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James: Medieval Divisio Textus

 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 of St.-Cher Post. pref.

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)

 Nicholas of Gorran 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)

Nicholas of Lyra Post. pref.

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).