JAMES: 5 Books Every Pastor Should Read

JAMES: 5 Books Every Pastor Should Read July 2, 2020

JAMES: Check out these recommended resources for pastors and Bible study

There is not nearly as much academic scholarship on James as there is, for example, for Romans or Galatians. And yet more and more pastors and scholars are recognizing that James is an important voice in the New Testament. Thankfully, we have seen a major surge in scholarship in the last twenty years or so. Check out my top picks. NB: I do not include commentaries in this series, and I try to recommend affordable books for individual purchase.

Eric F. Mason and Darian R. Lockett, ed., Reading the Epistle of James: A Resource for Students (Resources for Biblical Study)

This collection of studies by different experts offers a relatively comprehensive examination of James. Contributors include Richard Bauckham, Peter Davids, Mariam Kamell (Kovalishyn), Scot McKnight, Alicia Batten, Darian Lockett, and John Painter.

Elsa Tamez, The Scandalous Message of James

This provocative work examines James’ teaching on money and wealth and challenges readers today to see God’s love and concern for the poor. Tamez is a respected scholar, a Mexican native, and an important global theological voice.

David Nienhuis and Robert Wall, Reading the Epistles of James, Peter, John & Jude as Scripture: The Shaping and Shape of a Canonical Collection

This is an interesting study of the role the Catholic Epistles play in the biblical canon itself.

Patrick J. Hartin, A spirituality of perfection : Faith in action in the letter of James

A thematic study by a respected Catholic scholar and an expert on James. Hartin sees “perfection” as a key unifying theme in James, and aimed at growth in wisdom and formation.

Peter Davids, A Theology of James, Peter, and Jude

 Davids has done extensive commentary work on James and is known for his interest in the Catholic Epistles. This is a solid study of the theology of James (along with 1-2 Peter and Jude). This is a newer series, but shaping up nicely.


Other Resources

David Gowler, James through the Centuries

A fascinating study of the reception history of James.


Robert Webb and John Kloppenborg, ed. Reading James with New Eyes: Methodological Reassessments of the Letter of James

An important methodological and theoretical study of James; insightful and a great place to look for up-to-date scholarship (2007).



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