Long time no blog…

Cave PaintingIt has been far too long since I have posted to the blog. (I don’t even have the excuse of going to ETS/SBL!) I’ve been feeling my way aimlessly around the dark cave of thesis writing. So, I have not been able to put in much time for the blog. I have, however, been teaching Sunday school on James, and I have been posting my outlines regularly. Feel free to take a look.

Biblical Studies Carnival VIII

Kevin Edgecomb of biblicalia has produced the Biblical Studies Carnival VIII! Besides being a thorough and well written collection of posts from biblioblogdom, the latest carnival mentions the James the Just blog! Thanks a bunch, Kevin.

By the way, don’t miss the other fantastic sources available on Kevin’s website, www.bombaxo.com, including an index to the cross references in Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and a collection of possible New Testament allusions the Old Testament Pseudepigrapa.

James the Just on MySpace?

If you’ve been out of the web-loop lately, you may want to check out MySpace.com. MySpace has been in the news because it can be the kind of place where young people post too much information about themselves, making themselves vulnerable to online predators. (That’s the bad news.) The good news is that MySpace enables folks to network with each other via the web.

An interesting development of MySpace is the crop of historical (and biblical) figures that have taken on a kind of web-based intermediate state prior to the resurrection. Of particular interest to this blog is the presence of James the Just himself on MySpace (we’re friends, as his “Top Eight” list of friends indicates). The great Reformer, Martin Luther and his Wife have both become friends with James the Just as well (though James still protests Luther’s poor review of the so-called “epistle of straw”).

Anyway, take a look. I’ll personally be interested to see what kind of dialog may go on between St. Paul and James. Or perhaps Luther would be willing to comment on his views of James in light of the New Perspective?

Introductions…

James the brother of Jesus, or “James the Just,” was the first ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos or “bishop”) of Jerusalem in the early church. In spite of his importance, the study of the “historical James” has been largely neglected by biblical scholars until recently. The discovery of the supposed James Ossuary (a box that may have once contained his bones) has sparked quite a flury of interest [MORE]. There have also been a series of publications that have emerged out of the discussions held at the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College [MORE].

My own interest in James began with my study of the Epistle of James as a teenager in the A/G program “Bible Quiz.” I quickly held fast to James’ challenge to endure in the midst of temptation/trial during my rocky teens. At seminary, I have spent much of my time studying the Epistle, and recently I have begun delving deeper into the historical situation of James the Just, who is possibly (and in my opinion-probably) the author.

In the future,
I plan to post pages contining primary resources for studying the historical James (both in the original language and in standard English translations). I hope also to collect links to various print and electronic resources that pertain to Jacobean studies, along my own research from the past.

For the next academic year, I plan on writing a thesis on James’ use of Elijah as an example of prayer (5:17-18). I hope to post research on the topic here, with the goal of “discussing” my findings with others who may be interested.