Patrick Woods an M.Div. student at Truett Seminary at Baylor University has started a new blog dedicated to the Epistle of James. In a recent post, Woods interacts with Margaret Mitchell’s essay “The Letter of James as a Document of Paulinism” in Reading James With New Eyes (T & T Clark, 2007), edited by Robert Webb and John Kloppenborg and identifies the following possible options for Jmaes' relationship to Paul.
1. James and Paul were completely independent and any allegorical overlaps are mere coincidence.
2. James and Paul both reflect “Hellenistic Judaism” or “first generation Jewish [Christianity]” (without direct connection to one another).
3. Paul knew the Epistle of James and wrote against it in his letter(s), especially Galatians (and/or Romans).
4. James did not know Paul’s letters but had heard something (accurate) about Paul.
5. James did not know Paul’s letters but had heard something (inaccurate) about Paul.
6. James depends on the Pauline letters (especially Galatians, perhaps Romans) and writes against them because he understands how radical Paul’s teaching on justification was and wishes to combat it.
7. James depends on the Pauline letters (especially Galatians, perhaps Romans) and writes against them, but ‘misunderstands’ Paul’s true teaching on justification to combat it.8. The author of the Letter of James knows some collection of Paul’s letters, and writes from within Paulinism (rather than in opposition to Paul), creating a compromise document which has as one of its purposes reconciling ‘Paul with Paul’ and ‘Paul with the Pillars.’ This is Mitchell’s view.