James is to the NT what Proverbs is to the OT – and both seem to lack a clear outline. Scholars are discovering that Proverbs, particularly Chapter 10 and following is not as random as it appears. James also seems to have a plan.
Walter Kaiser quotes from Luke T. Johnson (JBL, 1982) showing that Jame’s book follows the section in Leviticus 19 where the command to love your neighbor is found.
Lev 19:12; James 5:12 – do not swear falsely
Lev 19:13; James 5:4 – do not hold back wages
Lev 19:15; James 2:1 – Don’t show favoritism
Lev 19:16; James 4:11 – Do not slander
Lev 19:17; James 5:20 – Rebuke a sinner
Lev 19:18a; James 5:9 – Do not grumble/ hold grudge
Lev 19:18; James 2:8 – Love your neighbor
“It is most astonishing that a text from the heart of a book containing much of the ceremonial law along with the Holiness Code (Lev 18-20) should become the basis of such practical, ethical and moral nurturing in the New Testament as is found in the book of James.” Kaiser, Promise-Plan, p. 254