The emphasis in what is Moo’s second commentary on this letter is squarely on James’ use of Hellenistic Jewish traditions. Moo continues to see a call for commitment to Jesus as the heart of the epistle. The letter writer is identified as the Lord’s brother and a relatively early dating in the mid-40s is assumed. For Moo, the letter serves to console and exhort the oppressed covenant people of God in dispersion. One of the main strengths of this commentary is the theology section—although this reviewer continues to be puzzled why such sections generally (and this commentary is no exception) precede the actual exposition. Another strength is the author’s lucid writing. And finally there is his attention to the letter’s Jewish Hellenistic background. On the downside is Moo’s early concession that the letter has little internal coherence. Other commentators disagree and one would have liked to see a greater effort in this commentary to help the reader understand the direction of the epistle. This commentary is well written and useful for those with some degree of academic understanding of the NT (though Greek words are transliterated and translated) and those interested in how this letter can speak into our situation today.
Other Articles in this Issue
Shouldn’t Evangelicals Participate in the ‘Third Quest for the Historical Jesus’?by Michael F. Bird