This book is a welcome treatment of what many consider a prickly topic. If a Christian is saved by grace alone, how important are his good deeds afterwards? Does a profession of faith mean more than verbal affirmation?
For centuries, the epistle of James has made Christians uncomfortable with its emphasis on right living as well as right believing. The apostle James represented a tradition of strict and consistent commitment to a proper lifestyle that was unfamiliar to most Gentile believers in the early church.
Later Christian leaders, such as Martin Luther, believed that James stressed adherence to God's law over acceptance of His grace. Therefore they never credited James with the same authority as other New Testament writings. Unfortunately, such a view springs from misunderstanding.
As in his other commentaries, D. Edmond Hiebert uses his knowledge of Greek to practical effect for pastors and laypeople alike. His expositional approach is well-suited for personal or public study. Dr. Heibert manages to write in a way that reflects James' practicality. He thoughtfully provides a bibliography for further reading.
About the Author
D. Edmond Hiebert (B.A., John Fletcher College; Th.M., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) was professor emeritus of New Testament at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California. He has written widely on the New Testament, including First and Second Timothy and Titus and Philemon in Everyman's Bible Commentary series and 1&2 Thessalonians and 1 Peter. He and his wife, Ruth, have three children.
The product of mature scholarship, this work explains the intent of the epistle and maintains its unity of purpose. A work at once readable and reliable.