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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek TestamentExpositor's Greek Testament

- James

by William Robertson Nicoll




§ 1. External Data . That parts, at all events, of this Epistle were known and cited by very early Church writers seems certain. It is, however, precarious to build too much upon the fact that similarities of thought and expression are found between this Epistle and other early writings. Such similarities do not necessarily prove anything more than that the thought-movements of the times were exercising the minds of many thinkers and writers. If, that is to say, it is found that various writings belonging to the early ages of Christianity contain thoughts, words, and even sentences which are also seen to occur in this Epistle, it would be arbitrary to assume that this fact necessarily proved the influence of the latter upon the former, or vice-versa ; and it would, moreover, be dangerous to use this assumption as a basis upon which to found conclusions regarding the date and authorship of the Epistle. We are far from denying that the similarities referred to may denote indebtedness on the part of the writer of our Epistle to the writings in question, or vice versa as, for example, in the case of Sirach but in such cases there must be no doubt as to whether the particular writing is earlier or later than our Epistle. A concrete example will make our meaning clear. Some writers regard the similarity of language between the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and St. James as evidence that the latter influenced the former, and this is regarded as evidence in favour of an early date of our Epistle. Thus Lightfoot ( Galatians , p. 320, note), says that the language of the writer of the Testaments on the subject of the law of God is “formed on the model of the Epistle of St. James,” and he refers to Ewald, who makes a similar remark; again, on p. 221, note, he says in reference to this pseudepigraph: “On the whole, however, the language in the moral and didactic portions takes its colour from the Epistle of St. James”. So, too, Mayor ( The Epistle of St. James , p. iv.) speaks of the writer of this work as one “who seems to have been much influenced by the teaching and example of St. James,” and a large number of quotations are given to prove this contention. Now, Charles, who may justly be claimed as our leading authority on all that concerns the Pseudepigrapha , has shown conclusively in his edition of the Testaments (1908) that this work was written originally in Hebrew in 109 106 B.C.; the Jewish additions he regards as belonging to the years 70 40 B.C., and in its Greek form it appeared “at the latest” in 50 A.D.; the thirty Christian interpolations (approximately) belong probably to different dates, but scarcely any of these come into consideration in the present connection (see pp. l. lxv.); instances of St. James probably utilising the Testaments are given on p. xc. Or, to mention another instance, the similarities between St. James and the Epistle to the Corinthians of Clement of Rome are likewise pointed to as a proof of the early date of St. James , because Clement (end of first century and beginning of second century) was influenced by it; but the most striking part of this similarity is the way in which each deals with the subject of faith and works. This subject was, however, one of the fundamental causes of difference between Jews and Christians at all times (indeed, the minds of thinking Jews were exercised by it before the Christian era), and it is dealt with in a number of other works of various dates Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of Abraham, Apoc. of Baruch , 2 (4) Esdras, Book of Enoch , and often in the later Jewish literature; therefore it is difficult to see why St. James necessarily influenced Clement on a subject which was so much in evidence in a large variety of writings; and the statement of Mayor, that “the fact that Clement balances the teaching of St. Paul by that of St. James is sufficient proof of the authority he ascribes to the latter” (p. lii.), seems a little too strong, especially as St. James is not mentioned by name in Clement. Similarities are also found between St. James and pseudo-Clement, the Didache , the Epistle of Barnabas , the Epistles of Ignatius , Hermas, Justin Martyr, the Epistle to Diognetus , Irenæus, Theophilus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and the Clementine Homilies; all these authorities, ranging from the first century to the former half of the third, are often pointed to as showing their recognition of our Epistle, because they show the marks of its influence upon them. The possibility of such indebtedness is not denied, but in the majority of cases it cannot be said that the similarities prove it; nor do they necessarily prove the canonicity, and still less the authorship of our Epistle, especially as not in one single instance is the Epistle mentioned by name in the authorities mentioned above. The earliest writer, as far as is known, who refers to the Epistle definitely as Scripture, and as having been written by St. James, is Origen (d. 254 A.D.). His testimony is as follows: In his commentary on St. John 19:6 he refers to our Epistle in the words, …, ὡς ἐν τῇ φερομένῃ Ἰακώβου ἐπιστολῇ ἀνέγνωμεν , a phrase which obviously suggests doubt as to its authorship, though apparently it is quoted as Scripture. On the other hand, passages from our Epistle are quoted as the words of “James the Apostle” on at least five occasions; and besides this, there are a number of cases in which direct quotations from it are clearly regarded as Scripture. This is, moreover, definitely asserted in his Comm. in Ep. ad Rom. , 4:1, and in Hom. in Lev. , 2:4. On four occasions St. James is mentioned by name, once as the “brother of the Lord”. Further, quotations, more or less distinct, from our Epistle are found in the Constitutiones Apostolicae (fourth century, but containing earlier material), and in Lactantius (c. 300 A.D.). The next important writer who gives direct evidence on the subject is Eusebius (c. 270 340 A.D.). In speaking of the Catholic Epistles, and after referring to the martyrdom of James the Just, he says: “The first of the Epistles styled Catholic is said to be his. But I must remark that it is held to be spurious ( νοθεύεται ). Certainly not many old writers have mentioned it, nor yet the Epistle of Jude, which is also one of the Epistles called Catholic. But nevertheless we know that these have been publicly used with the rest in most churches” ( H.E. , ii. 23). Then, again, in enumerating the list of New Testament books ( H.E. , iii. 25), he says: “Among the controverted books ( ἀντιλεγόμενα ), which are nevertheless well known and recognised by many ( γνωρίμων ὅμως τοῖς πολλοῖς ), we class the Epistle circulated under the name of James”. In spite of this, however, Eusebius prefaces a quotation from the Epistle (James 5:13 ) with the words, λέγει γοῦν ὁ ἱερὸς Ἀπόστολος ( Comm. in Psalms 1:0 ), and later on in the same work he refers to another passage from the Epistle (James 4:2 ) as Scripture (… τῆς γραφῆς λεγούσης …). At the same time it will be wise not to build too much upon these last two references. In a case like this, where the writer would, if anything, be biassed in favour of ascribing Apostolic authorship to the Epistle, a passage which casts doubt upon its genuineness is really more weighty evidence than one in the opposite direction; moreover, a book which went by a certain name might well be quoted by Eusebius in accordance with the common acceptation, without his adding, each time he mentioned it, his doubts concerning the correctness as to its title. Upon the whole, the evidence of Eusebius, though uncertain, seems to point to our Epistle as being genuine Scripture, but not as having been written by St. James. This uncertain testimony is repeated by Jerome (born c. 330 350 A.D.), who says in his De Viris Illustr. , ii.: “Jacobus qui appellatur frater Domini … unam tantum scripsit epistolam, quae de septem Catholicis est, quae et ipsa ab alio quodam sub nomine ejus edita asseritur, licet paulatim tempore procedente obtinuerit auctoritatem” (quoted by Westcott, Canon of the N.T. , p. 452); elsewhere, however, Jerome quotes from the Epistle as from Scripture. This evidence, therefore, runs on somewhat the same lines as that of Eusebius; and when it is remembered that these two writers stand out as the two greatest authorities of antiquity on the subject of the Canon, it must be conceded that their witness ought almost to be regarded as final. It is worth recalling that recently Jerome’s status as a reliable witness has been greatly strengthened by the discovery of a gospel-fragment 1 [35] which in the MS. in which it has been discovered forms a part of the Longer Ending of the canonical Gospel of St. Mark. “Writing against the Pelagians in 415 416 ( C. Pelag. , ii. 15), Jerome quoted a passage which ‘in some copies [of the Latin Gospels] and especially in Greek codices’ followed immediately after St. Mark 16:14 [the words are then given]; hitherto Jerome’s statement has been entirely without support; now at length it has been recovered in the Greek.…” [36] Three other facts of importance must be recorded regarding the external data as to authorship; they concern the question of canonicity, and therefore indirectly that of authorship. The Muratorian Fragment, which “may be regarded on the whole as a summary of the opinion of the Western Church on the Canon shortly after the middle of the second century” (Westcott, op. cit. , p. 212), omits St. James in its list of canonical writings. Secondly, our Epistle is not included in the Syriac version of the N.T. brought to the Syrian Church by Palût, bishop of Edessa, at the beginning of the third century; “the Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse formed no part of the old Syriac version. In the Peshitta this defect is partially supplied by a translation of James, 1 Peter and 1 John, in agreement with the usage of Antioch as represented by Chrysostom” (Burkitt in Encycl. Bibl . iv. col. 5004); Prof. Burkitt quotes Addai , 46: “The Law and the Prophets and the Gospel … and the Epistles of Paul … and the Acts of the Twelve Apostles these writings shall ye read in the Churches of Christ, and besides these ye shall read nothing else”; and adds, “Neither in Aphraates nor in the genuine works of Ephraim are there any quotations from the Apocalypse or the Catholic Epistles.” And thirdly, our Epistle does not figure in the “Cheltenham List”. The first time that the Epistle appears to have been officially recognised as canonical was at the council of Carthage 397 A.D. [37]

[35]1 See the Biblical World , pp. 138 ff. (1908).

[36] Swete in the Guardian . 1st April, 1908; see also Swete, Zwei neue Evangelien-fragmente , p. 9 (1908); Gregory, Das Freer-Logion , pp. 25 ff. (1908).

[37] It was also accepted by the somewhat earlier but much less important Council of Laodicea, about 363 A.D.

The balance of the historical evidence of the first three and a half centuries is thus distinctly against St. James having been the author of this Epistle. If we had external evidence alone to go upon we should assuredly be compelled to follow what seems to have been the opinion of Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome; that is to say that, while on the whole regarding the Epistle as canonical, it is difficult to believe that St. James can have been the author.

If the Epistle was written by St. James, it is almost universally granted that it must have been the St. James who presided at the council of Jerusalem “James the Lord’s brother” who was the author (see § 2 below), the claims of any other of this name being too inconsiderable to be seriously thought of; but in this case it is difficult to account for the fact that doubt was thrown upon the canonicity of the Epistle for so long, and still more difficult is it to account for the fact that the name of St. James was not connected with it from the beginning. The position of authority which the Apostle held in the early Church (Acts 12:17 ; Galatians 1:18-19 ), the important fact of his having already inspired an Epistle (Acts 15:19-20 ), and the traditions concerning him in later times (see Josephus, Antiq . xx. ix. 1; Eusebius, H.E . II. 23), all lead to the supposition that if the Epistle had really been written by him it would have been accepted as genuine and canonical from the first, in which case the doubtful expressions of Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, and the adverse testimony of the Old Syriac Version and the Muratorian Fragment would have been impossible.

On the other hand, it must be allowed that there are strong a priori arguments in favour of St. James’ authorship. The position held by him in the early Church compels one to expect writings from him; the head of the mother-Church of Christendom would, of all people, be the most obvious one from whom one would look for communications of one kind or another to daughter-churches. Still more within the natural order of things would be an Epistle of a general character something in the form of an encyclical addressed not to any particular local Church, but to the whole body of believers; the fact that this one is addressed to the Dispersion only strengthens the argument, because, in the earliest days, the nucleus of the Christian congregations was formed by those who were Jews by race. Secondly, there is the analogy of the Epistle inspired by him at the Council of Jerusalem, this fact proves that the Apostle recognised it to be within his province to inspire if nothing more communications to distant Churches, this particular epistle was addressed to Gentiles, whose conversion lay more particularly within the province of St. Paul, the more reason, therefore, that Jewish converts should also be written to by the head of the Church of Jerusalem, the city which these had always looked upon as their “Mother”. And then, thirdly, although, as we have already seen, the early patristic evidence is not in favour of St. James’ authorship, we are bound to recognise the fact that there was a tradition as early as the beginning of the third century which brought the name of St. James into connexion with this Epistle.

It is fully realised and the point needs emphasis that weighty arguments can be adduced against both sets of considerations mentioned above; it is just the most perplexing thing regarding this Epistle that whether an early or a late date be contended for, whether the authorship of St. James be insisted on, or that of some other, unknown, writer, no conclusive argument can be put forth on either side; nothing has yet been said on either side which has forced conviction on the other. It must be allowed, further, that the objections raised against the contentions on either side are, in almost every instance, strong, and are not to be brushed aside offhand. Considerations of space forbid even an enumeration of the many arguments which are urged on either side, recourse must be had to the more comprehensive Commentaries for this; but the fact is certainly noteworthy that, no matter how strong the arguments put forth on either side, valid objections can be urged against one and all; either position taken up seems so strong from one point of view, and is yet so weakened from another point of view. The one positive conclusion to be drawn from this seems to be the paradoxical one that both are right; that is to say, that an Epistle, which is embodied in our present one, was originally written by St. James, and that to it were added subsequently other elements. This is a procedure which could be paralleled by other examples, spurious additions made to authentic documents, in perfect good faith, being not unknown e.g. , the Longer Ending of St. Mark’s Gospel. Proof for this contention is as little forthcoming as for the various other theories that have been suggested, but it would at least account for the conflicting evidence of Origen, Eusebius and Jerome; and when we come to deal with the internal evidence of the Epistle, it will be seen to account for more than one perplexing feature. It is at best a faute de mieux and, for the present, does not profess to be anything more.

§ 2. Internal Data . The writer of the Epistle calls himself James, and in addressing the “twelve tribes of the Dispersion” shows himself to have been a man of more than ordinary authority. According to the evidence of the New Testament, there was only one James who occupied a position of authority such as is implied in this Epistle, namely, “James, the Lord’s brother”; thus in Galatians 1:18-19 , St. Paul tells of how after the three years’ retirement which followed after his conversion, he went and saw St. Peter and “James the Lord’s brother”; in Acts 12:17 we read that when St. Peter had been released from prison he said to his friends: “Tell these things unto James, and to the brethren”; again, in Galatians 2:9 St. Paul recounts the action of “James, and Cephas, and John, who were reputed to be pillars,” and who, on seeing that grace had been given to him, offered to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, “that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision”; and further, in the same passage, Hebrews 13:12 , the mention of certain men “who came from James” marks him out as a leader. Then, and perhaps most important of all, there is the account in Acts 15:4-29 of the council at Jerusalem, at which the leading part is taken by St. James. [38] Once more, in Acts 21:18 the position of importance which St. James occupied is again clearly seen in that when St. Paul and his companions had returned to Jerusalem after their missionary journey they were first received, apparently informally, by the brethren, and then on the following day “they went unto James, and all the elders were present”; these words plainly imply something in the nature of an official, formal reception. Lastly, in 1 Corinthians 15:7 , St. Paul speaks of the special appearance of our Lord after His resurrection to St. James. It is certainly worth particular notice that among these references to St. James the most important are supplied directly or indirectly by St. Paul; this fact should of itself be sufficient to show the improbability of any conscious antagonism between the teaching on the subject of faith and works as contained respectively in the Pauline Epistles and that of St. James assuming the latter to be authentic. At all events, the leading position held by St. James which these passages reveal, makes it in the highest degree probable that the James mentioned in the opening verse of our Epistle is to be identified with “James the Lord’s brother”.

[38] Note how his very words in Acts 15:20 are incorporated in the letter which he sent (Acts 13:29 ).

The next point in the internal evidence to emphasise is the similarity to be observed between the letter inspired by St. James, together with his speech, at the council of Jerusalem, and certain parts of the Epistle which bears his name. The most important of these are as follows:

(i.) The salutation, χαίρειν , Acts 15:23 , James 1:1 ; this form is found elsewhere in the New Testament only in Acts 23:26 .

(ii.) The words, τὸ καλὸν ὄνομα τὸ ἐπικληθὲν ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς , in James 2:7 , which can only be paralleled in the New Testament by those in Acts 15:17 : ἐφʼ οὓς ἐπικέκληται τὸ ὄνομα μου ἐπʼ αὐτούς .

(iii.) The occurrence of the word ὄνομα in a specially pregnant sense, James 2:7 ; James 5:10 ; James 5:14 , and Acts 15:14 ; Acts 15:26 ; this is not used elsewhere in the New Testament in quite the same sense.

(iv.) The pointed allusions to the Old Testament, which are characteristic of St. James’ speech, viz. , Acts 15:14 ; Acts 15:16-18 ; Acts 15:21 , also play an important part in the Epistle, or at least in certain parts of it.

(v.) The affectionate term ἀδελφός , which occurs so often in the Epistle (James 1:2 ; James 1:9 ; James 1:16 ; James 1:19 ; James 2:5 ; James 2:15 ; James 3:1 ; James 4:11 ; James 5:7 ; James 5:9-10 ; James 5:12 ; James 5:19 ), is also found in Acts 15:13 ; Acts 15:23 ; especially noticeable is the verbal identity between James 2:5 , ἀκούσατε ἀδελφοί μου , and Acts 15:13 , ἄνδρες ἀδελφοὶ ἀκούσατέ μου .

(vi.) Other verbal coincidences are: ἐπισκέπτεσθαι , James 1:27 , Acts 15:14 ; τηρεῖν and διατηρεῖν , James 1:27 , Acts 15:29 ; ἐπιστρέφειν , James 5:19-20 , Acts 15:19 ; ἀγαπητός , James 1:16 ; James 1:19 ; James 2:5 , Acts 15:25 . In some of these cases too much stress must not be laid upon the similarities; but it is certainly striking that in the rather restricted scope which the short passage in Acts offers there should, nevertheless, be so many points of similarity with portions of the Epistle. The fact almost compels us to recognise the same mind at work in each, though this does not necessarily apply to the whole of the Epistle ascribed to St. James.

Further internal evidence as to authorship is afforded by indications which point to the writer as having been a Jew. And the first point that strikes one here is the copious use of the O.T. which is characteristic of the writer. There are, it is true, only five direct verbal quotations, viz. , James 1:11 from Isaiah 40:7 ; Isaiah 2:8 from Leviticus 19:18 ; Leviticus 2:11 from Exodus 20:13-14 ; Exodus 2:23 from Genesis 15:6 ; Genesis 4:6 from Proverbs 3:34 ; but the atmosphere of the O.T. is a constituent element of the Epistle; for over and above the O.T. events which are mentioned, there is an abundance of clear references to it, which shows that the mind of the writer was saturated with the spirit of the ancient Scriptures. Some of the most obvious of these references are the following: James 1:10 , see Psalms 102:4-11 ; 2:21, see Genesis 22:9-12 ; Genesis 2:23 , see Isaiah 41:8 , 2 Chronicles 20:7 ; 2:25, see Joshua 2:1 ff; Joshua 3:6 , see Proverbs 16:27 ; Proverbs 3:9 , see Genesis 1:26 ; Genesis 4:6 , see Job 22:29 ; Job 5:2 , see Job 13:28 ; Job 5:11 , see Job 1:21-22 ; Job 2:10 ; Job 5:17-18 , see 1 Kings 17:1 ; 1 Kings 18:41-45 . Further, there is the use of the specifically Israelite name for God, “Jehovah Sabaoth” (James 5:4 ), and the references to Law ( Torah ) in James 2:8-12 , James 4:11 ; this use of νόμος , i.e. , without the article, is in accordance with the extended use of the word Torah among the Jews, meaning as it does, not only the Law given on Mount Sinai, not only the whole of the Pentateuch, but also the entire body of religious precepts in general (see especially James 2:12 , where right speaking and acting in general are included under proper Torah -observance). The reference to γέεννα in James 3:6 , is also a distinct mark of Jewish authorship; and the way in which the prophets are spoken of in James 5:10 points in the same direction. It is to be observed that the use of the O.T. is wide, all three of the great divisions of the Jewish Canon Law, Prophets, and Writings being represented.

But what speaks still more for Jewish authorship is the accumulation of many small points indicative of Hebrew methods of thought, expression, and phraseology; examples of this abound in the Epistle, indeed its “Hebraic” colouring is one of its most pronounced characteristics. While it will not be necessary to give exhaustive lists, some examples of the different categories of the small points just referred to must be offered.

(i.) There are a number of instances in which the Greek is reminiscent of Hebrew phraseology; it is not meant by this to imply that a Hebrew text was the original form of such passages and phrases, but only that the Greek form of the expression of thought seems to be moulded from a Hebrew pattern, i.e. , that the mind of the writer was accustomed to express itself after the manner of one to whom Hebrew ways of thinking were very familiar, and who in writing Greek, therefore, almost unconsciously reverted to the Hebrew mode. The point of what has been said will perhaps be best realised when it is seen how naturally, in a number of instances, a Hebrew equivalent of the Greek suggests itself, e.g .: James 2:7 … τὸ καλὸν ὄ ομα τὸ ἐπικληθὲν ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς , it will be seen that the Hebrew equivalent of this sounds more natural: את־השם הטוב אשׁר נקרא עליכם …; James 3:18 … ἐν εἰρήνῃ σπείρεται τοῖς ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην , although there is no fault to find with the Greek, a Hebrew equivalent suggests itself almost spontaneously: בשׁלום יזרע לעשׂי השׁלום …; the same may be said of the following: James 1:12 , … τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς , עטרת החיים ; James 1:19 … βραδὺς εἰς τὸ λαλῆσαι βραδὺς εἰς ὀργήν , קשׁה לדבר וקשׁה לכעוס ; James 2:12 , οὕτως λαλεῖτε καὶ οὕτως ποιεῖτε , כן דברו וכן עשׂו ; James 2:23 , ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην , תחשׁב־לו לצדקה ; James 3:18 , καρπὸς δικαιοσύνης , פרי חצדקה ; James 4:10 , ταπεινώθητε ἐνώπιον Κυρίου , השׁפלו לפני יהוה ; James 4:13 , ἄγε νῦν οἱ λέγοντες , James 5:1 , ἄγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι , for this mode of address cf. Amos 6:1 , הוי השׁאננים בציון ; 5:3 ὁ ἰὸς αὐτῶν εἰς μαρτύριον ὑμῖν ἔσται , והיתה חלאתם בכם לעדות ; James 5:8 , στηρίξατε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν , אמיצו לבבכם ; James 5:10 ; James 5:14 , ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου , בשׁם יהוה ; James 5:17 , προσηύξατο τοῦ μὴ βρέξαι , לבלתי היות מטר … It is not suggested that in these, as well as in a number of other cases, the Greek is a translation from the Hebrew; but it will not be denied that the form of the Greek does suggest the Hebrew idiom, and therefore that the writer was a Jew. [39]

[39] We are not forgetting Deissmann’s very true words: “We have come to recognise that we had greatly over-estimated the number of Hebraisms and Aramaisms in the Bible. Many features that are non-Attic and bear some resemblance to the Semitic and were therefore regarded as Semiticisms, belong really to the great class of international vulgarisms, and are found in vulgar papyri and inscriptions as well as in the Bible” ( The Philology of the Greek Bible , pp. 62 f., 1908); but it is not the language so much as the mode of thought, which, when expressed in Hebrew, is so often reminiscent of O. T. phraseology, to which we refer.

(ii.) Secondly, the well-known predilection for assonance on the part of Hebrew writers appears in this Epistle, and is further illustrative of the “Hebraic” colouring of it: this is noticeable both in the repetition of the same words or roots, as well as in the tendency to alliteration; so marked a feature of the Epistle is this that it is met with in almost every verse, and therefore only a few examples need be given: James 1:4 , ἔργον τέλειον ἐχέτω ἵνα ἦτε τέλειοι . James 1:13 , μηδεὶς πειραζόμενος λεγέτω ὅτι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πειράζομαι · ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς ἀπείραστός ἐστιν κακῶν . James 1:19 , … βραδὺς εἰς τὸ λαλῆσαι βραδὺς εἰς ὀργήν . James 3:6 , καὶ φλογίζουσα τὸν τροχὸν τῆς γενέσεως καὶ φλογιζομένη ὑπὸ τῆς γεέννης . James 3:7 , πᾶσα γὰρ φύσις … δαμάζεται … τῇ φύσει . James 3:18 , … ἐν εἰρήνῃ σπείρεται τοῖς ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην James 4:8 , ἐγγίσατε τῷ Θεῷ καὶ ἐγγίσει ὑμῖν . James 4:11 . μὴ καταλαλεῖτε ἀλλήλων ἀδελφοί · ὁ καταλαλῶν ἀδελφοῦ ἢ κρίνων τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καταλαλεῖ νόμου καὶ κρίνει νόμον · εἰ δὲ νόμον κρίνεις οὐκ εἶ ποιητὴς νόμου ἀλλὰ κριτής … James 5:7-8 , μακροθυμήσατε οὖν ἀδελφοί … μακροθυμῶν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ ἕως λάβῃ πρόϊμον καὶ ὄψιμον . μακραθυμήσατε καὶ ὑμεῖς … The following are some good instances of alliteration: James 1:2 , πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε ὅταν πειρασμοῖς περιπέσητε ποικίλοις . James 3:5 μικρὸν μέλος ἐστὶν καὶ μεγάλα αὐχεῖ . James 3:8 , τὴν δὲ γλῶσσαν οὐδεὶς δαμάσαι δύναται . James 4:8 , καθαρίσατε χεῖρας … ἁγνίσατε καρδίας . How thoroughly in the Hebrew fashion this repetition of words and alliterative tendency is may be seen by observing a few examples, taken quite at random, from the O.T., e.g. , Amos 6:7 ; Amos 6:13 ; Isaiah 9:5 ; Nahum 1:2 ; Psalms 119:13 ; Psalms 122:6 , etc., etc.

(iii.) Instances of pleonastic phraseology in the Epistle must also be regarded as witnessing to Jewish authorship; among such are the following: James 1:8 , ἀνὴρ δίψυχος , corresponding to the Hebrew אישׁ ; the same is seen in James 1:12 , μακάριος ἀνὴρ ὅς … Cf. Psalms 1:1 , אשׁרי האישׁ אשׁר ; 1:19, ἔστω δὲ πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ; James 1:7 , μὴ γὰρ οἰέσθω ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος …; James 1:23 , οὗτος ἔοικεν ἀνδρὶ κατανοοῦντι …; James 2:2 , ἀνὴρ χρυσοδακτύλιος . Suggestive of Hebrew phraseology, again are such passages as James 3:7 , τῶν ἵππων τοὺς χαλινοὺς εἰς τὰ στόματα βάλλομεν εἰς τὸ πείθεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν ; James 4:2 , υὀκ ἔχετε διὰ τὸ μὴ αἰτεῖσθαι ὑμᾶς . Reminiscent of Hebrew thought are also the words in James 1:15 , ἡ ἐπιθυμία συλλαβοῦσα τίκτει ἁμαρτίαν ; for the similar idea see Psalms 7:14 , Behold he travaileth with iniquity, yea he hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood ; so, too, the words in James 2:7 , βλασφημοῦσιν τὸ ὄνομα …; here, moreover, the omission of the preposition should be noticed; then also, in James 5:7 , the familiar πρόϊμον καὶ ὄψιμον ( cf. Jeremiah 5:24 , גשׁם יורה ומלקושׁ ), and in James 5:17 , the regular Hebraism προσευχῇ προσηύξατο ( תפלה התפלל ).

(iv.) The Hebraic character of the Epistle is further illustrated by a certain terse and forcible way of putting things, reminding one often of the prophetic style, e.g. , James 2:3 , Sit thou here in a good place , and in the same verse, Stand thou there ; James 4:2 ff., Ye lust and have not; ye kill, and covet, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war; ye have not because ye ask not.… Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity against God? James 4:7 , Be subject, therefore, unto God; but resist the devil , James 5:1 , Go to now, ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you . Then, again, the way in which vivid pictures are presented in few but pregnant words is also illustrative of the same prophetic style, e.g. , in James 1:6 , the picture of the man who doubts; in James 2:2 , of the rich man and the poor man entering the synagogue; and in James 5:4 , of the defrauded labourers. Under this heading must also be mentioned the distinctive way in which the writer of the Epistle frames many of his sentences; generally speaking they are short and simple, which points, perhaps, to a natural habit of forming them on the Hebrew or Aramaic pattern; indirect statement is never expressed by the infinitive, but only by ὅτι with the indicative; the simple structure will be seen from the following instances: James 1:3 , γινώσκοντες ὅτι … κατεργάζεται ὑπομονήν . James 1:7 , μὴ γὰρ οἰέσθω … ὅτι λήμψεται … James 2:20 , θέλεις δὲ γνῶναι … ὅτι ἡ πίστις χωρὶς τῶν ἔργων ἀργή ἐστιν ; James 2:24 , ὁρᾶτω ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος . James 2:19 , σὺ πιστεύεις ὅτι εἷς θεός ἐστιν . James 2:22 , βλέπεις ὅτι ἡ πίστις συνήργει … James 3:1 , … εἰδότες ὅτι μεῖζον κρίμα λημψόμεθα . James 4:5 , δοκεῖτε ὅτι κενῶς ἡ γραφὴ λέγει …; James 5:11 , … εἴδετε ὅτι πολύσπλαγχνός ἐστιν ὁ Κύριος . This fact of there being no subordination of sentences, but only coordination is very suggestive of the simple Hebrew construction of sentences. Mention should also be made of the entire absence of the optative mood in the Epistle. On the other hand, we have instances of the prophetic perfect, in James 5:2 , σέσηπεν and γέγονεν , in James 5:3 , κατίωται ; and also of the gnomic aorist, e.g. , James 1:2 , ἀνέτειλεν , where the Hebrew idiom is imitated, see Isaiah 40:7 , … יבשׁ חציר נבל ציץ . Further, the extended use of the word ποιεῖν is extremely suggestive of Hebrew usage, e.g. , James 2:13 , ἡ γὰρ κρίσις ἀνέλεος τῷ μὴ ποιήσαντι ἔλεος , the phrase sounds more natural in Hebrew: … לאשׁר לא־עשׂה חסד ; James 1:22 , γίνεσθε δὲ ποιηταὶ λόγου , Hebrew: והיוּ עשׂי הדבר , cf. James 1:25 ; James 2:8 , καλῶς ποιεῖτε , Hebrew: לעשׂות תיטיבו , cf. James 2:19 ; James 3:12 , μὴ δύναται συκῆ ἐλαίας ποιῆσαι , Hebrew: היוכל עץ התאנה לעשׂות זיתים ; James 3:18 , τοῖς ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην Hebrew: לעשׂי שׁלום ; James 4:13 , … καὶ ποιήσομεν ἐλει ἐνιαυτὸν .… Hebrew: ונעשׂה שׁם שׁנה … And, once more, the extended use of διδόναι in James 5:18 , is also in accordance with the Hebrew idiom. Lastly, there are a few other minor points which seem to betray greater familiarity with Hebrew than with Greek idiom; among these are; the use of the genitive of quality, e.g. , James 1:15 , ἀκροατὴς ἐπιλησμονῆς , James 2:4 , κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν , James 3:6 , κόσμος τῆς ἀδικίας (See Vorst, Hebr .… pp. 244 ff.); the lax use of number, e.g. , James 2:15 , ἐὰν ἀδελφὸς ἢ ἀδελφὴ γυμνοὶ ὑπάρχωσιν …; James 3:14 , εἰ ἐριθίαν ἔχετε ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν …; James 3:10 , ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ στόματος ἐξέρχεται εὐλογία καὶ κατάρα ; the use of the article is inconsistent ; and the disregard of cases is, in some instances, irregular, e.g. , James 3:9 , καταρώμεθα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους (acc. instead of dat.), James 5:6 , κατεδικάσατε τὸν δίκαιον (acc. instead of gen.) cf. Mayor in loc . While allowing due weight to “international vulgarisms,” one cannot help feeling that many of these features point to a Jewish atmosphere of thought, and a Jewish mode of expression.

From all that has been said, therefore, it must be clear that the author of our Epistle was a Jew; as far as it goes, this evidence is in the direction of favouring the authorship of St. James; though it is, of course, far from being in any sense conclusive. But while the internal evidence, so far, speaks distinctly in favour of St. James being the writer of the Epistle, there are some other weighty considerations which point in the opposite direction. Firstly, one might reasonably have expected in an Epistle written by St. James that the fact of his having been the brother of the Lord would have been specially mentioned; this, one might think, would have been insisted on for its own sake, quite apart from the authority and prestige which the mention of it would have conferred upon the writer. Though the fact would have been well known in his immediate surroundings, or even throughout Palestine, and would therefore not have necessitated mention in an Epistle addressed to Palestinian congregations, it was different when, as in the present case, the scattered churches of the Dispersion were being written to; the more authoritative the name of the person who addressed them, the more effective would be the influence of the Epistle upon them. The occurrence of the Lord’s name in the opening verse of the Epistle “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” offered a natural and obvious opportunity for the mention of the writer’s close tie to Him. In reply to this it may well be said that after the resurrection of Christ, and the consequent proclamation of His Divinity to all the world, there would be a natural and very seemly hesitation, on the part of those who were His relations after the flesh, to assert this tie; but this argument is to some extent weakened by the words in John 19:25-27 , which were written later than our Epistle (on the assumption of St. James authorship): “But there were standing by the Cross of Jesus His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by whom He loved, He saith unto His mother …”; if St. John could record thus distinctly the relationship between our Lord and the Blessed Virgin so long after, there does not seem sufficient reason why St. James should not have referred to his own relationship with our Lord. Apart, however, from the non-mention of this relationship, one might, at any rate, have expected a reference to apostleship in the opening verse of the Epistle; for that St. James was regarded as an apostle in the early Church is clear from 1 Corinthians 15:7 , Acts 15:22 , Galatians 2:8-9 . A second reason for questioning the authorship of St. James is the absence of any references to the great outstanding events connected with our Lord’s Person His manner of life on earth, His sufferings and death, His resurrection and ascension. There are special reasons for expecting to find such references in this Epistle assuming it to have been written by St. James. It is almost impossible to believe that one who had known Christ, and had been an eye-witness of His doings and a hearer of His teaching, should maintain such absolute silence on these things when addressing a letter to fellow-believers which touches otherwise on such a large variety of subjects. If there was one thing of paramount importance in the early days of Christianity it was that the fact of Christ’s resurrection should be proclaimed; one has but to remember how often reference is made to this in the Acts about twenty-five times how it is mentioned or implied in all the Pauline Epistles, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, as well as in 1 Peter , 1 and 2 John, to realise the conviction and practice of the other apostles in this; and yet St. James, to whom had been vouchsafed a special manifestation of the risen Lord, can write an Epistle to Jewish-Christians who were scattered abroad without the slightest reference, implicit or explicit, to this cardinal tenet of the faith! The fact of the Epistle being addressed to the Dispersion makes this omission all the more strange; for on the assumption that St. James wrote it, i.e. , that it was probably the earliest in date of all the books of the New Testament, there must have been many among those addressed who would require strengthening in their belief, or who would possibly have heard of the resurrection for the first time from a “pillar” of the Church, supposing it had been mentioned; and, therefore, one might reasonably have expected to have found it occupying a central position in the Epistle. It is fully realised that to argue from omissions is not always safe; it is, however, impossible not to be struck by the omissions referred to if the Epistle was written by St. James. On the assumption of a late date, at all events for the bulk of the Epistle, when the main tenets of the faith, such as the resurrection, were regarded as “first principles” and were meant rather for “babes” in faith ( cf. Hebrews 6:1 and context), these omissions would not cause surprise; but they would be very difficult to account for on the assumption of St. James’ authorship, which would imply a date prior to c. 63 A.D. for its composition. In reply to this it may well be urged that in Acts 15:0 we have an instance of an Epistle written in the earliest ages of Christianity in which no references to the cardinal tenets of the faith are found; but in an Epistle like this (Acts 15:23 ff.), written for one specific purpose, and therefore of small scope, such references cannot well be expected. The possibility is conceivable that a similar letter, though addressed to a different class of hearers, may have constituted the original form of the Epistle that now bears the name of St. James; in this case the absence of the references spoken of above would be quite comprehensible.

Another omission which is likewise difficult to account for on the assumption of the authorship of St. James, is that of any direct reference to Christ as the Messiah of Old Testament prophecy. For a Jew writing to Jewish-Christians in the earliest ages of Christianity such an omission is incomprehensible. The insistence on the Messiahship of our Lord would be the first step in the propagation of the faith among Jews; and if an Epistle of this length and comprehensive character in the subjects touched upon had been written by St. James he could scarcely have omitted some reference, though but a passing one, to the Messiah Whom he had seen and known. The question as to whether our Lord was the promised Messiah or not was one which was naturally surging in the minds of Jews in those early days; the question, “Art Thou He that should come?” perplexed the minds of many others long after the time of the Baptist; for Jews it was all-important, for everything depended upon it. The fact, therefore, that the Messiahship of Jesus is taken for granted in the Epistle (see James 1:1 , James 2:1 ) proves that these Jews of the Dispersion regarded this truth as axiomatic; and this would be almost impossible to understand among Jews of the Dispersion in the earliest ages of Christianity, if the conditions of the time are taken into consideration; the only way whereby this could be brought within the bounds of probability would be to restrict the meaning of Dispersion , but this would be arbitrary and without justification, seeing that in our Epistle the word is used without qualification, and, therefore, evidently intended to mean what was ordinarily understood by it.

A further objection urged against the authorship of St. James is the improbability of one in such a humble walk in life as a Galilæan peasant, the son of Mary and Joseph, being able to pen an Epistle of this kind in Greek. The writer of the Epistle displays a considerable knowledge of the Greek Wisdom literature, of various N.T. books, and of other Greek writings. It may be said in reply that opportunities for learning Greek were not wanting in Palestine, and the fact of humble birth was certainly no hindrance to the acquiring of knowledge among the Jews. But in a case like this, in which proof either for or against is not forthcoming, one must to a large extent be guided by a balance of probabilities. As far as our knowledge goes there was really nothing to induce St. James to learn Greek; there is no evidence for supposing that he extended his evangelistic efforts beyond the confines of Palestine; on the contrary, the evidence is in the other direction; as overseer of the Church in Jerusalem his activity must have been almost, if not altogether, exercised among those of his own race. Moreover, it is certain that the Palestinian Jewish teachers altogether discouraged everything that tended to the spread and influence of the Greek spirit, for they rightly (from their point of view) regarded it as a menace to orthodox Judaism (see Bergmann, Jüdische Apologetik im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter , p. 80, etc.); and for a Jew to go to heathen assemblies to learn was, to say the least, improbable in Palestine. As an apostle of the circumcision (Galatians 2:9 ) in Palestine the various dialects of the Palestinian vernacular were amply sufficient for St. James’ purposes. It must also be confessed that, even granting that St. James knew Greek, the large acquaintance with some of the Pauline Epistles which the writer of our Epistle shows is against the authorship of St. James; for how was St. James to gain such an intimate knowledge of these without having them before him? It is certain that in those early days there were not many copies of them, and whatever copies there were would be needed outside of Palestine rather than inside; nor is it quite clear why St. James should have required them at all. These Epistles must have been treasured by the Churches addressed as their special possession; copies of them are not likely to have been circulated generally until they had become authoritative documents in the Church at large, and this can scarcely have been the case until close upon the end of the first century at the earliest. The two Epistles that come into consideration are Romans , written from Corinth in c. 58 A.D., and Galatians , probably slightly earlier, perhaps from Antioch (or Ephesus?); these are the earliest dates that can be assigned to them, and as St. James was martyred probably in 63 A.D., there certainly does not appear to have been sufficient time for them to have reached that stage of importance in the eyes of Christians generally for copies to have been circulated outside of the particular congregations addressed. This argument does not appeal, of course, to those who hold that St. Paul was indebted to St. James’ Epistle. On the other hand, the analogy of the letter inspired by St. James in Acts 15:0 suggests the possibility that something of the same kind may have been repeated; but in this case we should look for something more homogeneous than the Epistle (in its entirety) which at present bears his name.

Turning now more specifically to the question of date , we have, firstly, the entire absence of any reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. This can either imply that the Epistle was written some time before that event, or else some considerable time after. It is an argument which is conclusive neither for an early nor for a late date, and can only be used to emphasise the correctness of a result, concerning the date, reached on other grounds. There is, however, one consideration which suggests (though it certainly cannot be said to amount to proof) an early date; the words in James 5:7-9 , especially “stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand,” are, in view of such a passage as Mark 13:14-37 see especially Mark 13:28 ff. more natural from one who was writing before the Fall of Jerusalem. Again, the silence in our Epistle regarding the great controversy on the question of the admission of Gentiles into the Church may well be used as an argument in favour of an early date, though it may also imply the opposite. Silence on this subject, which clearly agitated the Church to such an extent as to shake the very pillars ( cf. Galatians 2:11 ff.) can only be satisfactorily explained on one of two hypotheses; either the Epistle was written before this controversy arose, or else it was not written until so long after that there was no occasion to refer to it. It is, therefore, an argument which can be used both in favour of an early and a late date, and is thus, like that just referred to, inconclusive. But see further on this below. In the next place, the data to be gathered from the Epistle as to the order and constitution of the Church are important in seeking to fix an approximate date. The meeting-place for worship of the Jewish-Christians to whom the Epistle is addressed is called the “Synagogue”; from this it has been argued that the Epistle was written at a time when Christian and Jewish places of worship had not yet become differentiated; if, it is said, the Epistle had been written, say, during the first half of the second century, such place of meeting would have been termed ἐκκλησία . In reply to this, however, it can be urged that συναγωγή is used of a distinctively Christian assembly, e.g. , by Hermas in Mand. , xi. 9. Again, in iii. 1 mention is made of “many teachers,” and in James 5:14 of the “elders (or presbyters) of the Church” ( τῆς ἐκκλησίας ); that no reference is made to “bishops” or “deacons” points to an undeveloped constitution of the Church, and therefore to an early date for the Epistle; moreover, the expression “many teachers” may imply a time when regular church officers for this purpose had not yet been ordained. But, on the other hand, it can be argued that the existence of “elders of the Church” does point to an organised system, and that the “many teachers” is better understood at a time when the number of Christians had greatly increased. Here, again, the argument on either side is inconclusive. Once more, the condition of the Churches to which the Epistle is addressed has not unnaturally been pointed to as not suggestive of the very early years of Christianity; the earnestness and zeal which one might expect in those of the first generation of Christians is conspicuously lacking among those addressed; the impression gained as to the characteristics of these is disappointing the unbridled tongue, worldliness, quarrelling, jealousy, a mercenary spirit, despising of the poor, flattering the rich, lust, and an entire absence of the wisdom that is from above, with the virtues which this brings in its train. This argument is extremely well answered by Mayor (pp. cxxviii. ff.), who gives a number of examples showing that a similar state of morals was exhibited in other newly-formed Christian communities; but his answer is not conclusive, for some of the examples cited Ananias and Sapphira, Simon are so obviously exceptional; others, such as the murmuring of Hellenistic Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration, and the jealousy between Jews and Gentiles mentioned in Acts 15:0 , and the case of those who had not heard “whether there be any Holy Ghost,” are not, strictly speaking, analogous. Moreover, a difference must be made between recently converted Jews and those among the Gentiles who became Christians; among the former there had always been a previous training in moral discipline, which was not the case with the Gentiles; the characteristics, therefore, alluded to above, which are spoken of in reference to Jewish-Christians sound stranger than if Gentile-Christians were in question. If, on the other hand, the Epistle or those parts of it which come into consideration in this connection was written after Christianity had been established for two or three generations, the conditions described would be more comprehensible.

The conditions just referred to must, in part, have been the cause of the predominantly ethical character of the Epistle ; morals rather than religion sound the dominant note, and for an Epistle like this to have been written during the Apostolic age, when religious fervour was so pronounced, is certainly a little difficult of explanation. The attempts to solve this problem which have been made only bring into relief the incongruousness of the need of such a tone in an Epistle written in the middle (or shorty after the middle) of the first century; for it differs utterly in this respect from other Apostolic writings. It is, of course, true to say that “no Apostolic writing fails to exhibit the moral interest as the consistent aim of all doctrine and instruction; the appeal for conduct corresponding to the new teaching is the regular conclusion of all doctrinal exposition”; [40] but the Apostles, as the same writer truly observes, always start from “the new revelation of the nature of man’s dependence on God and God’s work in man, which was contained in the Life, the Death, the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus,” [41] and this is just what is left aside or perhaps, more correctly, taken for granted in our Epistle; but in an Apostolic writing we legitimately look for the foundation-truths to be at least as prominent as the ethical standard which is based upon them. The argument based on this fact speaks for a late date. Next, a subject already dealt with, namely, the Judaic tone of the Epistle, is sometimes put forward in favour of an early date; but this characteristic could be used in support of any date from 200 B.C. 200 A.D., to give the narrowest margin; the argument, therefore, is wholly inconclusive. More to the point is that based upon the mention of the Diaspora . For the “twelve tribes of the Dispersion” to be addressed presupposes a widely-spread Christianity, such as would require many years to permit it to have developed itself, so that the use of the phrase in reference to Jewish-Christians almost compels one to postulate a late date for the bulk of the Epistle. The only reply forthcoming to refute this contention is to restrict the meaning of the term “Dispersion”; but, as already pointed out above, the Epistle gives us no authority for this, and what the Jews meant by the twelve tribes of the Dispersion is so well known that this reply ought scarcely to be considered. Then, on the other hand, the absence of all reference to the Temple and its worship has been used as an argument that the Temple no more existed, and that therefore the Epistle must at any rate be later than the year 70 A.D. This argument, however, seems quite inconclusive, for, unless for some specific purpose, why should it be mentioned in an Epistle to Jewish-Christians?

[40] Parry, A Discussion of the General Epistle of St. James , p. 93.

[41] Ibid .

Finally, it is worth inquiring whether the silence of the Epistle concerning the two great distinctive marks of Judaism viz. , Circumcision and the Sabbath throws any light upon the question of date. The opinion had been directly expressed by St. James that circumcision was unnecessary for Gentile-Christians (Acts 15:19 ; cf. Acts 15:5 ); on the other hand, Jewish-Christians would, of course, have been circumcised, in the first generation; but there must have arisen at an early stage the question as to whether the children of Jewish-Christians should be circumcised or not; it can hardly be doubted that the congregations in the Dispersion to whom our Epistle was addressed comprised a certain number of Gentile- as well as Jewish-Christians, and the latter must have known that the former were not circumcised, neither they nor their children, and therefore the question must have arisen as to which was the right course; it was a subject with which St. Paul had had to deal (1 Corinthians 7:18 ); as soon as the two classes of Christians began to associate, it must have become necessary to have some uniformity in this matter; it concerned the children more especially. On the assumption of an early date for the Epistle one might almost have a right to expect some reference to the question on account of its importance in the eyes of Jews, whereas on the assumption of a late date, when the usage of non-circumcision had been in vogue for some time, the silence on the subject would be natural. It is, perhaps, worth while pointing out that the question was probably to some extent complicated by the fact that baptism, as well as circumcision, was practised among the Jews, as regards proselytes, both before and after the founding of Christianity; during the first centuries of Christianity it became a burning question among the Rabbis whether circumcision without baptism was sufficient; some maintained that baptism alone sufficed. These were things concerning which the scattered congregations of the Dispersion must, in these early years of the planting of the faith, have needed guidance. As regards the Sabbath, some authoritative expression of opinion would also seem to have been demanded if the Epistle were of early date; those who had only comparatively recently become Christians might be expected to have required some guidance as to the observance of the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day; even if both were observed, as was probably the case among the early Jewish-Christians, questions as to the relative importance of each can scarcely have been wanting when one remembers the punctiliousness in all that concerns observances which is so characteristic of the Jew. The silence on these two subjects is, of course, inconclusive as to date; all that can be said is that, assuming an early date for the Epistle, some reference to them might reasonably be expected, while if it were written about 125 130 A.D. this silence would be natural.

The net result, then, of these considerations as to authorship and date appears to be as follows: A great deal is to be said in favour of St. James’ authorship, and, therefore, in favour of an early date; at least as much is to be said in favour of a late date (say the first or second quarter of the second century), and, therefore, against the authorship of St. James. Against every argument adduced in favour of either view serious objections can be urged; but then these objections, again, can for the most part be upset by counter-arguments. In view of such a perplexing state of affairs it is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach a satisfactory conclusion; one thing is quite clear, and that is, that the advocates of either contention have a great deal to urge in support of their position, and that, therefore, dogmatic assertion regarding either is precarious, and belittling of the adversaries’ arguments uncalled for. Any conclusion reached must, for the present, be tentative; and, therefore, the view here held is provisional the view, that is to say, that the name of St. James attaching to the Epistle is authentic, but that, in the first instance, the Epistle was a great deal shorter than as we now possess it; sections being added from time to time, probably excerpts from other writings, or adaptations of these. Indeed, it is possible that we have here something in the shape of text and commentary, the latter being enlarged as time went on. If one remembers how, on an infinitely larger scale, of course, the comments of the words of Scripture by degrees became the Mishna , the comments on these the Gemara , and how ultimately the ponderous mass known as the Talmud came into being, the possibility of this intensely Jewish Epistle having grown by a process of comments, which ultimately came to be regarded as part of the Epistle itself, will be realised. One or two tentative examples of the supposed process will be given in III. on the analysis of the Epistle. This view does not profess to be anything more than theory, it is probably incapable of proof; but it has, at least, the merit of justifying the position both of those who advocate an early as well as those who believe in a late date for the Epistle.

II. LITERARY CHARACTERISTICS. These have to a large extent been already dealt with; but a brief reference to three other points is demanded on account of their special importance.

(i.) One of the most striking features of the Epistle is the extended acquaintance with the Wisdom literature which it exhibits. Many instances of this will be found in the Commentary, here it must suffice to indicate by references some of the more important and striking examples; the following passages should be compared together: James 1:5 , Sir 1:1 ; Sir 1:26 , Wis 6:14 ; Wis 7:14-15 ; Wis 1:8 , Sir 1:28 ; Sir 2:12 ; Sir 5:9 ; Sir 1:12 , Wis 5:16 ; Wis 1:13 , Sir 15:11-15 (especially in the Hebrew original), Sir 15:20 ; James 1:19 , Sir 5:11 (the words “and let thy life be sincere,” which are inserted by A.V., are found neither in the Hebrew nor the Greek; their absence makes the agreement between the words in Jas. and this passage closer), Sir 1:29 , Sir 4:29 , Sir 5:13 ; Sir 1:27 , Sir 7:34-36 ; cf. Sir 4:10 ; Sir 2:6 , Wis 2:10 (in the Greek); James 3:2 , Sir 14:1 ; Sir 19:16 ; Sir 25:8 ; Sir 37:18 ; Sir 3:5-6 , Sir 5:13-14 ; Sir 8:3 ; Sir 28:11 ; Sir 3:8 , Sir 28:16-18 ; Sir 3:10 , Sir 28:12 (see also context); James 3:13 ; James 3:17 , Wis 7:22-24 ; Wis 5:4 , Sir 4:1-6 ; Sir 34:22 ; Sir 5:7 , Sir 6:19 ; Sir 4:26 ; Sir 48:3 ( cf. context). These are very far from being exhaustive, and only two books of the Wisdom literature have been referred to, whereas points of contact are to be found in several others. This knowledge and sympathy with the Wisdom literature suggest a Hellenistic rather than a Palestinian Jew.

(ii.) A second literary characteristic, and one which is further indicative of Hebraic colouring (see above), is to be found in the large number of parallelisms which the Epistle contains. This well-known Hebrew literary characteristic appears sometimes more clearly than at others in the Epistle, but a few of the most obvious examples are the following:

James 1:9-10 a . Let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate;

And the rich in that he is made low .

James 1:15 . Then the lust, having conceived, beareth sin ;

And the sin, being full-grown, bringeth forth death .

James 1:17 . Every good gift and every perfect boon is from above ,

Coming down from the Father of lights ,

With Whom can be no variation ,

Nor shadow that is cast by turning .

James 1:19-20 . But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath ;

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God .

James 1:22 . Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ,

Deluding your own selves .

James 3:11-12 . Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet and bitter water?

Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs?

See, further, James 4:7 ; James 4:10 , James 5:4-5 ; James 5:9 . This, too, is in the style of much of the Wisdom literature, and reminds one often of the Book of Proverbs especially.

(iii.) Lastly, one cannot fail to be struck by the number of words a large number when the shortness of the Epistle is considered which are either ἅπ . λεγ . in the New Testament, or very rarely found, outside the Epistle, in the Septuagint or New Testament; this denotes a knowledge of Greek literature and of the Greek language generally, which is very noticeable; attention is drawn to such words in the Commentary whenever they occur. For other literary characteristics see I. § 2.

III. ANALYSIS OF THE EPISTLE. The vast majority of commentators are agreed that no consistent scheme is presented in this Epistle, but that it contains rather a number of unconnected sayings which are for the most part independent of one another. The analysis of the Epistle shows the correctness of this view in the main. [42] In some cases it is possible that a thought-connection of a secondary character exists which is not at once apparent; by a thought-connection of a secondary character is meant, when in two succeeding sections a subordinate, not the main, thought of the earlier is taken up and dealt with in the later; an example may be seen in the two sections James 1:2-4 , James 1:5-8 ; the main thought in the former is the being joyful in temptations, the subject of patience is a subordinate thought, and still more so, that of lacking in nothing; but it is this last which is taken up in the succeeding section and attached to the thought of lacking in wisdom; so that, although it is perfectly true to say there is no genuine connection between these two sections, yet there is a secondary connection. It is improbable that the two sections come from the same writer, because they are lacking in real mental sequence; and yet a semblance of sequence is apparent; if both came from the same writer one would either expect a genuine sequence of thought if the two were intended to be connected, or else a clear indication of each being self-contained. As they stand, it looks as though the former were a text, and the latter a comment upon it, very much like the similar process which occurs incessantly in the Mishna . [43] The next section, James 1:9-11 , deals with the subject of rich and poor; it stands in an isolated position here, but is intimately connected with the later section, James 2:1-13 . With James 1:12-16 we have another instance of what looks like text and comment; the subject is that of temptation, and comes most naturally after James 1:4 ; the text is contained in Hebrews 13:12 , the following verses then comment on the nature of temptation. This is an instructive instance illustrative of the theory of the authorship of the Epistle here tentatively advocated (see above); for on comparing the simple, straightforward character of Hebrews 13:12 with the intricate chain of thought in the two following verses, it is almost impossible to postulate identity of authorship. James 1:17 belongs to the preceding, possibly (see IV. § 1), and James 1:18 seems to be a comment on the “Father of lights”. James 1:19-20 forms an isolated saying. A self-contained section on the subject of practical religion follows in James 1:21-25 , to which Hebrews 13:26, 27 form an addition, James 2:1-13 has already been referred to; it is followed by a section (James 2:14-26 ) of deep interest on the subject of faith and works, to which James 3:13-18 belong, according to the subject-matter. James 3:1-12 is a self-contained passage dealing with the subject of self-control as regards the tongue. If these first three chapters show a want of homogeneity, the last two do so in an even more pronounced way; the various sections are clearly divided off, showing no connection with each other, the whole forming a collection of extracts, apparently; thus, James 4:1-10 contains warnings and exhortations concerning the practical religious life; James 4:11-12 is a short section on the need of observing the second great commandment of the Law; James 4:13-17 lays stress on the uncertainty and fleeting character of earthly life; James 5:1-11 is an eschatological section, and extremely practical; James 5:12 , which prohibits swearing, is almost a quotation from the Sermon on the Mount; James 5:13-18 gives directions concerning the visitation of the sick; and the abrupt ending James 5:19-20 speaks of the reward of those who convert sinners from their evil ways.

[42] Parry’s attempt to show that the Epistle is “a very careful and logical exposition of a single theme” ( op. cit . p. 6) is ingenious, but much too artificial to carry conviction.

[43] Catch-words, it would seem, played their part in the formation and grouping of sections.

It will thus be seen that the Epistle is for the most part a collection of independent sections; some of these were evidently originally intended to be comments on the Apostle’s words, possibly added by one or more of the elders of the churches addressed for the benefit of the members; others seem to be wholly independent, and not to have had anything to do with the Epistle in the first instance. The various elements of which the Epistle is now composed have to a large extent become so intermingled that the attempt to differentiate between them seems hopeless. But, generally speaking, we should look for the simplest, most direct and straightforward parts as being those which would be the most likely words of the Apostle; so that such parts as James 1:13-16 and James 2:14-26 can hardly be regarded as from the same hand as, e.g. , James 2:1-13 (in the main).

IV. SOME JEWISH DOCTRINES CONSIDERED. As is often mentioned in the notes, there are some points of Jewish theology which figure rather prominently in this Epistle; there are above all two subjects, specifically Jewish, which play an important part, and therefore a brief consideration of these will not be out of place here:

(i.) The Jewish doctrine of the Yetser hara‘ . Speculations as to the origin of sin were rife among Jewish thinkers at all times; the perplexity which is so plainly apparent in the words of St. Paul (Romans 7:22-23 ), For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members , had been felt by many long before his day. The origin of the existence of the “law of sin in the members,” which asserted itself in spite of the ardent desire of men to be free from its power, was the great problem which had to be solved. The result was the theory, based upon the observed facts of experience, that within man, as part of his created being, there were two tendencies: the tendency towards good, Yetser ha-tob ( יצר הטוב ), and the tendency towards evil, Yetser hara‘ ( יצר הרע ). But whence originated these two tendencies? If they both formed part of man’s nature from the beginning, it followed that their creation was due to God; there was, of course, no difficulty about ascribing the creation of the good tendency to Him, but that He should have created anything evil was obviously a difficulty. The varying thoughts and speculations on the subject will perhaps best be seen by giving a few illustrations as examples. In Sir 15:14-15 , we have these interesting words, according to the Greek Version: “He made man from the beginning, and left him in the power of his will” ( ἐν χειρὶ διαβουλίου αὐτοῦ ); “if thou willest, thou wilt observe the commandments, and to exhibit faithfulness is a matter of thy good pleasure” ( καὶ πίστιν ποιῆσαι εὐδοκίας ); the significance of these words is only realised when they are read in the Hebrew, viz. , “God [this is the reading of the Syriac and Latin as well] created man from the beginning; and He delivered him into the hand of him who took him for a prey ( חותפו ); and He gave him over into the power of his will ( יצרו )”; here it is clear that the second clause is an explanatory gloss (it is wanting in the Greek), the object being to indicate that to be in the power of the Yetser (which is here clearly used in reference to the evil tendency) is equivalent to being in the power of Satan. This is important as showing that the evil tendency is not ascribed to divine creation, but that over against the good which God created in man there is an opposition of evil which is due to the activity of Satan. This thought of opposing tendencies is apparent elsewhere in the same book, e.g. , Sir 33:15 : “Good is set against evil, and life against death; so is the godly against the sinner. So look upon all the works of the Most High; there are two and two, one against another” (the Hebrew of these verses is not extant); here the writer comes perilously near ascribing the creation of evil to God; but in another passage the question is left open, Sir 37:3 : “O evil tendency ( יצר רע ), why wast thou made to fill the earth with thy deceit?” It is, at all events, not directly ascribed to God; these pathetic words remind one of those of St. Paul in Romans 7:24 . The same hesitation to assert that God created evil is observable in a curious passage from the pseudepigraph called The Life of Adam and Eve ( Apocalpyse of Moses ), § 19; [44] this describes the origin of evil, and tells of how in the garden of Eden Satan took the form of an angel, but spoke “through the mouth of the Serpent,” and aroused within Eve the desire to eat of the fruit of the tree that stood in the middle of the garden; first of all, however, we are told that he made her swear that she would give of the fruit to Adam as well; then the text goes on: “When he ( i.e. , the Serpent) had, then, made me swear, he came and ascended up into it ( i.e. , the tree). But in the fruit which he gave me to eat he placed the poison of his malice, namely, of his lust; for lust is the beginning of all sin. And he [other authorities read “I”] bent down the bough to the earth, then I took of the fruit and ate.” Here the origin of evil in man is satisfactorily accounted for; its existence in Satan is taken for granted, and no attempt is made to follow it up further back. Noticeable here, too, is the way in which lust is brought into connection with the origin of sin; this is an idea which seems to have been widely prevalent in Jewish circles, the lust of Satan towards Eve being described as the beginning of sin in the world (See Sanhedrin , 59 b; Sotah , 9 b; Jebamoth , 103 b; Abodah Zara , 22 b; Bereshith Rabba , c. 18, 19); so that it is very interesting to read in our Epistle, after James 1:13-14 (which will be referred to presently), in which the impulse to sin in man is dealt with, the words: “… when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death”. This thought of a relationship between sin and death is graphically illustrated in the Jerusalem Targum to Gen. iii. 6, where it is said that at the moment in which Eve succumbed to temptation she caught sight of Sammael, the angel of death. Other theories as to the origin of sin were that it was brought into existence by man, e.g. , Enoch xcviii. 4, “Sin has not been sent upon the earth, but man himself has created it,” this is the teaching, apparently, in Enoch 1:14 ; in ch. lxxxv of the same book it is taught that fallen angels were the originators of sin ( cf. Bereshith Rabba , c. 24; Yalkut Shim. Beresh. , 42). None of these theories was, however, satisfactory; none really gave the answer to the problem that was constantly presenting itself; if, for a moment, the contention was put forth that man himself originated sin, a very little thought showed that this, too, was untenable, for the very nature of the “evil tendency” forbade the idea that man could have created it. Therefore, at a very early period, comparatively speaking, the teaching which afterwards became crystallised in Rabbinical writings, must have been put forth, the logical, if dangerous, doctrine, that God, as the Creator of all things, must have also created the Yetser hara‘ , the “evil tendency”; thus in Bereshith Rabba , c. 27, it is definitely stated that God created the Yetser hara‘ ; in Yalkut Shim. Beresh. , 44 47, the Almighty is made to say: “I grieve that I created man of earthly substance; for had I created him of heavenly substance he would not have rebelled against me”; again ibid. 61: “It repenteth me that I created the Yetser hara‘ in man, for had I not done this he would not have rebelled against me”; and in Kiddushin , 30 b , we read: “I created an evil tendency ( Yetser ra‘ ). I created for him ( i.e. , for man, in order to counteract this) the Law as a means of healing. If ye occupy yourselves with the Law, ye will not fall into the power of it ( i.e. , the Yetser ra‘ ). Once more, according to Bammidbar Rabba , c. 22, we are told of how God created the good and the evil tendencies: the former was placed in man’s right side, the latter in his left side. In other passages it is pointed out that the Yetser tob is Wisdom and Knowledge of the Law (Weber, Jüdische Theologie , p. 218). The danger of such a doctrine is obvious, a danger which could not be more vividly illustrated than in the words of St. Paul, Romans 7:15-24 : “… but if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the Law that it is good. So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me.… but if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me, …”; that teaching like this, taken with the belief that the evil tendency was created by God, would be perverted was almost inevitable; it was the existence of such perversions which must have called forth the words in James 1:13 f. of our Epistle: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempteth no man …”; then, possibly, the words in Hebrews 13:17 of the same chapter, “Every good gift and every perfect boon is from above …” refer to the Yetser ha-tob , and are intended to exclude the belief that the Yetser hara‘ , whereby men were tempted, came from God.

[44] The two works run parallel to a large extent.

(ii.) The Jewish Doctrine of Works . There are, according to Rabbinical teaching, two categories of good works: i. Mitzvôth ( מצוות ) lit. “commandments”; these consist in observances of the Torah ; ii. Works of love, of which the most important is almsgiving, indeed so high does this stand that it has the technical name of צדקה (“righteousness”); these two categories comprise the whole body of מעשׂים טובים (“good works”), the former representing man’s duty to God, the latter His duty to His fellow-creatures; cf. Matthew 22:36-40 , “… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God … thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hangeth the whole law and the prophets.” According to Jewish teaching, there are certain works of obligation; good works done over and above these are of free-will, and by these justification in the sight of God is attainable. There are two classes of men, those who do a sufficient number of good works to be justified in the sight of God these are the צדיקים , “the righteous” and those who do not these are the רשׁעים , “the wicked”; these two are differentiated on earth, for it is said in Sanhedrin , 47 a , that a רשׁע may not be buried by the side of a צדיק . But besides these two classes, there is an intermediate one, the “ones between” ( בינונים ), who are half good and half bad; these can, by adding one good work, become reckoned among the “righteous” on the Day of Atonement ( Rôsh hashshana , 16 b ). The צדיקים the “righteous” were regarded as being in a state of זכות ( Zecûth ), which meant that their accumulation of good works was great enough to enable them to stand justified in the sight of God. In addition to this there was also the doctrine of זכות אבות (“merit of the fathers”), according to which the works of supererogation of departed ancestors went to the account of their descendants. The being in a state of Zecûth entitled a man, per se , to what was technically known as מתן שׂכר , lit. “the gift of reward” ( cf. Debarim rabba , c. 2); and this applied to earthly reward as well as to reward hereafter. So that good works demanded reward from God; thus it is said in Yalkut Shim. Beresh. , 109, that it is by right that a man is rewarded with the good things in the Garden of Eden, because he has won them for himself. Justification by faith comes only so far into consideration in that it is reckoned among the מעשׂים טובים (“good works”), which, like all others, goes to swell the list of a man’s מצוות , cf. James 2:24 , “Ye see that by works a man is justified and not only by faith”.

There is, at bottom, an intimate connection between the doctrine of the good and evil “tendency,” dealt with above, and the doctrine of works; for it was by man’s free-will that the good tendency was put into action which resulted in the accomplishment of good works; and it was by man’s free-will that the evil tendency was resisted, and this constituted per se a mitzvah; cf. Kiddushin , 39 b, 40 a, where it is taught that the desire to do a mitzvah ( i.e. , the calling of the good Yetser into action) is reckoned as though it were actually accomplished; and the temptation to do a sinful act ( i.e. , the motion of the evil Yetser ) if resisted likewise constitutes a mitzvah . It was, perhaps, almost inevitable that the danger would arise of taking merit for good deeds, i.e. , for exercising the good tendency, while repudiating responsibility for the often involuntary assertion of the evil tendency; that, however, the danger did arise does not admit of doubt; it was naïvely illogical, for while the exercise of the good tendency, resulting in good works, was regarded as solely due to human initiative such a thing as “prevenient grace” did not come into account, cf. Ephesians 2:8-10 the evil tendency came to be looked upon as a human misfortune, and not of the nature of guilt in man, cf. James 1:13 , where this is combated.

These facts should be taken into consideration in seeking to realise the significance of some passages in our Epistle; thus, in James 1:2-4 ; James 1:12 , we have Jewish teaching pure and simple, and the fact goes to substantiate the opinion that these verses, at all events, must be very early; one could not conceive them in the mouth of St. Paul, cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13 , Romans 2:4 , whose teaching on this subject, though apparently more developed, is really fully in accordance with that of Christ; [45] on the other hand, we have in James 2:10 (“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is become guilty of all”) a principle which is certainly not that of normal Jewish teaching. On the very important section, James 2:14-26 , see the notes in the Commentary, and what has been said above. Lastly, in James 5:19-20 , we have again a thought which is especially Jewish; that a man should be able to “cover a multitude of sins” by virtue of his good deed is directly anti-Christian, because it makes the forgiveness of sins a matter which a man can effect, and thus wholly antagonistic to the doctrines of Grace and Atonement. On the word “to cover,” the English equivalent for the Hebrew כפר , see Church and Synagogue , April 1908, pp. 43 45.

[45] As an example of this see the writer’s article, “The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard,” in the Expositor , April, 1908.

V. THE APPARATUS CRITICUS. The following are the authorities, together with their abbreviations, which have been utilised:


א Cod. Sinaiticus (iv. cen.).

ב Cod. Patiriensis (v. cen.), containing only James 4:14 to James 5:20 .

A Cod. Alexandrinus (v. cen.).

B Cod. Vaticanus (iv. cen.).

C Cod. Ephraemi (v. cen.), wanting from James 4:3 to the end.

K 2 Cod. Mosquensis (ix. cen.), cited as K.

L2 Cod. Angelicus Romanus (ix. cen.), cited as L.

P2 Cod. Porfirianus (ix. cen.), cited as P; much illegible in James 2:13-21 .


Cited by their numbers, but only when they offer readings of interest; curss = the consensus of a number of cursives.


The Old Latin :

m the pseudo-Augustinian Speculum (viii. or ix. cen.).

ff Cod. Corbeiensis (vi. cen.).

s Frag. Vindobonensia (vi. cen.); wanting in James 5:11-20 .

The Vulgate :

The two most important MSS. are:

Vulg A Cod. Amiatinus (viii. cen.).

Vulg F Cod. Fuldensis (vi. cen.).

Latt = the consensus of the Latin versions.

The Syriac Versions :

Pesh = Peshiṭtâ (belongs to the first half of the v. cen.).

Syr lec = A Syriac Lectionary written in the dialect most probably used by our Lord (vi. cen.). Of Jas. it contains only James 1:1-12 .

Syr hk = The Harḳlean Syriac (vii. cen.).

Syrr = the consensus of the Syriac versions.

The Armenian Version (v. cen.). [46]

[46] These dates refer to the century in which the versions were probably first made, not to any extant MSS. of them.

The Coptic (Bohairic) Version (vi. vii. cen.). [47]

[47] These dates refer to the century in which the versions were probably first made, not to any extant MSS. of them.

The Ethiopic Version (iv. cen.). [48]

[48] These dates refer to the century in which the versions were probably first made, not to any extant MSS. of them.

The Sahidic Version (iii. cen.). [49]

[49] These dates refer to the century in which the versions were probably first made, not to any extant MSS. of them.


Cyr = Cyril of Alexandria (v. cen.).

Dam = John Damascene (viii. cen.).

Did = Didymus of Alexandria (iv. cen.)

Oec = Oecumenius (xi. cen.).

Orig = Origen (iii. cen.).

Thl = Theophylact (xi. cen.).


rec = Textus Receptus.

Ti = Tischendorf.

Treg = Tregelles.

WH = Westcott and Hort.

W = Weiss.

The Greek text used in the following pages is that published by Nestle, 1907.

VI. LITERATURE. The following selected list of Commentaries, etc., only takes account of the more recent works; for a full bibliography recourse must be had to Mayor’s enumeration:

Pfleiderer, Urchristenthum , 1887.

Beyschlag, Der Brief des Jacobus , 1888.

Plummer, St. James , in the “Expositor’s Bible,” 1891.

Weiss, Die Katholischen Briefe … 1892.

Spitta, Der Brief des Jakobus , 1898.

Spitta, Zur Geschichte und Litteratur des Urchristenthums , ii., 1896.

Von Soden, Hand-Commentar … 1899.

Parry, A Discussion of the General Epistle of St. James , 1903.

Grafe, Die Stellung und Bedeutung des Jakobusbriefes in der Entwickelung des Urchristenthums , 1904.

Knowling, The Epistle of St. James , in the “Westminster Commentaries,” 1904.

Carr, The Epistle of St. James , in the “Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges,” 1905.

Mayor, The Epistle of St. James , 1906.

Patrick, James, the Lord’s Brother , 1906.

See also the Introductions of Salmon, Scrivener, Weiss, Zahn, Holtzmann, and Gregory.

The following is a selection of some valuable articles:

Adeney, in the Critical Review , July, 1896.

Brückner, in the Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie , 1874.

Cone, in Encycl. Bibl . art. “James (Epistle)”.

Fulford, in Hastings’ Dict. of Christ and the Gospels , art. “James”.

Moffatt, in the Expos. Times , xiii. pp. 201 206, “The Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees”.

Mayor, in Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible , artt. “James,” “James, General Epistle of”.

Sieffert, in Herzog’s Realencyclopädie , art. “Jacobus”.

Simcox, in The Journal of Theological Studies , July, 1901.

Von Soden, in Jahrbücher für protestantische Theologie , 1884.

Weiss, in the Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift , May, June, 1904.

But perhaps of the greatest help of all are the many side-lights to be gathered from the study of such works as the following:

Bergmann, Jüdische Apologetik im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter , 1908.

Bousset, Die Religion des Judenthums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter , 1903. [50]

[50] A new edition of this book has appeared.

Büchler, Der galiläische ‘Am-ha’ Areṣ des zweiten Jahrhunderts , 1906.

Charles, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs , 1908.

Charles, The Book of Enoch , 1893.

Dalman, Die Worte Jesu , 1898.

Deissmann, Bibelstudien , 1895.

Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien , 1897.

Fiebig’s series of Ausgewählte Mischnatractate , 1905, etc.

Friedländer, Die religiösen Bewegungen innerhalb des Judenthums im Zeitalter Jesu , 1905.

Harnack, The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (Engl. trans. by Moffatt) 1908.

Holtzmann, Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte , 1906.

Resch, Agrapha , 1906.

Schürer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (Engl. trans. by Macpherson, Taylor, and Christie), 1890, etc. [51]

[51] A new edition of this work has appeared.

Smend, Die Weisheit des Jesus-Sirach , 1906.

Taylor’s edition of Pirqe Aboth , “Sayings of the Jewish Fathers,” 1897.

Weber, Jüdische Theologie auf Grund des Talmud und verwandter Schriften , 1897.

The Talmudical works of Wünsche, Bacher, Strack, Fiebig, etc.

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