Lutherís Epistle of Straw: The Voice of St. James in Reformation Preaching
Lane, Jason D.
Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018 pp. lx + 252. $103.99
Historia Hermeneutica Series Studia, 16
Description: This work challenges the common consensus that Luther, with his commitment to St. Paul's articulation of justification by faith, leaves no room for the Letter of St. James. Against this one-sided reading of Luther, focused only his criticism of the letter, this book argues that Luther had fruitful interpretations of the epistle that shaped the subsequent exegetical tradition. Scholarship's singular concentration on Luther's criticism of James as "an epistle of straw" has caused many to overlook Luther's sermons on James, the many places where James comes to full expression in Luther's writings, and the influence that Luther's biblical interpretation had on later interpretations of James. Based primarily on neglected Lutheran sermons in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this work examines the pastoral hermeneutic of Luther and his theological heirs as they heard the voice of James and communicated that voice to and for the sake of the church. Scholars, pastors, and educated laity alike are invited to discover how Luther's theology was shaped by the Epistle of James and how Luther's students and theological heirs aimed to preach this disputed letter fruitfully to their hearers.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Hebrews and Catholic Epistles, James, Literature, Methods, Reception History
Review by Chris Blumhofer
Citation: Chris Blumhofer, review of Jason D. Lane, Lutherís Epistle of Straw: The Voice of St. James in Reformation Preaching, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).
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