The Complete Person: Maturity and Integrity According to James

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Martin Luther is infamous for calling the Epistle of James “a right strawy epistle,” but most Christians ignore Luther’s straw man and embrace the Epistle as compelling and perennially relevant. Indeed, people often memorize and cherish the words of James, finding in them a practical yet radical ethic that is akin to Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. In this course, we will explore James’ teachings and reflect upon their relevance for life in the twenty-first century. In particular, we will explore the emphasis that James places on maturity and integrity as hallmarks of the human life lived well.


In addition to the above, this course will provide Pastoral Language students with an opportunity for further engagement with the Greek of the New Testament. In particular, students will learn how to use their knowledge of Greek in sermon preparation without falling into the most typical errors.



  • Remember the structure and content of the Epistle of James
  • Become familiar with introductory issues and scholarly debates concerning the Epistle
  • Understand the major theological and ethical teachings found in the Epistle
  • Gain additional exposure to the Greek of the NT (NT 2XJ3 only)
  • Learn to avoid common linguistic errors (NT 2XJ3 only)


  • Appreciate the importance of participating in critical and respectful discussions concerning biblical texts
  • Become sensitive to the historical and cultural environment in which the early church first communicated the gospel
  • Become competent interpreters of the New Testament
  • Embody the ethical seriousness that is so evident throughout the Epistle of James
  • Become cautious interpreters of Greek texts (NT 2XJ3 only)


  • Read books that engage with James in a careful and critical manner
  • Take time to reflect on the meaning of James
  • Talk intelligently about James
  • Discuss how James is relevant to contemporary Christianity
  • Take time to examine the Epistle of James in its original language (NT 2XJ3 only)