Friday, September 21, 2007

Another booky day

When I decided to work on James 4:4, little did I realise that there is very little scholarly work done on it, compared to other NT books. As such, LT Johnson's Brother of Jesus, Friend of God, Studies in the Letter of James, was a great find. He published in the book "a collection of essays on the Letter of James that were written over a period of two decades", and that in itself is impressive. Little did I also know that in most commentators' opinion, the book of James does not seem to have a structure to it. Most faced problems in finding any unity in the book. I tried to do a simple sentence diagramming of the entire 5 chapters. Not that I am any successful in coming up with a structure but at least I now have an idea of the basic makeup of the book.

And while I was at the bookstore, I figured I needed another commentary on Mark. I knew I had William Lane's NICNT and thought that it will be worthwhile getting a copy of RT France's NIGTC. The problem was I already had a copy. I made the same decision and picked the same book twice!

Alex posted about this book yesterday. I immediately asked him where he got it. I wanted a copy too (no surprise to that!) It holds two of my favourite subjects: history and the church fathers. But what sold me was its theme: the Theology of Childhood. I suppose there will be a theology of almost anything but I never thought of this one. Sivin suggested I check Sufes out but since I cannot afford to go there again at least for the next 1-2 months, having gone there on Saturday and Wednesday, I called Daniel of Sufes to see if they have it. They do and I have already reserved a copy. I asked, "How much?" Daniel said, "It's expensive." Sigh ...

I look forward to digging into these chapters:
- The Ecclesial Family: John Chrysostom on Parenthood
- “Where and When was Your Servant Innocent”: Augustine on Childhood
- A Person in the Making: Thomas Aquinas on Children and Childhood
- The Child in Luther’s Theology
- Children in the Theology of John Calvin
- John Wesley and Children
- Jonathan Edwards, and the Puritan Culture of Child Bearing
- Reading Karl Barth on Children

Kevin got me interested in this book, which he also inadvertently bought 2 copies, (which by the way, is the mark of a bibliophile, you will never be a bibliophile if you have not bought the same book twice, and in my case, I am a bi-bibliophile.) Read his review here. His warning: be warned, this book could convert you. I will need to look out for this book in the store ... or I might as well give Daniel a call again ... later.



  1. if you're feeling even more generous, spare a thought for poor students like me...just kidding... :-p

    I've not actually read it, but I know Motyer's BST on James attempts to chart a coherent structure.

  2. Thanks for the tip. Will check it out. I have Peter Davids on James. He tried but I did not quite "see" it ... yet.


  3. hi pearlie,

    Thanks for your comment on Johnson's book. I will get a copy. As a simple country doctor, I use James Adamson, NICNT, The Epistles of James and Douglas Moo's James (Tyndale NT Commentaries).Don't know what you high fliers think of these to commentaries.

  4. You are being modest ;)

    I have not used these commentaries before. In Carson's recommendations (NT Commentary Survey):-
    * Peter H Davids (NIGTC)- not so accessible to a wider audience
    * Ralph P Martin (WBC) - a masterpiece of condensed writing but Carson disagrees with a sugnificant proportion of his exegetical decisions
    * Luke Timothy Johnson (AB) - has excellent survey of the history of interpretation (which I think could be what is included in the Brother of Jesus book)
    * Douglas Moo (Pillar) - shorter but demonstrate good judgement, good writing, good theology and good writing

  5. Well, the hilltop seminary lecturer does not even have Carson's and Luke Timothy Johnson's commentary... :-)

    Remember the word length :-)

  6. Dear hilltop seminaly lekcheler,
    I oso dun haf Carson la ... somebodi text me one ;) An I oso dun haf Johnson commentaly - book only. hahaha

    Anyway, no worries about word length - I write long oso no use - you won't mark the extra pages anyway!

    Yours tluly,
    Slump area seminary student

  7. I have been living in James for about 9 years throughout the course of two M.A. programs, and I must say that Johnson's Brother of Jesus, Friend of God is one of the best resources you can have for James. Read pp. 245-48 first, the section called "Enlarging the Conversation" in his EPILOGUE. I read it for the first time yesterday and I find myself resonating with that little piece of Jamesian scholarship more than anything I've ever read on James, and that's a lot. Blessings to you in your study.

  8. zephyr,
    Yes, I will do that, thanks for the tip.

    Nine years in James? Wow ... in total I am like about 9 days :) :)