Upbringing for Wisdom: A Didactic Persuasion in James 3:13-18


The Letter of James is a didactic piece of writing. Its genre of parenetic letter or protreptic discourse and abundant usage of diatribe indicate that the author wants to show his readers the proper attitude to Christian life. James’ appeal is based on double-track argumentation: what is good and profitable vs. what is bad and unprofitable. Into this reasoning is inserted the argumentation of Jas 3,13-18, focused on appealing to Christian fellows to live their lives wisely. James distinguishes between worldly wisdom and God’s wisdom, and urges Christians to live according to the latter because it bears good fruits in the life of the community, such as justice, peace, concord, truth, gentleness. On the other hand, earthly wisdom, which he calls demonic, results in opposing negative values that can be noticed in social life. These are attitudes like quarrel, discord, envy, boastfulness, negation of truth. The conclusion that has to be deduced by the reader is evident – only the life guided by God’s wisdom is worth living.


Letter to James; wisdom of God; worldly wisdom; upbringing

Published : 2015-08-25

Muszytowska, D. (2015). Upbringing for Wisdom: A Didactic Persuasion in James 3:13-18. Verbum Vitae, 21, 183-201. https://doi.org/10.31743/vv.1544

Dorota Muszytowska  naporus@gmail.com

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

(1) Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC license Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. 

(2) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

(3) Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).