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The Letter of James (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – February 21, 2011
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― Peter H. Davids
St. Stephen’s University
“A readable and carefully organized commentary packed full of concrete insights. McKnight brilliantly blends the best thoughts of earlier scholarship with innovative thinking, and he remains sensitive throughout to both ancient context and his modern audience.”
― Craig S. Keener
Palmer Theological Seminary
“Readers will find in Scot McKnight’s learned and well-written commentary rich insights acquired through many years of investigating the life, leadership, and theology of James the brother of Jesus. Again and again McKnight breaks new ground, correcting old misconceptions and throwing new light on important issues.”
― Craig A. Evans
Acadia Divinity College
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
He spends a lot of time on James chapter 2 and the supposed contradiction between Paul and James on justification by faith. His material in this section is a little different than the typical view and is well worth reading. I was really impressed with the background information that he brings up here and there throughout the commentary, probably more than I've seen in other works on James.
Moo (Pillar series) is probably more readable, but shorter. I'd like to give this commentary 4-1/2 stars, but they don't allow that here in the reviews. Mcknight's work on James almost merits a perfect 5, but there were some sections where after discussing all the options, he doesn't seem to mention which option he prefers and why.
If you are looking for a pretty exhaustive commentary on James, this might be your best bet. For those who don't want such a massive work, Moo is the better purchase.
Scot McKnight is Karl A. Olssen professor of Religious Studies at North Park University in Chicago, IL. He is also a recent contributor to the well-known and respected New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT) with his new commentary on the Book of James. I have been helped through many other volumes in the NICNT and I believe McKnight's contribution to the series will fit well among many other excellent commentaries.
The most significant quality of McKnight's commentary is his consistent willingness to let James set the agenda in his epistle. He correctly identifies the source of many problems with James: Paul. He states it bluntly: "the more uncomfortable Christians are with James in a Luther-like way, the less they really understand Paul!" (3). He does not argue that James and Paul are at odds with one another. Instead, he believes - and sets out to prove - that James and Paul teach the same message, but they utilize a different vocabulary. This is a helpful word in the study of James' epistle.
In addition, it is obvious that McKnight has taken this subject seriously as nearly each page is a treasure trove of bibliographic resources. He has read widely and engaged thoughtfully with scholars and theologians of nearly every confession. But, I did not feel that this commentary was overly technical or difficult to understand. McKnight intended for his commentary to be of use to to pastors and students. I found it to be quite helpful.Read more ›
All in all a good commentary, just be prepared that it is handled a bit different from the others I have encountered in this series.
I find this comm. even-handed, responsible and sensitive to its handling of the current and much of the past consensus on this letter. Yet, one. over and over is exposed to new insights--and insights which are allowed--by just letting the text speak for itself. One cannot help but feel that this commentator is Not afraid to allow the text to dictate the discussion. I so appreciate this. You ,sir, have my vote. Great job.
One aspect of this commentary which was the least helpful was its size. At 400 pages of commentary it takes much more time and energy to work through then nearly any other book on James. If you want to find an exhaustive commentary this may be it but if you are crunched on time this would not be the best option. Also, McKnight can sometimes spend more time away from the text of James then in it. For example, on James 5:5 he quotes a paragraph from CS Lewis, 2 Enoch and describes a passage by Petronius. He spends about 1/3 of his commentary on this book on James' meaning and the remaining 2/3 on these other works. This type of research is obviously crucial for understanding James' meaning but for some readers would probably be more preferred as a footnote than within the text. If this type of in-depth commentary excites you then this would be a great option but if this seems a little overwhelming or daunting of a task then Moo would be a better, shorter choice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Contextual frame adds clarity, balanced, analytic, well reasonedPublished 2 months ago by Laurentiu Gusu
I like McKnight's perceptive commentary that applies to life. He is a good scholar who has a good grasp of the issues.Published on November 26, 2013 by Thomas A. Peterson
i was doing a personal study of the book of James. the author provided a deeper insight to a book of the bible that i've read numerous times. Read morePublished on September 18, 2013 by Don Beale
Scott McKnight has become one of my favorite authors and commentators of scripture and the Christian life. His commentary on James is essential for a serious study of the textPublished on May 2, 2013 by Daniel M Lacich
It's McKnight, what else needs to be said. I don't love this series, but I do love McKnight's approach and bent.Published on March 29, 2013 by Adam Huschka
This excellent commentary on James is what I would expect from Scot McKnight.
His treatment blends scholarship with helps for the pastor and Bible teacher. Read more