My friend Mariam Kamell just published a co-authored commentary on James with Craig Blomberg in Zondervan’s new Exegetical Commentary series (see product detail here). Designed for the pastor and Bible teacher, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament attempts to examine the biblical text in its original environment through attending to grammatical details, literary context, rhetorical flow, theological nuances, and historical setting.
Here is an excerpt from one of Mariam’s favorite sections: Positive Potential of Trials (1:2-4):
The first of the three key themes in James demonstrates that tough times can be viewed positively. V. 12 will support this conviction. Chapter 4:13-5:18 elaborates on the theme of testing, in the contexts of temptation to worship riches (4:13-17), experiencing economic exploitation (5:1-12) and suffering severe illness (5:13-18). By introducing all three of his themes here, at the beginning of his letter, in short compass, James implicitly applies his teaching on trials to the social circumstances of his audience. Despite the fact that the majority of them are afflicted by unjust discrimination and deprivation, they can nevertheless choose to view their situation as an opportunity for character building. Continue reading