Thursday, July 06, 2006

Outline of James

1:1 - Greetings
1:2-27 Introductory Summary of Exhortations
1:2-4 - Face the testing of your faith with Joy and endurance
1:5-8 - Ask God for wisdom, in faith and without doubting
1:9-11 - Let the lowly believer rejoice in being raised up and the rich in being brought low
1:12-16 - Your are blessed if you endure testing – which comes not from God but from inner desires
1:17-18 - God is a generous and faithful giver, who through his word has made us the beginning of his new creation
1:19-21 - Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger
1:22-25 - Be doers of God’s word, and not merely hearers
1:26-27 - The nature of false and true religion
2:1-5:20 Twelve Extended Exhortations
2:1-13 - Favouritism conflicts with the law of love
2:14-26 - Faith without deeds is dead
3:1-12 - The threat and power of speech
3:13-18 - The nature of false and true wisdom
4:1-10 - A call to turn from friendship with the world to friendship with God
4:11-12 - Exhortation not to judge each other
4:13-17 - The arrogance of business people
5:1-6 - The oppression of landowners
5:7-11 - Endure patiently the testing of your faith, because the Lord’s coming is near
5:12 - Speak the plain truth
5:13-18 - Pray for the suffering, the sick, and all in need of forgiveness
5:19-20 - Take responsibility for mutual correction
James does have an overall aim: to move his readers towards ‘perfection’ (1:4; 3:2) through fulfilment of ‘the law of freedom’ (1:25; 2:8, 10, 12) and through the wisdom God gives (1:5; 3:17). But this does not entail persuading his readers through an argument pursued sequentially through the letter. It entails providing his readers with a compendium of wisdom instruction on a varied range of topics relevant to fulfilling the law, implementing the wisdom from above, and attaining perfection. In so far as James has a coherent vision of the way he and his readers should live, there will be thematic connections between his treatments of these various topics, but this kind of coherence of thought should not be confused with the notion of sequential development.[1] [1] Bauckham, James, pg. 67

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