JRF’s #3 – James: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries by James Moo

Our community group decided to spend 5 weeks going through James so I thought I would read through this commentary as well. I took a winterm class from Douglas Moo on James during seminary was impacted by his knowledge coupled with his obvious pastoral and missionary heart (not often found in a scholar of such caliber). In that class we used his Pillar Commentary primarily so I was interested to see what differed in this more concise version.

I was surprised and excited at how exegetical and technical this small book was.  Overall it was very helpful; scholarly, yet accessible.  I have two criticisms - one trivial and one slightly more important.

First, it is a pet peeve of mine when commentaries phonetically spell Greek words in English.  If someone knows enough Greek to benefit from its mention then you would think that they would be able to read it in the original script.  Methinks it is just easier for the writer or printers not to have to change fonts.

Second, and more importantly, I found myself frustrated that Moo didn't always take as strong a stand on some of the many difficult passages (and therefore multiple possible interpretations) in the book of James.  He did usually present his preferred interpretation along with his reasoning, yet I found myself at times longing for a stronger worded conclusion.  Specifically, I wish he would have been more clear in certain passages whether or not the people being addressed by James were just disobedient believers or professing unbelievers.  Perhaps he saw it more fitting for a commentary to expose readers to the options and let them form their own conclusions.

3.75 stars out of 5.