Fuller Logo

Spring 2012/Phoenix







DESCRIPTION:  This course is an exegetical study of the letter of James based on the Greek text. There will be a thorough verse by verse analysis of the text and study of major themes of the epistle. The student will apply the lessons of the Exegetical Methods course in order to become more familiar with the methods and the principles of exegesis. Each student will also be able to improve their use of Greek.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY:  James addresses issues of Christian living, as individuals and in community.  It is the only example of  “Christian Wisdom Literature” that we have in the NT canon. The practical nature of the book as well as theological insights that can be gleaned from it can serve to enrich the lives of each student.


LEARNING OUTCOMES:  Upon successful completion of this course, students will have demonstrated 1) a strong understanding of the Greek text of the Epistle of James and of the Greek language through reading and translation of the Greek text along with commentary studies of the letter, and class recitation/discussion; 2) a developed ability in applying the principles of exegetical method to the Epistle by following the exegetical guide from the class on Exegetical Method (from Fee’s procedure) as well as by a paper which studies in depth a particular periscope, and 3) a better understanding of the procedure of analyzing text critical issues through the study and discussion of several text-critical issues in the text of James.


COURSE FORMAT:  The course will meet ten consecutive Tuesday evenings for three hours each session for lectures and discussions which combine translation and exegesis of the biblical text, as well as opportunities to explore contemporary cultural and ecclesial applications.



Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Letter of James. Anchor Bible 37A. New York: Doubleday, 1995.  ISBN: 030013990X.  Retail: $40. 347 pp.

Johnson, Luke Timothy. Brother of Jesus, Friend of God. Grand Rapids, MI, 2004. ISBN: 0802809863. Retail: $32. 259 pp.

Maynard-Reid, Pedrito U. Poverty and Wealth in James. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2005.  ISBN: 1592449859. Retail: $18. 131 pp.


Choose one of the following to complete the required reading:

McKnight, Scott. The Letter of James. NICNT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011. ISBN: 978-0802826275. Retail: $55. 461 pp.

Davids, Peter H., The Epistle of James. NIGTC, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982. ISBN: 978-0802823885. Retail: $36. 264 pp.

Laws, Sophie. A Commentary on the Epistle of James. HTNC. San Francisco: Harper, 1980. ISBN: 9780060649180. Retail: $25. 242 pp.


See also the Biblical Division bibliography “Linguistic and Exegetical Books Required in the Master of Divinity Program” available from your regional campus office.



Bauckham, Richard. James. New York, Routledge,  1999. ISBN: 978-0415103701. Retail: $45. 218 pp.

Bruce, F.F. Peter, Stephen, James and John. Grand Rapids, MI, 1979. ISBN: 978-0802808493. Retail: $17. 152 pp.



1.     Class preparation and reading.  25%   Fulfills Learning Outcomes 1-3.

2.     Each student will prepare 7 three-page (maximum) exercises following the outline of Fee’s  approach to development of an exegetical study.  These will all deal with a single text to be selected by the student and approved by the professor.  These seven exercises will serve as stages of exegesis in preparation for the final paper. (Their being done on time will affect the final grade in relation to their point value). Each paper will be worth 5 points for a total of 35%  fulfills Learning Outcomes 1-3.

3.     A 12-14 page exegetical paper on a text from James.  40% fulfills Learning Outcome 2




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM:  Meets M.Div. core requirement in New Testament Exegesis (NTE).