Bill Heroman and I have been having this conversation on facebook and in person about the Good News in the letter to James. I have argued thus far that there is Good News in that letter, and that Gospel is found in the First Testament (Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, Septuagint). I think beneficial to our discussion is to see how we can read the First Testament into the New Testament, and the Wisdom tradition allows us to do that.
Joel provides us with such a reading in James.
“As many of you know, I believe in Wisdom Christology, finding in it the most able and biblical understanding of the nature of Christ. It is historical and historically associated with primitive Christianity. Through this lens, I admit, I generally read the New Testament documents. One of the earliest is the Epistle of James. Contrary to popular and wrong opinion, it is written by a real brother of Jesus – not a cousin or step-brother. James is writing in the Wisdom Tradition, much like that which his Brother stood in earlier.”