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The significance of exemplars for the interpretation of the Book of James

Foster, Robert James (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The author of the Book of James names four exemplars in the course of his work. These serve specific functions within their individual contexts in the composition; Abraham and Rahab as exemplars of a vital active faith, Job as an exemplar of steadfast endurance, and Elijah as an exemplar of effective prayer. This thesis explores the wider stories of the exemplars in the Hebrew Bible, traces their development in elements of early Jewish tradition, and compares the author’s use of the exemplars with that of other New Testament writers. It argues that, the author of the Book of James uses the exemplars collectively as a means to encourage his messianic audience to remain faithful to God in the trials of everyday life until the imminent Parousia of the Lord. The four exemplars share three characteristics that will aid the audience in their daily struggles: they were all tested to the limit, yet demonstrated their whole-hearted commitment to God by remaining faithful to him; they were all outsiders who rejected the wisdom (values) of the world and they all faced their life-defining trials reliant on God rather than on other human beings.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Allen, David and Gooder, Paula and Hempel, Charlotte
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Subjects:BM Judaism
BR Christianity
BS The Bible
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3702
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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