Tuesday Aug 02, 2022

James, Epistle of Straw?

Yikes. You know the end is nigh when a couple of Lutheran theologians produce an episode on James longer than the one they did on Romans. In this episode, we first sort out what Luther did and didn't say about James, "epistle of straw," clearing up a lot of misapprehensions and faulty inferences, but either way we strongly suggest that the rest of the history of interpretation of James need not be controlled by a few remarks of the reformer early in his career.

From there, we discuss at length why there is so little plainly said about Jesus in this five-chapter letter—though there is a lot about God the Father, and there's no Father without a Son! We also argue that Paul and James really were addressing different errors in their respective discussions of faith and works, so pitting them against each other is neither exegetically nor spiritually illuminating.

All right, let's just admit it: we both like this book. You should, too.


1. If you insist on making Luther's comments continue to determine the course of James interpretation, you can find them in Luther's Works vol. 35.

2. The other podcasts I mentioned are Fresh Text and The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.

3. Other relevant episodes from us are: How to Hack the Law, Justification by Faith, Faith to the Aid of Reason, The Certainty of Faith, Justification by Faith Revisited, and Faith. Just Faith.

4. L. T. Johnson, The Letter of James

5. If you enjoy Woe-itudes, check this out

Do you rejoice every other Tuesday to see a new Queen of the Sciences episode appear? Then consider supporting us on Patreon. You can start at just $2 a month; more gets you cool stuff. Or just pay us a visit at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

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