Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Confession

I have a confession to make, but before I do let me tell you of my miserable and wrteched state. I am shrouded in shame and self-loathing, I am consumed with guilt and selfj-mockery, I am unworthy to be called a NT scholar, I should be slapped in the face with a soggy fish for my sin, I should even be tied to a chair and have my eyelids glued open and be forced to watch a video tape of "Al Gore's greatest political speeches" as my penance. My sin is this: upon inspecting my library I discovered that I do not own one single commentary on the epistle of James.

Oh Saint James the Just forgive me for neglecting your wisdom in my study.

On a happier note, which commentary on James is the best? Moo, Davids, Bauckham, Johnson, who is the greatest on James?

22 comments:

J. B. Hood said...

I thought to myself, "Luther would smile" but of course Luther now knows better!
I've read parts of Bauckham's Theology and a few excerpts from Moo's James commentary--both good reads.

Luther's Stein said...

Though I am unfamiliar with Bauckham's commentary, but Moo is very judicious.

Matthew D. Montonini said...

That makes two wretched souls, Mike. I fail to own a James commentary as well. I hope we are not considered heathens for such a monumental oversight!

Anja Tilling said...

Hey, Mike, chill out man - I don't have one either and I'm as holy as you get - OK, I guess Chris has a few on one of his shelves, and seeing as I'm married to him and his shelves are my shelves ... I guess some of his commentary-ownership-glory might shine on me, too... On second (or third) thoughts: You'd better get one, or your up the spout!!

Tyler F. Williams said...

Wow... I'm an Old Testament/Hebrew Bible guy and I have a number of commentaries on James. (I'd hate to ask what OT commentaries you have!)

:-)

Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

Johnson's in combo with his volume of (Jamesian? Jacobean?) articles Brother of Jesus, Friend of God make a fine pair, each fleshing out the other.

Roland Mathews said...

Hands down... Johnson's commentary is the numero uno (his intro is worth the price of the book--and it takes up half of it too!!). Bauckham's piece is really well done, but, strictly speaking, it doesn't strike me as being a commentary :)

BTW, I own every major commentary on James... I suppose that makes me at least a candidate to be canonized :)

Roland

NWMihelis said...

I like both Davids and Martin (WBC)quite a bit, but when the rubber meets the road, I found Moo's conclusions to be consistently most persuasive.

M. Leary said...

Well, I was going to attend your SBL paper, but after hearing this...

Jason Goroncy said...

Ralph Martin's (WBC) is very helpful, as is Dibilius/Greeven (in the Hermeneia series). Bauckham's and Moo's are great. The other one worth looking at is Peter Davids' commentary in the NIGTC series.

By the way, I'm hangin' for your post on what wine would Jesus drink.

Jim said...

Schlatter's Commentary is better than any of those listed so far.

jdarlack said...

I've spent most of my seminary career staring at James, and I'm working on a thesis on James 5:17-18. I own most major English commentaries on James and quite a few monographs. In fact, I pride myself in never taking a class on Pauline books in seminary! Everyone studies Paul, why not look at something else? I think that if you have the funds get Davids, Johnson, and Moo. Patrick Hartin's volume in the Sacra Pagina series is worthwhile as well. Oh, and you can always check my blog James the Just. On a side note, Ben Witherington just posted an excerpt from his forthcoming commentary on James.

Mowens said...

"I should even be tied to a chair and have my eyelids glued open and be forced to watch a video tape of "Al Gore's greatest political speeches" as my penance" -

now that's torture!

MO

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

A very technical classic you should check out is J.B. Mayor.

steph said...

I've got F F Bruce and H W Montefiore on James about to go into storage unfortunately but you're welcome to borrow them. However I wouldn't mind hearing Al Gore's greatest political speeches.

steph said...

Yip ... moving makes me muddled - the above are on Hebrews and I've got Moo on James.

J. B. Hood said...

steph,

Are you having trouble sleeping? Gore's speeches are GREAT for that. When i was a schoolteacher some of my students and I got to meet Gore (when he was VP, running for pres) late one night at the local airport and tour his plane. Good strong handshake but what an awful, awful speaker--sounded horribly canned when addressing 14-year-olds from the ghetto. Smart man, but no skills. (He got into politics via his daddy, a senator.)

NWMihelis said...

Jim,

Has Schlatter been translated into English or do I need German?

Sean du Toit said...

Johnson and Bauckham beat Schlatter's hands down. Martin is also good for some or other reason!

Bauckham is not strictly a commentary, but more like massive studies that cover a lot of James. Johnson's collection of studies on James is also very good.

Jim said...

NW,
No, his commentary on Romans has been but not his commentary on James. And Sean, shame on you! Comparing someone of the stature of Schlatter with that lot. Your penance- to listen to Al Gore AND George Bush! You'll be bored and want to gouge out your eardrums.

slaveofone said...

Do the NET Bible's text critical, translation, and study notes count?

Allen R. Mickle, Jr. said...

I would suggest the following (ranked in order) as somewhat of a top five?

Hiebert, D. Edmond. The Epistle of James. Moody, 1979 (reprinted by BMH, 1997).

Kent, Homer A., Jr. Faith That Works: Studies in the Epistle of James. Baker, 1986 (reprinted by BMH, n.d.).

Moo, Douglas J. The Letter of James. PNTC. Eerdmans, 2000.

Martin, Ralph P. James. WBC. Word, 1988.

Davids, Peter. The Epistle of James. NIGTC. Eerdmans, 1982.

Allen Mickle