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Commentaries for James Chapter 5

Don't Be Materialistic

The worldview of the preceding paragraph was that God rules over time and requires our obedience to his will in all use of it...
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Instead, Be Patient

The particle oun ("then") makes definite the connection with the preceding paragraph; the picture of sin and judgment is the fresh motivation for telling the brothers now to be patient...
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The Encompassing Instructions

I have heard Christians facing difficult trials say, "I need to know how great God is...
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Do Not Swear

There is agreement among commentators that the basic point of the instruction in 5:12 is to ensure the integrity of one's speech without having to rely on oaths...
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Instead, Pray

These next verses, then, are a continuation of 5:12 and give the alternative to swearing, which is praying...
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Keep Bringing Each Other Back to the Truth

The emphasis on prayer brings James to his closing message: As you hold onto the truth and trust God in prayer during your trials, keep helping others to do the same...
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Literary Context

The literary context comprises evidence from within the epistle of James itself...
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Appendix on the Task of Biblical Interpretation:

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How Can We Identify the Rich in the Epistle of James?

There is a fundamental difference between any word and that which is signified by the word...
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The Problem

My intention in this appendix is to put these tools to a modest test by focusing on one interpretive problem in the biblical text--a problem sufficiently confined and specific that we may look for definite results...
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Analysis of Past Approaches

The more common approach among biblical commentators has been to argue primarily from straightforward grammatical structure that James 1:10 speaks to rich Christians...
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Linguistic and Lexical Context

Though the hermeneutical value of etymology has been exaggerated in many biblical studies, we can still begin with the linguistic and lexical data as the starting point for contextualizing James's term plousios...
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Historical Context

Determining the historical context for the writing of the biblical text is important because it reveals some of the "Presupposition Pool" (T...
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Canonical Context

We can look for confirmation or contradiction of this conclusion from other biblical writings that have a demonstrated background or affinity to James...
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Conclusions from All the Contexts

The various contexts for trying to understand James's intent give us abundant reason to conclude that he was speaking in 1:10 with rich non-Christians in mind...
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Areas for Contemporary Application

When the observation and interpretation of a text are carefully done, the proper areas of application become more readily apparent...
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