This study uncovers significant structuring techniques in James that prove to be beneficial in a number of ways. First, there exists a coherent, discernible strategy in the letter as a whole. Second, significant uses of inclusio, along with other transition techniques, draw attention to important recurring themes. Third, the quotation of Lev. 19:18 and echoes of the Shema (Deut. 6) occur in significant structural locations suggesting that the double-love command in the Jesus tradition (cf. Mt. 22:34-40) is a hermeneutical key to the interpretation of the letter. The study begins with an introduction to the research problem and its significance for interpretation. Chapter one summarizes and critiques past proposals of the structure of James. Chapter two explains the text-linguistic methodology employed in the study that is then applied in chapters three, four, and five. Chapter six offers a proposed structure for the letter that consists of a double introduction (1:2-11 1:13-27) joined by an overlapping transition (1:12), a carefully crafted letter body (2:1-5:6) that is bracketed by a major inclusio (2:12-13 & 4:11-12), and a conclusion (5:7-20). LNTS
Mark E. Taylor is assistant professor of New Testament and associate dean for the master's degree programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, USA.