James, Epistle of
The Epistle of James is generally attributed to James, the brother of Jesus, in Jerusalem. Luther called it an "epistle of straw," because it does not "promote Jesus." Menno criticized Luther severely for this statement. But even though the name of Jesus is mentioned only twice, His teachings meet us throughout, as they are given in the Gospels, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount. His earnest admonition to endure suffering and trial in patience, his opposition to an unfruitful theology, his warning against sins of the tongue, against the secularization of the church, against the injurious influence of wealth and opulent living, the command against swearing, and his insistence upon a life of prayer make of the Epistle of James a classic exponent of a practical Christianity which permeates everyday life. No wonder that it has always been highly regarded in Anabaptist circles.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 388.
Krahn, Cornelius. Menno Simons, 1496-1561 : ein Beitrag zur Geschichte und Theologie der Taufgesinnten. Karlsruhe i. B.: H. Schneider, 1936: 56, 109.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 70. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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