The Epistle of James
The Epistle of James

The Epistle of James

in New International Greek Testament Commentary

by Peter H. Davids

4.84 Rank Score: 7.14 from 13 reviews, 8 featured collections, and 26 user libraries
Pages 264
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 8/26/1982
ISBN-13 9780802823885

The Epistle of James has long languished in comparative neglect while its more famous sister letters in the Pauline corpus enjoyed the limelight of New Testament research. Recently, however, new interest in the Epistle of James has pointed scholarly attention once more at some of the still-to-be-answered questions raised by this important New Testament book.

This widely acclaimed commentary by Peter H. Davids interacts freely with both the more recent and the older literature on James, German and French works. At the same time, Davids' own penetrating insights themselves spark fresh debate on the composition, purpose, and meaning of the text of James.

In an extensive introduction Davids considers questions concerning authorship, date of composition, form and structure, and the language and style of the text. He also explores seven key theological themes in James: suffering/testing; eschatology; Christology; poverty piety; the relation of law, grace, and faith; wisdom; and prayer.

The commentary proper exhibits careful exegesis and a wealth of insight into the meaning of the text for its original audience as well as for the church today. Davids is well acquainted with the relevant Hellenistic, Jewish, and early Christian literature and uses it frequently to point out parallels and to clarify the meaning of the text. Davids's work also includes several helpful tables, charts, and one of the most comprehensive bibliographies on James available anywhere


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Davids provides a thorough analysis of the relevant issues related to Greek grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, giving particular attention to interpreting the Greek text of James in context. His presentation of the structure of the letter is arguably accurate, and Davids masterfully deals with the theme of rich and poor. Though this commentary is slightly dated, those with even minimal Greek knowledge should consider consulting this work. [Full Review]
G Ware G Ware March 5, 2015
At the time of its publication (coincedentally the same year I was born) this was a pioneering commentary in the evangelical world- a thorough, scholarly work on a much ignored biblical text. Although I disagree with Davids basic assumption about the nature of the text as a two (or more) stage work, Davids brings much to be respected and used. His analysis of liguistic connections linking seemingly unrelated (topic-wise) sections of text is very valuable for the study of the text itself. But this volume is less preacher friendly than other commentaries on James.
Tim Challies Tim Challies November 4, 2013
Davids receives top billing from some of the experts. The NIGTC series is targeted squarely at the scholar or well-trained pastor, so you may struggle with this one unless you have some knowledge of the Greek text. Jim Rosscup says, “Davids writes in a style that often refreshes, and not only provides a verse by verse commentary that shows great awareness of literature and facets important to explain the text but in a special section develops seven themes of theology.” [Full Review]
Scot McKnight Scot McKnight December 18, 2009
Davids, whose distinctive contribution was to see James as having gone through a redaction or two. I'm not convinced of his theory on this, but I am convinced that James' text is not a simple linear piece of logic [Full Review]
For those who are intending to do in-depth exegetical work in the original Greek text, Davids' commentary in the NIGTC commentary will be an invaluable help. Like all of the NIG commentaries, this one leaves virtually no stone unturned. [Full Review]
John Glynn John Glynn September 20, 2008
Jim Rosscup Jim Rosscup September 20, 2008