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Palestinian Traditions in the Epistle of James

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the presence of Palestinian Jewish-Christian traditions as markers of provenance in the Epistle of James, as opposed to, for example, Greco-Roman traditions or, to the degree that they can be distinguished from Palestinian Judaism/Jewish-Christianity, Diaspora Jewish/Jewish-Christian traditions. Since the Epistle of James is not cited by name before Origin, one can lack the most solid external evidence linking the work to a specific date and place. The authors divide this evidence into four general areas: genre evidence, linguistic evidence, incidental references, and tradition-critical evidence. In each of these areas the use of the Septuagint (LXX) in Diaspora Jewish communities as well as in Christian gatherings complicates the matter, for it introduced Palestinian images and Hebraic expressions into a non-Palestinian, Greek speaking population. The chapter examines the strength of the evidence linking James to a Palestinian milieu.

Keywords: Christianity; Epistle of James; Judaism; Palestinian Jewish-Christian traditions; Palestinian milieu; Septuagint (LXX)



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