Did Luke write the epistle of James?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:24 am

davidmartin wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:22 am
Is there a hint that Paul really is undermining the Law in the way James says others are saying?
doesn't clearly Paul do this in his letters? surely it's more than a hint
In context, I meant a hint in Acts 21.

The attitude toward the Law in the Pauline epistles is not easy to pin down, and it is highly controversial.

But I was writing only about Acts 21.
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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by davidmartin » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:46 am

Right ok Ben
so what is being suggested here?
That if Acts is harmonizing earlier differences then the James/Peter of Acts were Paul's opponents in his letters and 'the circumcision party' of Titus?
That seems to be the simplest solution
What i'm thinking is if this James/Peter group is a divergent offshoot itself and so was Paul then there was something prior to both, where Paul got some of his ideas from. This would explain the diversity and seeming contractions

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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:37 am

davidmartin wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:46 am
Right ok Ben
so what is being suggested here?
Well, Irish1975 is suggesting that the author of Acts also authored the epistle of James. Those two works look to me, on the other hand. as if they come from two different perspectives, and with two different styles, as it were. But Irish1975 has responded to some of my better arguments in that direction with good observations of his own, which I am considering.

None of this has all that much to do with the "real" Paul or James. It is all to do with how Paul and James are interpreted and represented in later literature. (Neither Irish1975 nor I think that the epistle of James is by the historical James.)
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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by Irish1975 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:48 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:37 am
davidmartin wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:46 am
Right ok Ben
so what is being suggested here?
Well, Irish1975 is suggesting that the author of Acts also authored the epistle of James. Those two works look to me, on the other hand. as if they come from two different perspectives, and with two different styles, as it were. But Irish1975 has responded to some of my better arguments in that direction with good observations of his own, which I am considering.

None of this has all that much to do with the "real" Paul or James. It is all to do with how Paul and James are interpreted and represented in later literature. (Neither Irish1975 nor I think that the epistle of James is by the historical James.)
I would also add that, when I talk about “Luke” or the author of Acts, I’m referring to what might have been a circle of scribes or a school. A theological and literary agenda would have united the members of such a group, even if they differed individually in their literary talents. It took a certain type of mind to compose James, and perhaps another type to compose Acts. They’re different styles of text, but could be working in tandem.

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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by perseusomega9 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:21 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:37 am

The epistle of James isn’t railing specifically against those misreadings, but instead wants to challenge any reading of Paul that makes faith into an excuse not to live a holy life—a common concern in the post-Pauline epistles generally. We only have to think of the Reformation to see that Paul’s writings did in fact inspire people to take justification and the gift of the holy spirit and run with it into “unholy” directions. That Luke would have seen the danger here, and used the apostolic authority of James to set a limit, is entirely consistent with Luke’s usual MO.
How I'm reading this is you are saying the purpose of James (as a mask for Luke) is to set a limit to future readings of Paul that haven't taken place yet?
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by maryhelena » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:39 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:48 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:37 am
davidmartin wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:46 am
Right ok Ben
so what is being suggested here?
Well, Irish1975 is suggesting that the author of Acts also authored the epistle of James. Those two works look to me, on the other hand. as if they come from two different perspectives, and with two different styles, as it were. But Irish1975 has responded to some of my better arguments in that direction with good observations of his own, which I am considering.

None of this has all that much to do with the "real" Paul or James. It is all to do with how Paul and James are interpreted and represented in later literature. (Neither Irish1975 nor I think that the epistle of James is by the historical James.)
I would also add that, when I talk about “Luke” or the author of Acts, I’m referring to what might have been a circle of scribes or a school. A theological and literary agenda would have united the members of such a group, even if they differed individually in their literary talents. It took a certain type of mind to compose James, and perhaps another type to compose Acts. They’re different styles of text, but could be working in tandem.
Have you been reading Thomas Brodie ?

Thomas Brodie: Conclusion: Christianity, insofar as it was a new religion, was founded by a school of writers, or more likely by a religious community many of whose members were writers.' The process of writing was probably interwoven with specific events and/or religious experiences-a matter that needs urgent research. (Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus)

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by Irish1975 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:59 am

maryhelena wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:39 am
Irish1975 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:48 am

I would also add that, when I talk about “Luke” or the author of Acts, I’m referring to what might have been a circle of scribes or a school. A theological and literary agenda would have united the members of such a group, even if they differed individually in their literary talents. It took a certain type of mind to compose James, and perhaps another type to compose Acts. They’re different styles of text, but could be working in tandem.
Have you been reading Thomas Brodie ?

Thomas Brodie: Conclusion: Christianity, insofar as it was a new religion, was founded by a school of writers, or more likely by a religious community many of whose members were writers.' The process of writing was probably interwoven with specific events and/or religious experiences-a matter that needs urgent research. (Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus)

Oh yeah.

I read that book pretty closely. There’s a personal connection for me, because in my younger days I was a Dominican in the Western USA for 4 years; Brodie is an Irish Dominican, as you probably know. It’s so mind-blowing that he came up with all this stuff over 40 years, and nobody in the Church or the Order seemed to notice. I didn’t know about him back then, but I did know several Dominicans he mentions in the book: Timothy Radcliffe, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Gregory Tatum.

I have a mostly unread copy of The Birthing of the NT; it’s not well-edited and very dense. But I did read the most important part where he eviscerates the idea of oral tradition underlying the texts.

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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by maryhelena » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:02 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:59 am
maryhelena wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:39 am
Irish1975 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:48 am

I would also add that, when I talk about “Luke” or the author of Acts, I’m referring to what might have been a circle of scribes or a school. A theological and literary agenda would have united the members of such a group, even if they differed individually in their literary talents. It took a certain type of mind to compose James, and perhaps another type to compose Acts. They’re different styles of text, but could be working in tandem.
Have you been reading Thomas Brodie ?

Thomas Brodie: Conclusion: Christianity, insofar as it was a new religion, was founded by a school of writers, or more likely by a religious community many of whose members were writers.' The process of writing was probably interwoven with specific events and/or religious experiences-a matter that needs urgent research. (Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus)

Oh yeah.

I read that book pretty closely. There’s a personal connection for me, because in my younger days I was a Dominican in the Western USA for 4 years; Brodie is an Irish Dominican, as you probably know. It’s so mind-blowing that he came up with all this stuff over 40 years, and nobody in the Church or the Order seemed to notice. I didn’t know about him back then, but I did know several Dominicans he mentions in the book: Timothy Radcliffe, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Gregory Tatum.

I have a mostly unread copy of The Birthing of the NT; it’s not well-edited and very dense. But I did read the most important part where he eviscerates the idea of oral tradition underlying the texts.
Well done :D
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

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Irish1975
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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by Irish1975 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:44 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:21 am
Irish1975 wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:37 am

The epistle of James isn’t railing specifically against those misreadings, but instead wants to challenge any reading of Paul that makes faith into an excuse not to live a holy life—a common concern in the post-Pauline epistles generally. We only have to think of the Reformation to see that Paul’s writings did in fact inspire people to take justification and the gift of the holy spirit and run with it into “unholy” directions. That Luke would have seen the danger here, and used the apostolic authority of James to set a limit, is entirely consistent with Luke’s usual MO.
How I'm reading this is you are saying the purpose of James (as a mask for Luke) is to set a limit to future readings of Paul that haven't taken place yet?
Well that’s not what I’m saying. There’s a lot more going on in James than just 2:14-26. But as for Luke’s possible reasons for that passage, who knows? He might have been aiming it at contemporary followers of Paul that he opposed. Or maybe, as I suspect, Luke was uncomfortable with certain aspects of Paul’s teachings. Both are possible, and likely, given what we see in Acts (a very toned down Paul), and in another of the general epistles:

2 Peter 3:16
and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction..

The author of 2 Peter (very likely in the circle of Luke) expresses discomfort both with Paul’s own writings, and with how they are distorted by some who read them. And the two are deeply connected, of course. Paul’s words wouldn’t be so easy to distort unless there were something dangerous in them, like a fire that burns if you get too close.

It makes sense to suppose that a similar concern underlies James 2:14-26.

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Re: Did Luke write the epistle of James?

Post by Irish1975 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:53 am

I looked at your thread on the Praxapostolos, Ben, thanks. This comparison of the epistle w/ James in Acts relieves me of having to do it myself—
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:28 am
Various scholars have noted similarities between the New Testament epistles on the one hand and the speeches in Acts attributed to those epistolary authors on the other. Here are some sample statements to this effect with respect to each epistolary author.

With respect to James, I quote Daniel B. Wallace, James: Introduction, Outline, and Argument:

Similarities between James and Acts: James’ speech in Acts 15 contains many striking parallels in language with the epistle of James. For example, χαίρω is found in Jas. 1:1 and Acts 15:23 (and elsewhere in Acts only in 23:26); Acts 15:17 and Jas. 2:7 invoke God’s name in a special way; the exhortation for the brothers (ἀδελφοι) to hear is found both in Jas. 2:5 and Acts 15:13. Further, not-so-common individual words are found in both: ἐπισκέπτεσθε (Jas. 1:27; Acts 15:14); ἐπιστρέφειν (Jas. 5:19 and Acts 15:19); τηρεῖν (or διατηρεῖν) ἑαυτόν (Jas. 1:27; Acts 15:29); ἀγαπητός (Jas. 1:16, 19; 2:5; Acts 15:25). Though short of conclusive proof, this is nevertheless significant corroborative evidence.

Ben.

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