Toward an Analysis of the Discourse Structure
of the New Testament Book of James

The book of James is a clear example of a hortatory text in Koiné Greek; however, it does not follow a linear progression from one idea to another, but rather presents a collection of exhortations which Nida has described as related by 'stream of consciousness' (1983:116). This paper grows out of a class project in text analysis taught by Robert Longacre. In an attempt to discover structural relationships in the book, Longacre's techniques of studying discourse were applied to the Greek text of James. The results of the study are presented in this paper.

First, background information as regards the author and reader is presented. Next, the results of studying the segmentation of James is presented. A suggestion is made that James can be understood as a collection of eighteen sections that are lexically related. The rest of the analysis is based on this division of the text. Based on these sections, a macrostructure is proposed. Areas of turbulence are charted to discover peak material which might be the hortatory equivalent to a narrative climax. Brief results of studying participant reference, worlds of reference, quote formulas, and chiasmus are presented. Verb functions and clause word order are examined with a view to rounding out the study with a presentation on discourse type and suggested salience levels for hortatory text type in Koiné Greek.

The Author and Readers of James

The author of the book was a man named James (or Jacob, the Hebrew form of the name). Tradition has identified him as James the brother of the Lord, referred to in Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 7:5; Acts 1:14; 12:17; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12 (Tasker 1957: 21-27). There is little reason to doubt this identification, although it should be stressed that the text itself does not specify such. The writer simply identifies himself as 'James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1:1). From the book it is obvious that he was a Christian man who was concerned with right behavior.

The writer was knowledgeable about Jewish wisdom literature, and wrote in that tradition. He emphasized the importance of wisdom, the proper use of wealth and the right use of the tongue, all of which are themes of Hebrew wisdom literature, such as Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament and Ben Sirach in the Apocrypha. Parallels to this literature include the following: Prov. 2:6 (James 1:5); 3:34 (quoted in 4:6); 10:12 (5:20); 11:18 (3:18); 27:1 (4:13-14); Eccl. 7:9 (1:19); Sirach 2:22 (1:20), 23 (1:2-3), 26 (1:5); 4:4 (2:15-16), 10 (1:27), 22 (2:1), 26 (5:16); 5:11 (1:19); 15:11 (1:13); 48:3 (5:17). The great number of parallels with Ben Sirach does not necessarily imply that James had read the work of Joshua Ben Sirach. Although it is certainly possible, it may simply be that both draw from the same store of Jewish wisdom that circulated in oral form.

But not only was the writer familiar with Jewish wisdom literature, he was also grounded in the teaching of Jesus. Guthrie (1970:743) lists fourteen topical parallels between the book of James and the Sermon on the Mount: Matt. 5:5 (James 4:10), 7 (2:13), 9 (3:18), 10-12 (1:2), 12 (5:10), 19 (2:10), 22 (1:20), 33-37 (5:12), 48 (1:4); 6:19 (5:2ff), 24 (4:4); 7:1-5 (4:11-12), 7ff (1:5), 24ff (1:22). Of these, the passages in Matt. 5:33-37 (James 5:12), 7:7ff (1:5), and 7:24ff (1:22) also shown verbal parallels. In addition, there are five other places in Matthew where Jesus' teaching is paralleled in James: Matt. 12:36-37 (James 3:2ff); 21:21-22 (1:6); 22:39 (2:8); 23:8-12 (3:1); and 24:33 (5:9) (Guthrie 1970:744). The second, third, and fifth of these show verbal parallels.

The author was also familiar with the Old Testament. James 2: 8 contains a quotation from Lev. 19:18. James 2:11 contains quotations from Ex. 20:13-14 and/or Deut. 5:17-18. James 2:23 quotes from Gen. 15:6. And James 4:6 quotes from Prov. 3:34. All of these quotations are in the form and word order of the Septuagint translation, with the exception of a spelling variation, de instead of kai in one place, and the replacement of 'Lord' with 'God'. In Prov. 3:34 the passage could be translated another way into Greek, and so the similarity with the Septuagint indicates that the author did not make his own translation from the Hebrew.

The author wrote in what has been described as good Greek (Tasker 1957:29), surpassed in the New Testament only by Hebrews (Turner 1976: 115). Some have suggested that the book has many of the characteristics of a Stoic-Cynic diatribe: it begins with a paradox and has short questions and answers, rhetorical questions, ironical questions, short diatribe formulae (such as, 'know this', 'you see then', 'behold', etc.), examples from famous men, hexameter verse, and a dialogue with an imaginary objector. All of these features, however, are found in other types of literature as well (Turner 1976:114-115). In addition, the book shows Semitic influence. Turner spends three pages (1976:117-119) discussing the Aramaisms, Hebraisms, and Semitisms found in the book, including asyndeton, much use of the articular infinitive, use of the anarthrous participle as a substitute for a noun, use of the genitive of quality, the position of pas, and parataxis, among others.

The book was composed as a encyclic letter, although it does not end as a Greek letter ends. It does follow a modified formula for beginning a Greek letter: writer, addressee, and greeting. The thanksgiving that is usually found in a Greek letter is missing. It is worth noting that Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Ben Sirach all begin by identifying the author. The book may fit the wisdom literature pattern, with modification toward the letter form.

It is addressed to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion. Although such language could be used of Jews throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, the book seems to assume that the readers are Christians (see 2:1, 7). Paul and Peter use similar language to refer to all Christians, not just Jewish Christians (cf. Rom. 2:28-29 with Rom. 11:13 and I Peter 1: 1 with I Peter 4: 3-4). Certainly the admonitions that James gives apply to Gentiles as well as Jews. It is perhaps quoted by Clement and Hermas in the second century A.D. (Guthrie 1970:738). Both of these writers were Gentiles living in Rome. However, there is evidence that the letter was originally addressed primarily to Jewish Christians. In James 2:2, the writer speaks of the Christian assembly as a synagogue. In 5:14, he describes the church leaders as elders, a term that originated in a Jewish context. The churches addressed would have been established churches and not new mission churches, since they had elders (cf. Acts 14:23). Most of them would have been outside Palestine, both because that is implied by the term Dispersion, and because the letter is written in Greek. Interestingly enough, however, the letter seems to have been preserved primarily in Palestine, for it was from there that Origen first wrote about it in the third century, and there that Jerome included it in his translation of the Latin Vulgate (Tasker 1957:17-18). The sins warned against are not idolatry and fornication, such as those that Gentiles had to be warned against (cf. Acts 15:29); rather they were sins of the tongue and wealth, sins that plague people who have believed in God for some time. Perhaps that this is why it has been meaningful to Christians of all ages.

The Textual Basis for the Study

The text used for the analysis is that of the United Bible Societies' The Greek New Testament, third edition (Aland 1975). No textual variants were taken into consideration for this study, but the text was assumed to approximate that written by James. The punctuation of the third edition exists in two forms. The punctuation of the 1975 edition has been modified in the corrected third edition 'to conform to the text of the Nestle-Aland 26th Edition, since this latter text more closely reflects the tradition of punctuation of the Greek New Testament text' (Aland 1983:x). The earlier punctuation is that used in the Fribergs' Analytical Greek New Testament (1981).

The focus of text analysis is on the gap between higher level macro-segments and lower level structures, such as the sentence. Instead of the sentence, the lower level unit chosen for this analysis was the Greek colon, marked as to ending in The Greek New Testament by either a colon (a raised dot), a period, or a question mark. The editor of The Greek New Testament has also marked a sentence with a closing period or question mark. Many of the sentences contain only one colon, but several contain more. Linguistically, a case can be made that the unit punctuated as a colon is actually a sentence, and the multi-colon sentence is actually a paragraph. It is so analyzed in the following discussion, but the term 'colon' has been kept rather than 'sentence' to avoid confusion.

The revised punctuation is less well suited for such an analysis. The corrected edition changes several of the raised dots to commas, thus making even longer colons. In one case (2:19), a question mark has been changed to a raised dot. In only one case (3:6) has a raised dot been inserted. After careful consideration and comparison, I have followed the punctuation of the earlier third edition with its generally shorter colons. Perhaps a case can be made that even some of the colons as marked contain two or more linguistic sentences, but I decided not to redefine the colons that are marked.

As they stand, the colons often show a distinctive surface structure. While many colons begin without any conjunctions or interjections at all, there is a difference between the kinds of conjunctions and interjections that begin a colon and those that are found between clauses within a colon. For example, the following conjunctions and interjections are found only at the beginning of a colon in the book of James: gar, ei, hoti ei, idou, oun, and dio. Medially, one finds such conjunctions as hoti, hina, and hotan. The conjunction de is not distinctive in this regard; it is found at least 22 times initially and 12 times medially. The conjunction kai, on the other hand, is used almost exclusively in medial locations. Kai and its contractions are found only 5 times colon initial but 65 times colon medial. It is the conjunction of choice in James to join coordinate clauses within a colon.


Table 1 presents a summary of macrosegmentation in James. It contains two kinds of information. First, since James has been extensively studied by others, the results of others' studies have been charted. The suggested major blocks, sections, and paragraphs are listed for the UBS Greek Testament, the RSV, NIV, NEB, the Translator's Testament, and works by Dibelius (1975), Reickes (1964), Davids (1982), and Hymes (1986). In the leftmost column of Table 1 the reader will find listed the 43 places in James where these studies suggest that either a block, section, or paragraph begin. The next column shows those places where vocatives occur in the initial verses listed. Under the 'Min.'(minimum) subcolumns for blocks, sections, and paragraphs are given the number of sources which gave a particular verse as beginning either a block, section, or paragraph. Total possible sources are 2 for blocks, 7 for sections, and 7 for paragraphs. Where the number is the maximum, thus showing total agreement among the sources, a line has been drawn across the top of that row to divide the text into a minimum agreed upon number of blocks, sections and paragraphs. This results in three major blocks, eight sections, and fourteen paragraphs. These are minimum divisions; all sources indicates that the text should be further subdivided. They disagree, however, as to where those divisions occur. The rightmost column gives the themes of the verses which follow the suggested beginnings.

Table 1: Sections and Paragraphs in James
Table 1: Sections and Paragraphs in James

The second kind of information found in Table 1 shows the results of a study of 'linking words' forming 'chains' of words in James. These 'chains' have often been noted in studies on James (Turner 1976:116), but their significance for defining sections has been overlooked. To conduct this study, a copy of the Greek book of James was marked to indicate 'links', that is, words which occur more than once in a passage and thus serve to tie the sections together (provide cohesion) in the surface structure. These 'linking words' are shown in Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4. The reader should realize that although the tables are presented in English, the links are based upon Greek, so that words with the same Greek roots, such as 'justified' and 'righteousness' are listed as 'links'. This study was begun to look for links between sections but it soon became apparent that it had intrasegmental value rather than intersegmental value. To be sure, the links went across boundaries that had been suggested by others, but there were boundaries across which no link went. By noting these boundaries, the text was divided into 18 sections. These linkage sections have been labeled A to R and presented on Table 1 under the 'Link' subcolumn of the sections column. On the basis of notional feature of theme, and surface features of a beginning vocative, a beginning rhetorical question, and a switch in person of addressee from plural to singular to plural, the sections were further subdivided into major paragraphs, which have been indicated in the 'Link' subcolumn of the paragraph column. Lastly, the sections were classified as to long or short, using an arbitrary scale of more than three major paragraphs and/or ten verses in length versus less than four major paragraphs and/or ten verses in length, respectively. Using this guide, the first five sections are 'short', the next four are 'long', and the final nine are 'short'.

Table 2: Linking Words for James 1:1-2:13
Section | Verses          | Linking Words                               
A       | 1:1, 2          | rejoice--joy
        | 1:3, 4          | endurance--endurance
        | 1:4, 5          | lacking--lack
        | 1:5, 6          | ask--ask
        | 1:6, 6          | doubting--doubting
B       | 1:9, 10         | humble--humility
        | 1:10, 11        | the rich--the rich
        | 1:10, 11        | flower--flower
        | 1:10, 11        | grass--grass
C       | 1:12, 13, 14    | trial--tempted--tempted--tempt--tempted
        | 1:14, 15        | desires--desire
        | 1:15, 15        | sin--sin
D       | 1:17, 17        | every--every
        | 1:17, 17        | giving--gift
        | 1:17, 25        | perfect--perfect
        | 1:18, 21, 22, 23| word--word--word--word
        | 1:19, 19        | slow--slow
        | 1:19, 20        | wrath--wrath
        | 1:22, 23, 25    | doer--doer--doer--doing
        | 1:22, 23, 25    | hearer--hearer--hearer
        | 1:23, 24        | observing--observes
E       | 1:26, 27        | religious--religion--religion
F       | 2:1, 9          | partiality--be partial
        | 2:2, 3          | clothes--clothes--clothes
        | 2:2, 3          | shining--shining
        | 2:2, 3, 5, 6    | poor--poor--poor--poor
        | 2:3, 3          | say--say
        | 2:3, 3          | you--you
        | 2:3, 3          | sit--sit
        | 2:4, 4          | judge--judges
        | 2:5, 6          | rich--rich
        | 2:5, 8          | kingdom--royal
        | 2:6, 7          | you--you
        | 2:9, 10, 11     | law--law--law     
        | 2:9, 11         | transgressors--transgressor
        | 2:11, 11        | commit adultery--commit adultery
        | 2:11, 11        | commit murder--commit murder
        | 2:12, 13, 13    | judged--judgment--judgment
        | 2:13, 13, 13    | without mercy--mercy--mercy

Table 3: Linking Words for James 2:14-4:17

Section Verses           Linking Words
G       | 2:14, 16        | what the profit—what the profit
        | 2:14, 17, 18,   | faith—faith—faith—faith—faith—faith-
        |   19, 20, 22,   | believe—believe—faith—faith—faith-
        |   23, 24, 26    | believed—faith—faith
        | 2:14, 17, 18,   | works—works—works—works—works-
        |   20, 21, 22,   | works—works—worked with—works—works-
        |   24, 25, 26    | works—works—works
        | 2:17, 26, 26    | dead—dead—dead
        | 2:18, 18, 18    | I—me—my
        | 2:18, 18, 18    | you—your—you
        | 2:18, 18        | show—show
        | 2:21, 23        | Abraham—Abraham
        | 2:21, 23, 24,   | justified—righteousness—justified—
        |   25            | justified
H       | 3:1, 2          | many—much
        | 3:2, 2          | stumble—stumble
        | 3:2, 3          | to bridle—bit
        | 3:3. 3, 6       | whole body—whole body—whole body
        | 3:3, 4          | turn—turn
        | 3:5, 6, 6       | the tongue—the tongue—the tongue
        | 3:5, 6          | fire—fire
        | 3:6, 6          | set on fire—set on fire
        | 3:7, 7          | nature/kind—nature/kind
        | 3:7, 7, 8       | tamed—tamed—tame
        | 3:7, 8, 9       | human—men—men
        | 3:9, 10         | bless—blessing
        | 3:9, 10         | curse—cursing
        | 3:11, 12        | sweet—sweet
        | 3:12, 12        | fig tree—figs
I       | 3:13, 13, 15, 17| wise—wisdom—wisdom—wisdom 
        | 3:14, 16; 4:2   | jealousy—jealousy—are jealous
        | 3:14, 16        | selfish ambition—selfish ambition
        | 3:17, 18        | fruits—fruit
        | 3:18, 18        | peace—peace
        | 4:1, 2          | wars—war
        | 4:1, 2          | fightings—fight
        | 4:1, 3          | pleasures—pleasures
        | 4:2, 3, 3       | ask—ask—ask
        | 4:4, 4          | friendship of the world—friend of the world
        | 4:4, 4          | hatred of God—enemy of God
        | 4:6, 6          | gives grace—gives grace
        | 4:6, 10         | humble—humble
        | 4:8, 8          | draw near—draw near
J       | 4:11, 11, 11    | criticize—criticizing—criticizes
        | 4:11, 11, 11    | brothers—brother—brother
        | 4:11, 11, 11,   | judging—judges—judge-
        |   11, 12, 12    | judge—judge—judging
        | 4:11, 11, 11, 11| law—law—law—law
K       | 4:13, 14        | tomorrow—tomorrow
        | 4:13, 15, 17, 17| do—do—do—do
        | 4:14, 15        | life—live
        | 4:16, 16        | boast—boasting

Table 4: Linking Words for James 5:1-5:20

Section | Verses          | Linking Words                               
L       | 5:1, 2          | rich--riches
        | 5:3, 3          | tarnished--poison
        | 5:3, 5          | days--day
M       | 5:7, 7, 8       | be patient--being patient--be patient
        | 5:7, 8          | advent of the Lord--advent of the Lord
N       | 5:9, 9          | judged--judge
O       | 5:10, 11        | Lord--Lord--Lord
        | 5:11, 11        | enduring--endurance
P       | 5:12, 12        | yes--yes
        | 5:12, 12        | no--no
Q       | 5:13, 14, 15,   | pray--pray--prayer--
        |   16, 17, 17, 18| pray--prayer--prayed--prayed
        | 5:14, 15        | the Lord--the Lord
        | 5:15, 16        | sins--sins
        | 5:16, 16        | one another--one another
        | 5:17, 17        | rain--rain
R       | 5:19, 20        | errs--error
        | 5:19, 20        | turns--turning
        | 5:20, 20        | sinner--sins

Some note needs to be made of a few places where this method of determining sections may seem to cause some problems. Although all the sources placed a section break at 1:2, the association of 'rejoice' with 'joy' does not allow a linking boundary at this place. Again, six out of seven sources began a new section at 4:1. The links of 'jealousy' and the contrast between peace and war seemed to rule that out. Next, although the word 'heart' appears in both 5:5 and 5:8 and the word 'earth' in 5:7, 5:12, and 5:18, it was decided that these words were incidental and not thematic in establishing links. Lastly, Hymes (1986: 97) has been followed in making 5:9 a separate section against all other sources. Even though a link of 'patience' could have been established across it, it has no link with the immediately preceding or following verses, it begins with a vocative, and it discusses a different theme than its context. Therefore it has been taken as a separate section.

Finally, it was noted that although there were boundaries across which no link existed, the linking words would be repeated in other parts of the book. A chart was drawn up listing the sections versus the linking words and concepts. This chart is presented as Table 5. An 'X' is marked in any column in which a word or topic was found in the appropriate concept row. A search was thus made for a pattern which might exist between the linked sections. No such pattern exists. However, when the sections were listed clockwise around a circle as shown in Figure 1 and lines drawn between sections that shared linking words and topics, it became apparent that rather than a pattern between a few sections emerging, these inter-sectional links ultimately connected all the sections in a spider web fashion. For this reason, we shall refer to these inter-sectional links as 'webs' . For example, section A has 'webs' with sections C, D, F, G, H, I, and Q; section B with D, F, K, I, J, L, and 0; and so forth. The resulting 'webs' hold the book together. Note that section I has a dozen ties with other sections. This seems to make it as some sort of thematic peak.

Figure 1: Webbing Structure in James
Figure 1: Webbing Structures in James


Table 5: Webbing Relationships in James

| Webbing Words  |                 Linked Sections                     |
| and Concepts   |A |B |C |D |E |F |G |H |I |J |K |L |M |N |O |P |Q |R |
| blessing       |  |  |X |X |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |
| boasting       |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| crying         |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| destroy        |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| doing/works    |  |  |  |X |  |X |X |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| endurance      |  |X |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |
| faith          |X |  |  |  |  |X |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |
| friends        |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| from God       |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| heart          |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |X |  |  |X |X |  |  |  |  |  |
| humility       |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| judgment       |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |X |  |X |  |  |  |X |  |X |  |  |
| meekness       |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| murder         |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |X |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| patience       |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |X |  |  |  |
| perfect        |X |  |  |X |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| poor           |  |X |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| prayer         |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |
| proving        |  |X |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| repentance     |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |
| rich           |  |X |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| save           |  |  |  |X |  |  |X |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |
| speaking       |  |  |  |X |  |X |  |X |  |X |X |  |  |X |  |X |  |  |
| temptation     |X |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| tongue         |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| two-souled     |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
| wisdom         |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |X |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |

Microsegmentation in James

Appendix I contains a hierarchical analysis of the book of James down to the colon level. The theory used in the analysis is that of Longacre who holds that discourse and paragraph can be recursive structures. It should be noted that the paragraph analysis is based on referential role within the notional structure, while the macro-segments and colons are based primarily on surface features. To be sure, surface marking devices of paragraphs, such as vocatives (marked in the analysis with an *) and switch in verb person (marked in the analysis with a t), occur at the beginning of the paragraphs as analyzed (with one exception), but they are secondary to this analysis. The macro-segments are analyzed as discourses containing smaller units called paragraphs and indicated by the symbol 1. In the analysis verse numbers are given in lieu of the Greek text or an English translation.

Note that a discourse can contain up to four levels of embedded paragraphs. The shortest discourse sections in James occur at the beginning and end of the book. The final discourse is a single colon containing a single verb in the independent clause. Most of the discourses at the beginning and the end make but a single point. By way of contrast, the four central discourses (from 2:1-4:10) contain two to four points each and have complicated embedding. The first three discourses contain only right branching paragraphs. Toward the end, discourses K and 0 are primarily left branching paragraphs.

The Macrostructure for the Book of James

Since James is a series of exhortations regarding different topics, the overall macrostructure cannot be summarized as a single sentence. Rather it is a combination of the key ideas found in the individual macrostructures of the several sections and major paragraphs. Those are found below, followed by a suggested extended macrostructure for the whole book.

Section and Paragraph Macrostructures

  1. 1:3 proving {of your faith} works endurance
    1:5 if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God in faith, and it will be given
  2. 1:10 let the rich boast in his humiliation
  3. 1:13 let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted from God'
  4. 1:17 every good gift is from the Father
    1:19 let everyone be {quick to hear, slow to speak,} slow to anger
    1:22 be doers of the word {and not just hearers}
  5. 1:27 {clean} religion is to visit orphans and widows, to keep oneself unspotted
  6. 2:1 do not hold the faith with prejudice
  7. 2:26 faith without works is dead
  8. 3:8 the tongue [is] evil
  9. 3:13 let the wise show his works {by good behavior} in meekness of wisdom
    4:1,7{wars from within; therefore} submit to God
  10. 4:11 do not criticize one another
  11. 4:15 you [ought] to say, 'If the Lord wills'
  12. 5:1 rich, weep {howling} at your coming misery
  13. 5:7 be patient until the coming of the Lord
  14. 5:9 do not grumble {that you may not be judged}
  15. 5:11 blessed [are] those who endure
  16. 5:12 do not swear; {let your yes be yes and [your] no [be] no}
  17. 5:16{confess sins to one another and} pray for one another
  18. 5:20 the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way saves his soul
* braces indicate less central concepts
* brackets indicate words added for translation purposes

Proposed Macrostructure

Brothers, show the true wisdom of submitting in faith to God (who gives good gifts, including wisdom, and not temptations) rather than trusting in self or in riches, so that you will not be judged by Him. This wisdom is shown by patient endurance in good words and works. The good words include using the normally evil tongue for singing, praying, confessing sins, weeping, submitting to the Lord's will, and turning the sinner to God, rather than for being angry, being prejudice, criticizing, grumbling, swearing, boasting, and being false. The good works of clean religion involve doing what God's word says, helping the weak, and keeping oneself from sin.

Turbulence and Peak in James

Longacre has stated that peak is essentially 'a zone of turbulence in regard to the flow of the discourse' (1983:25). Ten kinds of turbulence are noted in the book of James which may constitute a peak or peaks: 1) the longest clause occurs in 3:17 (it is nineteen words long in a book in which the clauses average five words in length); 2) one section containing lists is found (3:15, 17); 3) there is a passage composed of short independent clauses (4:7-10); 4) the verbs of that same passage are almost entirely aorist imperatives (4:7-10); 5) there are six passages containing the interjection idou 'behold' (3:4, 5b; 5:4) 7b, 9b, 11); 6) there are four places where vocatives that do not mark paragraph beginnings are found (3:10b, 12; 4:8b, 8c); 7) six paragraphs begin with questions (2:14, 20; 3:13; 4:1, 4; 5:13); 8) there is a case of switch from second person plural to singular to plural (2:20, 24); 9) two sections have a greater percentage of object-verb word order than verb-object word order (3:1-12; 5:10-11); and 10) one section has a greater percentage of verb-subject word order than subject-verb word order was made (5:10-11; the sections that have equal percentages [50%-50%] are 1:16-25; 4:1-3; 5:7-8, 9, 12, 13-18). These features are displayed on the chart in Table 6 showing where they are found in the eighteen linked discourses of James (labeled A through R).

Seven of the ten kinds of turbulence noted fall in section I, indicating that it forms some kind of peak in James. It is one of the 'long' discourses of James, where long is defined as a discourse of more than ten verses. Discourse I contains four major paragraphs (3:13-18; 4:1-3; 4:4-6; and 4:7-10). On Table 6 these are labeled I1, I2, I3, and I4. Since the turbulence does not all fall on one paragraph, these have been distinguished in that section. But it is important to remember that they are all part of the same discourse. This discourse has several feature that distinguish it as a peak. In James 3: 15 is the only occurrence of a periphrastic participle in an independent clause in James. It serves to introduce a three item list. A nine item list follows in verse 17. These are the only lists in the book. A definite peak occurs in James 4:7-10 where a series of short independent clauses occur using ten aorist imperative verbs and three future indicatives. In Table 6, it can be seen that turbulence begins in sections G and H.

There is another zone of turbulence that covers sections L through Q and has a word order restructuring peak in discourse 0 (5:10-11). At this point the usual order of SV and VO are abandoned in favor of VS and OV. Two of the six OVS clauses in the book occur in these two verses. However, in one of the sentences the subject is a vocative subject, which is regularly post-positioned after the verb, and in the other the object is a predicate adjective, which regularly occurs before the verb. The post-positioning of the subject in this latter clause would seem to emphasize the adjective which is describing an attribute of God. Thus it would seem that the OVS word order is serving other purposes than marking peak here. Some mention should be made of the words 'above all' in section P (5:12), although this overt semantic marker is toward the end of the zone of minor turbulence.

The conclusion seems to be that the major zone of turbulence in section I marks the thematic climax of the book. This agrees with the fact noted above from Table 5 that section I has more 'webs' to other sections than any other section. In a book which is more like the Old Testament wisdom books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes than any other New Testament book, the major peak occurs in a discourse which begins with a discussion of wisdom. The wisdom from God is contrasted with earthly wisdom, which is shown by jealousy and leads to fighting and friendship with the world. For this cause, in the last paragraph of the section, James calls on his readers to repent and draw near to God in humility.

Table 6 summaries the results of the study.

Table 6: Areas of turbulence in the book of James
Discourse  Ref. |List|Long|Shrt|Imp|Inj|Voc|?|SgPl|VS %|OV %
Short A  1:1-8  |    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  29|  31
      B    9-11 |    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  33|  25
      C    12-15|    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  14|  33
      D    16-25|    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |x 50|  35
      E    26-27|    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |   0|  43
Long  F  2:1-13 |    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  19|  22
      G    14-26|    |    |    |   |   |   |X|  X |  32|  42
      H  3:1-12 |    |    |    |   | X | X | |    |  13|X 52
      I1   13-18|  X |  X |    |   |   |   |X|    |  25|  33
      I2 4:1-4  |    |    |    |   |   |   |X|    |x 50|   *
      I3   5-7  |    |    |    |   |   |   |X|    |  13|  36
      I4   8-10 |    |    |  X | X |   | X | |    |  25|  16
Short J    11-12|    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  11|  20
      K    13-17|    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  29|  44
      L  5:1-6  |    |    |    |   | X |   | |    |  10|  33
      M    7-8  |    |    |    |   | X |   | |    |x 50|   0
      N    9    |    |    |    |   | X |   | |    |x 50|   *
      O    10-11|    |    |    |   | X |   | |    |X 67|X 80
      P    12   |    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |x 50|   0
      Q    13-18|    |    |    |   |   |   |X|    |x 50|  27
      R    19-20|    |    |    |   |   |   | |    |  20|   0
*There are no VO or OV clauses in these sections.

Participant and Thematic Reference in James

The major participants in the book of James are the readers and God. The readers are customarily addressed using second person pronouns and verb affixes, although many of the paragraphs begin with a vocative noun or noun phrase referring to the reader. Several of the references to the readers are to indefinite individuals. This is noted using such devices as 'any of you'.

In each section of James the first mention of a major participant is usually accomplished by use of a noun or noun phrase. The exceptions to this in the case of the readers are in sections I, J, K, and Q. The one exception in reference to God is in section C, where the first reference to God in 1:12 is accomplished using a verbal affix and a pronoun. Here the referential context makes it clear that He is the actor. The readers are regularly identified as 'my brothers', although this seems to have a paragraph function rather than a participant reference function. The use of the second person verb affix is distinctive enough to identify the readers.

The major participant is identified by nouns and noun phrases from one to three times in each section before switching to pronouns and verb affixes. The pronouns and verb affixes continue the reference up to four times using third person references (i.e. to God) and up to twenty times using second person references (i.e. to the readers), before there is a return to a noun or noun phrase. There is some tendency to use a noun once again when a new major paragraph begins, as in James 1:20 and 4:7.

Intermediate participants include the author, Christ, and the rich. Except for the introduction, references to the author are always by pronouns and verb affixes. The author often refers to himself using the plural pronoun to include himself with the readers. These should be taken as inclusive plurals and not as an indication of plural authorship.

Minor participants include Old Testament characters, such as Abraham, Isaac, Rahab, the two spies sent out by Joshua, the prophets, Job, and Elijah, references to indefinite individuals in illustrations, wicked spiritual beings, including the devil and demons, and the elders of the church. There are also numerous references to humans, animals, things, and natural forces and entities, which serve as props. Indefinite pronouns seem to have a special relation to indefinite addressees and indefinite illustrations.

There are also references to at least forty-two themes in James, the most important including such concepts as faith, works/doers, wisdom, patience/endurance, misery/humiliation, evil/naughtiness, sin/transgression, word/law/scripture, speech, and judgment. Themes are mainly referenced using nouns and verb roots. Three times, themes are first mentioned using verb roots rather than nouns. Verb roots seem to carry more weight in referring to themes and concepts than pronouns do.

First mention of a participant or theme is usually by use of a noun (either with or without an article). After first mention, participants are regularly tracked by proper pronouns, finite verb affixes, and participle affixes. Most of the proper pronouns (with the exception of some relative pronouns) are in object position, since the subject pronoun is not necessary except for emphasis due to verb affixes. It often happens that props are mentioned a second time by repeating the noun which introduced them. Zero anaphora is rare, being noted in only a couple of cases (5:11, 16). In the latter, the definite article serves as a substitute for a personal pronoun.

No definite pattern was noted for switch reference. The switch to indefinite addressee is often marked by the use of the pronoun tis, but it is not necessary. Other techniques are also used. The final two verses of the book show a remarkable case of switch reference between two indefinite addressees. The ambiguity produced has often been noted by exegetes.

Worlds of Reference in James

The worlds of reference in the book of James are listed in Appendix II. Over 100 different worlds are found. The major world found is that of the writer addressing the reader. It is marked by the use of second person verb endings and pronouns, as well as vocatives of address. Most of the other worlds are embedded in this world. This means that embedding in most cases is two deep; however, in a few cases embedded worlds three and four deep are also found, especially in scripture quotations. Few worlds (other than the overarching exhortation/exposition world) last more than two or three verses. This indicates that the author calls upon many different aspects of life to illustrate and press his arguments.

One minor world does reoccur relatively often: that is the world of judgment. Other minor worlds are also repeated, but not over once or twice. Most worlds are briefly brought on the scene and then never used again.

In accord with the hortatory text type, many of the worlds are potential worlds. The reader is exhorted either to engage or not to engage in an activity. The description of particular activity brings a potential world into view. A few of the worlds James describes are worlds of irrealis. He describes a perfect man, able to bridle both his tongue and his whole body. No such man exists. The irrealis of this situation is marked by introducing this world in a conditional clause. Other unreal situations include a spring pouring forth both fresh and brackish water, a fig tree bearing olives, a grapevine bearing figs, and salt water producing fresh water. The irrealis is grammatically marked by use of the negative, and in the first three cases, by rhetorical questions. However, the irrealis is produced by combining items which are referentially incompatible. The grammatical devices merely mark the irrealis; they do not produce it.

In chapter two there is a world in which James argues with an imaginary opponent about the necessity of good works. The discussion only has James' side of the argument. The opponent is silent.

Quote Formulas in James

Thirteen quotations occur in the book of James (1:13; 2:2 [tris], 8, 11 [bis], 18, 22; 4:5, 6, 13, 15). In every case but one the quotation is introduced by a form of legó. In 2:8 the quotation is in apposition to the noun 'scripture' without the use of legó. In 2:2 the past of legó is used to introduce two quotations joined by é 'or'. In only one passage is the quote also introduced by hoti 'that' (1:13). The quotation is direct, as is apparent from the use of the first person singular verb affix.

Two of the quotations seem to be indirect quotations, even though they are introduced by the same quotation formulas as the other quotations, which are direct. In James 2:18 we read, 'But someone will say you have faith and I have works'. If the words following 'say' are put in quotation marks (as in the RSV, NEB, and NIV), there is referential incoherence: in the first part of the verb 'you' refers to James and 'I' refers to the opponent, while in the last part of the verse 'you' refers to the opponent and 'I' to James. It is possible to solve this by extending the quote through the end of verse 18 (as in the NASV); but this produces the same kind of switch reference problem between verse 18 and 19 (where there is no grammatical device to indicate such switch reference). It seems better to take this as an example of indirect quotation. In this way 'I' always refers to James in the passage and 'you' to his opponent. In the same way, James 4:5 seems to be an indirect quotation summarizing an Old Testament idea. There is no passage in the Old Testament containing this quotation exactly.

Chiasmus in James

The book of James is not usually cited for its examples of chiasmus, but several cases do exist. The theme of endurance is arranged chiastically in sections A and B around section B. In the same way, sections M and 0 have the similar theme of patience surrounding section N.

There are at least two cases of lexical chiasmus in the book. James 3:7 uses the words 'nature', 'tame', 'tame', and 'nature' in an ABBA form. And in James 5:19-20, a similar structure is found using 'wander', 'turn', 'turn', and 'wander'.

There are also two cases of structural chiasmus on the clause level. James 2:14-16 has the structure 'what profit is it', conditional statement, declaration, conditional statement, and 'what profit is it'. The longest chiastic passage covers 2:20-26. Verse 20 contains a statement about faith apart from works. Verse 21 asks, 'Was not Abraham justified by works?' Verses 22 and 23 state, 'you see that' faith is completed by works and that Abraham's faith was reckoned as righteousness. Verse 24 states, 'you see that' a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Verse 25 asks, 'Was not Rahab justified by works?' And finally verse 26 contains a statement about faith apart from works. Interestingly verses 20 through 23 use the second person singular, and verses 24 through 26 use the second person plural.

Verb functions in James

Independent clauses contain four modes of verbs: indicative, imperative, infinitive, and a periphrastic participle. Although infinitives are often used with modal verbs such as 'can' (dunamai), in only two cases is an infinitive used alone as the main verb. One is in the greeting where the word 'rejoice' is an infinitive. This is a standard greeting for a Greek letter. The other is in James 4:15. Strictly speaking, this is an articular infinitive which is the object of the preposition anti. While it is possible to analyze 4:14b as a parenthesis and have the prepositional phrase modifying verse 13, it seems to function on an independent level parallel to verse 13. A verb such as 'ought' seems to be understood, and the infinitive 'to say' has an imperative sense.

Although the author sometimes varies his usage to draw on a particular time or aspect usage, he does seem to use specific types of verbs for specific types of text. For example, exposition is regularly marked by the use of present indicative verbs. Promises and/or warnings use the future indicative. Accusations are found in either the aorist or perfect indicative. The use of the perfect seems to indicate a state of affairs that exists. Narrative passages use aorist indicative verbs for historical references and usually for hypothetical illustrations. Exhortations and calls to repentance regularly use the aorist imperative, while commands to be obeyed use the present imperative.

A much wider range of verb usage is found in the dependent clauses. Indicative verbs occur in relative clauses, conditional clauses (introduced by ei), and dependent clauses introduced by subordinating conjunctions such as hoti, hosper, and dioti. Subjunctive verbs occur in clauses introduced by the subordinating conjunctions ean, hotan, hostis, hina, and heos. They are also used with the negative me in two quotations from the ten commandments. Most of the time the verbs in conditional clauses refer to undesirable conditions or situations and form the basis for a rebuke. Only present tense verbs are found in conditions using ei and the indicative mode, but both aorist and present tenses are used with ean and the subjunctive mode.

Infinitives are used in dependent clauses in a number of ways. They follow helper verbs such as 'can' , 'going to' , and 'wish' . They are used in 1:27 as a form of mitigated command. And articular infinitives are used to show purpose or reason, especially following prepositions such as eis and dia, respectively.

Participles are also used in a great variety of ways. They are used as substitutes for nouns and adjectives. They are of ten used in participial clauses to perform the same function as a relative clause. They are used to amplify the meaning of a verb or noun. At least once a participle is used to express result. Cognitive participles 'knowing') are used before hoti to introduce reasons. They are of ten used in a conditional sense, usually translated in English as a dependent clause beginning with 'when'. At least once a participle expresses a time situation. Once also a perfect participle is used periphrastically to construct a progressive perfect tense 'has been doing'. Perhaps most importantly for a hortatory discourse like James, participles are used in clauses modifying imperative independent clauses to express commands. These are usually marked as VR verbs in the Friberg analysis (1981:810).

Clause structure in James

As Hymes suggests (1986:80), the vocative seems to be preforming some sort of paragraph marking function, although it is twice used to mark a conclusion. There is a possibility that rhetorical questions also preform a paragraph marking function.

A analysis of word order for the book of James is summarized in Table 7. For the analysis, predicate adjectives, indirect objects, and oblique objects (used with a preposition) were considered as holding object position where that was not filled by a direct object. In the final step, clauses without overt verbs and clauses consisting only of verbs were eliminated from the results.

TypePreceding DependentIndependentFollowing Dependent
Table 7: Clause Word Order in James

From Table 7 it can be seen the the most popular constructions for the book of James, are VO, SVO, and SOV. Analyzing the above information into SV and VO components, we find that among preceding dependent clauses, if a subject occurs, it is usually first (SV--80.8%; VS-19.2%). The VO construction is preferable to the OV construction (VO--59.5%; OV-40.5%). For following dependent clauses there is the same preference for subject first (SV--73.7%; VS--26.3%) and object last (VO-65.2%; OV-34.8%). In independent clauses, there is a preference for SV and VO clauses (SV--71.0%; VS--29.0%; VO--68.8%; OV-31.2%). Where a subject is lacking, the object is more likely to follows the verb.

Greek is a synthetic language rather than analytic; that is, grammatical role, such as agent and patient, are shown by inflectional case endings, rather than by word order. This means that word order in Greek is free to serve other functions, usually on a discourse level. Although it was possible to form clauses in all six permutations of subject, object, and verb (SVO, SOV, VSO, VOS, OVS, OSV) in Koiné Greek, in actual fact certain constructions were preferable to others. Turner (1963:347-8) notes that the normal word order for classical Greek was SOV, while the normal word order for modern Greek is SVO. There also existed a Biblical translation Greek, which tended to follow the normal VSO word order of the Hebrew text. Koiné Greek was in a transition stage between SVO and SOV. The New Testament shows both of these forms plus a liberal addition of the preferred Old Testament order VSO. Note that all of these are SO forms. Of the 352 clauses noted in James, only seventeen showed an OS order. Turner (1963:348) presents a chart developed by Rife which shows the relative uses of the different permutations in several New Testament books. Rife collected examples from main declarative clauses where both subject and object were nouns. In Matthew, John, and Romans, he limited his collection to a sampling. Table 8 shows his results together with the nine clauses that meet these criteria in James, but presented in percentage form for easier comparison. Note that the proportion of one order to another does not remain constant, even for the same author, as can be seen by comparing Luke and Acts. As Turner notes, 'requirements of emphasis will everywhere upset rules of word-order' (1963:348).

Table 8: Relative Clause Word Order in the New Testament

Analyzing the ten word orders of Table 7 into four binary components, some tendencies emerge which show a preference for one order over another. For this analysis SV is a combination of SV, SVO, SOV, and OSV; VS of VS, VSO, VOS, and OVS; VO of VO, SVO, VSO, and VOS; and OV of OV, SOV, OSV, and OVS.

The SV order always occurs in independent clauses when they are preceded by dependent clauses. It seems that the SV order always occurs with a verb of semantic creation type. When a pronoun occurs as a subject, it is more likely to be fronted before the verb than not. There is also a tendency to prefer this order when negatives occur in the clause and when the clause forms a question, especially a rhetorical question.

The VS order is slightly preferred with imperative verbs, with verbs of a motion or emotive semantic type, and when the subject is in the vocative case.

The VO order is always found with verbs of depictive semantic type. It is preferred with aorist subjunctive verbs in dependent clauses. It is the regular order in independent clauses when the object has a definite article; only two exceptions to this are found in James (3:3 and 5:11). There is also a tendency to prefer this order when negatives occur in the clause and when the clause forms a question, especially a rhetorical question.

The OV word order is preferred with the imperfect tense, infinitives, and verbs of an equative semantic tense. In dependent clauses, it is preferred with the present tense. It is the order of choice when the object is not in the accusative case (that is, when it is a predicate adjective or in the dative case, or is oblique, using a preposition to modify it).

These tendencies toward word order are not enough to always explain why one order is chosen over another, but they do make a beginning in that direction. More work would be needed to formulate the grammatical rules at work.

The type of discourse found in the book of James

The book of James is a good example of a hortatory writing. A large percentage of the book is composed of commands and mitigated commands (as evidenced by the use of the second and third person imperative). Interspersed among these are stretches of expository text that seem to have a motivational purpose.

The motivation seems to be of two types. One is directed toward motivating the reader that the exhortation given is the right and reasonable thing to do. These passages are usually preceded by gar or hoti, indicating that a reason for giving the command is about to be presented. The second type of motivation is directed toward the reader acting in a certain way. The passage in James 2 on faith and works is remarkably lacking in imperatives directed to the reader (three in verse 16 are in an embedded illustration, one in verse 18 is to a supposed opponent, and one in verse 24 is pointing to a conclusion: 'You see'). Even so, the aim of the passage is to motivate the reader to show works of faith.

The book also contains six brief places of embedded narrative, consisting of three supposed situations (2:2-3, 15-16; 4:13) and three references to the actions of Old Testament characters (2:21, 25; 5:17-18). The first four of them are found in rhetorical questions. These narratives also have a motivational purpose.

The book is composed of eighteen sections each dealing with a particular topic or topics, although some of the topics are repeated. The discourse type for each of these sections are shown in Appendix III. Some sections are completely hortatory in nature, others are hortatory followed by an expository explanation, and a few have a more complicated structure. Two sections (1:26-27 and 2:14-26) contain no hortatory text type, although both are motivational toward implied commands.

Salience levels for hortatory text in James

Growing out of the analysis of text type, it is possible to form a tentative chart of salience levels for a hortatory text in Koiné Greek. This chart is given in Figure 2. This seems to fit the book of James, but more work will be needed in other texts to complete it. Macrostructure material falls into four categories on the chart: commands and prohibitions, exhortations, mitigated commands, and motivational material. This material is assumed to form the highest levels on the chart.

Some attempt has been made to associate different verb types with different levels of salience. Sometimes, such as in calls to repentance or warnings and promises, one type verb seems to be associated with one type of material. In other cases, such as commands and prohibitions, the material is indicated by several verb types. Mitigated commands are indicated in a number of ways in the text of James. Not only are imperatives used for material on or near the main line, they are also used for introductory material that is much farther from the main line (e.g. 'come now'). A special problem is found at the beginning of chapter 3. Here the command 'not many become teachers' ) serves as an introduction to the subject of the tongue. This is tentatively placed on band 2, as a result. It may in fact be lower than mitigated command, although the chart does not indicate that.

Figure 2
Salience Levels for the Hortatory Text of James

Band 1 Primary\	 
Commands       \ imperatives; present infinitive
Prohibitions    \     
Exhortations     \    
Calls to Repent   \     aorist imperatives
Band 2 Secondary    \     imperatives
Admonitions/Results  \    participles; present infinitive; ean + subject
Mitigated Commands    \   blessing formula
Band 3                  \
Motivations to Obey:     \      
 Promises & Warnings      \     future indicative
 Logical Exposition, inc.  \       present indicative; rhetorical question
  Reasons                   \ gar; hoti; hina + subject
    Appeals to Authority     \        quotations from scripture
    Examples and Illustrations\            
       From nature and society \       present indicative & part.; aorist infinitive
       Historical               \  aorist indicative
       Hypothetical              \ aorist indicative & subject
Band 4                             \                                                     
Elaboration & Amplification         \ participles
Band 5                                \   indicative
Situation--Setting for Motivation      \  aorist participle
Band 6                                   \ imperative
Introductory                              \
Band 7                                      \  relative
Parenthetical                                \ clause
Band 8                                         \  epistolary
Frame                                           \ beginning

Appendix I
The Microsegmentation of James

WORK:Total Discourse of James
 INTRO:Introductory Discourse (1:1-27)
 POINT 1:Discourse A (1:1-8)
 *POINT 1:Coordinate ¶ (joy-temptation-endurance)  2-4
   THESIS 1 :2-3
   THESIS 2 :4
  POINT 2:Coordinate ¶ (wisdom) 5-8
   THESIS2:Reason ¶
    REASON:Coordinate ¶

 POINT 2:Discourse B (1:9-11)
  POINT:Amplification ¶ (poor-rich) 9-11
   AMPLIFICATION:Illustration ¶

 POINT 3:Discourse C (1:12-15)
  POINT:Coordinate ¶ (endurance-temptations)  12-15
   THESIS2:Reason ¶
    REASON:Antithetical ¶
     THESIS:Sequence ¶

 POINT 4:Discourse D (1:16-25)
 *POINT 1:Coordinate ¶ (gifts from God) 16-18
 *POINT 2:Result ¶ (anger-accept word) 19-21
  POINT N:Amplification ¶ (doers-hearers) 22-25
   AMPLIFICATION:Illustration ¶ (mirror)
    ILLUSTRATION:Amplification ¶
POINT N:Discourse E (1:26-27)
 POINT:Antithetical ¶ (religion) 26-27
 ANTITHESIS:26 (vain)
 THESIS:27 (pure)

POINT:Main Discourse (2:1-4:10)
POINT 1:Discourse F (2:1-13)
*POINT 1:Illustration ¶ (partiality) 1-4
*POINT 2:Antithetical ¶ (poor-rich) 5-7
 THESIS: Antithetical ¶ (poor)
  THESIS:5b (God chosen)
  ANTITHESIS:6a (you dishonor)
 ANTITHESIS:Coordinate ¶ (rich)
POINT 3:Antithetical ¶ (partiality) 8-11
  REASON:Amplification ¶
POINT N:Reason ¶ (judgment) 12-13
 REASON:Comment ¶

POINT 2:Discourse G (2:14-26)
*POINT 1:Antithetical ¶ (faith and works)  14-17
  ANTITHESIS:Coordinate ¶
   THESIS2:Illustration ¶
POINT 2:Coordinate ¶ (faith and works)  18-19
  THESIS1:Antithetical ¶
  THESIS2:Antithetical ¶
*POINT 3:Amplification ¶ (faith and works)  20-23
  AMPLIFICATION:Illustration ¶
   ILLUSTRATION:21 (Abraham)
POINT N:Amplification ¶ (faith and works)  24-26
 AMPLIFICATION:Illustration ¶

POINT 3:Discourse H (3:1-12)
*INTRO:Reason ¶ (teachers-words) 1-2
  REASON:Antithetical ¶
   THESIS:2a (all stumble)
   ANTITHESIS:2b (not stumble)
 POINT 1:Illustration ¶ (tongue) 3-5a
  ILLUSTRATION:Coordinate ¶
   THESIS1:3 (horses)
   THESIS2:4 (ships)
 POINT 2:Coordinate ¶ (tongue) 5b-8
  THESIS1:Coordinate ¶ (fire)
  THESIS2:Antithetical ¶ (tame animals)
   THESIS:Coordinate ¶
 POINT N:Antithetical ¶ (tongue) 9-12
  ANTITHESIS:Coordinate ¶
 *THESIS:Illustration ¶
   ILLUSTRATION:Sequence ¶

POINT N:Discourse I (3:13-4:10)
 THESIS:Antithetical ¶ (wisdom) 13-18
  INTRO:Rhetorical ¶
  ANTITHESIS:Amplification ¶
  THESIS:Comment ¶

ANTITHESIS:Persuasion ¶ (wars-enemies-repentance) 1-10
 INTRO:Rhetorical ¶ (wars)
  THESIS:Amplification ¶
*MOTIVATION:Coordination ¶ (enemies of God)
  THESIS1:Amplification ¶
  THESIS2:Antithetical ¶
   THESIS:Amplification ¶
 THESIS:Sequence ¶ (call to repentance)
  THESIS1:Antithetical ¶
  THESIS4:Coordinate ¶

POINT:Concluding Discourse (4:11-5:20)
 POINT 1:Discourse J (4:11-12)
 *POINT:Reason ¶ (criticism) 11-12
   REASON:Coordinate ¶
    THESIS1:Amplification ¶
    THESIS2:Rhetorical ¶

POINT 2:Discourse K (4:13-17)
*POINT:Generalization ¶ (Lord willing)  13-17
  THESIS:Coordinate ¶
  THESIS1:Antithetical ¶
    ANTITHESIS:Reason ¶
  THESIS2:Amplification ¶

POINT 3:Discourse L (5:1-6)
*POINT:Sequence ¶ (rich) 1-6
  THESIS2:Antithetical ¶
  THESISn:Antithetical ¶

POINT 4:Discourse M (5:7-8)
*POINT:Illustration ¶ (endurance) 7-8
  ILLUSTRATION:Illustration ¶
   ILLUSTRATION:7b (farmer)

POINT 5:Discourse N (5:9)
*POINT:Reason ¶ (grumbling) 9

POINT 6:Discourse 0 (5:10-11)
*POINT:Coordinate ¶ (endurance) 10-11
  THESIS1:Amplification ¶ (prophets)
   THESIS: 10
  THESIS2:11b (Job)

POINT 7:Discourse P (5:12)
*POINT:Amplification ¶ (swearing) 12

POINT 8:Discourse Q (5:13-18)
 POINT:Sequence ¶ (prayer) 13-18
  THESIS1:Antithetical ¶
  THESIS2:Antithetical ¶
  THESIS3:Amplification ¶
   THESIS:Antithetical ¶
    THESIS:Sequence ¶
  THESIS4:Illustration ¶
   ILLUSTRATION:Sequential ¶ (Elijah)

POINT N:Discourse R (5:19-20)
*POINT:Single Colon 1:19-20 (turning deceived)  19-20

Appendix II

The Worlds of Reference in James

In the following listing of worlds, the word 'world' has been omitted for sake of brevity, but should be understood in all cases.
Embedding is shown from left to right.
1:1-4 Exhortation2-4 Trials
5-6a Lack of Wisdom
6b-8 Doubting
6b Wave of Sea
9-10a Exhortation9-10a Boasting
10b-11a Flower and Sun
11b Rich Man
12 Exposition12 Trials12b Rewards
13-15 Temptations14b-15 Personification
16 Exhortation
17 Exposition17 Giving
18 Begetting
19 Exhortation
20 Anger
21 Salvation21a Wickedness
22 Exhortation22a Doing
22b-23a Hearing
23b-24 Mirror
25a Metaphor
25b Doing
26-27 Exposition26 Vain Religion
27 Pure Religion
2:1 Exhortation1b Faith Holding
2-4 Synagogue with prejudice
5 Exhortation5b God's election
6a Synagogue
6b Oppression
6c Court
7 Blasphemy
8-9 Exhortation8b Scripture
9a Partiality
9b Court
10-11 Transgression
11a Scripture
12 Exhortation12a Faith Holding
12b-13 Judgment/Court
14 Exhortation14b Faith Only
14c Salvation
15-16 Poverty/Lack of Help
17 Metaphor of Death
18-22 Opponent18b Faith Only
18c Working Faith
19a Faith Only
19b Demons
20 Metaphor of Useless
21 Scripture
22 Working Faith
23 Scripture
21 Abraham & Isaac

23b Abraham

24 Exposition24 Justification
25 (Scripture)
26a Body and Spirit
26b Metaphor of Death

25 Rahab
3:1 Exhortation1a Teaching
1b Judgment/Court
2a Imperfect man
2b Perfect man (irrealis)
3 Horses
4 Ships
5a Small braggard
5b Forest fire
6 Exposition on Tongue6a Fire
6b Body
6c Fire
7-8a Tame Animals
8b Wickedness
8c Poison
9-10 Man

9a Blessing (Worship)
9b Cursing
9c Creation
10b Exhortation

11 Spring of water (irrealis)
12a Fig Tree (irrealis)
12b Grapevine (irrealis)
12c Sea Water (irrealis)

13 Exhortation13 Scholar
13b Good Works
14-16 Jealous Ambition
17 Divine Wisdom
18 Righteous Peace
4:1 Exhortation1-2a Waring1b-3 Desires
2b-3 Praying              "
4 World Friendship
5 Scripture
5b Divine Jealousy5b Creation
6a Giving
6b Scripture6b Proud
6b Giving (Humble)
7-10 Exhortation7-10 Repentance7a Fellowship with God
7b Fighting Devil
8a Fellowship with God
8b Cleansing
9 Crying
10 Fellowship with God
11-12 Exhortation11 Criticism
11b Judgment
12a Divine Judgment
12b Judgment
13 Exhortation13-14a Traders13b Planning
14a Knowledge
14b Mist
15-16 Traders15b Planning
17 Neglect
5:1 Exhortation1-6 Rich Man1b Crying
1c Troubles
2-3 Lost Riches
3b Judgment
3c Fire
4 Cheat Workers
5 Desires
5b Slaughter House
6 Righteous Killed


4 God Listens

7 Exhortation7-8a Patience7b Farmers
8b Second Coming
9a No Grumbling
9b Judgment
10-11a (Scripture)10-11a Prophets
11b (Scripture)11b Job
12 Exhortation12a No Swearing
12b Judgment
13 Exhortation13a Suffering
13b Praying
13c Cheerful
13d Singing
14a Sickness
14b Elders Praying
15 Healing
16 Confession and Prayer
16b-18 Powerful Prayer17-18 (Scripture)
17-18 Elijah
19 Exhortation19a Wandering
19b Repentance
20 Salvation

Appendix III

Text Types in James
26-27Eexpository?('if anyone thinks' indirect hortatory)
2-3narrative(part of rhetorical question)
15-16narrative(part of rhetorical question)
21narrative(part of rhetorical question)
25narrative(part of rhetorical question)


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______. 1983. The Greek New Testament. 3rd edn. corrected. New York, London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and Stuttgart: United Bible Societies.

Davids, Peter H. 1982. The Epistle of James: A Commentary on the Greek Text. (The New International Greek Testament Commentary.) Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Dibelius, Martin. 1975. James: A Commentary on the Epistle of James. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. (Translated by Michael A. Williams.)

Friberg, Barbara and Timothy Friberg, eds. 1981. Analytical Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House.

Guthrie, Donald. 1970. New Testament Introduction. 3rd. edn. Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press.

Hymes, Dell. 1986. The General Epistle of James. Int'l J. Soc. Lang. 62.75-103.

Longacre, Robert E. 1983. The Grammar of Discourse. New York: Plenum.

Nida, Eugene A. , J. P. Louw, A. H. Snyman, and J. v. W. Cronje. 1983. Style and Discourse: With Special Reference to the Text of the Greek New Testament. Cape Town, South Africa: Bible Society

Reicke, Bo. 1964. The Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude: Introduction, Translation, and Notes. (The Anchor Bible.) Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co.

Tasker, R. V. G. 1957. The General Epistle of James. (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, 16.) Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Turner, Nigel. 1963. Syntax. Vol. 3 of A Grammar of New Testament Greek, by James Hope Moulton. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

______. 1976. Style. Vol. 4 of A Grammar of New Testament Greek, by James Hope Moulton. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Terry, Ralph Bruce. 1989. Toward an analysis of the discourse structure of the New Testament book of James. Research paper, The University of Texas at Arlington.

Copyright ©1989, Ralph Bruce Terry. All rights reserved.

Portions of this article were previously published as:

Terry, Ralph Bruce. 1992. Some aspects of the discourse structure of the Book of James. Journal of Translation and Textlinguistics 5, no. 2:106-125.

Published article copyright ©1992, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. Reprinted here by permission.

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