“James the Just in History and Tradition” in Currents in Biblical Research

The latest edition of Currents in Biblical Research contains the first of a two part article on James the Just:

Matti Myllykoski, “James the Just in History and Tradition: Perspectives of Past and Present Scholarship (Part I)” Currents in Biblical Research 5 (2006): 73-122.

The article is available online with a subscription. I look forward to reading it. The abstract is as follows:

James the Just, the brother of Jesus, is known from the New Testament as the chief apostle of the Torah-obedient Christians. Up to the last quarter of the twentieth century, Jewish Christianity was regarded as an unimportant branch of the early Christian movement. Correspondingly, there was remarkably little interest in James. However, in the past two decades, while early Christianity has been studied as a form of Judaism, the literature on James has grown considerably. Now some scholars tend to assume that James was a loyal follower of his brother right from the beginning, and that his leadership in the church was stronger than traditionally has been assumed. Fresh studies on Acts 15 and Galatians 2 have opened new questions about the Christian Judaism of James and social formation of the community which he led. Part II of this article, to be published in a later issue of Currents, will treat the rest of the James tradition—James’s ritual purity, martyrdom and succession, and his role in the Gnostic writings and later Christian evidence. It will conclude with reflections concerning James and earliest Jewish-Christian theology.

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