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The unity of the two sections, therefore, would be the work of a redactor, who in the process of editing embellished the material by enhancing the position of James.
Another considers the passages on martyrdom (4:1-5:6) and prophecy (6:1-4) as secondary additions; their omission leaves a conceivably earlier document consisting of shorter sayings.
The Secret Book of James is preserved in a single Coptic copy found in Codex III of the Nag Hammadi codices. The most extensive study on the Secret Book of James is that of Ron Cameron, Sayings Traditions in the Apocryphon of James (HTS 34; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press 1984).
The most important result of that study is the conclusion that the sayings tradition preserved in this document is independent of the canonical gospels.
A more accessible study is provided by Helmut Koester in Ancient Christian Gospels, pp. In his introduction in The Complete Gospels, Donald Rappe notes the following on the unity of Secret James: "There are abrupt changes and inconsistencies between major sections of Secret James.
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Three theories, all of them plausible, have been advanced to explain this feature of the book.