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James, the son of Alphaeus, the brother of Jacob, and the near relation of our Lord, called also James the Less, probably because he was of lower stature, or younger, than the other James, the son of Zebedee, is generally allowed to be the writer of this Epistle; and the few that have doubted this have assigned very slight reasons for their dissent, and advanced very weak arguments on the other side. It is recorded in ecclesiastical history, and the book of the Acts of the Apostles confirms the fact, that he generally resided at Jerusalem, superintending the churches in that city, and in the neighbouring places, to the end of his life, which was terminated by martyrdom about ad 62. This epistle appears to have been written but a short time before his death; and it is probable that the sharp rebukes and awful warnings given in it to his countrymen excited that persecuting rage which terminated his life. It is styled Catholic, or General, because it was not addressed to any particular church, but to the Jewish nation throughout their dispersions. Though its genuineness was doubted for a considerable time, yet its insertion in the ancient Syriac version, which was executed at the close of the first, or the beginning of the second century, and the citation of, or allusion to it, by Clement of Rome, Hermas, and Ignatious, and its being quoted by Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, and most of the subsequent ecclesiastical writers, as well as its internal evidence, are amply sufficient to prove the point.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17