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Simple Salvation, but Not of Straw. . . .Jacobean Soteriology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggestes that there can be no doubt that Luther's indictment of James as an "Epistle of Straw" has created a certain "stigma" around it. The letter of James gained slow acceptance in early Christianity. The Muratorian Canon, commonly dated in the middle of the second century CE, does not have James on its list. In trying to set up a framework for understanding the soteriology of James, this chapter focuses at the following: the literary genre of the text, the group/community, the strong eschatological expectation, and the question of a unifying theme in James. It is clear that James indeed show signs of being extremely familiar with Jewish wisdom writings, and that the whole of James should be read in this light. It is also of significance for understanding Jacobean soteriology. The chapter also looks at aspects of James' soteriology. Salvation in James equals perfecting faith through consistent and wise living.

Keywords: early Christianity; Jacobean soteriology; James' soteriology; Jewish wisdom writings; Muratorian Canon; salvation

10.1163/9789047407102_017
/content/books/b9789047407102s017
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