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Leadership: James, Paul, and Their Contemporary Background

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Chapter Summary

Remarkably few studies have been written on the issue of leadership in the ancient world, including Judaism in its various forms and early Christianity. The historical background usually plays an essential role in the preference or rather predominance of leadership models. Deriving concepts of leadership from the various New Testament documents involves sensitivity to their literary character. The difference between James and Paul is not very wide with regard to leadership. Paul is, nearer to the Jewish tradition of leadership in the context of suffering; James follows another direction. Both act as leaders of their constituencies by writing letters in order to keep them on the path of truth and peaceful unity. The most important result of this investigation is locating the Epistle of James on its contemporary background. James does exhibit some degree of Jewishness.

Keywords: early Christianity; James; Jewish tradition; Judaism; leadership models; New Testament; Paul

10.1163/9789047414742_011
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