The Letter of James
This highly original commentary on James by respected New Testament scholar Douglas Moo combines penetrating scholarship with the simplicity of style and pastoral tone characteristic of James itself. After discussing such background issues as authorship, genre, purpose, structure, and theology, Moo provides a verse-by-verse exposition of the text that leads readers to the heart of James's message - wholehearted commitment to Christ. In addition to expounding the meaning of James, Moo also takes care to provide practical insights for applying that meaning in the church today. A number of years in the making, interacting with the best and most recent works on James, and written for readers at all levels, this volume will quickly become a standard commentary on James.
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- John Piper's NT Commentary Recommendations by John Piper (Desiring God)
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Recommended NT Commentaries by Denver Seminary Journal
- D. A. Carson's Commentary "Best Buys" by D. A. Carson
- Ultimate Commentary Collection: NT Expositional by John Glynn
- Commentaries I Would Not Do Without by R. Hansen
- Essential NT Commentaries for a Preacher's Library by Derek W. H. Thomas
- New Testament Advanced Commentaries by Moore Theological College Journal: Societas
- Cambridge Chinese Christian: Recommended Commentaries by Calvin Cheah
- The Pastor’s Bookshelf by Scot McKnight
Probably the most popular commentary on James, by a scholar even better known for his commentary on Romans; solidly evangelical. [Full Review]
This commentary is overvalued. Many of my fellow scholars recommended so I expected much more. His argument for the book is spiritual wholeness but an argument consists of many contradictions. He mixes justification and sanctification consistently. Sometimes wholeness is a goal of Christian life sometimes it is a proof of true Christianity. It seems to me that he has not found the intrinsic genre of the book. Secondary sources have been limited to very narrow spectrum of theology. His exegesis should interact more with the text and technical aspect of the commentary fall short.
I was surprisingly disappointed in this commentary. Given Moo's reputation, I expected much more. His introduction is lacking, failing to interact with other secondary sources, and simply making assertions with any really argumentation or interacting with other views. His exegesis is fairly predictable, seldom giving new or more detailed analysis than what can be found elsewhere. He has to do some strange things with Chapter 2 to make it fit with his own understanding of Pauline soteriology, and in my mind comes up short. But, the rest of the exegesis is fine. Nothing ground breaking, but certainly "up to snuff" for a mid-level commentary.
Moo’s commentary is widely regarded as the best treatment of James and is universally recommended by the commentators on the commentaries. You may recognize his name from the recommendations for Romans where his name also appears. Keith Mathison says it well: “If you can only have one commentary on James, this is the one to have. Highly recommended.” Do note that Moo has also written a volume for the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series; if you own this one (which you should) you will have no need for the other. [Full Review]
Doug Moo wrote the replacement in the Tyndale New Testament commentary on James in 1985 (originally published by Eerdmans, now Intervarsity). This little commentary is very handy, treating Greek in transliteration and dealing with the more controversial issues only briefly. His more recent Pillar Commentary is much more substantial, developing his arguments for the traditional view that James was written by the Lord’s brother in the mid-40’s in more detail. I find his section on the theology of James quite helpful since it goes beyond the usual “works vs. faith” issue. The body of the commentary proceeds phrase by phrase, treating Greek in transliteration. Moo judiciously draws parallels to other Second Temple Period literature, showing that James stands in the Jewish tradition without cluttering the commentary with external sources. The text is quite readable, making this an ideal commentary for the busy pastor preparing to preach through James. [Full Review]
Douglas Moo has written another great commentary. In this pillar serries Moo has been able to write in more depth then his commentary on James in the Tyndale serries. Moo has yet again given another solid effort with some gems in the middle. He handles the texts in a very well balanced manner and stays very true to the meaning and wrestles with the most popular views before using the text to dismiss the views, which do not fit in with the text. I would recommend the pillar serries for those who wanted more of a medium commentary that hits the heart of the text without getting into too much unnecessary technical detail.
My former teacher and colleague, DJ Moo, The Letter of James (Pillar New Testament Commentary) has two commentaries on James and I think this one in the Pillar series is one of the best in that series. [Full Review]
Douglas Moo is one of the top conservative New Testament scholars alive today. He has written one of the best commentaries on Romans, and now one of the best commentaries on James. If you can only have one commentary on James, this is the one to have. Highly recommended. Moo has also contributed the volume on James in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series, but if you have the Pillar volume, the Tyndale volume is unnecessary. [Full Review]
This commentary is rightly at the top of many people's list for a commentary on the book of James. Moo does well at sharing lots of different viewpoints while giving his reasons to choose the path he does. Though I have read better commentaries in terms of devotional insights, this one is perfect for a first reference to give you a good understanding of the different approaches to the text and what the author was trying to get across. It is scholarly but not so technical that most anybody can use it with ease. Clearly reasoned and clearly organized as most of the commentaries in the Pillar series. [His smaller commentary in the Tyndale series is also very good and contains much of the same material. If you are on a strict budget that one is also a good option.]
This is a good entry in the Pillar series. Moo is level headed and seeks the wisdom James offers. Plus, it is from the guy who wrote the Romans commentary, so no “conflict.” When I preached through this book, I also found Motyer (BST) and Johnson (AB) extremely helpful.