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Genre, Composition and Hermeneutics of the Epistle of James (Luke Leuk Cheung) Paperback Book, (Wipf and Stock, 2007) 9781597527484
Genre, Composition and Hermeneutics of the Epistle of James (Luke Leuk Cheung) Paperback Book, (Wipf and Stock, 2007) 9781597527484
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Title: Genre, Composition and Hermeneutics of the Epistle of James

Author: Cheung, Luke Leuk

Publisher: Wipf and Stock; Publication Date: 2007

Paperback; ISBN: 9781597527484

Volumes: 1; Pages: 406

List Price in Paper: $43.00 Our price: $33.99

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James reflects both features of Hellenistic paraenesis and wisdom instruction, but its contents owe more to the latter. The work can be seen as a "countercultural" wisdom instruction containing various aphorisms, aiming to challenge the hearers' worldview and to reorient them to the values acceptable to God. The concern of perfection comes at the prologue and the epilogue, which forms the

framework from which James is to be understood. The units 2:8-13, 3:13-18, and 4:11-12, which link the seemingly unrelated adjacent sections together, reflect similar arguments. The perfect law of liberty and the wisdom from above, and ultimately God the Lawgiver and the Judge, are the yardsticks by which one's speech and actions have to be measured and judged (1:19-25). The preeminent concern of our author is the importance of the perfect law with its fulfillment bringing about perfection, freeing one from the power of evil desire.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Abbreviations xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Quest for the Genre of James 5

1.1 Previous Attempts 6

1.1.1 James as an Allegory on Jacob's Farewell Address Patterned on the Twelve Patriarchs 6

1.1.2 James as a Greek Diatribe 7

1.1.3 James as a Hellenistic-Jewish Homily 9

1.1.4 James as a Protreptic Discourse 11

1.1.5 James as a Hellenistic Paraenesis 13

1.1.6 James as a Christian Wisdom Instruction 14

1.1.7 Conclusion 14

1.2 James: Hellenistic Paraenesis or Jewish Wisdom Paraenesis 15

1.2.1 The Characteristic Features of Hellenistic Paraenesis 15

1.2.2 The Characteristic Features of Jewish Wisdom Paraenesis 21

1.2.3 The Genre of James Ascertained 37

1.2.4 Conclusion and Further Observations 49

Chapter 2 Compositional Analysis of James 53

2.1 Previous Attempts 53

2.2 In Search of the Compositional Structure of James 57

2.2.1 Methodological Considerations 57

2.2.2 The Letter Form of James 58

2.2.3 The Prescript, the Prologue and the Epilogue 60

2.2.4 The Main Body 71

2.2.5 Further Observations 83

Table A A Tabular Analysis of the Main Body of James 85

Chapter 3 The Centrality of Word / Law and Wisdom to the Hermeneutics in James 86

3.1 The Word, the Law and the Love Command 86

3.1.1 The Word of Truth and the Implanted Word 86

3.1.2 The Royal/Perfect Law of Liberty 92

3.1.3 The Royal Law, Leviticus 19 and the Love Command 99

3.1.4 The Love Command as Hermeneutical Principles in James and Matthew 104

3.1.5 The Unity and Wholeness of the Law 121

3.1.6 The Perfect Law of Liberty and Religiosity 124

3.1.7 Be Hearers and Doers of the Perfect Law of Liberty 129

3.1.8 Concluding Summary 133

3.2 Wisdom and its Relationship with Law in James 134

3.2.1 The Need for Wisdom 134

3.2.2 Earthly and Heavenly Wisdom Constrasted 138

3.2.3 Wisdom and Spirit/Divine Power 147

3.2.4 Torah as the Source of Wisdom 150

3.2.5 Wisdom, Meekness and the Interpretation of the Law 159

Chapter 4 Perfection, Doubleness and their Relationship to Word/Law and Wisdom 162

4.1 The Call to Perfection 162

4.1.1 The Call to Perfection in Early Jewish and Early Christian Traditions 163

4.1.2 The Concept of Perfection in James 177

4.1.3 Concluding Observations 193

Excursus A Faith and Works in James and Paul 194

4.2 The Predicament of Doubleness 196

4.2.1 Doubleness as Divided Loyalty 197

4.2.2 Doubleness as Inconsistency, Insincerity and Deception 205

4.2.3 Doubleness and the Working of the Evil Inclination 206

4.2.4 Concluding Observations 222

4.3 Conclusion 222

Excursus B Ethical, Psychological and Cosmological Dualism in Jewish and Christian Traditions 223

Chapter 5 The Eschatological Existence of the Messianic People of God 240

5.1 The Eschatological People of God as the Restoration of the Twelve Tribes 240

5.1.1 The Addressee as the Diaspora of the Twelve Tribes 240

5.1.2 The Firstfruits of God's Creation 245

5.1.3 The People Who Hold to the 'Faith of Jesus Christ' 246

5.2 Eschatology as Motivation of Behaviour 249

5.2.1 The Final End: The Parousia of the Lord 249

5.2.2 The Eschatological Reversal 252

5.2.3 The Testings of Life and Endurance to the End 264

5.3 Conclusion 271

Concluding Summary 272

Bibliography 277

Indexes 341

Index of Authors 341

Index of Subjects 346

Index of References 349

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