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Diaspora Discourse: The Construction of Ethos in James

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2007

Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 2E8, Canada


If we take the address of James ‘to the twelve tribes in the diaspora’ seriously and conclude that James represents itself as a letter to Diaspora Judaeans, it becomes easier to account for the fact that James lacks references to most of the beliefs and practices distinctive of the Jesus movement. In that case, James is framed as a letter written to an outsider, much like 4QMMT, in which the (fictive) writer must construct ethos not by reference to special revelations or qualifications of the writer, which would hold no sway with the fictive recipient, but by appeal to exemplary figures of Israel's epic history, in particular Solomon.

Research Article
2007 Cambridge University Press

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Main paper read at SNTS General Meeting, Aberdeen, 25–29 July 2006.