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Chapter Summary

The Letter of James identifies as that which is able to "save souls" an implanted logos that is closely associated with a perfect law of freedom. While this logos was interpreted in light of the Stoic theory that human reason comprises a divine, natural law by several early exegetes, the overwhelming majority of James's critical readers have rejected this line of interpretation in favor of its identification as "the Gospel". This perhaps otherwise uninteresting fact in the history of New Testament scholarship is symptomatic of the predominance of the essentialist approach in the critical study of early Christianity. In James, the creator of the world is the god of the Jewish scriptures, and the logos he has implanted in humanity finds written expression in the Torah, the "perfect law" he gave to the descendants of Abraham.

Keywords: Christianity; God; implanted logos; law of freedom; Letter of James; New Testament

10.1163/9789004267510_008
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