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Strolling Through the Book of James July 16, 2015

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the Epistle of James with the aid of a commentary by Thomas Manton. I should note that I’ve previously read through James. As in my recent stroll through the book of Hebrews, I hope to comprehend James as a whole. I also hope to be challenged in my Christian walk.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Manton’s commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on James 1:1.

Summary: James – the son of Alphaeus – identifies himself as a slave of God the Father and God the Son – the mediator and head of the church. He addresses the people of Israel who have been converted to the faith of Christ and have been dispersed among the Gentiles; he extends a salutation to them.

Thoughts: According to Manton, the author of this letter is James, the son of Alphaeus. Manton offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary:

But there were only two Jameses…Well, then, there being two, to which of these is the letter to be ascribed? The whole stream of antiquity carries it for the brother of the Lord, who, as I said, is the same as James the son of Alphaeus; and with good reason, the son of Zebedee being beheaded long before by Herod, from the very beginning of the preaching of the Gospel (Acts 12:2). But this letter must be of a later date, as it alludes to some passages already written and notes the degeneration of the church, which was not the condition of the church at the beginning.

I suppose one could have legitimate doubts as to whether James, the son of Alphaeus, was actually James, “the brother of the Lord.” While Manton asserts that they were one and the same, I am certain that other distinguished commentators would disagree with him on this point. I certainly hope to meet both James, the son of Alphaeus, and James, the son of Zebedee, in the next life; I also hope to learn the identity of the author of this letter at that time. On a related note, I am curious as to whether they had different personalities; if so, could that help determine the authorship of this letter?

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1. rennydiokno2015 - July 16, 2015

Reblogged this on My Blog News.


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