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The Letter of James (The Anchor Yale Bible | AYBC)

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The letter of James is one of the most significant, yet generally overlooked, New Testament books. Because Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, disliked this letter for its emphasis on good deeds, the book has come to be viewed as being in opposition to Paul’s letters, which emphasize faith in God. To correct these and other misconceptions about James, Luke Timothy Johnson embarks on an unprecedented history of the interpretation of this pivotal letter, highlighting the vast appreciation for James over the centuries.

Johnson boldly identifies the first-century author as none other than James, the brother of Jesus Christ. While modern skepticism casts doubt on this conclusion, early textual witnesses, as well as saints and scholars throughout the centuries, corroborate Johnson’s position.

A thorough examination of the original-language texts and an explanation of the literary context of James help illuminate the original meaning of the letter. Johnson’s sensitivity to both the biblical text and the sensibilities of the modern reader, coupled with his convincing scholarly presentation, set this apart as one of the premier commentaries on James for present and future generations.

  • Offers original translations, including alternative translations, annotations, and variants
  • Provides verse-by-verse commentary on the text
  • Presents the reader with historical background, including analysis of authorship and dating
  • Features an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary literature
  • Greeting (1:1)
  • Epitome of Exhortation (1:2–27)
  • The Deeds of Faith (2:1–26)
  • The Power and Peril of Speech (3:1–12)
  • Call to Conversion (3:13–4:10)
  • Examples of Arrogance (4:11–5:6)
  • Patience in Time of Testing (5:7–11)
  • Speech in the Assembly of Faith (5:12–20)

In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Luke Timothy Johnson is professor of New Testament at the Chandler School of Theology, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of The Letter of James in this series, The Writings of the New Testament, Reading Romans in Reading the New Testament Commentary (12 vols.), and of the best seller The Real Jesus, as well as other books and numerous articles on the New Testament.


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  1. Dr.Ediberto Lopez
  2. Darren Bradley
  3. chad ron

    chad ron


    The overview of The Letter of James from the AYBC incorrectly states that Luther "disliked this letter for its emphasis on good deeds" without any context and thus misses the mark. Sadly, Luther did call James "an epistle of straw." In context, however, at least two forces were shaping Luther's comments on the epistle 500 years ago. First, Luther was highly experienced with passages that teach us salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus with no works of self-righteousness. Second, Luther had positioned himself against the Roman Church's use of papal indulgences and works not borne of faith as avenues to heaven. As found in the 95 Theses, Luther believed that good works are a fruit of the Spirit and a part of Christian living. Theses 45 states, "Christians should be taught that he who sees someone needy but looks past him and buys an indulgence instead receives not the pope's remission but God's wrath" (Oberman, Luther, 77). Again, Oberman advocates for Luther's high view of good works when he tells his readers that Luther said, "I should be called Doctor bonorum operum, the Doctor of good works" (77). Two more important proofs include: 1) A famous quote of Luther's that shows he highly valued good deeds: "God does not need our good works, but our neighbor does" and 2) Luther quoted from James, as authoritative Scripture, in the Large Catechism (Janzow, LLC, 97).

  4. David Patrick Leahy
Save on the Logos Best Commentaries Sale!


Print list price: $40.00
Regular price: $35.99
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