5 Stars Out Of 5
Very good Commentary
July 7, 2013
I like this commentary. It is evangelical and technical in approach, yet clear, concise and reader friendly. He has a helpful and good introduction, hitting on character, authorship, structure and contextual issues. It was to me a highlight of the commentary. McCartney holds to an early date of the book (40's) and that James, the half brother of Jesus is its author. It was written to the Jews of the Diaspora, which contains "God fearers." By holding to an early date he does not see the book as a response or correction to the Apostle Paul. James should be read on his own terms. Paul and James addressed their readers from independent perspectives. One must listen distinctly to each man's own "voice." They appropriated the same Jewish heritage, vocabulary, and stories, but from different vantage points. He has a good excursus on Paul and James to show there was no contradiction. However, do not expect a dispensational argument here, and do not dismiss it because of it. It is worth reading and should be considered. He has good points.
He holds that the key concept is faith, holding that trust and faith are inseparable. Faith and endurance go together, and James presents a strong ethical call and view. Faith is eschatological in that its looks intently on the final goal, the consummation of the kingdom. He also sees James influenced by the wisdom literature, encouraging the readers toward a biblical wisdom in which to live day by day by faith and hope. He has a good excursus on both faith and wisdom as well.
This commentary is one of the top ones available on James. His exegesis is good and balanced. It deserves to be on the shelf of any one who is studying James. While aimed at Pastors and serious students, laymen would find it both useful and understandable.