Book of James -- Cannon and Luther

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Phillip, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
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    Most of you probably already knew this. Otherwise, if you didn't or if I get this wrong, then please feel free to correct me.

    It is my understanding that Martin Luther always questioned the canonization of the book of James due to the high level placed on "works". Luther felt tht it went too far in dicussing works, almost to the point of implying that works were a requirement of salvation.

    I think we all know that this is not the intention of James, nor does it indicate works as a requirement, but it is interesting to be rejected by someone so tightly involved in the reformation.

    His exact quote regarding the book was that it was too "strawy".

    "Strawy" was a word translated into Jacobean English from Luther's German. Maybe there is a KJVo English-expert here who can tell us exactly what it is supposed to mean. I would sure hate to have someone translate it into modern language and ruin the translation. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. rsr

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    "Luther felt that it went too far in dicussing works, almost to the point of implying that works were a requirement of salvation."

    He felt that it flatly contradicted the consistent teachings of Paul. (At least in the preface to the 1522 NT.)

    As to the "strawy" reference, the common translation into English is "epistle of straw," a reference to I Corinthians 3:12.

    Luther placed Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation into a separate section of his first NT, creating something like a NT Apocrypha. (In this he was following Erasmus, who had similar doubts.) His introduction to the books seems to have been softened in later editions, though I cannot say that he completely changed his mind. (He seems to have grown more and more fond of the Apocalypse as the years went by.) Can anyone else help?
     
  3. Craigbythesea

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    Martin Luther confused Paul's works of the Law with the good works of James.

    Compare Rom. 9:32, Gal. 2:16, 3:2, 3:5, 3:10

    with:

    James 2:14 - 26, James 3:13

    Martin Luther also misunderstood the New Testament concepts of grace and faith and their relationship to works.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bluefalcon

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    From a canonical perspective, it seems almost necessary that the apostolic "pillars" (Gal. 2:9), James, Peter and John, should have writings in the NT. It's also interesting that in most MSS those epistles come in the same order in which they are listed in Gal. 2:9. Also, in most MSS the General Epistles come connected with Acts.

    It's also interesting to know that Hebrews comes in the middle of Paul's epistles, after 2 Thessalonians and before 1 Timothy, in most early MSS, indicating with relative certainty that whoever designed the order of the NT books thought Hebrews to be Paul's. It was only a later Western invention that placed Hebrews at the end of Paul's other epistles as a sort of appendix due to questions raised as to its origin. In my opinion, we should put it back in its original location, and the reference to Timothy at the end of Hebrews is a canonical link to the following epistle, 1 Timothy, in the original order, anyway.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  5. rsr

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    "It was only a later Western invention that placed Hebrews at the end of Paul's other epistles as a sort of appendix due to questions raised as to its origin."

    That, so far as I know, was Luther's innovation.
     

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