I almost feel like throwing Jimmy into the stove, as the priest in Kalenberg did. (LW 34:317)

Gotta love Luther! Lift a stein and read.