Nov 18, 2010

The Minor Prophets and the Epistle of James

"The teaching of James is strongly influenced by the message of the twelve, especially by Hosea, Amos and Malachi. The first book of the twelve, Hosea challenges God’s people to return to the covenant faithfulness by asking, ‘who is wise and will understand these things, or prudent and will comprehend them? For the ways of the Lord are upright, and the just will walk in them, but the impious will be weak in them’ (Hos.14.10 NETS; ET 14.9). Jas 3.13 asks the same question, ‘who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born wisdom.’ This may suggest that the well-recognized wisdom motif in James is mediated more through the prophetic message of the Greek Old Testament than through the wisdom literature of Second Temple Judaism. God’s wisdom (Jas 3.13) makes peacemakers (Jas 3.17) in a community where fighting and quarrelling (Jas 4.1) come from those who want more than they have (Jas 4.2) and are drawn to spiritual adultery by becoming friends with the world to get it (Jas 4.4). Some will even forget God in their quest for the wealth that comes from being friends with the world (Jas 4.13–17: cf. Hos. 13.6) and be driven even to the dishonest gain of exploiting and oppressing others, bringing themselves to a miserable end under God's judgement (Jas 5.1–6)."

Karen H. Jobes, "The Minor Prophets in James, 1 & 2 Peter and Jude," in The Minor Prophets in the New Testament, ed. Maarten J. J. Menken and Steve Moyise (New York: T & T Clark, 2009), 141-42,

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