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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

James

- James

by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs

A CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL COMMENTARY

ON THE

EPISTLE OF ST. JAMES

BY

JAMES HARDY ROPES

Hollis Professor of Divinity in Harvard University

EDINBURGH

T. & T. CLARK LTD, 59 GEORGE STREET

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of T. & T. Clark Ltd.

PREFACE

————

A Commentary like the present draws frankly from its predecessors, just as these in their turn used materials quarried by earlier scholars, whom they do not name on each occasion. The right to do this is won by conscientious effort in sifting previous collections and reproducing only what is trustworthy, apt, and instructive for the understanding of the text. If new illustrations or evidence can be added, that is so much to the good.

So far as I am aware, the solution I have given of the textual problem of 1:17, the “shadow of turning,” is strictly new. It is a matter of no consequence in itself, but acquires interest because it bears directly on the relation of the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts, and because Dr. Hort candidly recognised this reading of א and B, as hitherto understood, to present a grave, although unique, obstacle to his and Dr. Westcott’s theory.

To some other discussions, of the nature of detached notes, in which material is freshly or fully collected, I have ventured to call the reader’s attention in the Table of Contents. It may also be not improper to remark that the account of extant ancient commentaries on James in Greek and Latin (pages 110-113) runs counter to some recent statements.

The explanation offered of “thou” and “I” in 2:18, which seems to me to solve the problem of that passage, is not strictly new, but has been overlooked in most current works on the epistle. In the light of modern geographical knowledge the reference in 5:7 to “the early and latter rain” gains a greater importance than has generally been observed.

The summary of the epistle (pages 4 f.) may make more clear and intelligible than I have been able to do elsewhere the measure of unity which the epistle shows, and the relation of its parts.

A marked defect of this commentary, although one not peculiar to it, is that its rabbinical illustrations ought to be fuller. The glaring technical inconsistencies in the mode of referring to such passages as are cited will betray at once that they are drawn from various secondary sources and not from original and systematic research. It would be a great service to New Testament scholars to provide them with a new and adequate set of Horae hebraicae, and nowhere is the need so great as in James and the Gospel of Matthew.

These two writings are sources from which a knowledge of primitive Palestinian Christianity can be drawn, and they represent a different line of development from that of the Hellenistic Christianity which finds expression in Luke, Paul, and John. The grounds of the distinction are other than those which the Tübingen School believed to have controlled early Christian history, but they are no less clear or far-reaching. A just understanding of these tendencies requires a sound view not only of the origin and meaning of the Epistle of James, but of its history in the church. And here the critical question is that of the Shepherd of Hermas. The view stated below that Hermas betrays no knowledge of James and is not dependent on him was forced on me, I am glad to say, by the study of the facts, against a previous prejudice and without at first recognising where it led; but it is in truth the key to the history. If Hermas really read the Epistle of James so often that he knew by heart its most incidental phrases, now working them into his own writing and again making them the text for long expansions, the place of the epistle in early Christianity becomes an insoluble riddle.

The notes on textual criticism in the commentary are intended to treat chiefly those selected variants which make a difference in the sense; the materials employed do not ordinarily go beyond the apparatus of Tischendorf. I hope later to treat the criticism and history of the text of James in the light of all the evidence, including as nearly as may be the whole body of extant minuscule Greek manuscripts.

To many friends who have helped me in countless ways and from great stores of thought and knowledge I would gratefully express the obligation that I owe them.

James Hardy Ropes.

Harvard University.

ABBREVIATIONS

————

Blass = F. Blass, Grammatik des Neutestamentlichen Griechisch, 21902.

Blass-Debrunner = A. Debrunner, Friedrich Blass’ Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch, vierte vöilig neugearbeitete Auflage, 1913.

Bultmann = R. Bultmann, Der Stil der Paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments, 13), 1910.

Burton Moods and Tenses = E. D. Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, 41900.

Buttmann = A. Buttmann, A Grammar of the New Testament Greek, Thayer’s translation, 1876.

DB = Dictionary of the Bible.

DCA = W. Smith and S. Cheetham, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, 1893.

EB = Encyclopœdia Biblica, 1899-1903.

Gebser = A. R. Gebser, Der Brief des Jakobus, Berlin, 1828.

GgA = Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen.

Goodspeed, Index = E. J. Goodspeed, Index patristicus, 1907.

Hadley-Allen = J. Hadley, A Greek Grammar for Schools and Colleges, revised by F. D. Allen, 1884.

Harnack, CaL = A. von Harnack, Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius (Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius, Zweiter Theil), 1897, 1904.

Hatch, Essays = Edwin Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, 1889.

HDB = J. Hastings, A Dictionary of the Bible, 1898-1902.

Heisen = H. Heisen, Novae hypotheses interpretandae epistolae Jacobi, Bremen, 1739.

Herzog-Hauck, PRE = A. Hauck, Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, begründet von J. J. Herzog, 1896-1913.

Hort, “Introduction,” “Appendix” = B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction, Appendix, 1881, 21896.

JE = The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-6.

JTS = The Journal of Theological Studies.

Krüger = K. W. Krüger, Griechische Sprachlehre für Schulen, 41861-2.

Leipoldt, GnK = J. Leipoldt, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 1907-8.

Lex. = J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1886.

L. and S. = H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, 71883.

Mayor = J. B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. James, 1892, 21897, 31910.

Meyer = Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament begründet von Heinr. Aug. Wilh. Meyer.

J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena = A Grammar of New Testament Greek. Vol I. Prolegomena, 1906, 31908.

NkZ = Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift.

NTAF = The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers by a Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology, 1905.

ol. = olim (used to indicate Gregory’s former numeration of Greek Mss., in Prolegomena, 1894).

OLBT = Old-Latin Biblical Texts, 1883—.

Pauly-Wissowa, RE = G. Wissowa, Paulus Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft; neue Bearbeitung, 1894—.

Pott = D. J. Pott., in Novum Testamentum Grœce, editio Koppiana, Göttingen, 31816.

SB = Studia biblica et ecclesiastica; Essays chiefly in Biblical and Patristic Criticism, 1890—.

Schmidt, Synonymik = J. H. H. Schmidt, Synonymik der griechischen Sprache, 1876-86.

Schurer, GJV = E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 41901-9.

Taylor, SJF = C. Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, 21897.

Trench, Synonyms = R. C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, 121894.

TS = Texts and Studies, Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature, 1891—.

TU = Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 1882—.

Vg = Vulgate.

Westcott, CNT = B. F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 71896.

Winer = G. B. Winer, A Grammar of the Idiom of the New Testament, Thayer’s translation, 21873.

Zahn, Einleitung = Theodor Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 31906-7.

GnK = Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons, 1888-92.

Grundriss = Grundriss der Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons, 1901, 21904.

The commentaries named on pp. 113-115 are frequently referred to by the author’s name.

The page numbers sometimes given with citations from Philo are those of Mangey’s edition.

The Psalms are regularly cited by the Hebrew numbers, both for Psalms and verses.

INTRODUCTION

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I. THE EPISTLE

The Epistle of James is a religious and moral tract having the form, but only the form, of a letter. It contains counsels and reflections on a variety of topics relating to personal character and right conduct, but attains a certain unity from the writer’s own traits of sincerity, good sense, and piety, which are manifest in every paragraph. The epistle has been assigned to many dates and several places of origin, and is held by many to be a genuine writing of James the Lord’s brother; but it is probably the pseudonymous production of a Christian of Jewish origin, living in Palestine in the last quarter of the first century or the first quarter of the second. The precise limits of the period within which it was written cannot be determined.

The epistle reflects the conditions of Jewish life in Palestine, and almost all the ideas have their roots in Jewish thought, but in much of the language, style, and mode of expression generally, and in some of the ideas, Hellenistic influences are unmistakable and strong. The interweaving of the two strains contributes much to the freshness and effectiveness of the epistle as a hortatory essay.

Our first certain knowledge of the book is from two sources of about the same date; namely, Origen (c. 185-c. 254) and the pseudo-clementine Epistles to Virgins, written in Palestine in Greek in the early decades of the third century. After Origen the Epistle of James seems soon to have become widely accepted in the Greek church as a part of the N. T. In the West the translation into Latin, made before 350, gives the earliest evidence of acquaintance with the epistle by Latin-speaking Christians. In Syria the Greek original was known as early as the latter half of the fourth century, and it was first translated into Syriac (as a part of the Peshitto) in the early part of the fifth.

§ 1. The Purpose and Contents of the Epistle

(a) Purpose

The writer of the Epistle of James has in mind in his counsels the general needs of such Christians as he is acquainted with or of whose existence he is aware. The epistle does not treat of the special concerns of any particular church nor owe its origin to any specific occasion. The author addresses any Christians into whose hands his work may fall and touches upon subjects of wide and general interest. It cannot be said that the epistle has any more specific “purpose” than the general aim of edification. In the selection of topics the writer was governed partly by his own special interests at the moment, partly by what he drew from his own experience of the life about him as to the needs of human nature in general. Doubtless here, as always, the impulse to expression arose from the consciousness of having something to say which by its freshness either of form or substance would interest readers and strike home. There is no attempt in the epistle to give a full or systematic account of the author’s ideas on any subject.

(b) Contents

Like the ancient Wisdom-literature of the Hebrews, with which (in spite of entire difference of style) the writer probably shows some familiarity, much of the epistle is in aphoristic form. Such sentences, having their meaning complete in themselves, gain comparatively little illumination from the context; they are the well-rounded and compact results of whole trains of previous thought, and are successful in suggesting these to the reader’s mind. In trying to interpret by a paraphrase, or to show the connection of ideas, it is difficult to avoid ascribing to the writer what he has not said, and elaborating thoughts hinted at, rather than fairly implied, by the text (cf. the full and instructive Paraphrases of Erasmus, and the attempts to summarise the epistle found in the commentaries and the books on Introduction).

The aphorisms are not generally isolated, but are gathered in paragraphs; and these often have unity and show connection and progress of thought. The paragraphs are grouped loosely under more or less definite points of view, and in chs. 2 and 4:1-5:6 we find an approach to the fuller discussion of a topic from various sides. In some instances the connection between smaller divisions is made by the skilful use of the same or a similar word at the close of one sentence and the opening of the next (thus, 1:1 f. χαίρειν, χαράν; 1:4 f. λειπόμενοι, λείπεται; 1:12 f. πειρασμόν, πειραζόμενος; 1:21 f. λόγον, λόγου; 5:16 f. προσεύχεσθε, δέησις; cf. the connection made by 3:14-18 between the divergent subjects of chs. 3 and 4). It is noteworthy that in the later chapters, where there is more continuity in the flow of thought, this method of “capping” sentences rarely occurs.

Beneath the whole epistle plainly lie two pervading and strongly felt principles: (1) the hatred of sham of every kind; (2) the conviction that God and the world are incompatible as objects of men’s allegiance. Neither of these principles could serve as a title to the tract, but they bind its somewhat miscellaneous contents together in a sort of unity.

These general characteristics recall the spirit of the Hellenistic diatribes, among which the Epistle of James seems to find its fittest literary classification. There, as here, the aim to pierce through appearance and pretense to reality is a leading motive, and in the first two chapters of James we read what Christian earnestness thought it worth while to say on this favourite theme of the sometimes superficial or possibly flippant, but commonly serious even if unconventional, Greek popular street preacher;* while James’s discussion, in his last two chapters, of the two incompatible aims of human striving also treats a familiar topic of these moralists.†

These contacts make more intelligible the structure of the epistle. Familiarity with these great discussions, which had been given in public for centuries, would cause contemporary readers to see fitness in a series of topics which to us seem incongruous, to recognise the naturalness of transitions which strike us as awkward and abrupt, and to detect a latent unity which for us is obscured by the writer’s habit of making no introductory announcement of his successive themes. It must, however, be emphasised that the writer’s method is hortatory, not expository (about 60 imperatives occur in the 108 verses); his goal is nowhere so definitely formulated in his mind as to forbid a swift and unexpected leap to inculcate some important object of Christian endeavour (so in ch. 5). In such cases we cannot assume completely to trace the real sequence of his thought.

The following summary of the epistle is an attempt to indicate for the several larger divisions the point of view which may have led to the grouping of the paragraphs.

1:1. Epistolary Salutation.

I. 1:2-2:26. on certain religious realities.

(1) 1:2-18. In the formation of character.

(a) 2-4. The real nature of trouble is as an aid to a well-rounded character.

(b) 1:5-8. Real prayer requires unwavering faith.

(c) 1:9-11. Poverty is real wealth.

(d) 1:12. The endurance of trouble brings the crown of life.

(e) 1:13-18. The real cause of sin is not temptation sent by God, but lies within yourself.

(2) 1:19-2:26. In religious instruction and public worship.

(f) 1:19-25. Hearing is indeed better than talking, but the real response to the word of God is not to listen only but to obey.

(g) 1:26-27. Real worship is inconsistent with reckless speech; the best worship is kindly service and inner purity.

(h) 2:1-7. To court the rich and neglect the poor in the house of worship reverses real values.

(i) 2:8-13. For such conduct it is a futile excuse to urge that the law of love requires it.

(j) 2:14-26. Equally futile is it to pretend in excuse that the possession of faith dispenses from works.

II. 3:1-18. on the teacher’s calling.

(a) 3:1-12. Against ambition to be teachers. The teacher is under heavier responsibility than others; yet the tongue (the teacher’s organ) is as powerful as the little rudder in a great ship, as dangerous as a little fire in a great forest, and is untamable.

(b) 3:13-18. The true wise man’s wisdom must be meek and peaceable; such wisdom alone comes from above, and only peaceable righteousness receives the divine reward.

III. 4:1-5:20. worldliness and the ceristian conduct of life contrasted.

(1) 4:1-5:6. Worldliness in rivalry with God as the aim of life.

(a) 4:1-12. The cause of the crying evils of life is the pursuit of pleasure, an aim which is in direct rivalry with God and abhorrent to him.

(b) 4:13-17. The practical neglect of God seen in the trader’s presumptuous confidence in himself; and the futility of it.

(c) 5:1-6. The practical neglect of God seen in the cruelty and luxury of the rich; and the appalling issue which awaits it.

(2) 5:7-20. Counsels for the Christian conduct of life.

(d) 5:7-11. Constancy and forbearance; and their reward.

(e) 5:12-18. The religious expression of strong emotion; and the efficacy of prayer.

(f) 5:19, 20. The privilege of service to the erring.

§ 2. The Literary Type of the Epistle of James*

The character of James as an epistle is given it solely by 1:1 which (see note ad loc.) has the conventional form usual in the opening sentence of a Greek letter. But the address (however interpreted) “to the people of God, in their dispersion” (ταῖς δώδεκα φυλαῖς ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ) implies that what follows is a literary tract intended for any Christian into whose hands it may fall, not a proper letter sent to a definite individual or even to a definite group of persons.

With this corresponds the epistle itself. The author’s treatment of his themes is plainly governed by the conditions of life with which he is familiar, but nothing implies any definite or restricted circle within the Christian church as the persons to whom the letter is sent. The terms used are in part drawn from local conditions, but the exhortations themselves could apply anywhere where there were Christians. As a letter proper would be a substitute for a conversation, so such an epistle as this corresponds to a public address prepared for delivery to an indefinite number of audiences and equally suitable for all of them. A letter proper is written to be sent to the person or persons addressed. A tract is, in more or less formal fashion, published. The same piece of writing might, indeed, be in itself fit for either use; in that case the author’s purpose could be learned only from the form of the epistolary address. But in the present instance neither contents nor address indicates that the letter was ever intended to be sent to any specific church or churches.

On the history of the epistolary form in classical and Christian literature, see R. Hirzel, Der Dialog, 1895, esp. i, pp. 300-308, 352-358, ii, p. 8; H. Peter, Der Brief in der römischen Litteratur (Abhandlungen der phil.-hist. Classe der Kgl. Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, xx), 1901; K. Dziatzko, art. “Brief,” in Pauly-Wissowa, RE, 1899; A. Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 1895 (Eng. transl. 1901), art. “Epistolary Literature,” in EB; H. Jordan, Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 1911.

The Epistle as a form of literature, in distinction from its use as the convenient instrument of personal intercourse, seems to have its roots in the Greek literary history of the fourth and third centuries before Christ. Eminent men of a still earlier period had written letters, often long and weighty, and these had sometimes been collected. Such were those of Isocrates, of which some genuine representatives may perhaps be included in the extant collection bearing his name. Especially Aristotle, † 322 b.c., wrote letters, and his tracts of counsel to Alexander and to Themison, King of Cyprus, gained by virtue of their personal dedication something of the character of letters. Epicurus, † 270 b.c., sought to strengthen the fellowship of his disciples by writing letters, of some of which the addresses at least are known to us (πρὸς τοὺς ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ φίλους, πρὸς τοὺς ἐν Ἀσίᾳ φίλους, πρὸς τοὺς ἐν Λαμψάκῳ φίλους, πρὸς τοὺς ἐν Μυτιλήνφιλοσόφους),* and the disciples followed the master’s example. Many letters of this type were by their nature of interest to others than the persons addressed, and when collected and more widely circulated became works of literature.

In the same direction led the custom of dedicating books to individuals and so giving the whole book in some sense the character of an epistle.†

The result of all this was that the epistle became a usual form for a treatise, taking a place like that held by the dialogue. The transition corresponded to the changed times and the expansion of Hellenism. Once all higher culture had been concentrated at Athens, and a group there gathered for grave conversation presented the normal relation of author and audience which the book affected to record and perpetuate. Now educated men were diffused in countless centres throughout a widely extended world of Greek civilisation, and the direct method of address was, naturally, by a letter.‡ In the Hellenistic period all the world wrote letters, and many of them were intended for publication. Philosophers (especially the Epicureans and Peripatetics), moralists, rhetoricians, men of science, used this form for their essays, and we hear of epistles on topics medical, mathematical, grammatical, antiquarian, and even, perhaps, amusing. Literary letters of consolation and exhortation “gradually gained the position held by printed sermons and books of practical edification among modern Christians.”*

The rhetorical writers found it necessary to occupy themselves with the principles and rules of this epistolography, and discussed the nature of an epistle and the style proper to it. From this period proceed various treatises on the art of letter-writing,† with their classification of types of epistles (twenty-two kinds are given, later increased to forty-one), on which later works were based.

The Romans, who constituted a part of this Hellenistic world, excelled in the epistolary form of composition, and became “the classic nation for the letter as the Greeks are for the dialogue.”‡ Varro, Cicero, Horace, Seneca are the great names of a vast epistolary literature to which moralists, philologists, jurists, physicians made their contributions, and in which it is often hard to know whether a given letter carefully written on a serious subject was originally intended for publication or only for the person addressed.

From an early time pseudonymous letters were written, with the name not of the real author but of another—usually some famous leader of thought. When Menippus wrote letters of the gods addressed to the Epicureans,§ no one was deceived; in other instances the question of whether or not the author desired to deceive the public is less easy to answer. But in the dialogues of Plato the name of Socrates is used with entire freedom for the exposition of Plato’s own ideas, and a similar use of a great name in “the half of a dialogue” (to quote an ancient writer’s description of a letter||) was natural and equally innocent. Probably, too, the habit of free composition of letters, as well as speeches, incidentally to historical narratives tended to promote the pseudonymous composition of independent examples of both forms. Teachers of rhetoric composed model letters, appropriate to historical characters in assumed situations, and gave out such problems for their pupils’ exercise in the epistolary art. A large proportion of the many hundred letters assembled in the great collection of R. Hercher, Epistolographi grœci, Paris, 1873, are deemed to be such rhetorical models or pupils’ exercises. But, whatever the causes, pseudonymous epistles became common.

Among the Jews of the Hellenistic age, as would be expected, literary epistles were written. Such were the Letter of Aristeas, the Epistle of Jeremy which forms ch. 6 of the Book of Baruch in the Apocrypha, and the Epistle of Baruch to the Nine and a Half Tribes appended to the Apocalypse of Baruch.* All these are serious, but pseudonymous, writings. It is possible that certain of the letters bearing the name of Heraclitus and of Diogenes were of Jewish origin.†

In the Christian church letters as literary works, not merely as private communications, were produced almost from the start. To name no other examples, the epistles of Paul to the Romans and the Ephesians were surely not intended to be read but once, or by one small group of Christians only; the Pastoral Epistles owe their origin to the epistolary tradition; and such a work as the (First) Epistle of Clement of Rome can hardly have been without a larger purpose than to edify the Corinthians to whom it is addressed. The custom of the time is illustrated in the name “Second Epistle of Clement of Rome,” early assigned to an anonymous homily, as well as in the pseudonymous Epistle of Barnabas and Second Epistle of Peter, and in the anonymous Epistle to Diognetus. With the further development of the church, Christian epistolary writings—both personal letters and literary works, both genuine and pseudonymous—multiplied rapidly, and many have been preserved.‡

The epistolary form which James has was thus altogether natural and appropriate for a tract, and is fully accounted for by the literary custom of the time without the necessity of supposing either a real epistolary aim on the part of the author or the addition by a later and inept hand of an alien epistolary preface.* But it throws no light on the actual literary relationships of the document itself, which shows in its contents nothing whatever of the specific character of a letter.

All the more striking is the abundant illustration which the Epistle of James receives from both the manner and the substance of Hellenistic popular moral addresses, or Diatribes. At least since the time of Socrates, who was at once the revered head of a circle of disciples and a public disputant ready to debate with, confute, and instruct every chance comer, Greek and Hellenistic cities everywhere must have known the public preacher of philosophy and morals as a familiar figure of the street and market-place. In the early fourth century b.c., Diogenes lived at Athens; and his followers (called Cynics from their master’s well-earned nickname of “The Dog”) developed their ethical and social protest against the fetters of convention into a well-marked type of popular doctrine. This original Cynicism, united, as the predominant factor, with other more cultivated and rhetorical influences to produce Bion of Borysthenes (c. 280 b.c.), a pungent sermoniser of whose utterances a fortunate chance has preserved written record, quoted in the fragments of his otherwise unimportant follower Teles (c. 230 b.c.). Later generations (cf. Horace, Epist. ii, 2, l. 60) looked back to Bion as the chief representative, if not the founder, of the style, and the fragments make it evident that an apt form for this preaching had already been created. In the following centuries it is certain that others besides Cynics adopted the same methods, and that the style of the early preachers was perpetuated by a long series of inconspicuous workers; but whatever literary precipitate in written form their discourses may once have had perished in ancient times. In those days, as now, popular moral tracts, although undoubtedly abundant, were generally commonplace and ephemeral. Our knowledge has to be drawn chiefly from later representatives of the type.*

Paul Wendland, Die hellenistisch-römische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zu Judentum und Christentum2, 1912, pp. 75-96, “Die philosophische Propaganda und die Diatribe”; P. Wendland, “Philo und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe,” in Wendland and Kern, Beiträge zur Geschichte der griech. Philosophie und Religion, 1895; J. Bernays, Lucian und die Kyniker, 1879; R. Bultmann, Der Stil der Paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments, xiii), 1910; Teletis reliquiae, ed. Hense2, 1909; C. F. G. Heinrici, Der litterarische Character der n. t. Schriften, 1908, pp. 9-12; S. Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, 1904, pp. 334-383; T. C. Burgess, Epideictic Literature (Studies in Classical Philology, vol. iii), Chicago, 1902, pp. 234-241; E. Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa2, 1909, i, pp. 129-131; ii, pp. 556-558.

In Rome under the empire this popular preaching associated itself closely with literary training, and produced, or deeply influenced, works which have survived. From the common characteristics of these later writers and their close resemblance to the meagre remains of earlier times, it is evident that the type early matured its noteworthy traits of popular effectiveness and retained them for centuries without substantial alteration. Stoic philosophy and morals had come to the front as the chief higher influence on the masses, and abundantly used this apt instrument. In Seneca and Epictetus the influence of the popular diatribe is at its height. “The key-note, the most striking colour, of the whole body of writing of the philosopher Seneca is the diatribe-style”;† and the discourses of Epictetus, though spoken to a select circle of personal pupils, are cast in the style of the diatribe. How widely this preaching had pervaded ancient life may be observed from the traces of its large influence in the satires of Horace, Persius, Juvenal, in the orations of Dio of Prusa, the essays of Plutarch, and the treatises of the Jew Philo, as well as in the reports of the utterances of Musonius and other less well-known personages of the same period. Paul at Athens (although not in the synagogues of the Hellenistic cities) must have presented himself to his hearers as just such a preacher as those to whose diatribes they were accustomed to listen: and such must have been very generally the case with the early Christian missionaries. It is not strange that the diatribe had a profound and far-reaching effect on the forms of Christian literature for centuries,* that its influence is clearly traceable in the epistles of Paul, and that it serves to explain much, both of the form and the content, of the Epistle of James.

To the most characteristic traits of the style of the diatribe belong the truncated dialogue with an imaginary interlocutor (often introduced by James 2:18 f. and James 5:13 f. These traits serve well to illustrate the aim of immediate impression, appropriate to popular hortatory address, which has largely controlled the formation of this literary type.


On the style of the diatribe, see R. Bultmann, Der Stil der paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe, 1910, where will be found a very full collection of detailed illustrations of the characteristics of these writings drawn from Teles, Musonius, Dio of Prusa, Epictetus, Seneca, and other writers, together with references to the literature on the subject. A brief but good statement is that of Heinrici, Der litterarische Charakter der neutestamentlichen Schriften, 1908, pp. 74 f.

Origen, Contra Celsum, 6, 2, points out the effectiveness of this popular and hortatory quality in Epictetus’s style as compared with Plato: καὶ εἰ χρή γε τολμήσαντα εἰπεῖν, ὀλίγους μὲν ὤνησεν, εἴ γε ὤνησεν, ἡ περικαλλὴς καὶ ἐπιτετηδευμένη Πλάτωνος καὶ τῶν παραπλησίως φρασάντων λέξις· πλείονας δὲτῶν εὐτελέστερον ἅμα καὶ πραγματικῶς καὶ ἐστοχασμένως τῶν πολλῶν [i. e. in a plain, practical, and popular style] διδαξάντων καὶ γραψάντων. ἔστι γοῦν ἰδεῖν τὸν μὲν Πλάτωνα ἐν χερσὶ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναι φιλολόγων μόνον, τὸν δὲ Ἐπίκτητον καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν τυχόντων καὶ ῥοπὴν πρὸς τὸ ὠφελεῖσθαι ἐχόντων θαυμαζόμενον, αἰσθομένων τῆς

Not originality but impressiveness was what they aimed at. The argument is from what the readers already know and ought to feel. They appeal to analogy (cf. James 2:14-17), to experience (cf. 3:5, 4:1-3), and to common sense (cf. Jas. passim). Harsh address to the reader is not absent in James, and ὦ ἄνθρωπε κενέ (2:20), μοιχαλίδες (4:4) are not unlike the ὦ ταλαίπωρε, μωρέ, stulte, of the diatribe. The writers of diatribes were fond of quotations from poets and sages, but these were used not for proof of the doctrine but incidentally, and often for ornament of the discourse. So is it usually with James (1:11, 17, 4:6, 5:11, 20 for ornament; 2:8 to state an inadequate excuse, which is overruled), in contrast to the frequent use in Paul and Matthew of the O. T. for proof.


Other traits of style show resemblance. As in the diatribes, there is a general controlling motive in the discussion, but no firm and logically disposed structure giving a strict unity to the whole, and no trace of the conventional arrangement recommended by the elegant rhetoricians. The method of framing the sections in by a general statement at opening and close is to be seen in James at 1:2-12, 19-26, 2:17-26, 3:11-12, 13-18. The characteristic methods of concluding a section are found: by a sharp antithesis, 1:26, 2:13, 26, 3:15-18, 4:12; by a question, 4:12, 5:6; by a quotation, 5:20; by οὐ χρή, 3:10. A key-word often runs through a passage, or is repeated so as to give a sense of reference back; so πειρασμός 1:2-14, σοφία 3:13-18, ζῆλος 3:13-4:2, χαλιναγωγεῖν γλῶσσαν 1:26, 3:2, λόγος 1:18-23, νόμος ἐλευθερίας 1:25, 2:12, κρίνειν 4:11, 12.

Like a diatribe, the epistle begins with a paradox (1:2) and contains others (1:10, 2:5). The general principle that popular estimates of values are false and must be reversed underlies James as it does the Greek sermons. Wherein true wealth consists was a favourite subject of their exposition and prompted many paradoxical turns; in James it has given rise to a passage not without its difficulties (1:10-12). Irony is not lacking (2:14-19, 5:1-6), though it is of the serious, never of the flippant, order.

Of course, any one of these traits of language, style, and mode of thought could be paralleled from other types of literature. What is significant and conclusive is the combination in these few pages of James of so many of the most striking features of a specific literary type familiar in the contemporary Hellenistic world. The inference from details is confirmed by the general tone and character of the whole epistle—direct, plain, earnest, sensible—lively, even on occasion descriptive and dramatic (cf. 2:1ff.), full of illustration and concrete application—not aiming at profundity of speculation, popular and hortatory throughout.

The traits referred to in the above paragraphs are many of them observable in the epistles of Paul, who betrays large influence from the style of the diatribe. No writing of Paul’s, however, comes so close to the true type of this form of literature as does the Epistle of James. Paul, a many-sided thinker, also follows other, very different and not always readily identifiable, models, and in his general tone displays far more passion and far more boldness of thought than the admirable, but quiet, simple, and somewhat limited, writer of our epistle. For the resemblances and differences between Paul and the diatribe, see Bultmann, op. cit. pp. 64-107.

It is, to be sure, true that some differences from the diatribes preserved and known to us can be observed in James, and in view of the strong and pervading resemblance these are of significance. They show how the specific character of this Christian Jew led him to develop the type of these tracts. The most striking difference is the greater seriousness and restraint of tone. Nothing in James could entitle it to be described as σπουδαιογέλοιον. The characteristic diatribe had more of the laugh, and it was usually a bitterer laugh than would have been possible to the high-minded but friendly preacher who here speaks to us. The diatribes were abundantly humorous, often trivial, and sometimes verged on the coarse. Again, James, as a Christian preacher, addresses his readers as “brethren,” “beloved brethren,” whereas the Greek preacher thought of individuals, addressed them in the singular, and was not bound to them either by love or by the bond of a common brotherhood. The habit of scolding the audience and the world at large and of ridicule and abuse in general was a peculiarly vivid and permanent trait of the Cynic diatribe.* James shows a certain contact with it in his serious warning (4:1-12) and in his apostrophes (4:13-5:6), but his usual tone is mild, and one might almost suspect that the injunctions to emphasise the gentle nature of true wisdom (3:13 ff.) were aimed in direct condemnation of the Cynic’s rough and censorious habit. In view of James 5:12, it is worth notice that for the frequent oaths, which give a picturesque, if slightly vulgar, force to the language of the diatribes, we have here no substitute.


Again, the comparisons used by James are more limited in range than those with which the diatribes are crowded. His seem conventional and, with few exceptions, slight, in comparison with the fulness with which every side of human life—clean and dirty—is mirrored in the comparisons of the Greeks. In particular, the figures from ways and customs of organised society—the arena, the theatre, the market-place, war, handicrafts—and from the practises of Greek religion are lacking. He seems to belong to a simpler world—although he is not ignorant of a wider reach beyond his own daily round. In ideas James, of course, breathed a different atmosphere. Of the familiar Cynic and Stoic commonplaces the chief one that appears is the representation of poverty as exaltation and wealth as debasement, while the opening exposition of the moral uses of trouble has a certain similarity to Greek popular philosophy. But the true nature of freedom, the paradox that death is life, the doctrine that sin is ignorance, the right apprehension of exile, of the feelings, the general principle that evils are good— these are not James’s topics.

The resemblance of James to the diatribes is made even more convincing by noting the contrast which the epistle shows in style and method to the Jewish Wisdom-literature, with which it is often classed, and with which, in the deeper roots of our writer’s thought, he has much closer kinship than with the Hellenistic diatribe. In the Book of Proverbs endless contrasted sentences (in themselves clever and interesting, if only they were not so many) may well be found less tedious in the original poetry, whose rhythm finds its proper effect in this trick of parallelism; but how unlike to the simple but varied prose of James! And the literary type assumed by Proverbs, with its constant address to “my son” and its imagined sage handing down ancient wisdom, is utterly different from that of James’s exhortation to his audience of “beloved brethren.” James 1:10 might possibly seem of the type of Proverbs 4:7; Proverbs 4:10Proverbs 4:10 barely suggest it, but hardly another sentence will recall the haunting distich of the Hebrew book. Equally distant from James are the shrewd practical maxims and occasional real poetry of Ecclesiasticus. That book is too much written in parallels to suggest James, and its thinking is of a wholly different nature,* as may be seen by comparing either its prudential wisdom or its poetical feeling for Wisdom with what James has to say, for instance, in 3:13-18. The maxims in Tobit, ch. 4, plainly translated from a Semitic poetical original, call to mind neither the diatribe nor James. And the Book of Wisdom, with its higher flights of poetry and more Hellenistic and modern character, does not often much remind us of James, although he may have read it and 5:6-15 can in some respects be compared with Jam_3, while Wisd. 7:22 f. (an especially unsemitic passage) recalls James 3:15-17. In the Wisdom-literature, as a literary type, it is impossible to place James. The epistle is, rather, a diatribe, showing how that highly serviceable type, now well known to us, could be handled by a Jewish Christian, who used what he knew of the Greek preacher’s sermons not to gain his ideas from them but for suggestions of effective ways of putting his own Christian and Jewish teaching.


The diatribe was highly significant for Christian preaching, e. g. Chrysostom, Hom. in Joh. ii. 3, but it must not be forgotten that in fundamental ideas the Christians’ connection with Jewish thinking was far closer than with the Hellenistic moralism. Wilamowitz-Moellendorf tends to overlook this in his striking discussion of Teles in Antigonos von Karystos (Philologische Untersuchungen, iv), 1881, pp. 313 ff., in which he opposes the notion of J. Freudenthal that the “sacred eloquence of the Jews” was the immediate parent of Christian homiletics. See the important discussion by J. Freudenthal, Die Flavius Josephus beigelegte Schrift Ueber die Herrschaft der Vernunft (IV Makkabäerbuch), Breslau, 1869.

A third type of Hellenistic literature, besides the epistle and the diatribe, might suggest itself as a possible source for the literary character of James. The Protrepticus, or parenetic tract, was a form of hortatory writing of which the earliest examples are the two exhortations of Isocrates, Ad Nicoclem and Nicocles. More ethical and less political is the παραίνεσις, or præceptio, of Pseudo-Isocrates, Ad Demonicum, also a product of the fourth century b.c.. These tracts are largely composed of separate apothegms, many of these being widely current and often-repeated practical maxims, but both in form and spirit they are as far removed from the Epistle of James as Lord Chesterfield’s Letters Written to His Son are from a sermon of John Wesley. They are later prose representatives of the poetical tradition of gnomic literature seen in Theognis and in the now lost Phocylides, and are the precursors of the useful florilegia and gnomic collections of a later time. This character is expressly intimated by Isocrates, Ad Nicoclem, 40 f., when he declares the art of this kind of composition to lie in skilful selection of the fine thoughts of others. Later instances of the protrepticus seem to have been numerous. The earlier ones were often tracts recommending and inviting to the rhetorician’s studies and art. The moralists and philosophers, too, including Posidonius, wrote works of this kind, now mostly lost, which exerted considerable influence. The Protrepticus of Aristotle was a defense of the significance of philosophy for life. Galen wrote a protrepticus to the science and practise of medicine. The type ran out at last into the “epideictic” literature of mere display. See P. Hartlich, “De exhortationum a Græcis Romanisque scriptarum historia et indole,” in Leipziger Studien, 11, 1889, pp. 209-333; T. C. Burgess, Epideictic Literature (Studies in Classical Philology, vol. iii), Chicago, 1902, pp. 229 ff. note 2; P. Wendland, Anaximenes von Lampsakos, 1905; F. Blass, Attische Beredsamkeit2, 1892, ii, pp. 111, 271 ff.

§ 3. Literary Relationships

(a) The relation of the Epistle of James to the Wisdom-literature of the O. T. has already been referred to, and it has been pointed out that in literary type and style the epistle breathes a different atmosphere. Some of the ideas, however, of Proverbs, Ecclesiasticus, and Wisdom are found repeated in James. It is not unlikely that the writer was familiar with these books, and a full list of the parallels is to be found in Mayor, Epistle of St. James, ch. 4. But direct influence on the language of James cannot be affirmed with any confidence, except in the case of Proverbs, from which (Proverbs 3:34) a quotation is made in James 4:6. Some of the more striking parallels are to be found in Proverbs 11:30 (“the fruit of righteousness,” cf. James 3:18), 19:3 (against blaming God, cf. James 1:13), 27:1 (“boast not of the things of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what the morrow will bring forth,” cf. James 4:13-16), 17:3, 27:21 (testing human qualities, cf. James 1:3), 29:20 (“a man that is swift in his words,” cf. James 1:19).

The Wisdom of Jesus Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus, offers better parallels, but it is doubtful whether the common view that James unquestionably used it can be maintained.* Many topics referred to by James appear in it; thus, the dangers proceeding from the tongue (Ecclus. 19:6-12, 20:5-8, 18-20, 22:27, 28:13-26, 35 [32] 7-9), wisdom the gift of God (1:1-10), prayer with a divided heart (1:27), pride (10:7-18), the uncertainty of life (10:10, 11:16, 17), blaming God (15:11-20), man as made in God’s image and ruling over the beasts (17:3 f.), the eclipse of the sun and the changes of the moon (17:31, 27:11). Other passages remind us of the conditions implied in James; Song of Solomon 4:10, the widow and orphan; 7:35, visiting the sick; 13:19 f., oppression of the poor by the rich; 18:15, on grudging beneficence; 38:9 f., prayer and confession by the sick. But these may attest a general similarity in the religious and intellectual environment rather than proper literary dependence, although the author of James may well have read Ecclesiasticus. The parallels from the Wisdom of Solomon are less striking. The most noteworthy are 1:11 (cf. James 4:11, James 5:9); 2:4 (cf. James 4:14); 2:10-20, the oppression of the poor; 3:4-6, tribulation as a test sent by God; 5:8, pride and wealth, and the transitory nature of wealth; 7:29 f., comparison with light and the sun. No case implies dependence.


(b) The style and language of the Epistle of James can well be illustrated, as already shown, from those of the Hellenistic diatribe with which the book belongs. Furthermore, parallels in phrases and vocabulary are abundant from Philo, the author of 4 Maccabees, Clement of Rome, and Hermas,* writers of the first and second centuries after Christ, who all joined some degree of Hellenism with fundamental Jewish, or Jewish and Christian, ideas, and who were members of a partly segregated Jewish or Christian community in some Hellenistic city (Alexandria, Rome).

H. A. A. Kennedy, “The Hellenistic Atmosphere of the Epistle of James,” in Expositor, eighth series, vol. 2, 1911, pp. 37-52, is a useful collection of some of the more striking parallels from Hellenistic writers.

Another work which shows in language (not in structure, nor in the broader qualities of style) special affinity to James is the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.† This is of Palestinian origin, and was originally written in Hebrew about one hundred years before the beginning of the Christian era. Its literary quality is not lofty, and a good deal of legend and folk-lore crops out in it, but it represents in its ideas a high type of Palestinian Judaism—devout, earnest, spiritual, capable of lending itself directly to Christian use and of receiving Christian additions. The strict and plain moral teaching and the simple and devout piety of the Testaments are but little tinged with formalism or legalism, and they reveal an attractive type of popular religion such as can well have nourished itself on the O. T. Psalms, and in which many not unworthy parallels to the teachings of the Gospels are to be found. James is a far more highly educated man than the author of the Testaments, but the Jewish background of both was similar. The Testaments appear to have been translated into Greek not later, and perhaps earlier, than the early second century after Christ. The fact of Christian interpolation is undoubted, but the additions can generally be recognised, and the Greek version of these writings may fairly be accounted a monument of Hellenistic Judaism contemporary with James.

The parallels are numerous and in many instances show close verbal resemblance. For instance:

Test. Benj. 6:5 ἡ James 3:9, James 3:10;

Test. Nephth. 8:4 καὶδιάβολος φεύξεται James 4:7;

Test. Daniel 6:2 ἐγγίσατε τῷ θεῷ, cf. James 4:8;

Test. Zab. 8:3 ὅσον γὰρ ἄνθρωπος σπλαγχνίζεται εἰς τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ, τοσοῦτον καὶκύριος εἰς αὐτόν, cf. James 2:13;

Test. Joshua 2:7 ἐν δέκα πειρασμοῖς δόκιμον James 1:2-4;

Test. Benj. 4:1 ἴδετε οὖν, τέκνα μου, τοῦ James 5:11.

We find also, in passages of indubitable Jewish origin, strong similarity in the emphasis on sincerity (ἁπλότης), mercy (ἔλεος), peace, and humility, on envy (φθόνος), anger, and arrogance, and on other virtues and vices. And in the Testaments the chief interest in the law (which is called λόγος James 1:18) is on the side of the moral precepts. But all these resemblances do not go further than to exhibit a common background of high Jewish morality in which both the Testaments and James (and Hermas) share. There is no reason to assume literary relationship; these ideas and phrases were part of the ever-repeated material of Jewish sermons. They show James’s origin, but do not permit the inference that he had read the Testaments, which are a valuable compend of Jewish moral ideas, not an originating centre of influence.

(c) The relation of James to other books of the N. T. itself is of the same general nature as its relation to nearly contemporary Jewish writings and to the Apostolic Fathers. In no case (unless it be Romans and Galatians) is direct knowledge or influence on either side to be admitted. The material is conveniently collected by Mayor, Epistle of St. James, ch. 3, “On the Relation of the Epistle to the Other Books of the New Testament.” In the epistle to the Hebrews the references to Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10, Hebrews 11:17-19) and Rahab (Hebrews 11:31) as heroes of faith, and the expression καρπὸν εἰρηνικὸνδικαιοσύνης (Heb 12:11, cf. James 3:18), are the most important parallels, and they prove nothing. From the Apocalypse the most important is the promise of 2:10, γίνου πιστὸς ἄχρι θανάτου καὶ δώσω σοι τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς, but this cannot be intended by James in 1:12.


A closer relation is observable between James and 1 Peter, and the question of priority has been strongly argued on both sides. The two books represent opposite poles of thought. The thought of 1 Peter is closer to the theology of Paul than any other non-pauline book of the N. T., although the style and language depart noticeably from Paul; James is perhaps the least Pauline book in the N. T. Yet the two are curiously akin in their phrases and some of their ideas. The following table exhibits some of the most striking instances:

1 Peter James

1:1 (διασπορά) 1:1

1:6 f., cf. 4:13 1:2 f.

1:23 1:18

1:24 (Isaiah 40:6-9) 1:10 f.


2:1

4:8 (Proverbs 10:12 [Heb.]) 5:20

5:5 f. (Proverbs 3:34) 4:6 f.


5:9

These major instances are supported by a large number of others, in themselves less significant, which add their evidence that the authors of James and 1 Peter have come under common religious and literary influences. Beyond this the evidence does not carry us, and the established phrases and conventions which we must assume for Hellenistic Jewish synagogue sermons as well as for Christian preaching are a sufficient background to account for all the facts. It is, indeed, remarkable that of the small number of direct allusions to O. T. language in James, three are found paralleled in 1 Peter. But in two cases (Isaiah 40:6-9, Proverbs 10:12) the utter difference in use makes dependence on either side highly improbable, while the third (Proverbs 3:34) is a saying very naturally remembered and quoted (so also in Clem. Rom. 30).* It is hard to picture the mental processes of a writer who having read James should have thereby been affected in such a manner as to produce 1 Peter, or vice versa. In general it must be said that, even if literary dependence were admitted to exist, it would be wholly impossible to decide on which side it lay.


Thorough discussions of the N. T. parallels are to be found in Spitta, Der Brief des Jakobus, 1896, pp. 155-236. For Spitta’s theory of the Jewish origin of the epistle it was essential to show that James is not dependent on any Christian sources.

The parallels which the Epistle of James shows to the above-mentioned writers, both Jewish and Christian, do not in any case indicate acquaintance, still less borrowing, on either side.† Just as the typical style of the Greek diatribe persisted in recognisable form for centuries and was used by preachers and writers of diverse literary level, so likewise the phrases and vocabulary of Jewish Hellenistic religious writing and public speech at the time of the origin of the Christian church made up a common stock used independently by many writers in widely distant places for a long period. The phenomena and history of the religious language and homiletical phrases and courses of thought among English-speaking Protestants the world over during the past two centuries would provide a modern instance of substantially the same situation. From the Jews the Christians took over a large section of this body of language and thought, and used and developed it as their own. This could not have been otherwise. The apostles began this process, and it continued until this Jewish stock had been fully naturalised and its origin forgotten.

In the Epistle of James the currents represented by the Hellenistic diatribe and by the sermons and religious tracts of Greek-speaking Jews cross and interlace. The nearest parallel to this combination among Jewish writers is the Alexandrian Philo,* among Christians the Apostle Paul. The literary personality whom we learn to know in our epistle is in part explained by these causes, but his writing also shows his own distinctive individuality, education, and experience.

§ 4. Language

The language of the epistle is that of a writer of the Koinê who uses Greek fluently and accurately, although his style has a certain Biblical tinge; so far as we can judge, Greek was probably his mother tongue.† His forms and syntax are correct, and appropriate to written discourse; there is less occasion than in Paul or in the Synoptic Gospels to turn from the ordinary grammars to the colloquial Greek of the papyri for illustration of strange expressions. Some instances occur of words and phrases characteristic of good Greek style and unique, or very rare, in the N. T.; so ἄγε νῦν (with plural), ἔοικεν, χρή, πρός with accusative (φθόνον) equivalent to the adverb (φθονερῶς),

At the same time, long and difficult words are rather seldom used, no tendency appears to elaboration of grammatical structure or to complication of sentences or periods, and there is nothing to suggest acquaintance with the higher styles of Greek literature. The general tone is plainer and less literary than that of the preface to the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:1-4) or of the epistle to the Hebrews, or of Philo (although many of the single phrases can readily be illustrated from this last writer). Even as compared with Paul, there is less to recall the contemporary rhetoric of the school, although, on the other hand, there is less to suggest the every-day talk of the street. We may conclude that the popular Hellenistic preachers and the written tracts, now lost, which corresponded to their sermons, have combined with the Greek O. T. to form this writer’s style and to give him his vocabulary.


The judgment of Erasmus (Annotationes in epistolam Jacobi, 1516) on James’s style is interesting. After saying that the epistle is salubribus prœceptis referta, he continues: Nec enim referre videtur usquequaque majestatem illam et gravitatem apostolicam. Nec hebraismi tantum quantum ab apostolo Jacobo qui fuerit episcopus Hierosolymitanus expectaretur. This guarded statement was repeated by Luther in the following form (Resolutiones Lutherianae super propositionibus suis Lipsiae disputatis, 1519): Stilus epistolae illius longe est infra apostolicam majestatem nec cum Paulino ullo modo comparandus.

The vocabulary of James consists of about 570 words. About 73 of these are not found elsewhere in the N. T.* This number may be compared with 63 for 1 Peter (of the same length as James), 34 for Galatians, and 43 for Ephesians (both some-what longer).

Of James’s words all except about 25 are found in the Greek O. T. (including, of course, the Apocrypha). Only 6 words in the epistle appear to be found neither in the N. T. nor in the Greek O. T. (βρύω, ἐνάλιος, εὐπειθής, ἐφήμερος, θρῆσκος, κατήφειᾶ.)

Not only through this hint from his vocabulary, but by repeated direct allusion to the language of the Greek translation is it made clear that James knew the LXX.† Thus 1:10 f. is based on Isaiah 40:6 f.; in 2:21 he uses the language of Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:9; in 2:23 quotes Genesis 15:6; in 4:6, Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 5:11 suggests Psalms 103:8; while many other single phrases occur in which the writer clearly betrays his familiarity with the LXX (see Westcott and Hort’s list of “Quotations from the Old Testament,” p. 607). In several cases (notably 2:23 φίλος θεοῦ, 5:20) there is a use of O. T. language in a translation at variance with the LXX, but these are brief phrases and do not in the least imply acquaintance with the Hebrew original. It may be added that one of the two or three formal quotations (4:5, the only quotation introduced by ἡ γραφὴ λέγει) is not found in the O. T. at all, and is of unknown origin.


This acquaintance with the LXX gives a distinct Biblical flavour to the style in general. Actual grammatical Hebraisms are few. The genitive of quality, equivalent to an adjective, appears in

The writer’s religious position is fundamentally that of later Judaism. But it is to be observed that herein he shows no trait of specific “Jewish Christianity,” such as would distinguish him from early Christians generally, whether of Jewish or Gentile origin. He nowhere betrays any pride in or loyalty to the Jewish people (contrast Paul, Romans 9:1-5, Ephesians 2:11-12, etc.), never hints at any duties to the temple or its sacrifices, gives no sign that he observes or values the Pharisaic ideals of purification or the Sabbath or the dietary regulations. This might, indeed, be explained as due to full agreement among the Jewish Christians who constituted his environment, so that these fundamental things could be taken for granted and hence were not alluded to. And the same reason can be given for the absence of any reference to circumcision or to the exclusive privileges of the Jews in the favour of God. Yet even so, these omissions prove that the question of whether it was or was not necessary for Christians (or even for Jewish Christians) to be circumcised and observe the Mosaic law was not an important subject of dispute in those places at that time. The writer is simply not concerned about faithfulness in these matters; they do not occur to him (cf. chs. 4, 5) as points at which lack of complete devotion to God may naturally show itself. Either, then, he did not hold to those things which marked off “Jewish Christians,” properly so called, from other Christians, or else no controversy about them touched his circle. The latter possibility is unlikely, because in a body of Jewish Christians who were so completely devoted to these aspects of Judaism as would in that case be supposed (cf. Acts 21:20), it is unlikely that a writing of this practical tendency would be wholly devoid of any reference to them. On the other hand, a strong Jewish substratum, such as we find here, was common to early Christianity at Gentile as well as at Jewish centres. We may fairly conclude that the writer was not a partisan “Jewish Christian.”


The writer’s main ideas of Jewish origin can easily be put together from the epistle. They are by no means meagre, and touch on many sides of religion. He believes in one God, the creator and father of men (2:19, 3:9) and of the universe (1:17), who is holy (1:13), from whom only good gifts come to men, and who is the source of all good (1:5, 17), in whose hands are all our ways (4:15). God is merciful (5:11), hears prayer (1:5-7, 4:2 f. 5:13-18), forgives sin (5:15, 20). A Judgment is coming upon all men (2:12, 4:12, 5:5, 9), and it is our duty strictly to observe God’s law (1:21-25, 2:8-12, 4:11), of which a knowledge has been given us and by which we shall be judged (2:12). A favourable issue for any man in this Judgment is called “justification” (2:21, 24 f.). To be “saved” and to be “justified” seem to refer to the same experience (2:14, 24, cf. 1:21, 4:12, 5:20). The writer plainly thinks of this justification as given to a sincerely good man who loves God (1:12, 2:5). Such a man will be repentant for his imperfections (5:16), and will receive the forgiveness (5:15) of a merciful Lord and Father (3:9). It is, of course, assumed that the persons in question are, or profess to be, men of faith (2:14 ff.), members of the people of God (1:1); the writer is not thinking of heathen, nor discussing the question of the eternal destiny of Socrates. Those who love God can look forward to life as their crown of reward (1:12) and to the inheritance of a kingdom (2:5).

To possess the Law of God, which is able to save our souls (1:21), is a privilege and joy (1:25, 2:12). In this law the ten commandments and other precepts of the O. T. occupy a chief place (2:8-11), however much they may or may not be supplemented by other teaching and by Christian interpretation.

The devil (4:7) and our own wicked impulses (1:14 f.) bring us to sin, and all men do sin (3:2); unforgiven sin issues in death (1:15, 5:20), and the torment of a future punishment is mentioned (5:3-6). God requires complete devotion (esp. 4:1-10), a faith in himself which does not waver in its determination to hold fast to him (1:6-8) in spite of trials (1:2-4, 12). A sharp contrast exists between God and the world (4:4), heaven and earth (3:15), and with the world and the earth the writer associates the realm of demons (3:15).

Wisdom is a gift of God, and that it is indispensable for men in general, and particularly for teachers (3:13-17), is taken for granted (1:5). Among the duties prominent in the writer’s mind are care for the poor, sick, and needy (1:27, 2:15 f. 5:14), attention to the erring (5:19 f.), impartiality to poor and rich (2:1-4), peaceableness and gentleness (1:20 f. 3:13-18), manifold self-restraint in speech (1:26, 3:2-12, 4:11-12, 5:9, 12).

The writer has a strong sense of human personal responsibility, of the importance of man’s will, and of his power by God’s help to put forth moral effort and succeed in the achievement of character. Good works (there is no hint that among these he includes ritual or Pharisaic acts of piety, but, on the other hand, no clear indication that he consciously rejects them) are necessary to please God (1:22, 25, 2:12, 14-26, 3:13). A living faith can be recognised by the good works of the believer (2:18). It does not exist where there are no accompanying works. Faith without works is dead.

For a striking statement of the general attitude of the Jew in these matters, see C. G. Montefiore, Judaism and St. Paul, 1914, pp. 34-44. The whole description given by Montefiore of the religious attitude of the average rabbinical Jew would in most respects well sum up the fundamental ideas of the Epistle of James.

The language of James can be illustrated at countless points from Philo, as the commentary shows, but not even the contrast of heavenly and earthly (3:15) shows any real contact with the specific ideas of Philo’s Hellenistic Judaism.

The poor and lowly have been chosen by God for his own (2:5), and have high privilege (1:9); the rich are fortunate only when they lose their wealth (1:10), they are selfish, lacking in the requisite complete devotion to God, and cruel (5:1-6); and God hates the proud (4:6, 10). The desire for riches and pleasure leads to every evil (4:1-3) and alienates from God (4:4).

Certain Jewish religious ideas, it will be noticed, are absent here (besides the omissions already mentioned), including some, like the Spirit of God and angels, which had an important place in the Christian inheritance from Judaism. But the whole constitutes a substantial and inclusive system of religious thought, and it is noteworthy how many religious ideas are introduced in so short a tract. In discussing a moderate number of topics, the writer has found occasion to reveal with surprising fulness his positive religious conceptions and beliefs. In such a document, as will be seen later, conspicuous omissions are likely not to be accidental, but to indicate the absence of the ideas from the writer’s thinking or, at any rate, their relative unimportance for his vital religion.

In addition to this Jewish body of thought the epistle contains a few references to specifically Christian beliefs. The writer describes himself (1:1) as “a worshipper of the Lord Jesus Christ”; the faith which he shares with his readers is “in our Lord Jesus Christ of glory” (2:1). As with Paul, it is not easy to be sure when “the Lord” refers to God and when to Christ, but the writer bids his readers continue in the hope of “the coming of the Lord,” evidently meaning Christ (5:7-8). That he also means Christ by “the Lawgiver and Judge” (4:12), and “the Judge” (5:9) is perhaps not likely, but the fair name which they bear and which is blasphemed by the rich who oppress them (2:7) is undoubtedly that of Christ, and it is probably in his name (5:14) that the elders anointed the sick with oil. Jesus, then, is the Messiah, and is Lord; he abides in divine glory, and will come to judge all men and save those who love God. The Christians are probably meant by the first-fruits of God’s creatures (1:18), whom he begat by his word of truth, that is, by the complete revelation of his law in the form in which Christian understanding receives it. They have now taken the place, and received the attributes, formerly held by the Jews as the people of God (1:1).

These Christian references are not very numerous, but they are unmistakable, and relate to the most fundamental points of primitive Christian belief. As is natural, it is chiefly, though not exclusively, in Christian connections that the eschatological side of the writer’s thought comes out. The Christian elements are entirely germane to the ideas of Jewish origin and fuse with the latter in one consistent and comprehensible system.

That the Epistle of James was written not by a Christian at all but by a Jew, and that it has suffered interpolation at 1:1 and 2:1, is elaborately argued in the valuable book of F. Spitta, Der Brief des Jakobus, 1896; and the same idea was independently worked out by L. Massebieau, “L’épitre de Jacques est-elle l’œuvre d’un Chrétien?” in Revue de l’Histoire des Religions, 32, 1895, pp. 249-283. Hardly a single scholar besides these two has been led to adopt the theory. The reasons which have seemed decisive against it are the following:

(1) The interpolation of the words referring to Christ in 1:1 is not suggested by anything in the sentence. In 2:1 the phrase is, indeed, awkward, but is not intolerable.

(2) The passages of the epistle interpreted above as Christian are an integral part of the structure of the letter, and in the case of most of them Spitta’s attempt to show that the language was equally possible for a Jew is unsuccessful. Note also the surely Christian reference to “the elders of the church” (5:14). Again, if the discussion of faith and works in 2:14-26 implies a polemic against Paul or Paulinists, that is conclusive for the Christian origin of the epistle; and the position of recognised primary significance assumed for faith in 1:3 and 2:5 is both characteristic of Christian thinking and unlikely for a non-christian Jewish writer.

(3) The epistle contains nothing whatever which positively marks it as distinctively Jewish. There is no sentence which a Jew could have written and a Christian could not; its Jewish ideas are without exception those that a Christian could hold. This peculiar stamp of thought would, if Jewish, be almost, if not quite, without example among Jewish writers; while to suggest that the strictly Jewish parts have been excised by the Christian interpolator supposes a degree of literary activity on his part not contemplated in the original theory and dangerous to its integrity. The idea of a Christian editor largely modifying a previous Jewish document is a theory which would have little to commend it as against the usual notion of a Christian writer freely using congenial Jewish material.

Important criticisms of Spitta’s views are those of E. Haupt, in Theol. Studien und Kritiken, lxix, 1896, pp. 747-768; Harnack, CaL, i, 1897, pp. 485-491; Zahn, Einleitung, 1897, § 8, note 7; Mayor3, 1910, pp. 192-203.

In this system of thought, however, in which the fundamental ideas of primitive Christianity appear in union with a form of Judaism, simple, rational, and free from Jewish nationalist and partisan traits, we are struck by the absence of many elements which quickly became common, and some which are universal, in other early Christianity. First, and most noticeable, is the absence of any mention whatever of the death of Christ. There is no reference to it either as constituting a problem (cf. Luke 24:13-27, Acts 2:23, Acts 2:3:18, Acts 2:17:3, Acts 2:26:23, 1 Corinthians 1:22), as the means of men’s salvation, or even as a significant event in the history of Jesus Christ. In this omission our author stands in contrast with practically every other writer of the N. T. and with the Apostolic Fathers save Hermas, and the substance of his epistle forbids the explanation that he had no occasion to make such a reference. That the writer thought of salvation as to be brought to believers through Christ at his coming (5:7) is evident, but it is equally plain that he had no vivid consciousness, and perhaps no clear thought at all, of any relation of Christ’s death to God’s saving grace.


Here we have a striking contrast to Paul. And this contrast is borne out by other omissions. Paul’s doctrine held to a radical change produced by faith. The old man is put off, the Christian has become a new creature, he is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, and Christ dwells in him, he is free from bondage to sin, is already justified, and may count on complete salvation through the power of God, the supernatural forces meanwhile showing their presence in his new ability to do right. The realistic and literal meaning of all this in Paul’s thought is not to be minimised. But of this whole conception of miraculous entrance on a new mode of existence through complete transformation by an initiation nothing appears in James. This whole method of viewing religion is alien to his way. He believes in God’s help, but without any mysticism whatever. And he probably makes no reference to the Holy Spirit (see note on 4:5). The omission of many of the individual ideas which find expression in Paul’s epistles would not be significant, but this broad contrast in the general view of the religious life is important, for (apart from the phraseology of James’s discussion of faith and works) all the positive ideas of James, taken individually, would have been highly satisfactory to Paul.

The only exception to what has just been said of the absence of this essential side of Paul’s thought from James is the figure of birth for becoming a Christian (1:18). But this is expressed by a term

The use of the term Lord (ὁ κύριος) for Jesus Christ (1:1, 2:1, 5:8, 14), although characteristic of Paul, was not original with him, and marana tha (1 Corinthians 16:22, Didache 10:6) shows that it had early become current with Aramaic-speaking Christians and must have been widely used. Its use does not imply other Hellenistic ideas. See W. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 1913, p. 103, note 3; J. Weiss, Christus, 1909 (Eng. transl. 1911); H. Böhlig, “Zum Begriff Kyrios bei Paulus,” in Zt. für neutest. Wissenschaft, 14, 1913, pp. 23-37.


While James and Paul thus stand in this sharp contrast, no hint appears in James of controversy with Pauline Christianity over the validity of the Jewish law, nor of attack on Paul personally. In 2:14-26 James is not engaged in doctrinal controversy, but is repelling the practical misuse which was made, or which might be made, of Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith alone in order to excuse moral laxity. James shows no comprehension of what Paul actually meant by his formula; but the formula itself is foreign to him, and he heartily dislikes it.

The relation to Paul implied in 2:14-26 is the most discussed subject in connection with the epistle. Large references to the abundant literature may be found in B. Bartmann, St. Paulus und St. Jacobus über die Rechtfertigung (Biblische Studien, 2), 1897, pp. 1-17. That James wrote after Paul’s doctrine had become well known to the church must be admitted, for he quotes exactly Paul’s formula (2:21, 24, cf. Galatians 2:16, Romans 3:28), and this formula was the outgrowth of the most original element of Paul’s system and is alien to earlier Jewish thought. Whether James shows signs of having gained his knowledge of Paul from actually reading Paul’s epistles cannot be determined. His language is probably capable of explanation on the assumption that he had not read them, and his entire failure to suggest that Paul’s formula could be dissociated from its misuse shows at least that he had paid surprisingly little attention to Romans and Galatians.

Most of the discussions of the relation of James to Paul err through the inability of their authors to separate themselves from modern theological issues and the method of modern theological definition. Certainly James did not understand Paul’s motive for insisting that justification is by faith alone and not by works, and he resists a doctrine which seems to him to mean that good conduct can safely be neglected by a Christian. But he has no idea of disparaging faith, which he everywhere assumes as present and which he highly values. His point is that faith and works are inseparable in any properly constituted Christian life, and he argues this clearly and effectively. That he supposed the false inference, which threatened morality, to be a necessary consequence of Paul’s formula is not certain, though not unlikely. Paul himself would have had no quarrel with James’s positive contention about morality, although he might have preferred to describe good conduct as “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22 f.) rather than as the evidence of a living faith (James 2:18); but he would have deplored as utterly superficial and inadequate James’s mode of stating the conditions of justification.


There has been much discussion as to whether Paul and James meant the same thing by the terms “justification,” “works,” and “faith.” As to “justification,” the idea clearly is the same, although Paul’s peculiar use of it in his system, whereby it pertains to the initial moment of the Christian life and not merely to the day of judgment, is wholly foreign to James. In “works” Paul would have included the good conduct to which James refers, but when he speaks of “works of the law” he often has prominently in mind such ritual requirements as circumcision, which are not at all what James is referring to. As to “faith,” there is no difference of “concept,” for James has no special “concept” of faith, but is talking of the act or state popularly called faith; it is not a question of definition, but of observation. If it be true that Paul would have denied the name of faith to the “dead” faith of which James speaks, that is because he had changed and enlarged the connotation, and so reduced the denotation, of the term. Paul and James move in this matter in different circles of thought, and the attempt to superimpose one circle on the other in order to determine their agreement or disagreement in detail is futile. They can be compared only in the large. Then it appears that the two writers are at one on the moral question; and that the substance of James’s own theology is all contained in Paul’s, while he lacks everything that made Paul’s view distinctive and original. The same relation subsists here that appears in nearly every other comparison between James and kindred thinkers.

As there is no contact, friendly or otherwise, with the Hellenistic, or mystical, side of Paul’s thought and no controversy with Paul personally,* so there is naturally no suggestion either of gnostic tendencies or of polemic against them. In the Johannine literature gnosticising conceptions everywhere affect the method of thought, even though a vigorous argument is carried on against the results of their dangerous tendencies. James lives in a different atmosphere.

Allusion to gnostic tendency has been found in the contrast of true and false wisdom (3:13-18), the word ψυχική (3:15), the use of τέλειος (1:4, 17, 25, 3:2), the blame of God for temptation (1:13), the disrespect for and judging of the law (4:11, Cerdon and Marcion), the misuse of the Pauline doctrine of faith (2:14-26); but no one of these implies such notions. See Pfleiderer, Urchristentum2, 1902, ii, 545-547, for a statement of that view, which has exercised considerable influence; cf. Grafe, Stellung und Bedeutung des Jakobusbriefes, 1904, p. 44.

There is no inclination to asceticism in the epistle, for the praise of the poor and condemnation of the rich and the requirement of a radical choice between God and the world are no more ascetic, in any proper sense of the term, than are the sayings of Jesus on these subjects. No sacramental tendency shows itself. No speculative interest appears in any direction. The eschatology is incidental and undeveloped. And the post-apostolic notion sometimes ascribed to James, of Christianity as a body of doctrine to be believed (“the faith,” “fides quae creditur”), and correspondingly of faith as an “intellectualistic” acceptance of propositions, is not at all the “dead” faith of which James speaks.* The demons’ faith in one God stands, in fact, at the opposite pole from this “intellectualism”; for as a faith in God’s existence and power it is sincere and real; its fault lies in its complete divorce from love or an obedient will.

When we make a comparison with the Apostolic Fathers the positive traits which give definite character to the thinking of every one of them are all lacking in James. Most of these have been included in the summary of things absent already given, but the entire absence of allegory is a striking addition that can be made to the list. Indeed, James exhibits not one distinctly marked individual theological tendency which would set him in positive relation to any of the strong forces either of the apostolic or of the post-apostolic period. His simple-minded and robust emphasis on the power and duty of a right fundamental choice and of right action, and his way of describing his religion as God-given “law,” are the two most distinctive theological ideas in the epistle. The latter of these has, indeed, reminded critics of the doctrine of the new law and the new Lawgiver in the Apostolic Fathers and elsewhere.† But Jamesdoes not make this the starting-point of a theology, or an important principle of his christology. No more does he carry what might readily have become a doctrine of works and of the human will a step beyond the simple expression of sincere moral earnestness. The many parallels between James and the Apostolic Fathers* are due to the share that both have in the common stock of moral and religious ideas which Christianity took over from Judaism; they are given a false prominence by the lack in James of distinctive religious ideas which would have sharply marked him off from these kindred thinkers.

A large dependence on the sayings of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels has often been found in the epistle. An exhaustive list and full discussion of those parallels is given by Spitta.† Most of them, as Spitta rightly contends, have no bearing on the question, being merely verbal or else due only to common relation to Jewish ideas. The following, however, are worth noting; the context should be examined in each case.

James 1:5: αἰτείτωκαὶ δοθήσεται αὐτῷ. Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9: αἰτεῖτε καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν.

James 2:5: τοὺς πτωχοὺςκληρονόμους τῆς βασιλείας. Matthew 5:3: μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστινβασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν, cf. Luke 6:20 (οἱ πτωχοί).

James 3:18: τοῖς ποιοῦσιν εἰρήνην. Matthew 5:9: μακάριοι οἱ εἱρηνοποιοί.

James 4:4: μοιχαλίδες. Mark 8:38: ἐν τῇ γενεᾷ ταύττῇ μοιχαλίδι (cf. Matthew 12:39, Matthew 16:4).

James 5:1-6: ἄγε νῦν οἱ πλούσιοι κτλ. Luke 6:24: πλὴν οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς πλουσίοις, ὅτι

James 5:12 (oaths). Matthew 5:34-37.



Some of these parallels (especially the last one) may well be cases of direct influence from a word of Jesus, and there may also be influence from his words hidden in some of the slighter parallels. But more significant than these single and disputable points is the broad fact that we find James following some of the larger interests of the Synoptic Gospels and entirely untouched by others. His ever-recurring insistence on doing, both in itself and in contrast to merely hearing or saying, represents the same type of religion which has so chosen the sayings in the Gospels (especially Matthew) as to emphasise exactly the same point. (Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:24-27, Luke 6:47-49, Matthew 25:31-46, etc.) So also with the value set on poverty and the warning to the rich, with the injunctions to prayer, to complete devotion to God (Matthew 6:19-34), to restraint in judging and in unkind speech, and with other topics. These are mostly ideas natural to devout Judaism; the point to be noted is the special and strong interest in them found alike in the compilers of the Gospels (or of their source) and in James. Yet equally conspicuous is James’s omission of some of the chief motives which have produced the Synoptic Gospels. Not only does he, like other early writers, but in more complete measure than they, fail to use the traits of Jesus’ life and character, even where they would have been particularly apt for reinforcement of moral and religious appeal, but the absence of the term Son of Man, and of the idea of the Kingdom of God as an important structural element in his thought, separate James from the Synoptic type on the side of the sayings, while the comparative absence of eschatological interest and the entire absence of interest in the death of Christ (those great commanding topics which so largely dominate the Markan side of the Synoptic tradition) forbid the supposition that from the same circle and age could have come both a gospel like Matthew or Luke (to say nothing of Mark) and the Epistle of James. James was in religious ideas nearer to the men who collected the sayings of Jesus than to the authors of the Gospels, but his religious interests are not identical with those of either group.


(b) The Situation

We must now turn to the general character and situation of the Christians whose needs and tendencies guided the composition of the epistle. Here we get no help from the address in 1:1. The tract is not a letter sent to a definite group of individuals, and by “the twelve tribes in the dispersion” were meant any Christians anywhere who might read the book. We have to suppose that the author has in view general Christian conditions, as he knew them where he lived and as he supposed them to exist elsewhere.

The Christians who are in mind evidently consisted mainly of poor and humble folk, living along with other persons much better off who appear to have been large farmers (5:4); travelling traders are also a familiar class (4:13 ff.). These Christians are subject to troubles such as might shake their faith in Providence (1:2), but are not represented as exposed to any direct religious persecution. The rich, indeed, are mostly hostile to Christianity, and are oppressors of the poor through the courts and by other methods (2:6 f.5:4), but nothing indicates that their oppression was religious persecution.

In 1:10 the rich man is a brother, but apparently exceptional (cf. 2:5); in 2:1 the rich man is not a Christian, and the rich of 2:5 blaspheme the Christian name, while the apostrophe of 5:1-6 is clearly addressed to non-christians.

The traits of these Christians, so far as mentioned in the epistle, are easily comprehensible. The writer offers, indeed, no praise of his readers such as would be found in a Pauline letter; but that is part of its character as a diatribe. They have certain moral dangers, they need encouragement and warning; but it would be a mistake to suppose that the conditions known to the writer were those of any conspicuous demoralisation or monstrous worldliness. If some relied on their Christian profession to make up for defect in Christian practise, the crime which draws out that censure is, after all, nothing graver than an excessive civility and truckling to rich strangers who appeared at their church meeting. Their quarrelsome propensities seem to have been strongly developed in both word and act (3:9 f. 13-16, 4:1-3, 11, 5:9), but more is not implied than the ordinary frictions and wrong speeches of decent, but somewhat ungoverned, people.

Nothing worse is indicated here than took place at Thessalonica, at Corinth, at Philippi, at Jerusalem, in the earliest years of those churches, and we have no right to infer from the faults of James’s readers a relatively late stage in their Christian history. Nothing in the epistle, it is true, refers to them as if they had lately come from Judaism or heathenism, or breathes the fresh enthusiasm of a newly planted church, and the sense of the very recent conversion of the readers which is often found in Paul is lacking (so even 1:18). But it is wrong to say that a condition of Christian life is here indicated so secularised as to imply a very long lapse of time since these Christian churches were founded.

That these Christians lived among Jews, not as mission outposts among the heathen, and were themselves Jews, is the implication of the whole epistle. There is no reference to idolatry, to slaves, to a generally accepted lax standard of sexual morality, to any surrounding heathenism. In a heathen city their difficulties would have been likely to come from the police, or from neighbours poor like themselves and jealous; here the oppression is from the rich, who maltreat their work-people. The apostrophe to the rich (5:1-6) is in language full of allusion to the O. T., as if those who are attacked might be expected (if they would but read) to feel the force of an appeal to the impartial severity of the Lord of Sabaoth in the Judgment and to the torments of fire in the last days. The Christian assembly is called a “synagogue”—not, perhaps, a decisive piece of evidence, but yet significant in confirmation of the rest. The picture in 5:14-16 of the visit of the elders to the sick man with oil and prayer and confession is a curiously exact reproduction of what Jewish writers tell of Jewish ways. The sense of the pressing duty of almsgiving and of visiting the unfortunate are traits of a Jewish community. The knowledge of the O. T. everywhere assumed proves, however, no more here than at Corinth (cf. Clement of Rome), and the writer’s familiarity with Jewish midrashic embellishment of the O. T. stories (5:17) is significant rather for him than for his readers.

That the conditions were those of Palestine seems directly implied by the reference (5:7) to “the early and latter [rain].” Only in Palestine among the countries that come in question do the seasonal conditions produce the intensity of anxious hope to which this verse refers. By reason of just that intensity of feeling (as well as because of the comparative inconspicuousness of the few O. T. passages where these rains are mentioned) the phrase has every appearance of being not a literary allusion but a reference to a familiar fact of daily life. If the word καύσων in 1:11 means the sirocco, that would suit the climate of Palestine, or of other Oriental regions, but the word may mean merely “heat” and so give no specific implication.

These Palestinian Jewish Christians formed an established religious body, with a regular meeting, doubtless both for instruction and for worship (cf. 1:19-27), of which no secret was made and which outsiders were more than welcome to visit. They were numerous enough to be a community (not necessarily, nor probably, segregated from the rest of the city or village) in which social vices and virtues could exist (so ἐν ὑμῖν 4:1-3, 5:13-16). They had elders (5:14), but there is no mention of bishops or deacons. They also had “teachers” (3:1), a class to which the writer himself belonged, which is well known in early Christianity, and which persisted in Palestine until the third century (cf. Ps.-Clement, Epistles to Virgins). What ch. 3 indicates concerning the functions and character of these teachers, as well as about the ideals to be cherished by them, need not be here recited.

The general state of the country and the relations of these churches with their Jewish neighbours (other than the rich) are but little touched on in the epistle. The impression throughout the tract is of a settled condition of affairs. There is no indication of war or of public disturbance or calamity; no allusion is made to the Jewish war or to the destruction of Jerusalem. Agriculture and trade appear to be carried on in peace; the uncertainties of life are those of ordinary peaceful times. There has been opportunity for the Christian churches to grow and establish themselves—mainly through winning converts among the humbler classes. Nothing in the epistle implies a time of very active missionary work. The rich who blaspheme are evidently for the most part out of reach of Christian influence (2:5-7); if one of them comes to the Christian meeting a flutter of officious attention arises in the congregation. Argumentative apologetics do not show themselves in any way, whether in the choice or the treatment of religious topics—the contrast here to the writings of Paul is striking. Nor does any acute crisis in the relations of Christians and non-christians appear to exist; one would infer that the Christians, although very possibly disliked, were tolerated and free to maintain their own activity and inner life, with their own officials and constituency, under the instruction of their own teachers. The Christians’ relations to non-christian neighbours who worship the same God and Father appear to be peaceful; they can well be ruled by the same counsels which are primarily given with reference to mutual relations among Christians.

B. Weiss has advanced an ingenious but untenable view, which is clearly and fully stated in his Jakobusbrief und die neuere Kritik, 1904, esp. pp. 17 ff. He holds that ch. 3 of the epistle is intended to correct unwise missionary methods (“falscher Bekehrungseifer”) on the part of the Christians. Out of these, he thinks, arose also the internal troubles of which ch. 4 speaks. Nothing in the epistle seems to me to be in accord with this notion. Weiss builds it on the singular argument that since there is no indication in the epistle of doctrinal diversities within the church there was nothing that the “teachers” could teach to their fellow Christians. Hence they must have been missionaries to non-christians!

Nothing in the epistle suggests that the writer is especially familiar with conditions at Jerusalem.

§ 6. The Origin of the Epistle

(a) History of Opinion as to the Author

M. Meinertz, Der Jakobusbrief und sein Verfasser in Schrift und Ueberlieferung (Biblische Studien, x, 1-3), Freiburg, 1905; see infra, pp. 86-109, “History of the Epistle in the Church.”

The views of modern scholars will be found well summarised in J. Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 1911, pp. 468-475; Beyschlag, Der Brief des Jacobus3 (Meyer6), 1897, pp. 23-27; see also Holtzmann, Einleitung3, 1892, pp. 336-338; Zahn, Einleitung, § 8, with notes; Mayor, ch. 7.

The first word of the epistle declares it to have been written by “James.” But nothing indicates directly and explicitly which James is meant, and it is not even clear that the author is an apostle or that he is a person mentioned elsewhere in the N. T. The earliest known opinion on the person of the writer is that of Origen (infra, pp. 92 f.), who understood the author to be James the Lord’s brother. This identification may well have come to him from tradition, and may have been shared by Clement, who probably was acquainted with the epistle (infra, pp. 91 f.); but of all that we have no positive knowledge whatever. In any case, this view became the standing opinion, with but few exceptions, in the churches, Greek, Latin, and Syrian, which successively adopted the epistle into their N. T.

Eusebius, in stating that the epistle is not accepted by some churches, doubtless had in mind the Syrians and perhaps the Latins, but he does not intimate that any one who held to its apostolic authorship attributed it to any other James than the Lord’s brother, and does not imply that he knew of any rival positive tradition. He himself seems to have accepted the epistle, as did Jerome, whose more definite statement is probably only a paraphrase of the remarks of Eusebius, H. e. ii, 23.

Euseb. H. e. 2, 23:24 f. τοιαῦτα καὶ τὰ κατὰ Ἰάκωβον, οὗπρώτη τῶν ὀνομαζομένων καθολικῶν ἐπιστολῶν εἶναι λέγεται· ἰστέον δε ὡς νοθεύεται μέν, οὐ πολλοὶ γοῦν τῶν παλαιῶν αὐτῆς ἐμνημόνευσαν.

H. e. 3, 253 τῶν δʼ

As to the place of origin the epistle is wholly without suggestion, and a number of towns in Palestine could show the required conditions. A good example is Cæsarea, the Roman capital. Here was a Romanised city containing a population partly Jewish, partly heathen, in which the writer’s contact with Hellenistic moral preaching would be easily supposable, but where the Christians would not have found themselves out of relation to Jewish life. Christians existed at Cæsarea from an early time (Acts 10f . Acts 10:21:8, Acts 10:16), and its continued importance as a Christian centre is attested by the references in the Clementine Recognitions. No sufficient reason exists for thinking that the author of the Epistle of James actually lived here, but it happens that more is known about Cæsarea than about most similar places, and it is instructive to find that its known circumstances would well account for the origin of the epistle.† Much the same could be said of Tiberias, if there were any such tradition of Christians there.‡


The general view here stated of the time and place of origin of the Epistle of James excludes the traditional authorship by James the Lord’s brother. Is this indirect result confirmed by any convincing direct evidence? Such proof is difficult to get because so little is known of James’s ideas or character; yet two special considerations tend to make it unlikely that the author was James.

(1) The first is the writer’s contact with Hellenism. Not only is the epistle written in a Greek style better than that of most writers of the N. T., but the writer shows a contact with Greek modes of public preaching and with Greek ideas and illustrations which would not be expected in a Galilean peasant whose experience of the world, even in the period of his broadest activity, came through his leadership of the Christians at Jerusalem. And this remains true, even when all necessary deductions have been made for the later and legendary nature of the ascetic traits with which the description given by Hegesippus has endowed the “bishop of Jerusalem.”

(2) The second point has to do with what we know of James the Lord’s brother’s religious attitude. He was deeply engaged with the questions directly arising out of the controversy between Paul and the Judaisers (Acts 15:21:18 ff., Galatians 2:1-10, Galatians 2:12); and although he took a mediating position at Jerusalem, yet he was fully trusted as a leader by the crowds of Christians, “all zealous for the law,” who lived there, while the allusion in Galatians 2:12 surely indicates that his ideas of Jewish Christian observance of the Jewish dietary regulations were strict. But in the epistle all these questions lie completely outside the circle of the writer’s interest, extensive as that circle is. And this becomes of greater significance because the writer has in mind and discusses Paul’s formulas. He disapproves of them, but on other grounds than that which chiefly moved the Judaisers of Paul’s day, and caused that well-known controversy to be the life-and-death struggle of exclusive Jewish Christianity. Then the question was whether such “works” of the Law as circumcision, the dietary rules, and the Sabbath were requisite to justification; now, without a hint of that question, the objection to Paul’s statement is that it seems to imply that men can be justified without showing any of the “works” of Christian love. It seems, to say the least, unlikely that a representative leader who had taken a great part in the earlier controversy should, within fifteen years, in discussing the same forms of statement, betray no consciousness whatever of that controversy or of its vital significance for the section of the church to which he belonged. The writer of the epistle is anxious for the spiritual welfare of Jewish Christians; he shows no sign of any concern about the interests of Jewish Christianity.


If, then, this epistle probably bore from the start the name of “James, servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,” and yet is not from the pen of James, the well-known leader of Jewish Christianity, might we not suppose it to be the work of some otherwise unknown Palestinian Christian sharing this not uncommon name? This is undoubtedly possible; in view, however, of the conspicuous position and wide, heroic fame of the Lord’s brother, it does not seem likely. A Christian epistle bearing his name, with no special indication of the identity of the author, could hardly have been put out in Palestine in the first or early second century without seeming to the Christian public of that age to claim the authorship of the great James, just as it did in the time of Origen, a century later. And the literary customs of the time make the publication of a pseudonymous epistle well conceivable, even for an earnest and sincere writer, at a time when James himself had been dead certainly for fifteen years, perhaps for more than fifty.

The origin here supposed for the epistle seems to accord well with its earliest history in the church. Produced after the apostolic period, in a secluded part of Christendom, and having no immediate significance for current controversy, it was preserved in Palestine alone for nearly or quite a century. Then, its pseudonymous character in the meantime forgotten, it came to the knowledge of the Greek church either through being brought to Alexandria in the second century or through one of the visits of Origen to Palestine. The use of it in the pseudoclementine Epistles to Virgins of the third century may have been due to its currency among Greek-speaking Christians in Palestine, where those epistles were written. Since our epistle was known to be an ancient book when it first came to the attention of Origen (or of Clement of Alexandria?), and since it purported to be written by James, apparently the Lord’s brother of that name, and since it contained nothing unworthy of such an origin, it was gradually accepted, first in Alexandria, then, as it became known more widely and with high authority recommending it, elsewhere in the Christian world. This process went on slowly because the church leaders were aware that the book was a newcomer which had not been read and valued in the church at large in the second century.

The often-quoted statement of Jerome (quae et ipsa ab alio quodam sub nomine ejus edita adseritur) must not be taken to imply more knowledge than Jerome gained from Eusebius, and the latter’s statement means only that in his time the Syrian and Latin churches had not yet taken up the epistle into their canon. We cannot infer from Jerome that a tradition of the real authorship, or even of the pseudonymity of the epistle, had survived through the second century and come with it to Greek theologians and so to Jerome himself; see above, p. 44.

For the significance of the Epistle of James in the history of early Christian thought it makes not much difference whether it was written by James the Lord’s brother about the year 60, or by another Palestinian teacher fifty years later. In either case the place of origin and the kind of Christians whose life the epistle reflects are the same, and the epistle itself shows how little development of Christian thought took place there in those decades. The historical importance of that phase of Christian history lies not in what came out of it but in the traces it reveals of still earlier Palestinian Christianity, and in its testimony to one of the many legitimate forms which Christianity (and in this case very early Christianity) has assumed in its long history.

APPENDIX ON JAMES THE LORD’S BROTHER AND OTHER PERSONS NAMED JAMES



Acta Sanctorum, Maii, vol. i, pp. 18-34, Antwerp, 1680.

A. H. Blom, Disputatio theologica inauguralis de ΤΟΙΣ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΙΣ et ΤΑΙΣ ΑΔΕΛΦΑΙΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΥΡΙΟΥ, Leyden, 1839.

J. B. Lightfoot, “The Brethren of the Lord,” in Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, 1865, 101890, pp. 252-291.

Theodor Zahn, “Brüder und Vettern Jesu,” in Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutest. Kanons, vi, 1900, pp. 225-364.

Max Meinertz, Der Jakobusbrief und sein Verfasser in Schrift und Ueberlieferung (Biblische Studien, x, 1-3), Freiburg, 1905.

§ 1. New Testament Persons Named James

The N. T. persons bearing the name of James are as follows:

(1) James son of Zebedee and Salome, (elder?) brother of John, included in all four lists of the Twelve, and frequently referred to in the Gospels. He was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I in or before the year 44 a.d. (Acts 12:2).

(2) James son of Alphæus, one of the Twelve (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13).

(3) James the Lord’s brother. So described in Galatians 1:19, and mentioned in 2:9, 12; doubtless the person referred to, as having seen the risen Lord, in 1 Corinthians 15:7. Evidently the same as James who appears as a leading Christian at Jerusalem in Acts 12:17, Acts 15:13, Acts 21:18. Cf. Mark 6:3 = Matthew 13:55.

(4) James “the less” (ὁ μικρός). His mother was Mary, and he had a brother Joses (Mark 15:40 = Matthew 27:56, Mark 16:1 = Luke 24:10).

(5) James father (or, very improbably, brother) of Judas, the latter being one of the Twelve (Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου), Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13. Instead of this Judas another name (either Thaddæus or Lebbæus) appears in the list of Mark 3:18, copied in Matthew 10:3.

(6) James, by whom the Epistle of James claims to have been written (James 1:1).


(7) James brother of the Judas (Jude v. 1) by whom the Epistle of Jude claims to have been written.

Of these several persons named James, No. 1 (James son of Zebedee) and No. 2 (James son of Alphæus) are certainly distinct individuals, both names being found together in the lists of the Twelve Apostles. Of the career of James son of Alphæus, however, nothing whatever is known, at any rate under that name; and the same is true of No. 4 (James the less) and No. 5 (James [father] of Judas), so that the way is open for identifying one or more of these three with No. 3, James the Lord’s brother, a man of note repeatedly mentioned in the Acts and in Paul’s epistles. Such a combination, by which Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were regarded as a single individual, was made by Jerome toward the end of the fourth century, and has prevailed in the western church and with modern Roman Catholic scholars.*

§ 2. The History of Opinion

The history of opinion with regard to the relationships of James the Lord’s brother is of considerable interest.

The most natural interpretation of the terms “brother” (Matthew 12:46, Matthew 12:47, Matthew 12:13:55, Matthew 12:28:10 [?], Mark 3:31, Mark 3:32, Mark 3:6:3, Luke 8:19, Luke 8:20, John 2:12, John 2:7:3,John 2:5, John 2:10, John 2:20:17 [?], Acts 1:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5, Galatians 1:19) and “sister” (Matthew 13:56, Mark 6:3) is undoubtedly to take them as referring to children of Joseph and Mary, younger than Jesus. This is apparently implied† by the statement of Luke 2:7 (cf. also Matthew 1:25), that Mary “brought forth her firstborn son (τὸν υἱὸν τὸν πρωτότοκον), ” and this view, often called the “Helvidian,” was perhaps the opinion of most persons in the Christian church of the second century. Origen implies that it was so, since he refers to the opposite opinion, which he himself held, as that of “some,” in apparent distinction from the majority (Tom. x, 17, on Matthew 13:55); and Tertullian probably held the Lord’s brethren to have been the sons of Joseph and Mary (Contra Marcionem, iv, 19; De carne, 7).


Zahn, Forschungen, vi, p. 319, cf. pp. 309-313, argues that Clement of Alexandria, Strom. vii, 16, 93 f., likewise implies that the mass of simple Christians held to the “Helvidian” view; and holds that that view was maintained by Hegesippus. But the implication of Clement’s language does not carry so far as this, and as to the view of Hegesippus there is, in fact, no positive evidence whatever.

By the fourth century, however, this opinion had been reduced to the grade of a heresy. In 376-377, when Epiphanius fulminates against it in a pastoral letter, which he later incorporated in his great work against heresies (Hœr. lxxviii, pp. 1034-1057; cf. 28, 7; 29, 1 f.; li, 10; lxvi, 19), it is only to comparatively unimportant or out-of-the-way Christians, such as those in Arabia (or possibly Agaria west of the sea of Azov*), whom he dubbed Anti-dicomarianitae, or Bonosus of Sardica, or Jovinian that he can refer as instances. The views of all these were condemned as heretical, while Apollinaris of Laodicea, many of whose followers at least are said to have held to this opinion (Epiph. Hær. 77, 36; 78, 1), was himself a theologian of doubtful repute.† Helvidius himself is an obscure person, known to us solely through Jerome’s refutation of a treatise, written at Rome about the year 380, in which he maintained the view that goes by his name. He seems to have been a bold spirit, disaffected toward the current monkish asceticism; using chiefly the statements of the Gospels, he found himself able to produce as older theological authorities only Tertullian and Victorinus of Pettau. He won some followers, but the day for his view had passed and was not to come again until the eighteenth century.

Opposed to this ancient, so-called Helvidian, view of the matter, with its support in the natural implications of Scripture, was another theory, which is first found in certain apocryphal writings, and which, being more in accord with the prevailing sentiment, dominated the church of the fourth century and remains the usual doctrine in the Greek church to the present day. It is often called the “Epiphanian” doctrine, from its most painstaking defender in the fourth century (Epiph. Hœr. 77, 36; 78, 1-24), but its origin lies as far back as the early second century. According to this theory, Mary had no other children than our Lord; the “brothers” and “sisters” were the children of Joseph by a former wife, brought up in the household of Joseph and Mary and reputed Jesus’ half-brothers. For the theory no direct evidence is to be found in the N. T.; it seems to derive its origin, and certainly gained its rapid spread, from the feeling of veneration for the Virgin Mary which has produced so vast an overgrowth of legends about her life. This was here conjoined with the far-reaching asceticism which, foreign to Judaism, came with Hellenism into Christian thought and life. Ascetic doctrine speedily supplemented the virgin birth by the perpetual virginity of Mary; hence a first wife had to be assumed as the mother of Joseph’s children. The earliest extant statement of this is found in the romance now known as the Protevangelium Jacobi, a fiction of the middle of the second century, in which it is said (ch. 9) that at the time of his betrothal to Mary Joseph was a widower more than eighty years old, with a number of children. A similar statement is said by Origen (Tom. 10, 17, on Matthew 13:55) to have been contained in the Gospel according to Peter (of date not far from the Protevangelium). It may have been the view of Clement of Alexandria, and was definitely affirmed by Origen himself, although he seems to be aware that it is supported only by these legendary authorities (deliramenta apocryphorum, as Jerome calls them), and that it rests solely on dogmatic or even sentimental grounds. Most of the early writers had no occasion to state by what theory they harmonised the doctrine of the perpetual virginity with the existence of brothers and sisters of the Lord, and therefore cannot be quoted on this question, but when Epiphanius wrote (not long before 380), he was able to assume that his own view was universally held by orthodox Christians. It is, indeed, explicitly stated by Hilary of Poitiers († 368) and “Ambrosiaster” (c. 375), and was the view of Ephraem Syrus,* Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, and, in the main, of Chrysostom (who, however, seems later to have inclined toward the equally orthodox theory of Jerome). Later Greek writers, with few exceptions, held to this tradition, and the calendars of the Greek, Syrian, and Coptic churches, which distinguish James the Lord’s brother from both of the apostles named James, are evidently in accord with this doctrine of the Apocrypha, of Origen, and of Epiphanius. This is the view accepted by the theologians of the oriental Orthodox churches at the present day.


For the following note on the brethren of Jesus in Russian theological literature I am indebted to Dr. Aurelio Palmieri:

Most of the Russian writers accept the opinion of St. Epiphanius, and hold that Joseph had six sons before his marriage with the Virgin. Among the Russian writers who hold this view are: Bieliaev, O sobornom poslanii ap. Jakova (The Catholic Epistle of St. James) Ctenia, held in the Society of the Friends of Ecclesiastical Progress, 1872, vol. i; Bishop Alexis (Novoslov), Vvedenie v poslanie Jakova (Introduction to the Epistle of St. James), ibid. 1877, vol. ii, p. 341; Jaroscevsky, Sobornoe poslanie Sv. Ap. Jakova (The Catholic Epistle of St. James), Kiev, 1901, p. 36; Glubokovsky, Blagoviestie khristianskoi svobody v poslanii Sv. Ap. Pavla k Galatam (The Gospel of Christian Liberty in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians), Petrograd, 1902, pp. 67-69; Orlin, Sobornoe poslanie Jakova (The Catholic Epistle of St. James), Riazan, 1903, p. 2; Glagolev, in Pravoslanaia bogoslovskaia entziklopedia (Orthodox Theological Encyclopedia), Petrograd, 1901, vol. ii, pp. 1113-1126; Bogdascevsky, ibid. vol. vi, pp. 42-43. One exegete only has accepted the view of Jerome: Theodorovic, Tolkovanie na sobornoe poslanie Sv. Ap. Jakova (Commentary on the Catholic Epistle of St. James), Vilna, 1897.

Two Russian writers have proposed another explanation. They are Prof. Kibalcic, Sv. Ap. Jakov., brat Gospoden (St. James, Apostle and Brother of Our Lord), Cernigov, 1882; and the famous historian, Alexis Lebedev, in the review: Duscepoleznoe Ctenie, Moscow, 1903, i, pp. 38-82; iii, 407-425; vi, 215-228; vii, 363-370; x, 235-245; xi, 377-396; xii, 542-552; 1904, i, 91-105; ii, 229-236, and in vol. vi, of Orth. Theol. Ency. According to Lebedev, the N. T. does not state that either the Virgin or Joseph had other sons except Jesus. Therefore the so-called brethren of Jesus were not brethren in the ordinary sense; neither do they belong to a supposed first wife of Joseph. They were only cousins on the side either of Mary or Joseph. The only woman whom the Gospels represent as their mother is Mary, mentioned in the Gospel of John, with the explanatory reference to Clopas, who would be their father. Mary is not the sister of the Virgin, who is not represented as having sisters. She was therefore cousin of Joseph. The Gospels say almost nothing about Clopas; his name is only mentioned by Luke. Nevertheless, we can argue, he was well known in the age of the apostles. A tradition of the second century says that he was the only brother of Joseph. Therefore, Mary of Clopas was a cousin of Joseph and consequently of the Virgin, and she is the mother of the so-called brethren or cousins of Jesus. Prof. A. Lebedev has discussed his opinion in a special work, Bratja Gospodni (1 Corinthians 9:5), Moscow, 1908.


In the western church the influence of Jerome has caused opinion on the subject to have a different history. This active-minded controversialist spent the years 382-385 in Rome, and early in that period, in reply to the then recent work of Helvidius, wrote his treatise, Adversus Helvidium de perpetua virginitate B. Mariae. In this he presented an entirely novel theory, by which he was able to identify James the Lord’s brother with James the apostle, son of Alphæus, and so reduce the number of persons named James in the N. T. to two. The theory can be most clearly exhibited by the following table of relationships, as understood by Jerome.




Under Jerome’s theory this Judas (Mark 6:3) can be identified with the apostle Judas Jacobi, the genitive then indicating the relation of brother, not son. A further possible combination is that which identifies Simon brother of the Lord with Simon the Zealot, one of the Twelve. But neither of these combinations seems to have occurred to Jerome.


Jerome’s theory appears to have been wholly original with him, and both his own efforts and those of later Roman Catholic writers to find support for it in earlier ecclesiastical tradition must be deemed to have failed. By the theory the “brothers and sisters” of the Lord are made his cousins, being children of his mother’s sister. In order to hold this, it must be assumed that the word “brother” is in these contexts susceptible of such a meaning, an assumption linguistically highly unlikely, if not, as most Protestant scholars would hold, impossible. Apart from this essential foundation-stone the theory rests on the following considerations:

(1) Galatians 1:19 implies that James the Lord’s brother was an apostle. Since James son of Zebedee died about 44 a.d., James the Lord’s brother must be the same as James son of Alphæus.

(2) John 19:25 may be interpreted as meaning that Mary of Clopas was the sister of the mother of Jesus.

(3) Mark 15:40 (cf. 15:47, 16:1) mentions as a witness of the crucifixion a Galilean woman, Mary mother of James the less and Joses, and Jerome identified her with Mary of Clopas.


(4) James the less is identified with James son of Alphæus; for, in the opinion of Jerome, the designation “the less” (minor, ὁ μικρός) is added in order to distinguish this James from the more prominent apostle of the same name, James son of Zebedee. In that case Mary of Clopas must have been the wife of Alphæus. What the designation “of Clopas” means, Jerome does not know. He does not suggest the explanation, later current but linguistically unsound, that Clopas and Alphæus represent the same Aramaic name (Chalphai).

From the point of view of monkish asceticism, Jerome’s ingenious theory had an advantage over the previously current doctrine represented by Epiphanius. It preserved not only the perpetual virginity of Mary, but also that of Joseph (Adv. Helv. 19). Against it, in spite of its complete lack of traditional authority, could be urged only linguistic and historical objections, while in an age which was much occupied with strict definition of the limits of the canon, the Epiphanian view was subject to the discredit of its close association with antiquated apocryphal legends. Even in the East Jerome’s theory seems to have commended itself to Chrysostom (Comm. in Gal. 119), and Theodoret expressly advocated it. In the Latin church it gained the powerful support of Augustine and made a rapid conquest. Cassiodorius (468-562) treats the theory as established, and the western liturgies imply it by providing (unlike the eastern) only one day of commemoration for any James other than the son of Zebedee.

The theologians of the Middle Ages and of succeeding centuries clung to this received view with but few exceptions.* Certain critics of the seventeenth century, indeed, Combefis († 1679), Henschen the Bollandist († 1681), and Richard Simon († 1712; Histoire critique du texte du Nouveau Testament, 1689, ch. 17) argued that James the Lord’s brother was not the same person as James son of Alphæus, but they do not seem to have reached a clear and complete theory. In later times also an occasional Roman Catholic writer has taken similar ground, but in general there has been complete adherence to the theory of Jerome, which is now the established tradition of Roman Catholic scholars.

On the Protestant side,† in so far as the question was discussed by the men of the Reformation, the traditional view of Jerome seems to have been retained. Luther (who held fast to the perpetual virginity of Mary) and the Magdeburg Centuries both identified James the Lord’s brother with the son of Alphæus; and in spite of some signs presaging the coming confusion of critical theories, these sixteenth-century authorities were followed by the bulk of seventeenth-century Protestants. Striking exceptions were Grotius († 1645), who preferred the Epiphanian solution, and Hammond († 1660). The eighteenth century shows less agreement. Various scholars rejected the Hieronymian tradition; while the eccentric Whiston († 1752), and later, with vastly greater influence, Herder, in his Briefe zweener Brüder Jesu in unserm Kanon, 1775, affirmed the Helvidian doctrine.

In the critical inquiries of the nineteenth century the old opinions have been reaffirmed and ingenious new theories proposed. In the first half of the century the Hieronymian view was held by a large proportion of Protestant writers, at least of the more orthodox type, and from the latter part of the century also such voices were not lacking.‡ The Epiphanian doctrine is also maintained by a few writers, among whom stands the great name of Lightfoot.§ But among Protestant scholars the Helvidian view has increasingly gained adherents, and it is now dominant.

§ 3. The Decisive Considerations

The reasons for the tendency of modern Protestant scholars to adopt the Helvidian view are sound and do not require long discussion here.

(1) Against the Epiphanian view no conclusive objection can be brought, save that no real evidence speaks for it. It is not intrinsically improbable, nor contrary to anything in the N. T., that Joseph should have married, lost his wife, and had a family of children before his betrothal to Mary, but the legends of the Protevangelium Jacobi afford no presumption of trustworthy tradition, and nothing in the N. T. itself is capable of sustaining the weight of the story. The argument from John 19:25, on which Lightfoot rests his case, is wholly insufficient. In fact, the Epiphanian view has its roots in the dogmatic assumptions of an ascetic theology, or at best in mere pious sentiments which have become alien to modern Protestant thought.


(2) The theory of Jerome, although more frequently advocated among Protestants than the Epiphanian view, is subject to far greater objections.

(a) In the first place it requires the admission that “brother” in the various contexts where it is used can mean “cousin.” This is, in fact, impossible and is fatal to the whole theory.*

(b) Jerome’s interpretation of John 19:25, whereby Mary of Clopas is made out to be the sister of the Virgin, is, on the whole, unlikely (see the commentaries, and Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 338 f. 352).


(c) Mary “of Clopas” is more naturally taken as referring to the wife of Clopas, and in that case (since the identification of the names Clopas and Alphæus is not to be accepted) she cannot well have been the wife of Alphæus.

(d) The necessity of inferring from Galatians 1:19 that James the Lord’s brother, there referred to, was in Paul’s view an apostle is disputed (see the commentaries). But, even if the inference be granted, it is now admitted that from early times and through all the early centuries others than the Twelve were called apostles.


So, for instance, Epiphanius called James an apostle, but denied that he was one of the Twelve. See Zahn, Forschungen, vi, p. 7, note 2, pp. 307 f.; Lightfoot, “The Name and Office of an Apostle,” in Galatians, pp. 92-101.

Whether in 1 Corinthians 15:7, even if τοῖς

(e) The expression Ἰάκωβοςμικρός (Mark 15:40), on the use of which (Lat. minor) Jerome puts much stress, does not seem to be used of inferiority, in contrast to some “James the Great” among the apostles, but (note that it is positive, not comparative) refers to some personal characteristic, probably of stature.

It thus appears that Jerome’s highly speculative combinations crumble under analysis. Against his view speak positively many of the references in the Gospels. The consistent distinction made between the apostles and the brethren of the Lord, and the failure of the evangelists to give any hint that one or two or even three of the Twelve Apostles are identical with certain more or less well-known persons elsewhere referred to in their histories are important arguments. It is difficult to believe, even if Jerome’s theory of cousinship were true, that the evangelists could have been aware of such a fact. The repetition of the name Mary for two sisters, the supposed union of two households while evidently the mothers of both were still living, and the complete ignoring, in the narratives, of the second mother’s relation to her children, although she is expressly stated (Mark 15:40) to have been a member of Jesus’ company in Galilee, all these improbabilities combine with the explicit statement of the Gospel of John that Jesus’ brethren did not believe on him (John 7:5) and the clear implication of lack of sympathy with his work found in Mark 3:21, Mark 3:31 to make it appear impossible that James the Lord’s brother should have been one of the original Twelve Apostles.


For an effective statement of how ill the cousinship hypothesis suits the Gospel narratives, see Mayor3, p. 29. The various difficulties which make Jerome’s view impossible are fully presented by Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 258-265.

In order to maintain the theory of Jerome, which has had wider and longer prevalence among western Christians than any other view, it is necessary to escape the difficulties by supplementary hypotheses of various kinds, such as making an unwarrantable distinction between the James of Galatians 1:19 and the James of Galatians 2:9, or understanding that the term “the brethren of the Lord” is used by the evangelists with tacit exclusion of the only “brother of the Lord” in whom the early church had any special reason to be interested.*


In fact, we have no reason, apart from dogma or an untrustworthy sentiment, to question that the brothers and sisters of the Lord were children of Joseph and Mary younger than Jesus, and that the impression as to them and their history naturally derived by unsophisticated readers from the four Gospels and the Acts is correct. We know nothing whatever about the relationship to one another of the several persons named James who are brought before us in the Gospels and Acts and the epistles of Paul. There cannot have been fewer than three distinct Jameses; in all probability there were four or five.

§ 4. The Tradition Concerning James the Lord’s Brother

(a) The New Testament

James son of Zebedee, the apostle, died a martyr’s death by order of Herod Agrippa I, about 44, and does not seriously come in question as author of the epistle. Of the other persons called James mentioned in the N. T. only James the Lord’s brother is sufficiently known to us in his personality and career to make the question of whether he may have been the author of the epistle capable of discussion.

The information furnished by the N. T. about this James is important. In the Gospels he is named only in Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55, as well known to the inhabitants of Nazareth, but he is to be assumed as included with the other brothers in the attempt to restrain the public activity of Jesus described in Mark 3:21, Mark 3:31 = Matthew 12:46. According to the Gospel of John the brethren of the Lord and his mother accompanied Jesus to Capernaum (John 2:12), challenged him (John 7:3-9) to go to Jerusalem and manifest himself to the world (they themselves not believing on him), and proved their own Jewish piety by making the pilgrimage to the feast of tabernacles (John 7:10). On both these occasions we may fairly infer that James was with the others. At any rate, the evangelist was certainly not aware that James at that time took any different attitude from the rest of the family.

In the command to report the fact of the resurrection to “my brethren,” Matthew 28:10, John 20:17, the word “brethren” is probably to be taken in the sense of spiritual relationship, but the interpretation is not wholly certain.

After the resurrection we find the mother of Jesus and his brethren joined with the apostles and other Christians in the common life and common Christian faith of the church at Jerusalem (Acts 1:14), but of their transition to faith in Jesus Christ nothing is told us. James is nowhere expressly mentioned until Acts 12:17, when he seems to be represented as of chief importance, next to Peter, among the Christians then resident in Jerusalem. In view of the regular custom in the Book of Acts of formally introducing to the reader the personages of the narrative as they are mentioned (Barnabas 4:36; Stephen and Philip 6:5; Paul 7:58; Agabus 11:28; Silas 15:22; Timothy 16:1; Aquila, Priscilla 18:2; Apollos 18:24), we may infer from the absence of any such introduction of James that the author knew him to be the Lord’s brother and deemed him sufficiently accounted for by Acts 1:14.

In Acts James appears again at 15:13 and 21:18. At the conference at Jerusalem concerning the admission of uncircumcised believers into the church, he took with Peter a leading part, and is represented as offering the opinion (Acts 15:13-21) which was accepted and put into effect by the church of Jerusalem. This decision, fully concurred in by Peter, was joyfully recorded by the writer of Acts as an adequate charter of Gentile liberty (15:31). Nearly ten years later, at the close of the main period of Paul’s missionary activity, James is the head of the church at Jerusalem, still, as before, fully trusted by the Christians of the city—who were “all zealous for the law”—and at the same time heartily well disposed toward the Gentile missionary Paul, to whom he gives a friendly welcome and prudent advice (Acts 21:18-25). After Paul has fallen into the singular difficulties which ultimately led to his journey to Rome, we hear in Acts no word more either of James or of the Jerusalem Christians.

These notices in Acts are supplemented by certain allusions of Paul. James the Lord’s brother, whom Paul says (Galatians 1:19) that he saw on his first visit to Jerusalem, can be no other than the James who united with Peter and John in assuring Paul of their recognition and fellowship in Galatians 2:9, and this mutual understanding can hardly be referred to any other occasion than that described in Act_15. The intricate problems here involved cannot now be discussed. The leading position of James at Jerusalem, and his full identification with the Jewish Christians of that city, are implied in Galatians 2:12 by the words “before that certain came from James.” The other references are 1 Corinthians 15:7, which mentions that James had a vision of the risen Christ, and 9:5, which implies that the brethren of the Lord were married.

Beyond this the N. T. information does not go. We are justified in referring all these notices to the same James, and our two sources agree in representing him as trusted by the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem, while at the same time friendly to Paul and the Gentile mission. Of his own views, of the direction which his Christian thinking had taken and the distance it had travelled, and of his special type of character and temperament, of his precise attitude toward the problems then arising about the relations of Christianity to the law and customs of the Jews—of all that we learn hardly anything. We may infer that a man accepted by the Jerusalem Christians as their leader cannot have abandoned the practise of the Jewish law; and Galatians 2:12 seems to show James’s agreement with the Jerusalem Christians who (in Paul’s view) led Peter astray. On the other hand, we are directly informed (Galatians 2:9) that James admitted the right of Gentiles to become Christians without passing through the gate of circumcision. From the so-called “provisos of James” (Acts 15:20, Acts 15:28, Acts 15:21:25) much the same inference is to be drawn; they mean that James did not wish to impose the Law upon Gentile Christians.*


(b) Other Tradition

Outside of the N. T. a considerable amount of tradition about James the Lord’s brother has been preserved, and, mingled with much obvious legend, some elements of fact are probably contained in it. The chief sources are the following:

(1) Josephus, Antiquities, 20, 9:1:

ἅτε δὴ οὗν τοιοῦτος ὢνἌνανος, νομίσας ἔχειν καιρὸν ἐπιτήδειον διὰ τὸ τεθνάναι μὲν Φῆστον, Ἀλβῖνον δ͵ἔτι κατὰ τὴν ὀδὸν ὑπάρχειν, καθίζει συνέδριον κριτῶν καὶ παραγαγὼν εἰς αὐτὸ τὸν

This passage is suspected of being an interpolation by Schürer, GJV3, i, § 19, 5, pp. 581 f. (E. Tr. I. 2, pp. 186 f.), and Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 301-305. It is defended as genuine by Mayor3, p. 57, note 2; Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 366, note 2; and E. Schwartz, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, iv, 1903, pp. 59 f. The only ground for doubt of the genuineness is that the text of Josephus is known elsewhere to have suffered from Christian interpolation Antiq. (notably 18, 3:3, the passage about Jesus Christ), and that Origen refers (Tom. x, 17, on Matthew 13:55; Contra Celsum, 1, 47; 2, 13) to a statement in Josephus, no longer extant, but plainly of Christian origin, to the effect that the murder of James was the occasion of the destruction of Jerusalem. This evidence for interpolation is not sufficient; and Josephus’s date for the death of James, a.d. 62, must stand, although it contradicts the narrative of Hegesippus.


(2) Hegesippus, quoted by Eusebius, H. e. 2, 23:

“To the government of the church in conjunction with the apostles succeeded the Lord’s brother, James,—he whom all from the time of the Lord to our own day call the just, as there were many named James. And he was holy from his mother’s womb; wine and strong drink he drank not, nor did he eat flesh; no razor touched his head, he anointed himself not with oil, and used not the bath. To him alone was it permitted to enter the Holy Place, for neither did he wear wool, but linen clothes. And alone he would enter the Temple, and be found prostrate on his knees beseeching pardon for the people, so that his knees were callous like a camel’s in consequence of his continually kneeling in prayer to God and beseeching pardon for the people. Because of his exceeding righteousness (διά γέ τοι τὴν ὑπερβολὴν τῆς δικαιοσύνης) he was called the Just (ὁ δίκαιος) and Oblias, which is in Greek ‘Bulwark of the People’ (περιοχὴ τοῦ λαοῦ), and Righteousness, as the prophets declare concerning him.

“Therefore certain of the seven sects among the people, already mentioned by me, in the Memoirs, asked him, ‘What is the door of Jesus (τίςθύρα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ)?’ and he said that He was the Saviour;—of whom some accepted the faith that Jesus is the Christ. Now the aforesaid sects were not believers either in a resurrection or in One who should come to render to every man according to his deeds; but as many as believed did so because of James. So, since many of the rulers, too, were believers, there was a tumult of the Jews and scribes and Pharisees, for they said there was danger that all the people would expect Jesus the Christ. Accordingly they said, when they had met together with James: ‘We entreat thee, restrain the people, since it has gone astray unto Jesus, holding him to be the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade (πεῖσαι) concerning Jesus all those who come to the day of the passover, for we all listen (πειθόμεθα) to thee. For we and all the people testify to thee that thou art just and that thou respectest not persons. Do thou therefore persuade the people concerning Jesus, not to go astray, for all the people and all of us listen to thee. Take thy stand therefore on the pinnacle of the Temple, that up there thou mayest be well seen, and thy words audible to all the people. For because of the passover all the tribes have come together, with the gentiles also.’

“So the aforesaid scribes and Pharisees set James on the pinnacle of the Temple, and called to him and said, ‘O thou, the Just, to whom we all ought to listen, since the people is going astray after Jesus the crucified, tell us what is the door of Jesus.’ And with a loud voice he answered, ‘Why do you ask me concerning the Son of Man? and he sitteth himself in heaven on the right hand of the great Power and shall come on the clouds of heaven.’ And when many were convinced and gave glory for the witness of James, and said, ‘Hosanna to the son of David,’ then again the same scribes and Pharisees said to one another, ‘We were wrong to permit such a testimony to Jesus; but let us go up and cast him down, that through fear they may not believe him.’ And they cried out saying, ‘Ho, ho! even the Just has gone astray,’ and they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah, Let us away with the Just, because he is troublesome to us; therefore they shall eat the fruits of their doings.

“Accordingly they went up and cast the Just down. And they said one to another, ‘Let us stone James the Just,’ and they began to stone him, since he was not killed by the fall. But he turned, and knelt down, saying, ‘I beseech thee, Lord God Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And so, as they were stoning him, one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabim, mentioned by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out, saying, ‘Stop! What are ye doing? The Just prays for you.’ And a certain one of them, one of the fullers, taking the club with which he pounds clothes, brought it down on the head of the Just; and so he suffered martyrdom (ἐμαρτύρησεν).

“And they buried him there on the spot, near the Temple, and his monument still remains near the Temple. A true witness (μάρτυς) has he become both to Jews and Greeks that Jesus is the Christ. And immediately Vespasian besieges them (πολιορκεῖ αὐτούς).”

Hegesippus was a Christian probably resident in Palestine and of Jewish origin, but not a Judaiser. In the time of Eleutherus, bishop of Rome (174-189), he wrote his Memoirs (Υ̓πομνήματα) in five books, of which a few fragments have come down to us.* His work was probably used by Clement of Alexandria and by Epiphanius as well as by Eusebius.

E. Schwartz, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, iv, 1903, appears to doubt the use of Hegesippus by Clement (p. 57), and denies that Epiphanius has preserved from Hegesippus anything about James not contained in the fragments in Eusebius (p. 50, note 2). But it seems proved that the work of Hegesippus was accessible to Epiphanius; cf. Lightfoot, S. Clement of Rome2, i, 1890, pp. 328 ff.; Zahn, Forschungen, 6, pp. 258 f.; H. J. Lawlor, Eusebiana, Oxford, 1912, pp. 5-18.

The long fragment given above, whether written by Hegesippus or taken over from his source, is plainly composed in order to do honour to James as an ascetic and martyr, who had shared with the apostles in the conduct of the church of Jerusalem. His influence with the mass of the Jews of the city and his title of “the Just” imply that in his eminent piety he was not thought to have departed from Jewish standards, while his sorrow for the sin of his people in rejecting their Messiah recalls the words of Paul in Rom. 9-11. The narrative itself, even when purged of its inner inconsistencies, is a legend, betraying no close contact with the events, and nothing can be drawn from it to add to the picture of James’s character and position derived from the N. T. In the bare tradition of a violent death Hegesippus agrees with the account found in Josephus, but nearly all the details of the two accounts vary. In particular Hegesippus’s reference to Vespasian seems to imply a date several years later than the year 62 a.d. definitely indicated in Josephus.†

The source of Hegesippus’s information is entirely unknown. The conjecture, often repeated, that he drew it from a violently anti-pauline work, the Steps (or Ascents) of James, said by Epiphanius (Hœr. 30, 16) to have been in circulation among the Ebionites, has almost nothing to commend it.*

From other fragments of Hegesippus (Eusebius, H. e. 3, 11; 4, 22) we learn that James was the first bishop of Jerusalem; and by their aid the following genealogical table can be constructed:



Whether Hegesippus held that Mary was the mother of James and Judas is nowhere indicated. He gives (Eusebius, H. e. 3, 19, 20, 32) an interesting account of the arrest of the grandsons of Judas in the time of Domitian (81-96), on the charge of dangerous dynastic claims as being of the lineage of David, and apparently also on charges connected with their adherence to the “kingdom” of Christ. When the accused proved that they were poor farmers, and that the kingdom of Christ had to do wholly with religious ideas, they were released, and lived until the time of Trajan (98-117), greatly honoured among the churches both as confessors and as kinsmen of the Lord. Symeon is said to have suffered martyrdom in the reign of Trajan, at the age of 120 years.

In an acute essay, “Zu Eusebius Kirchengeschichte. I. Das Martyrium Jakobus des Gerechten,” in Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 4, 1903, pp. 48-61, E. Schwartz has tried to relieve some of the problems of the long fragment of Hegesippus by removing interpolated words and sentences. This critical process would leave the following:

διαδέχεται τὴν ἐκκλησίαν μετὰ τῶν

The appearance of the risen Christ to James the Just is to be identified with that mentioned by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:7); but in contradiction to Paul the Gospel according to the Hebrews claimed for James, the head of the Jewish Christians, the honour of the first resurrection appearance, which Paul says belonged to Peter.


(4) Other Apocryphal Gospels.

The Protevangelium Jacobi, 8, 9, 17:2, which claims (25:1) to have been written by James soon after the death of Herod, represents Joseph as an elderly widower with sons (but no daughters) at the time when Mary, a girl of twelve, is committed to his protection. This agrees with what Origen says (Comm. in Matt. t. 10, 17) as to the statement of “the Book of James” (ἡ βίβλος Ἰακώβου), and at least chs. 1-17 of the Protevangelium are therefore to be regarded as written in the second century.

Other apocryphal infancy-gospels contain similar representations, in many or all cases doubtless derived from the Protevangelium or its source. So, among the documents collected by Tischendorf (Evangelia apocrypha, 1876), the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 8:3-4; Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, 8 (here Joseph is grandœvus, but not stated to be a widower); History of Joseph the Carpenter, 2, 4, 11; (Arabic) Gospel of the Infancy, 35. In several of the Apocryphal Gospels there is a story of how James, bitten by a viper, was miraculously healed by the boy Jesus.*


(5) The Recognitions of Clement.†

This work is extant in the Latin translation made by Rufinus c. 398, from a Greek original, certainly written not much earlier than the year 300 and probably the composition of a post-nicene Arian writer later than 350. The comparison of the Recognitions with the largely parallel material of the Greek work known as the Homilies of Clement (likewise Arian and post-nicene, of about the same date) shows that both are mainly derived from a common source, an edifying but fictitious Clementine romance compiled from earlier sources between 225 and 300. This romance had the form, preserved also in the later compilations, of a report made by Clement of Rome (under instructions from Peter) to James, bishop of Jerusalem, concerning Clement’s experiences in the company of Peter on a journey along the Syrian coast of the Mediterranean from Cæsarea to Antioch. To the romance may well have belonged the letter of Clement to James, now prefixed to the Homilies.

Back of this lost romance lie its own sources, one of which was an anti-pauline Jewish-Christian gnostic account of the preaching of Peter (Κηρύγματα Πέτρου‡), written about 200 or earlier and purporting to have been sent by Peter to James. From this comes the letter of Peter to James also prefixed to the Homilies. The other main source belonging to this stage was perhaps a book of Acts of Peter, written early in the third century, in which James played no part.

In all this literature the hero of the action is Peter, but both of the extant works are, as it were, dedicated to James, and the same was plainly true of more than one of their predecessors. James is represented as bishop of Jerusalem, and is called “bishop of bishops” and archbishop. He appears as the leading Christian authority of the East, by whom all teachers must be accredited (Rec. iv, 35), just as Peter was the leading Christian authority of the West. Indeed, even Peter stands in a certain subordination to him. It is assumed (e. g. Ep. of Clement to James, preface; Rec. 1, 43 f.) that James was not one of the Twelve Apostles.

In Recognitions, i, 66-71, a protracted public discussion between James, standing at the top of the steps of the temple, and Caiaphas leads to a riot in which James is hurled from the steps and badly injured. The narrative occurs in a section which is distinguished in various ways from the surrounding material, and a certain resemblance to the long fragment from Hegesippus quoted above has led to the theory that both drew from a common source. But the further theory that this source was the lost Ebionite Steps of James (Ἀναβαθμοὶ Ἰακώβου) mentioned by Epiphanius (Hœr. xxx, 16) is not probable.

The Clementine literature confirms and makes more vivid the other representations of the important and influential position occupied by James, but makes no positive addition to our knowledge about him.

(6) Other Tradition.

(a) That James was the first bishop of Jerusalem was expressly stated by Hegesippus, as noted above, but this writer did not indicate from whom the appointment to this office came.

Hegesippus ap. Eus. H. e. 2, 23:4 διαδέχεται δὲ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν μετὰ τῶν

(c) The account of James given by Epiphanius in Hær. 29, 3-4, 78, 7-14, is derived mainly from the long fragments of Hegesippus found in Eusebius (to whom direct reference is made, Hær. 29, 3-4) and from the Protevangelium Jacobi or some other apocryphal gospel. A few touches, not of great importance, are added either from Epiphanius’s own invention or possibly from independent knowledge of the Memoirs of Hegesippus. Thus, besides stating that James was appointed bishop by the Lord, Epiphanius says that he was a priest and wore the “petalon” (the ornament of the high-priest’s mitre, Exodus 28:36 f. Exodus 28:29:6), and went once a year into the Holy of Holies (as if he were the officiating high priest).* He also adds to the description of his asceticism that he went barefoot and was unmarried; tells how once his prayer for rain in a time of drought was immediately answered; and says that he died about twenty-four years after the ascension of the Saviour, and at the age of ninety-six.


(d) The burial-place of James was said by Hegesippus (ap. Eus. H. e. 2, 23:18) to have been still marked in his day by a monument near the temple (παρὰ τῷ ναῷ). In the time of Jerome another site for his grave was indicated on the Mount of Olives (Jer. De vir. ill. 2, quidam e nostris in monte Oliveti eum conditum putant sed falsa eorum opinio est). For later legends as to his grave, see Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 233 f. His body is said to have been transferred by the Emperor Justin II (565-578) and his consort Sophia to the new church of St. James in Constantinople.*

(e) Acts of James have not come down to us. Andreas of Crete († 720) wrote a tract, “On the Life and Martyrdom of the Holy Apostle James the Brother of God,” published by A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Ἀνάλεκτα Ἱεροσολυμιτικῆς Σταχυολογίας, i, Petrograd, 1891, pp. 1-14, but it adds nothing to tradition otherwise known. It was the source used by Symeon Metaphrastes (tenth century) for his well-known memoir, Ὑπόμνημα εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Ἰάκωβον,

V 21. Oxyrhynchus 1171; contains James 2:19.


Cent. iv.

B. Codex Vaticanus.

א. Codex Sinaiticus.

V—.Oxyrhynchus 1229; contains James 1:10-12, James 1:15-18.


Cent. v.

A. Codex Alexandrinus.

C. Codex Ephraem; contains James 1:1-2.


048 (formerly ב). Codex Patiriensis; contains Jam 4:14-20.


W. Sanday and P. Batiffol, “Étude critique sur le Codex Patiriensis du Nouveau Testament,” in Revue Biblique, 1895, pp. 207-213.

0166. Heidelberg, University Library, 1357; James 1:11.


A. Deissmann, Die Septuagintapapyri und andere altchristliche Texte der Heidelberger Papyrussammlung, 1905, p. 85.

V—. Oxyrhynchus fragment, Papiri greci e latini, i, 1912, No. 5; James 1:25-27.


Cent. vii.

אc. A series of corrections, made in accordance with some standard, in Codex Sinaiticus.

Cent. viii or ix.

Ψ.

Sact.

Cent. ix.

Kact.

Lact.

Pact. Palimpsest, often defective.

33 (formerly 13act). The “queen of the cursives.”

Cent. xv.

69 (formerly 31act). The Leicester Codex.

The readings of codices 33 and 69 are accurately given by Tregelles, The Greek New Testament, 1857-79.

In addition about four hundred and seventy-five manuscripts dating from the tenth to the eighteenth centuries are enumerated in the lists of Gregory and H. von Soden.

§ 2. Versions

The ancient versions which are, or might be, useful for the criticism and history of the text of James are the following:

(a) Egyptian Versions.

(b) Ethiopic Version.

(c) Syriac Versions.

(d) Armenian Version.

(e) Latin Versions.

(a) Egyptian Versions

H. Hyvernat, “Étude sur les versions coptes de la Bible,” in Revue Biblique, v, 1896, pp. 427-433, 540-569; vi, 1897, pp. 48-74.

F. Robinson, art. “Egyptian Versions,” in HDB, i, 1898.

F. C. Burkitt, art. “Text and Versions,” in EB, iv, 1903.

[J. Leipoldt], “The New Testament in Coptic,” in Church Quarterly Review, lxii, 1906, pp. 292-322.

(1) Sahidic

This version, widely used in Upper Egypt, is now held to be older than the Bohairic of Lower Egypt, and to have been made in the period 200-350 a.d. Existing Mss. of some portions are thought to date from the fourth century. The version contains an important infusion of “western” readings; the later Mss. show much textual corruption and alteration.

Tischendorf gives for James some readings of this version, derived from Woide [-Ford], Appendix ad editionem Novi Test. Grœci e codice MS Alexandrino, 1799, where (pp. 203-207) James 1:2, James 1:12 (5:10, 13) is printed from Paris, Bibl. nat. copt. 44 (Sahidic vocabulary, c. cent. xiii), and James 1:26, James 1:8-23, James 1:3:James 1:3-6, James 1:4:James 1:11-17, James 1:5:James 1:7-20, from Oxford, Bodl. Hunt. 3 (lectionary, later than cent. xi).


Other fragments are known to exist as follows:

Rome, Propaganda, Mus. Borg. (Zoega, Catalogus, LXIII), cent. vii, fragments of complete N. T., including James 1:1. Text printed in J. Balestri, Sacrorum Bibliorum fragmenta Copto-Sahidica Musei Borgiani, iii, 1904, pp. 441-444; and doubtless the source of the text printed by E. Amélineau, Zeitschr. für Ägyptische Sprache, xxvi, 1888, pp. 99 f.

Rome, Propaganda, Mus. Borg. (Zoega, XCV), lectionary, cent. xi or xii, James 2:8, James 2:9-13. Text printed in Balestri, Sacrorum Bibliorum fragmenta, iii, p. 444.

Cairo, Museum, 8005, James 1:20; see Crum, “Coptic Monuments,” in Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, iv, 1902.

Petrograd, W. Golénischeff, cent. x, James 2:23. Text printed in Bulletin de l’Académie Impériale de St. Petersbourg, 33, 1890, pp. 373-391.

Vienna. James 1:1-11, James 1:5:James 1:11-20, James 1:13-16, James 1:17-20 from Sahidic lectionaries are to be found in Wessely, Studien zur Paläographie und Papyruskunde, 12, 1912.


(2) Minor Egyptian Versions

Akin to the Sahidic are:

(a) Akhmimic. Perhaps made in the fourth century, but soon supplanted by the Sahidic. The oldest Mss. are attributed to the fourth century.

London, Brit. Mus. 5299 (1), formerly Flinders Petrie (Crum, 492; Gregory, 2), 300-350 a.d. (so Crum; Hyvernat assigns to cent. v or vi), James 4:12, James 4:13. Text in W. E. Crum, Coptic Manuscripts Brought from the Fayyum, 1893, pp. 2 f.; see also Crum, Catalogue of the Coptic Manuscripts in the British Museum, 1905.


The text of this fragment corresponds to a Greek text as follows: κριτής. εἷς δέ ἐστιννομοθέτης καὶπορευσώμεθα εἰς τήνδε τὴν πόλιν καὶ ποιήσωμεν ἐνιαυτὸν ἕνα. It agrees entirely in text, and substantially in translation, with the Sahidic of Woide.

Strassburg, University Library, cent. v or vii-viii James, complete from 1:13. Text in F. Rösch, Bruchstücke des ersten Clemensbriefes, 1910.

(b) Middle Egyptian (Memphis and the Fayyum).

Of this version the text of James 1:25, James 1:26, James 1:2:1, James 1:3, James 1:5 is published by Crum, Catalogue of the Coptic Manuscripts in the British Museum, 1905, p. 244, from Brit. Mus. or. 4923 (5); Crum, 509.


(3) Bohairic (“Coptic”)

This version, still in ecclesiastical use among the Coptic Christians, is probably the latest of the Egyptian versions. It was probably made not earlier than 400 a.d. (F. Robinson), perhaps after the year 518 (Burkitt), or even as late as 700 (Leipoldt, op. cit. p. 311).* The oldest Mss. (fragments of Eph. and 2 Cor.) date from the ninth and tenth centuries. The oldest continuous texts are of the twelfth century.* It came under the influence of the Byzantine Greek text, and has had no less extensive and eventful a textual history than the Latin and the Syriac translations (Leipoldt, op. cit. p. 297). In James its text clearly belongs with that of BאAC and shows no kinship to the Antiochian group KLPS. But it betrays no special relation to any particular one of the older uncials of the group to which it belongs. Tischendorf drew his references to the epistles from the unsatisfactory edition and translation of Wilkins, 1716.

[G. Horner], The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Northern Dialect, iv, 1905, has printed a text of the Epistle of James drawn from a Ms. (Brit. Mus. or. 424; Gregory, 4ap) of 1307 a.d., copied from a copy of a Ms. of 1250 a.d.

(b) Ethiopic Version

R. H. Charles, art. “Ethiopic Version,” in HDB, i, 1898.

F. Prätorius, art. “Bibelübersetzungen, äthiopische,” in Herzog-Hauck, Proverbs 3:0, vol. iii, 1897.


The Ethiopic version was made in cent. iv-v (Dillmann) or cent. v-vi (Guidi); whether originally translated from the Greek or the Sahidic is disputed, but in any case it was later corrected from the Arabic version. It is preserved in many Mss., some of which, containing the Catholic epistles, are as old as the fifteenth century. The editions, whether the Roman edition, 1548 (reprinted in the London Polyglot), or the still more unsatisfactory one edited by Thomas Pell Platt, London, 1830, are uncritical and unreliable, and the citations of this version in Tischendorf’s apparatus, being made from them, must be used with caution.

(c) Syriac Versions

E. Nestle, art. “Syriac Versions,” in HDB, iv, 1902.

W. Wright, art. “Syriac Literature,” in Encyclopœdia Britannica, xxii, 1887, republished as A Short History of Syriac Literature, 1894.

(1) Peshitto

This translation was probably made after 411 a.d., under the direction of Rabbula, bishop of Edessa (411-435),* and, so far as known, is the earliest Syriac translation of James.

The British Museum has a Ms. containing James from the fifth or sixth century (Add. 14,470; Greg. 13ev), and several Mss. of the sixth century and of the sixth or seventh century; but the analogy of Syriac Mss. of the Gospels indicates that the text will not be found to differ substantially from that of the printed editions, of which that by Leusden and Schaaf, 1708, was used by Tischendorf.

(2) Harclean

A revision of the Peshitto in accordance with Greek Mss. of the “Antiochian” type was made in 508 a.d. for Philoxenus, bishop of Mabug; but no Ms. has been identified as containing the Epistle of James in this version. The Philoxenian revision was again revised, with excessive literalness of translation, in 616 at Enaton, near Alexandria, by Thomas of Harkel, bishop of Mabug, who followed a different type of Greek text and supplied marginal variants from Greek Mss. Of the many Mss. of this Harclean revision one, containing James, is said to be of the seventh century (Rome, Vat. syr. 266; Gregory, 25ev). The edition of J. White, 1778-1803, prints James from a Ms. of the eleventh (?) century.

(3) Palestinian (“Jerusalem”)

F. C. Burkitt, “Christian Palestinian Literature,” in JTS, ii, 1901, pp. 174-185.

This version, made directly from the Greek, but under the influence of the Peshitto, is in a dialect of Aramaic similar to that of the Samaritans and the Palestinian Jews, and was probably made not earlier than the sixth century (reign of Justinian) for the use of certain communities of Malkite Christians in Palestine, some of whom were afterward settled in Egypt. The earliest Ms. is of the seventh century. The text on which the version rests is of a mixed character.

James 1:1-12 in this dialect has been printed from a lectionary of the twelfth (?) century, probably from Egypt, by Mrs. Agnes S. Lewis, A Palestinian Syriac Lectionary (Studia Sinaitica, vi), 1897, pp. 34-35, cf. p. lxv.


(d) Armenian Version

F. C. Conybeare, art. “Armenian Version,” in HDB, 1, 1898.

H. Gelzer, art. “Armenien,” in Herzog-Hauck, Proverbs 3:0, vol. 2, 1897.


Said to have been originally translated (c. 400) from the Syriac and revised after 431 by Greek Mss. brought from Constantinople. The best edition is that of Zohrab, Venice, 1805, from which the readings in Tischendorf’s apparatus are drawn. It is based chiefly on a Ms. dated 1310. Mss. of the whole N. T. of the twelfth or thirteenth century are preserved at Venice.

(e) Latin Versions

P. Corssen, “Bericht über die lateinischen Bibelübersetzungen,” in Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, ci, 1899, pp. 1-83.

(1) Old Latin

H. A. A. Kennedy, art. “Latin Versions, the Old,” in HDB, iii, 1900, with full references to literature.

Two Mss. are known containing a Latin text of James substantially earlier than the revision of Jerome.

ff. Codex Corbeiensis, cent. ix or x.

Text in J. Wordsworth, “The Corbey St. James (ff), and its Relation to Other Latin Versions, and to the Original Language of the Epistle,” in SB, i, 1885, pp. 113-150, also (with photograph) in A. Staerk, Les manuscrits latins du Ve au XIIIe siècle conservés à la Bibliothèque impériale de Saint-Petersbourg, 1910. This Ms. of James is remarkable because it forms a part of a codex containing treatises by Philastrius and Pseudo-Tertullian together with the epistle of Barnabas, but no other Biblical book.

W. Sanday, “Some Further Remarks on the Corbey St. James (ff),” in SB, i, 1885, pp. 233-263.

s. Codex Bobiensis, cent. v or vi. Palimpsest. Contains James 1:1-10, James 2:16, James 3:13, James 5:19f.


H. J. White, Portions of the Acts of the Apostles, of the Epistle of St. James, and of the First Epistle of St. Peter from the Bobbio Palimpsest (s), now Numbered Cod. 16 in the Imperial Library at Vienna (OLBT, No. IV), 1897, pp. xviii-xx, 33-46.

J. Bick, Wiener Palimpseste, I. Teil: Cod. Palat. Vindobonensis 16, olim Bobbiensis (Sitzungsberichte der kais. Akad. der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, vol. clix, 7), 1908, pp. 43-89.

With these should be mentioned:

m. Speculum Pseudo-Augustini. Excerpts from the Scriptures, perhaps made in the fourth century, preserved in several Mss., of which the best is of the eighth or ninth century; ed. Weihrich (Corpus, vol. xii), Vienna, 1887. A little over one-fourth of James (29 verses out of 108) is preserved in this Speculum.

The texts of ff and m are reprinted in Mayor, pp. 3-27. For the text of s, Mayor’s reprint of Belsheim’s edition is insufficient, and White’s or Bick’s edition must be consulted.

Some Old Latin readings are perhaps to be found in the text of James in the Vulgate Codices Toletanus and Harleianus 1772.

One quotation from James is found in the commentaries of Ambrosiaster, who on Galatians 5:10 cites James 5:20. The text is doubtless Old Latin, but is substantially identical with that of the Vulgate; see A. Souter, A Study of Ambrosiaster (Texts and Studies, vii), 1905, p. 197.


On the Perpignan Ms. (p), now Paris, Bib. nat. lat. 321, see E. S. Buchanan, JTS, xii, 1911, pp. 497-534.

(2) Vulgate



S. Berger, Histoire de la Vulgate pendant les premiers siècles du moyen âge, Paris, 1893.

J. Wordsworth and H. J. White, Novum] Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Latine secundum editionem S. Hieronymi, Pars prior, Quattuor evangelia, Oxford, 1889-98; Prœfatio, pp. x-xv, Epilogus, pp. 672-673, 705-724.

H. J. White, art. “Vulgate,” in HDB, iv, 1902.

The text of the Latin Vulgate in James is best preserved in the Cod. Amiatinus (A), c. 700, and Cod. Fuldensis (F), c. 540, from which the text as given in the authoritative Editio Clementina, Rome, 11592, 21593, 31598,* differs in many points. The text of A with the variants of F is to be found in a sufficiently accurate reprint in Mayor, pp. 3-27.

(3) Textual Relations

The extraordinarily numerous variations found in the text of the Old Latin Bible were due largely to differences of local Latin usage and to caprice, but probably also in some measure to learned revisions effected with the aid of Greek copies and similar to that which produced the Vulgate.

In James, ff is substantially a pure Old Latin text, not mixed with Vulgate readings.† That the copy which was corrected in order to make the Vulgate was closely akin to it is shown by the abundant agreement of ff and Vg, not only in vocabulary, but especially in the structure of sentences and the order of words.‡ With this inference corresponds the fact that Chromatius of Aquileia (†c. 406), the friend of Jerome, uses the Latin version of James found in ff,§ and that the only probable allusion to James in the writings of Ambrose agrees with ff against Vg. The date of the version found in ff is thus not later than cent. iv. Sanday thinks ff a local recension of north Italian origin.||



Heer, Die versio latina des Barnabasbriefes, 1908, pp. xlv f., infers that the translation of Barnabas contained in the Codex Corbeiensis was made after Tertullian and before Cyprian and Novatian, and points out that in the version of James the use of salvare, together with other indications, suggests a somewhat late date.

The Latin version found in m (Speculum Pseudo-Augustini) is substantially that of Priscillian (Spain, † 385).* It stands further removed from both ff and Vg than they do from each other, but presents complicated relationships to these two. It is believed by Sanday to represent “a late African text,” that is, “an African base … corrupted partly by internal development and partly by the admission of European readings.”† There is no sufficient evidence that ff and m rest upon two independent translations of James into Latin.‡ On the contrary, the same Greek text underlies the two, and we must assume a single original translation, which has been modified in the interest of Latin style and local usage, and not in order to conform it to current Greek Mss. Since sufficient time has to be allowed for the divergence of ff and m before the latter part of the fourth century, it follows that the original translation of James into Latin was made certainly not later than 350.§

That James was translated into Latin separately from other books (and probably later) is indicated by the peculiarities of the version itself,|| by the unique phenomenon of its inclusion with patristic treatises in Codex Corbeiensis (ff),** and also by the complaint of Augustine†† at the unusual badness of the translation of James, and the fact that Cassiodorius, who in other cases took the Old Latin as the basis of comment in his Complexiones in epistolas et acta apostolorum et apocalypsin, in James found it best to use the Vulgate form.*

The Latin version found in s is so close to Vg that it is a question whether s ought not to be classed as a Vulgate Ms. (so Hort, “Appendix,” p. 83). It differs from Codex Amiatinus of the Vg scarcely more than Codex Fuldensis does, but is nearer to A than to F. On the ground of resemblances to the Latin version used by Fulgentius of Ruspe († 533) and Facundus of Ermione († c. 570) White surmises that the elements in s which are divergent from the Vulgate “represent a stream of late African text.”†

Jerome probably revised the Latin version of the Acts and epistles in 384-385, as he had that of the Gospels in 383, but his revision of the former books was superficial and imperfect; it “does not represent the critical opinion of Jerome, even in the restricted sense in which this is true of the text of the Gospels.”‡ It is noteworthy that in Jerome’s own quotations from James he does not follow the Vulgate.§

The Greek text underlying ff and m was of the same type as that of the older Greek uncials, and resembled B more closely than does any extant Greek Ms. (not excluding even א). The Vulgate shows traces of the influence of Greek readings different from the text of ff, m, but hardly ever agreeing with KLPS.

§ 3. Use of the Authorities ||

Since most of the important variants were in existence as early as the fourth century,** it is evident that the value of the documents is not mainly to be determined by their date, or even by the date of the recension which they may represent. Ancient documents must be treated like modern editions; their worth depends on the materials available for making them and on the soundness of the principles or tastes which guided their formation. The main task of textual criticism is to discover the character of those principles or tastes.

In the text of James the chief groups that can at present be treated as distinct critical entities are B ff, A 33, KLPS al. (the “Antiochian recension”). Of these the text of KLPS al. proves on examination to contain no distinctive readings which commend themselves as probably original. This is not due to its lateness, but to the systematic preference of its editor (or of a series of editors and copyists) for textual improvements already in existence, which had been made at various times in the interest of “lucidity and completeness.” We are therefore tolerably safe in refusing to accept its testimony in the comparatively few cases where its distinctive readings might in themselves have some degree of plausibility. The peculiar common element of A 33 is also due to emendation.

On the other hand, the text of B ff, while not absolutely free from obviously emended readings, proves to be much freer from them than is that of any other document. Moreover, the text of B shows less trace of emendation than that of ff. Accordingly, if due precaution is taken against admitting unsupported errors due to an eccentricity of B, it is a sound rule that in cases where “internal evidence of readings” is not decisive the reading of B should be followed. Since, however, B is by no means free from error and even emendation, positive evidence from “transcriptional” or other internal probability will outweigh the authority of B.

The use of the witnesses other than B is thus twofold. First, when they disagree with B, their readings may sometimes commend themselves by their internal character as superior. Secondly, when they agree with B, they serve as guarantee that the reading of B is not due to the idiosyncrasy of that Ms., and also, by affording evidence of the wider currency of the reading, they somewhat strengthen confidence in it.

The statement of Hort (“Introduction,” p. 171), which seems to mean that the authorities for the Catholic epistles stand in order of excellence Bא 33 CAP, is substantiated (at any rate for the uncials) in the Epistle of James.

The rule above stated cannot be presumed to yield a perfect text. The result will probably include some undetectable errors. It will, however, certainly contain fewer emended readings than would be introduced by following the guidance of any other document or group of documents; and this is the chief requisite of a sound text, since in texts of the N. T. false readings, if supported by more than one document, are much more frequently due to emendation than to accident.

F. C. Burkitt, The Rules of Tyconius (TS, iii), 1894, p. cxviii: “The general character of the ‘Neutral’ text so often represented by B alone stands on a sure basis, but B may here and there desert that text by an interpolation or by a substitution which may not necessarily be self-betraying.

“These, however, are but secondary considerations compared with the general result, that in the Old Testament as in the New the text of our oldest Mss. as a whole is proved by the evidence of the versions to be immensely superior to the later eclectic texts commonly used in the Greek-speaking churches from the middle of the fourth century. These later revisions sometimes preserve valuable fragments of older texts which would otherwise have been lost altogether, but it is for such fragments alone that these recensions are valuable, and not for their continuous text.”

Some further progress in the solution of the problem of the text of James is to be expected through the accumulation of new materials and the verification and digestion of the great work of H. von Soden. The textual notes printed in this Commentary on the several verses of James are based in the main on Tischendorf’s apparatus. The writer hopes to carry through an exhaustive study of the text of James at a later time.

III. HISTORY OF THE EPISTLE IN THE CHURCH

————

The earliest express references to the Epistle of James are those found in Origen, and the epistle seems to have come into general use and esteem only after his time and through the influence of Alexandria. No one of the Apostolic Fathers, of the Christian writers of the second century, or of the heretics of the same period betrays, in the present writer’s opinion, acquaintance with James. From the third century the epistle begins to be quoted, and to be included in the canon, first of all in the Greek church, then in the Latin, and finally in the Syrian church. Among the Greeks the process seems to have been complete before the time when Eusebius wrote his history (c. 324). In the West at the close of the fourth century, Jerome and Augustine mark, and did much to effect, the final acceptance of the book as sacred Scripture. In Syria the official translation of the N. T. included the Epistle of James after 412 (or a little later), and it was used by representative theologians of the Antiochian school somewhat earlier; yet for a long time, and even as late as the sixth century, influential church leaders, especially those in close relations with the Nestorians, refused to admit it into their canon. The extraordinary influence of Alexandrian thought on the world is instructively exhibited in this one small instance of a vast pervasive process.

Much of the necessary material may be found assembled in Mayor, ch. 2; see also Charteris, Canonicity, 1880, pp. 292-300; Meinertz, Jakobusbrief (Biblische Studien, x), 1905; Zahn, Einleitung, 1, 31906, § 7, notes 4-6; The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, by a Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology, Oxford, 1905; and the general works on the history of the canon. Zahn’s statements in the Zahn, Einleitung are too much influenced by Mayor, and are less trustworthy than his earlier judgments. On the history of opinion as to the author of the epistle, see above, pp. 54-59.

§ 1. Absence of Mention in Writers Before Origen

Clement of Rome.—A great number of passages from the epistle of Clement have been supposed to show acquaintance with James, and are conveniently gathered together by Mayor.* In some of these noteworthy coincidences of phrase occur, as in chs. 13, 23, 30, 38, 46, and in the references to Abraham in chs. 10, 17, 31, and to Rahab in ch. 12. But these are not ideas, nor forms of expression, which are original with James, and the likeness is not sufficient to prove literary dependence, but only similar literary associations.

Lightfoot, S. Clement of Rome2, 1890, i, p. 96, speaks somewhat guardedly of the recognition of James’s “type of Apostolic teaching,” although in fact he believed (i, p. 397, cf. ii, pp. 97, 100) that Clement knew and used our epistle. Westcott, CNT7, 1896, p. 49, thinks that Clement used James, as does Zahn, GnK, 1889, i, pp. 962 f. Holtzmann, Einleitung3, 1892, p. 91, regards the question as indeterminable. Weiss, Einleitung2, 1889, pp. 36, 49, does not ascribe to Clement any acquaintance with James. That there is no sufficient evidence of use by Clement is also the decided opinion of the Oxford Committee, NTAF, 1905, pp. 137 f.

Of the other Apostolic Fathers there is no adequate evidence that 2 Clement of Rome, the Epistle of Barnabas, Ignatius, Polycarp, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, or the Epistle to Diognetus, used or knew James. The same is true of Justin Martyr and of the Apologists of the second century.

The Oxford Committee, NTAF, p. 128, while admitting a “general similarity … in the spirit of [2 Clement’s and James’s] teaching,” hold that the passages in 2 Clement “are insufficient to give positive evidence in favour of literary dependence.”

Polycarp 6 καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι δὲ εὔσπλαγχνοι, εἰς πάντας ἐλεήμονες, ἐπιστρέφοντες τὰ

Hermas.—The Shepherd presents a great number of resemblances to James, and in some cases the similarity extends to a series of parallels in a longer context. Close resemblance, however, is not found to any of those phrases and sentences of the epistle which are unmistakably original whether in thought or expression (e. g. James 2:14-26), and in most of the parallel passages the difference of spirit and language is noteworthy. Hence it is altogether likely that both writers are independently using a mass of religious and moral commonplaces, probably characteristic of the Jewish hortatory preaching with which both were plainly familiar. That these resemblances are so numerous, while yet no one of them is conclusive, does not provide (as it has often been asserted to do) cumulative evidence of literary dependence; on the contrary, it makes the opposite explanation all the more probable. There may be, indeed, a common dependence on some single current book of practical religion, but the existence of such a book is not proved; a common background would suffice to account for the facts, and that need not imply that the two authors lived in the same locality or in neighbouring places. The probability is that Hermas did not know the Epistle of James, and that there is no direct literary connection between the two writings.


The view maintained in the text seems to me well established, but is not that of most scholars. Zahn (Der Hirt des Hermas, 1868, pp. 396-409; GnK, 1889, i, p. 962; Zahn, Einleitung3, 1906, § 7, note 5) holds the dependence of Hermas on James to be certain, and with him agree Weiss, Einleitung2, 1889, p. 37, and Westcott, CNT7, 1896, pp. 204, 207. Conversely, Holtzmann, Einleitung3, 1892, pp. 92, 336, held, as have others, that James was probably dependent on Hermas. The Oxford Committee, 1905, p. 113, however, are in doubt, saying with regard to Hermas, “we should be hardly justified in placing the Epistle higher than Class C” (their “lower degree of probability”); and Leipoldt, GnK, i, 1907, p. 189, deems Hermas only “perhaps” dependent. Harnack, CaL, i, 1897, p. 485, and Jülicher, Einleitung5, 1906, p. 193, have perceived that there is no adequate evidence of literary dependence on either side. For references to many judgments of scholars, see Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, 1905, pp. 86-90.

The parallels between James and Hermas are elaborately treated by Zahn, Der Hirt des Hermas, 1868, pp. 396-409; the more important are carefully discussed in NTAF, Oxford, 1905; and a very full, though not quite complete, series is cited in Mayor, l. c.

The parallel which is perhaps most striking is found in Hermas, Mand. 9, where the subject is a warning against διψυχία. The exhortation to pray to the Lord without διψυχία and James 1:5-8. Further, the passage contains a number of single phrases (e. g. ἡ πίστις ἄνωθέν ἐστι … ἡ δὲ διψυχία ἐπίγειον πνεῦμά ἐστι παρὰ τοῦ διαβόλου; καθάρισον οὖν τὴν καρδίαν σου; σεαυτὸν αἰτιῶ καὶ μὴ τὸν διδόντα σοι) which closely resemble language found in various parts of the epistle.


But there is no reason to suppose that the author of James coined the word δίψυχος, and the parallels do not, either individually or in their combination, go beyond the range of religious commonplaces, while the more original elements of expression and thought in these very verses of James are wholly neglected. Sermons and tracts from all ages show just such resemblances in countless instances where no possibility of literary dependence exists.

Similar illustrations of the relation of the two documents can be multiplied almost indefinitely, but nowhere else is there so near an approach to a parallelism in the development of a considerable context as in Mand. 9. A comparison of the elaboration in Mand. 8 of what is compactly expressed in James 1:27 is also instructive; cf. Ep. Barnab. 20.


Irenæus.—The following passages alone come in question:

iv, 16:2 ipse Abraham sine circumcisione et sine observatione sabbatorum credidit deo et reputatum est illi ad justitiam, et amicus dei vocatus est (cf. James 2:23);

iv, 13:4 Abraham … amicus factus est deo (cf. James 2:23);

v, 1:1 factores autem sermonum ejus facti (cf. James 1:22); facti autem initium facturae (cf. James 1:18).

In the first of these (iv, 16:2) the striking identity of language with James 2:23 is wholly due to the last five words, and may well be a coincidence, for the combination of ideas is natural, and was current apart from James (cf. Clem. Romans 10:1, Ἀβραὰμφίλος προσαγορευθείς, and 10:6), and the form of expression is the simplest and most direct possible. The other resemblances are too slight to show any literary relationship.


Westcott, CNT7, 1896, p. 391, and Harnack, Das Neue Testament um das Jahr 200, 1889, p. 79, see here no evidence that Irenæus knew James. On the other hand, Zahn, Forschungen, iii, 1884, p. 152; GnK, i, 1888, p. 325; Grundriss2, 1904, p. 21; Jülicher, Einleitung5, 1906, p. 453; Leipoldt, GnK, i, 1907, p. 235, accept the evidence of use by Irenæus as probably valid. Weiss, Einleitung2, 1889, p. 72, inclines, though with more reserve, to the same view. For the opinions of other writers, see Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, 1905, p. 68, note 6.

Iren. iv, 34:4 libertatis lex, iv, 39:4 τὸν θεσμὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας, are fully accounted for from Irenæus’s own emphasis on the liberty of the Gospel, and do not indicate any acquaintance with James; cf. Iren. iii, 12:14; iv, 9:2; iv, 37:1.

Tertullian.—No passage in Tertullian proves use of James, and his omission to quote James 1:13 in discussing the Lord’s Prayer, De orat. 8, seems to show that he was not acquainted with it, or at any rate that he ascribed to it no apostolic or sacred authority.

So Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 379; Weiss, Einleitung2, p. 72; Rönsch, Das Neue Testament Tertullian’s, 1871, pp. 572-574. Zahn, Forschungen, iii, p. 152, held to Tertullian’s dependence on James in Adv. Jude 1:2, De orat. 8; later, GnK, i, p. 325, he leaves the question undecided; and finally, Grundriss2, p. 20, he ventures no statement. Jülicher, Einleitung5, p. 453, is uncertain; Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 235, is inclined to accept the evidence of use as “perhaps” valid.


Clement of Alexandria.—No passage is found where Clement of Alexandria shows acquaintance with James. Eusebius, however, writes of Clement as follows:

Hist. eccl. 6, 14:1 ἐν δὲ ταῖς Ὑποτυπώσεσιν, ξυνελόντα εἰπεῖν, πάσης τῆς ἐνδιαθήκου γραφῆς ἐπιτετμημένας πεποίηται διηγήσεις, μηδὲ τὰς

De instit. div. Leviticus 8:0: In epistolis autem canonicis Clemens Alexandrinus presbyter, qui et Stromateus vocatur, id est in epistola sancti Petri prima, sancti Joannis prima et secunda, et Jacobi quaedam attico sermone declaravit. Ubi multa quidem subtiliter sed aliqua incaute locutus est, quae nos ita transferri fecimus in latinum, ut exclusis quibusdam offendiculis purificata doctrina ejus securior potuisset hauriri. Since one of the pieces translated at the order of Cassiodorius was certainly a commentary on Jude, the conjecture is natural that an error in the text (or the memory) of Cassiodorius has here substituted “James” for “Jude.” This conclusion and the lack of use anywhere in Clement’s extant writings of the three epistles (James, 2 Peter, 3 John) not included in the Latin Adumbrationes must be admitted to throw some doubt on the inference which would otherwise be drawn from the statements of Eusebius and Photius, and the question must be left undecided. The general relation of Clement to Origen would make it entirely natural that he as well as Origen should have had the epistle; but it certainly made no appeal to his interest.

So Jülicher, Einleitung5, p. 454. Zahn, Forschungen, iii, pp. 133-138, 150-153; GnK, i, pp. 321-323; Grundriss2, p. 21, is convinced (but in part on highly precarious grounds) that Clement used James. On the other side are Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 362-364; Harnack, N. T. um 200, p. 80; Weiss, Einleitung2, p. 72; Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 233, and P. Dausch, Der neutestamentliche Schriftcanon und Clemens von Alexandrien, Freiburg, 1894, pp. 26-28.


§ 2. The Greek Church

Origen makes many quotations from our epistle, sometimes naming James as the source; e. g.:

Comm. in Joan. t. xix, c. 23 ἐὰν δὲ λέγηται μὲν πίστις, χωρὶς δὲ ἔργων τυγχάνῃ, νεκρά ἐστιντοιαύτη, ὡς ἐν τῇ φερομένἸακώβου ἐπιστολῇ

ὡς παρὰ Ἰακώβῳ (Select. in Psalms 30:0, ed. Lommatzsch, vol. xii, p. 129);


φησὶν

ἐλέχθη (Select. in Exodus 15:0, vol. viii, p. 324);


ὅπερ ἡγοῦμαι εἰρῆσθαι ὑπὸ τῆς γραφῆς (Comm. in Joh. fragm. 6, Berl. ed. vol. iv, p. 488);

Ἰάκωβος γράφει (ibid. fragm. 38, p. 514, also ibid. fragm. 46, p. 521);

καθώς φησι Ἰάκωβος

Hist. Ecclesiastes 2:23:25 τοιαῦτα καὶ τὰ κατὰ Ἰάκωβον οὗπρώτη τῶν ὀνομαζομένων καθολικῶν ἐπιστολῶν εἶναι λέγεται· ἰστέον δὲ ὡς νοθεύεται μέν, οὐ πολλοὶ γοῦν τῶν παλαιῶν αὐτῆς ἐμνημόνευσαν. ὡς οὐδὲ τῆς λεγομένης Ἰούδα, μιᾶς καὶ αὐτῆς οὔσης τῶν ἑπτὰ λεγομένων καθολικῶν· ὅμως δʼ ἴσμεν καὶ ταύτας μετὰ τῶν λοιπῶν ἐν πλείσταις δεδημοσιευμένας ἐκκλησίαις.


Ibid. 3, 25:3 τῶν δʼ

So Burkitt, “Text und Versions,” in EB, iv, 1903, col. 5004, note; cf. also Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 452; Jülicher, Einleitung5, p. 490; and Burkitt, S. Ephraim’s Quotations from the Gospel (TS, vii, 2), 1901. The contrary statements of Zahn, Grundriss1, p. 53 (altered in 2d ed.), and of J. A. Bewer, “The History of the New Testament Canon in the Syrian Church,” in American Journal of Theology, iv, 1900, p. 349, are founded on the evidence adduced in the “Scriptural Index” in J. H. Hill, Dissertation on the Gospel Commentary of S. Ephraem the Syrian, 1896. But in so far as the references to James there collected are drawn from works preserved only in Greek or Latin, they are worthless (cf. Zahn, Forschungen, i, p. 46); and the remainder, found in Syriac works, are shown by Bauer, op. cit. pp. 42-47, to be in every case inadequate to prove use of James. Bauer himself, p. 48, has added two instances of possible use, only one of which, however, deserves consideration, the phrase “father of lights,” abba d˒ nahire, found in Opera, v, col. 489. The “Polemic Sermon,” No. 23, in which this occurs is undoubtedly genuine, but the context contains no hint of the passage in James, and the allusion is not clear enough to permit any inference whatever. Bauer, pp. 52 f., has gone too far in saying that Ephraem probably knew James, and has unfortunately been followed here by Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 245.

The resemblance to James 3:11 (Peshitto) in Isaac of Antioch († c. 460), ed. Bickell, i, 1873, p. 132, pointed out by Bauer, p. 53, perhaps is due to acquaintance with James, but may be accidental.

In the Doctrine of the Apostles, published by Cureton and Wright, Ancient Syriac Documents, p. 32, there is a singular reference to “what James had written from Jerusalem.” If the document is from the fourth century (Harnack, Ueberlieferung und Bestand der altchristl. Litteratur, p. 535) this might form an exception to the above statement. See Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 251.


Even among Greek-speaking members of the undivided Syrian church, a considerable group did not recognise James as a part of the N. T. The most notable of these is the Antiochian, Theodore of Mopsuestia* († c. 429), who accepted no one of the Catholic epistles. The same may have been the attitude of Titus of Bostra († c. 371), and was probably that of Severianus of Gabala (c. 400, a Syrian by birth), and of the author of the Apostolic Constitutions.

In one passage, Pseudo-Ignatius, Philippians 2:0 πῶς πειράζεις τὸν James 1:13. Apart, however, from this possible allusion to James, this writer shows acquaintance with no Catholic epistle except 1 Peter, and in his use of 1 Peter nowhere indicates that it was a part of his N. T.; cf. Bauer, op. cit. pp. 61 f.


In later centuries, too, there is adequate evidence that by many of the leaders of the Nestorians in Eastern Syria James was not accepted, although they used the Peshitto. In 545 Paul of Nisibis, lecturing at Constantinople but doubtless representing accurately the opinion of the school of Nisibis, attributed full canonicity only to 1 Peter and 1 John, and classed James with the antilegomena.† So Cosmas Indicopleustes (c. 545), who had become acquainted with East Syrian theologians, says that there are various views about the Catholic epistles, and that some reject all of them; but it is not clear that he refers to contemporaries.* In the eighth century Theodore bar-Koni, the Nestorian, apparently rejected all the Catholic epistles.† About 825 Isho˓dad, bishop of Haditha on the Tigris, refers to others besides Theodore who reject all the Catholic epistles, and may have in mind contemporaries of his own.‡ In the preface to the Catholic epistles by the Jacobite scholar, Bar-Hebræus (1226-86), the doubts about James, 1 Peter, and 1 John are mentioned (although Bar-Hebræus himself accepted those epistles), and this preface is found included in Syriac N. T. Mss. as late as the fifteenth century.

M. Klamroth, Gregorii Abulfaragii Bar Ebhraya in actus et epistulas catholicas adnotationes, Göttingen, 1878. This preface of Bar-Hebræus, which is itself perhaps based partly on the statement of Isho˓dad, is found:

(1) in part in the well-known Amsterdam Ms. (Library of the Fraternity of the Remonstrants, no. 184) of 1470 from Mardin (Gregory, Prolegomena, p. 836, no. 65), which contains the two pseudo-clementine epistles on virginity; cf. Wetstein, Duae epistolae S. Clementis, 1752, pp. 407 f.

(2) in a Ms. now or formerly belonging to Robert S. Williams, of Utica, N. Y. (Gregory, Prolegomena, p. 845, no. 12) described by I. H. Hall, “A Syriac Manuscript with the Antilegomena Epistles,” in Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis for 1884, pp. 37-49. This Ms. is dated 1471, and probably came likewise from near Mardin.

In the latter Ms. the preface runs as follows (Hall, l. c. p. 41):

“Three Catholic, that is, General, epistles were translated into Syriac from the beginning: one of James, the brother of our Lord, who was bishop in Jerusalem, and wrote to the believing people that were scattered in every place of captivities and persecutions, and to them was directed this first epistle; and the second, of Peter; and the third, of John. But men have doubted about them, because they were not like the [proper] style of speech, and because they were not written to any one person or people. But Eusebius assures [us] that they are theirs.”

On the other hand, after about 350 the movement to adopt some at least of the seven Catholic epistles recognised by the Greek church is clearly seen among the Western Syrians, both of Antioch (where Greek was spoken) and of Edessa.* Thus Apollinarius of Laodicea in Syria († c. 390), whose father, however, was a native of Alexandria, is said to have commented on James.† Chrysostom († 407) uses James freely, and in the so-called Synopsis of Chrysostom, which, whatever its origin, correctly represents that writer’s views, James is included with 1 Peter and 1 John (καὶ τῶν καθολικῶν ἐπιστολαὶ τρεῖς). Polychronius († 428), the brother of Theodore of Mopsuestia, introduces a citation from James as from τὶς τῶν James 5:13 and makes at least one other allusion.‡ In Edessa the Peshitto version was made by the direction of Rabbula (bishop 411-435), and, in accordance with the then current canon of Antioch, it included James, 1 Peter, and 1 John.


In the case of Lucian of Antioch († 3:11) it is likely, though it cannot be proved, that he accepted James, 1 Peter, and 1 John; cf. Zahn, Grundriss2, p. 54; Harnack, art. “Lucian der Märtyrer,” in Herzog-Hauck, PRE, xi, 1902.

From this time on the position of James in the Monophysite branch of the church grew increasingly secure, in accordance with the general tendencies of the time. The successive revisions of the Syriac N. T., under Bishop Philoxenus in 508 and by Thomas of Heraclea in 616, even brought in the other four Catholic epistles and completed in Syriac the Greek canon of seven. The seven are included in the 85th of the apostolic canons appended to the Apostolic Constitutions, which is believed to have been drawn up in Syria in the early part of the fifth century, and, having been translated into Syriac not later than 600, became a corner-stone of ecclesiastical law in the east.§ To the full Greek canon, with seven Catholic epistles, John of Damascus (c. 750) lent the influence of his great authority.

The history of the acceptance of James among the Nestorians is not known, but their great scholar Ebed Jesu of Nisibis († 1318), in his Catalogue of All the Books of the Church, includes “three epistles which in every manuscript and language are ascribed to Apostles, namely to James and to Peter and to John.”*

The history of the epistle in the Syrian church thus clearly illustrates a natural process. At first the canon of the Syrians consisted only of the Gospels (i. e. the Diatessaron) and the epistles of Paul; but gradually other books were adopted from Greek neighbours, and this took place most rapidly in the western churches which looked to Antioch and Edessa for authoritative judgment. But even among the Antiochians James only won its place in the face of long-continued and influential opposition, although progress was greatly aided by the wide use of the Peshitto. In the parts of Syria remoter from Greek influence the adoption of James into the canon was tardier, and down almost to modern times a vivid recollection was preserved of the doubtful position of James, as of the other Catholic epistles.

§ 4. The Western Church

The western church shows the same tardiness in the acceptance of James that we have traced among the Syrians; and here again it was the influence of Alexandria that ultimately brought the epistle into the Latin canon. Before the middle of the fourth century there is no clear trace of any acquaintance with James. The Canon of Muratori omits it; Irenæus makes no certain use of it; Tertullian seems either not to have known it or to have rejected it. Among the innumerable quotations of Cyprian there is none from James, and Novatian (c. 252), De trin. 4, would almost certainly have quoted James 1:17 if he had known it as a part of Scripture.† A hundred years later (c. 359) the African Catalogus Mommsenianus omits James, and it is worthy of note that even Ambrose († 397) never directly quotes from it.



The evidence adduced for use by Hippolytus (Zahn, Grundriss2, p. 21; cf. his earlier and more accurate statement, GnK, i, pp. 323 f.) is wholly inadequate. One passage often quoted (Hippol. ed. Lagarde, p. 122) is from a ninth-century treatise. The resemblances in the commentary on Daniel (Bonwetsch, Studien zu den Kommentaren Hippolyts (Texte und Untersuchungen, xvi, 3), 1897, p. 26) are too slight to have any weight, as are those in the Berlin Griechische christliche Schriftsteller, Hippolytus, ed. Achelis, vol. i, part ii, 1897, pp. 6, 60 f. The possible reference to James 1:1, “the word of Jude in his first letter to the twelve tribes” (ibid. p. 231), is in a catena-fragment taken from an Arabic commentary on the Apocalypse made in the thirteenth century, and, wholly apart from the obvious questions of transmission and genuineness, is too confused and too slight for any affirmation to be founded on it (so Zahn, GnK, i, p. 323).

On Ambrose, cf. Wordsworth, SB, i, p. 128, note 2. It is probable that the passage, Expos. evang. Luc. viii, 13, sive Lazarus pauper in sæculo sed deo dives, sive apostolicus aliquis pauper in verbo, locuples in fide betrays acquaintance with James 2:5. The probability is increased by the agreement with the version of ff (pauperes sæculi, locupletes in fide) against the Vulgate (pauperes in hoc mundo, divites in fide).


The earliest evidence of knowledge of James in the Latin west is probably to be found in the Latin translation on which the texts of Codex Corbeiensis, the pseudo-augustinian Speculum, and the Vulgate all ultimately rest. This must have been made, at latest, by 350 a.d. But in Codex Corbeiensis the epistle is included in a collection of patristic tracts, and there is no evidence that it was a part of any Latin N. T. until a generation later.*

The earliest Latin writer to quote from James is Hilary of Poitiers, De trin. iv, 8 (written 356-358, during his exile in Asia Minor and the east), who refers to it once only, and then in a catena of passages which, he alleges, are misused by the Arians in support of their heresy. Since the form of his quotation (demutatio; cf., however, Priscillian, Tract. i, p. 26. 21) agrees with no known Latin version of James, it is likely that Hilary is making his own translation from the Greek.

“Ambrosiaster” (366-382; like Jerome, with whom he seems in other ways to have had some relations, a supporter of Damasus) once quotes James 5:20, in a form almost identical with that of the Vulgate.* Priscillian (375-386), likewise closely connected with the east, repeatedly quotes James in a Latin translation substantially identical with that of the pseudo-augustinian Speculum (m).† Philastrius of Brescia (383-391) included James in his canon.‡


The Vulgate revision of the epistles, including James, seems to have been prepared in 384-385, and wielded invincible authority.§ Jerome also makes many quotations from the epistle in his own writings,|| and in 392 wrote as follows:

De viris illustribus, 2: Jacobus qui appellatur frater domini … unam tantum scripsit epistulam, quae de septem catholicis est, quae et ipsa ab alio quodam sub nomine ejus edita adseritur, licet paulatim tempore procedente obtinuerit auctoritatem.

The canon of Rufinus (c. 404)** included Jacobi fratris domini et apostoli unam, as would be expected from the many references to James in similar terms found in his translations of the exegetical works of Origen. Chromatius of Aquileia († 406), the intimate friend of both Jerome and Rufinus, quotes James with a text closely like that of Codex Corbeiensis (ff).††

Augustine (354-430) is the first African to make use of the Epistle of James.‡‡ He adopted exactly the canon of Jerome, and under his influence this list of books was established, probably by the Council of Hippo in 393 and the “third” Council of Carthage in 397, certainly by the Council of Carthage in 419.§§ The Donatists of this period also accepted the same Catholic epistles as the Catholic church.|||| In 405 Pope Innocent I wrote a letter to Exsuperius, bishop of Toulouse, in which he names these same books as constituting the N. T. Worthy of mention is the fact that when, about 544, Cassiodorius had a copy of the N. T. prepared, secundum antiquam translationem (i. e. as it was before the revision by Jerome), this copy included James.

The difference between the Greek and the Latin canon of the N. T., which lasted until the end of the fourth century, is nowhere more clearly seen (not even in the case of the Epistle to the Hebrews) than in the Epistle of James; and in the west, as in Syria, it seems to have been men acquainted with the learning and custom of Alexandria who brought the Epistle of James into general use and made it an integral part of the N. T. But in the west, unlike Syria, authority promptly prevailed, and after the beginning of the fifth century no trace is found of any lingering prejudice against James.

§ 5. Order of the Catholic Epistles *

The order in which the Catholic epistles were arranged is not determinable earlier than Eusebius. His order is probably James, Peter, John, Jude; in any case he put James first. This order is that followed by Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Euthalius, the later Greek lists, nearly all Greek Mss., and the Bohairic version. In the Peshitto a similar order is found, James, 1 Peter, 1 John. In a few instances from among the Greeks the epistles of Peter are put first, so, notably, in the 85th apostolic canon and Codex Ψ (cent. viii or ix).

In the west before Jerome a different condition is found, which reflects the fact that until that time the western church did not possess a complete and definitive canon of Catholic epistles. Nearly always, in honour to the Roman see, Peter is put first; so in the usage of Rufinus, in all three of the codices prepared for Cassiodorius, and in the list of the Codex Claromontanus. The place of James varies among the other three stations; but there was a tendency to adopt the order Peter, John, James, Jude, and this order recurs later from time to time, and is followed in the decree of the Council of Trent of April 8, 1546.*

In the Vulgate, on the other hand, the Greek order, James, Peter, John, Jude, was followed, and no Vulgate Ms. is known which departs from it. The Codex Fuldensis (c. 540 a.d.) contains an older, pseudo-hieronymian, prologue to the Catholic epistles, which expressly states that the order of the orthodox Greeks differs from that earlier current in Latin Mss. and that the Greek order was introduced into Latin usage by Jerome. From the Vulgate the Greek order has come into the modern English Bible.

§ 6. Later History

Leipoldt, GnK, ii, 1908, where full citations will be found; Westcott, CNT, part 3, ch. 3; S. Berger, La Bible au seizième siècle, 1879; Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, 1905, who gives a full account of Byzantine and mediæval Latin references; G. Kawerau, “Die Schicksale des Jakobusbriefes im 16. Jahrhundert,” in Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben, x, 1889, pp. 359-370; W. Walther, “Zu Luthers Ansicht über den Jakobusbrief,” in Theol. Studien und Kritiken, lxvi, 1893, pp. 595-598; M. Meinertz, “Luther’s Kritik am Jakobusbriefe nach dem Urteile seiner Anhänger,” in Biblische Zeitschrift, iii, 1905, pp. 273-286; H. H. Howorth, “The Origin and Authority of the Biblical Canon according to the Continental Reformers,” in JTS, viii, 1906-7, pp. 321-365, ix, 1907-8, pp. 188-230; “The Canon of the Bible among the Later Reformers,” ibid. x, 1908-9, pp. 182-232.

After the early part of the fifth century any doubt as to the right of James to a place in the canon disappeared from the west, and only Isidore of Seville († 636) so much as refers to the ancient doubts.† In 1516 the first published edition of the Greek Testament in print appeared, with Annotationes by its editor Erasmus. In these (p. 601), with clear internal indication of dependence on the statements of Jerome, Erasmus mentions the scruples of antiquity, and adds some reasons of his own, drawn from language and style, for doubting whether the epistle is from the hands of an apostle.‡ Nevertheless, he heartily accepts it as a proper part of the canon.

The influence of Erasmus’s learning was felt in both the Catholic and Protestant camps. On the Catholic side Cardinal Cajetan, who had a knowledge of Jerome at first hand, allowed himself in some matters to adopt a criticism more radical than that of Erasmus, but in the case of James he was satisfied (1529) with pronouncing its apostolic authorship uncertain. At the Council of Trent these free views were vigorously represented, and appeal made to the authority of Jerome, but in the decree of April 8, 1546, the Epistle of James was included in the list of sacred and canonical Scripture and its author declared to be an apostle.*

This action has led to a distinction,† still current in the Roman Catholic church, between those books of the Bible which, it is believed, have always been accepted (sometimes called “proto-canonical”), and those which only gradually attained full canonical authority (“deutero-canonical”). To the latter class belongs the Epistle of James. But this is purely an historical classification; no defect of canonicity is held to pertain to the “deutero-canonical” books, whether in O. T. or N. T.

On the Protestant side the canonical character of certain books, and notably of James, was earnestly contested. The doubts raised by the historical learning of Erasmus were strengthened as the reformers undertook, on the basis of independent investigation, to separate the original substance of Christian doctrine from its later accretions of tradition. The ancient external evidence from the first four centuries as to the apostolic origin of certain books (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, Revelation) was seen to be by no means uniformly favourable, and the question arose whether such books could be treated as safe bases of doctrinal authority. At the same time a new criterion of canonicity was introduced by Luther, who classified the books of the traditional canon according as they showed fidelity to the Gospel of Christ (“Christum predigen und treyben”) as he understood it, that is, to the doctrine of salvation by faith, most clearly expressed in John, Romans, and 1 Peter (these “the true kernel and marrow among all the books”). Luther’s objection to James is found as early as 1519,* but his judgments were most clearly expressed in the first edition of his German N. T. (Wittenberg, September, 1522). In the Introduction to this he says:

“In fine, Saint John’s Gospel and his first epistle, Saint Paul’s epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Saint Peter’s first epistle,—these are the books which show thee Christ, and teach thee everything that is needful and blessed for thee to know even though thou never see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore is Saint James’s epistle a right strawy epistle (‘eyn rechte stroern Epistel’†) in comparison with them, for it has no gospel character to it.”

The special preface to James presents his view in detail. He values the epistle because it emphasises the Law of God (“Gottis gesetz hart treybt”), but denies its apostolic authorship, chiefly on the ground that it teaches justification by works. He concludes:

“Therefore I will not have it in my Bible in the number of the proper chief books, but do not intend thereby to forbid anyone to place and exalt it as he pleases, for there is many a good saying in it.”

In printing, Luther separated James, with Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation, from the other book of the N. T., putting them at the end of the volume and assigning them no numbers in his table of contents.

In the first edition of the complete German Bible (1534), the section of the Introduction containing the remark that James is “a right strawy epistle” was for some reason omitted; but the preface to James is not substantially altered, and in many other utterances, public and private, and extending through the whole period of his life, Luther expressed the same judgment, with no lessening of decisiveness or vigour. In the successive issues of the German Bible down to the present day, the order of the books of the N. T. remains that of Luther, although since 1603 it has grown customary to assign numbers to the four contested books with the rest.

The view held by Luther, that James, in view of its inner character, ought not to be given full canonical authority, while yet, as a book profitable for edification, it ought not to be utterly rejected, is substantially the view of most of the earlier German Protestants. Dogmatic and exegetical writers formulated it with great variety of shades of emphasis. They frequently permitted themselves sharp criticism of the epistle, and expressly denied its authority for the establishment of doctrine, and to Luther’s subjective grounds they added arguments drawn from the early history of the canon. Such attacks were stimulated afresh by the attempted compromise of the “Augsburg Interim” (1548), in which James 5:14 was used as authority for the sacrament of extreme unction. The most complete formal rejection is to be found in the so-called Württemberg Confession (1552), in which is contained this article:


“De sacra scriptura. Sacram scripturam vocamus eos canonicos libros Veteris et Novi Testamenti de quorum auctoritate in ecclesia numquam dubitatum est.”

This was intended to exclude definitely from the canon the seven disputed books, some or all of which were frequently designated as “apocrypha of the New Testament” or even (as in Wolder’s Polyglot, Hamburg, 1596) as “non-canonical.”

On the other hand, Luther’s jealous personal opponent, Carlstadt, in his elaborate investigation of the canonical Scriptures, while recognising that James and the other disputed books are of lesser dignity and value, yet refused to admit that they lack full canonical authority. In favour of the Epistle of James was also thrown the powerful influence of Melanchthon, who believed that the statements of James about justification could be understood in such a way as to escape conflict with the doctrines of Paul.

In the later years of the sixteenth century, with the establishment of the stricter doctrine of inspiration, the doubts about the canonical authority of James tended to disappear among orthodox Lutherans, and after the year 1600 they are seldom heard except from the ranks of the rationalistic and critical theologians. The German doctrinal standards do not contain lists of the books of the N. T., but the rightfulness of the position of James in the canon was assumed at the date when these documents were prepared, and was plainly deemed unassailable. The terms “deutero-canonical,” “libri canonici secundi ordinis” continued in use for many years, but were emptied of all substantial meaning.

Kawerau, op. cit. p. 369, “Die Konkordienformel mit ihrem Rückgang auf die Apologie (p. 693) bezeichnet wol den Wendepunkt in der Beurtheilung des Jakobusbriefes. Die Inspirationslehre des nachfolgenden Dogmatikergeschlechtes hätte ein kritisches Urtheil nicht mehr vertragen können.”

In the reformed churches outside of Germany Luther’s principle of discrimination between the different books of the N. T. did not meet with favour, and although the ancient doubts as to certain books were fully recognised, there seems to have been little or no disposition to set up a new canon. Zwingli, Calvin, Beza, and their followers all accepted James as canonical, although it was admitted that the authorship was disputable. The Gallican Confession (1559) and the Belgic Confession (1561) include James in their lists of Holy Scripture. After this time critics sometimes denied the genuineness and apostolic authorship of books, but they had no idea of altering the contents of the traditional N. T.

In England the early translations show strong Lutheran influence.* Tyndale’s New Testaments (11525) follow the arrangement of Luther in putting Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation at the end, and giving them no numbers in the table of contents. This is in accord with the adoption by Tyndale of much matter from Luther’s prefaces and with other marks of dependence on the German Bible. Tyndale’s prologue to James (1534) alludes to ancient doubts and later objections, but concludes: “Me thynketh it ought of ryght to be taken for holye Scripture,” and no movement for rejecting the epistle from the canon seems to have arisen in England.

The Bibles of Coverdale (1535), “Matthew” (1537), and Taverner (1539) likewise preserve the Lutheran order. In the Great Bible (1539), published by ecclesiastical authority, the Vulgate order of the N. T. books is for the first time found in an English Bible.* This was naturally followed in the Bishops’ Bible (1568), and King James’s Bible (1611); but it had already become familiar to the Puritans through the Geneva N. T. (1557), in which the order of the books, as well as many other evidences, shows the transition in English Puritanism from Lutheran to Calvinistic influences.

Dutch, Swiss, Danish, and Swedish Bibles of the sixteenth century are known, and even an Icelandic Bible published at Copenhagen in 1807, which follow Luther’s order; cf. Leipoldt, GnK, ii, pp. 101, 104; H. H. Howorth, “The Origin and Authority of the Biblical Canon according to the Continental Reformers. II. Luther, Zwingli, Lefèvre, and Calvin,” in JTS, ix, 1907-8, pp. 188-230, and “The Canon of the Bible among the Later Reformers,” ibid. x, 1908-9, pp. 182-232.

The Thirty-Nine Articles (1562) declare (Art. VI): “All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.” The Westminster Confession (1647) expressly includes James in the list of Scripture.

The Thirty-Nine Articles are inconsistent, for Art. VI also states: “In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.” This sentence was taken almost verbatim from the Württemberg Confession of 1551 (where it was deliberately phrased so as to exclude from the canon the seven disputed books), and the contradiction with the specific statement, quoted above, which follows it in the English article was perhaps not noticed. See Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, i, p. 628.

IV. COMMENTARIES ANCIENT AND MODERN

————

Mayor3, 1910, ch. 11; M. Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, 1905; R. Cornely, Historica et critica introductio in utriusque Testamenti libros sacros (Cursus Scripturae Sacrae), vol. i, Introductio generalis, 1894, pp. 630-763; vol. ii, Introductio specialis, 1897, pp. 686-688; J. G. Walch, Bibliotheca theologica, vol. iv, 1765.

§ 1. Patristic and Mediæval

(a) Greek

Clement of Alexandria probably included comments on James in his Hypotyposes (see above, pp. 91 f.), but no fragment of them has been preserved.

The numerous passages from Chrysostom in Cramer’s Catena of Andreas on James (collected in Migne, Patrologia græca, vol. lxiv) are not fragments of a commentary, but have been identified in nearly every case as coming from known writings of Chrysostom; cf. S. Haidacher, “Chrysostomus-Fragmente zu den katholischen Briefen,” Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie, 1902, pp. 190-194. The five passages of this catena from Hesychius of Jerusalem († 433), collected in Migne, vol. xciii, and the ten from Cyril of Alexandria († 444), collected in Migne, vol. lxxiv, bear no mark of coming from a commentary on James.

The Latin work, In epistolas catholicas enarratio, ascribed in the Mss. to Didymus of Alexandria († 398), includes James, and is probably the translation made in the sixth century by Epiphanius Scholasticus for Cassiodorius (cf. Cassiodorius, Inst. 8). A large part, however, of the work (in James more than half) consists of extracts of various authorship taken from the same Catena of Andreas. The five brief catena-fragments expressly ascribed to Didymus show no sign of having been written for a commentary on the Catholic epistles, and Cassiodorius was probably mistaken in attributing such a work to Didymus.

Bardenhewer, Gesch. d. altkirchl. Litteratur, iii, pp. 109 f.; E. Klostermann, Über des Didymus von Alexandrien in epistolas canonicas enarratio (Texte und Untersuchungen, xxviii), 1905; F. Zoepfl, Didymi Alexandrini in epistolas canonicas brevis enarratio, Münster, 1914.

The Catena of Andreas was published by J. A. Cramer in Catenae grœcorum patrum in Novum Testamentum, Oxford, 1844, vol. viii (1840); cf. von Soden, Schriften des Neuen Testaments, i, pp. 278 f. The catena on the Catholic epistles here published has manuscript attestation from the ninth century (Codd. K and 1895); its present form (which includes fragments of Maximus Confessor († 662) is not to be dated earlier than 675. If, however, the Enarratio on the Catholic epistles ascribed to Didymus (as stated above) is in fact the translation referred to by Cassiodorius, then the Catena of Andreas, since it underlies the Enarratio, existed in an earlier form in the sixth century. The Catena is made up of more or less relevant passages from many authors, among whom Chrysostom takes by far the most prominent place, Cyril of Alexandria standing next. Of the earlier writings used by the compiler for the Epistle of James no one appears to have been a commentary on the epistle. The Catena of Andreas on the Catholic epistles is also printed in part by Matthäi, SS. apostolorum septem epistolae catholicae, Riga, 1782, pp. 183-245, and again, substantially complete, under the supposition of being a work of Euthymius Zigabenus (ed. Kalogeras, Athens, 1887, vol. ii; but cf. p. ά).

An anonymous commentary on the Catholic epistles (Migne, Patrologia græca, vol. cxix) was ascribed to Œcumenius, bishop of Tricca in Thessaly (c. 600) by the first editor (Donatus, Verona, 1532), but without good reason. It is found in many Mss. of the tenth century and thereafter, and is associated with commentaries on Acts and the Pauline epistles, which may or may not be from the same hand with that on the Catholic epistles but in which the commentary on Paul is certainly not by Œcumenius. The work is a continuous interpretation, partly based on the Catena of Andreas, and often presenting acute and well-phrased exegetical comments.

Diekamp observes, p. 1056, that this commentary twice calls Basil τὸν ἡμέτερον, which seems to imply that the writer was either of the Basilian order or else a Cappadocian from Cæsarea. This seems conclusive against the wholly unsupported guess of Donatus that the real Œcumenius was the author.

The year 990, formerly given as about the date of the bishop Œcumenius, was a mere guess of W. Cave. The discovery of the true date (c. 600) is due to F. Diekamp, “Mittheilungen über den neuaufgefundenen Commentar des Oekumenius zur Apokalypse,” in Sitzungsberichte der Akad. d. Wiss. zu Berlin, 1901, pp. 1046-1056.

The commentary on the Catholic epistles printed under the name of Theophylact, archbishop of Bulgaria (fl. 1075), is merely another text of the commentary of “Œcumenius” (Migne, Patrologia græca, vol. cxxv).

Bardenhewer, art. “Oecumenius,” in Wetzer and Welte’s Kirchenlexikon2, 1895; A. Ehrhard in Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur2, 1895, pp. 131-135; H. von Soden, Schriften des Neuen Testaments, i. 1902, pp. 686-692.

The scholia printed by Matthäi, Riga, 1782, at the foot of his text of the Catholic epistles, are drawn from the margin of Cod. 462 (ol. 101ac) of the eleventh century, and appear to be the private notes of a devout owner of this copy of the epistles.

On an (unedited) commentary of Metrophanes of Smyrna (ninth century), see Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur2, pp. 78 f. 132; B. Georgiades in Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ Ἀλήθεια, vol. iii, 1882-3.

(b) Latin

Augustine’s commentary on James, to which he refers in Retract. ii, 32, is lost, but it does not appear to have been an important work.

The only extant Latin commentaries earlier than the thirteenth century are the Expositio of the Venerable Bede († 735), Migne, Patrologia latina, vol. xciii, and the Glossa ordinaria of Walafrid Strabo († 849), Migne, vol. cxiv, which is in part dependent on Bede.*

Other writers are frequently referred to as if they had written commentaries on James. But the Complexio of Cassiodorius († 575) on James (Migne, vol. lxx, cols. 1577-1580) is only a brief summary of the epistle; the Proœmium of Isidore of Seville († 636; Migne, vol. lxxxiii, col. 178) consists of but four lines; Alulf’s industry (eleventh century; Migne, vol. lxxix, cols. 1381-1386) has been devoted merely to selecting nine appropriate passages from various works of Gregory the Great († 604). Three homilies of Rabanus Maurus († 856; Migne, vol. cx, hom. 34, 40, 42) treat of the Epistle of James, but, doubtless to the advantage of his hearers, were not original, since they consist merely of blocks copied bodily from the Expositio of Bede.

Other pre-reformation Latin commentators on James were Martin of Leon († 1203; Migne, vol. ccix), Hugo of St. Cher († 1262), Nicholas of Gorham († 1295), Nicholas de Lyra († 1340), Gregory of Rimini († 1358), John Hus († 1415), Dionysius Rickel († 1471), Laurentius Valla († 1457).

(c) Syriac

Isho‛ Dad (c. 850), commentary on James, 1 Peter, 1 John, published by Margaret D. Gibson, The Commentaries of Isho‛ Dad of Merv, vol. iv (Horae Semiticae, x), 1913, pp. 36 f.

Dionysius Bar-Salibi († c. 1171), commentary on the Apocalypse, Acts, and Catholic epistles, Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium, Series syriaca, vol. ci. Bar-Salibi states that from earlier commentators he had found but brief expositions of the Catholic epistles.

Gregorius Bar-Hebræus († 1286), The Store of Mysteries, written 1278. The commentary on James was published by M. Klamroth, Gregorii Abulfaragii Bar Ebhraya in Actus Apostolorum et Epistolas catholicas adnotationes, Göttingen, 1878. See J. Göttsberger, Barhebräus und seine Scholien zur Heiligen Schrift (Biblische Studien, v), 1900.

§ 2. Modern

Since 1500 many commentaries on James have been written.* At the head of the list worthily stands Erasmus, Novum Instrumentum omne … cum annotationibus, 1516; Paraphrases, 1521.

The comments of the most important of the Roman Catholic expositors can be read in J. de la Haye, Biblia magna, Paris, 1643, and Biblia maxima, Paris, 1660; Critici sacri, London, 1660; M. Poole, Synopsis criticorum, London, 1669-96. Mention may be specially made of Vatablus († 1547), whose scholia, however, as published in Critici sacri, were deemed to be “alicubi doctrinis calvinianis aspersa, ” and of Est († 1613), Cornelius à Lapide († 1637), and Calmet († 1757).

The chief Roman Catholic commentaries of the nineteenth century are those of Bisping, 1871; Schegg, 1883; Trenkle, 1894; Belser, 1909; Meinertz (in Tillmann’s Heilige Schrift des N. T.), 1912.

An extensive and useful list of the Roman Catholic commentators is given by F. S. Trenkle, Der Brief des heiligen Jacobus, 1894, pp. 56 f.; see also Cornely, Historica et critica introductio, vol. i, pp. 691-732; vol. ii, pp. 687 f.; Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, pp. 216-219, 289-311. For the names of less noteworthy expositors, see H. Hurter, Nomenclator literarius recentioris theologiae catholicae, 1871-86 (covering the period 1564-1869); J. Quétif and J. Échard, Scriptores ordinis prœdicatorum recensiti, Paris, 1719-21, especially vol. ii, p. 947 (Dominican expositors to 1720).

From Protestant theologians have proceeded innumerable commentaries on James. Of the older, Calvin († 1564), Grotius († 1645), H. Hammond († 1660), Bengel († 1751), deserve mention. The essential parts of Grotius and of many minor works are to be found collected in Critici sacri, 1660, and Matthew Poole’s Synopsis criticorum, 1669-96. In the important service of presenting the illustrative material, H. Heisen, Novae hypotheses interpretandae epistolae Jacobi, Bremen, 1739, now a rare book,* contains vast but ill-digested collections on many passages of the epistle; J. J. Wetstein’s indispensable Novum Testamentum grœcum, 1751-2, which gathers in convenient form the stores of previous writers, stands with but one later rival. M. Schneckenburger’s excellent little Annotatio ad epistolam Jacobi, 1832, is still of independent value. The most useful modern commentaries are those of J. E. Huther (in Meyer), 11857, 31870; revised, without thoroughgoing alteration, by W. Beyschlag, 31897; Spitta, Der Brief Jakobus untersucht, 1896; H. von Soden (in Holtzmann’s Hand-Kommentar), 31899; Oesterley (in Expositor’s Greek Testament), 1910; and especially J. B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. James, 11892, 31910 (a thesaurus of learned material), and H. Windisch (in Lietzmann’s Handbuch zum Neuen Testament), 1911. Mayor’s bibliography gives a very complete list of modern works.











* P. Wendland, Die hellenistisch-römische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zu Judentum und Christentum2, 1912, p. 76 (Diogenes), p. 85 (later moral preachers).

† Wendland, op. cit., p. 85; A. Bonhöffer, Epiktet und das Neue Testament (Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, x), 1911, pp. 351 f.

* C. F. G. Heinrici, Der litterarische Charakter der neutestamentlichen Schriften, 1908, brings out many noteworthy points of view with regard to the various aspects of these questions, and was one of the first in recent times to call attention to their importance.

Pauly-Wissowa, G. Wissowa, Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft; neue Bearbeitung, 1894—.

EB Encyclopœdia Biblica, 1899-1903.

* H. Usener, Epicurea, 1887, pp. 91, 135.

† R. Hirzel, Der Dialog, i, p. 173.

‡ So Hirzel, op. cit. i, pp. 352 f.

* H. Peter, op. cit. p. 19; cf. E. Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa2, 1909, ii, p. 538, note 2.

† R. Hercher, Epistolographi græci, pp. 1-16.

‡ Hirzel, op. cit. ii, p. 8.

§ Hirzel, op. cit. i, p. 358.

|| Hirzel, op. cit. i, p. 305.

* A. Deissmann, Bibelstudien, p. 234.

† Schürer, GJV4, iii, pp. 624 f. (§ 33, VII, 8).

‡ H. Jordan, Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 1911, pp. 123-172.

* This latter is the view of Harnack, CaL, i, 1897, pp. 485-491.

* On the traces of the continuous line of Cynic preachers in the late third, the second, and the first centuries b.c., see G. A. Gerhard, Phoinix von Kolophon, 1909, pp. 171 f., with many references to sources and literature.

Bultmann R. Bultmann, Der Stil der Paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments, xiii), 1910.

† Wendland, Hellenistisch-römische Kultur2, p. 79.

* Norden, Antike Kunstprosa2, ii, pp. 556-558.

* See E. Weber, “De Dione Chrysostomo Cynicorum sectatore,” in Leipziger Studien, x, 1887, pp. 227 ff.

* On this trait of the Cynics, see G. A. Gerhard, Phoinix von Kolophon, 1909, pp. 35-39, where many illustrations are given.

* This difference, at least, is noted by Zahn, Einleitung3, i, p. 80: “Ohne dass man von einer sonderlichen Geistesverwandtschaft des Jk mit diesem Jesus reden könnte.”

Blass F. Blass, Grammatik des Neutestamentlichen Griechisch, 21902.

Mayor J. B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. James, 1892, 21897, 31910.

* For references, see Schürer, GJV4, iii, p. 220 (§ 32, III, 1).

* For parallels from Philo, see Mayor, ch. 4; Siegfried, Philo von Alexandria, 1875, pp. 310-314; for the Christian writers, Mayor, ch. 2.

† See the collection of parallels in Mayor, ch. 4;

* All three citations depart from the LXX by substituting [ὁ] θεός for κύριος.

† The relation of James to Clement of Rome, Hermas, etc., is discussed below, pp. 87-90, in connection with the history of the Epistle of James in the church.

* P. Wendland, “Philo und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe,” in Wendland and Kern, Beiträge zur Geschichte d. griech. Philosophie und Religion, 1895.

† Mayor, chs. 8 and 9, treats fully of the grammar and style; note also his “Index of Greek Words.”

* So Thayer; Mayor’s list counts up only 63, in consequence of a different treatment of variant readings.

† Cf. H. A. A. Kennedy, op. cit. p. 39.

* On such expressions, see J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 10 f.

SB Studia biblica et ecclesiastica; Essays chiefly in Biblical and Patristic Criticism, 1890—.

Zahn, Theodor Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 31906-1907.

Harnack, A. von Harnack, Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius (Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius, Zweiter Theil), 1897, 1904.

* Neither 2:20 nor ch. 3 can possibly have reference to Paul.

* This error is common and has led to many unwise inferences about relative dates.

† For instance, cf. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, pp. 361, note 3, 368-373; F. Loofs, Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte4, pp. 92 f. 118, 123 f.

* Conveniently collected in Mayor, ch. 2.

† Der Brief des Jakobus, 1896, pp. 155-183.

Meyer Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament begründet von Heinr. Aug. Wilh. Meyer.

* So, perhaps, Kahnis, Die lutherische Dogmatik, i1, 1861, pp. 533 ff., who thinks the epistle written by a Jewish Christian in direct polemic against Paul, but does not explicitly deny that James the Lord’s brother was the author. For other instances, see Meinertz, pp. 255 f.

Zahn Theodor Zahn

* A date earlier than the Jewish war is unlikely because the epistle ignores the Pauline controversy over the law while it yet shows a knowledge of Pauline formulas.

† On Cæsarea, see Schürer, GJV, § 23, I, 9 (and other references in the Index); G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land7, pp. 138 ff.; JE, art. “Cæsarea”; EB, art. “Cæsarea.”

‡ On Tiberias, see Schürer, GJV, § 23, I, 33.

* The identification of James the Lord’s brother with James son of Zebedee has occasionally been made, but, as in Iren. Hœr. 3, 12:15, only by a sheer mistake.

† A clear statement of the opposite interpretation of Luke 2:7 and Matthew 1:25 may be found in Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 270 ff.


* So Zahn, Forschungen, vi, p. 306, note 2.

† Hilary of Poitiers († 366), Comm. in Matthew 14:0, calls those who held this opinion homines pravissimi.


* J. R. Harris, Four Lectures on the Western Text of the New Testament, 1894, p. 37.

* See for abundant detail on mediæval and modern scholars Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, pp. 203-316.

† Meinertz, op. cit. pp. 216, 288.

‡ Smith and Fuller, DB2, vol. i, part ii, 1893, p. 1517.

§ Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 270-272, adopted the Epiphanian view on the ground of John 19:26, John 19:27. He holds it unlikely that Mary, if she was the mother of James and the others, should have been “consigned to the care of a stranger of whose house she becomes henceforth the inmate.”


* Mayor2, pp. xxiv f., discusses the arguments adduced; see also Lex.. s. v.

* J. H. Ropes, “Acts 15:21, ” in Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. xv, 1896, pp. 75-81.


Schürer, E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 41901-1909.

* The fragments are collected, with notes, in Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 228-250; cf. also pp. 250-273.

† See Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 234-235; Einleitung, i, § 5, note 4; he thinks 66 a.d. would suit the statement in Hegesippus.

* H. Waitz, Die Pseudoklementinen, Homilien und Recognitionen (Texte und Untersuchungen, 25), 1904, pp. 164-169, 232, 386.

* See the discussion by A. Schmidtke, Neue Fragmente und Untersuchungen zu den Juden-christlichen Evangelien (Texte und Untersuchungen, xxxvii), 1911, pp. 133-138.

† Zahn, Forschungen, 4, p. 274, says not before the final removal of Jews from Jerusalem, 132 a.d.

‡ Schmidtke, op. cit., and H. Waitz, art. “Apokryphen des NT.s,” in Proverbs 23:0 (Ergänzungsband, i), pp. 80-83.


* The Apocryphal Gospels are conveniently accessible in English in The Ante-Nicene Fathers (American ed., vol. viii, Buffalo, 1886).

† Harnack, CaL, 2, 1904, pp. 518-540; H. Waitz, Pseudoklementinen (Texte und Untersuchungen, 25), 1904; H. Waitz, art. “Clementinen,” in PRE, 23 (Ergänzungsband, i), 1913, pp. 312-316.

‡ This document does not appear to have had any connection with the Kerygma Petri, current in Alexandria in the late second century, see E. von Dobschütz, Das Kerygma Petri (TU, 11), 1893.

* Eusebius elsewhere repeatedly refers to James as having been bishop, H. e. 3, 5, 7, 11; 4, 5; 7, 19.

* This is evidently a mere expansion from the statement of Hegesippus ap. Eus. H. e. 2, 23:6 τούτῳ μόνῳ ἐξῆν εἰς τὰ ἅγια [v. l. τὰ ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων] εἰσιέναι.

* Georgius Codinus, De œdificiis constantinopolitanis, p. 56 (Migne, Patrologia grœca, vol. clvii, col. 593).

GgA Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen.

HDB J. Hastings, A Dictionary of the Bible, 1898-1902.

EB Encyclopœdia Biblica, 1899-1903.

* Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament1, 1912, p. 185, inclines to a date at the end of the third or in the fourth century.

* Brit. Mus. Curzon Catena, dated 889 a.d., is probably translated directly from a Greek catena on the Gospels.

Herzog-Hauck, A. Hauck, Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, begründet von J. J. Herzog, 1896-1913.

* That the evidence which formerly led to the assignment of an earlier date for the Peshitto is without value has now been decisively shown by F. C. Burkitt, S. Ephraim’s Quotations from the Gospel (TS, vii), 1901.

JTS The Journal of Theological Studies.

SB Studia biblica et ecclesiastica; Essays chiefly in Biblical and Patristic Criticism, 1890—.

OLBT Old-Latin Biblical Texts, 1883—.

Mayor J. B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. James, 1892, 21897, 31910.

* See G. M. Youngman, American Journal of Theology, xii, 1908, pp. 627-636.

† Wordsworth, SB, i, pp. 126 f.

Vg Vulgate.

‡ Sanday, SB, i, pp. 258 f.

§ Chromatius, Tract. in ev. S. Matth. ix, i; xiv. 7; quoted in full by Wordsworth, SB, i, p. 135.

|| P. Thielmann, Archiv für lateinische Lexikographie, viii 1893, p. 502, holds that ff is probably of African origin.

* Or of Instantius; see G. Morin, “Pro Instantio,” in Revue Bénédictine, vol. xxx, 1913, pp. 153-173.

† Sanday, Classical Review, iv, 1890, pp. 414-417; SB, i, pp. 244 ff.

‡ Sanday, OLBT, No. II, 1887, p. cclv; cf. SB, i, pp. 250, 259. Wordsworth’s view (SB, i, pp. 133 f.) that ff, Vg, m, and the quotations in Jerome’s writings represent four distinct translations is wholly untenable.

§ Hilary of Poitiers, De trin. iv, 8, writing in the Greek East in 356-358, seems to make his own translation of James 1:17 (Zahn, Grundriss2, p. 69).

|| Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, pp. 270 f. The case with 2 Peter is similar; cf. Westcott, pp. 269 f.


** Zahn, GnK, i, p. 324.

†† Augustin. Retract. ii, 32, adjuvant (sc. Augustine’s adnotationes, now lost) ergo aliquid, nisi quod ipsam epistolam, quam legebamus quando ista dictavi, non diligenter ex graco habebamus interpretatam.

* Cf. Zahn, ibid.

† OLBT, No. IV, 1897, p. xxi

‡ Westcott, art. “Vulgate,” in Smith, DB, p. 3479, cf. p. 3460; cf. Wordsworth, SB, 1, p. 128; White, art. “Vulgate,” in HDB, iv, pp. 874, 883.

§ Wordsworth, l.c. p. 134.

|| The following observations, it should be noted, are intended to apply only to the Epistle of James, where by reason of the late emergence of the epistle into use the problems have a peculiar character. Detailed evidence for the conclusions here stated will be found in J. H. Ropes, “The Text of the Epistle of James,” JBL, xxviii, 1909, pp. 103-129.

** The isolated variants of the minuscules (variants many of which, even when known, are very properly left unmentioned in Tischendorf’s apparatus) do not in most cases come seriously into question.

Zahn, Theodor Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 31906-1907.

Zahn Theodor Zahn

* To these may be added Clem. Rom. 49:5 James 5:20.


Westcott, B. F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 71896.

GnK Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons, 1888-1892.

NTAF The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers by a Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology, 1905.

Leipoldt, J. Leipoldt, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 1907-1908.

Harnack, A. von Harnack, Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius (Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius, Zweiter Theil), 1897, 1904.

Grundriss Grundriss der Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons, 1901, 21904.

* Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 392.


† Harnack, Die Überlieferung und der Bestand der urchristlichen Litteratur bis Eusebius, 1893, pp. 419, 421 f.; Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Litteratur, ii, p. 175; Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, p. 112.

‡ Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 250; Bonwetsch, “Die Theologie von Methodius von Olympus,” in Abhandl. der kgl. Ges. der Wissenschaflen zu Göllingen, phil.-hist. Klasse, N. F. vii, 1, 1903, p. 142; and Methodius von Olympus, I. Schriften, 1891, pp. 291, 293.

§ Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 432.


* “Euthalius” included James and the other Catholic epistles in his edition; cf. J. A. Robinson, Euthaliana (TS, iii, 3), 1895, p. 27.

† The reference to Basil given by Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 454, is to the Constitutiones monasticae, which are probably not genuine. The resemblances in the passages from the Clementine Homilies cited by Mayor3, pp. lxxxiii f., are inadequate to show acquaintance with James. Gregory of Nyssa nowhere alludes to James.


‡ For references to James in Greek writers of the fifth century, see Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, pp. 159 f. 163-165, 177 f.

* Bauer, op. cit. pp. 53-58; Zahn, “Das Neue Testament Theodors,” in NKZ, xi, 1900, pp. 788-793.

† Junilius, Instituta regularia divinae legis, i, 6; see Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, pp. 553 f.; H. Kihn, Theodor von Mopsuestia und Junilius Africanus als Exegeten, 1880.


* Zahn, GnK, ii, pp. 230-233.

† A. Baumstark, “Die Bücher I-IX des κεθâβâ δesôljôn des Theodoros bar Kôni, ” in Oriens Christianus, i, 1901, pp. 173-178.

‡ Bauer, op. cit. pp. 54 f.

* See Bauer, op. cit. pp. 62-68.

† See Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 248.

‡ Meinertz. Jakobusbrief, p. 172, note 1.

§ Zahn, GnK, 2, pp. 180-193; H. Achelis, art. “Apostolische Konstitutionen und Kanones,” in Herzog-Hauck, PRE, 1, 1896.

* Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 557.

† Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 384, note 2.


* Cf. Zahn, GnK, i, pp. 323-325.

* A. Souter, A Study of Ambrosiaster (TS, vii, 4), 1905, pp. 196 f.; G. Morin, “Qui est l’Ambrosiaster? Solution nouvelle,” in Revue Bénédictine, vol. xxxi, 1914, pp. 1-34.

† The passages are given in Mayor, pp. 5-23.

‡ Hœr. 88.

§ The Roman synod of 382 is a mere assumption to account for the so-called Decretum Gelasianum, containing a list of the books of the N. T. which was supposed to have proceeded from it. E. von Dobschütz, Das Decretum Gelasianum (Texte und Untersuchungen, xxxviii), 1912, has now proved that the Decretum is a pseudepigraphic document of the first half of the sixth century.

|| Cf. Wordsworth, SB, i, p. 129, and notes.

** Expositio in symbolum apostolorum, 36.

†† Tract. in evang. S. Matt. ix, I; xiv, 7; quoted by Wordsworth, op. cit. p. 135.

‡‡ See De doctrina christiana, ii, 12; cf. Wordsworth, op. cit. p. 129. Augustine quotes James in a Latin version closely like the Vulgate.

§§ Zahn, GnK, 2, pp. 244-259.

|||| Westcott, Song of Solomon 7:0, p. 422.


* Mainly drawn from Zahn, GnK, 2, pp. 375-380.

* Leipoldt, GnK, 2, p. 46.

† De origine officiorum, 1, 12.

‡ See above, p. 25.

* See above, p. 46. This decree was reaffirmed by the Vatican Council, April 24, 1870.

† The distinction appears in Sixtus Senensis (1566), and was maintained by Bellarmin (1586); see Leipoldt, GnK, pp. 52 ff.

* Resolutiones Lutherianae super propositionibus suis Lipsiae disputatis, Weimar ed., vol. 2, p. 425.

† The phrase is founded on the “wood, hay, stubble” of 1 Corinthians 3:12, to which Luther also alludes in his preface to Hebrews. It means only that the epistle contains much straw, not that it is wholly composed of it.


* H. H. Howorth, “The Origin and Authority of the Biblical Canon in the Anglican Church,” in JTS, viii, 1906-7, pp. 1-40.

* Coverdale’s Latin-English New Testament of 1538 necessarily follows the Vulgate order.

* On the character and influence of Bede’s expositions, see B. Gigalski, Bruno, Bischof von Segni, Abt von Monte Cassino, Münster, 1898, pp. 210 ff.

* On the history of the detailed exegesis Huther (in Meyer), 81870, is better than the revision by Beyschlag, 81897.

Heisen H. Heisen, Novae hypotheses interpretandae epistolae Jacobi, Bremen, 1739.

* A copy, which has been courteously put at my disposal, is in the Library of Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Meyer Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament begründet von Heinr. Aug. Wilh. Meyer.