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Not By Paul Alone
The Formation of the Catholic Epistle Collection and the Christian Canon

By David R. Nienhuis

Not By Paul Alone
Hardback, 285 pages $29.95
Published: 1st March 2007
ISBN: 9781932792713
Format: 9in x 6in

Paperback, 290 pages $29.95
Published: 1st November 2010
ISBN: 9781602583405
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Biblical Studies, New Testament

Not by Paul Alone explores the historical reasons for the creation of the book of James and the implications for the creation of the Christian canon. Nienhuis makes a compelling case that James was written in the mid-second century and is, like 2 Peter, an attempt to provide a distinctive shape to the emerging New Testament. This book bolsters the claim that the Catholic Epistles not only have a distinct witness individually, but that collectively they are also a considered theological agenda within the Christian church.




1 Introduction

2 A Canonical History of the New Testament Catholic Epistle Collection

3 Early James Traditions and the Canonical Letter of James

4 Reading James as a Canon-conscious Pseudepigraph

5 Conclusion



"David Nienhuis very convincingly puts the letter of James into a second century context by looking for semantic, theological and historical links to the other Catholic Epistles and to an impressive amount of literary sources from the time. By doing so, he is able to explain the way of receiving and understanding the message of the 'Pillar Apostles' from the beginnings of Christianity in a second century milieu when different Christian groups and communities had to develop their identity in opposition to and competition with 'Marcionite' groups or tendencies. Even for those who may disagree with his main thesis of a second century origin of the letter of James, David Nienhuis raises many thoughtful points to be considered more thoroughly."

—Karl Wilhelm-Niebuhr, Dean of the School of Theology, Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena

This novel resolution to the puzzle that is the Book of James is full of instructive observations. Its case for a second-century dating of James is formidable, and its thesis about James' role in the formation of the New Testament canon attractive. Nienhuis has given us a thoroughly enjoyable book of meticulous scholarship whose implications for the study of early Christianity are broad.

—Dale C. Allison, Jr., Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament exegesis and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

This book makes a brilliant and original and convincing contribution to the current attempt to rethink the relationship between text and community, scripture and church.

—Francis Watson, Kirby Laing Chair in New Testament, University of Aberdeen

Well written, scholarly, and well organized, this book provides new insight into an often-overlooked part of New Testament study... Highly recommended.


“Nienhuis provides a cogent and convincing interpretation of the canonical function of the Epistle of James as the head writing of the Catholic Epistles.”

—Russell B. Sisson, Biblica

David R. Nienhuis (Ph.D. University of Aberdeen) is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Director of the University Foundations Program at Seattle Pacific University.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 285 pages
 9in x 6in

 Paperback , 290 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL006100, REL006720
 Baylor University Press

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