The medieval commentators on James offered a variety of divisiones textus, schemas which aim to clarify the thematic structure of James. Some examples follow:
Hugh offers several different outlines. One focuses on how the entire letter teaches readers to depise "the world" (contemptum mundi) and its values. Hugh identifies three worldly values: desire of the flesh (concupiscentia carnis), desire of the eyes (concupiscentia ocolorum), and pride of life (superbia vitae). The letter shows the reader how to flee these vices.
- Chap. 1: How to flee the desire of the flesh by patiently enduring temptations
- Chap 2: fleeing from pride in relation to others by rejecting favoritism
- Chap 3: fleeing pride in oneself by rejecting a desire for fame (which often arises among teachers)
- Chapters 4 and 5: dissuading the reader from desires of the eyes, i.e., avarice (avaritia)— Chap. 4: in one's will (in voluntate); Chap. 5: in action (in actu) (311a)
Exp. Sept. Ep. pref.
- Chap. 1: Enouragement to the good (ad bonum) by patiently enduring trials: internal trials (Jas 1:2-12); external trials (Jas 1:13–15).
- Chaps. 2-4: Discouragement from evil
- Chap. 5: Remedies (remedia) against evil (335-36)
James teaches his readers to conduct themselves well (bene se habere)
- Chap. 1: in regard to themselves
- Chaps. 2-3: in regard to their neighbor
- Chap. 4: in regard to God
- Nicholas qualifies, "Nevertheless, this division is not precise (praecisa), since something is put in one part that pertains to another, and vice-versa; this is due to the connection of the virtues (connexionem virtutum)" (col. 1264).