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Sometime Master of University College, DurJiatn 

The Rev. FRANCIS BROWN, D.D., D.Litt., LL.D. 

President and Professor of Hebre%u and Cog-nate Lan^niages, 
Union Theological Seminary, Nciu York 

Planned and for Years Edited by 

The Late Rev. Professor SAMUEL ROLLES DRIVER, D.D., D.Litt. 


The Late Rev. Professor CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, D.D., D.Litt. 


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The Rights of Translation and of Reproduction are RescA'ed 


A COMMENTARY like the present draws frankly from 
its predecessors, just as these in their turn used ma- 
terials quarried by earlier scholars, whom they do not 
name on each occasion. The right to do this is won by con- 
scientious effort in sifting previous collections and reproducing 
only what is trustworthy, apt, and instructive for the under- 
standing 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 i^', 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 S and B, as hitherto understood, to present a 
grave, although unique, obstacle to his and Dr. Westcott's 

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^^, 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' to "the early and latter rain" gains a 
greater importance than has generally been observed. 

The summary of the epistle (pages 4/.) 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 rep- 
resent a different line of development from that of the Hel- 
lenistic Christianity which finds expression in Luke, Paul, and 
John. The grounds of the distinction are other than those 
which the Tubingen 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 de- 
pendent 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 Chris- 
tianity 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 be- 
yond 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^ 





I. The Epistle 1-74 

§ I. The Purpose and Contents of the Epistle . . 2-5 
(a) Purpose, p. 2 ; (b) Contents, pp. 2-5. 

§ 2. The Literary Type of the Epistle of James . . 6-18 
Epistle, pp. 6-10 ; Diatribe, pp. 10-16 ; Wisdom-litera- 
ture, pp. 16-17; Protrepticus, p. 18. 

§ 3. Literary Relationships 18-24 

(a) Wisdom-literature, pp. 18/. ; (b) Other Jewish 
works; ApostoUc Fathers, pp. 19-21 ; (c) New Testa- 
ment books, pp. 21-23. 

§ 4. Language 24-27 

§ 5. The Ideas and Historical Background of the 

Epistle 27-43 

(a) The ideas, pp. 28-39 5 (^) The situation, pp. 39-43. 

§ 6. The Origin of the Epistle 43-52 

(a) History of opinion as to the author, pp. 43-47 ; 
{b) Conclusions, pp. 47-52. 

Appendix on Jami:s the Lord's Brother and Other 

Persons Named James 53-74 

§ I. New Testament persons named James, pp. 53/. § 2. 
The history of opinion, pp. 54-59. § 3. The decisive 
considerations, pp. 59-62. § 4. The tradition con- 
cerning James the Lord's brother, (a) The New 
Testament, pp. 62-64. (b) Other tradition, pp. 64-74. 

II. Text 74-86 

§ I. Greek Manuscripts 74-75 

§ 2. Versions 75-84 

§ 3. Use of the Authorities 84-86 




III. History of the Epistle in the Church .... S6-109 
§ I. Absence of Mention jn Writers Before Origen 87-92 

§ 2. The Greek Church 92-95 

§ 3. The Syrian Church 96-100 

§ 4. The Western Church ioa-103 

§ 5. Order of the Catholic Epistles 103-104 

§ 6. Later History 104-109 

IV. Commentaries, Ancient and Modern 110-115 

§ I. Patristic and Medieval 110-113 

(a) Greek, pp. 110-112; (b) Latin, pp. 112/.; 
(c) Syriac, p. 113. 

§ 2. Modern 113-115 


Chapter I 117-185 

■jzxq in the singular, pp. 129-131. 
The meaning of crowns, pp. 150-152. 
The text of i'', pp. 162-164. 

Chapter H 185-225 

Chapter III 226-251 

The wheel of tiature, pp. 236-239. 

Chapter IV 252-282 

"If the Lord will,'' pp.'279-28o. 

Chapter V 282-316 

The reprobation of swearing, pp. 301-303. 
Anointing with oil, pp. 305-307. 

INDEX 317- 



Blass = F. Blass, Grammatik des 
N eutestamentlichen 
Griechisch, -1902. 

Blass-Debrunner = A. Debrunner, 
Friedrich Blass' Gram- 
matik des neutesta- 
mentlichen Griechisch, 
vierte vollig neugear- 
beitete Aufiage, 1913. 

Bultmann = R. Bultmann, Der 
Stil der Paiilinischen 
Predigt und die ky- 
nisch-stoische Diatribe 
(Forschungen zur Re- 
ligion und Literatur 
des Alten und Neuen 
Testaments, xiii), 

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

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

DB = Dictionary of the Bible. 

DCA = W. Smith and S. Cheet- 
ham, A Dictionary of 
Christian Antiquities, 

EB = Encyclopcedia Biblica, 


Gebser = A.R.Geb?>Qr,Der Brief des 
Jakobus, Berlin, 1828. 

GgA = Gbttingische gelehrte An- 

Goodspeed, Index = E. J. Good- 
speed, hidex patristi- 
cus, 1907. 

Hadley-Allen = J. Hadley, A Greek 
Grammar for Schools 
and Colleges, revised 
by F. D. Allen, 1S84. 

Hamack, CaL = A. von Harnack, 
Die Chronologic der 
altchristlichen Littera- 
tur bis Eusebius (Ge- 
schichte der altchrist- 
lichen Litteratur bis 
Eusebius, Zweiter 
Theil), 1897, 1904. 

Hatch, Essays = Edwin Hatch, Es- 
says in Biblical Greek, 

HDB = J. Hastings, A Diction- 
ary of the Bible, 1S98- 

Heisen = H. Heisen, Novae hypo- 
theses inter prctandac 
epistolaeJacobi, Brem- 
en, 1739. 

Herzog-Hauck, PRE = A. Hauck, 
Rcalcncyklopadie fiir 
Protestant ische Theol- 
ogie und Kirche, be- 
griindet von J. J. Her- 
zog, 1896-1913. 



Hort, "Introduction," "Appendix" 
= B. F. Westcott and 
F. J. A. Hort, The 

New Testament in the 
Original Greek: Intro- 
duction, Appendix, 
1881, 21896. 

JE = The Jewish Encyclopedia, 


ITS — The Journal of Theolog- 
ical Studies. 

Kriiger = K. W. Kriiger, Grie- 
chische Sprachlehre fiir 
Schulen, ^1861-2. 

Leipoldt, GnK = J. Leipoldt, Ge- 
schichte des neutesta- 
mentlichen Kanons, 

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

L. ayid S. = H. G. Liddell and R. 
Scott, A Greek-Etiglish 
Lexicon, '1883. 

Mayor = J. B. Mayor, The Epis- 
tle of St. James, 1892, 
^1897, '1910. 

Meyer = Kritisch-exegetischer 
Kommentar iiber das 
Neiie Testament be- 
griitidet von Heinr. 
Aug. Wilh. Meyer. 

J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena = A 
Grammar of New Tes- 
tament Greek. Vol I. 
Prolegomena, 1906, 

NkZ =Neue kirchliche Zeit- 

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

ol. = olim (used to indicate 

Gregory's former nu- 
meration of Greek 

Mss., in Prolegomena, 

OLBT = Old-Latin Biblical Texts, 

Pauly-Wissowa, i?£ = G. Wissowa, 
Paulys Realencyclo- 
pddie der classisclten 
Altertumswissenschaft ; 
neue Bearbeitung, 
I 894-. 

Pott = D. J. Pott, in Novum 
Testamentum Grace, 
editio Koppiana, Got- 
tingen, '1816. 

SB = Studia biblica et ec- 

clesiastica; Essays 
chiefly in Biblical and 
Patristic Criticism, 

Schmidt, Synonymik — J. H. H. 
Schmidt, Synonymik 
der griechischen 
Spracfw, 1876-86. 

Schurer, GJV = E. Schiirer, Ge- 
schichte des jiidischen 
Volkes im Zeitalter 
Jesu Christi, ^1901-9. 

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

Trench, Sytiottyms = R. C. Trench, 
Synonyms of tJte New 
Testament, ^-1894. 

TS — Texts and Studies, Con- 

tributions to Biblical 
and Patristic Litera- 
ture, 1891-. 

TU = Texte und Untersuchun- 

gen ziir Geschichte der 
altchristlichen Liter a- 
tur, 1882-. 



Vg = Vulgate. 

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

Winer = G. B. Winer, A Grain- 
mar of the Idiom of the 
New Testament, Thay- 
er's translation, -1873. 

Zahn, Einleitung = Theodor Zahn, 
Einlcitimg in das Neue 
Testament, ^1906-7. 

GnK = Geschichte dcs 
Kanons, 1888-92. 

Grundriss = Grundriss der 
Geschichte des Netites- 
tamentlichen Kanons, 
1901, -1904. 

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. 



The Epistle of James is a religious and moral tract having -rj h >*•- 
the form, but only the form, of a letter. It contains counsels ' 
and reflections on a variety of topics relating to personal char- 
acter 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 as- 
signed 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, Uving in Palestine in the last quarter of the 
first century or the first quarter of the second. The precise f ^ Cv. 
limits of the period within which it was written cannot be 

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 gener- 
ally, and in some of the ideas, Hellenistic influences are unmis- 
takable and strong. The interweaving of the two strains con- 
tributes 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 ^/a/^'*^ 
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 ,. A/y^^^^ 
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. 

§ I. The Purpose and Contents of the Epistle. 
(a) Purpose. 

The writer of the Epistle of James has in mind in his coun- 
sels 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 gen- 
eral aim of edification. In the selection of topics the writer 
was governed partly by his own special interests at the mo- 
4, ment, 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 
. Vt, ,'^ ' 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 connec- 
tion and progress of thought. The paragraphs are grouped 
loosely under more or less definite points of view, and in chs. 
2 and 4^-5® we find an approach to the fuller discussion of a 
topic from various sides. In some instances the connection be- 
tween 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, i^^- ^at/aeti/, ^^pdv; i^f Xecirofjievoi^ XetVe- 
rai; ii2f- 7retpa(Tfi6u^ 7reipa^6/xevo<i] i^if- Xoyov^ X070U; gi^f. 
Trpoa-evxea-Oe^ 8er]ai<; ; cf. the connection made by ^^'^-'^^ be- 
tween the divergent subjects of chs. 3 and 4). It is notewor- 
thy 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 : (i) 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 mis- 
cellaneous contents together in a sort of unity. 

These general characteristics recall the spirit of the Hellen- 
istic 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 flip- 
pant, but commonly serious even if unconventional, Greek pop- 
ular 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, f 

*P. Wendland, Die hellenistisch-romisclie Kullur in ihren Beziehungen zu Judentum uttd 
Christentum* , IQ12, p. 76 (Diogenes), p. 85 (later moral preachers). 

t Wendland, op. cil., p. 85 ; A. Bonhoffer, Epiktet und das Neue Testament (Religionsge- 
schichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, x), 1911, pp. 331/. 


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 in- 
congruous, 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 can- 
not assume completely to trace the real sequence of his thought. 

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

i^ Epistolary Salutation. 


(i) 1 2-1*. In the formation of character. 

(a) 1 2-4, The real nature of trouble is as an aid to a 

well-rounded character. 

(b) i^-^. Real prayer requires unwavering faith. 

(c) 1^-^^. Poverty is real wealth. 

(d) i^2_ The endurance of trouble brings the crown of life. 

(e) 113-18. The real cause of sin is not temptation sent 

by God, but lies within yourself. 

(2) i"-22'5. In religious instruction and public worship. 

(/) 119-25. 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 28-27, Real worship is inconsistent with reckless 

speech; the best worship is kindly service and 

inner purity. 


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

(i) 2^-1^ For such conduct it is a futile excuse to urge 
that the law of love requires it. 

(j) 2"-26, Equally futile is it to pretend in excuse that 
the possession oi faith dispenses from works. 

II. 3^-18. ON THE teacher's CALLING. 

(a) 31-12. 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) 313-18, 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. 



{!) 4^-5^. Worldliness in rivalry with God as the aim of life. 

(a) 41-12. The cause of the crying evils of life is the pur- 

suit of pleasure, an aim which is in direct rivalry 
with God and abhorrent to him. 

(b) 4!'-^^. The practical neglect of God seen in the 

trader's presumptuous confidence in himself ; and 
the futility of it. 

(c) 51-6. The practical neglect of God seen in the cruelty 

and luxury of the rich; and the appalling issue 
which awaits it. 

(2) 5^-2". Counsels for the Christian conduct of life. 

(d) 5^-". Constancy and forbearance ; and their reward. 

(e) 5^2-^^. The religious expression of strong emotion; 

and the efficacy of prayer. 
(/) 5^^" 2°. 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 i*, 
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" (rat? 
hdiheica jtvXavi iv Ty Stacnropa) 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 treat- 
ment 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 lit- 
erature, see R. Hirzel, Der Dialog, 1895, esp. i, pp. 300-308, 352-358, 
^ ii, p. 8; H. Peter, Der Brief in der romischen Litteratur (Abhand- 
lungen der phil.-hist. Classe der Kgl. Sachsischen Gesellschaft der 
Wissenschaften, xx), 1901; K. Dziatzko, art. "Brief," in Pauly-Wis- 
sowa, RE, 1899; A. Deissmann, Bibclskidien, 1895 (Eng. transl. 1901), 
art. "Epistolary Literature," in EB ; H. Jordan, Ceschichte der altchrist- 
lichen Literatur, 1911. 

* C. F. G. Heinrici, Der Ullerarische Charakler der neuteslamentUchcn Schrlften, 1908, 
brings out many noteworthy points of view with regard to the varioui aspects of these ques- 
tions, and was one of the first in recent times to call attention to their importance. 


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, 
t322 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. Epi- 
curus, t27o B.C., sought to strengthen the fellowship of his dis- 
ciples by writing letters, of some of which the addresses at least 
are known to us (irpb^ tou? iv AlyvTrra) (^i'\ov?, 7r/3o? Tov<i iv 
'A(TLa (f)i\ov<?, Trpo? toi)? iv AafjbyjrdKq) </>t'Xou9, tt/oo? toix; iv 
MvTiXrjvTj (f)Lkoa-6(liov^) * and the disciples followed the mas- 
ter'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 

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.f 

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 ex- 
pansion of Hellenism. Once all higher culture had been con- 
centrated at Athens, and a group there gathered for grave con- 
versation presented the normal relation of author and audience 
which the book affected to record and perpetuate. Now edu- 
cated 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 pubHcation. Philosophers (especially the Epicureans and 

* H. Usener, Epicurea, 1887, pp. 91, 133. f R. Hirzel, Der Dialog, i, p. 173. 

i So Hirzel, op. cil. i, pp. 352/. 


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 "grad- 
ually gained the position held by printed sermons and books of 
practical edification among modern Christians." * 

The rhetorical writers found it necessary to occupy them- 
selves 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 morahsts, philologists, jurists, 
physicians made their contributions, and in which it is often 
hard to know whether a given letter carefully written on a seri- 
ous subject was originally intended for pubHcation 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 de- 
sired 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 let- 
ters, as well as speeches, incidentally to historical narratives 

* H. Peter, op. cil. p. 19 ; cf. E. Norden, Die aniike Kunslprosa', 1909, ii, p. 538, note 2. 
t R. Hercher, Epislolographi grcBci, pp. 1-16. J Hirzel, op. cil. ii, p. 8. 

I Hirzel, op. cil. i, p. 358. || Hirzel, op. cil. i, p. 305. 


tended to promote the pseudonymous composition of independ- 
ent 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' exer- 
cise in the epistolary art. A large proportion of the many hun- 
dred letters assembled in the great collection of R. Hercher, 
Epistolographi grcBci, Paris, 1873, are deemed to be such rhe- 
torical 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, f 

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. J 

The epistolary form which James has was thus altogether 
natural and appropriate for a tract, and is fully accounted for 

• A. Deissmann, Bibelsludien, p. 234. t Schiirer, GJV*, iii, pp. 624/. (§ ss, VII, 8). 

X H. Jordan, Geschichte der allchristlichen Lileralur, igii, pp. 123-172. 


by the literary custom of the time without the necessity of sup- 
posing 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 relation- 
ships of the document itself, which shows in its contents noth- 
ing 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") de- 
veloped 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 {cj. Horace, Epist. ii, 2, 
1. 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 Hterary 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 

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


knowledge has to be drawn chiefly from later representatives 
of the type.* 

PaulWendland, Die hcUcnistisch-romischc Kullur in ihren Beziehungen 
zu Judentum iind Christentiim"-, 191 2, pp. 75-96, "Die philosophische 
Propaganda und die Diatribe" ; P. Wendland, " Philo und die kynisch- 
stoische Diatribe," in Wendland and Kern, Beitrdge zur Geschichte 
dcr griech. Philosophic und Religion, 1895; J. Bernays, Liician und 
die Kyniker, 1879; R. Bultmann, Der Stil der paidinischen Predigt 
und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe (Forschungen ziir Religion und Litera- 
tur des Alten und Neuen Testaments, xiii), 1910; Teletis reliquiae, 
ed. Hense^, 1909 ; C. F. G. Heinrici, Der liUerarische Character der n. t. 
Schriften, 1908, pp. 9-12 ; S. DiU, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus V 
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 Kunsiprosa-, 1909, i, pp. 1 29-131; ii, pp. 556-558. 

In Rome under the empire this popular preaching associated 
itself closely with literary training, and produced, or deeply in- 
fluenced, works which have survived. From the common char- 
acteristics 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 effective- 
ness and retained them for centuries without substantial alter- 
ation. 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 phi- 
losopher Seneca is the diatribe-style" ;t 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 utter- 
ances of Musonius and other less well-known personages of the 

* 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/-. with many 
references to sources and literature. 

t Wendland, Hellenistisch-romisclie Kultur', p. 79. 


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 gen- 
erally 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 in- 
fluence 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 aXX epel w, aXX ipovvrai, epoivr av 

. , rjtim, or the simple ^770-1) and the brief question and answer 
{e. g. Teles, p. 10, lines 6/.: 'yepcov yeyova<; ; firj i^rjTei ra rov 
veov. aa6€vr)<; iraXiv ; fir) ^'^tcl ra rod laxvpov . . . airopo^t 
'koXlv yejova<; ; /jlt] ^'qret ttjv rov eviropov Biairav) . Good in- 

*; stances of both are found in Jas. 2^^ ^- and Jas. 51^ *-. These 
traits serve well to illustrate the aim of immediate impression, 
appropriate to popular hortatory address, which has largely con- 
trolled the formation of this literary type. 

On the style of the diatribe, see R. Bultmann, Der Stil der pauli- 
nischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoischc Diatribe, 1910, where will be 
found a very full collection of detailed illustrations of the character- 
istics 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 Hein- 
rici, Der liUerarischc Charakter der neiUestamentlichen Schrijlcn, 1908, 
PP- 74/- 

Origen, Contra Celsutn, vi, 2, points out the effectiveness of this 
popular and hortatory quality in Epictetus's style as compared with 
Plato : xal et xP'h T^ ToXiATJaavTa etxelv, bXifouq pisv wvijasv, eV ye wvtqjev, 
■?) xeptxaXTv-fj? lxtTexT]5eu[JLivT] ITk&ioiwt; xal twv icoepaxXTjafw? ^px- 
aivTWV Xis'? ' TCXeiovai; Ss y) twv euTsXesTepov atia xal xpaYt^aTt/.u<; xal 
laToxaa;j.iv(o? twv tcoXXwv [/. e. in a plain, practical, and popular style] 
5t5a^dvTWv v-cd Ypott^ixvtwv. I'a-t'. YoGv iSetv Tbv [asv IlXdTwva ev x^P<^^ '^^^ 
Soxouvxwv elvoti (5)iXo>s6ywv (a6vov, -ubv Se 'Exixttitov xal bizh twv tux^vtwv 
xal pox-f]v xpbc; -zh w<})£>.£Tcj6o:t ex^vxwv eau|^6tJL£vov, abOoii^vuv xTJq iT.h 
Tuv Xdywv ot'jToO [ieXTiioc;£0)c. 

* Norden, Anlike Kunstprosa', ii, pp. 556-558. 


Of the other habitual phrases and modes of expression which 
give a well-marked and easily recognisable form to the diatribe, 
very many are observable in James. Thus, such formulas as 
/XT] ifkavaade (i^"^), deXei^i Se jvcovat (2-°), ^XeircL'; (2-2), opdre 
(2^*), iVre (ii9), Ti 6(f)eXo<i (2^^' ^^), ov xPV to introduce a con- 
clusion (3!"), Sto Xeyei with a quotation (4''), t^ou {^^^ ^ s^-''-^-"), 
all have either exact or substantial parallels in the recurrent 
phrases of this literature. The transitions are often made in 
the same way as with the Greek sermonisers — by raising an 
objection (2^), by a question (2^^ 4^ 5^^), by dye (413 ^1). The 
imperatives are not only numerous (nearly sixty times in the 
108 verses), but, as in the diatribes, are sometimes ironical 
(5S perhaps 4®). Rhetorical questions (e. g. 2*' °' ^*-^^ 3"^- 4^^-) 
are numerous, and 4^^- shows the characteristic form of state- 
ment by *' catechism-like" question and answer. The apos- 
trophe to the traders and the rich (4^*-5^) is quite in the style 
of the diatribe, and does not in the least imply that the persons 
addressed were expected to be among the readers of the tract. 
Even personifications are not lacking (i^^ 2^^ 4^ 5^^)> although 
they are less elaborate than in the Greek sermons, where they 
constitute a favourite ornament. Figures are abundant in all 
kinds of popular address, but in those of James there is direct 
resemblance to the diatribes. Some comparisons are conven- 
tional, traceable for centuries previous in Greek writers (espe- 
cially, with others, the rudder, the bridle, the forest fire, in 3^-^) ; 
as in the diatribes, many are drawn from the works of nature, 
others from the common life of man (i-^ 2^^ 5^), and they are 
sometimes double or with repetition (3^-«' "-12). Examples from 
famous individuals are found here, too (Abraham, Rahab, Job, 
Elijah), and they are, as with the Greek preachers,* stock in- 
stances, well-known representatives of the qualities mentioned. 

In general the Greek preachers were well aware that in their 
diatribes they were awakening sinners and inculcating familiar 
but neglected principles, not engaged in investigating truth or 
in carrying thought further to the conquest of the unknown. 

* See E. Weber, "De Dione Chrysostomo Cynicorum sectatore," in Leipziger Studien, x, 
1887, pp. 227/. 


Not originality but impressiveness was what they aimed at. 
The argument is from what the readers already know and ought 
, Q to feel. They appeal to analogy {cj. Jas. a^"*-!^), to experience 
i^ "^ ('cA- 3^4^'^)j 3,nd to common sense {cj. Jas. passim). Harsh 
\>^'"^ address to the reader is not absent in James, and « avdpmire 

^ Keve (2"°), fxoLxct^.^^e'i (4O are not unlike the a> ToXaiTrcope^ 
j fjuope, stulte, of the diatribe. The writers of diatribes were 
' ' fond of quotations from poets and sages, but these were used 
Ji^ i not for proof of the doctrine but incidentally, and often for 
^/Vm^ ^^^ I ornament of the discourse. So is it usually with James (i"- " 
' " 4^ 5"' -° for ornament ; 2^ to state an inadequate excuse, which 
is overruled), in contrast to the frequent use in Paul and Mat- 
thew of the 0. T. for proof. 
\jj'-'\ ^.. Other traits of style show resemblance. As in the diatribes, 
^ .\ '^ there is a general controlling motive in the discussion, but no 
f^M firm and logically disposed structure giving a strict unity to 

the whole, and no trace of the conventional arrangement recom- 
mended 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 i^-i^. 19-26 217-26 311-12. i3-i8_ xhe char- 
acteristic methods of concluding a section are found: by a 
^ sharp antithesis, i"^^ 2^'- -^ 31^-1* 4^2. ^y g, question, 4^- 5^; by 
a quotation, 5^0 ; by ov xpv, 3^°- A key- word often runs 
through a passage, or is repeated so as to give a sense of 
reference back; so 7r€ipaafjb6<; 12-"^ croc^Ca 3"-i8, ^r)Xo9 3^-42, 
'X^aX.Lvaycoyelv lyXoicra-av i26 ^2, Xoyo^; ii8-23^ vofio'i iXevdepCa^ 
1 25 2^-, KpCveiv 4"' i2_ 
O Like a diatribe, the epistle begins with a paradox (i^) and 
contains others (i^** 2^). The general principle that popular esti- 
mates 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^°-^^). Irony is not lacking (2"-" 
^ 5^-^), 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 liter- 


ature. 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^^-), full of illustration and concrete appli- 
cation — 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 sig- 
nificance. They show how the specific character of this Chris- 
tian 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 
(T'TrovBaiO'yeXoLov. 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," "be- 
loved brethren," whereas the Greek preacher thought of indi- 
viduals, 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 per- 

1 6 JAMES 

manent trait of the Cynic diatribe.* James shows a certain 
contact with it in his serious warning (4^"^-) and in his apostro- 
phes (4^-5 *), but his usual tone is mild, and one might almost 
suspect that the injunctions to emphasise the gentle nature of 
true wisdom (3^^ ^■) were aimed in direct condemnation of the 
Cynic's rough and censorious habit. In view of Jas. 5^^^ it is 
worth notice that for the frequent oaths, which give a pic- 
turesque, if slightly vulgar, force to the language of the dia- 
tribes, 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 compari- 
son 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 so- 
ciety — the arena, the theatre, the market-place, war, handi- 
crafts — 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 ap- 
pears 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 Hel- 
lenistic diatribe. In the Book of Proverbs endless contrasted 

* On this trait of the Cynics, see G. A. Gerhard, Phuinix von Kolophon, igog, pp. 33-39, 
where many illustrations are given. 


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 paral- 
lelism ; 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 an- 
cient wisdom, is utterly different from that of James's exhorta- 
tion to his audience of "beloved brethren." Jas. i^" might pos- 
sibly seem of the type of Proverbs, and 4^- ^^ 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"-i8. 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 56-1^ can in some respects be compared with Jas. 3, while 
Wisd. 7" t. (an especially unsemitic passage) recalls Jas. 315-17^ 
In the Wisdom-hterature, as a literary type, it is impossible 
to place James. The epistle is, rather, a diatribe, showing 
how that highly serviceable t5^e, 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 efifective ways of putting his own 
Christian and Jewish teaching. 

The diatribe was highly significant for Christian preaching, c. g. 
Chrysostom, Horn, in Joh. iii, 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 Karyslos (Philologische Untersuchungcn, iv), 1881, 

•This diflterence, at least, is noted by Zahn, Einleitung>, i, p. 80: "Ohne dass man von 
einer sonderlichen Geistesverwandtschaft des Jk mit diesem Jesus reden kcinnte." 



PP- S'^-Sj-y 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 Fla- 
vins Josephtis heigelegte Schrijt Ucher die Hcrrschaft der Verntmft {IV 
Makkabderbucli), Breslau, 1869. 

A third type of Hellenistic literature, besides the epistle and the 
diatribe, might suggest itself as a possible source for the literary char- 
acter of James. The Protrepticus, or parenetic tract, was a form of 
hortatory writing of which the earliest examples are the two exhorta- 
tions of Isocrates, Ad Nicoclem and Nicocles. More ethical and less 
political is the •jcapaivsac?, or prcecepiio, of Pseudo- Isocrates, Ad De- 
monicmn, 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 Ches- 
terfield'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/., 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 influ- 
ence. 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 "epideic- 
tic" literature of mere display. See P. Hartlich, "De exhortationum 
a Graecis Romanisque scriptarum historia et indole," in Leipziger 
Sludien, xi, 1889, pp. 209-333; T. C. Burgess, Epideictic Literature 
(Studies in Classical Philology, vol. iii), Chicago, 1902, pp. 22gjf. 
note 2; P. Wendland, Anaximenes von Lampsakos, 1905; F. Blass, 
Atlische Beredsamkeif^, 1892, ii, pp. iii, 271 Jf. 

§ 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 (Prov. 3^^) a quo- 
tation is made in Jas. 4^. Some of the more striking parallels 
are to be found in Prov. ii^° ("the fruit of righteousness," 
cf. Jas. 3^^), 19^ (against blaming God, cf. Jas. i^^), 27^ ("boast 
not of the things of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what 
the morrow will bring forth," cf. Jas. 4^^"^®), 17^ 27-1 (testing 
human quahties, cf. Jas. i^), 29-" ("a man that is swift in his 
words," cf. Jas. ii^). 

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^-1^ 20^-*' ^^-^^ 22-^ 2?>'^^-"^ 35 [32] '^-^), 
wisdom the gift of God (i^"^"), prayer with a divided heart (i^^), 
pride (lo^-^^), the uncertainty of life (10^'' ii^^' ^0, blaming God 
(15"-'^°), man as made in God's image and ruling over the beasts 
(ly^*-)) the eclipse of the sun and the changes of the moon 
(j^3i 27"). Other passages remind us of the conditions im- 
plied in James; so 4^°, the widow and orphan; 7^^, visiting the 
sick; 13"'-, oppression of the poor by the rich; i8^^ on grudging 
beneficence; 38^ ^^ 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 i" {cf. Jas. 4" 5^) ; 2* {cf. Jas. 41*) ; 2^°-'^°, 
the oppression of the poor; 3^-®, tribulation as a test sent by 
God ; 5^, pride and wealth, and the transitory nature of wealth ; 
7'^ ^-y comparison with light and the sun. No case implies i 

{h) The style and language of the Epistle of James can well 
be illustrated, as already shown, from those of the Hellenistic 

* For references, see Schiirer, GJV*, iii, p. 220 (§ 32, III, r). 


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 (Alex- 
andria, Rome). 

H. A. A. Kennedy, "The Hellenistic Atmosphere of the Epistle of 
James," in Expositor, eighth series, vol. ii, 191 1, pp. 37-52, is a use- 
ful collection of some of the more striking parallels from Hellenistic 

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.f 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 legaHsm, 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 teach- 
ings of the Gospels are to be found. James is a far more highly 
educated man than the author of the Testaments, but the Jew- 
ish 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 

•For parallels from Philo, see Mayor, ch. 4; Siegfried, P/jj7oiio» .4/ej;a»(irio, 1873, pp. 310- 
314; for the Christian writers, Mayor, ch.^2. 
t See the collection of parallels in Mayor, ch. 4. 


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^ '^ ayaOr] SidvoLu ovk e^j^et Svo <y\oi(7<Ta^ €v\oyia<i 
Kal Kurdpa^^ v^p€(o<; ical TLfirj^^ r^crvx^Ca^ koX rapa')(ri<i^ viro- 
KpCaeo)^ Kal a\i]deia<i^ [Trez/ia? koI ttXovtov^ dXka fiiav e^^et 
Trepl 7rdvTa<; elXiKpLvrj Kal Kadapdv Stddeaiv, cf. Jas. 2>^- ^° ; 

Test. Nephth. S' koI 6 Sta/3oXo9 (f)ev^eTai acj) vjxwv^ cf. Jas. 4^ ; 

Test. Dan 6- iyyiaare tw Oew, cf. Jas 4* ; 

Test. Zab. 8^ ocrov yap dv6pa)7ro<; (T'Tr\ay')(v liberal eh rov 
ifKr^a-iov avrov^ rocrovrov Kal 6 Kvpuo^ eh avrov^ cf. Jas. 2^^ ; 

Test. Jos. 2^ ev hma ireipacr {xoh Sokl/xov anreSeL^e p-e Kal ev 
irao'LV avToh ep^aKpoOvprjaa • otl /xeya (pdppaKov eariv rj p,aK- 
poOvp,ta Kal TToWd ayadd hihcoaiv rj inrop.ovrj^ cf. Jas. i^"*; 

Test. Benj. 4^ there ovv^ reKva p,0Vj rov dyadov dvSp6<; to 
reXo?, cf. Jas. 5". 

We find also, in passages of indubitable Jewish origin, strong 
similarity in the emphasis on sincerity (aTrXoV?;?), mercy (eXeo?), 
peace, and humility, on envy {<^d6vo^), anger, and arrogance, 
and on other virtues and vices. And in the Testaments the 
chief interest in the law (which is called X0709 dXrjOeia^, 
Test. Gad 3^, cf. Jas. i^^) 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 knowl- 
edge 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 refer- 
ences to Abraham (Heb. ii^-io. "-19) a^d Rahab (Heb. ii'O as 
heroes of faith, and the expression Kapirov elprjviKov . . . 8l- 
Kaioavvrj<i (Heb. 12", cf. Jas. 3^^), are the most important 
parallels, and they prove nothing. From the Apocalypse the 
most important is the promise of 2^°, yivov 7ri<TTo? dxpc davdrov 
KoX Scoa-Q) aoL rov (TT€<^avov Tr}<i ^w/}?, but this cannot be in- 
tended by James in i^-. 

A closer relation is observable between James and i Peter, 
and the question of priority has been strongly argued on both 
sides. The two books represent opposite poles of thought. 
The thought of i 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: 

I Peter James 
l' (Staaiuopa) I' 

i«f-, cf. 4" I'f- 

I" lis 

I" (Is. 40«-9) i'°f- 

2' (dTCoOstJisvot ouv) I'l 

48 (Prov. 1012 [Heb.]) 5-° 

S^f- (Prov. 3") 4«f- 

5' (ivTlJTTJTe) 4' 

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 i Peter have come under com- 
mon 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 ser- 
mons as well as for Christian preaching are a sufficient back- 
ground to account for all the facts. It is, indeed, remark- 
able that of the small number of direct allusions to O. T. 
language in James, three are found paralleled in i Peter. But 


in two cases (Is. 40^-^ Prov, lo^^) the utter difference in use 
makes dependence on either side highly improbable, while the 
third (Prov. 3^*) 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 
I 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 Jakobiis, 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.f 
Just as the typical style of the Greek diatribe persisted in rec- 
ognisable 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 mod- 
ern 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 Hel- 
lenistic diatribe and by the sermons and religious tracts of 

• All three citations depart from the LXX by substituting [o] deo? for /cvpios. 
t The relation of James to Clement of Rome, Herraas, etc., ii discussed below, pp. 87-QO, 
in connection with the history of the Epistle of James in the church. 


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 per- 
sonality whom we learn to know in our epistle is in part ex- 
plained 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 Koine 
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, f His forms and syntax are cor- 
rect, and appropriate to written discourse ; there is less occasion 
than in Paul or in the Synoptic Gospels to turn from the ordi- 
nary grammars to the colloquial Greek of the papyri for illus- 
tration 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 a7e vvv (with plural), eoiKev, 
XPV, '^po'i with accusative {(f)66vov) equivalent to the adverb 
{^OovepSis:), aireipaaTO^ kukcov^ airap'x^^ tk. Certain allitera- 
tions and plays on words are perhaps intentional, thus: i^ 
ireipaa iiol'i ireptTrearjTe TroLKiXoi'i, i^* a7r€Xi]\vd€v Koi eu^eW 
eireXadeTo, 2^ hieKpidriTe . . . Kptrai, 3^ /xiKpov /ieXo? ia-rlv 
Kol fieydXa av')(e'i, 4" (f)at,vo/jLev7] . . . a(f)avt,^ofiev7) (for oth- 
ers, see Mayor ^, pp. cclii^.). Especially in his figurative lan- 
guage the writer shows his command of well-chosen and ex- 
pressive words. The vivacity, simple directness, and general 
attractiveness and effectiveness of his style are conspicuous even 
to the reader of the English version. The relation of the style, 
on its Hellenistic side, to the diatribe has already been dis- 
cussed (pp. 12-16). 

At the same time, long and difficult words are rather seldom 
used, no tendency appears to elaboration of grammatical struc- 
ture or to complication of sentences or periods, and there is 

* p. Wendland, "Philo und die kyniscli-stoische Diatribe," in Wendland and Kern, Beitrdge 
zur Gescliichte d. griecli. Philosophie und Religion, 1895. 

t Mayor, chs. 8 and g, treats fully of the grammar and style; note also his "Index of 
Greek Words." 


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 (Lk. i^-^) 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 con- 
temporary 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 salu- 
bribiis prceceptis refcrta, he continues: Nee enim rcferre videtur usqtie- 
quaque majcstatcm illam et gravilatem apostolicam. Nee hehraismi tan- 
tum quantum ah apostolo Jacobo qui fuerit episcopus Hierosolymitanus 
expeclaretur . This guarded statement was repeated by Luther in the 
following form {Resolutiones Lutherianae super propositionibus suis Lip- 
siae disputatis, 1519): Stilus epistolae illius longc est infra apostolicam 
majestatem nee 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 i 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 
0. 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. (^pvoo, ivdXio<;^ evTreiO'^'i, icfytjfjLepo'i^ dprjaKO<i^ 
KUT'qcfjeLa) . 

Not only through this hint from his vocabulary, but by re- 
peated direct allusion to the language of the Greek translation 
is it made clear that James knew the LXX.f Thus i^° *• is 
based on Is. 40^ '■ ; in 2 ^^ he uses the language of Gen. 22-' ' ; in 

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

t Cf. H. A. A. Kennedy, op. cil. p. 39. 


2" quotes Gen. 15^ ; in 4^ Prov. 3^^ ; 5" suggests Ps. 103^ ; while 
many other single phrases occur in which the writer clearly be- 
trays his familiarity with the LXX (see Westcott and Hort's 
list of "Quotations from the Old Testament," p. 607). In 
several cases (notably 2^3 ^/Xo? deov, 520) 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 ac- 
quaintance with the Hebrew original. It may be added that 
one of the two or three formal quotations (4^, the only quota- 
tion introduced by 57 'ypa(f)r] Xeyei) 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 aKpoaTrj<; eTTLkr^a- ixovrf^ (i^^), /cpiral StaXoytaficov 
TTovripoiv (2^) ; perhaps also the less strange vojio'i i\ev9epia<i 
([j25j 212)^ KocTfio^ T?}? a8LKia<; (3^), to irpoacoTrov rrj'i yeve- 
o-ew? avrov (i^s) ought to be included. The use of ev in 3' 
may perhaps be a Hebraism. In 5^^ (Trpoaevxy irpoa-qv^aro) 
the writer is probably not imitating the Hebrew infinitive ab- 
solute ; but the Christian iv tu> ovofiart (51°- !■*) may perhaps be 
called a Hebraism, and TroLijral Xoyov (i--) would probably 
have a different meaning in secular Greek. 

But there are many cases of the use of Biblical phrases, 
correct but slightly unhellenic* Thus ek fiaprvpLou (5^)^ i\o- 
yiaOr] ek SiKULoavvijv {2^^), the frequency of t^ov (six times, as 
against nine in all Paul's epistles), iroielv eXeo? {2^^), iroieiv 
elpijvrjv (3^^), VTrdyere iv elprjvr) (2^°), ev Trda-ai^ TaL<i 6hol<; avrov 
(i^), fiaKdpLO<i avrjp {i^"^), opcfiavov^ Kal %^/oa? (i"0, Trpocrci)- 
7ro\r)fi.-\Jr{ac<; (2^), TrpoaoiTroXTjfXTrreire (2^), to koXov ovofxa to 
€7rcKX.T]6ev icf) vfid<i (2'), drjpicov re Kal TreTeiVMv epireTbiv re 
Kal ivaXicov (3^), tou^ KaO' o/jbOLCoatv Oeov yeyovora^ {3^), y^o^" 
'XaXihe'i (4^), KaOapicraTe y^elpa'i (4^), eU Ta wTa Kvpiov 2a- 
^aci)0 (54), iv rjfjiepa a-^ayrj^ (5^), Trpoifiov Kal o'yjniJiov (5''), 
TToXva-TrXayxvo'i (51^), are some of the characteristic expres- 
sions of this sort. 

* On such expressions, see J. H. Moulton, Prolesomena, pp. lo/. 


The theory that the Epistle of James is a translation from an Aramaic 
or Hebrew original has from time to time been put forward (references 
in Mayor', p. cclx, note i), most recently by J. Wordsworth in his dis- 
cussion of the Latin Codex Corbeiensis (ff) in SB, i, 1885, pp. 142-150. 
The usual arguments have been a priori, on the groimd that James the 
Lord's brother must have written Aramaic. Wordsworth found note- 
worthy textual variants in ff together with some cases of very free 
translating, and tried to explain both phenomena by the adventurous 
supposition that the Greek and Latin texts give two independent ver- 
sions of the Aramaic original. But the textual variants are adequatelj^, 
and more easily, explained on the ordinary principles of textual criticism, 
while the free translations do not at all imply any other original than 
the current Greek text in a form much like Codex Vaticanus. Words- 
worth's theory is criticised by Mayor, ch. 10, and Zahn, Einleitimg, 
§ 6, note 6. 

On the other side, nothing in the epistle suggests that it was not 
written in Greek, and there is much, including plays on words (xafpetv, 
Xapav, i'^-)i alliteration (i^ 2,^, and perhaps elsewhere), a probable 
Greek metrical quotation (I'O, the use of the LXX, and many Greek 
expressions not easily retranslatable into a Semitic language, which 
taken together make it morally certain that Greek was the original 
language in which the epistle was written. 

§ 5. The Ideas and Historical Background of the 


On the ideas of the Epistle of James reference should be made (be- 
sides the commentaries and books on N. T. theology and the history 
of the apostolic age) to Woldemar G. Schmidt, Der Lehrgehalt des Jaco- 
busbriefcs, 1869; P. Feine, Der Jakohisbrief nach Lehranschauungcn 
undEntstehiingsverhdltnissen, 1893 ; E. Grafe, Die Stelhingnnd Bedeiitung 
des Jakobusbriefes in der Entwickehmg des Urchristentums, 1904; B. 
Weiss, Der Jakobusbrief tind die tteiiere Kritik, 1904 ; E. Kiihl, Die 
Stelhmg des Jakobusbriefes zum aUtestamentlichen Gesetz tind zur Paidi- 
nischen Rechtjeriigungslehre, 1905; B. Bartmann, St. Paiilus und St. 
Jacobus iiber die Rechtjerligung (Biblische Studien, ii), Freiburg, 1897. 

The most striking fact about this epistle is the paucity in 
it of allusions and ideas and interests which were peculiar to 
any particular phase of early Christianity and which would 
indicate the origin and date of the writing. The book is by no 
means colourless, either in its religious or its moral aspects, 
but it is, for the most part, of very general applicability, a trait 
which gives it its curiously modern sound. This circumstance 


has given rise to a great divergence of critical opinion about 
the book, and the task of the critic is to find the place and time 
at which the absence of such references can be best accounted 
for without doing injustice to the few positive indications which 
the book contains. 

It is, indeed, true that in a tract like this, not sent to meet 
the needs of any particular moment or crisis in a definite church, 
but aiming at the edification of any Christians into whose hands 
it might fall, a general treatment and but little allusion to 
specific conditions might be expected. Further, in any short 
tract of practical rather than systematic character not all sides 
of the writer's thought will be represented. Yet in James the 
discussion relates to so great a number of eminently concrete 
matters, and takes in so wide a range of religious thought, that 
it can hardly fail to give us a tolerable notion of the main 
ideas which were most important to the writer's religious life. 
In this respect it will bear comparison with many of the epistles 
of Paul or the Apostolic Fathers. We have a right to believe 
that the epistle offers a picture, not indeed complete, but yet 
fair and trustworthy, of the writer's religious position. And 
for that, as well as for the outward circumstances in which he 
wrote, the silences of the epistle are highly significant and must 
be given full weight. 

The historical background of the epistle has two aspects: 
(a) the religious ideas which underlie the writer's practical re- 
ligious exhortations, and (b) the general character and situation 
of the Christians, as known to the writer and implied in the book. 

(c) The Ideas. 

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 distin- 
guish him from early Christians generally, whether of Jemsh 
or Gentile origin. He nowhere betrays any pride in or loyalty 
to the Jewish people (contrast Paul, Rom. 9'-^, Eph. 2"-i-, etc.), 
never hints at any duties to the temple or its sacrifices, gives 
no sign that he observes or values the Pharisaic ideals of puri- 


fication 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 fun- 
damental 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 (c/. 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 pos- 
sibility 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 (r/. Acts 2120), 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 Chris- 
tianity at Gentile as well as at Jewish centres. We may fairly I 
conclude that the writer was not a partisan "Jewish Christian." 
The writer's main ideas of Jewish origin can easily be put to- 
gether 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^^ 3^) and of the universe (i"), 
who is holy (i"), from whom only good gifts come to men, and 
who is the source of all good (i^> ^'), in whose hands are all our 
ways (415). God is merciful (5"), hears prayer (1=*-^ 4- '■ 5"-^*), 
forgives sin (51^' ^o). A Judgment is coming upon all men {2^^ 
412 55. 9)^ and it is our duty strictly to observe God's law 
( 1 21-25 28-12 411)^ of which a knowledge has been given us and 
by which we shall be judged (2^-). A favourable issue for any 
man in this Judgment is called "justification" {z-^- ■* '■). To j 


I be "saved" and to be "justified" seem to refer to the same 
experience (2^*- ^*, cf. i^i 412 520). The Avriter plainly thinks of 
this justification as given to a sincerely good man who loves 
God (1^2 2^). Such a man will be repentant for his imperfec- 
tions (5"), and will receive the forgiveness (51*) of a merciful 
Lord and Father (3^). It is, of course, assumed that the persons 
in question are, or profess to be, men of faith (2^^ ^■), members 
of the people of God (i^) ; 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 (i^^) ^nd to the inheritance of a kingdom (2^). 

To possess the Law of God, which is able to save our souls 
(i^i), is a privilege and joy (i^^ 2^"^). In this law the ten com- 
mandments and other precepts of the O. T. occupy a chief 
place (2^-"), however much they may or may not be supple- 
mented by other teaching and by Christian interpretation. 

The devil (4'^) and our own wicked impulses (i^^ ^■) bring us 
to sin, and all men do sin (3-) ; unforgiven sin issues in death 
(ji5 ^20)^ aj^(j lY^Q torment of a future punishment is mentioned 
(5^-^). God requires complete devotion (esp. 4^"^°), a faith in 
himself which does not waver in its determination to hold fast 
to him (i^-^) in spite of trials (i--*- ^2), A sharp contrast exists 
between God and the world (4^), heaven and earth (3^^, and 
with the world and the earth the writer associates the realm of 
demons (3^^). 

Wisdom is a gift of God, and that it is indispensable for men 
in general, and particularly for teachers (3^^'^'), is taken for 
granted (i^). Among the duties prominent in the writer's mind 
are care for the poor, sick, and needy (i^^ 2^''- 5^^), attention 
to the erring (5^*^), impartiality to poor and rich (2*-*), peace- 
ableness and gentleness (120 f. ^"-is), manifold self-restraint in 
speech {1^^ 32-12 4H-12 ^9. 12)^ 

The writer has a strong sense of human personal responsi- 
bility, 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 (i^^- ^^ a^^. i*-26 313). a living faith 
can be recognised by the good works of the believer (2^^). 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 contrcist of heavenly 
and earthly (3'0 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^), and have high privilege (i*) ; the rich are fortunate only 
when they lose their wealth (i^''), they are selfish, lacking in the 
requisite complete devotion to God, and cruel (5^"®) ; and God 
hates the proud (4'^' ^°). The desire for riches and pleasure 
leads to every evil (4^-^) and alienates from God (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 con- 
stitutes 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 docu- 
ment, 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 unimpor- 
tance for his vital religion. 

In addition to this Jewish body of thought the epistle con- 
tains a few references to specifically Christian beliefs. The 
writer describes himself (lO 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^). 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^"^). That he 
also means Christ by "the Lawgiver and Judge" (4^^), and 
"the Judge" (5') is perhaps not hkely, but the fair name which 
they bear and which is blasphemed by the rich who oppress 
them (2O is undoubtedly that of Christ, and it is probably in 
his name (5^^) 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 crea- 
tures (i^*), 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 (i^). 

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 es- 
chatological side of the writer's thought comes out. The Chris- 
tian elements are entirely germane to the ideas of Jewish origin 
and fuse with the latter in one consistent and comprehensible 

That the Epistle of James was written not by a Christian at all but 
by a Jew, and that it has suffered interpohxtion at i' and 2', 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'epitre de Jacques est-elle I'oeuvre d'un Chretien? " in Revue de VHis- 
toire des Religions, xxxii, 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 : 

(i) The interpolation of the words referring to Christ in i' is not 
yi suggested by anything in the sentence. In 2> 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 pos- 
sible for a Jew is unsuccessful. Note also the surely Christian refer- 
ence to "the elders of the church" (51^. Again, if the discussion of 
faith and works in 2^^-"-^ implies a polemic against Paul or Paulinists, 
that is conclusive for the Christian origin of the epistle; and the 
position of recognised primary significance assxmied for faith in i' 
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 abnost, 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 
T]ieol. Stiidien und Kritihen, Ixix, 1896, pp. 747-768; Harnack, CaL, 
i, 1897, pp. 485-491; Zahn, Einleitung, 1897, §8, note 7; Mayor", 
1910, pp. cxcii-cciii. 

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 ^ . i 

partisan traits, we are struck by the absence of many elements ' ■. i*^ 
which quickly became common, and some which are universal, in 
other early Christianity. First, and most noticeable, is the ab- 
sence of any mention whatever of the death of Christ. There 
is no reference to it either as constituting a problem (cf. Lk. 
2413-27^ Acts 223 3I8 173 2623^ I Cor. i22), 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 Apos- 
tolic 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^) is evi- 


dent, 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 oflf, 
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^). 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 (i^^). But this is expressed 
by a term {aireicvr^aev) not found in Paul and foreign to the 
technical use (ava'yevvr)cn<;) of the early Gentile church. It 
implies only that the Christians have succeeded to the Jew- 
ish privilege of "sons of God," and does not carry us into the 
circle of Pauline ideas referred to above. 

The use of the term Lord ([b] xiiptoq) for Jesus Christ (i' 2> 5"-^*), 
although characteristic of Paul, was not original with him, and marana 
tha (i Cor. 16", Didache io«) shows that it had early become current 
with Aramaic-speaking Cluristians 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, Christiis, 1909 (Eng. transl. 
1911) ; H. Bohlig, "Zum BegrifE Kyrios bei Paulus," in Zt.fur neutest. 
Wissenschaft, xiv, 1913, pp. 23-37. 

While James and Paul thus stand in this sharp contrast, no 
hint appears in James of controversy with Pauhne Christianity 
over the validity of the Jewish law, nor of attack on Paul 
personally. In 2^^--^ James is not engaged in doctrinal con- 
troversy, 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 dis- 
likes it. 

The relation to Paul implied in 2^*--' is the most discussed subject in 
connection with the epistle. Large references to the abundant litera- 
ture may be foimd in B. Bartmann, St. Paulus und St. Jacobus uher die 
Rechtfertigung (Biblische Studien, ii), 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 (22'. '^*, cf. Gal. 21*, 
Rom. 3"), 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 atten- 
tion 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 the- 
ological issues and the method of modern theological definition. Cer- 
tainly James did not understand Paul's motive for insisting that justi- 
fication 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 
everj^where 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 sup- 
posed 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 con- 


tention about morality, although he might have preferred to describe 
good conduct as "the fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5"') rather than as 
the evidence of a living faith (Jas. 2") ; but he would have deplored 
as utterly superficial and inadequate James's mode of stating the con- 
ditions 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 pe- 
culiar 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 en- 
larged 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 deter- 
mine 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 sub- 
sists here that appears in nearly every other comparison between 
James and kindred thinkers. 

As there is no contact, friendly or otherwise, with the Hellen- 
istic, 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 Johan- 
nine 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"-"), the word 'i^ux^'f-'h (3"), the use of -ziXtioq 

\_{i*. 1'. "32)^ tiie blame of God for temptation (i"), the disrespect for 

♦Neither 2" nor ch. 3 can possibly have reference to Paul. 


and judging of the law (4'i, Cerdon and Marcion), the misuse of the 
Pauline doctrine of faith {2^*--^) ; but no one of these implies such no- 
tions. See Pfleiderer, Urchristentum"-, 1902, ii, 545-547, for a statement 
of that view, which has exercised considerable influence; cj. Grafe, 
Slellung und Bedeutung des Jakobiisbricfcs, 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 re- 
quirement 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 Kes 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 liim 
in positive relation to any of the strong forces either of the 
apostoUc or of the post- apostolic period. His simple-minded 
and robust emphasis on the power and duty of a right funda- 
mental choice and of right action, and his way of describing his 
religion as God-given "law," are the two most distinctive the- 
ological 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.f But James 

* This error is common and has led to many unwise inferences about relative dates, 
t For instance, cf. Boussct, Kyrios Chrislos, pp. 361, note 3, 36S-373; F. Loofs, LeilfaJen 
zumStudium der Dosmengeschichle*, pp.92/. 118, 123/. 


does not make this the starting-point of a theology, or an im- 
portant 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 Apos- 
tolic Fathers* are due to the share that both have in the com- 
mon 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. j 
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. 

/i^'^ \i l/ J^^' ^°' "''TsiTU . . . So6Tjff£Tat Mt. 7', Lk. 11': ahslzt xal SoOi^aeTat 

Jas. 2^: TOLx; TCTWXoi? . • . x.X-r)po- I\It. 5': [xaxaptot o'l xtcoxoI fy xveu[JiaTt, 
vofxoui; TTJi; ^aatXeta?. oxt auxwv laxtv t) PaatXeta twv oupavwv, 

C/. Lk. 6-° (OC TCTWXOt)- 

Jas. 3"; Toli; -rcotouatv etpTjvrjv. Mt. 5°: [Jixxaptoi ot sipiQVOTCotoi. 

Jas. 4<: [AocxaXfSe?. Mk. 8^': ev Tfj y^^s? xkutt] t^ [jiotxaXfSc 

(c/. Mt. i2'9 16O. 

Jai. 51-': aye vuv ol xXoujiot Lk. 6=*: xXt)v oual ufxtv toIs xXouat'ot?, oxt 
>txX. ax^X^xe xtJv xapavtXrjatv utxuv. 

Jas. 512 (oaths). Mt. s^^-". 

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 

• Conveniently collected in Mayor, ch. 2. \ Der Brief dcs Jakobus, 1896, pp. 155-183. 


points is the broad fact that we find James following some of 
the larger interests of the Synoptic Gospels and entirely un- 
touched by others. His ever-recurring insistence on doing, 
both in itself and in contrast to merely hearing or saying, rep- 
resents the same type of religion which has so chosen the 
sayings in the Gospels (especially Matthew) as to emphasise 
exactly the same point. ^Mt. 721-23, Lk. 6^«, Mt. 72^-", Lk. 
547-49^ Mt. 25'1-^S 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 (Mt. 6^^-^*), 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 ahke 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 in- 
terest 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 in- 
terests 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 compo- 
sition of the epistle. Here we get no help from the address 


in i^. The tract is not a letter sent to a definite group of in- 
dividuals, 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 beeti large farmers (5^) ; travelling 
traders are also a familiar class (4^'^). These Christians are 
subject to troubles such as might shake their faith in Providence 
(i^), but are not represented as exposed to any direct religious 
persecution. The rich, indeed, are mostly hostile to Christian- 
ity, and are oppressors of the poor through the courts and by 
other methods (2'^^- 5^), but nothing indicates that their op- 
pression was religious persecution. 

In I" the rich man is a brother, but apparently exceptional (cf. 2') ; 
in 2' the rich man is not a Christian, and the rich of 2^ blaspheme the 
Christian name, while the apostrophe of 51-^ is clearly addressed to 

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 let- 
ter ; 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 pro- 
fession 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 ap- 
peared at their church meeting. Their quarrelsome propensi- 
ties seem to have been strongly developed in both word and 
act (3'f- ^■■''"' 4^"^' " 5'), but more is not implied than the ordi- 
nary frictions and wrong speeches of decent, but somewhat un- 
governed, people. 


Nothing worse is indicated here than took place at Thessa- 
lonica, at Corinth, at Phihppi, 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 his- 
tory. 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 i^*). 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 out- 
posts among the heathen, and were themselves Jews, is the im- 
plication of the whole epistle. There is no reference to idolatry, 
to slaves, to a generally accepted lax standard of sexual mo- 
rality, to any surroimding 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 (s^-^) is in language full of allusion 
to the 0. 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 assem- 
bly is called a "synagogue " — not, perhaps, a decisive piece of 
evidence, but yet significant in confirmation of the rest. The 
picture in s^*-^^ 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 (r/, Clement of Rome), and the writer's familiarity 
with Jewish midrashic embellishment of the O. T. stories (5^0 
is significant rather for him than for his readers. 

That the conditions were those of Palestine seems directly im- 


plied by the reference (5O 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 
KaixTwv in i^^ 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 re- 
ligious body, with a regular meeting, doubtless both for instruc- 
tion and for worship {cf. i^^--^), 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 eV vixlv 41-3 
513-16). They had elders (5^**), but there is no mention of bishops 
or deacons. They also had "teachers" (3O, a class to which 
the writer himself belonged, which is well known in early Chris- 
tianity, 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 through- 
out 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 estabhsh 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 Chris- 
tian influence (2^-'') ; if one of them comes to the Christian 
meeting a flutter of officious attention arises in the congrega- 
tion. 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 Chris- 
tians, 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^. 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 argu- 
ment that since there is no indication in the epistle of doctrinal di- 
versities 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 iind sein Verfasser in Schrift und 
Ueberlicfenmg (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 Neiv Testament, 191 1, pp. 


468-475 ; Beyschlag, Der Brief des Jacobus' (Meyer*), 1897, pp. 23-27 ; 
see also Holtzmann, Einleilung', 1892, pp. 336-338; Zahn, EinleUung, 
§ 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/.), 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 /•) ; 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 epis- 
tle, as did Jerome, whose more definite statement is probably 
only a paraphrase of the remarks of Eusebius, H. e. ii, 23. 

Euseb. H. e. ii, 23'^ '■ Totauxa xal tA xaxa; 'lajcw^ov, o5 t) xpwTT) twv 

\iiv, oO xoXXol YoiJv Tcjv xaXatuv aO-u^q l[xvT5[x6v£uaav. 

H. e. iii, 25' tuv 3' ivxtXsYOfxevwv, yvoptixuv 0' o5v oixwq -coti; ToXkolq, 
■^ XsYoixevT) 'lotxw^ou ^ige-zoii xal -f) 'lotiSa, 15 te IIsTpou Beuxlpx IxtaToX'f) 
xal fj ow[La'C,o[i.ivri SeuT^pa xal xptTT) 'Iwavvou. 

Jerome, De vir. ill. 2, Jacobus qui appellatiir f rater dominl, cogno- 
tnento Justus, ut nonnulli existlmant, Joseph ex alia iixore, ut autcm 
mihi videlur, Mariae, sororis niatris domini, ciijus Johannes in libra 
sua meminif, filius, post passioncm domini statim ab apostolis Hieroso- 
lymorum episcopus ordinatus, unam tantitm scripsit epistulam, quae de 
septem catholicis est, quae et ipsa ab alio quodarn sub nomine ejus cdita 
adseritur, licet paulatim tempore procedente obtinuerit auctorilatcm. 

Nearly all succeeding writers of ancient and mediaeval times, 
whether they follow the Epiphanian or the Hieronymian theory 



of the personal relationship to Jesus of James the Lord's brother, 
ascribe to him the epistle. In most instances, indeed, the au- 
thor is referred to simply as "James the apostle," but many 
writers (e. g. Chrysostom, Andrew of Crete, Rufinus, Prosper 
of Aquitaine, Gregory of Tours, Bede, Bar-Hebraeus) make it 
clear that James the Lord's brother is intended. In a very 
few cases the author of the epistle is taken to be James son of 
Zebedee. Thus the tenth century (so Gebhardt) Latin Codex 
Corbeiensis has a subscription to the epistle : Explicit epistola 
Jacobi filil Zcebedei ; and a series of Spanish writers, headed by 
Isidore of Seville, t636, and running down to the seventeenth 
century, have been led by national patriotism to claim the 
epistle for their apostle and patron, St. James of Compostella 
(the son of Zebedee). This tendency is to be observed in the 
Mqzarabic liturgy ; and through some channel (perhaps popu- 
lar rather than learned) it has reached Dante (Paradiso, xxv, 13- 
18, 29-33, 76-78, 94/-)- But in general there was no departure 
from the traditional view ; and down to the sixteenth century, 
if nothing to the contrary is indicated, a reference to "James the 
apostle" as author of the epistle is to be taken as meaning 
James the Lord's brother. 

Meinertz, op. cit. pp. 211-215, Zahn, Einleitung, § 5, note 3. The pref- 
ace to the Catholic epistles printed in the editio princeps of the Peshitto 
(ed. Widmanstad, 1555) has not been confirmed from any ancient 
S3Triac Ms. and is probably no older than that edition. It reads : " In 
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we print three epistles of James, 
Peter, and John, who were witnesses of the revelation of our Lord 
when he was transfigured before their eyes on Mount Tabor, and who 
saw Moses and EHjah who talked with him." 

With the Reformation came criticism of the Epistle of James 
and corresponding variety in the views of its authorship. Eras- 
mus and Cajetan were in doubt, while many Lutherans wholly 
denied apostolic authorship, and Luther himself was disposed 
to ascribe the epistle to "some good pious man who had taken 
some sayings from the apostles' disciples" {Sammtl. Werke, 
Erlangen ed., vol. Ixiii, p. 157). The possibility that the epistle 
was written by James son of Alphaeus (distinguished from the 


Lord's brother) also came into view. But in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries Protestant opinion settled back into 
the traditional view, holding the epistle to be genuine and to be 
the work of the Lord's brother. No Protestant writer of influ- 
ence has ever taken up the cause of the son of Zebedee, or of 
the son of Alphaeus (as distinct from the Lord's brother), for 
neither of which views, indeed, can anything be said. 

For Roman Catholic writers the decree of the Council of 
Trent merely determined that the epistle must be accepted as 
by an "apostle James," and the obiter dictum (Sess. xiv, Doc- 
trina de sacramento extremae unctionis, ch. i, De institutione sacra- 
menti extremae unctionis) which referred to extreme unction as 
per Jacohum autem apostolum ac domini fratrem fidelihus com- 
mendatum ac promulgatum, did not restrict Catholics to a corre- 
sponding view of the epistle. This left room for the Spanish 
opinion in favour of the son of Zebedee, as well as for the 
uncertainty of Cornelius a Lapide, ti637, and others; but 
these exceptions are rare, and in the nineteenth century it 
does not appear that any Roman Catholic writer on the 
epistle attributed it to any other author than James the Lord's 

Modern Protestant criticism of the epistle begins with the 
first edition of De Wette's Einleitung, 1826, in which its apos- 
tolic origin was roundly denied. Later scholars are mainly 
divided between those who accept the epistle as a genuine work 
of James the Lord's brother (on Protestant ideas about his per- 
sonality, see infra, p. 59) and those who attribute it to an un- 
known writer of a later generation. Occasionally this rejection 
proceeded from orthodox Lutheran motives like those of the 
sixteenth century,* but in most instances the rejection of the 
apostolic origin of the Epistle of James goes with the critical 
rejection of other traditions as to the N. T. literature. The 
name of James son of Zebedee has found but few to support it ; 

* So, perhaps, Kahnis, Die lulherische Dogmalih, i', 1861, pp. 533 Jf., 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/. 


and the view urged by Spitta and Massebieau that the writer 
was not a Christian but a Jew has met with small favour. If 
the writer was not an apostle, three views are possible : (i) that 
the writer was an otherwise unknown James, (2) that the first 
verse is a later addition, (3) that the epistle was from the start 
pseudepigraphic. All these views are represented among Prot- 
estant scholars. 

Those who hold the author to be James the Lord's brother assign 
the epistle either to a date before c. 50 (so Beyschlag, Zahn, Mayor, and 
many others) or to one shortly before the death of James (62 or a httle 
later) , and naturally think of Jerusalem as the place of composition. 
Among critics who reject the apostolic authorship, the dates given show 
wide variation, but are seldom earUer than 90 or later than 130, al- 
though a few carry the possible date down as late as 150. As to the 
place, these critics are for the most part divided between Palestine and 

(6) Conclusions. 

From the study of the internal evidence given by the his- 
torical background and ideas of James must be drawn what 
we can know of the date and authorship of the epistle. Ex- 
ternal evidence carries us only to the point that the epistle was 
probably not written later than 150 a.d. That would seem 
certainly implied by the belief of Origen that it was the work 
of James an apostle, even though his testimony to the actual 
authorship be not accepted. It is, indeed, probable that the 
epistle bore from the first the name of James, and that thereby 
was intended the brother of the Lord, but nothing in the epistle 
or in the conditions of literary production of that age forbids 
the idea that such a tract was originally pseudonymous. The 
title and the tradition offer the name of a conceivable author ; 
but they create no overpowering presumption that he was the 
real one. 

Harnack, Lehre der Zwolf Apostel (Texte und Untersuchungen, ii), 
1884, pp. 106-109, CaL, i, 1897, pp. 485-491, holds that the epistle, 
written 120-150 A.D. as an anonjmious compilation of earlier sayings, 
began with i = and was not made over into an Epistle of James by the 
addition of i' until toward the end of the second century. For this 
view, which is part of a theory that this process was applied to several 


N. T. writings, there is no evidence in the case of the Epistle of James. 
The first verse, if properly understood, makes a suitable opening to 
the tract, and even if it be held, as Harnack holds, that James the 
Lord's brother cannot have written the epistle, neither anything in the 
epistle itself nor the literary custom of the time makes any difficulty 
in supposing it a pseudonymous religious tract. Against the theory 
appeal is made to the apparent relation of xapav (v. ^) to xafpetv (v.^); 
it is also said that an editor introducing at so late a date an attribution 
to James would have made it unmistakable which James was intended 
{cf. Zahn, Einleitung, § 8, note i). These counter-arguments are not 
conclusive, but Harnack's theory is still less convincing. 

We may sum up the pertinent points in the internal evi- 
dence already discussed. The writer and the readers whom he 
expected to reach by his tract were Greek-speaking Jewish 
Christians in Palestine. The churches are apparently past the 
earlier stages of their life ; they had been formed not very re- 
cently and are living under settled conditions among Jewish 
neighbours as an accepted part of the whole Palestinian com- 
munity. Neither Hfe nor thought in the church is dominated 
by passionate missionary effort. No crisis seems present in 
the internal affairs of these believers ; and there is no indication 
of public disturbance or of recent or impending calamity in 
civil matters. The great controversy over the Law, of which 
we read in the Acts and the epistles of Paul, is no longer rife. 

The writer himself writes Greek with entire facility, and has 
become so familiar with the literary type of the Hellenistic di- 
atribe that he can freely use it (evidently not for the first time 
here) as the vehicle of his Christian admonitions. He is him- 
self, no doubt, a Jew, but accustomed to read the O. T. in the 
Septuagint version. His main ideas are Jewish, and his dis- 
tinctively Christian thinking primitive though unmistakable. 
Religion appears to him mainly in the guise of a noble spiritual 
Law. He is later than Paul, of whose formulas he disapproves 
without understanding their real purpose. Singularly devoid 
of contact with the progressive movements which were else- 
where developing toward second-century Christian thought, he 
does not descry within his horizon, still less contain in himself, 


any of the germinant heresies of the age. Even the tenden- 
cies which led the exclusive and stagnant form of Jewish Chris- 
tianity to solidify itself into a heresy are alien to him. He 
represents an admirable type of Christianity, but one of ex- 
traordinary intellectual isolation. 

These internal indications are best satisfied by supposing that 
the epistle was written by a Christian teacher in some half- 
hellenistic city of Palestine, in the period of quiet after the de- 
struction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.* and before the disturbances 
which culminated in the rebellion of Bar-Cochba, 132-135 a.d. 
For a closer dating than 75-125 a.d. the epistle seems to pro- 
vide no aid. 

As to the place of origin the epistle is wholly without sug- 
gestion, and a number of towns in Palestine could show the 
required conditions. A good example is Caesarea, 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 Caesarea from 
an early time (Acts 10/. zi*- ^^), and its continued importance 
as a Christian centre is attested by the references in the Clem- 
entine 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 Caesarea than about most 
similar places, and it is instructive to find that its known cir- 
cumstances would well account for the origin of the epistle. f 
Much the same could be said of Tiberias, if there were any such 
tradition of Christians there.J 

The general view here stated of the time and place of origin 
of the Epistle of James excludes the traditional authorship by 

* 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. 

t On Cssarea, see Schiirer, GJV, § 23, I, 9 (and other references in the Index) ; G. A. 
Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land'', pp. 138 ff.; JE, art. "Cssarea"; EB, art. 

I On Tiberias, see Schiirer, GJV, § 23, I, 33. 


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. 

(i) 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 Hege- 
sippus 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 be- 
tween Paul and the Judaisers (Acts 15, 21^8^-, Gal. 2'-^" 2^2) . ^jkJ 
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 Gal. 2^2 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 be- 
longed. 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 pseu- 
donymous epistle well conceivable, even for an earnest and sin- 
cere writer, at a time when James himself had been dead cer- 
tainly 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 pre- 
served 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 pseudo- 
clementine Epistles to Virgins of the third century may have 

5 2 JAMES 

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 at- 
tention 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 recom- 
mending 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 Chris- 
tianity (and in this case very early Christianity) has assumed 
in its long history. 



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

A. H. Blom, Disputatio theologica inauguralis de toi2 aaea^ois ct 
TA12 AAEA*AI2 TOY KYPIOY, Leyden, 1839. 

J. B. Lightfoot, "The Brethren of the Lord," in Saint Paul's Epistle 
to the Galatians, 1865, "1890, pp. 252-291. 

Theodor Zahn, "Briider und Vettern Jesu," in Forschungen ziir 
Geschichte des neutest. Kanons, vi, 1900, pp. 225-364. 

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


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

(i) 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) James son of Alphaeus, one of the Twelve (Mt. lo'*, Mk. 3", 
Lk. 6l^ Acts ii3). 

(3) James the Lord's brother. So described in Gal. i^^, and 
mentioned in 2^' ^-; doubtless the person referred to, as having seen 
the risen Lord, in i Cor. 15^. Evidently the same as James who 
appears as a leading Christian at Jerusalem in Acts 12^^ 15^' 21^^. 
Cf. Mk. 6» = Mt. 13^^ 

(4) James "the less" (6 ntxp6<;). His mother was Mary, and he 
had a brother Joses (Mk. 15^ = Mt. 27^^, Mk. 16^ = Lk. 2410). 

(5) James father (or, very improbably, brother) of Judas, the 
latter being one of the Twelve ('louSa? 'laxco^ou) , Lk. 6^®, Acts i^^. 
Instead of this Judas another name (either Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus) 
appears in the list of Mk. 3^*, copied in Mt. lo''. 

(6) James, by whom the Epistle of James claims to have been 
written (Jas. i^). 

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

Of these several persons named James, No. i (James son of 
Zebedee) and No. 2 (James son of x\lphseus) are certainly distinct 
individuals, both names being found together in the Hsts of the 
Twelve Apostles. Of the career of James son of Alphaeus, 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 re- 
peatedly 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.* 


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" (Mt. 
J 246, 47 j_j55 2810 [?], Mk. s^^- ^2 6^, Lk. S^^' ^o, Jn. 212 f, 5. 10 2017 [?]^ 
Acts i", I Cor. g\ Gal. i^') and "sister" (Mt. 1356, Mk. 6^) is 
undoubtedly to take them as referring to children of Joseph and 
Mary, younger than Jesus. This is apparently implied t by the 
statement of Lk. 2^ {cf. also Mt. i^^), that Mary "brought forth 
her firstborn son (xbv u'tbv tov •TcpwTd-roxov)," 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 Mt. 13^^); and Tertullian probably held the Lord's 
brethren to have been the sons of Joseph and Mary {Contra Mar- 
cioneni, iv, 19 ; De came, 7). 

Zahn, Forschnngen, vi, p. 319, cf. pp. 309-313, argues that Clement 
of Alexandria, Strom, vii, 16, 93/., 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 {Ear. Ixxviii, pp. 1034-1057; cf. xxviii, 
7 ; xxix, I /. ; li, 10; Ixvi, ig), it is only to comparatively unim- 
portant or out-of-the-way Christians, such as those in Arabia (or 

* The identification of James the Lord's brother with James son of Zebedee has occasion- 
ally been made, but, as in Iren. Hcbt. iii, 12", only by a sheer mistake. 

t A clear statement of the opposite interpretation of Lk. 2' and Mt. i" may be found in 
Lightfoot, Calalians, pp. 270^. 


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. Hcbv. Ixxvii, 36; Ixxviii, i), 
was himself a theologian of doubtful repute. f Helvidius himself 
is an obscure person, known to us solely through Jerome's refuta- 
tion 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 asceti- 
cism ; using chiefly the statements of the Gospels, he found him- 
self 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 eigh- 
teenth century. 

Opposed to this ancient, so-called Helvidian, view of the matter, 
with its support in the natural implications of Scripture, was an- 
other 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. Har. Ixxvii, 36; Ixxviii, 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 vir- 
gin birth by the perpetual virginity of Mary; hence a first wife 
had to be assumed as the mother of Joseph's children. The ear- 
liest 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 

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

t Hilary of Poitiers (t 366), Comm. in Mall. 1', calls those who held this opinion homines 


{Tom. X, 17, on Mt. 13^*) 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 
ideliramenta 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 har- 
monised 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 (t368) 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 evi- 
dently 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, Blagovieslie khristianskoi svobody v poslanii Sv. 
Ap. Pavla k Galatam {The Gospel of Christian Liberty in the Epistle of 
St. Paul to the Galalians), 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 Theo- 
logical Encyclopedia), Petrograd, 1901, vol. ii, pp. 1113-1126; Bogda- 
scevsky, 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 

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


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 rep- 
resented 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 (i Cor. 9, 5), Moscow, 

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 pcrpetua 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 Alphseus, and so reduce the number of persons named 
James in the N. T. to two. The theory can be most clearly ex- 
hibited by the following table of relationships, as understood by 

I 1 

Mary Mary of Clopas. wife of Alphaus 

I i i \ \ I 

Jesus James Joses Judas Simon sisters 

son of Alphaeus, 
the less, 
brother of the Lord 

Under Jerome's theory this Judas (Mk. 6') 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 iden- 
tifies 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 foun- 
dation-stone the theory rests on the following considerations : 

(i) Gal. i" implies that James the Lord's brother was an apos- 
tle. Since James son of Zebedee died about 44 A.D., James the 
Lord's brother must be the same as James son of Alphaeus. 

(2) Jn. 19" may be interpreted as meaning that Mary of Clopas 
was the sister of the mother of Jesus. 

(3) Mk. 1$^ {cf. 15^^ 16^) 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 Alphgeus ; for, 
in the opinion of Jerome, the designation "the less" {minor, b [xtxpd?) 
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 Alphaeus. What the 
designation "of Clopas" means, Jerome does not know. He does 
not suggest the explanation, later current but linguistically un- 
sound, that Clopas and Alphaeus represent the same Aramaic name 

From the point of view of monkish asceticism, Jerome's ingen- 
ious 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 Chrys- 
ostom (Comm. in Gal. i^*), 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 provid- 
ing (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 (ti679), Hen- 
schen the Bollandist (ti68i), and Richard Simon (ti7i2; His- 
toire 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 Alphaeus, but they do not seem to have reached a clear and 
complete theory. In later times also an occasional Roman Cath- 
olic 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,t 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 per- 
petual virginity of Mary) and the Magdeburg Centuries both identi- 
fied James the Lord's brother with the son of Alphaeus ; and in 
spite of some signs presaging the coming confusion of critical theo- 
ries, these sixteenth-century authorities were followed by the bulk 
of seventeenth-century Protestants. Striking exceptions were Gro- 
tius (t 1645), who preferred the Epiphanian solution, and Hammond 
(t 1660). The eighteenth century shows less agreement. Various 
scholars rejected the Hieronymian tradition; while the eccentric 
Whiston (ti7S2), and later, with vastly greater influence. Herder, 
in his Briefe zweener Briider Jesu in unserm Kanon, 1775, affirmed 
the Helvidian doctrine. 

In the critical inquiries of the nineteenth century the old opin- 
ions have been reaflfirmed 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 ortho- 
dox 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 Light- 
foot. § But among Protestant scholars the Helvidian view has 
increasingly gained adherents, and it is now dominant. 


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

* See for abundant detail on mediaeval and modem scholars Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, pp. 

t Meinertz, op. cit. pp. 216, 288. 

t Smith and Fuller, DB', vol. i, part ii, 1893, p. 1517. 

§ Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 270-272, adopted the Epiphanian view on the ground of Jn. 
19". ". 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." 


(i) 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 tradi- 
tion, and nothing in the N. T. itself is capable of sustaining the 
weight of the story. The argument from Jn. ig^^, on which Light- 
foot rests his case, is wholly insufificient. In fact, the Epiphanian 
view has its roots in the dogmatic assumptions of an ascetic the- 
ology, 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 Jn. 19^^, 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/. 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 Alphaeus is not to be accepted) she cannot well 
have been the wife of Alphaeus. 

{d) The necessity of inferring from Gal. i^* that James the Lord's 
brother, there referred to, was in Paul's view an apostle is dis- 
puted (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/. ; Lightfoot, " The Name and Office of an Apostle," in Galatians, 
pp. 92-101. 

Whether in i Cor. 15', even if toI? dicooTdXoti; xaatv means the 
Twelve only, James is or is not represented as included among them is 
so doubtful that no argument can properly be drawn from the passage. 

(e) The expression 'Idexw^oi; 6 lAixpi? (Mk. 15*°), 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. 

* Mayor', pp. xxivf., discusses the arguments adduced; see also Lex. s. v. a.Se\<f)6^, and 
Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 261-265. 


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 impor- 
tant 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 nar- 
ratives, of the second mother's relation to her children, although 
she is expressly stated (Mk. 15*°) to have been a member of Jesus' 
company in Galilee, all these improbabihties combine with the 
explicit statement of the Gospel of John that Jesus' brethren did 
not believe on him (Jn. 7^) and the clear implication of lack of 
sympathy with his work found in Mk. 321- ^i to make it appear im- 
possible 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 Mayor^, p. xxix. 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 dis- 
tinction between the James of Gal. i^^ and the James of Gal. 2', 
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 untrust- 
worthy 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 

* To these theories the full discussion of the subject itself, and of the history of opinion, 
by Meinertz is a valuable guide; see also Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 326/. 


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. 


(o) 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 Mk. 6^, Mt. 13^*, 
as well known to the inhabitants of Nazareth, but he is to be as- 
sumed as included with the other brothers in the attempt to re- 
strain the public activity of Jesus described in Mk. 2,'^'^- ^^ = Mt. 12'*^ 
According to the Gospel of John the brethren of the Lord and 
his mother accompanied Jesus to Capernaum (Jn. 2^-), challenged 
him (Jn. 7^"^) 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 taber- 
nacles (Jn. 7^°). On both these occasions we may fairly infer that 
James was with the others. At any rate, the evangelist was cer- 
tainly not aware that James at that time took any different atti- 
tude from the rest of the family. 

In the command to report the fact of the resurrection to "my breth- 
ren," Mt. 281", Jn. 201', the word "brethren" is probably to be taken 
in the sense of spiritual relationship, but the interpretation is not wholly 

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 i^*), 
but of their transition to faith in Jesus Christ nothing is told us. 
James is nowhere expressly mentioned until Acts 12^^, 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^®; Stephen and Philip 6°; Paul 7^*; Agabus 11^*; 
Silas 15--; Timothy 16^; Aquila, Priscilla 18- ; Apollos iS'-'*), 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 i^"*. 

In Acts James appears again at 15^^ and 21^*. At the confer- 
ence at Jerusalem concerning the admission of uncircumcised be- 
lievers into the church, he took with Peter a leading part, and is 
represented as offering the opinion (Acts is""^0 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 (i5^0- 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^*-"). 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 (Gal. i") 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 recogni- 
tion and fellowship in Gal. 2^, and this mutual understanding can 
hardly be referred to any other occasion than that described in 
Acts 15. The intricate problems here involved cannot now be dis- 
cussed. The leading position of James at Jerusalem, and his full 
identification with the Jewish Christians of that city, are implied 
in Gal. 2^- by the words "before that certain came from James." 
The other references are i Cor. 15^, which mentions that James 
had a vision of the risen Christ, and 9^ which implies that the 
brethren of the Lord were married. 

Beyond this the N. T. information does not go. We are justi- 
fied 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 Gal. 2'- 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 (Gal. 2') 


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^- ^^ 21^'^) much the same in- 
ference is to be drawn ; they mean that James did not wish to 
impose the Law upon Gentile Christians.* 

ih) 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 : 

(i) Josephus, Antiquities, xx, 9^: 

axe §■?) oijv TotoiJTO? wv 6 "Avavo?, vopifaai; e'xstv xatpbv IxtT'^Sstov Sii 
<rb TsOvdvott t^ev 4>'^ffTov, 'AX^lvov S'^xt xaxdc "zijv 6Bbv uxipx^'v, xa6(!^ei 
ouv^Bptov xpiTwv xal xapay'^^T'**'^ ^'^ otuxb irbv (i3eX(J)bv 'iTjaou tou Xsfo- 
{jL^vou XptaToG, 'Idtxwpoi; ovo[xa aixw, xat Ttva<; sxipoLx;, wq xapavojjLTjaavTwv 
xaTTJYopfav •rcoti^aitJ.evos, icap^Swxs XeuaOtjffOtJLsvo'ji;. 

" So Ananus, being that kind of a man, and thinking that he had got 
a good opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinus not yet 
arrived, holds a judicial council ; and he brought before it the brother 
of Jesus who was called Christ, — James was his name, — and some others, 
and on the charge of violating the Law he gave them over to be stoned." 

This passage is suspected of being an interpolation by Schiirer, 
GJV\ i, § 19, 5, PP- S8i /. (E. Tr. I. ii, pp. 186/.), and Zahn, For- 
schungen, vi, pp. 301-305. It is defended as genuine by Mayor*, 
p. Iviii, note 2; Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 366, note 2; and E. Schwartz, 
Zeitschrift fiir die neutestamentliche Wissenschafl, iv, 1903, pp. 59/. 
The only ground for doubt of the genuineness is that the text of 
Josephus is known elsewhere to have suffered from Christian inter- 
polation (notably Antiq. xviii, 3^, the passage about Jesus Christ), 
and that Origen refers {Tom. x, 17, on Mt. 13^^; Contra Celsum, 
i, 47 ; ii, 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 nar- 
rative of Hegesippus. 

(2) Hegesippus, quoted by Eusebius, H.e. ii, 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 

♦J. H. Ropes, "Acts xv. 21," in Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. xv, 1896, pp. 75-81. 


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 Unen 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. Be- 
cause of his exceeding righteousness (Sta ji Tot ttjv uTOppoX-^jv t^5 
StxatoffuvYjc;) he was called the Just (6 Stxato?) and Oblias, which is in 
Greek 'Bulwark of the People' (xeptozTj toO Xaou), 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 (tc<; if) Oupa toO 'Itjcjou)?' 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 e.xpect 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 (xetaat) concerning Jesus all 
those who come to the day of the passover, for we all listen (zeteotJieOa) 
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 gomg 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, Lei 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 mar- 
tyrdom (e[AapTijpY]ffev). 

"And they buried him there on the spot, near the Temple, and his 
monument still remains near the Temple. A true witness {[lip'zuq) 
has he become both to Jews and Greeks that Jesus is the Christ. And 
immediately Vespasian besieges them (xoXtopx,et auxou<;)." 

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 ('TxoiJLvig[iaTa) 
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 fur die neutestamentliche Wissensckaft, 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 Epipha- 
nius ; cf. Lightfoot, S. Clement of Rome-, i, 1890, pp. 328^. ; Zahn, For- 
sckungen, vi, pp. 258/. ; H. J. Lawlor, Eiisebiana, 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 influ- 
ence 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. 9-1 1. 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. f 

* The fragments are collected, with notes, in Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 228-230; cf. also 
pp. 250-273. 

t See Zahn, Forschungen, vi, pp. 234-235; Einlcilung, i, § 5, note 4; he thinks 66 A.D. 
Would suit the statement in Hegesippus. 


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 Epi- 
phanius {Hcer. xxx, 16) to have been in circulation among the 
Ebionites, has almost nothing to commend it.* 

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

Jacob Panther (? Epiph. Har. Ixxviii, 7) 

I I 

Mary ^Joseph Clopas 

Jesus James the Judas the Symeon, second 

Lord's brother Lord's brother bishop of 



Whether Hegesippus held that Mary was the mother of James 
and Judas is nowhere indicated. He gives (Eusebius, H. c. iii, 
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 martyr- 
dom in the reign of Trajan, at the age of 120 years. 

In an acute essay, "Zu Eusebius Kirchengeschichte. I. Das Mar- 
tyrium Jakobus des Gerechten," in Zeilschrift fur die neutestamentliche 
Wissenschaft, iv, 1903, pp. 48-61, E. Schwartz has tried to relieve some 
of the problems of the long fragment of Hegesippus by removing inter- 
polated words and sentences. This critical process would leave the 
following : 

StaSlxETott tV exxXrifffav [xexi twv dxoaT6).6)v 6 dtSeX({)b(; toO xupfou 
'laxto^o?, 6 6vo(i.aa6£l<; u%h xavxwv Si'xatoi; dicb twv toO xupfou xP'^^wv 
[i.ixpi 'rjiJ.wv, eicsl xoXXol 'laxw^ot exaXouvTo, outo? Ss ex ■/.oikiaq 
|XTf]Tpb<; auToO ayto? ^v, olvov xotl afxspa oux sxtsv, ouSe eiA'^uxov etfjayev, 

*H. Waitz, Die Pseudoklementinen, Homilien und Recognilionen (Texte und Unteisu- 
chungen, xxv), 1904, pp. i64-i6g, 232, 386. 


^upbv i%\ Ttjv x,e<j)aXY)v auxou oux ave^Tj, eXaiov oux rikeiilKxzo, xal paXa- 
ve{(p oux expifioai^o ' ouSe epeoOv scjjopet dXXa aivSovai;, xal t«.6vo<; siai^pxeTO 
sii; xbv vabv rjupiaxsTO ts xet'tAevo? €xl Tol? yo^^'^'v '^'^^ atTou[X£VOs uxep 
ToO Xaou a<J)£aiv, wi; dxeaxXrjxevat xa y^vaxa aiixoQ Si'xiQV xa[i,T)Xou. Sta 
Y£ xot xYjv UTcep^oXTjv auxou exaXetxo 6 Sfxatos xal w^Xtac;, o eaxtv "EXXyj- 
vcaxl xeptoxT) tou Xaou. 

Ttve? ouv xwv exxd atpeaswv xwv Iv x(p Xay xwv 7i:poYeYpa[J.[JLlv6)v (iot 
oiLx ext'axeuov ouxe dvdaxaatv oiixe epxoiASvov dxoSouvac exdaxy xaxd xd: 
§PYa auxou * ococ Se xal STttaxeuaav, otd 'Idxco^ov. xoXXwv ouv xiaxsudvxwv 
■^v Odpu^oq xwv dpx6vT(i)v Xsy^vxwv oxt xivSuveuet TCdq 6 Xab? 'IrjaoiJv xbv 
Xpiaxbv TupoffSoxdv. sXsyov ouv ouveXOovxe? xw 'laxco^y ' " xapaxaXoufiev 
oe, imayeq xbv Xaov, exsl exXavrjOifj eti; 'Iirjaouv w? auxou ovxoi; tou 
XptaxoO ■ (jol Y«P xdvxsi; xei66[jLe6a " i][i.slt; Yap (i.apxopou[i,£v aot xal xd? 
6 Xab? oxt Stxato? e! xat bxt xpoawxov ou Xajx^dvecs. axijBi o3v exl xb 
xxepuYtov xou lepou, iva avuOev ^s extcfjavrjc; xal 27 eudxouaxd aou xd pi^yiaTa 
xavxl x<p Xa(p. Std Y<ip ""^^ xdaxa auveXirjXuOaat xdaat al <j)uXal nerd 
xal xwv e6v<I)v." 

eaxTjaav ouv ol xpo£cpY][i£vot xbv 'Idxw^ov exl xb xxepuYtov xou vaou, 
xal expa^av aux(p xal elxav ' " Stxate, (p xdvxe? xefBeaSat 64)efXo[JLev, 
exel h Xab? xXavdxat dxtaw 'Irjaoij xou axaupwOevxoi;, dxdYY^tXov tj^lIv 
xt^; -fj 6upa xou 'Itjoou." xal dxexpivaxo <j)(i)v^ (jtsydXy) ' " zl ;ji.e exepwxdxe 
xspl xou ulou xou dvOpuxou, xal auxb<; xdOiQxat ev x(p oupavip ex 8e- 
^tuv xfj? [Lsja'k-qq Suvdtxsw?, xal yieXXst epxea9at Ixl xwv v£<j)£Xwv xou 
oupavou ; " xal xoXXwv xXT)po4>opT)G£vx(ov xal So^ai^ovxuv exl xf^ ;jLapxupt(? 
xou 'laxw^ou xal Xeyovxcov, " woavvd xw ulw Aaut'S," x6x£ xdXcv ol aiixol 
xpb? dXXifjXoui; iXefov, " xaxw? £XotTQaaiJ.£v xotauxTjv (xapxupiav xapaa- 
x6vx£<; x<p 'Itjsou * dXXd dva^avxE? xaxa^aXw^iEv auxov, Yva 4)O^Tj6ivx£i; 
[jL-f) xtaxeuawcrtv aux(p." xal expa^av "kifovzeq, " w w, xal 6 Sfxato? 
sxXavif)6T)," xal IxXi^pwaav x-f]v Ypa4>V "i^V ^^ x<p 'Hffaig; YSYPOtHttevTjv, 
"d'pwiJ.£v xbv Stxatov, bxt hdaxP'Q'^zoq TjiAtv Eaxtv * xofvuv xd Y^viQ^iaxa xwv 
EpYWV auxwv 4>'3iY°'^'^'j'''" dvapdvxec; ouv xax£^aXov xbv S(xatov xal ixel 
xaxapXT)8£lc; oux dxiOavev, Xa^wv xt<; dx' auxwv, el^ xwv yva^&mv, xb 
^uXov £v V dxoxt£i^£t xd lyidxta, i^veyxev xaxd xtj? x£<})aXti<; xou Stxafou, 
xal ouxw? £(xapxupirja£v. xal luOii? OuEaxaatavbi; xoXiopxei auxou?. 

Schwartz's theory is that Eusebius found the passage already inter- 
polated, with additions partly due to ignorance, literary ineptitude, 
and pious love of embellishment, partly designed to combine the legend 
of Hegesippus and the tradition found in Josephus. To the interpolator 
is supposed to be due the confusing introduction of the scribes and 
Pharisees as the chief enemies of James after the [Sadducean] "rulers" 
had begun to be affected by his preaching. The details of Schwartz's 
analysis are worked out with great skill, and the theory in its main 
outlines is highly plausible, although in the nature of the case it is 
incapable of demonstration. 

(3) The Gospel according to the Hebrews, quoted by Jerome, 
De viris illustribus, 2 : 

Evangelium quoque quod appettatur secundum Hehraos et a me nuper 
in grcecum sermonem latinumquc translatum est, quo el Origenes scepe 


iitilur, post resurreclioticm salvatoris refer I: " Dominus aiitetn aim dc- 
dissel sindonem servo saccrdolis, ivil ad Jacobiim ct a p par nit ei ; jura- 
verat cnim Jacobus sc non comesitrmn paneni ab ilia hora qua blbcrat 
calicem domintis (v. 1. domini) donee videret eum rcsurgcnlcm a dormien- 
tibus." Rursusque post paululum : "Adferle, ait dominus, mensant et 
panem." Statimque additur : "Tulii panem et benedixit et f regit et 
dedit Jacobo Justo et dixit ei: Frater mi, coinede panem tuum, quia 
resurrexit filius hominis a dormientibus." 

This much-discussed fragment was probably taken over from 
some work of Origen, in spite of Jerome's explicit claim to have 
translated it from the Hebrew.* The Gospel according to the 
Hebrews appears to have been current in Greek. Hegesippus is 
our earliest witness to its existence (Eusebius, H. e. iv, 22^); how 
much earlier it was written is unknown. f It was the gospel used 
by the Ebionites (Eusebius, H. e. iii, 25^ 27^), or Jewish Chris- 
tians, and may have contained trustworthy tradition, although the 
few extant fragments do not greatly commend it. Jerome seems 
to have confounded it with the Hebrew Matthew, which he says 
he saw at Beroea and also in the library at Caesarea, and he has 
thereby brought great confusion into modern study of the subject. f 

The appearance of the risen Christ to James the Just is to be 
identified with that mentioned by Paul (i Cor. 15'') ; but in con- 
tradiction 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-, which claims (25^) 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. x, 17) as to 
the statement of "the Book of James" (■?) ^f^Xo? 'lotxc&^ou), 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^' ''; 
Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, 8 (here Joseph is gra^idcevus, but 

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

t Zahn, Forschungen, vi, p. 274, says not before the final removal of Jews from Jerusalem, 
132 AD. 

t Schmidtke, op. cit., and H. Waitz, art. "Apokryphen des NT.s," in PRE.xsw. {Ergdn- 
zungsband, i), pp. 80-83. 


not stated to be a widower) ; History of Joseph the Carpenter, 
2, 4, II ; (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. f 

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 com- 
pany of Peter on a journey along the Syrian coast of the Medi- 
terranean from Caesarea to Antioch. To the romance may well 
have belonged the letter of Clement to James, now prefixed to the 

Back of this lost romance lie its own sources, one of which was 
an anti-pauline Jewish-Christian gnostic account of the preach- 
ing of Peter (KT)p6Y[jLaTa ITsTpout), 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 

* The Apocryphal Gospels are conveniently accessible in English in The Ante-Nicene Fathers 
(American ed., vol. viii, Buffalo, i8S6). 

fHamack. CaL, ii, 1Q04, pp. 518-5.40; H. Waitz, Psettdoklemenlinen (Te.xte und Unter- 
suchungen, xxv^ 1904; H. Waitz, art. " Clementinen," in PRE, xxiii (Ergdnzungsband , i), 1913, 
pp. 312-316. 

{This document does not appear to have had any connection with the Kerygma Petri, cur- 
rent in .Alexandria in the late second century, see E. von Dobschiitz Das Kerygma Petri 
(TU, li), 1893. 


to him. It is assumed {e. g. Ep. of Clement to James, preface ; Rec. 
i, 43/.) 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 re- 
semblance 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 ('Avapa0[xol 'laxu^ou) mentioned by Epiphanius {Hcer. 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 knowl- 
edge 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 in- 
dicate from whom the appointment to this office came. 

Hegesippus ap. Eus. H.e. ii, 23 < BtaSlxsTat Se x-fjv lx,xXT]CTfav jxe-ni 
xwv ixoaToXwv 6 aosXt}'^? "^^^ xupt'ou 'laxw^os, see also Eus. H. e. iv, 
22*, where Hegesippus expressly describes Symeon, who was made 
bishop on the death of James, as second in the succession. 

Clement of Alexandria states that Peter, James (presumably the 
son of Zebedee), and John, being the apostles who had received 
special honour from the Saviour, chose James the Just to be bishop 
of Jerusalem. This representation is followed by Eusebius and 
Jerome. In the Recognitions of Clement and in Epiphanius the 
statement appears that James was ordained bishop by the Lord 

Eusebius, H.e. ii, i' KXtjiit]? Iv s'/.tw twv 'YxoTUituffswv YP<i4>wv (iSe 
TcapfaxTjatv • " ITixpov ^lip ifficn xal 'Idxw^ov xal 'IwavviQv tisTtz tt)v aviiXT)4'tv 
ToG a(i)T^po<;, w? av xal uxb xou awxfjpoq xpoTeTttJi.T]ixivou(;, (A"?) extSixal^ea- 
6ac Sd^T)?, iXkoL 'Idxw^ov xbv Stxotiov extaxoxov xwv 'IspoaoXuixwv IXIaOat." 

H. e. ii, 23^ 'Idxw^ov xbv xou xupfou . . . dSeXif 6v, w xpbq xuv ixoa- 
xiXwv h x^? ETCtffxoicTii; xr\q Iv "lepoaoXufiotq lyxsxefpwxo 6p6vo(;.* 

Jerome, De viris illuslr. 2, Jacobus . . . post passionem domini statim 
ah apostolis Hierosolymorum episcopus ordinatus. . . . Triginta itaqiie 
annis Hierosolymae rexit ecclesiam, id est usque ad septimum Neronis 

•Eusebius elsewhere repeatedly refers to James as having been bishop, E.e. iii, s. 7. n; 
iv, s; vii, 19. 


Recog. Clem, i, 43, ecdesia doniini in Hierusalem constituta copio- 
sissime muUiplicata crescebat per Jacobum qui a domino ordinatus est 
in ea episcopus, reciissimis dispensationibus gubernata. 

Epiphan. Her. Ixxviii, 7, xal xpwxoi; outo? [5c. 6 'Itixw^oq] g'lXifj^e 
Tf)v xa6d8pav x^? eictaxoir^q w xsiciffTeuxe xupio? Tbv 6p6vov otuTou ItcI t^? 

•J-^? Xp(iT([). 

The N. T. says nothing about a bishop at that time in Jerusalem, 
and the attribution of the title to James is probably an anachronism, 
in spite of the episcopal throne which Eusebius {H. e. vii, 19) says 
was preserved at Jerusalem and shown to visitors down to his own 

{b) From Clement of Alexandria one other noteworthy state- 
ment about James is preserved by Eusebius, H. e, ii, i* : 

"And he [viz. Clement of Alexandria] further says this about him 
[viz. James] in the seventh book of the same work [viz. the Hy poly- 
poses] : 

"'To James the Just and John and Peter after the resurrection the 
Lord committed Knowledge (xaplSwxe t-Jjv Yvwatv) ; they committed 
it to the other apostles ; and the other apostles to the seventy, one of 
whom was Barnabas. Now there were two Jameses, one, the Just, 
who was thrown from the pinnacle and beaten to death by a fuller's 
club, and one who was beheaded.' " 

. (c) The account of James given by Epiphanius in H(Br. xxix, 3-4, 
Ixxviii, 7-14, is derived mainly from the long fragments of Hege- 
sippus found in Eusebius (to whom direct reference is made, Hcer. 
xxix, 3-4) and from the Protevangelium Jacobi or some other apoc- 
ryphal gospel. A few touches, not of great importance, are added 
either from Epiphanius's own invention or possibly from inde- 
pendent 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, Ex. 28^^ f- 29^), 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 bare- 
foot 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. ii, 23'*) to have been still marked in his day by a monument 
near the temple (xapa tw vay). In the time of Jerome another 

* This is evidently a mere expansion from the statement of Hegesippus ap. Eus. H. e. ii, 
23' Toi/Toi ixovio ef ^i" eis rd ayia [v. I. rd dyta Tiui' ayiuv] eicrieVai. 


site for his grave was indicated on the Mount of Olives (Jer. Dc vir. 
ill. 2, quidam e nostris in monte Oliveti eum condltum putant sed falsa 
eorum opinio est). For later legends as to his grave, see Zahn, 
Forschungen, vi, pp. 233/. His body is said to have been trans- 
ferred 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 
(t 720) wrote a tract, "On the Life and Martyrdom of the Holy 
Apostle James the Brother of God," pubHshed by A. Papadopoulos- 
Kerameus, 'AviXexxa 'lepoaoXutn-ucxfi? STaxyoXoYta";, 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, 'YTc6tJLVT)iJ,a zlq Tbv Sycov 'Mxw^ov, iicoatoXov xal 
dSsX960£ov, Acta Sanctorum, May i (Migne, Patrologia grcBca, vol. 
cxv, cols. 199-218). 

(/) As mentioned above, the Protevangelium Jacobi claims 
James as its author. Also an Ebionite work, entitled Steps of 
James, referred to by Epiphanius {HcBr. xxx, 16), contained utter- 
ances of James against the temple and the sacrifice and the fire 
on the altar. The same book seems to have included false stories 
intended to throw discredit on the apostle Paul. What the term 
"Steps" meant in the title of the book is not clear. 

The Naassenes, a syncretistic sect described by Hippolytus, had 
a book containing their doctrine as transmitted by James the Lord's 
brother to Mariamne (Hippolytus, Philosophumena, v, 7 ; x, 9). 

(g) The ancient liturgy proper to the churches of Syria, now 
obsolete except on the feast of St. James, and then used in a few 
localities only, is known as the Liturgy of St. James. This name 
is first attested in 692, and applies to both the Greek and the 
Syrian form of the liturgy. 

See L. Duchesne, Christian Worship, Its Origin and Evolution^, 1904, 
pp. 65-69; F. E. Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, i, Oxford, 

St. James the Lord's brother is commemorated in the Greek 
church on October 23, and the calendars of the Greek and other 
Oriental churches provide separate days for James the Lord's 
brother and James (son of Alphseus) the apostle. In the western 
church various days have been observed, but all except May i have 
gradually been eliminated, while, under the guidance of Jerome's 
theory of identification, the separate feast of James son of Alphaeus 
(formerly celebrated on June 22) has also been dropped. For rea- 

•Georgius Codinus, Z)e adificib constantinopolitanis. p. 36 (Migne, Patrologia grcsca, vol. 
clvii, col. 593). 


sons which do not appear Philip and James were early associated 
together, and May i is now the day of St. Philip and St, James in 
the Roman and Anglican churches. 

May I is found assigned to " James " in the Martyrologium Hiero- 
nymianum (sixth century). The Venerable Bede (t735) attests the 
date in his metrical martyrology: 

Jacobus f rater domini pins atque Philippus 
mirifico Maias veneranhir honore calendas, 
and it has been general in western calendars. 

Did. of Christian Antiquities, 1893, art. "James the Less, St., Legend 
and Festival of"; R. A. Lipsius, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und 
Apostellegenden, ii, 2, 1884, pp. 247-253; A. J. Maclean, art. "Festi- 
val," § 31, in Harford and Stevenson, Prayer Book Dictionary, 191 2. 


J. H. Ropes, "The Text of the Epistle of James," in Journal of 
Biblical Literature, xxviii, 1909, pp. 103-129. 

B. Weiss, Die katholischen Briefe, Textkritische Untersuchungen und 
Textherstellung (Texte und Untersuchungen, viii, 3), 1892. 

P. Corssen [review of Weiss], in GgA, 1893, pp. 573-602. 

B. Weiss, "Textkritische Studien," in Zeitschrift fiir ivissenschaftliche 
Theologie, Ixiii, 1894, pp. 424-451. 

[F. J. A. Hort], "Introduction," in Westcott and Hort, The New 
Testament in the Original Greek, 1881, -1S96. 

§ I. Greek Manuscripts. 

The Greek text of James is found in the following Mss. In 
designating the Mss. the numbers established by Gregory, Die 
griechischen Handschrifien des Neuen Testaments, 1908 ; Text- 
kritik des Neuen Testamentes, vol. iii, 1909, are used throughout 
this commentary. 

Cent. Hi. 

^ 21. Oxyrhynchus 1171 ; contains Jas. 2^5-3^ 

Cent. iv. 

B. Codex Vaticanus. 
J<. Codex Sinaiticus. 

P — .Oxyrhynchus 1229; contains Jas. 110-12.15-18^ 

Cent. V. 
A. Codex Alexandrinus. 

C. Codex Ephraem ; contains Jas. 1^-4^. 

TEXT 75 

048 (formerly D). Codex Patiriensis; contains Jas. 4^*-s^'^. 

W. Sanday and P. BatifEol, "Etude critique sur le Codex Patiriensis 
du Nouveau Testament," in Revue Biblique, 1895, pp. 207-213. 

0166. Heidelberg, University Library, 1357 ; Jas. i". 

A. Deissmann, Die Septuagintapapyri und andere aUchristliche Texte 
der Heidelberger Papyrussammliing, 1905, p. 85. 

^ — . Oxyrhynchus fragment, Papiri greci e latini, i, 191 2, 
No. 5; Jas. I"-". 

Cent. vii. 

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

Cent, viii or ix. 


Cent. ix. 


P^*=^ Palimpsest, often defective. 

2,2, (formerly 13^*^0. The "queen of the cursives." 

Cent. XV. 
69 (formerly 31^''^). 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 enumer- 
ated 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, "Etude sur les versions copies de la Bible," in Revue 
Bibliqiie, 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, bcii, 1906, pp. 292-322. 

(i) 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 con- 
tains 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. 
Gmci e codice MS Alexandrino, 1799, where (pp. 203-207) Jas. 
J 2. 12 (^10. 13) is printed from Paris, Bibl. nat. copt. 44 (Sahidic 
vocabulary, c. cent, xiii), and Jas. 126-2^. 8-23 33-6 4I1-17 57-20^ {^q^ 
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 Jas. 1^-21. 
Text printed in J. Balestri, Sacrorum Bihliorum fragmenta 
Copto-Sahidica Musei Borgiani, iii, 1904, pp. 441-444; and 
doubtless the source of the text printed by E. Amelineau, 
Zeitschr. fur Agyptische Sprache, xxvi, 1888, pp. 99/. 

Rome, Propaganda, Mus. Borg. (Zoega, XCV), lectionary, 
cent, xi or xii, Jas. 2^- ^■^^. Text printed in Balestri, Sacrorum 
Bihliorum fragmenta, iii, p. 444. 

Cairo, Museum, 8005, Jas. i2('-2«; see Crum, "Coptic Mon- 
uments," in Catalogue general des antiquites egyptiennes du Musee 
du Caire, iv, 1902. 

Petrograd, W. Golenischeff, cent, x, Jas. 223-314, Text printed 

TEXT 77 

in Bulletin de VAcademie Iniperialc de St. Petersbourg, xxxiii, 
1890, pp. 373-391- 

Vienna. Jas. i^"" 511-20. i^-is, 17-20 from Saliidic lectionaries are 
to be found in Wessely, Studien zur Paldographie und Papyrus- 
kunde, xii, 191 2. 

(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 attrib- 
uted to the fourth century. 

London, Brit. Mus. 5299 (i), formerly Flinders Petrie (Crum, 
492; Gregory, 2), 300-350 a.d. (so Crum; Hyvernat assigns 
to cent. V or vi), Jas. 4^''- ^^. Text in W. E. Crum, Coptic 
Manuscripts Brought from the Fayyum, 1893, PP- 2/.; see also 
Crum, Catalogue of the Coptic Manuscripts in the British Museum, 

The text of this fragment corresponds to a Greek text as follows: 

xptTTJi;. el? Zi eoTtv 6 votioOsiT)? xal . . . xopeuawixeOa zlc, ttjvSs tt)v tuo- 
Xiv xal xoti^aa);i,£v sviauxiv eva. It agrees entirely in text, and substan- 
tially in translation, with the Sahidic of Woide. 

Strassburg, University Library, cent, v or vii-viii, James, 
complete from i^'. Text in F. Rosch, Bruchstiicke des ersten 
Clemensbriefes, 19 10. 

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

Of this version the text of Jas. i^^- ^s 21- 3' ^ jg 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 

* Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the Nerji) Testament-, igi2, p. 185, inclines 
to a date at the end of the third or in the fourth century. 


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 BKAC 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, 4^p) 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. Pratorius, art. "Bibelubersetzungen, athiopische," in Herzog- 
Hauck, PRE^, 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 Piatt, 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 Encydopcedia Britannica, 
xxii, 1887, republished as A Short History of Syriac Literature, 1894. 

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

TEXT 79 

(i) 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. i3«^), 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 
suppHed 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, 
25^^). 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 prob- 
ably made not earlier than the sixth century (reign of Justinian) 

•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, 5. EphraMs Quotations 
from the Gospel (TS, vii), 1901. 


for the use of certain communities of Malkite Christians in 
Palestine, some of whom were afterward settled in Egypt. 
The earHest Ms. is of the seventh century. The text on which 
the version rests is of a mixed character. 

Jas. I ^-^2 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. Ixv. 

{d) Armenian Version. 

F. C. Conybeare, art. "Armenian Version," in HDB, i, 1898. 

H. Gelzer, art. "Armenien," in Herzog-Hauck, PRE^, vol. ii, 1897. 

Said to have been originally translated (c. 400) from the 
Syriac and revised after 431 by Greek Mss. brought from Con- 
stantinople. 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 

(e) Latin Versions. 

P. Corssen, "Bericht iiber die lateinischen Bibeliibersetzungen," in 

Jahresbericht iiber die Fortschritte der classischen AUertmnswissenschaft, 
ci, 1899, pp. 1-83. 

(i) 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 sub- 
stantially 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. 1 13-150, also (with photo- 
graph) in A. Staerk, Les manuscrits latins du V" au XI IP siecle 
conserves a la Bibliotheque imperiale de Saint-Petershourg, 1910. 
This Ms. of James is remarkable because it forms a part of 

TEXT 8 1 

a codex containing treatises by Philastrius and Pseudo-Tertul- 
lian together with the epistle of Barnabas, but no other Biblical 

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 
Jas. 11-210 2i«-35 3^'-5" 5" ^■' 

H. J. White, Portions of the Acts of the Apostles, of the Epistle of St. 
James, and of the First Epistle of St. Peter frotn 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 Scrip- 
tures, 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 

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 

One quotation from James is found in the commentaries of 
Ambrosiaster, who on Gal. 51" cites Jas. 520. The text is doubt- 
less 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, 191 1, pp. 497-534. 


(2) Vulgate. 

S. Berger, Hisioire dc la Vulgate pendant les premiers siecles du moyen 
age, Paris, 1893. 

J. Wordsworth and H. J. White, Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri 
Jesu Christi Latine secundum editionem S. Hleronyml, Pars prior, Quat- 
tuor evangelia, Oxford, 1889-98; Prafatio, 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, ^1592, ^1593, ^1598,* differs in many points. 
The text of A with the variants of F is to be found in a suflS- 
ciently 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 mLxed 
with Vulgate readings.f 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, t With this inference corresponds the fact that Chroma- 
tins of Aquileia (tc.406), the friend of Jerome, uses the Latin 
version of James found in ff,§ and that the only probable allu- 
sion 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. II 

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

t Wordsworth, SB, i, pp. 126/. t Sanday, SB, i, pp. 258/. 

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

II P. Thielmann, Archivfiir laleinische Lexikographie, viii, 1893, p. 502, holds that 2 is prob- 
ably of African origin. 

TEXT ^3 

Heer, Die versio latina des Barnabasbriefes, 1908, pp. xlv/., 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, 1385).* 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 devel- 
opment and partly by the admission of European readings." f 
There is no sufficient evidence that ff and m rest upon two 
independent translations of James into Latin, f On the con- 
trary, the same Greek text underlies the two, and we must 
assimie 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 ff 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 Com- 

*0r of Instantius; see G. Morin, "Pro Instantio," in Revue Benedictine, vol. sxx, 1913, 
PP- 153-173- 

t Sanday, Classical Review, iv, i8go, pp. 414-417; SB, !, pp. 24.4 Jf. 

t Sanday, OLBT, No. II, 1887, p. cclv; cf. SB, i, pp. 250, 259. Wordsworth's view (SB, 
i. PP- 133/-) that £f, Vg, ra, 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 Jas. i" (Zahn, Grundriss-, p. 6g). 

II Westcott, CNT'', pp. 270/. The case with 2 Peter is similar ; cf. Westcott, pp. 269/. 

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

tt Augustin. Retract. 11,32, adjuvant (sc. Augustine's adnotaliones , now lost) erso aliquid, nisi 
quod ipsam epislolam, quam legebamus quando ista diciavi, non diligenter ex grcBco habebamus 
inter prelatam. 


plexiones 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 (f 533) and Facundus of 
Ermione (f c. 570) White surmises that the elements in s which 
are divergent from the Vulgate "represent a stream of late 
African text." f 

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 Gos- 
pels."! 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 i<). 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. 

• Cf. Zahn, ibid. t OLBT, No. IV, 1897, p. xsi. 

t Westcott, art. "Vulgate," in Smith, DB, p. 3479, cf. p. 3460; cf. Wordsworth, SB, i, p. 
128 ; White, art. "Vulgate," in HDB, iv, pp. 874, 883. 

§ Wordsworth, /. c. p. 134. 

II 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 seri- 
ously into question. 

TEXT 85 

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 there- 
fore 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 pecuhar 
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. Ac- 
cordingly, if due precaution is taken against admitting unsup- 
ported errors due to an eccentricity of B, it is a sound rule 
that in cases where "internal evidence of readings" is not de- 
cisive the reading of B shovdd 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 com- 
mend themselves by their internal character as superior. Sec- 
ondly, 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 exceUence BK33CAP, is substantiated (at any rate for 
the uncials) in the Epistle of James. 

The rule above stated cannot be presumed to 5neld a perfect text. 
The result will probably include some undetectable errors. It will, 
however, certainly contain fewer emetided readings than would be in- 
troduced 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 docu- 
ment, 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 

"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. 


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 in- 
fluence of Alexandria. No one of the Apostohc Fathers, of 
the Christian writers of the second century, or of the heretics 
of the same period betrays, in the present writer's opinion, ac- 
quaintance 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 accept- 
ance of the book as sacred Scripture. In Syria the official trans- 
lation 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 sLxth 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, 18S0, pp. 292-300; Meinertz, 
Jakobusbrief (Biblische Studien, x), 1905; Zahn, Einleitung, i, =1906, 
§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 Einleitung are too much influenced by Mayor, and 
are less trustworthy than his earher judgments. On the history of 
opinion as to the author of the epistle, see above, pp. 54-59. 

§ I. 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, 5. Clement of Rome'', 1890, i, p. 96, speaks somewhat 
guardedly of the recognition of James's "type of Apostolic teaching," 
*To these may be added Clem. Rom. 40' iyd-n-rt koAutttei Tr\i)9o? aixapTiutv, cf. Jas. j*". 


although in fact he believed (i, p. 397, cf. ii, pp. 97, 100) that Clement 
knew and used our epistle. Westcott, CNT\ 1896, p. 49, thinks that 
Clement used James, as does Zahn, GnK, 1889, i, pp. 962/. Holtz- 
mann, Einleitung', 1892, p. 91, regards the question as indeterminable. 
Weiss, Einleitung^, 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/. 

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 insufl&cient to give positive evidence 
in favour of hterary dependence." 

Polycarp 6 xal o\ xpeff^uirspot SI siiffTCXayxvot, zlq TcavTa? ekBii^Loi/sq, 
Ixtaxp^cpovue? ti dtxox£xXocvT)[j,lvo[,'roti.evot Tz&yzaq acQetielq, (!.■?) 
(i(i.£Xouvxei; xqpixq tj opcpavoO ij xivqioq . . . d-TCSX^tiievot Tz&c-qq Spy^?, xpoaw- 
•jcoXirjt^fa?, xpfoewi; ioi'xou, is noteworthy as combining a great many of 
the topics treated in James, but there is no sufficient indication of direct 
literary connection. The same is to be said of Epistle of Barnabas 20. 
Most of the parallels from the Apostolic Fathers and from Justin are 
conveniently collected in Mayor, ch. 2 ; see also NTAF. 

Hermas. — The Shepherd presents a great number of resem- 
blances 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. Jas. 2^^-^^), 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 pro- 
vide (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 
reUgion, but the existence of such a book is not proved ; a com- 
mon background would suffice to account for the facts, and that 
need not imply that the two authors lived in the same locaUty 
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 Hennas, 1868, pp. 
396-409; GnK, 1889, i, p. 962; Einleitung^, 1906, § 7, note 5) holds 
the dependence of Hermas on James to be certain, and with him agree 
Weiss, Einleitung", 1889, p. 37, and Westcott, CNT\ 1896, pp. 204, 
207. Conversely, Holtzmann, Einleitung^, 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 Lei- 
poldt, GnK, i, 1907, p. 189, deems Hermas only "perhaps" dependent. 
Hamack, CaL, i, 1897, p. 485, and Jiilicher, Einleitung^, 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, /. c. 

The parallel which is perhaps most striking is found in Hermas, 
Mand. ix, where the subject is a warning against Stifux^*^- The ex- 
hortation to pray to the Lord without St^'ux'a and iStaTixTG).; ; the 
promise that God will fulfil such a request ; the assurance that God 
beareth no grudge (oux saTt y^p h 9eb<; ui; ol fivOpuTcot ol [ivrjatxaxouvTe? 
dtXX' (x^xhq dtpLVT)aixax6? lejTt) ; the warning that tA Zl'ifU'xor. . . . ouSev 
oXttq IxtxuYX'i'^o'J^' "^iiiv afTYjuLiTtov auTtov ; the exhortation to pray Iv -zfi 
•rcfaTEt ; the generalisation that tj ^I'^ux^cc . . . icivTwv d(;xoTUYx<^v£' '^^'^ spYuv 
otuTT^q a)v xp4aaet, all have their parallels, and to some extent in the same 
order, in Jas. i'-'. Further, the passage contains a number of single 
phrases (e. g. f) xfo-cti; ava>9lv ea-ut ...-?) SI Sti^uxfa exfYetov icveufii ejTt 
xotpdk ToO Sta^dXou; xaSiSptaov ouv t-?)v xotpSfotv aou; aeauTbv atTtw xal [l^ 
Tbv 3i36vTa aot) 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 Stijiuxo?) 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 mul- 
tiplied almost indefinitely, but nowhere else is there so near an approach 
to a parallelism in the development of a considerable context as in 
Mand. ix. A comparison of the elaboration in Mand. viii of what is 
compactly expressed in Jas. i^' is also instructive; cf. Ep. Barnab. 20. 

Irenseus. — The following passages alone come in question : 

iv, 16^ ipse Abraham sine circumcisione et sine observation e 
sahhatorum credidit deo et reputatum est illi adjustitiam, et amicus 
dei vocatus est (cf. Jas. 2^^) ; 

iv, 13^ Abraham . . . amicus f actus est deo (cf. Jas. 2^^); 

V, i^ factor es autem sermonum ejus facti (cf. Jas. 1^2); facti 
autem initium facturae {cf. Jas. i^*). 

In the first of these (iv, 16^) the striking identity of language 
with Jas. 2^3 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. Rom. 10^, ^A^paa/x 
6 ^tXo9 irpocra'yopevOeL^, and 10^), and the form of expres- 
sion is the simplest and most direct possible. The other re- 
semblances are too slight to show any literary relationship. 

Westcott, CNT'', 1896, p. 391, and Harnack, Das Neue Testament urn 
das Jahr 200, 1889, p. 79, see here no evidence that Irenaeus knew James. 
On the other hand, Zahn, Forschungen, iii, 1884, p. 152 ; GnK, i, 1888, 
p. 325; Grundriss-, 1904, p. 21; Julicher, Einleitung^, 1906, p. 453; 
Leipoldt, GnK, i, 1907, p. 235, accept the evidence of use by Irenasus 
as probably valid. Weiss, Einleitung-, 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^ libertatis lex, iv, 39^ tov deafjiov t-j}? iXevOepia^^ 
are fully accounted for from Irenaeus's own emphasis on the 
liberty of the Gospel, and do not indicate any acquaintance 
with James; cf. Iren. iii, iz*^; iv, g-; iv, 37^ 


Tertullian. — No passage in Tertullian proves use of James, 
and his omission to quote Jas. i^^ in discussing the Lord's Prayer, 
J)e orat. 8, seems to show that he was not acquainted with it, 
or at any rate that he ascribed to it no apostoHc or sacred 

So Westcott, CNTi, p. 379; Weiss, Einleitung^, p. 72; Ronsch, Das 
Neue Testament Tertullian's, 1871, pp. 572-574. Zahn, Forschungen, 
iii, p. 152, held to Tertullian's dependence on James in Adv. Jud. 2, 
De oral. 8; later, GnK, i, p. 325, he leaves the question undecided; 
and finally, Grundriss'^, p. 20, he ventures no statement. Jiilicher, 
Einleitung^, 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, how- 
ever, writes of Clement as follows : 

Hist. eccl. vi, 14^ ^v Se ral'^ "TiroTViraicrecrLV ^ ^vveXovra etVety, 
7rdar)<i rrj^; evhiadrfKOv 'ypac^rj^ eTrtreT firj ^eva<i ireiroirjrai Sirjyi]- 
aem^ /xrjSe Ta<i avTtXejofxeva<; irapeXOcov^ ttjv 'louSa Xeyco Kal 
Ta? XoLTra'i Ka9o\iKa<i eTTLcnoXa'i ttjv tc ^apva/3d Kal ti]V 
Ilerpou Xeyofievrjv 'AiroKoXvxl/LV. 

The statement about Clement made by Photius, Bihlioth. 
cod. 109 eppL'qvelai . . . rod OeCov TiavXov roiv iirLaroXfov koX 
T&v KadoXtKwv, is to the same effect, and the two testimonies 
would be accepted as attesting Clement's knowledge of James, 
were it not that the Latin Adumbrationes dementis in epistolas 
canonicas, which are accepted as the translation of the Hypo- 
typoses made under the direction of Cassiodorius in the sixth 
century, include only i Peter, Jude, i and 2 John. That these 
four pieces were only selections from a larger body of Latin 
translations is made less likely by the careful reference of Cassi- 
odorius to only four epistles in the following passage : 

De instit. div. lit. 8: In epistolis autem canonicis Clemens 
Alexandrinus presbyter, qui et Stromateus vacatur, id est in epistola 
sancti Petri prima, sancti Joannis prima et secunda, et Jacohi 
quaedam attico sermone declaravit. Ubi multa quidem subtiliter 
sed aliqiia incaute locutus est, quae nos ita transferri fecimus in 
latinum, ut exclusis quibtisdam ojfendiculis purificata doctrhiQ. 


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 ad- 
mitted to throw some doubt on the inference which would other- 
wise be drawn from the statements of Eusebius and Photius, 
and the question must be left undecided. The general rela- 
tion of Clement to Origen would make it entirely natural that 
he as well as Origen should have had the epistle; but it cer- 
tainly made no appeal to his interest. 

So Jiilicher, Einleitung^, p. 454. Zahn, Forschungen, iii, pp. 133- 
138, 150-153; GnK, i, pp. 321-323; Grundriss-, p. 21, is convinced 
(but in part on highly precarious grounds) that Clement used James. 
On the other side are Westcott, CNT^, p. 362-364 ; Hamack, N. T. 
urn 200, p. 80; Weiss, Einleitung-, 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 eav Ze XejrjTai fxev iricrri'?, 
^cBjoi? Se €p<y(i)v TV'y')(dvrj^ veKpd icmv -q Totavrrj^ &)? iv rrj (f)e- 
po/xev7) 'laK(o^ov iTna-roXrj aveyvcofjiev. 

Other formulas used by Origen in quoting James are : 

ft)? Trapa 'laKoo^cp (Select, in Ps. 30, ed. Lommatzsch, vol. xii, 
p. 129) ; 

(f)r]alv 6 a'Tr6(T7o\o<i {ibid. 65, vol. xii, p. 395) ; 

^■qal <yap Ta«:&)/3o9 (ibid. 118, vol. xiii, p. 100); 

Ka\co<i yeypaTrrat {ibid. 118, vol. xiii, p. 70); 

(f)rjaLv {ibid. 118, vol. xiii, p. 106); 

iXex^V {Select, in Exod. 15, vol. viii, p. 324) ; 

oTrep '^yov/xai elprjaOat vtto tt}? ypat^rj^ {Comm. in Joh, 
fragm. 6, Berl, ed, vol. iv, p. 488); 


o 'la/cwySo? ypd(f)ei, (ibid, fragm. 38, p. 514, also ibid, fragm. 
46, p. 521); 

Ka6oi<; (fi7](n 'ld/c(o^o<i 6 airoaroXo^; (ibid, fragm. 126, p. 570). 

See Mayor^, pp. Ixxxi/. The Latin extracts given by Mayor, in 
some of which James is called "apostle" or "brother of the Lord," are 
from the version of Rufinus, and cannot be trusted in this particular. 
Other similar Latin passages could be added to Mayor's collection. 

Origen thus regarded the author of James as an ''apostle," 
and included the epistle in "Scripture" ; moreover, in his com- 
prehensive statements about the contents of the N. T., preserved, 
to be sure, only in the Latin of Rufinus (Horn, in Gen. xiii, 2, 
the "wells" ; Horn, in Jos. vii, i, the "trumpets"), he includes 
James with Peter and Jude among the authors of the N. T. 
This evidence is confirmed by his abundant use of passages from 
the epistle in his works. 

The fact that, in speaking of James the Lord's brother in 
Comm. in Matt, x, 17 (on 13^^^-)) Origen fails to mention any 
epistle by him may, however, indicate that he then believed 
the epistle to have been written by some other Apostle James. 
The omission of any reference to the Epistle of James (or to 
that of Jude) in the passage quoted by Eusebius, H. e. vi, 25^-^°, 
from Origen's commentary on John, book v, is noteworthy, 
but the purpose of the passage is to show that even the great 
apostles, Paul, Peter, and John, wrote but little, and mention 
of James was not necessary. 

The precise attitude toward the epistle indicated by the word <pepo- 
(i^vT) in the first extract quoted above has been much discussed. But 
the expression seems to mean "current," and does not indicate any 
qualification of Origen's acceptance of the writing in question. Cf. 
Comm. in Joan. t. i, c. 2 (with reference to the law of Moses) twv 
Tofvuv 9spo[xlv(i)v YPOtfwv xal ev xaaatc; sxxXrjafai? 6so0 xextaxeusJLSvwv 
elvat Gefcov oux i2v d(i(ipTot iiq X^y^v xpo)TOY^vv7][JLa (xev xbv Mouaew? v6- 
liov ixapx-fjv Se xh suaYY^Xtov; t. i, c. 3 <pdi:axo>v txeta to. eiiaYT^^"^ '^"'5 
xpd^Eti; xal Ta? lxtaToX(i<; 9^peaOat xoiv dtxoa'u6X(i)v . . . ev xat? <pepo[jL^vat<; 

The positive evidence that Origen counted James as a "disputed" 
book, and had scruples about including it in his N. T., seems to reduce it- 
self to an over-hasty inference from Comm. in J oh. xx, 10 ou auYZwpirjGev 


av uxb Twv •7capaSe%o[i^v(i)v to Uiaziq xwpl? spYWv vsz-pa loTtv, where 
the context shows that there is no implication whatever that any 
class of recognised Christians deliberately rejected James. Zahn's state- 
ment in GnK, i, p. 323 and note i, was correct, and has been unfortu- 
nately modified in Gnmdrlss-, p. 43 ; cf. Gregory, Canon and Text of the 
New Testament, 1907, pp. 226/. 

The extant writers of the Greek church contemporary with 
Origen or just after his time made somewhat sparing use of 
James, but there is no reason to think that any of them failed 
to include it in his N. T. The antiquity of the epistle, its 
practical religious and moral usefulness for edification, and the 
growing belief that it was written by the Apostle James (see 
pp. 43-45) were motives which united to compel acceptance 
of it. A third-century papyrus and all Greek copies of the 
Catholic epistles (the earliest of which date from the fourth 
century) contain it, and it is found in the several Egyptian 
versions, which must have followed the custom of Alexandria. 

Frequent use and direct quotation of James, apparently as 
Scriptm-e (i, 11^), are found in the pseudo-clementine Epistolae 
ad virgines, probably written in Palestine or southern Syria in 
the early decades of the third century. In the same century 
perhaps Gregory Thaumaturgus* (\ c. 270), probably Dionysius 
of Alexandriaf (t 265), and certainly Methodius of OlympusJ 
(t c. 311) show acquaintance with James. 

In the fourth century the evidence increases. Eusebius uses 
the epistle freely ,§ and it seems to have formed part of his N. T. 
The fifty copies of the N. T. made under his direction by or- 
der of the Emperor Constantine no doubt included the seven 
CathoHc epistles, and we may assume that this was true also 
of the copies prepared by Pamphilus (f 309). The statement 
of Eusebius that some did not accept James is to be understood 
of the Syrians. 

»Westcott, CNT\p. 392. 

tHamack, Dte Uberlieferung und der Bestand der urchristlichen Lilleralur his Eusebius, 
1893, pp. 419, 421/. ; Bardenhewer, CesckiclUe der allkirchlichen Lilleralur, ii, p. 175 ; Meinertz, 
J akobusbriej , p. 112. 

t Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 250; Bonwetsch, "Die TheoloRie von Methodius von Olympus," 
in Alhandl. der kgl. Ges. der Wissenschaften zu Gollingen, phil.-hisl. Klasse, N. F. vii, i, 1903, 
p. 142; and Methodius von Olympus, I. Schrijten, 1891, pp. 291, 293. 

§ Westcott, CNT', p. 43«. 


Hist. eccl. li, 23" Totau-ra y.fx\ "zx -/.xix 'lixw^ov ou t) xpcoTY) twv 6voyia- 
l^o[i£V(i)V xaOoXtxwv STCtaxoXwv elvat XsysTai ' laxioy Ss (i)? voOsusrai [xsv, 
oii xoXXol Yoi^^ ''^'^^ xaXatuv auzi}q £ti,VTj(jL6veuffav. idq ouSe t^<; Xeyo- 
liivqq 'loiiSa, (xtai; xal aLixf)<; ouciq<; twv Itcto; Xsyo[j.^v(i>v xa9oXt>c(I)v • 8[jiw>; 
S' tfftJLev xal TauTa<; (le-uo; luv XotTcuv £v ■Kksia'zxiq S£3T)[j,oat£uti.£va<; £•/.- 

Ibid, iii, 25' twv 3' avxtX£Yoti.lvwv, yvwptjjiwv 8' ouv o[i.(i)? xotq xoXXots, t) 
X£YO[A£VY] 'laxw^ou (fipeixt xal y) 'lojSa i^ t£ IHxpou 3£uxdpa exiaxoX^ xal -J) 
6vofi,ai^otJ.ivirj S£uxipa xal xpfxT] 'loxivvou. 

From Eusebius's statements a knowledge of these ancient doubts 
about James was kept alive among Greek scholars through the Middle 
Ages ; cf., for instance, in the fourteenth century, Nicephorus Callistus, 
Hist. eccl. ii, 46. 

The Catalogus Claromontanus (Ms. of sixth century ; the list 
is believed to have been composed in Alexandria in the fourth 
century) includes it, as do the lists of Athanasius, Cyril of 
Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Amphilochius, 
and Chrysostom.* In many of these writers quotations or allu- 
sions are also found, f 

To these witnesses may be added Macarius of Egypt (f 391), 
the so-called 60th canon of the Council of Laodicea (fourth or 
fifth century), and from the fifth century Cyril of Alexandria, 
Isidore of Pelusium, Hesychius of Jerusalem, Marcus Eremita, 
Eusebius of Alexandria. J 

The acceptance of James in the Greek church (not including 
certain Greek-speaking Syrians) is thus unbroken from the time 
of Origen, when the book first emerges into the light of history. 
Before the year 400 knowledge of it is attested for Alexandria, 
Palestine, Cyprus, Asia Minor, and Constantinople. 

The Armenian Church. The Armenian N. T., in the only form 
known to us, was made to correspond to Greek Mss. brought from 
Constantinople after 431, and hence includes James with the other 
Catholic epistles; see the full references to Armenian writers of the 
fifth century given by Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, pp. 185-189. 

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

t The reference to Basil given by Westcott, CNT'', p. 434, is to the Constiluliones monasiicae, 
which are probably not genuine. The resemblances in the passages from the Clementine 
Homilies cited by Mayor', pp. Ixxxiii/., are inadequate to show acquaintance with James. 
Gregory of Nyssa nowhere alludes to James. 

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


§ 3. The Syrian Church. 

W. Bauer, Der Apostolos der Syrer, 1903; Zahn, "Das Neue Testa- 
ment Theodors von Mopsvestia und der urspriingliche Kanon der 
Sjnrer," in Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift, xi, 1900, pp. 788-806. 

The history of the epistle among the Syrians is very different, 
but shows the gradual effect of the influence of Greek learned 
authority. The earliest translation of James into Syriac was 
that of c. 412 in the Peshitto version, which included also 
I Peter and i John. Previous to that time none of the Catholic 
epistles had gained complete acceptance into the Syrian canon. 

Zahn, GnK, i, pp. 373-375. Cf. Dod. Addai, 46. The Syrian canon 
published from a ninth-century Ms. by Mrs. A. S. Lewis, Sliidia Sina- 
itica, i, 1894, pp. 11-14, is believed to have been composed about 400 
A.D. ; it includes the four Gospels, Acts, and the epistles of Paul (with 
Hebrews and perhaps 3 Corinthians), but expressly excludes all the 
Catholic epistles as well as the Apocalypse. 

Hence Aphraates (c. 345) and the genuine works of Ephraem 
(t378) show no trace of acquaintance with James, and no clear 
trace is found in the scant remains of other literature in the 
Syriac tongue down to the great division of the Syrian church 
after the Council of Chalcedon (451). 

So Burkitt, "Text und Versions," in EB, iv, 1903, col. 5004, note ; cf. 
also Westcott, CNT'', p. 452; Jiilicher, Einleitimg^, p. 490; and Bur- 
kitt, 5. Ephraim's Quotations from the Gospel (TS, vii, 2), 1901. The 
contrary statements of Zahn, Grtindriss^, 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 Tlieology, 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," abha 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/., 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 Jas. 3" (Peshitto) in Isaac of Antioch (fc. 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, 
Aficient 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. Lit- 
teratur, p. 535) this might form an exception to the above statement. 
See Westcott, CNT\ p. 251. 

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

In one passage, Pseudo-Ignatius, Philip p. 11 xw? xetpi'Csn; Tbv 
dixsfpaffTov, the author of the Apostolic Constitutions perhaps betrays 
his knowledge of Jas. i". Apart, however, from this possible allusion 
to James, this writer shows acquaintance with no Catholic epistle except 
I Peter, and in his use of i Peter nowhere indicates that it was a part 
of his N. T. ; cj. Bauer, op. cit. pp. 61 /. 

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 rep- 
resenting accurately the opinion of the school of Nisibis, attrib- 
uted full canonicity only to i Peter and i John, and classed 
James with the antilegomena.f So Cosmas Indicopleustes 
(c. 545), who had become acquainted with East Syrian theo- 

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

t Junilius. Institula regularia divinae legis, i, 6 ; see Westcott, C.VT'. pp. 553 /. ; H. Kihn, 
Theodor von MopsueUia und Junilius Africanus als Exegeten, 1880. 



logians, 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 The- 
odore bar-Koni, the Nestorian, apparently rejected all the 
Catholic epistles. t 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. I In the preface to the Catholic epistles by the Jacobite 
scholar, Bar-Hebraeus (1226-86), the doubts about James, 
I Peter, and i John are mentioned (although Bar-Hebraeus 
himself accepted those epistles), and this preface is found in- 
cluded in Syriac N. T. Mss. as late as the fifteenth century. 

M. Klamroth, Gregorii Ahulfaragii Bar Ebhraya in actus et epistulas 
cathollcas adnotationes, Gottingen, 1878. This preface of Bar-Hebraeus, 
which is itself perhaps based partly on the statement of Isho'dad, is 
found : 

(i) in part in the well-known Amsterdam Ms. (Library of the Fra- 
ternity 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, Diiae epistolae S. dementis, 1752, 
pp. 407/. 

(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 147 1, and probably came likewise from near Mardin. 

In the latter Ms. the preface runs as follows (Hall, /. 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 beheving people that were scat- 
tered 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 

• Zahn, GnK, ii, pp. 230-233. 

t A. Baumstark, "Die Biicher I-IX des ktfla|8a Seskoljon des Theodoros bar Koni," in 
Oriens Chrislianus, i, 1901, pp. 173-17S, 
t Bauer, op. cil. pp. 54 /. 


Greek church is clearly seen among the Western Syrians, both 
of Antioch (where Greek was spoken) and of Edessa.* Thus 
ApoUinarius of Laodicea in Syria (f c. 390), whose father, how- 
ever, was a native of Alexandria, is said to have commented on 
James, t Chrysostom (f 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 
I Peter and i John {icai rcav KadokiKMv iTncrroXal rpel<i). 
Polychronius (f 428), the brother of Theodore of Mopsuestia, in- 
troduces a citation from James as from tI? twv airoaToXoav. 
Theodoret (f c. 457) quotes Jas. 5" and makes at least one other 
allusion.f 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, 
I Peter, and i John. 

In the case of Lucian of Antioch (fsn) it is Hkely, though it cannot 
be proved, that he accepted James, i Peter, and i John ; cf. Zahn, 
Grundriss-, p. 54; Harnack, art. "Lucian der Martyrer," 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 re- 
visions 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 be- 
lieved 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 au- 

* See Bauer, op. cit. pp. 62-68. t See Leipoldt, GnK, i, p. 248. 

X Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, p. 172, note i. 

§ Zahn, GnK, ii, pp. 180-193 ; H. Achelis, art. " Apostolische Konstitutionen und Kanones," 
in Herzog-Hauck, PRE, i, i8g6. 


The history of the acceptance of James among the Nestorians 
is not known, but their great scholar Ebed Jesu of Nisibis 
(ti3i8), in his Catalogue of All the Books of the Church, in- 
cludes "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 in- 
fluential 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 tar- 
dier, and down almost to modern times a vivid recollection was 
preserved of the doubtful position of James, as of the other 
CathoUc epistles. 

§ 4. The Western Church. 

The western church shows the same tardiness in the accept- 
ance 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 ; Irenaeus makes no 
certain use of it ; TertuUian 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 Jas. i^^ if he had 
known it as a part of Scripture, f A hundred years later {c. 359) 
the African Catalogus Mommsenianus omits James, and it is 
worthy of note that even Ambrose (f 397) never directly quotes 
from it. 

* Westcott, CNT\ p. SS7- t Westcott, CNT'', p. 384, note 2. 


The evidence adduced for use by Hippolytus (Zahn, Grundriss-, p. 21 ; 
cf. his earher and more accurate statement, GnK, i, pp. 323 /.) 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 zii den Kommentaren Hippolyts (Texte 
und Untersuchungen, xvi, 3), 1897, p. 26) are too slight to have any 
weight, as are those in the Berlin Griechischc christliche Schriftsteller, 
Hippolytus, ed. Achelis, vol. i, part ii, 1897, pp. 6, 60/. The possible 
reference to Jas. i', "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 genuine- 
ness, is too confused and too slight for any affirmation to be founded 
on it (so Zahn, GttK, 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 
sceculo sed deo dives, sive apostolicus aliquis pauper in verba, lociiples in 
fide betrays acquaintance with Jas. 2^. The probability is increased 
by the agreement with the version of £f (pauperes sceculi, 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 evi- 
dence that it was a part of any Latin N. T. until a generation 

The earliest Latin writer to quote from James is Hilary of Poi- 
tiers, 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 Da- 
masus) once quotes Jas. 5 2°, in a form almost identical with 

♦ Cf. Zahn, GnK, i, pp. 323-32S- 

102 JAMES 

that of the Vulgate.* Priscillian (375-386), Ukewise closely 
connected with the east, repeatedly quotes James in a Latin 
translation substantially identical with that of the pseudo-au- 
gustinian Speculum (m).t Philastrius of Brescia (383-391) in- 
cluded James in his canon. | 

The Vulgate revision of the epistles, including James, seems 
to have been prepared in 384-385, and wielded invincible au- 
thority.§ 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 f rater domini . . . unam 
tantum scripsit epistnlam, quae de septem catholicis est, quae et ipsa ab 
alio quodani sub tiomine ejus edita adseritur, licet paulatim tempore pro- 
cedente obtinuerit aucloritatem. 

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

Augustine (354-430) is the first African to make use of the 
Epistle of James. J J He adopted exactly the canon of Jerome, 
and under his influence this list of books was established, prob- 
ably by the Council of Hippo in 393 and the "third" Coun- 
cil 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. |||I In 405 Pope Inno- 
cent I wrote a letter to Exsuperius, bishop of Toulouse, in which 

* A. Souter, A Study of Ambrosiaster (TS, vii, 4), 1905, pp. 196/.; G. Morin, "Qui est 
I'Ambrosiaster ? Solution nouvelle," in Revue Benedictine, vol. joxi, 1914, pp. 1-34. 

t The passages are given in Mayor, pp. 5-23. t Har. Ixxxviii. 

§ The Roman synod of 382 is a mere assumption to account for the so-called Decretum 
Celasianum, containing a list of the books of the N. T.'which was supposed to have proceeded 
from it. E. von Dobschiitz, Das Decretum Gelasianum (Texte und Untersuchungen, xxxviii), 
191 2, has now proved that the Decretum is a pseudepigraphic document of the first half of 
the sixth century. 

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

** Expositio in symholum apostolorum, 36. 

tt Trad, in evang. S. Matt, is, 1 ; xiv, 7 ; quoted by Wordsworth, op. cit. p. 13s. 

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

§§ Zabn, GnK, ii, pp. 244-259. || || Westcott, CAT', p. 422. 


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 autiquam translationem 
(i. e. as it was before the revision by Jerome), this copy included 

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 pre- 
vailed, 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 earher 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, Epi- 
phanius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Euthalius, the later Greek lists, 
nearly all Greek Mss., and the Bohairic version. In the Pesh- 
itto a similar order is found, James, i Peter, i 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 ^ 
(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 Hst of the Codex Claro- 
montanus. 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 

• Mainly drawn from Zahn, GnK, ii, pp. 375-380. 


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.) con- 
tains 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 iii, ch. 3 ; S. Berger, La Bible au seiziemc siecle, 1879 > Mei- 
nertz, Jakobusbrief, 1905, who gives a full account of Byzantine and 
mediaeval Latin references; G. Kawerau, "Die Schicksale des Jakobus- 
briefes im 16. Jahrhundert," in Zeitschrift fur kirchUche Wissenschafl 
und kirchliches Leben, x, 1889, pp. 359-370; W. Walther, "Zu Luthers 
Ansicht iiber den Jakobusbrief," in Theol. Studien tmd Kritiken, Ixvi, 
1893, pp. 595-598 ; M. Meinertz, " Luther's Kritik am Jakobusbriefe 
nach dem Urteile seiner Anhanger," in Biblische Zeitschrift, iii, 1905, 
pp. 273-286; H. H. Howorth, "The Origin and Authority of the Bib- 
lical 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'lgoS-g, 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 (t636) so much as refers to 
the ancient doubts. f In 15 16 the first published edition of 
the Greek Testament in print appeared, with Annotationes by 
its editor Erasmus. In these (p. 601), with clear internal in- 
dication 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.J Nevertheless, he 
heartily accepts it as a proper part of the canon. 

* Leipoldt, GnK, ii, p. 46. f De origine officiomm, i, 12. tSee above, p. 25. . 


The influence of Erasmus's learning was felt in both the 
Catholic and Protestant camps. On the Catholic side Car- 
dinal Cajetan, who had a knowledge of Jerome at first hand, 
allowed himself in some matters to adopt a criticism more radi- 
cal than that of Erasmus, but in the case of James he was satis- 
fied (1529) with pronouncing its apostolic authorship uncertain. 
At the Council of Trent these free views were vigorously rep- 
resented, 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 de- 
clared 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 at- 
tained 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 strength- 
ened 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 ex- 
ternal 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 favour- 
able, 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 fidel- 
ity to the Gospel of Christ ("Christum predigen und treyhen") as 
he understood it, that is, to the doctrine of salvation by faith, 

• See above, p. 46. This decree was reaffirmed by the Vatican Council, April 24, 1870. 
tThe distinction appears in Sixtus Senensis (1566), and was maintained by Bellarmin 
(1586); see Leipoldt, GnK, pp. 52^. 

lo6 JAMES 

most clearly expressed in John, Romans, and i 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 rcchte stroern Epistel ' f) 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 treyhV), but denies its apostolic authorship, chiefly 
on the ground that it teaches justification by works. He con- 
cludes : 

" 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 

* Resoluiiones Lulherianae super propositionibus suis Lipsiae dispulalis, Weima.ied., vol. ii, 
p. 425- 

tThe phrase is founded on the "wood, hay, stubble" of i Cor. 3>=, 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. 


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 con- 
tested 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 ex- 
pressly 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 "Augs- 
burg Interim" (1548), in which Jas. 51-* was used as authority 
for the sacrament of extreme unction. The most complete 
formal rejection is to be found in the so-called Wiirttemberg 
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 Scrip- 
tures, 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 beheved 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 establish- 

lo8 JAMES 

ment 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 posi- 
tion 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 sub- 
stantial meaning. 

Kawerau, op. cil. p. 369, "Die Konkordienformel mit ihrem Riickgang 
auf die Apologie (p. 693) bezeichnet wol den Wendepunkt in der Beur- 
theilung des Jakobusbriefes. Die Inspirationslehre des nachfolgenden 
Dogmatikergeschlechtes hatte ein kritisches Urtheil nicht mehr ver- 
tragen konnen." 

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 in- 
fluence.* Tyndale's New Testaments (^1525) follow the ar- 
rangement of Luther in putting Hebrews, James, Jude, Revela- 
tion 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 

* H. H. Howorth, "The Origin and Authority of the Biblical Canon in the Anglican Church," 
in JTS, viii, IQ06-7, pp. 1-40. 


(1534) alludes to ancient doubts and later objections, but con- 
cludes: "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 centiuy 
are known, and even an Icelandic Bible published at Copenhagen in 
1807, which follow Luther's order; cf. Leipoldt, GnK, ii, pp. loi, 104; 
H. H. Howorth, "The Origin and Authority of the BibUcal Canon 
according to the Continental Reformers. II. Luther, Zwingh, Lefevre, 
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 Westmin- 
ster Confession (1647) expressly includes James in the list of 

The Thirty-Nine Articles are inconsistent, for Art. VT 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 
Wiirttemberg Confession of 1551 (where it was deliberately phrased 
so as to exclude from the canon the seven disputed books) , and the con- 
tradiction 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. 

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



Mayor', 1910, ch. 11; M. Meinertz, Jakobusbrief, 1905; 
R. Cornely, Historica et critica introductio in utriusque Testa- 
menti libros sacros (Cursus Scrip turae 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. 

§ I. Patristic and Medieval. 

Of patristic and mediaeval commentaries but seven are extant 
and accessible : in Greek, the Catena of Andreas (ed. Cramer) 
and the wrongly named "CEcumenius" ; in Latin, Bede and 
Walafrid Strabo ; in Syriac, Isho' Dad, Bar-Salibi, and Bar- 

(a) Greek. 

Clement of Alexandria probably included comments on James 
in his Hypotyposes (see above, pp. 91/.), 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 graca, vol. Ixiv) are 
not fragments of a commentary, but have been identiiied in nearlj- 
every case as coming from known writings of Chrysostom; cj. S. 
Haidacher, " Chrysostomus-Fragmente zu den katholischen Briefen," 
Zeitschrift fur katholische Theologie, 1902, pp. 190-194. The five pas- 
sages of this catena from Hesychius of Jerusalem (t433), collected in 
Migne, vol. xciii, and the ten from Cyril of Alexandria (f 444), collected 
in Migne, vol. Ixxiv, bear no mark of coming from a commentary on 

The Latin work, hi epistolas cathoJicas enarralio, ascribed in the Mss. 
to Didymus of Alexandria (t398), 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-frag- 
ments 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, Gcsch. d. altkirchl. Litteratur, iii, pp. 109/. ; E. Klostcr- 
mann, Uher des Didymus von Alexandrien in epistolas canonicas enar- 


ratio (Texte und Untersuchungen, xxviii), 1905; F. Zoepfl, Didymi 
Alexattdrini in epistolas canonicas hrevis enarratio, Munster, 1914. 

The Catena of Andreas was published by J. A. Cramer in 
Catenae gracorum palrum in Novum Testamentum, Oxford, 1844, 
vol. viii (1840) ; cf. von Soden, Schriften des Neuen Testaments, 
i, pp. 278/. 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 (j 662) is not to be dated earlier than 675. If, how- 
ever, the Enarratio on the Catholic epistles ascribed to Didy- 
mus (as stated above) is in fact the translation referred to 
by Cassiodorius, then the Catena of Andreas, since it under- 
lies the Enarratio, existed in an earlier form in the sixth cen- 
tury. 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 Matthai, SS. apostolorum septem epis- 
tolae catholicae, Riga, 1782, pp. 183-245, and again, substan- 
tially complete, under the supposition of being a work of 
Euthymius Zigabenus (ed. Kalogeras, Athens, 1887, vol. ii; 
but cf. p. of). 

An anonymous commentary on the CathoHc epistles (Migne, 
Patrologia grcBca, vol. cxix) was ascribed to (Ecumenius, 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 (Ecumenius. 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 
Tbv rjtxexepov, which seems to imply that the writer was either of the 

112 JAMES 

Basilian order or else a Cappadocian from Caesarea. This seems con- 
clusive against the whoUy unsupported guess of Donatus that the 
real fficumenius was the author. 

The year 990, formerly given as about the date of the bishop fficume- 
nius, was a mere guess of W. Cave. The discovery of the true date 
(c. 600) is due to F. Diekamp, "Mittheilungen iiber den neuaufgefund- 
enen Commentar des Oekumenius zur Apokal3^se," in SUzimgsberichte 
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 "OEcumenius" (Migne, Pa- 
trologia grcBca, vol. cxxv). 

Bardenhewer, art. "Oecumenius," in Wetzer and Welte's Kirchenlexi- 
kon", 189s ; A. Ehrhard in Krumbacher, Geschichie der byzantinischen 
Litteratur^, 1895, pp. 131-135 ; H. von Soden, Schriften des Neuen Testa- 
ments, i, 1902, pp. 686-692. 

The schoha printed by Matthai, Riga, 1782, at the foot of his text 
of the Catholic epistles, are drawn from the margin of Cod. 462 (ol. 
loi^") 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 byzantmische?! Litter atiir"^, pp. 
78/. 132; B, Georgiades in 'ExxXijaiaaxtXT) 'AXi^Geta, vol. iii, 1882-3. 

(lb) 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 thir- 
teenth century are the Expositio of the Venerable Bede (f 735), 
Migne, Patrologia latina, vol. xciii, and the Glossa ordinaria of 
Walafrid Strabo (f 849), Migne, vol. cxiv, which is in part 
dependent on Bede.* 

Other writers are frequently referred to as if they had written com- 
mentaries on James. But the Coniplexio of Cassiodorius (t575) on 
James (Migne, vol. Lxx, cols. 1577-1580) is only a brief summary of the 
epistle; the Proffwtwww of Isidore of Seville (f 636 ; Migne, vol. Ixxxiii, 
col. 178) consists of but four lines; Alulf's industry (eleventh century; 

* On the character and influence of Bede's expositions, see B. Gigalski, Bruno, Bischof von 
Segni, Abt von Monte Cassino, Munster, 1898, pp. 2io#. 


Migne, vol. kxix, cols. 1381-1386) has been devoted merely to selecting 
nine appropriate passages from various works of Gregory the Great 
(t6o4). Three homilies of Rabanus Maurus (t856; Migne, vol. ex, 
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 (f 1203; Migne, vol. ccLx), Hugo of St. Cher 
(t 1262), Nicholas of Gorham (f 1295), Nicholas de Lyra 
(t 1340), Gregory of Rimini (f 1358), John Hus (f 1415), Di- 
onysius Rickel (f 1471), Laurentius Valla (f 1457). 

(c) Syriac. 

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

Dionysius Bar-Salibi (fc. 1171), commentary on the Apoc- 
alypse, Acts, and Catholic epistles. Corpus scripiorum christi- 
anorum orientalium, Series syriaca, vol. ci. Bar-Salibi states 
that from earHer commentators he had found but brief exposi- 
tions of the Catholic epistles. 

Gregorius Bar-Hebraeus (f 1286), The Store of Mysteries, 
written 1278. The commentary on James was published by 
M. Klamroth, Gregorii Abidfaragii Bar Ebhraya in Actus Apos- 
tolorum et Epistolas catholicas adnotationes , Gottingen, 1878. 
See J. Gottsberger, Barhebraus 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 In- 
strumentum omm . . . cum annotationibus, 1516; Paraphrases, 

The comments of the most important of the Roman Catholic 
expositors can be read in J. de la Haye, Biblia magna, Paris, 

*0n the history of the detailed exegesis Huther (in Meyer), =1870, is better than the re- 
vision by Beyschlag, '1897. 


114 JAMES 

1643, and Biblia maxima, Paris, 1660; Critici sacri, London, 
1660; M. Poole, Synopsis criticorum, London, 1669-96. Men- 
tion may be specially made of Vatablus (ti547), whose scho- 
lia, however, as published in Critici sacri, were deemed to be 
"alicubi doctrinis calvinianis aspersa," and of Est (f 1613), 
Cornelius a Lapide (f 1637), and Calmet (f 1757). 

The chief Roman Catholic commentaries of the nineteenth 
century are those of Bisping, 187 1 ; Schegg, 1883 ; Trenkle, 
1894 ; Belser, 1909 ; Meinertz (in Tillmann's Heilige Schrijt 
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/. ; 
see also Comely, Historica et crUica introductio, vol. i, pp. 691-732; 
vol. ii, pp. 687/.; Meinertz, Jakobusbrlef, 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. Quetif and J. Echard, Scriptores ordinis pradkaloriim 
recensUi, Paris, 17 19-21, especially vol. ii, p. 947 (Dominican expositors 
to 1720). 

From Protestant theologians have proceeded innumerable 
commentaries on James. Of the older, Calvin (11564), Grotius 
(ti645), H. Hammond (ti66o), Bengel (fiysi), deserve men- 
tion. 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 ser- 
vice of presenting the illustrative material, H. Heisen, Novae 
hypotheses inter pretandae 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 
Testamentiim grcecum, 1 751-2, which gathers in convenient 
form the stores of previous writers, stands with but one later 
rival. M. Schneckenburger's excellent little Annotatio ad epis- 
tolam Jacobi, 1832, is still of independent value. The most 
useful modern commentaries are those of J. E. Huther (in 
Meyer), ^1857, ^1870; revised, without thoroughgoing altera- 

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


tion, by W. Beyschlag, ^1897 ; Spitta, Der Brief Jakobus un- 
tersucht, i8g6 ; H. von Soden (in Holtzmann's Hand-Kommen- 
tar), ^1899; Oesterley (in Expositor's Greek Testament), 1910; 
and especially J. B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. James, ^1892, 
^1910 (a thesaurus of learned material), and H. Windisch (in 
Lietzmann's Handbuch zum Neuen Testament), 191 1. Mayor's 
bibliography gives a very complete list of modern works. 



Epistolary Salutation (ji). 

1. deov Kol Kvpiov 'Irja-ov Xpiarov, ''of God and of the 
Lord Jesus Christ." Cf. the similar language of i Tim. i^, 
2 Tim. 1 2, Tit. i*. In 2 Pet. i\ Tit. 2^^ 6eov seems to refer to 
Christ, and this is possible in James, but is made unlikely by 
the absence of the article. Tit. i^ hovkoii deov cnroaroXo^ 8e 
^Irja-ov XpiaTov seems to be inspired by the same motive as 
Jas. i^ ; both phrases call attention to the fact that the loyalty 
to Christ does not diminish the service due to God. 

So£)\o9. In the 0. T. "servant" (^^J^, 8ov\o<;^ depdircov, 
Trat?) is regularly used for "worshipper" (e. g. Ps. 34^2) ; and the 
corresponding verb is used also of the worship of heathen gods 
(e. g. I Kings 9^). Names compounded with 'abd ("servant") 
and the name of God, or of a god, are found in Hebrew, and 
were common among the Phoenicians, Aramaeans, and Arabs 
(EB, art. "Names," § 37). In particular the prophets are called 
Jahveh's servants (e. g. Amos 3^), and the term is appHed as a 
title of distinction to such worthies as Moses {e. g. 1 Kings 8'^^), 
David (e.g. 2 Sam. 3^^)^ ^^(j many others. The "servant of 
Jahveh" of Is. 42-53 presents, however, a different problem, 
and is translated Trai? Kvpiov. 

In the N. T. SovXol is used in the sense of "attached wor- 
shippers" in Lk. 2-\ Acts 4^9 i6i^ Rev. i^. Paul describes him- 
self as 8ov\o<; 'Irja-ov XpLarov in the address of Romans (Rom. 
lO and (with the inclusion of Timothy) in Philippians (Phil, 
ii SovXoi X.T.), and a similar expression is found in Jude vs.^ 
and 2 Pet. i' ; cf. Tit. i^ SovXo^ deov. It is not a term of 



special humility, nor is it to be understood as involving a claim 
to the rank of a prophet or distinguished leader. The writer 
simply declares himself to belong to Christ as his worshipper, 
and so commends himself to readers who are also Christians. 
Note that Paul uses this form of description in the address of 
Romans and Philippians only, two epistles in which he is con- 
sciously striving to avoid the assumption of personal authority 
and to emphasise the give and take of an equal comradeship 
in faith. 

The immediate origin of this use of SouXoq is Semitic. A few Greek 
analogies are collected in Eisner, Observationes sacrae, 1720, on Acts 
16" ; cf. Reitzenstein, Hellenist. Mysterienreligionen, 1910, pp. 66, 78. 
The use of SoCiXo; has no bearing on the question of the identity of the 

rah ScoBe/ca (f)v\al<;, the Christian church conceived as the 
true Israel, inheriting the rights of the ancient people of God. 

The conception of the tribes of the Hebrew people as twelve in num- 
ber, both at first in the nomadic and later in the settled condition, arose 
very early, but seems at all times to have been a theory rather than a 
fact of observation. It may have had an astronomical origin, like 
some other sacred uses of the number twelve. In Canaan the tribes 
came to indicate mainly a territorial division, although the theory of 
an original hereditary classification was maintained. In and after the 
exile much stress was laid on the idea of the twelve tribes, as is to be 
observed in the pictures of the past presented by the priest code and 
the writings of the chronicler, as well as in Ezekiel's ideal state (e. g. 
Gen. 35^'-''', Num. 2, Ezra 6", Ezek. 481-'. "-35), 

In later Jewish literature they are frequently referred to. Faithful 
Israelites within and without Palestine claimed and valued their mem- 
bership in a tribe (Tobit, Tob. i'; Judith, Jud. 8=; Anna, Lk. 2"; 
Paul, Rom. ii\ Phil. 3^ ; cf. Letter of Aristeas, §§ 32, 39, 46, 47-59, six 
scholars dtp' exiaxTfjq (fuX'qq). The "twelve tribes" denoted the whole 
commonwealth of Israel, and a strong sentiment was associated with 
the phrase. Cf. Ecclus. 44^3; Ass. Mos. 2<f- ; Apoc. Baruch 1= 62^^ 63' 
643 772 78^ 843; Acts 26' xh SwSsxacpuXov T)pLwv; on Test. XII Patr. 
Benj. 9-, cf. Charles, in HDB, "Testaments of the XII Patriarchs"; 
the conception is implied in the plan of the Testaments. In Clem. Rom. 
3i< S5« the emphasis on the salvation of the whole Jewish nation resi- 
dent in various parts of the dominions of Ahasuerus is unmistakable. 

The reunion of the twelve tribes in Palestine was a part of the Jew- 
ish Messianic hope. See references in Schiirer, G7F^ ii, pp. 537 /. 

I, I 119 

This aspect of the hope is suggested in Orac. Sibyll. ii, 171 ■fjvfxa 
hi] Zevf.(X(fu'koq dx' avaxoXiT)i; "kahq Tj^ec (of uncertain date and origin), 
cf. iii, 249, Xabq 6 SwSsxdicpuXoc;. The expectation lies at the basis 
of Mt. 19 =^ and appears again in the eschatological sealing of twelve 
thousand from each tribe in Rev. 7' ^-j and in the twelve gates of the 
twelve tribes in Rev. 211- "■, where, however, the conception and phra- 
seology are derived from Ezek. 48'"-". 

The term "twelve tribes" thus stands for the integrity of the 
nation Israel, as it once actually existed, and as it still abides in 
idea and spiritual fellowship and common hope. 

The precise designation "the twelve tribes," cd SuSsxa ^uXaf, is found 
only a few times in the O. T., Ex. 24* 282' 39'^; Josh. 4^; cf. Ecclus. 
44". More common, and with essentially the same meaning, are 
"the tribes," ad cpuXat, and "all the tribes," xdcaat cd cpuXaf. To all 
these expressions, which give the sense of "all Israel," xoc? 'lopa-^X {cf. 
Ezra 6")) ^ limiting genitive is always added unless it is clearly implied 
in the immediate context. This is usually "of Israel" (Ex. 24^), but 
other genitives occur: "of the children of Israel" (Ezek. 47''), "of 
Jacob" (Ecclus. 48'°), "thy" (Deut. 18^), "your" (Josh. 23^), "their" 
(Ezek. 4S«), "the Lord's" (Ps. I22''), "of thine inheritance" (Is. 6310- 

The same rule, that a genitive of nearer definition is necessary, holds 
good in later usage. Thus Acts 26' ib SwBexayuXov ij[jLwv, Rev. y* 
ex Tzicriq cpuX-^? utwv 'IapaT)X, 21'-, Clem. Rom. 55^, Protevangelium 
Jacobi, !>• '. Cf. the similar expressions resulting from the familiar 
barbarism of the LXX by which ax^xTpov (aai:') is used for 9uX^, 
Test. XII Patr. Nephth. 5 xa SwSsxa ax^xxpa tou 'lapaTjX, Clem. Rom. 
31^ Tb SwSsxdffXTQTCTpov TOU 'lapaTjX. 

The only known cases where an expression like al SciSsxa 9uXai is 
used by itself of the nation Israel are the passages Orac. Sibyll. ii, 171 
SexiicpuXoi; octz' avaToXtirji; Xao?, and iii, 249 Xcxhq 6 SwSsxacpuXoi;. These 
are highly poetical allusions, and do not point to any common prose 
usage at variance with the rule. See Zahn, Einleitung, i, § 3, 
note 4. 

The Christian church, according to the fundamental and uni- 
versal N. T. view, stands as the successor of the Jewish eKKXija-ia. 

Cf. Mt. 16'', where ^Jiou tt]v IxxXiQafotv seems to be used in contrast 
with the IxxXTjjta ('^^ij) tou 'lapai^X, Mt. 21", i Pet. 2' eOvoq aY'ov, 
Xixhc, e\q ■Kegnzoiri'siv, Gal. 3^-'' =' 6'^ Tbv Tapa^X tou 6eou (in contrast 
to which cf. I Cor. 10^^ ihv 'lspcti]k xotTa aipxa), Phil. 3' rj[i.elq yip ia^iev 
■f) TCspcTOfji-Q (cf. Col. 2" 6V Tfi xepcTo^^ TOU XpiaTou). 


Hence the attributes of the nation Israel may be applied 
directly to the church. CJ. Gal. 3^-^, where descent from 
Abraham is so ascribed to all believers, Col. 2", etc. This is 
one of the fundamental thoughts of Luke and Acts; as well as 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where everything pertaining to 
the old national religion is shown to belong also (only in the 
reality, not the shadow) to the new religion. So Barn. 4^- ^^ f-, 
where the covenant is shown to belong to the new people. See 
Zahn, Einleitung, i, § 3, note 9, The conception of the new 
Israel as made up of a symboUcal twelve tribes is in accord with 
this underlying principle of the apostolic age and presents in 
itself no difficulty. Rev. 21^2^ where no thought of any Jewish- 
Christian particularism is present, approaches closely to such 
a use. The positive reasons for assuming this meaning are dis- 
cussed below. 

A symbolical use of SwSsxa ipuXai somewhat different from that of 
Jas. ii is found in Hermas, Sim. ix, 17, where of twelve mountains, from 
which come the stones used to build a tower {i. e. the church), it is 
said: SwSsita 90X3(1 etatv <x\ xaTocxoOaat 8Xov Tbv x6a[i.ov. To them the 
Son of God has been preached through the apostles, while these twelve 
tribes are themselves further explained as ScoSexa eOviQ with highly 
diverse characteristics. Here the twelve tribes, or nations, plainly 
signify all the nations of the world. The unusual designation is doubt- 
less chosen in order to indicate that as these have now become the field 
of God's redemptive activity, they have come into the place of the 
twelve tribes of the children of Israel. The whole world is the new 
SuBexicpuXov of the Christian dispensation. 

iv TTj hLaariropa. haa-Tropd means "scattering," "dispersion" 
(either act or state) ; cJ. Jer. 15^, Dan. 12^ (LXX), Test. XII 
Patr. Asher, 7, i Pet. i^ Hence, with the article, -q haarrropd 
is used concretely of the Jews so dispersed, or even of the dis- 
tricts in which they were dispersed. Thus Deut. 30^, Neh. i', 
Judith 5^', Jn. 7^^ of either the dispersed or the land of 
dispersion; Ps. 147^, Is. 49^ 2 Mace, i", Ps. Sol. 8'*, of the 
dispersed. Here it is more naturally taken of the state of dis- 
persion, although the other view is possible. With the article 
the expression means "in the well-known state of dispersion," 
not merely "in dispersion" in the abstract sense. CJ. Ps. 139, 

I, I 121 

///. (Cod. A) and in contrast Jer. 15^ SLaa-Trepo) avTov<i iv 
Biaa-TTopa, Test. XII Patr. Asher, 7 eaeade iv haaTropa^ i Pet. 
ji eK\eKrol<i irapeTriSijfjiOL^ hiaaTropa^;. 

The noun otaaxopa (Deut. 28") is used but a few times in the O. T. 
It is not a regular representative of any one Hebrew word, and is never 
used to translate any of the derivatives of rhy. The verb Staaxstpu is 
more common {cf. also the simple aicetpu, Zech. lo^), especially in Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel ; it represents a number of Hebrew verbs, most fre- 
quently some form of Tis (30 times out of 58). 

StaaxopxcXw (in literary use chiefly late, see Lex.) is often used in 
much the same sense as Stacjxsfpw to refer to the dispersion of Israel, 
but tends to denote more violent action, as the scattering of a dis- 
comfited foe {e. g. Ps. 59", Jer. 5120-"). Stotaxopxiapioc;, found but five 
times, remained a descriptive word, and did not attain to the tech- 
nical significance of Siaaxopa. axopxt'l^w is less common and weaker; 
axopxcatJioc; is found but once (in Aq. Sym. Theod. Jer. 25 '< [322°]). 

The more common noun to denote the Jewish exile is dcxotscta, in 
eight cases dcxotxsat'a, a word peculiar to LXX {L. and S.), to which 
corresponds the factitive .verb axotxiXetv. The noun means "emi- 
gration," "colony," "body of colonists," with a range of meaning 
parallel to that of Staaxopa; it is used as a technical term to denote 
the captivity or the captives, usually representing nSu, "exile," e.g. 
Ezra 4* ulol ttj? axoiy.ta<;, Jer. 29'- ^- --• ^^. ixotxt'a seems to be synony- 
mous with [AeTotx.ta ([xsTocxsata Mt. I'Oj which is less common, but 
represents about the same group of Hebrew words. 

xapoixfa, "sojourn," "residence as a stranger," is used a few times 
to represent nSu, Ezra 8^5 utol tyj? xapotxfai;, i Esd. 5' i% t^? adx- 
[xaXwat'ai; t^? xapotxfaq, where the parallel translation of Ezra 2^ has 
&%oiv.iaq. In Ecclesiasticus prol. lalc, sv t^ xapotx.(q:, it is used in the 
same sense. It refers to the "sojourn" from the point of view of the 
land of temporary residence, while dxotxfa refers to the same fact from 
the point of view of the home land from which those sojourning abroad 
are absent. 

alyj^(xkui<ji<x, "captivity," represents in the main the group of words 
derived from n2u\ 

Of the words here considered, atx(x.aX(Offfa is obviously the most 
limited in application, referring to the captivity proper; ixoixfa and 
[jiEToixfa are applicable to any portion, as well as to the whole, of the 
body of Jews residing in foreign parts; otaaxopa can only be used with 
reference to the general scattering of Jews. Thus the afxfxaXwafot was 
(e. g.) in Babylon ; the Jews in any one place could be called dxotxfa 
(Jer. 29', etc.) ; while tj Staaxopi means the scattered state, or the 
scattered section, of the Jewish nation. 

122 JAMES 

Thus Staffxopde, always standing in contrast with the idea of visible 
unity of the nation, calls attention, usually with a certain pathos, to the 
absence of that unity, whereas axoixiot might refer to a colonisation 
wholly free from such associations. This is especially marked in 2 Mace. 
I^'extauvayaye ty)v Staaxopav ■f)[j,wv, eXeuOepwaov ttou*; SouXsuovxaq ev toTi; 
e'Gveatv. Here axotxfa would have been weak. Accordingly StaaTcopa is 
the appropriate word in Jas. i'. 

The statement sometimes made (e. g. Carr, Camb. Gk. Test. pp. xxx, 
10 ; less unguardedly Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, 
1, pp. 6/. 9; Mayor', p. cxxxvii) that tj Staaxopa, "when used with- 
out any qualifying words," means the Eastern Hebrew-speaking part 
of the dispersion, seems to be wholly without foundation. 

The dispersion of the Jews over the world began through 
capture in war and emigration for trade as early as the ninth 
century B.C. (cf. i Kings 2o^'*). The forced emigration of many 
thousands from both the northern and southern kingdom to 
Assyria and Babylonia, the voluntary settlement in the Greek 
period of large numbers of Jews in Alexandria and other Egyp- 
tian cities, and in Cyrenaica, the planting of Jewish communi- 
ties of traders and peaceful residents in Antioch and other places 
of Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, and the colony of Jews in 
Rome (partly owing its origin to the captives brought thither 
by Pompey in 63 B.C. and afterward liberated), as well as those 
in other cities of Italy, had created by the first century after 
Christ a vast Jewish population dispersed in all parts of the 
civilised world, and perhaps amounting to 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 

For a representative list of diaspora Jews, cf. Acts 2'-"; see also 
Philo, In Flaccum, 7, and Legat. ad Cainm, 36. 

EB, art. "Dispersion" (H. Guthe) ; Schiirer, GJV, § 31 ; Mommsen, 
Provinces of the Roman Empire, ch. 11. 

Although perhaps the majority of Jews in the diaspora had 
thus come to reside abroad through voluntary emigration under- 
taken out of motives of private interest, and although, apart 
from occasional disturbances with their neighbours and oppres- 
sion from the governments, the situation of the Jews seems to 
have been one of privilege and prosperity, yet the dispersion 

I, I 123 

is uniformly represented by Jewish writers as a grave misfor- 
tune destined to be ended by the divine intervention. 

The cause of this was partly the fact that the first large 
emigration was the forced removal in the captivities, so that 
the tradition became estabhshed that exile was an evil, to be 
followed, when the punishment was over, by return {cf. Is. 
40I*). This traditional feeling seems to be reflected in Ps. 
Sol. g^ iv Traml 'iOveu r) hiacnropa rod ^laparjX Kara to pr]fxa 
Tov deov' ha. 8LKaL0)drj<; , 6 ^eo9, iv rrj SiKaLoavvj) (tov ev rat? 
avoixiat'; r]ix(av. But the view was confirmed by the attitude 
of Palestinian Judaismj as it came to lay increasing emphasis 
on a national ritual purity, which could not be preserved in 
unclean lands, and on a restoration of national glory in Pales- 
tine under the Messiah, in which all faithful Jews would share. 
The dispersion was an evil because it interfered with the con- 
summation of TCL a^aOa 'lapaifK ev (Twaywyrj (f)v\(ov (Ps. Sol. 
17^). These ideal interests must have been powerfully rein- 
forced by practical motives springing from the actual danger, 
observed ever since the beginning of the exile, that Jews ex- 
posed to the corrupting influences of foreign life would relax 
their strictness of morals, indulge in heathen abominations, 
and lose their religion — and their souls. (Ezek. 14^-", Dan. 
18; note the disappearance of the ten tribes in the Assyrian 
captivity, attested, e. g., by Jos. Ant. xi, 5^). 

In times of foreign oppression and distress the desire for 
restoration of the dispersed must have been strengthened by 
the sense of weakness felt by the pious community in Palestine 
(the "poor"), suffering the lack of the help, both moral and 
material, which might be afforded by the return of the Jews 
of the diaspora. It then seemed evident that the glory of 
Israel could be finally manifested only through the concentra- 
tion in the Holy Land of the power and wealth of the sons of 
Israel, now scattered among the nations. So, e. g., Tob. 13* '■. 

Tal<i So)8eKa (f)vXak rat? iv rrj haaTropa. For the whole 
phrase there are two possible interpretations : 

(i) "To the dispersed People of God," i. e. the Christian 
church at large ; 

124 JAMES 

(2) "To the Jews, residing in the dispersion." 

Many different applications of these two senses, separately 
or in combination, will be found in the commentaries. The 
second interpretation given above is almost always qualified 
by a limitation to Christian Jews. This suits the general char- 
acter of the epistle, but is in no way suggested by the phrase 
itself, and cannot be regarded as legitimate. 

In this phrase, rat? iv rrj haairopa applies not to a part 
but to the whole of raU SatBeKa <f>v\aL'i, and the only possible 
meaning is that all the twelve tribes are "in the dispersion." 
It is not legitimate, although common in the commentaries, 
to take the phrase as meaning "those tribes (of the twelve) 
which are in the dispersion" (as if it read rat? e/c tmv B(o8eKa 
^vX(op rah iv rrj BtaaTTopa), or "those persons from the 
twelve tribes who are residing in the dispersion" (as if rot? 
airo TMv BmBeKa ^vXoiv BiaaTrapelaiv^ so Ps.-Euthal. in his 
argumentum, Migne, Patrologia grceca, vol. Ixxxv, col. 676). 

The permissibility of the first interpretation has already 
been shown. According to it the Christian church is here not 
merely designated as the new Israel, but is further described 
by ev ry Biaairopa as now dispersed in an aHen world. For 
the ideas on which this latter conception rests the N. T. fur- 
nishes abundant illustration. It includes, perhaps, the sugges- 
tion of a temporary state with the hope of a future reunion. 

It is simpler to take lalq ev Tfj Staaicop? thus as a mere further de- 
scription of the church than to suppose (with Zahn, Einleitn7ig, i, p. 
53, and § 3, note 6) that it is added in order specifically to distinguish 
the new twelve tribes (the Christians), which were all in the dispersion, 
from the old (the Jews), which were partly in the home land of Israel. 
Other characteristics would have lain far nearer to hand if this had 
been the direct purpose. 

The new Israel has a heavenly metropolis (Gal. 4^^ 17 Be avw 
'lepovcraXij/x . . . i]rL<i ecnlv p^iqrrjp rjjXMv, Heb. 12"^ irpocr- 
eXrjXvdaTe Sttwi/ opet kol iroXec deov ^covro';^ 'lepovcraXrjfx 
eTrovpavLQ)), where is the seat of its commonwealth (Phil. 320). 
But for the present it sojourns in exile, i Pet. i^ e/cXe/croi? 
TrapeTTiBrjixoL'i Biacnropa<i , i^' rov rrj'i TrapoiKiw; v/xayv ')(^p6vov, 

I, I 125 

2^^ ft)9 7rapoiKOv<i Kal irape'mh'q^ioxK ; cj. also Jn. 17^^-^^ The 
contrast with the old Israel is explicitly drawn out in Heb. 13^* 
ov yap e'xpp.ev wBe fi€VOV<rav iroXir^ aWa ttjv /xeWovaav 


The idea is intimately connected with the phraseology, though not 
with the real meaning, of certain O. T. passages, Ps. 39'^, oxc ■jzxpoiv.oc; 
eyco d\fLi sviji yt5 xal icapexfSTjiJLOi; xaOwi; Tcdvxe? o'l Tcaxigeq [lod, Ps. 119", 
Lev. 25", I Chron. 291*, Gen. 47'. 

The interpretation of the conception of men as strangers and sojourn- 
ers, given by Philo, De cherub. 34, is not parallel to the Christian idea 
in James, but it shows how the O. T. passages attracted attention and 
could lend themselves to such use. The thought of Hermas, Sim. i, 
resembles Philo, not James. 

In early Christian thought the idea gained great prominence. 
Cf. the classical expression in Ep. ad Diognetum 5 TrarpiSwi 
oiKovaiv lB{a<ij cOOC ax; irdpoLKoi • fjiere^^^ovcn irdvTwv &)? ttoXItul 
Kol Trdvd' VTrop.evQva-tv &)? ^evoi • iraaa ^evr) Trarpi? i(TTtv avroiv^ 
KoX TToa-a Trarph ^evrj; also 2 Clem. Rom. s^' ^' "; and note 
the usage by which the church, or the Christians, in any lo- 
cality are said not to reside but to "sojourn" {irapoLKelv) there, 
Polyc. Phil, inscr. ry iKKXrja-ia rov Oeov rrj irapoiKovarj <^l- 
XiiriTQV'i; Mart. Polyc. inscr.; Euseb. H.e. iv, 23; Ep. eccl. lugd. 
et vienn. in Euseb, H. e. v, i^. 

The emphasis on this mode of thought in later times is famil- 
iar, and reaches its classical expression in the great poem of 
Bernhard of Cluny, De contemptu mundi. 

From this usage seems to have arisen the ecclesiastical sense of the 
word Tcapotxfot, that is, "the body of (Christian) aliens" in any place, 
and so parochia, "parish." The earUest cases of this use of the noun 
are Mart. Polyc. inscr., Irenaeus in Eus. E. e. v, 2^^^, and Apollonius 
in Eus. H. e. v, 18'. 

•jcapotxfoc in the sense of the local body of Christians thus took a 
different turn of meaning from Staaxopi, which in this Cathohc epistle 
refers to the whole church; but the metaphor underlying the derived 
sense is the same in both cases, and up to a certain point the develop- 
ment was parallel. Each takes one side of the meaning of IxxX-Qafa. 
See Lightfoot, note on Clem. Rom. inscr. 

The words, then, mean : '' To that body of Twelve Tribes, the 
new Israel, which has its centre in Heaven, and whose members, 

126 JAMES 

in whatever place on the earth they may be, are all equally away 
from home and in the dispersionT^ This interpretation implies 
in the writer a mind capable of conceiving clearly and expressing 
tersely a strongly figurative expression, but that is not too 
much to ascribe to the author of this epistle. Cf. i^^- ^^- ^^ 
3", etc. It also assumes that the underlying conception was 
familiar to the readers. 

Of this "symbolical"* interpretation of the address of the 
epistle important recent advocates have been Holtzmann, von 
Soden, Jiilicher, and Zahn. The chief objection brought against 
it is that it is deemed inappropriate to the simple address of a 
letter. But, first, we have here not a real letter sent to a defi- 
nite group of readers, but a literary form for a tract, or diatribe. 
And, secondly, even in a real letter the greeting (as distinguished 
from the outside address intended to guide the carrier) natu- 
rally contains not only expressions of affection but descriptive 
phrases intended to suggest the writer's relations and attitude 
to the person addressed, and to some extent even the thoughts 
with which the letter was to be occupied. This may be seen 
in all the epistles of Paul, and in the epistles of Ignatius, Clem- 
ent of Rome, and Polycarp. The same concern is not absent 
from the greetings and subscriptions of modern letters. 

In opposition to the interpretation here defended, the \'iew of the 
address most widely held adopts the second of the two interpretations 
referred to above, taking Tat? BcoSeKa (fuXalq as if merely equivalent 
to lolq 'louSatotq. The serious grammatical difficulties involved are 
usually ignored. The phrase is then (in part arbitrarily) limited so as 
to mean, "to extra-palestinian Jewish Christians" (Beyschlag). In- 
asmuch as the phrase itself is notably 7<«limited, this exegetical proce- 
dure seems too violent to be permissible. Moreover, if this were the 
meaning, we should expect to find, as we do not, in the epistle itself 
some specific allusion to the distinctive circumstances of readers so 
carefully limited in the address; in fact (see Introduction), the epistle 
best suits conditions in Palestine. This is felt by Beyschlag, who sug- 

* The interpretation here defended is not strictly " symbolical," for the Christians doubt- 
less believed themselves to be in a real, and not a symbolical, sense the true Twelve Tribes of 
Israel, who had succeeded by legitimate spiritual inheritance to the title of the People 
of God. Their attitude was not different from that which has, for instance, made the 0. T. a 
Christian book, and has often expressed itself in the characteristic language of modem Prot- 

I, I 127 

gests, wholly without warrant, that otaaicopa may refer to everything 
outside of Jerusalem. 

The various forms of this view of the address, intended to obviate 
one or another of the difficulties under which it labours, require highly 
artificial and improbable hypotheses. No kind of early, or of ingenious, 
dating can bring us to a time when a writer addressing Jewish Chris- 
tians in distinction from unbeUeving Jews would have addressed them 
as "the twelve tribes," if by the term he meant " the Jews "; and if the 
term is here used for " the People of God," then the hmitation to Jewish 
Christians is not contained in it. 

To suppose, on the other hand, a time when Christian believers still 
regarded themselves as full members of the commonwealth of Israel, 
and had not yet broken their social and religious connection with it 
(so, e. g., B. Weiss, Einleitung-, p. 398) gives no aid whatever in under- 
standing the phrase itself. No time after the crucifixion is known to 
us when a Christian teacher could expect a respectful hearing for a 
didactic tract from both converted and unconverted Jews in the dis- 
persion at large, or would have felt such responsibility for' the general 
moral instruction of all diaspora Jews alike as this writer shows. The 
promptness of the separation of Christians and Jews in the diaspora 
is illustrated by all the mission narratives of Acts. Nor can even the 
unsupported guess of a current hmitation of the term -r) Staaxopa to 
Southern Sjria or Babylonia or elsewhere overcome the difficulty that 
the epistle itself nowhere hints at conditions in any way peculiar to or 
characteristic of any such district. 

On the view of Harnack, that the address was a later addition by a 
different hand, see Introduction, pp. 47/. Under such a view the 
spurious address might have no definite meaning or might have the 
meaning advocated above. Spitta, who takes the phrase in the literal 
sense, "To the Jews in the dispersion," avoids some of the difficulties 
by regarding the epistle as originally Jewish and not Christian, but he 
misses the grammatical structure explained above, and has likewise 
no reason to give for the inexplicable limitation to the diaspora. The 
"symbolical" interpretation alone will account for that. 

Xaipeiv scil. Xeyei (cf. 2 John, w. i"- ") ; the ordinary opening 
salutation of a Greek letter, Hke Latin salutem, shown by the 
countless papyrus letters preserved to have been current in 
Greek letters of all periods ; cf. Acts 15^' 23^6, and examples in 
Deissmann, Bibelshidien, pp. 209-216; Witkowski, Epistolae 
grcBcae privatae, 1907 ; J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, 1903, pp. 
276/. ; Milligan, Thessalonians , 1908, pp. 127/. See also G. A. 
Gerhard, " Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des griechischen 

128 JAMES 

Briefes," in Philologus, Ixiv, 1905, pp. 27-65 ; Dziatzko, "Brief," 
in Pauly-Wissowa, RE; F. Ziemann, De epistularum gracarum 
formulis sollemnibus (Diss. phil. Halenses, xviii), 191 1. It was 
in common use among Greek-speaking Jews; Esther 16^ ( = 8^'), 
I Esd. 6^ I Mace. 10" 12^, 2 Mace, i^- ", 3 Mace. 7^, Ep. Arist. 
41 (ed. Thackeray), (other references in Spitta, adloc). The 
writer does not here show influence from PauHne epistolary 

The ordinary greeting of a Hebrew or Aramaic letter seems to have 
resembled, as among other peoples, the salutation of daily life. Thus 
(Aramaic) Dan. 41 (388) Hiv^\ ponVf etpiQVT) u[Ji,Iv xXy)9uv6sit), 6-\; Ezra 
41' 57 i^Vb ^"i^W etpi^VY) xaaa (cf. i Esd. 6' xotfpetv as a translation of 
the same original). ThePeshittohas <-La^A< for %at'petvin Jas. i*. The 
same formulas appear in the three Aramaic circular letters of Rab- 
ban Gamahel (first or second century after Christ ; texts in G. Dalman, 
Aramdische Sprachproben, 1896; preserved in the Mishna, jer. Sanh. 18'' 
and elsewhere) Hiiff) ]''3'?^f > and in the N. T. x^P'? ^S^-'^ ^'^^ eEpiQVY) 
xXTr)6uv6£tT], I Pet. i', 2 Pet. i^, Jude 2 eXeoi; u[xiv xal eipiQVTj xal dyixTj 
Ti:XT]9uv6e{T2. In 2 Mace, i' eipiQVTiv ayotOiQv and xoti'petv are combined, but 
the characteristic N. T, enlargements, e. g. xapt? ufjilv -/.al eipiQVQ axb 
OeoG TtaTpb? T)tJi.wv xal xupfou TrjffoO Xptffxou, Phil, i -, i Pet. i- are probably 
not due to a combination of the Greek and Hebrew greetings, but to the 
influence of the priestly benediction. Num. 624-=^; cf. J. C. T. Otto, 
"Ueber den apostoHschen Segensgruss," in Jb. f. deutsche Theol. 1867, 
pp. 678-697. 

For similar (probably Jewish) expansion cf. the letter to the nine 
and one-half tribes in Apoc. Bar. 78=: "Thus saith Baruch the son of 
Neriah to the brethren carried into captivity: mercy and peace" {cf. 
Gal. 6'0- See Zahn, Einlcitung, i, § 6, note 7. 

In this general connection the following verses from the epitaph of 
Meleager, Anthol. graca, vii, 419 (Brunck, i, p. 37), are worth quoting: 

^D^ e? yLEV Supo? Ifffft, SaXa[A, ef S'ouv au ye $oIvts, 
ASSovt(;, et S' "EXXt]v, Xotlpe, to S'auxb (ppotaov. 


The paragraphs of chs. i and 2 are held together by the com- 
mon underlying purpose of denouncing shams and emphasis- 
ing various aspects of reality in religion. (See Introduction, 
supra, pp. 3-5). The first half of this division (i^-^^) treats of 
matters relating to the development of character, the second 

I, 1-2 129 

half (i"-226) of topics pertaining to religious instruction and 
public worship. 

2-4. The moral use of Trial. Out of trial comes steadfastness 
and steadfastness makes perfect. 

The epistle begins as a didactic essay, and plunges at once into the 
subject without the introductory paragraph of congratulation, good 
wishes, assurance of prayerful interest in the person addressed, etc., 
which is a characteristic standing feature in Greek letters, both Chris- 
tian and secular; cf. the papyrus letters referred to above, pp. 12-7/., to- 
gether with Rom. i^ i-, i Cor. i< "•, 2 Cor. i^ f-, Eph. i' «-, Phil, i' «-, 
Col. i3 ff., I Thess. 1= «■, 2 Thess. i' «-, 2 Tim. i' «■, Philem. 4/. i Pet.' 
i^ «•, 2 Jn. 4, 3 Jn. 2-4. It is noticeable that those N. T. "epistles" 
which have most the character of hterary works rather than letters lack 
this opening paragraph. Thus i Timothy and Titus (which for other 
reasons also are recognised as containing less genuine matter than 2 
Timothy), Hebrews, i John, Jude, Revelation, and perhaps 2 Peter 
(where this purpose, however, may be intended by i ^ « ■) . The spurious 
epistles of Plato and others, which are hterary pieces and not real let- 
ters, have Hkewise for the most part nothing corresponding to the open- 
ing paragraph common in letters of daily life. 

2. iraaav x^-P^-V' Trdaav, "all," is here used, not to denote 
strict completeness of extension, but as an intensifying adjective, 
in the sense either of "full," "supreme" (summus) or (less 
naturally) of "nothing but," "unmixed" {merus, Ger. lauter). 
Cf. Eur. Med. 453, irav KepSo^ 97701) ^7)fiiovfievr] (f)v<yrj. 

■Kxq in the singular means (i) "every," "every kind of" (exaa-uoq, 
•rcavTotoq), having this sense only with anarthrous nouns, e. g. Phil. 
4" xivTa aytov, Mt. 4-^ xaaav voaov v.x\ Tcatrav [ixXxv-iav, Col. 412 ev 
xavrl 6eXT)[AaTt tou 6£o0 ; 

(2) "whole," "entire" (oXoq, iotiis). In this sense it is used (a) with 
the article, and in either the attributive or predicate position, Mt. 8'* 
xaaa tj %6'kiq, Acts 2oi« xbv lucivxa xpovov ; (b) with anarthrous nouns, 
e.g. Plato, Leges 708 B ^uvdicaja xoXts, "a whole city." The rule is 
that the noun lacks the article in cases where without xa? it would 
not have had it. 

(3) From this sense of "whole," is derived the meaning "full," 
"complete," and so "utter" {summus). In this sense it is used with 
abstract nouns in cases where the idea of quantity or extension is not 
present, and is found both with and without the article. 

Thus Plato, Leges 646 B et? axxaxv (pauXoxrjTo:, "into utter degrada- 
tion" (Jowett); Leges 952 A xaqQ axouS^ txavOdtvscv, "with all (com- 

130 JAMES 

plete) zeal"; Respub. 575 A ev xocct) avapxf? y-oil dtvopifijt, "in all (com- 
plete) anarchy and lawlessness"; Thuc. i, 86^ TuxwpTjT^a icavul a6^vet, 
"with full strength," iv, 11' icpoOuiAfqc xaaT) xP'»>tJ''Svot xaf xapaxeXeuctAqi ; 
Polyb. i, 39' scs xaaav ^X6ov iicopfav, i, 15* tyj? iz&G-qq dtXoyfaq xXi^pr), 
iii, 77^ ev T^ xiffi] <ptXavGpwxt(?, iv, 27^ t^i; xaCTTji; ye(ji,£i xaxoxpaY(JLoauvT)<;, 
xi, 4[7]- Ttjq xaaT)? iXoycffTioc.; eaxl aTf)[AeIov, "a proof of complete folly"; 
Epict. iii, s'° x&piv aot s'xw xaaav. 

The Hebrew Sb, whose meanings had a development in general like 
those of xaq, does not appear to have advanced to this usage. 

2 Mace. 2^2 Tou xupt'ou (jL£Ta TCotaT]? extetxEtaq tXsw Yevo[ji.evou aixol? is 
one of the very few cases of this sense in the Apocrypha.* 

In the N. T. this usage is common, especially in Paul, where xa? be- 
comes a favourite intensifying adjective. Thus Acts 4" [Aexcb izapgriaiaq 
xaaTjg, 523 1711 (jLETot xiaT)? xpo0u[xto«;, 20^' 23' xaaf] auvetBTjaet ayaSfj 
X£xoXtT£U(jLac, 28^^ Rom. 7' 15'^ xXifjpwaat uiia? xaa-rjt; xo^P^? ^'^^ sJp-Qvr)?, 
151^, 2 Cor. I' 8' X(4<J7) axouSfi, 9' xdtaav auxdipxetav (notice the various 
senses of xaq exemplified in this verse) 12'^, Eph. i' ev xiiay] 009(1? '^ot^ 
qjpovi^aet, 4^' 5', Phil, i' 2" [aeto: xciaT)? xi^P*?) Col. !'-"• ^a |v xioTj 
aoqji'i?, 3*^ 2 Thess. 2'- >", i Tim. i" and 4' xia-r]? ixoSoxij? a^to?, 2" 5' 
6', 2 Tim. 42, Tit. 21* 32^ i Pet. 2" s"", 2 Pet. i* axouS^v xaaav. In 
some of these instances, as would be expected, it is not easy to decide 
certainly between the meaning "full" and the meaning "each" or 

It is evident that this usage is a Greek and not in any degree a Se- 
mitic idiom. This sense is the probable one in Jas. i^. 

(4) Still another use of xaq is found in cases where the word, through 
its position in the sentence, becomes translatable by "unmixed," 
"wholly," "only," meriis, tantummodo, Ger. lauter. Thus Plato, Phileh. 
27 E, 28 A ou ydip av tjSovtj xdev ayaGbv ^v . . . oiiSe y' av XiixY) xav xax6v,t 
Protag. 317 B eycD oijv toutwv t-?)v evavxfav axaaav oSbv eXifjXuOa, "the 
entirely opposite course," Thuc. vi, 37" ev xAut] xoXe[jii<jt HtxeXf? {i. e. 
"Sicily which is wholly hostile"), Jos. Ant. iv, 5' Bta xiiair)<; epiQfjLou 
piwv, "flowing through nothing but desert." In Prov. 11 23 IxtOutifa 
Stxai'uv xaaa iyaQ-t], the Hebrew liN, tantummodo, is translated by xaffa,t 
and the sense is "The desire of the righteous is solely good" (i. e. both 
in its character and in its results). 

The Latin omnis is used in this same way, as Cic. N. D. ii, 21, mdla 
in ccelo nee fortiina nee temeritas, nee erratic nee varietas inest: contraque 
omnis ordo, Veritas, ratio, eonstantia. 

This method of heightening the effect of the noim is, in many cases, 
closely akin to the sense discussed under (3) and can be fully distin- 

* Possibly Ecclus. ig" iv Tracrjj <70(/)ia is to be reckoned here. 

t This passage from the Philebus is specially significant because ttSv agrees with the predi- 
cate, not, as the logical analysis might seem to require, with the subject (r^Sovrj). 
X Hatch and Redpath, s. v. was, have overlooked this fact. 

I, 2 131 

guished from that only in extreme instances. It is likely that the Greek 
writer was often, perhaps usually, not conscious of the distinction which 
our analysis reveals. 

See Schleusner, Lexicon in Nov. Test. s. v. iziq (Glasgow, 1824, pp. 
358/.); Kruger, Griechische Sprachlehre fiir Schiden, i, § 50, 11, Anm. 
7-13; also Stephanus, Thesaurus, s.v ■Kaq (especially ed. Hase and 
Dindorf, Paris, 1831-65, vol. vi, col. 568). 

Xf^P^v "joy," i. e. "occasion of joy" {cf. Lk. 2^^, 1 Thess. 2"), 
a predicate accusative, the sentence with orav suggesting the 
real object of 7)<^'r]aa(jQe. 

Probably an allusion is intended to %ai)oeiy, v.^ The writer 
sets forth one notable source of joy. For similar use of the 
greeting, cj. Tob. 5^" (Cod. N) etTrei' avT(^ • x^tpeiv aoc ttoWo, 
jevoLTO. Kal ctTTOKpLOeh Ta)/3ei^ elirev avro)' rl [xoi en vTrdp^ei 
XaCpeiv ; Ps.-Plato,* Epist. viii, 352 B TiXaTOiv tow Atcow? 
olKeioi<; T€ Kol €TaipoL<i ev TrpdrTeiv • a B'av SiavorjdevTe'; fidXuTTa 
€v TrpdrroLTe ovrco^ ireipdcroixaL ravd' vjimv Kara Bvvafxiv Bce- 

This paronomasia is possible only in Greek, and is a strong argument 
against the theory of a Semitic original. Cf. Zahn, Ei?ileitU7ig, i, § 6, 
note 6. The Peshitto has jof^, which obUterates the play on words. 

r]'yrj(yaa-6e. The aorist is perhaps used because the writer is 
thinking of each special case of Treipaafidf;. For the distinc- 
tion, often significant, between present and aorist, in commands 
and in prohibitions, see Winer, § 43. 3, § 56. i b, Buttmann, 
§ 139. 6, J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 173/. 

aSe\(f)oi fiov. So 2^> " 3^- i"- ^^ 512, 19 • aBe\(f)ot alone 4^^ 
^7. 9, 10. aBe\(f)OL fxov ayaTrrjTOi ii«> i^ 2^. 

Like the Hebrew T]i<, "brother," aSe\(f)6<; was used by Jews 
(and apparently by Jews alone) to mean "fellow countryman," 
cf. Ex. 2", Deut. 153, Judith f"*, Tob. 2\ 2 Mace. i\ Mt. 5^% 
Acts 13^^. Philo, De caritate, 6 (ii, p. 388), explains dBe\(^6'i 
as meaning ov /xovov tov e/c tcov avrcov (f>vvra yoveoov dWa Kal 
6? da-TO'i Tj Kal 6fW(f)vXo<; rj^ cf. Philo, De septenario, 9 init. 

* Probably written before the Christian era as a rhetorical exercise, perhaps at Athens. 
See Susemihl, Gesch. d. griech. Litteratur in der Alexandrinerzeit, 1892, ii, pp. 581-585. 

132 JAMES 

By Christians the word was used of fellow members in the 
new Israel, Jn. 2123, Acts i^S Rom. i^^ 161*, Eph. 6^\ Phil. 
22% Heb. 312, I Pet. s^\ 2 Pet. i^o, Rev. i^. This usage, charac- 
teristic of the early Christians, is to be deemed a natural out- 
growth of the Jewish usage, doubtless stimulated and confirmed, 
but not originated, by such sayings of Jesus as Mk. 3^^, Mt. 23^, 
cf. Lk. 22^2_ It would also be made easier to some Gentile 
Christians through such usages as that of the technical language 
of the Serapeum of Memphis, where dSeX(/)09 denoted a fellow 
member of the religious community. See Deissmann, Bibel- 
studien, 1895, pp. 82 /., and the references there given ; also let- 
ters in Witkowski, Epistolae grcecae privatae, 1907; Moulton and 
Milligan, Vocabulary of the Greek Test. 1914, ^. v. a8€\(})6^. 

As an address, aSe\(f)OL, with or without the additional words, 
is common in the 0. T., e. g. Judg. 19^^, i Sam. 30^2, i Chron. 
282, Judith f\ Tob. f, cf. Apoc. Bar. 78^ 80^; and still more in 
the N. T., e. g. Rom. 7S i Cor. i", i Thess. i\ i Jn. 31^; cf. 
Clem. Rom. i^ 4^, 2 Clem. Rom. i^ lo^ 14^ Ign. Eph. 16S 
Hermas, Vis. iii, lo^ iv, i^- *, Ep. Barnab. 2"^, and see Good- 
speed's Index patristicus for other references. It is especially 
characteristic of the speeches in Acts, cf. i^^ 2^^ 31^ 6^ ']-• -^ 
j^is. 26, 38 j^T, 13 22I 231' ^' ^ 28^^; and it may be suspected 
that it belonged to the homiletical style of the synagogue 
and was brought thence into Christian hortatory language. It 
is a form appropriate to a member of a strictly defined society, 
such as the Jewish or the Christian brotherhood, addressing 
other members whom he recognises as equals. This character 
distinguishes the Christian parenetic literature from the 0. T. 
Wisdom-literature. In the latter the conventional form is "My 
son," vie (Prov. i^ and passim), or reKvov (Ecclus. 2^ and pas- 
sim), and the situation is conceived to be that of an old man 
bequeathing his accumulated wisdom to his child or pupil. 
Cf. Toy on Prov. i*. 

Treipaa-fioh, " trials." 

On the uniformly neutral meaning of Hebrew hdj, "try," "test," 
see Driver on Deut. 6'*. This holds for xetpdew, irstpat^w, xsipaatAO'; 
in LXX (including Apocrypha), except Ecclus. 2' 33'. 

I, 2 133 

In the N. T. (i) the noun Treipaafio^, " trial" (which in secular 
writers is known only in Dioscur. Prcef. 5 tow eVl tmv iraOwv 
•7r€tpaa/xov<i, "experiments on diseases"), has clearly the mean- 
ing "affliction," that being one of the most common tests of 
character. Lk. 22^8, Acts 201' ftera 7rd.arj<i Ta7r€ivo(f)poavvr]<i 
Kol SaKpvcov Kal ireLpaafiMv, cf. Ecclus. 2^ 33^, Lk. 8^^ (cf. 
Mk. 4"), Heb. 11", i Pet. i«. See E. Hatch, Essays in Biblical 
Greek, pp. 71 /., Harnack, "Zwei Worte Jesu," in Sitzungsbe- 
richfe der kgl. Preuss. Akademie, 1907, pp. 942-947, both of whom 
give this meaning to nreipaa pA<; in the Lord's Prayer, Mt. 6^^. 
(2) The whole group of words is used to refer to temptation 
to sin, since that, primarily an assault, is at the same time a 
test. This development of the meaning accords with the secu- 
lar use of Tretpdoo^ Treipd^o), which may be illustrated from the 
derivative ireipaTrj^, "pirate," i. e. "attacker." Thus in Jas. 
1^* the words are flatly used in the sense "seduce to evil." So 
Mt. 4^ 6^' ; the name irupdi^wv for Satan, Mt. 4^, i Thess. 
3^ I Cor. 75 lo^^ I Tim. 6^, etc.; cf. the Jewish prayer in Bera- 
choth, 60 b, translated by Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers'^, 
p. 128. That both meanings can be employed by the same 
writer in neighbouring contexts may be illustrated by the use 
of the English "trial" in its several senses. 

In the passage before us 7r€ipaafjL0i<i evidently means " trials," 
i. e. adversities, which befall us from without and against 
our wfll. According to James (vv. ^^^■) "temptations" spring , 
mainly from within and could not be a subject for rejoicing. ; 
There is no reason, however, to think especially of religious per- 
secution ; what James has in mind is the strain put upon faith 
in Providence and in a good God by the fact that God permits 
his people to fall into distress of various kinds and to be op- 
pressed by grievous poverty. The people here addressed are 
not a missionary outpost among the heathen ; nothing in the 
epistle (not even 2' and 4'' ^■) implies the situation revealed 
by I Pet. 412 ff.. They appear to be largely poor and struggling 
people, subject to the hardships of the poor, cf. i^" 2'^^- ^ Note 
the prevalent eagerness to have, implied in 4^-^ 

irepLTrea-rjTe, "fall in with," "encounter," ordinarily used of 

134 JAMES 

unwelcome encounters, as with robbers (Lk. lo^"), misfortunes, 
sicknesses (Prov. ii^, 2 Mace. 6^^) ; see references in Lexx, 
Wetstein, and Heisen, pp. 258/. 

ttolklXol^, "divers." 

The classical and higher literary use employed ttolkiXo^ in 
senses naturally derived from its original meaning of "many-col- 
oured," "variegated"; thus it meant "complex," "elaborate," 
"diversified," "intricate," "subtle," "ambiguous," "unstable," 
nearly always in contrast with "simple" (Schmidt, Synonymik, 
iv, pp. 361 /.). In classical writers hardly any clear case can 
be found of the looser meaning, "various," "divers," Travro- 
BuTTO'i, in which the word appears in later and less cultivated 
use, so Mt. 4-S Mk. i^", Lk. 4^°, Heb. 2", i Pet. i«, 3 Mace. 2% 
TTOt/ciXat? Kal TToXXat? iSoKifiaaa^; TLficop{ai^, 4 Mace. 7^ 17^ 
firjrepa iirra riicvwv hi evae^eiav 7roiKL\a<; ^aadvov^ f^^XP'' 
Bavdrov virofxeivaaav, iS^i. Hermas offers many cases of this 
meaning ; see Goodspeed, Index, and note especially Mand. iv, 
2^ TToXXal Kal TTOL/CLXac, Mand. x, i^ ')(ep(TOvvTaL airo r5>v 
UKavOoiv Kal /Soravcov ttolklXcov, Sim. vii, 4 OXij^rivaL iv Tracrai^ 
0\L-\jr€aL iroLKiXai';. So Ep. ad Diogn. 12^ 7roiKL\.OL<i Kap7roi<i 
KeKoo-fjir)iJievoi, Mart. Polyc. 2^. 

For non-christian use, cf. Aelian, V. h. ix, 8 3e . . . vroXXat? 
Kal 7roiKi\at<; ')(^pr]adfi€VO^ ^iov fjbera/SoXal'i , Synes, Ep. 114. 
The popular weakening of the strict sense of the word, and its 
employment merely to give greater fulness to the phrase, is seen 
at its extreme in 2 Tim. 3^, Tit. 3^,Heb. 13^, where ttolklXo^ seems 
wholly superfluous. The use here in James is probably of 
that general type, with little or no emphasis ; it is less probable 
that the word is used here to intensify the idea of TreipaafMols, 
"trials however various," implying number and severity. 

3. TO SoKLfiiov, "test," "proof," here of the act of proving. 
The word more properly refers to the means of testing {Kpt,T^piov, 
cf. Prov. 27"! SoKifitov ap<yvpi<p, and references in Lex. and 
Mayor), but this does not give an adequate sense here, although 
adopted by Mayor and some older commentators. 

In the similar passage i Pet. i ', xh 3ox(;jliov cannot well mean " proof " ; 
Soy-^ixtov is there a neuter adjective from aoyj.\ji.ioq = Soy.'.txo^, "proved," 
"good." See Deissmann, iVez^e Bibelsludien, 1897, pp. 86^. 

I, 2-3 135 

In other usage also the word makes a natural advance from 
the idea of "test" to that of "purification" (as with metals) or 
of "training" (as Herodian, ii, 10^ SoKifxiov Be aTpartwTOiv 
Kdfiaro<; aW' ov rpv(f)i]. 

T779 7ricrT€<M9. 

T^q xtffxeox;] om B^ £f syr'^'^i. The evidence against the words raises 
a bare suspicion that they were added by conformation to i Pet. i '. 
To omit them does not alter the general sense. 

The word vrtcrTt? clearly means in James that fundamental 
attitude of the man's soul by virtue of which he belongs to the 
people of God, cf. i« 2^- s- ^\ It is taken for granted that the 
natural effect of ireLpacrfioL is to imperil persistence in faith. 
See Introduction, p. 40. 

Karepyd^eraL, "works," "achieves"; the force of Kara- is 
"perfective." See Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. m/., Sanday 
on Rom. 7^^ Cf. Rom. 5^ tj dXiyjn<i vTrofiovrjv Karepyd^eTai. 

y.aiegyi.f^e'zai is found only eleven times in LXX ; while in the N. T., 
apart from this instance and i Pet. 4', it occurs only in Paul (twenty 

vTTOfiovqv, "steadfastness," "staying-power," not "patience." 
On the distinction, cf. Lightfoot on Col. i^S Tvench,'Synonyms, 

uxoyi^vw, uxoyLovTj havc in classical Greek a considerable range of 
meanings springing from the root-meaning "stay" and including 
"endurance," "firmness," "submission," "patience," etc. 

In the Greek O. T. uxo[xovnQ is used chiefly for Hebrew n)pn ,ni|-in^ 
"hope," "expectation," e. g. Ps. 71=^ oxt au el t) utcoixovtq [kou, xupte' 
xuptoq f) iXizlc, [LOU iv. veoxTj-uoq \lou. So Theodotion, Job 17'% trans- 
lates mpn once by uxofiovf), while Aquila repeatedly substitutes 5xo;i.ovi^ 
in this sense for IXict? of LXX. This meaning is found by some in 
2 Thess. 35, Rev. i' 3", but the passages are all capable of different 

In Ecclus. 2" ij-* 41= ijTcotiovT) occurs in the sense "patience," 38" 
"diUgence," 16'' uxopLov-fjv euas^ouv;, "the constancy of the pious." In 
the last sense uxotiovT) and uxotidvw are found many times in 4 Maccabees, 
where the virtue of religious constancy in spite of adversity and even 
torture (17-' x-fjv Ixl ixlq ^aaivot^ . . . uxoiJLOvfjv) is celebrated in the 
great instances of Eleazar and of the mother of the seven sons. It is 

136 JAMES 

there associated with ivSpe{a (i" 153") and xaxoitiOsta (gO and is the 
product of iX-Klq (17*). Cf. Test. XII Patr. Jos. 2' xoXXa iyabx BtSwotv 
f) uxo[xovi^ (the whole section is noteworthy), 10' bpdt-zs. oiv, xsxva [lou, 
icdaa xaTspY^l^eTac t) uxo^jlovq, 10', Ps. Sol. 2^°. 

vTTOfiovrj, meaning "constancy," was thus a virtue highly 
prized by the Jews and frequently exemplified by cases from 
their history beginning with that of Abraham, notably those 
mentioned in 4 Maccabees. It is, indeed, a characteristic 
Jewish virtue of all time, and the Christian emphasis on it is 
a part of the inheritance from Judaism. Chrysostom calls it 
^aaiXh Tcav apercov. 

But heathen writers show that the virtue was also admired in the 
Greek and Roman world. The word uxotAovo is hardly ever used for 
the virtue in general (yet cf. Plut. Apophth. lacon. Agesil. 2), but it is 
not uncommon with reference to the endurance of specific hardship. 
See the quotations given by Trench, especially Cicero's definition of 
the Roman quality patientia in De invent, ii, 54 paiientia est honestatis aid 
utilitatis causa rerum arduarum ac difficilmm voluniaria ac dinturna per- 

In the N. T. vTrofiov^ is chiefly used in this sense of unswerv- 
ing constancy to faith and piety in spite of adversity and suffer- 
ing. Thus Lk. 8^^ 21^3 iv ry virofiovfi vfMcov KT-^creaOe Ta^ yjrvx^ai; 
vfMwv, Rom. 15^ f-, 2 Pet. i®, Heb. 10^'= 12^, Rev. 2'^- ^' ^^ The 
noun and its verb occur but rarely in the Synoptic Gospels, 
and not at all in John, but are characteristic of the vocabulary 
of Paul and the apostolic age. i Pet. 2^, where vTrofievm is 
twice used in the sense of "endure uncomplainingly and pa- 
tiently," is an exception to the more usual emphasis on loyal 

In Jas. i^ vTTOfiovq means, then, not "uncomplaining pa- 
tience" (so, e.g., Spitta), nor merely "endurance" as a single 
act or concrete state, but rather that permanent and underlying 
active trait of the soul from which endurance springs — "con- 
stancy," or "steadfastness," thought of as a virtue. Cf. 5", 
where the meaning is the same, and i^^. 

A closely similar thought is found in Rom. 5^ ^- koI kuvx^- 
IxeOa iv raU OXi-^jreacv^ €t86T€<; otl rj OXi-yfri^; VTrofiovrjv Karep- 

h 3-4 137 

yd^CTat^ rj Se VTrofiovr) hQK,tfXt']v^ rj he So/cijUbr} iXTriBa^ rj Se e'A,- 
TTt? ov KaraKT'xyveL. It is not necessary, however, to assume 
literary dependence. For the rhetorical figure of climax, cf. 
i"'-, Rom. iqi^ 2 Pet. i* ^-j Wisd. 6^^ ^- ; see Blass-Debrunner, 
§ 493, for other references. 

On joy in trial, cf. 2 Mace. 6^'^-^\ 4 Mace. 7" 1112, Mt. 5"'-, \ 
Acts 5^S I Pet. i^^-; on the whole theory of punishment as 
chastening, cf. Ps. 661" «-, y^{^, ii9^ pj-oy, ^n, 12^ Judith 825-27. 
On affliction as a test to be expected in the life of the pious, 
cf. Ecclus. 21-5, Judith 8^5, i Pet. 412, 2 Tim. 312. 

Spitta's contention that James has in i^-^ the case of Abraham al- 
ready in mind is not made out. Abraham was indeed one of the great 
examples of constancy in faith in spite of searching trial, cf. Judith 2)-^--'', 

1 Mace. 2", Ecclus. 44-", 4 Mace. 6i<' -^ 921 1312 1420 1519 f. 175 1820. 23, 
Jubilees 17, 19, Pirke Aboth, v. 4. But there is no reason whatever 
for assuming in our verse reference to any specific case of constancy. 

4. 5e, "and," not "but." This verse turns to remoter, but 
essential, consequences of ireLpaafioL. 

epyov TeXecov e^ero). We must not rest satisfied with 
constancy, but must see that it produces those further fruits 
which make up completeness of character. The thought, here 
very summarily expressed, is the same as in Rom. s^^-, 2 Pet. 
1 5-^. For the phrase cf. Jn. 17* to epyov Te\€i(oaa<i. 

The constancy here referred to is constancy in faith, from 
which completed character may be expected to spring. This 
is closely similar to the characteristic Pauline doctrine of faith 
working itself out (or, made effective) in love. Gal. 5^, Rom. 
6^--^, cf. V. 22 vvvl Be e\evdep(o6evTe<; airo Tr]<; d/xapTLa<; . , . 
e^ere rov Kapirbv vp-oiv ek dyiaafjLov. This inclusive and fun- 
damental thought well fits its position at the opening of the tract. 

"To have a perfect work" is taken by many to mean "be perfected," 
in respect either to duration until the end or to other completeness. 
The verse would then urge merely that the constancy which trials pro- 
duce be made by voluntary effort a perfect constancy. 

This is a less natural meaning for the phrase itself, and it gives a 
weaker sense than the interpretation "produce its full and proper 
fruits," which is, moreover, supported by the analogy of Rom. 52'-, 

2 Pet. 1 5-'. 

138 JAMES 

rekuoi Koi oKoickrjpoL. A perfect and complete character is 
recognised as the aim of the whole process. 

Te\€io?, "finished," "perfect," is a favourite word of James, 
thus i"' 25 32, cf. 222. 

The idea of "maturity," "adult growth," either physical (Heb. 51*, 
I Cor. 142°) or spiritual (i Cor. 2« 13", Col. i" 412), does not seem pres- 
ent in James's use, which is rather akin to that of Mt. 5" 19". 

For the use of Te\ei09, referring to the natural aim of moral 
effort, the O. T. use of □"'!3n, "perfect," "innocent," and D^ffi', 
"perfect," "single- (minded)," laid ample foundation. So DH, 
0"'pr\, of Noah, Gen. 6^; Job i^; Deut. iS^^, Ps. iS^^ 3737, 
and often; thv!!, i Kings 8" ii^ 

A similar Greek use grew out of the simple meaning of the 
word, cf. Philo, Leg. all. ii, 23 (of Moses in contrast to the ordi- 
nary immature man), and other passages quoted by Mayor, 
also the Stoic sayings in Stobaeus, Anthol. ii, 7, 11, g, iravra 8e 
rov Kokov Kol ayadbv dvBpa reXeiov elvai Xejovai Blo, to firjSe- 
IxLo.'i cnroKeiTreadat apeTrj<;, ii, 7, 5, b 8 (ed. Heeren, ii, p. 117). 
See HDB, "Perfection," and J. Weiss, Erster Korintherbrief , 
1910, pp. 73-75. 

As rikeio<i means "complete" in the sense of "perfect," 
"finished," so 6\6K\r)po<i means "complete in all its parts," 
no part being wanting or inadequate. The distinction is well 
illustrated by Trench, Synonyms, xxii. 6\6tckr)po<; is not com- 
mon with a moral appHcation, cf. 4 Mace. 15^^ rrjv evaefieiav 
oXoKXrjpov, Wisd. 15^ 6\6K\r)po<; BiKaLoavvr}. It was custom- 
ary to use the two words together merely to give a fuller 
phrase, as here, cf. Col. 4}'^, reXeiOL kol 7r€7r\'tjpocf>opr)/j,€voi. 
Many examples of such use of reXeio^ and oX6KXr}po<i in com- 
bination, drawn from Philo, Plutarch, Dio Chrysostom, etc., 
will be found in Mayor, Trench, Spitta, and Heisen, Novae 
hypotheses, pp. 312^. Compare English "meet and right," 
"good and sufficient," German "klipp imd klar," etc. 

5-8. Divine aid to this perfectness is gained through Prayer. 
But blessings co7ne only in answer to the prayer of steadfast loy- 
alty in faith. 

I, 4-S 139 

The external connection is made here by Xenrerai (v. * \ei- 
TTOfievot) ; cf. vv. i- ^ %ai/9eti/, ')(apdv, v. ^ reXetoi', TeXeiot, vv. ^' ^ 
alreirco^ etc. The main topic of the section is prayer (not wis- 
dom), the point being that real prayer requires unwavering faith. 
The marked resemblance between these verses and Hermas, 
Mand. Lx, shows that behind both lie current homiletical lan- 
guage and ideas. 

5. a-o(f)ia {cf. Jas. 7,^^' ^^' ^0 is not to be taken in the popular 
Stoic sense of "Science," iTncyrrjixr) deimv koX avdpcoTrivcov /cat 
Twv TOVTcov alTLOiv (references in Lightfoot on Col. i^), which 
is reflected in Paul's use, e. g. i Cor. i^o- 22 "EXXT/ye? (70(^iav 
^T]TOvaLv, 2^' ^' s 313, and (with reference to the Christian sub- 
stitute for the world's wisdom) i Cor. i^" 2^^- 31^ Eph. i^ 31°, 
Col. 2'^,h> w da\v "Trdvre^ 01 drjaavpoX rr}? ao(^Ca<i koX fyvaxreco^ 
a7r6Kpv(f)oi. It is rather "Wisdom," the supreme and divine 
quality of the soul whereby man knows and practises right- 
eousness.* Of this Hebrew idea of wisdom Solomon was the 
great exemplar,t cf. 2 Chron. i^°-^^, Wisd. f ^- 8^ g^°-^^, and 
of this Proverbs (e. g. ch. 2, see Toy on Prov. i^-*), Ecclesi- 
asticus {cf. ch. i, especially vv. ^■'-^o, 51^^-22), ^^d the Wisdom 
of Solomon treat. 

Abundant passages in this literature refer to this wisdom as 
coming from God, and him alone, Prov. 2'^ Kvpio^ hihwaiv 
<yo(f>iaVj Kal diro Trpoawirov avrov <yvoi(7Vi Kal avveaL^, Ecclus. 
ii TTcicra ao^ia irapa Kvpiov, 39^- ^ 51I', Wisd. 8'^^ 9^ tt)? aTTO 
(Tov a-o(f)ca<i dnovcrri^ eh ovSev Xoytad'^a-erat. The basis of the 
passage in James is thoroughly Jewish. 

irda-iv 8L86vT0<i. God's readiness to give is a motive to 

On the idea of God as ready and desirous to give to all, 
cf. Ps. 145^^-13, Ps. Sol. 4"-i5, Test. XII Patr. Gad f, Philo, 
De cher. 34, Leg. alleg. i, 13 otl j)CK6ho3po'i q)v 6 ^eo? ')(^api^eTai 
TO, or^aQa irdai koI toZ? /mtj TeXetot?, Mt. 5'*^ 7^' ". 

aTrXw. Properly means "simply," but here clearly shown 

* The limitation of <TO(f>Ca to the wisdom requisite for the state of mind recommended in 
V. ' is not justified. 

t But there is no reason for thinking, with Spitta, that Solomon is in mind in the passage, or 
that in v.' na<ri.v refers to "all" in contrast to Solomon alone. 


by what follows to have a moral sense, "graciously," "boun- 
teously," "generously." 

The adverb is found only here in the N. T., but the noun 
a7r\o'T77<f is not uncommon. In Rom. 12* 6 fieraBLBom iv 
aTrXoTijTi, 2 Cor. 8^ 9"- ^' t^ . . . dTrXoTrjTi t?}? KotvQ)vta<i 
€69 avToik, Jos. Antiq. vii, 13^ t^<? aTrXoTrjTO'i ical t^? fie'ya- 
Xoyjrvx^a^ , it means "liberality," "generosity," "single-minded 
attention to the gift with no thought of self" ; cf. Ecclus. 20", 
"The gift of a fool shall not profit thee ; for his eyes are many 
instead of one" ; also Plut. De adulat. p. 63 F, to he rov ic6kaKo<i 
epyov ovBev e;\;€t Bikulov^ ovB' aTrXovv^ ovB' eXevOeptov. Sanday, 
on Rom. 12*, quotes the important passages from Test. XII 
Patr. Issach. {irepl aTrXoTrjTO^;) in which the various qualities 
of the single-minded man are set forth ; note especially Issach. 
3*, on generosity, and see also Charles's valuable notes in his 
English translation, 1908, pp. 102-105. 

The adverb aTrXw? itself is used in this sense ("freety," "lib- 
erally") by Hermas, Mand. ii, 4 and 6. 

For various unacceptable senses given to airXcj? here, see Beyschlag, 
and for full references, see Hort, ad loc. 

fir) oveiBi^ovTO^ describes God's giving as full and free, in 
contrast to the meanness which after a benefaction calls it un- 
pleasantly to the mind of the one benefited. That this disa- 
greeable trait of human nature was prominent in ancient times 
is attested, e. g. by Ecclus. 41- p^ra to Bovvat prj oveiBi^e^ 
J315-18 2014-16 (cf. also, for a slightly different aspect, 2922-28)^ 
Plut. De adulat. p. 64 A, Trdcra oveiBt^opevr) %apt9 iira'xPr^'i koI 
a^apm, Schol. on Eur. Or est. 1238 oveiBr]^ tcov evepyea-LOJv ra'i 
v7ropvi](7€i<> ; see further Wetstein and Mayor. 

6. iv TTtcrTet, cf. 5^^. Explained by prjBev BiaKpivop^vo^ as 
meaning "in constancy {viropovrf) of faith." "Faith" is the 
fundamental religious attitude, not an incidental grace of char- 
acter, and the words mean here more than "in confidence that 
he will receive his request." 6 BiaKpiv6p€vo<i is a man whose 
allegiance wavers, not one tormented by speculative intellectual 
questionings, which do not fall within James's horizon. This is 

I, 5-6 141 

indicated by v. '', which shows (as Beyschlag well remarks) 
that the kind of waverer whom James has in mind fully expects 
to receive some benefit from God. 

haKptvofievo^, "wavering," "doubting," literally "divided," 
"at variance with one's self"; cf. Mt. 2121, Mk. 11", Rom. 
4^ {cf. Sanday's note) 14-^ Jas. 2^. This sense is found in 
Protev. Jac. 11, Clem. Rom. ii, 40 (see the passages in Mayor), 
but has not been pointed out in writings earlier than the N. T. 
For ciScdKptTO^ in the corresponding sense, cf. Ign. Trail. 1 
SidvoLav ahioLKpLTOv iv vTrofiovy. In Ign. Magn. 15, Eph. 3, 
Test. XII Patr. Zab. 7^, the meaning is not certainly the same 
as here ; see Zahn, Ignatius von Antiochien, 1873, p. 429, note i. 

On the general thought of the necessity of faith to success 
in prayer, cf. passages mentioned above, those given below on 
SiS^v^o"?, v. ^8, and Ecclus. 7^0 /x^ oXi'yo-^vxv'^'p'i €v rrj Trpoaev^y 
cof, Wisd. i^^-, Enoch qi-*, Herm. Mand. Lx, atrov aSia- 
rd/cTco^ (see Introduction, p. 89). But the God who would save 
sinners does not reject the prayer of the publican, nor the cry, 
"I believe, help thou mine unbelief." 

yap explains, and enforces by a figure, the importance of not 

eoLKev. Not in LXX ; in N. T. only here and i-^. 

KkvhwvL, "wave of the sea," but with emphasis rather on 
size and extension than on separateness and succession (Kv/xa), 
hence often used in a collective sense. It probably means here 
"the surge of the sea," "the billowing sea" ; cf. Lk. S^-* eVe- 
Tifirjaev tw avefio) koX ra> kXvScovc rov vBaTO<;, Wisd. 14*. 

dvefMi^ofievco, "wind-driven," a very rare word for the clas- 
sical avefwo). 

pLirt^ofievQ), "blown," literally, "fanned," from/3i7rt9, "fan." 
Adds here nothing essential to the idea of avefii^Ofievo). The 
two participles together explain the comparison. 

pLTTi^Q} is frequently used in secular writers of the action of 
wind on the sea. See the passages quoted in Heisen, p. 444, 
and the full discussion in Hort, ad loc. Cf. the fragment in Dio 
Chrys. Or. 32, p. 368: 

142 JAMES 

Philo, De gig. ii Ihwv <ydp ti? tov ev elprjvrj crvve'xrj iroXefiov 
avOpcoTTcov^ ov Kara ra edvrj Kal ^j^jw/aa? Kal TroXets avro fjiovov 
avviaTclfievov^ aXXa koI Kar olKia<i^ fxaWov 8e Kal Kad' eva 
avBpa eKacTTOVj Kal tov iv raU '\^v')(^al<i aXeKTOv Kal fiapvv 
'^€L/xo)va^ 6? VTTO ^LaLOTciTT]^ (f)opd'; TMv Kara fiiov Trpay/xciTcov 
avappiTTL^eraLj redavfiuKev et/coro)?, ec rt? iv ')(€ifjLoi)vt ei/Siav Kal 
iv kXvBcovt KVfiaLvovar]<; daXdaarj'i lyaXrivr^v dyeiv Svvarai, 
and other passages in Wetstein and Mayor. 

The point of comparison in James is the ordinary instability 
of the heaving sea, not the unusual violence of a storm. The 
sentence is made less forcible through the excessive elaboration 
of the figure. For the figure itself, cf. passages quoted above. 
Is. 57^", Ecclus. 33^, 6 v7roKpiv6/x€vo<i iv avrcp [sc. vofiw] w? iv 
KaTaiyiBi irXolov, Eph. 4" with Robinson's note and refer- 
ences, Jude, V. ". Note also the elaborate metaphor of 4 Mace. 
7^-^, where the man of steadfast piety is described as a helms- 
man tenax propositi ; and see references in Mayor, and Heisen, 

PP- 451/- 

7. yd-p. Introduces a second time, in another and more 
direct form, the reason for v. **. Cf. Hermas, Sim. 4^ ttw ovv, 
(^r)criv^ 6 TOioOro? Bvvarat Tt alrrjaaadai irapd tov Kvpiov Kal 
Xa^elv^ fxr] BovXevcov tw Kvplco ; also Jas. 4' and note. 

oleado). olixai is found in N. T. only here and Jn. 212^, 
Phil, i", BoKew having taken its place {cf. Mt. 3^ firj Bo^rjTe). 
It is often used, as here, "with collateral notion of wrong judg- 
ment or conceit" (L. and S.). So in Attic; and cf. Job ii^, 
I Mace. 5", 2 Mace. 5-1. 

o dvOpwiro^ iKeivo^;, with a suggestion of disapproval, or 
contempt, as Mk. 14^1, Mt. 12^^. 

TOV Kvpiov, i. e. God, cf. v. ^ In Paul always, or nearly al- 
ways, of Christ, except in quotations. 

8. avTjp Biyjrvxo'i, either subject of Xrjp^^erai, making the 
sentence a general statement (WH. text, R.V. mg), or else in 
apposition with the unexpressed subject (WH. mg. R.V.), which 
it further describes. The latter construction has analogies, 3^- ^ 
4^^ and yields a much more forcible sense. It underlies the 
punctuation of Cod. B and the rendering of the Peshitto. 

I, 6-8 143 

Hort argues for R.V. mg. on the ground that IxeTvo? naturally re- 
fers not to the waverer just mentioned, but to the more remote "man 
that lacketh wisdom." But the phrase is highly effective with refer- 
ence to the person just described elaborately, and on the other hand it 
is impossible to see why the warning that follows, which is of universal 
appUcation, should be addressed with such special emphasis only to 
"the man that lacketh wisdom." 

The rendering of A.V. based on the late Vulgate text (not Codd. 
AF), mr duplex . . . inconstans est, is still less acceptable. 

avrjp gives more emphasis to the idea (notice the emphatic 
position) than would be given by Bi-yjrvxo'i alone. The change 
from dv6p(i)7ro<i (v. '') to avi]p is probably merely for the sake of 
variety. Cf. Hermas, Mand. ix, 6 Tra? <yap Bi-^vxo'i av-qp. 

Sn|ri;;)^09, "double-minded," "double-souled," /. e. "with soul 
divided between faith and the world" {cf. 4^ r) ^^CKia rov Kocrfxov 
e^Opa Tov deov iarLv), "Mr. Facing-both-ways." 

The word is not foimd in secular literature nor in LXX or N. T. ex- 
cept here and Jas. 4', but is correctly formed according to the analogy 
of Stxovou? (Philo, De mere, merelr. 4, p. 269), Zi-^Xuiaaoc, {ibid.; Ecclus. 
5"), SfYvwyLoc;, StJcapStoq, SiXoyos (i Tim. 3'), Stxpoffwiuoi; (Test. XII 
Patr. Aser 2, etc.), StaTOfAoq, StauiAaToq, etc. It is not at all likely to 
be the coinage of this writer. 

In early Christian writings Bt4iux°? ^'^^ SttJ^ux^w (see Goodspeed, 
Index) are frequent, occurring in Hermas about forty times, especially 
in Mand. ix; Clem. Rom. 11- (of persons like Lot's wife), 23' x6ppw 
•jfevioBd) ay' Tjixtov tj Ypa^Tj aiixiQ, OTtou Xiyst ' TaXxticupot effftv ol Stij'uxot, 
ol ScaTtii^ovxeq ttjv '^^yr\y, o't Xsyovxei; ' rauTa xal Ixl twv -rca- 
T^puv T^^CyJ, xal ISou fsytjpaxxiJLSv, if.a\ ouSev t)[xIv toutcov auv^ipTjxsv {cf. 
Lightfoot, ad loc). In 2 Clem. Rom. 11- the same quotation is given 
as from 6 xpocptj-utxbs Xoyo?, which Lightfoot conjectures to be "Eldad 
and Modad." Cf. Didache 4^, Barn. 19= 20' (StxXoxapSfot), 2 Clem. 
Rom. 19 (onj'ux'av) ; see Mayor for some later instances. 

A. H. Clough's poem, entitled Dipsychus, has brought the word into 

The idea so neatly put by ofi^uxo? has similar expression in a series 
of phrases found in classical Greek, such as iix^ 6u[jt,bv £xovt£<; (Homer), 
eyivovTo S(xa od yy&[LOLi (Herodotus), etc., all meaning "be at variance," 
"be in doubt." 

' Somewhat closer are the O. T. passages, Ps. 12^ (nO ev y.!xpilq: xal ev 
xapSfqt, "with a double heart," i Chron. 12 3'', Ecclus. i^' sv xapSt? 
Staafj, 2"-" (where "go two ways," and "lose uxoixov^" are parallel, 
and are closely connected with ou xtaxeust), Hos. 10-. See also Enoch 

144 JAMES 

91 <, Mt. 6"-*, and Tanchuma on Deut. 26'^ (quoted by Schottgen), ecce 
scriptura monet Israelilas et dicil ipsis quo tempore preces coram domino 
effundant ne habeant duo corda, untim ad deum s. b. alterum vero ad 
aliam rem. In Test. XII Patr. Aser ^,Benj. 6 ; a similar thought is as- 
sociated with the idea of the good and the evil "root" ; see Bousset, 
Religion des Judentums-, pp. 400 /. Classical references are given by 
Wetstein, Mayor, Heisen, p. 475. Singleness of soul was prized in the 
Gentile world (Plato, Epictetus), but the connection of single-minded- 
ness and prayer seems characteristic of Jewish or Christian thought. 
Cf. also the verb Sw-rdil^G) (especially in Clem. Rom. 23', above). 

uKaTcicrTaTo^, "unstable," "unsteady," "fickle," "incon- 
stant," a disparaging predicate applied to SiaKpivoixevo^, 

The word is found in N. T. only here and 3^, in LXX once (Is. 54", 
as parallel to Taxstvig), Sym. three times ; dxaTotaTaata is found twice in 
LXX, twice in Sym., and five times in N. T. 

The adjective and noun are used to describe character in Polybius, 
vii, 4« (of a youth). 

iv TraVat? rat? 08049 avrov, i. e. his whole conduct is like his 
attitude toward faith. For the Hebraism "ways" in the sense 
of "habitual course of conduct," see Ps. 91" 145", Prov. 3*' 
(irdaai^ 68oL<i (tov), and Prov. passim, Wisd. 2^*^, Ecclus. ii'*^ 
jyi5, 19. ete.^ jer. i6i7, Ezek. f- ^, Acts 14^% 1 Cor. 41^; cf. v. " 
below, iv rai<i Tropetat? avrov. 

The expression axaTdoraToi; Iv xiaai? Tat? oSoI? auTou might mean 
"unsettled (tempest-tossed) in all his experiences" with reference to 
the ill effects of such Snjiux^* in actual life. For dxaTctaxa-coi; in this 
sense, cf. Is. 54", and for oSot Ps. 91", Rom. 3^^ (where the quotation is 
taken as relating not to conduct but to experience) . This is the view of 
many commentators, ancient and modern, but the sentence seems to 
call for a characterisation of the man rather than a prophecy of his 

9-11. Poverty no evil and wealth no advantage. 

The writer returns to the Treipaa-fioi of v. 2. That these fall 
heavily on the poor man is not an evil for him but an elevation, 
of which he should boast as a privilege. Likewise let the rich 
man boast when brought low by adversity ; for riches are 
transitory things, and he should be only glad to lose them in a 
way which conduces to his moral welfare, cf. Lk. 6^°-^^. 

1, 7-10 145 

9. Kav)(^d(jd(i), ''boast," over a privilege or a possession, corre- 
sponding to X'^P^^ riyijaaade. The word is used in the O. T. 
of "any proud and exulting joy," and so here (in secular Greek 
it did not have this development), cf. Ecclus. lo^i 39*, Jer. 9^2 f- 
rdBe Xeyei Kvpio<i ' fir) Kavxacrda) 6 ao(f)6<; iv rr} (TO(f>ia avTov^ 
Kol fMrj Kav^jdcrdo) 6 laxypo'i iv rrj Icr^yi avrou^ Kol /jltj /caih 
XdaOa 6 7r\ovaio<i iv rw ttXovtq) avrov, aXX 7) iv rovro) Kav- 
XacrOu) 6 Kavx^^l^^vo^ ^ avvieiv Kal yivwaKetv on iyci) el/xi kv- 
pio<i 6 TTOiOiv eXeo? Kol Kpifia Kal hiKatoa-vvrjV iirl Tr]<; 77}<?, ort 
iv rovTOL'; to diXrjixd /xov^ XeyeL Kvpio^^ Ps. 32", 2 Cor. ii^°, 

cf. "-29, 12 9. 

6 a8e\(f)6<;, cf. v. ^, aBe\(f)o{ and note. 

6 Ta7r€i,v6<i, "humble," "lowly," of outward condition, not 
(as 4*) inner spirit. Cf. Ecclus. ii^ 29^, i Mace. 14^*, Ps. 9^^ 
(lo^*), 82 (81)^ Taireivov Kal irevrjra, Prov. 30^^ (24"), Eccles. 
10^, Is. 11^, Dan. 3^^, Job 5" rbv irotovvra raireLVOv'? ek vy^o'^, 
Lk. i^2_ See Trench, Synonyms, xlii. 

iv ra> in^ei. 

The lowly should find the elevation he so much craves in the 
moral gain achieved through trials, cf. i Cor. 7-^ 

Others make u(j;oc; refer to the heavenly reward of the pious. This 
is, of course, included in the advantage of the lowly, but it is not said 
here that the elevation is only future. 

The actual moral dangers of wealth in the early church are 
well illustrated by Hermas, Vis. iii, 6. 

The exaltation of the humble was the promise of the prophets 
(e. g. Is. 54"') and the hope of Israel, Prov. 3''', Ps. 18-' 138*'; 
cf. Lk. 14^^ OTL ira/i 6 v-yjrtov eavrov Ta'ireiva>67]creTaL Kal 6 
TaTretvoiv eavrov vy^adrjo-ejai. These are now realised. But 
note the moralistic turn given to apocalyptic ideas; in i Pet. i^ 
the eschatological framework of Jewish and Christian thought 
is far nearer the surface of the writer's consciousness. 

10. The two interpretations of v. ^^ divide on the question 
whether or not dhe\(^6<i is to be supplied with irXoixno^. 

(i) It is more natural to supply it. In that case the rich 

man is a Christian, and rarrecvcoaei refers to the external 

146 JAMES 

humiliation and loss brought him by the Treipaa-fioi of v. ^ 
which from the Christian point of view are a proper ground of 
boasting, tm v-^ei, and rrj TaTretvcocrec both refer to the same 
or similar experiences, but are not quite parallel expressions, 
since i/i/ro? is used of a moral and spiritual exaltation, raireCvoiaL'i 
of external and material humiliation. Apart from this lack of 
parallelism the chief objections to this view, which is that of 
most commentators (to the names given by Beyschlag, add von 
Soden, Spitta, Scott, Zahn, Knowling, Hort), are (i) that else- 
where in the epistle the rich are spoken of (2^-^ 5^-®) as bad men 
outside the Christian society, and (2) that TrapeXevaerai has 
to be taken as denoting "lose his wealth," and v. " in a corre- 
sponding sense. 

(2) According to the other interpretation, aB€\(j>6<; is not to 
be supplied with TrXoucrto?. Then, since the verb to be sup- 
plied is svirely Kavxao-Oco (although Alford proposed KavxciraL^ 
"CEcumenius" alaxyveaOco, and Grotius TaTreivovaOo)) , that 
word must be taken ironically, and tt} TaireLvoaaei referred to 
the humiUation and shame of the Day of Judgment (c/". 5^ eirl 
rat? TaXaiTTwptaL'i Tat9 iirepxpixevam) set forth plainly in 
irapeKevaerai and fxapavdrjaerai — "let the rich man find his 
boast (if he can !) in his coming abasement from the lofty sta- 
tion he now occupies." 

This involves serious difficulties: (i) the unnatural refusal 
to supply aSeXc^o'?, (2) the excess of fierce irony in the use of 
the understood Kavxaadco, (3) the lack of adaptation of the 
thought in any way to the idea of TreLpaa/xoi, which still seems 
to govern the context. On the other hand, this interpretation 
would be in accord with 5^, and would in some respects well 
suit the following context, w. ^°-". 

This latter view is held by many older commentators, and by 
Huther, Alford, Weiss, Beyschlag, but seems on the whole to 
involve greater difficulties than those of the view first stated. 
The rich man here contemplated is, therefore, to be understood 
as a Christian. 

TT} ra7rei,v(0(T€c. The bringing low of the rich through loss 
of property, standing, etc., cf. Lk. i^^, Phil. 3^^ This might be 

I, lo 147 

by reason of his Christian profession, for the rich man was pe- 
culiarly exposed to loss in time of persecution {cj. the result of 
anti-semitic persecution at Alexandria, as described by Philo, 
Leg. ad Gaiutn, 18) ; but it might well come about through 
other causes, and would always be a Tretpaa-fio'i that would 
put a severe strain on faith in the goodness of God. 

xfj xaxetvcitjet is taken by some as strictly parallel to -ry utpet and 
so meaning Christian " humility." " Let the rich man make his humble 
spirit, not his wealth, his boast," cf. Ecclus. 31' 7'^, "zaicdyutcov acpoSpa 
TTjv tj^uxV ffou ... oTc l/.StxT)ai<; dcasPoO? %Ug xal a%<li'kt]^, and the 
saying of Hillel,* "My humihty is my greatness and my greatness 
is my humility." This is possible, but does not suit the connection 
with x£ipaa[jio( quite so well, and one would expect xocxetvoippoaiJVT] 
(i Pet. sO- 

On the transitoriness of riches, cf. Job 24^* 2721, Ps. 4g^^''^, 
Wisd. 58 ff-, Ecclus. ii^sf., Mt. 61^, Lk. i2i«-2i 16''^-^', Philo, De 
sacrificantibus, 10 (M, ii, 258): 

"God alone, it says (Deut. 10"), shall be thy boast (au'xTQtxot) and 
greatest glory. And pride thyself neither on wealth nor on glory nor 
high position nor beauty of person nor strength nor the like things 
over which the empty-minded are wont to be elated ; reckoning that 
in the first place these things have no share in the nature of good, and 
that secondly they are subject to speedy change, fading ([jiapaiv6t«.eva) , 
as it were, before they have well blossomed (dcv0^aoci)." For other ref- 
erences, cf. Spitta, p. 26, note 3. 

0T4 0)9 av6o<; 'XppTov irapekexxreraL. Through the. same in- 
terest in warning against high estimation of riches which ap- 
pears in 2^^- 6-8 51-6, the writer is led on in this clause and v. " 
to describe the certainty of loss to the rich. The passage sets 
forth the sture fate of the typical rich man. 

The passage is dependent on Is. 40^ ^- irdcra aap^ ')(opro<i koX 
iraaa oo^a avdpdiirov o)? dv6o<; ■y^oprov. e^i]pdv6rj ')(opro<i 
Koi TO dvdof i^eTrecrev (also quoted i Pet. i^*). 

dv6o<i xopTov is the LXX rendering of Hebrew Hltrn pX^ 
"flower of the field." In Ps. 103 (i02)i'^ the same Hebrew is 
rendered more correctly dv6o^ rov djpov. ')(opTo<i is probably 

* Lev. rabba, c. i ; see Bacher, Die Asada der Tannailen^, i, p. 6. 

148 JAMES 

used here not only of grass proper, but of any green herbage 
(so of lilies, Mt. 6-*' ^'', of grain, Mt. 13^^), and the flower thought 
of is any flower growing in the field, just as in the Hebrew. The 
original comparison in Is. 40^*- relates to life in general, for 
which the spectacle familiar in the Orient of the grass and 
flowers suddenly withered by heat and drought is a common 
figure; thus Ps. 90^*- 102" aael p^^opro?, 103^^, Job 14^ wcnrep 
avdo^, Is. 5112; and (of the wicked) Ps. 37^, Job 1530-33 

TrapeXevaerat. The rich man " will pass away," " disappear," 
i. e. in any case his riches will pass away and he will cease to be 
a rich man. (This is merely elaborated in vv. " and ^^.) There- 
fore he should congratulate himself on the opportunity of moral 
gain described in vv. ^-^ and on the raTretWcri? which substi- 
tutes real values for transitory ones. 

TcapsXsuffeirat includes the consequences of death, but also the work 
of moth and rust (Mt. 6^'- ^o). This is better than, with some inter- 
preters, to take TuapeXeuCTSTat as meaning " die," for the rich is no more 
sure to die than the poor. The rich needs to be reminded not of the 
certainty of death but of the transitoriness of wealth. 

11. avereiXev. The aorists are gnomic, as in v. -* ; but 
cf. Is. 40'' LXX. See Burton, Moods and Tenses, § 43, Blass, 
§ 57, 9, Buttmann (Thayer's translation), p. 202 ; Winer (Moul- 
ton's translation), pp. 346/.; J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 

Winer (Thayer's translation) , pp. 277/., takes a different view, holding 
the aorists to be narrative, as in a parabolic story; cf. Mt. 13^^ *f-. 

crvv T&> Kav(7(ovL. Kavatov means "burning heat," Gen. 31^°, 
Dan. 367 (Theod. Codd. AQ), Is. 25^ (Theod.), Lk. 12", Mt. 
20^2 J or "sirocco," Hebrew D''^p^ (Job 27^1, Hos. 13^^ Jonah 4^ 
Ezek. 17^" 19^^), the southeast wind common in Palestine in 
spring and destructive of young growth by reason of its extreme 
and withering dryness. See Benzinger, Hebr. Archdologie, pp. 
29 /., DD.BB. art. "Wind." It is often, as here, difficult to 
decide between the two possible meanings {e. g. Ecclus. 18^^ 43 3, 
Judith ?>^). For the A.V., "a burning heat," R.V. has substi- 
tuted "the scorching wind." 

I, 10-12 149 

e^eVeo-ey, "faded," "wilted," from Is. 40^ cj. Is. 28i' ", Job 

142 1530, 33_ 

The Greek word is used in the sense not only of "fall off," but also of 
"fail," "come to naught." The specific meaning "fade" is contained 
in the Hebrew ^2i, and so in translation became attached to exxixxetv. 

77 evirpeTTeia, "comeliness," "goodly appearance." Only here 
in N. T., cf. Ecclus. 24" (of olive-tree). The word is common 
in LXX as in classical writers, with a suggestion of fitness to 
the object and its relations, and so sometimes gains a notion 
of stateliness or majesty, which KaX6<i^ KaX\o<i, do not have. 
Cf. Ps. 93I Kvpio<i i/SaaiXevaev^ euTrpeirecav iveSvaaro, Wisd. 
729 evTrpeTrearepa rjXLOv, and other references given by Hort. 

rov irpoaairov avrov, "of its face," i. e. "form and appear- 

Under the influence of the extended meanings of the Hebrew aijs 
the word xpdawxov proceeded in translation to the sense " surface." Cf. 
Job 41" (of stripping off the crocodile's scales) ti? axoxaXut^ec icpoowxov 
IvSiaew? auxoO ; 2 Sam. 14-" xb icpoacoxov xoO p:Q[jLaTo<; xouxou, " the situa- 
tion, attitude, appearance, of this affair"; Gen. 2« ih xpoauxov ttj? 
YTjq. From this to the meaning "outward form and appearance" is 
not a long step. 

iv raU TTO/jetat? avTov is figurative, like o8ot9, v. ^, and re- 
fers to the experiences and fortunes of the rich, cf. Prov. 2^ 4^^ 
Ta? 8e TTopeia^ aov iv elprjvrj irpod^ei. To take it of literal 
journeys is wholly inappropriate to the context. 

Hort's interesting interpretation is probably oversubtle: "The com- 
mon interpretation of 'goings' as a mere trope for 'doings' seems too 
weak here. The force probably lies in the idea that the rich man per- 
ishes while he is still on the move, before he has attained the state of rest- 
ful enjoyment which is always expected and never arrives. Without 
some such hint of prematurity the parallel with the grass is lost." 

fxapavOijaerai, "wither," "waste away." So Wisd. 2«, Job 
242*, but outside the Bible more often of the decay of other 
things than plants. The reference is to the loss of riches and 
earthly prosperity, not to eternal destiny. 

12. The Reward of Steadfastness. 


This verse recurs to the thought of vv. ^■*. The sub-paragraph should 
end after v. ^-, not before it, as in WH.'s text. 

fiaKcipLo^ avrfp sc. ecntv. 

av^p] A^ minn read avOpwxo?, probably an emendation in order not 
to exclude women. 

This form of praising a virtue is very common in the O. T., especially 
in Psalms and Ecclesiasticus, for Hebrew U'lxn n.ti'x. dtvi^p is natu- 
rally preferred to avSpwxo? in most cases. The article is omitted by 
LXX in most of the instances, probably because the statement is thought 
of as of general application ("blessed is any man who," etc.). Cf. Ps. 
i> 846, Prov. 8^2, Ecclus. i^^- 2» 26', Is. 56=, Job 51' (Aaxapto? Ss av9pwrco? 
ov T^Xey^sv 6 xupto?, 4 Mace. 7" Sta x-^v apsxrjv x(ivTa luovov uxo(JL^vetv 
(jLax<4pi6v eoTtv, etc., Dan. 1212 (Theod.) (jiaxaptos 6 utcoixIvcov. 

This precise formula is not found elsewhere in the N. T. (except Rom. 
4', quoted from LXX), although beatitudes are abundant, e.g. Mt. 
53-" ii», Lk. i« 2329, Jn. 20", Rom. 14", i Pet. 3i<. Cf. Hermas, Vis. 
ii, 2' (iotxiptot 5(JLei<; oaot uxopiiveTe t^iv 6Xtt];tv. 

Both in form and substance this verse in James is characteristically 
Jewish and Biblical. On the interesting difference from the abundant 
and familiar Greek and Latin congratulatory expressions, see E. Nor- 
den, Agnostos Theos, 1913, pp. 100/.; G. L. Dirichlet, De vctenim ma- 
carismis (Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, xiv), 1914. 

vTTOfievei, "endureth"; i.e. "shows constancy under"; cf. 
Zech. 6" LXX 8e aTe^avo^ ecnai roi<; VTro/xevovaLV. The 
word may also be taken as future, vTrojxevel. 

TretpaaiMv, "trial," as in v. 2. Inner enticement to evil would 
have to be resisted, not endured. 

BoKLfio^ jevofievo^, "having shown himself approved," cf. 
Rom. 5^. This is another way of saying viro/Mevei, not a further 
condition of receiving the crown. 

Tbv ax^tpavov tfiq t^w^?. A crown (n"it3];.) was worn for ornament by 
the Jews, as by other peoples of antiquity, being sometimes a wreath 
of leaves or flowers (e. g. Judith 15", cf. Wisd. 2', etc.) worn at feasts 
(Cant. 3", I s. 2 8'- ^ Ecclus. 32^, etc.), weddings, and occasions of joy, 
sometimes a crown of gold (e. g. Ezek. 16' ' 23^, Esther S'^, Ep. Jer. 9, 
I Mace. lo^" 13", 2 Mace. 14^; cf. 2 Sam. 123° = i Chron. 20^, where 
the crown of gold was probably on the head of an idol, see H. P. Smith 
on 2 Sam. 12'°). At least in the case of golden^crowns it served as a 
badge of dignity and rank (cf. Philo, De somn. ii, 9), and could be used 
as a gift of honour (just as with the Greeks, cf. Epist. Arist. 320). 

I, 12 151 

Such a crown (usually of gold) is sometimes spoken of as worn by a 
king (Ps. 21 ^ Sir. 40s Zech. 6i'. ^S Jer. 13'^ Ezek. ai^"' (">), but others 
also could wear it, and it was not intended as a symbol of dominion. 
Many gold chaplets in the form of leaves have been found in ancient 
graves and are to be seen in museums. The ordinary badge of royalty 
(^aatXefaq yvtoptatiaxa, Lucian, Pise. 35; insigne regiiim, Tac. Ann. xv, 
29) was not a crown (aTs^javo?) but a fillet (ScaSTjjia, Hebrew igr), 
Esther i", i Esd. 43", Wisd. s'S Ecclus. ii^ 476, Is. 62% i Mace. i\ 
etc.). Not imtil the time of the later Roman emperors did the oblitera- 
tion of the actual distinction between crown and diadem take place 
which has determined the meaning of the words in modern usage. 

From the Greeks the Jews became familiar with the custom of giving 
a wreath as a prize to victors in games. This was an important, but 
incidental, result of the general employment of chaplets (ax^cpotvoc) as 
ornaments and badges of honour. 

See EB and HDB and Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 
"Crown"; DCA, "Coronation" and "Crown"; Trench, Synonyms, 
xxiii ; Lightfoot on Phil. 41 ; J. Kochling, De coronarum apud antiquos 
m et usu (Religionsgesch. Versuche und Vorarbeiten, xiv), 1914. 

Qiitpmot; is often figuratively used in the O. T. in the sense of "hon- 
ourable ornament" or "mark of dignity" (Prov. i' axl?avov xap'^wv, 
4' 12^ Yuv-f) avSpefa axltpavoi; xm dtvSpl aixTJ?, 1621 axiqjavos /.auxTjaews 
Y^pa?, I7« axl{pavo<; Yep6vxwv xsxva x^xvcov, Job 19', Is. 28^ eaxac /,upio<; 
aa^a(b6 6 axlcpavo? xiji; eX-rct'Soq, Lam. 5'S Ecclus. i" cpo^o? xupi'ou . . . 
cii(f(zwq ayaXXtatiaxo?, 6" 158 ax^ipavov dyaXXiKixaxo? . . . xaxaxXrjpo- 
voii'^aet (the symbol put for the rejoicing which it symbolises), 25' 
ax^(pavo<; yepoyxoi'ii xoXuxetpfa. 

The corresponding verb cxsipavow is used of the bestowing of marks 
of favour and honour (Ps. 8' So^m v.a\ xniji laxecpavwaac; aijx6v, 103 < xbv 
axEipavouvxti as Iv iXizi, 3 Mace. 3^8, on which see Deissmann, Bibel- 
siudien, p. 261, Heb. 2^- =), just as it is by late secular writers" (Polj'b. 
Diod. Plut. papyri ; see Deissmann, I. e.) in the sense merely of 

For the figurative use of the crown as a prize, see 4 Mace. 17"-"; cf. 
9«, Wisd. 4-. Similarly, of victory over pleasure, love of money, etc., 
Heraclit. £/>. iv; Philo, Leg. all. ii, 26, iii, 23. 

For rabbinical references to crowns, see Taylor, SJF-, p. 72, note 23. 
Test. XII Patr. Benj. 41 [Imitate the good man's compassion] Yva xal 
ufAelc axe!p(4vou<; So^tji; <popdaTjxs, belongs to the same group as the similar 
N. T. passages discussed below. 

In the N. T. axe^avo? is used of the thorn-chaplet put on the head 
of Jesus (Mt. 27", Mk. 15'', Jn. 192. ^), of wreaths used as prizes (i Cor. 
9"), of golden crowns as badges of dignity (Rev. 4*- 1° 6- 9'' i4'S 
also 12O, of a crown of stars, and in the figurative senses of a prize (2 
Tim. 4' 6 xTi<; Sixaioauvr^q axecpavo; ov axoSuast tAoi h xupioc; ev sxet'vT! t^ 

152 JAMES 

T)[JL£pi}:, cf. I Cor. 9") and of an honourable ornament, or badge of 
dignity (Phil. 4', i Thess. 2'' Tt<; yap Tjfjiwv bX%\c, ri x^-P^ ^ axd^avot; 
xauxTjtJsws, Rev. 3"). 

^ This last sense, of a figurative "honourable ornament," seems 
to be the meaning in i Pet. 5* /cal (j)av€p(o6evTO<; tov ap'^^^Liroi- 
fievo'; fco/xt€i<r6e tov afiapdvnvov t/}? 86^7]<; ar€(j)avov (where 
lurks an implied contrast with a wreath of leaves), in Rev. 2^" 
Swo-ft) (TOL TOV a-T€(f>avov tt}? ^odt}?, and in the passage of James 
under discussion. There is no reason whatever for thinking of 
a royal crown, and no need of introducing any reference to the 
use of wreaths as prizes in the Greek games. That metaphor, 
which implies competition and so exclusion, is not an adequate 
one as the basis of the N. T. use {cf. 2 Clem. Rom. 7, where this 
very difficulty is felt), and crowns were in fact acquired in other 
ways as well as by contending in the games. The idea is rather 
of a mark of honour to be given by the Great King to his friends. 
An excellent case of this figurative use is Ep. Arist. 280 icaOm 
(TV rovro eTTtreXeZ?, eiTre, fieyLare ^acnXev. 6eou croc aric^avov 
hiKaLoavvr)<i hehatKoro^. Righteousness here constitutes the 
crown, and it is a gift, not a prize. 

The metaphor of the crown for the blessed reward of the pious was evi- 
dently already familiar before the N. T. authors wrote. This is shown 
not only by Test. XII Patr. Benj. 4' akeady quoted, but also by the 
form of the several N. T. passages. Note the use of the definite article, 
the variation in the added genitive, and the acquaintance with the 
idea implied in r^xtlq Be atpOapxov, i Cor. g-'\ It may even be that 
axi'^oLwq, like oxeyotvow, had already gained the simple meaning "re- 

Tf;? ^c«0?, epexegetical genitive, as i Pet. 5^, Ep. Arist. 280. 
The blessed life of eternity constitutes the crown. CJ. Rev. 2'". 

iTn^yyeiXaro sc. 6e6'i, cf. i Jn. 51". There is no promise of 
the O. T. or of our Lord in just this form (cf. Deut. 30^^"^°), 
and a reference to Rev. 2^° Saxroi croc top crTe(f)avov t?}? ^cbt}? is 
unlikely. Eternal life as the reward for the friends of God was 
a fundamental idea of later Jewish and of Christian escha- 
tology, cf. Ps. Sol. i3i«, Enoch 58'', 4 Ezra 8^25.^ mL 9", Jn. 
3!^ lo^", Rom. 2^, Rev. 2^, etc. 

h 12-13 153 

E. Zeller, however, argues in Zeil.f. wissensck. Theol. 1863, pp. 93-96, 
that Rev. 2'" is the promise referred to. 

exT]YYS''^«'r°] B^A^ minn ff boh. The addition of a subject is 
emendation, thus : 

+ xuptoi; C min. 

+ 6 xuptoq KLP minni''"'' syr''"'. 

+ Oso? minn vg syrp«=''. 

T049 ayaTTMcrtv avTov. 

Note the resemblance to 2 Tim. 4*. Von Soden suggests 
dependence on some liturgical form, but this is unnecessary. 
The idea and phrase are strongly characteristic of Deuteronomy. 
Cf. Ex. 20^, ical TTOLcov eXeo? et? 'x^cXidBa'; rot? ayaTTcoaLV /xe, 
Deut. f T0t9 ayaTTcJaLV avTop, Ps. 511 1452^ Ecclus. t,i^^, Bel 
V. ^^, Rom. 8^^. See passages from O. T. and other Jewish liter- 
ature mentioned in Spitta, p. 30. Cf. the similar expression in 
Jas. 2^ T?}? ^aaCKeia^ ^? iTrtTyyeiXajo tol<; aja'TTcocnp avTov. 
The believer's life is marked by constancy in faith and by love 
of God, and he may be designated by either attribute. 

13-18. When under temptation, do not excuse yourself by say- 
ing that temptations proceed from God. They come from man's 
evil passion. God sends only good gifts to us, for we are his chil- 
dren and the first-fruits of his creation. 

The passage has no doctrinal purpose other than to warn the 
readers against resorting to a current excuse for sin. The con- 
nection with the preceding is made by the aid of the ambigu- 
ity of the word Treipa^ofjievo';, which means both "tried" and 
"tempted." The temptations intended do not appear to be 
restricted to those involved in "trials." 

13. firjSeU . . . XeyeTco. Cf. M et'rrr]<;, Ecclus. 5*' " 15". 

•7r€Lpa^6fA,evo<;. Evidently means {cf. vv. " f) temptation to 
sin, not merely external trial. See on 'rreipacTfjio'L'ij v. 2, and 
cf. I Tim. 6» et? Treipaafiov koX irayLBa. The excuse shows that 
the writer is not thinking of a state of religious persecution, 
with the consequent temptation to complete renunciation of 
faith in Christ or in God, but rather of ordinary temptation. 
In the case supposed the person tempted either has yielded, or 
is on the point of yielding; he is called o Treipa^ofjievo'i, instead 
of o ufiapTOiVj by a kind of euphemism. He excuses himself 

154 JAMES 

by declaring that the temptation came from God. Paul in 
I Cor. ioi3 makes a similar exhortation in curiously different 
form: "Do not excuse yourselves by thinking that your temp- 
tation is greater than man can bear." 

Warning against this natural and common impulse of frail 
humanity is found clearly expressed in Ecclus. 15""^°, M ^'^^rjj'i 
oTi Aia Kvpiov airea-Tr^v ktX. ; cf. also the references to Philo 
given below. 

Prov. 19' dc(ppoffuvif] dcvSpb? XutiafveTat -zolc, oSou? auToO, tov Se 6e?)v «?- 
Ttaxott T^ v.agbiq. auxou, Hermas, Sim. vi, 3 aETiwvxac xov xupiov, and 
similar passages, relate to complaints of misfortune, not to excuses for 

That the idea was often expressed among Greeks of many 
periods is seen from the following instances : 

Homer, Odyss. i, 32-34 (Zeus speaks), 

w xoxot, olov hi] vu Osou? ^poxol atxtowvTat. 
e^ •f)yi£wv yap cpccsi ■/.&■/.' e(j.[X£v«t ' ol Ss %ad auxol 
acpfjfftv citxaa6aXtT)fftv uicspixopov akys' exouo'v. 
//. xix, 86-87, ^1^ S'oux, aiTioq et[i.l, 
aXkx Tiebq xal [Aotpot xal Yjepo^olxcc; eptv6<;. 

Euripides, Tro des, 914-1032, Orest. 285, Phcen. 161 2-14. 

iEschines, Timarch. i, 190, [x-?) yap otsaOs, w 'AeYjvatot, -zac, xwv aStxT]- 
liaxwv apxa? fifxb 6ewv, dXV oux ux' dvGpcoxcov (JaeXyetaq YfyveaOat. 

Plato, Res pub. 10, p. 617 E, atxt'a IXofjisvou • 6ebc; avatxto?, exactly ex- 
presses the idea, but seems irrelevant, because in the context the choice 
referred to is made by a pre-existent soul of a future condition of life ; 
cf. also p. 619 C. 

Philo, Leg. alleg. ii, 19, Mang. p. 80, "When the mind has sinned and 
removed itself far from virtue, it lays the blame on divine causes (xd Oeiot), 
attributing to God its own change (xpoxTj)"; Dcfuga et inv. {De prof.), 
15, Mang. pp. 557 /. : "Of no secret, treacherous, and deliberate crime 
is it proper to say that it was done by the will of God (xax« Oedv) , but 
they are done by our own will (xa9' tlJ'-*? auxou?). For in ourselves, 
as I have said, are the treasuries of evil, but with God the treasuries 
of good things only. Whoever, therefore, 'flees for refuge,' that is, 
whoever blames not himself but God for his sins, let him be punished. 
... A blemish almost or quite incurable is the affirmation that the 
deity is the cause of evil. . . . And what slander could be worse than 
to say that not with us but with God lies the origin of evil?" Cf. 
also Philo, Quod deter, pot. insid. 32. 

1, 13-14 155 

Terence, Eun. v, 2. 36, quid si hoc quispiam voluil deus? 
Plaut. Aul. iv, 10. 7, deus impulsor mihi fuit. 
See L. Schmidt, Die Ethik der alien Griechen, 1882, i, pp. 230-240. 

The fact that this idea was so familiar helps to account 
for the attachment of w. ^^-^^ to a passage (w. '•^-^'^) which 
deals with another sort of ireipaa- fx6<i . The substance of the 
passage is not original; the freshness consists in the way in 
which the thought is worked out. 

The suggestion of Pfleiderer {Das Urchristentum'^, ii, p. 546) that this 
is polemic against the gnostics has as little foundation as the older ref- 
erences to Essenes, Pharisees, or Simon Magus. The quotations given 
above prove this. It would be easier (and not unnatural) to think of 
a Greek popular habit of thought and speech which had affected a 
Jewish community. The idea of being " tempted," which is the root 
of the whole passage, also shows that the self-excusing sinner whom 
James has in mind is no gnostic. 

cnro. The preposition airo, which expresses a " looser and more 
remote" relation of agency is perhaps used here out of rever- 
ence. Cf. Lex. s. V. p. SQ**, Lightfoot on Gal. i^ ; J. H. Moulton, 
Prolegomena, pp. 102, 237. 

axo] J< minn read uxo, by an unnecessary emendation to a more 
usual phrase. 

aTreipacTTO'i (class, aireiprjrof; ^ aTreiparo?) can mean, when 
used of a person, (i) ''untempted," "untemptable," or (2) "un- 
versed," "having no experience." 

In favour of the meaning " un temp table " (E.V.) is the sharp 
verbal contrast then afforded to ireipd^eL ovSeva. 

KUKcov. On this good literary use of the genitive, see Winer, 
§30. 4; Blass, §36. 11; J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 74 
("the poetical phraseology of the Attic period had come down 
into the market-place"). 

14-15. The source of temptation is within the man; the 
process is from passion, through sin, to death. 

It is highly significant that James's mind naturally turns for 
the true explanation of temptation not to the Jewish thought 
of Satan (c/. the explanation of the origin of sin in the Book of 

156 JAMES 

Enoch 69^^), or of the "evil root," but to a psychological 
analysis, strongly influenced by Greek conceptions of human 

14. v-TTo rr}? tSta? i7n6v/jbia<i. Belongs primarily with iretpd- 
^eraL, for otherwise the contrast of 6e6<; and iTridv/Mia is weak- 
ened ; but it is, secondarily, the agent of the participles also. 

i7n6v/xLa, a word in itself applicable to any desire, whether in- 
nocent or wrong, is here used of desire for something forbidden, 
"lust" (E.V.) in the broader sense of that word. The source 
of temptation is desire, and lies within, not mthout, the man. 
There is no emphasis here, as in Ecclus. is^^'^*^, on free will; 
on the other hand, any conception of an outside, personified, 
Power, such as Paul employs in Rom. 7*- i"- i^- ", is foreign to 
this passage. The conception is far simpler and more naive 
than either of these. 

On iindvfiLa^ see Trench, Synonyms, § Ixxxviii, and cf. 4^, 
2 Pet. i\ 2 Tim. 36, Tit. 3^ 

Ecclus. 18'° '• 5', 4 Mace, i^- irpb [xev ouv ty)<; t)Sov^(; saxtv £xt6u;ji.ta ' 
[LB-zx ok TT)v TjSovYjv xapa, 4 Mace, i"- '^ a'- *• ' 3=. ". 12 ^23^ Jn these 
passages the word is used with various shades of meaning. Cf. Philo, 
Quod omn. proh. liber, 22 eJ (lev yap [tj t^u^T]] %ghc, extGufxta? l7,auveTai 
i^ uy' 7)0ovf)s SeXeal^e-uat. On the significance of liutOutxta in Philo's sys- 
tem, see J. Drummond, Philo Judcsus, 1888, ii, pp. 302-306, and note 
especially De conctip. i /., M. pp. 348-350; Dc sacerd. honor. 3, M. p. 
235, where siciOujAfa is vividly set forth as the source of sin. The 
background of James's use is current popularised conceptions of Hel- 
lenistic philosophy. The Stoic discussion of the word in Stobasus, ii, 7 
(Wachsmuth's ed. pp. 87-91) is instructive in this respect. See also 
on Jas. 4' '•. 

There seems no sufficient reason for introducing the thought of the 
jezer ha-ra here, although the function is closely similar. See F. C. 
Porter, "The Yecper Hara," in Yale Biblical and Semitic Studies, 1902, 
pp. 91-158. 

e^e\ic6ixevo<i kul Be\ea^6fX€vo<; ^ "when he is lured and en- 
ticed" (by it). 

These words were applied to the hunter or, especially, the fisherman, 
who "lures" his prey from its retreat (s^sXxstv) and "entices" it 
(SeXea'Cetv) by bait (SeXeap) to his trap, hook, or net. The two words 

1, 14-15 157 

thus merely refer to different aspects of the same process. They are a 
natural figure of speech for the solicitation of illicit desire, and the com- 
bination of one or both with eTCt8utJi,ta or tjSovt) is repeatedly found in 
Philo and in Greek writers. Cf. the sentence from Philo quoted above 
and the many illustrative passages given by Mayor and Hort; also 
2 Pet. 2"- 18. 

The language thus has its analogies outside of the O. T., in Greek 
writers. This figure is not necessarily connected with that which is 
worked out in v. " ; and there is no evidence that the words £^eXx6[i.evo<; 
v.(x\ Se>weal^6[xevo<; suggested in themselves the practises of the harlot, or 
that these are in mind in either verse. 

15. Illicit desire leads to sin, and sin causes death. 

elra introduces, with a change of figure, the practical result 
of the temptation arising from eirtdvixCa. When indulged {cf. 
4 Mace. 31-^) desire bears its natural fruit, first sin, then, ulti- 
mately, death. This follows {elTo) the enticement of tempta- 

For the metaphor (which is purely decorative), cf. Ps. ^^* ('" ?Sou 
{iSt'virjffev dvojAiav, auv^Xa^sv x6vov, y.xl eTexsv iStxi'av; Philo, De sacr. 
Abel, et Cain. 31, Justin Martyr, Dial. 100, p. 327 C. 

avWa^ovaa tlkt€1. 

Cf. Gen. 2i2 38^, etc. The two ideas have no independent signifi- 
cance in the figure. That the issue is due to a union with the will 
(Bcyschlag) is not indicated as in the writer's thought. Such psy- 
chological analysis is found in Philo, but is beyond the range of James ; 
and the idea, when developed carefully, proves inconsistent with this 
context, see Spitta, p. 37. There is no reason for thinking of x\dam 
and Eve, in spite of Justin Martyr, Dial. p. 327 (other references in 
Schneckenburger and Spitta); nor of the devil as father (Spitta). 
But the quotations from Philo and Test. XII Patr. (e. g. Benj. 7) given 
by Spitta, ad loc, attest the frequent use of this figure to express similar 

afiapriav. "Sin," collectively and in general; '^pravae ac- 
tiones et cogUationes." Desire for what is forbidden tempts 
the man, and thus is the source of sin. Cf. Apoc. Mos. 19 
eTnOvfiia <ydp iariv K€(f)a\i] irdarj^ dfiapria^. 

?; Se dfjuapria. Takes up dfiapriav ; hence the article. 

ciTroTeXea-Oela-a, "when it has become complete, fully devel- 

158 JAMES 

oped," "has come to maturity." The word (on which see Hort) 
is drawn from the figure of the successive generations, and it is 
not necessary to determine wherein in fact the complete ma- 
turity of sin consists ; sin is " complete" when it is able to bring 
forth its inevitable baneful fruit, death. The "perfect work" 
(c/. V. ^) of sin is death. 

uTTOKvel, cf. V. 1^. The verb is frequently used of animals, 
hence appropriate here; otherwise it is a medical rather than 
a literary word. 

Neither dxoxsXetv nor tiicoxustv is a common Biblical word, dxo- 
TsXeiv is found elsewhere only i Esd. 5", 2 Mace. 15", Lk. 1322; dtTcoxuelv 
only 4 Mace. 15", Jas. i". 

OdvaTov. Death as an objective state, brought upon man 
as the result of sin, and the opposite of blessed life with God 
{cf. v. 1^ aT6(j)avov ^o)?}?, and 52°) and cf. Rom. 6^1 f- 6^^ ra jap 
oyjrcovia t^9 d/xapTia<i ddvaTO<i, 8^; Wisd. i^-^-. C/. Philo, £>e 
plant. Noe 9, M. p. 335. See also Mt. y^^- ". 

16 -18. God, on the other hand, sends solely and consistently 
good gifts, as befits the relation of a father to his first-born. 

16. /J'T} trXavaade. "Do not err," "be not deceived." As 
in I Cor. 6^ 15'''', Gal. 6^, used to introduce a pointed utterance. 
Cf. Ign. Phil. 3, Eph. 16, which may, however, be dependent 
on I Cor. 6^ 

On ahe\(^oC, which here is used to add to the emphasis, see 
note on v. 2, and cf. 2^ 3^2. 

17. irdaa, "every." 

Various commentators assign to xaaa here the meaning "only," 
"nothing but" (see note .on xdeaav x«P*v, v. 2). But this is not neces- 
sary to the sense here, and is rendered almost, if not quite, impossible 
by the order of words xaaot hoaiq ayaOif]. xaq with the sense of "only" 
(Ger. Jautcr) should stand next to the adjective to which it logically 
belongs, and usually stands directly before it. 

Soo-49, "gift," either the act of giving or the thing given. 
Here the parallelism to hdiprjixa makes the latter sense probable. 
Cf. Ecclus. 11^^ 26^^ 32". The word is very common in Eccle- 

I, 15-17 159 

cL'yaOrj. On this word lies strong emphasis, in contrast to the 
evil iretpaa ix6<i which ?7 l^ta, iircOvfiLa and not God brings to 
man. The omission of the writer to make the implied comple- 
mentary statement, that bad gifts do not come from God, adds 
to the rhetorical effect. 

Smprjfxa, "present," "donation," "benefaction"; cf. Rom. 
5!^ A mainly poetical word. Not quite happily rendered by 
R.V. "boon." 

For the difference between 5(§(i)[ac and SwpsopLat with their cognates, 
see Mayor's and Hort's notes, together with the huge collection of 
material in Heisen, pp. 541-592. The latter series of words often has 
the idea of generous giving ; but here in James there is no special dis- 
tinction intended, the repetition being solely for rhetorical effect, and 
very probably part of a poetical allusion or quotation. 

reXeiov, cf. i*- ^^ 3^. "Perfect" in this case (note parallel 
to ayadi]) excludes any element of evil in the gift. Cf. 3- 
Te\ei09 avi]p, Clem. Al. Pad. i, 6, p. 113 reXeio'i wv reXeia 
'X^apieiTai B-qirovdev, Philo, De sacr. Abel, ct Cain. 14 OifWi he 
ovSev areXe'i avru) ^^^api^eadat^ SaO' oKoKkrjpoL koX iravrekel^ 
al Tov a^evrjrov hcopeai iraaat. 

That iraaa 80 | erf? dyd | Or] Koi | irav 8co I prjfid re | \etou 
makes an hexameter, the second syllable of B6al<; being length- 
ened under the ictus, may be an accident, although even so 
it might show a good ear for rhythm on the part of the 
writer. But the unusual and poetical word Scoprj/j^a and the 
imperfect antithesis to vv. ^^-'^^ make it more likely that we 
have here a quotation from an unknown source. 

dvcodev, i. e. ovpavodev, cf. 3^''' ^^, Jn. 3^^ 19", referring to that 
which is from God. 

So Philo, De somn. i, 26 Sm rd<i 6iuL/3pr]6€L(Ta<; dvcodev Boopeaf 
a.'yaOo^ koi reXeto'i ef cipxi'^ iyevero [sc. 6 'Icraa«]. 

The thought that God is the source only of good, here clearly ex- 
pressed, is found in Greek writers (see quotations in Mayor*, pp. 56/., 
and Schneckenburger, p. 30), as well as in Philo, e. g. De decern orac. t^^ 
Gsbc; ^v, euOut; Ss xupto? i-^^^hz,, [jl6vwv i.'^:t^C(i'^ oc'tTto?, xaxou 3* ouoevoc;, 
De prof. 15, De confus. ling. 36 (see other quotations in Mayor and 
Schneckenburger) . 

1 60 JAMES 

It was evidently a familiar commonplace of Jewish thought, cf. Tob. 
4" auToc; 6 xupto? SfSwat xavxa to dtya^ii, also Beresh. r. 51. 5 dixit 
R. Chanina: non est res mala descendens desuper ; Sanhedrin 59. 2. 

Kara^alvov expands avcodev, and so explains why the gifts 
are "good" and "perfect." For similar phrases lagging after 
the first statement, cf. y.^* 3* 412. This gives better force to 
each word than to connect ia-jLV with Kara^alvov. 

Hort (following Thos. Erskine, The Unconditional Freedom of the Gos- 
pel^, 1820, pp. 239 ff.) advocates the translation : " Every giving is good 
and every gift perfect from above {or from its first source), descending," 
etc. This assumes that Soat? and SwpTjtxa contain in themselves the 
idea of a divine gift, and in order to make avwOev fit the sentence re- 
quires for it the meaning "from their source," "by reason of their 
origin," which it can hardly have. It produces, however, the sense re- 
quired by the context, and if the words were to be regarded as forming 
a complete sentence, it would be hard to give them any other trans- 
lation than this. If they are a quotation, the original application would 
probably have been in the direction of the Greek proverb Swpov S* xt 
ScT) -ziq exoct'vec and the Latin noli equi denies inspicere donali (Jerome, 
Praef. comni. in Ephes.), "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"; see 
H. Fischer, in Philologns, 1891, pp. 377-379. 

airo Tov 7raTp6<; twv (fxoTwv, i. e. God, here described as the 
creator of the heavenly bodies {cf. Ps. 136^ t5> iroiricravTi (f)(ora 
fieydXa fiovm^ Jer. 4^^ eire^Xe-^a . . . et? tov ovpavov^ koL ovk 
Tjv ra (f)coTa aiirov), and thus as the ultimate source of all 
light and of all blessing, cf. Ps. 36^ eV Ta> (fxori aov oyjro/xeda 

This designation and the developed figure which follows, in 
which God as the Sun of Righteousness {cf. Mai. 4^) is con- 
trasted with the physical sun, seem to be suggested by the 
thought of the good gifts which descend from the heavens, at 
once the abode of God and the location of the sun. That it 
was natural to a Jew is shown by the benediction before Shema: 
"Blessed be the Lord our God who hath formed the lights." 
Perhaps it hints at the thought of God's nature as light. No 
astrological allusion is to be found here. 

For TraWjp in this sense, cf. Job 38^* {verov iranqp and the 
whole verse), and note Philo's constant use of o irar-qp rS)v 

I, 17 161 

oXtov in sense of "the Creator." Cf. Apocalypse of Moses, 36 
(as read in Ceriani, Monumenta sacra et prof ana, v, i) evfoinov 
ToO (jxoT6<i tS)v oXcov^ tov Trarpof roiv (f)(OT(jov; Testament of 
Abraham (ed. M. R. James, 1892), Recension B, c. 7, irarr^p 
TOV (jxoTo^ ; Ephraem Syr. Opera, v, col, 489 (see above, p. 96). 

Philo's lofty thought of God as "archetypal Splendor" is mainly in- 
teresting here as showing the total absence from the mind of James of 
such metaphysical speculation, although he sees the ideal and poetical 
aspects of light. See Philo, De cherub. 28 (M. i, p. 156), De somn. i, 13 
(M. i, p. 632), quoted by Hort. 

Trap &. For rrrapd c. dat. used in the mention of an attribute, 
cf. Job 12", Eph. t\ Rom. 9", etc. Cf. also trapa tw deS), Mk. 
10", Mt. 1926, Lk. 18", Rom. 2", Eph. 6^; so Gen. 18I'' (Cod. 
A). Perhaps the indirectness of statement is due to a certain 
"instinct of reverence" (Hort), cf. airo, v.". 

The affirmation is that to send good gifts belongs to God's y 
imvarying nature. In this he is imlike the sun, which sends 
now the full light of noon, now the dimness of twilight, and 
which at night sends no light at all. God's light ever shines ; 
from him proceeds no turning shadow. So i Jn. 1^6 ^eo? ^w? 
iarlv Koi aKorCa ovk eariv ev avrw ovhefiia. 

Closely similar are Is. 6o''' ^^ xal oux eaxat aoi etc 6 vjXto? e?<; (fdc, i^jxipai;. \/ 
ouS^ a.waxo'kii oeX-^vr^i; ^foxtsl cot -rilv vuxxa, iXk' eairat aoc xupto? (pwi; aE<i- 
vtov, vjcA 6 6£b<; S65a cou. ou Y(ip Suae-uac 6 T^Xto? aot, xal -^ ceXi^vrj oot 
oOx IxXefij'et ' eotat yap xdpibc, aot (fdc, aJuviov, Wisd. 7^' '■ (pwrl auvxpt- 
votxevT) euptffxsTat xpoTspa ' touxo jJiev yip SiaS^x^'^'^' ^iJ^j ffocpi'a? 5e oux 
d:vTiaxu£' xaxt'a. 

For the contrast between God and the heavens, the moon, and the 
stars, cj. Job 15'* 255 '•. See also Enoch 41^, "For the sun changes oft v' 
for a blessing or a curse"; Ecclus. 17" ti cpwxstvoTspov tjXi'ou ; xal J 
ToOxo exXeixet. Cj. Epictetus, Diss, i, 14'°, where the limitation of 
the sun, which is not able to illuminate the space where the shadow of 
the earth falls, is contrasted with the power of God (6 xal xbv ijXtov 
auxbv Tcexofr)X(l)q xal iceptiywv). 

The comparison of God with the sun is a natural one under any 
monotheistic conception. See Mayor's or Schneckenburger's references 
to Philo and Plato, also i Jn. i^ with Westcott's note. 

For the idea of the immutability of God, cf. Mai. 3^ St6xi lyw xuptoi; 
h Oeb? uiAwv xal oiix TjXXoiwiJiat, Heb. 713-18^ Philo, Leg. all. ii, 9; ii, 22 

1 62 JAMES 

xdtvta T(i aXXa xplicsTat, [Jiovoc; Se otuTbi; fiTpeirudi; lott, and passages 
in Mayor', p. 6i. C/. Clem. Al. Strom, i, 24, p. 41S -zh kazlx; xal (Jt.6v[[jiov 
Tou Osoij xal xb aTrpexTOV auToO cpw? xal dtaxTjfJ.i'ctaTOV. 

o5x e'vt] SP minn have substituted the weaker and more familiar 

TrapaXXay^ , "variation." This does not seem to be an astro- 
nomical terminus technicus, although in general senses (e. g. of 
the "variation" in the length of the day and in the daily course 
of the sun through the heavens ; cf. references in Mayor^, p. 60, 
and Gebser, Brief des Jacobus, p. 83) it is used by astronomers, 
and its resemblance to the term TrapdXka^L^, "parallax," gives 
it a quasi-astronomical sound. The contrast intended is mainly 
with the sun and moon, as being the most important and most 
changeable (f)(OTa. 

TrapaWajr) rj t/jott^? cnroaKLacrfxa. 

This is the reading of all printed editions of the N. T. ; with 
this reading r/JOTrr)? airoaKiaarfia would mean "shadow that is 
cast by turning" (R.V.). The reading is, however, probably 
wrong (see textual note below), and for the last three words 
should be substituted 17 t/jottt}? airoa-KLdafiaro'i, the whole 
phrase meaning: "with whom is none of the variation that 
belongs to ('consists in,' 'is observed in') the turning of the 
shadow." The general sense is the same as with the usual 

•^ Tpox^q (ixoaxt(ia[JLaTo<;] BH*Pap. oxyrhynch. 1229. 

r] xpoxT) dicoaxtaafAairoq] 614 1108 £f {vel modicum obumbraiionis) boh 
(nor a form of a shadow which passed) . 

T) TpoxYjc; di:xoaxt'aa[jia] K^ACKLP minn vg (mcissitudinis obumbratio) 
Jer {adv.Jov. i, 39 conversionis olumhraculum) Aug (momenti obumbratio) . 

ri igoid} Tj TpOTCTJi; dexoaxfacr^xa 876 1518. 

(ixo(jxto:ff(j.o( f) xapaXXaY"^ ^ xpoxT) sah. 

Editors appear all to have read yj (instead of ■?)), and have conse- 
quently been unable to find any meaning in the phrase as found in 
J<*B and recently (1914) confirmed by the discovery of the papjTus 
fragment (fourth century) published in The Oxyrhynchiis Papyri, x, 
no. 1229. They have, therefore, been driven to adopt the reading of 
t^^ACKLP minn. Hort discusses the passage in " Introduction," pp. 
217/., as follows : 

"The only quite trustworthy evidence from internal character for 

1, 17 163 

derivation from a common proximate original consists in the presence 
of such erroneous identical readings as are evidently due to mere care- 
lessness or caprice of individual scribes, and could not easily have escaped 
correction in passing through two or three transcriptions ... X and B 
have in common but one such reading" [viz. the one in Jas. i'' here 
under discussion]. 

In order to accoimt for the origin of this reading of t<B, which he as- 
sumed to be obviously false, Hort made the following ingenious sugges- 
tions : (i) that axoaxtaafAa was incorporated with a following aijT6<; 
(actually found in one minuscule) ; or (2) that it was assimilated to the 
preceding genitive xpox^? ; or (3) that axo- became mentally separated 
from -axcac7[i.a, and that the supposed solecism was then corrected; 
or (4) that both the competing readings represent corruptions of an 
original a7:o<y>x.i(za\i.6q not found in any Ms. (see '' Introduction," p. 218, 
and Mayor, textual apparatus to the passage). 

Wordsworth, SB, i, p. 138, in part following Est, Commentarhis 
in epistolam Jacobi, 1631, thinks that the modicum of ff and the 
momenti of Augustine imply potct), poxfj?, "turn of the scale," and that 
one or the other of these represents the original Greek. But neither 
poxT) nor poTrqc, makes good sense, and although (cf. Is. 40") a "little 
thing" may cause a "turn of the scale," the Latin word modicum is 
not a natural translation for the Greek poiriQ. Hence modicum obumbra- 
tionis is probably only a loose and general translation of xpoiri) dxo- 
a%t&<:[L(xxoq, in which the specific meaning of xpox^ is neglected. On the 
other hand, momenti would indeed be an exact rendering of pox^q, but, 
in the sense of "movement," it is equally apt as a translation of Tpoic^<;.* 
Accordingly, the Latin versions merely show that Jerome and Augus- 
tine had the reading of i<°AC, while ff represents a different text, 
identical with that of 614 1108 boh. 

The genitive dtxoaxKiafJLaTOf; in 614 iio8fif boh gives important partial 
support to the text of BJ<* pap, and makes it unlikely that the read- 
ing of these latter is due to an accidental error in a proximate com- 
mon ancestor. 

In fact, the reading of BJ<* pap t] Tpoin]i; iicooxtaotiaTo? makes ex- 
cellent sense, if only t) is taken as the article on which •upoirf)<; depends, 
the meaning being that given above {cf. Kiihner-Gerth, Grammatik d. 
griech. Sprache^, ii, § 464. 3). The resulting phrase is apt and not with- 
out beauty, but the accumulation of long words makes it heavy, and 
it was broken up by taking t) as meaning "or" and dropping the geni- 
tive termination from one or the other of the two nouns.t 

'Possibly modicum has been substituted for an original translation, momentum, "move- 
ment." This latter word may well have been misunderstood in the sense of "a little," "a 
particle"; and in that case modicum would be a correct and unambiguous synonym. 

t A similar misreading is found in the repeated quotation by Augustine of Rom. 7" d/napru- 
Aos f] aixapria. in the translation aut peccatum ; so e. g. Ep. 82, § 20 (Vienna ed. vol. xxxiv, p. 
372. s)i Contra duas episfulas Pelagianorum, i, 14. See C. H. Turner in JTS, xii, p. 275. 

164 JAMES 

It thus appears that the textual facts here do not indicate any close 
relation between B and X, but only that in this instance both are free 
from a process of emendation which, in one or the other direction, has 
affected all other witnesses except the papyrus. The reading of X'^AC 
and that of 614 1108 are two independent corrections of the original as 
found in BK* pap. 

Both 614 and 1108 belong to von Soden's group 1°. To the same 
group seems to belong also 876 {^^"), which, according to Scrivener, 
reads xapaXXay-f) ^ Tpox^ 1) Tpox^? iicoaxfaapia. This is a conflation 
due to an unsuccessful attempt at conformation of one type of text to 
another; it is also found in 15 18. 

876, 1518, 1765, and 2138 have at the close of the verse a gloss ouSs 
tAEXPt uxovot'a? Ttvb? uxo^oXif) ixoaxttiotAaToc;, "not even the least suspicion 
of a shadow." Von Soden's hypothesis (p. 1862) that the reading of 
Bt<* was a trace of this gloss was unlikely in itself and is now seen to 
be unnecessary. The gloss itself has arisen from the comment of " (Ec- 
umenius": -zh SI "Tpoir^? axoaxt'ocatJLa," avxl toO, ouSe [JI^XP'? uxovofa^ 
Ttvbq uxo^oXt). 

! TpoTTT], "turning," "change," is another semi-astronomical 
■ word. It is used technically for the solstice (hence EngUsh, 
"tropic"), so Deut. 33" rfKiov rpoiroiv, Wisd. 7^* rpoTrcov 
aX\.ayd<;, see Sophocles, Greek Lex. s. v. for many examples ; 
but it is also applied to other movements of the heavenly 
bodies, so perhaps Job 38^^ eTrCaraaat he rpoira'^ ovpavov, cf. 
references in L. and S. s. v., especially Plato, Tim. 11, p. 39 D. 
' The word is also used in the sense of change in general, and 
with reference to human fickleness and frailty ; see Philo, Leg. 
all. ii, 9; De sacr. Abel, et Cain. 37, and references given at 
length by Mayor^, p. 61. These various meanings make pos- 
sible the figurative use here, in which there is allusion to both 
senses. To exclude altogether the astronomical allusion, as 
some do, unduly weakens the passage and overlooks the sug- 
gestions of o Trarrjp joiv <f)Q)T(ov^ TrapaWayq, and airoa-Kiaa-fia, 
but it is impossible to fix the meaning as a direct reference 
to any particular celestial phenomena, and there is nowhere 
any indication of contact with astrological language. The 
heavenly bodies are all, to popular notion, subject to change 
which affects their property of casting light on the earth. 

Spitta thinks that xpoxTj refers to the return of the sun (and other 
luminaries) by way of the north to their place of rising in the east, 

1, i7-i8 i6s 

after they have set in the west, and adduces Enoch 41' and 'j2^-^' ". 
The general sense need not exclude these movements of the sun and 
other heavenly bodies, but there is no evidence of a technical use of 
xpoTO) which would permit it to be imderstood in this sense without 
explanatory context. The same is true in even greater measure of 
Spitta's interpretation of xapaXXaYiQ as the regular seasonal variation 
to north and south in the rising and setting of the sun and other bodies. 

aTTOcTKiW/xa, "shadow." 

The word is found only here and in Christian writers, dexoaxial^ti) 
means to "cast a shadow," axo(jx(aa(Aa therefore (like axCaaixa, Diod. 
Plut.) is either the "shadow cast" or the "act of casting a shadow." 

Beyschlag, following Huther, wrongly insists that ixooxiaisi^a. means 
"the state of being overshadowed" {"das Beschattetwerden") , and so 
interprets it of a shadow cast on God. For discussion of nouns in -[la, 
see Lightfoot, Colossians, pp. 255 _ff. ; J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 


There is no thought here of a sun-dial. The word for shadow on a 
dial is aTCoaxtaa[x6<;, and even that word requires a context to define it 
in that meaning. 

The explanation (of the ordinary text) given by late Greek commen- 
tators and lexicographers, "not a trace of turning," "not a shadow of 
fickleness" (" CEcumenius," Hesychius, Suidas, see the citations in 
Gebser, p. 86), and A.V. "neither shadow of turning," is unlikely, even 
if the text were sound, because in that sense axta, and not the heavy 
and explicit compound ixoffxiaatJia, would be expected. The differ- 
ence may be imperfectly suggested in English by comparing the words 
"shadow" and "shadowing." Moreover, in a comparison with the 
sun, (x%oa%iaa[i.<x can hardly have been used without some thought of 
its proper meaning. 

18. In contrast with the mistaken idea that God sends temp- 
tation is his actual treatment of us, making us sons, and giving 
us the highest place among his creatures. He is more to us than 
a consistent benefactor; he is a devoted father, and as such 
cannot tempt us to evil. 

^ovXTjdek, "deliberately," and thus showing his real atti- 
tude and set purpose. On the specific meaning of ^ovXofiat 
("volition guided by choice and purpose") in contrast to 6e\(o^ 
see Hort on this verse, and Lex. s. v. OeXco, with references. 

Bede, Calvin, Grotius, etc. take this as marking a contrast to human 
merit ; but this is as far as possible from the context. 

1 66 JAMES 

aireKvrjaev ?;/u,a9, refers either to mankind or to the Chris- 

A specific reference to the Jews is sometimes found here, and can be 
supported by Jer. 2', by Philo, De const, princ. 6 (ii, p. 366), where 
Israel is called dxapxT), and by T-oyov (but v. I. Xoyou?) dX-oOeia? as a 
description of the Law in Test. XII Patr. Gad 31. But nothing in the 
context suggests this reference, and for the idea of God as becoming the 
father of Israel by means of the Law no parallel is adduced. 

The reference to Christians is entirely possible and makes a 
better connection with v. ^^ In that case cnre/cv-qaev refers to 
the new birth ; X0709 aXrjdeia<i is the Gospel (c/. Odes of Sol- 
omon 8^) ; and KTia/xdrav refers to all creation, but with par- 
ticular thought of men. The associations of avayevvrja-L'; with 
Greek religious ideas do not seem to be implied here. 

If r)[ is taken to refer to Christians, it must be understood of be- 
lievers in general, not of the first generation only (Huther) or of Jewish 
Christians (Beyschlag). 

The objections brought against this view are (i) that the 
context (w. ^^-i?) has discussed the subject from general points 
of view, with no reference to Christians as distinct from others ; 
(2) that for the Gospel Xo'70? t?}? akrjddm, with the article, 
would be expected {cf. Eph. i^'\ Col. i^ 2 Tim. 2^^; note, in a 
different sense, X0709 aXr]0€{a<;, Ps. 119^^ 2 Cor. 6^ ; (3) that 
instead of /crLo-fidrcov some word expressly denoting "men" 
would have been expected. These objections do not seem 

The other view, urged by Spitta and especially Hort, takes 
rjfji'd'; of mankind, begotten by God's word to be supreme among 
created things, cf. Ecclus. 15**. The objection which seems de- 
cisive against this is that the figure of begetting was not used for 
creation (Gen. i"*^ does not cover this), whereas it came early 
into use with reference to the Christians, who deemed them- 
selves "sons of God." 

The idea of a divine begetting and of the entrance into Christian life 
as a new birth has its roots in Greek not in Jewish thought. So Clem. 
Alex. Strom, v, 2 (p. 653 Potter) xal xapd xoi? Pap^ipoi? (piXoai^pots tb 


I, i8 167 

xaxTix^oaf -re %cd qxtixlcctt. ivaYewfjaat AeYSTac. See W. Bauer's note 
on Jn. 3' in Lietzmann, Handbiich ziim Neuen Testament; A. Diete- 
rich, Eine Mithras-liturgle\ 1910, pp. 134-155, 157/- On the verb 
dtTcsxuTjaev (no parallel in N. T.), see R. Reitzenstein, Die hellenistischen 
Mysterienreligionen, 1910, p. 114. Cf. Jn. i'^ 33-8^ i Jn. 2" 3' 4^- « 
51. s I Pet. !'• =' (cf. Hort's note on i Pet. i^), Tit. 35. 

X07&) aXrjOeia'i. The knowledge of God's truth and will 
makes us his sons (cf. vv. ^l 22. 23) . ^^e "word of truth" is for 
James mainly the Law (v. "), which means the Jewish law as 
understood by Christians. In 2 Cor. 6^, Col. 1^, Eph. i^^ and 
perhaps 2 Tim. 2^^ it is the gospel of salvation. 

There is no connection between this verse and Philo's figure, often 
repeated in one and another form, of the generative word of God (cf. 
Leg. alleg. iii, 51,6 axsp[xaTtxbi; v.oA YsvvYjxtxbi; -cwv xaXuv Xoyoc; 6p06<;, 
and references in Spitta, pp. 45 /.) ; the idea is utterly different. 

aTrapxv^ riva, "a, kind of first-fruits"; riva indicates a fig- 
urative expression, cf. Winer-Schm. § 26. i. a. 

The "first-fruits," both of the body and of the field, were sacred, and 
were often offered to God. See EB, "Firstborn," HDB, "First-fruits," 
Schurer, GJV, § 24, II. 

The figure is found with reference to Israel in Jer. 2' (apyji YevTjpLdxuv 
auTou), Philo, De const, princ. 6 (otoxi tou auiJixavTOi; dvOpcoTCWV '{h/OKX^ 
(iTC£V£[XT]6Y] ola Tti; dxapx'O t<p xoiTQxf) xal xaxpO, and to the Chris- 
tians in 2 Thess. 2" (Codd. BFG, etc.) and Rev. 14^ But the figure 
does not seem very common in Jewish thought. With Greek writers 
the word is more frequent in a figurative sense, see L. and S. and the 
Scholiast on Eur. Or. 96 quoted in Lex. s. v., which says that dxap-/T) 
"was used not merely of that which was first in order but of that which 
was first in honor." 

KTia-fidTcov, cf. I Tim. 4^ (Rev. 5^^ 8^) ; not used elsewhere in 
N. T., cf. Wisd. 13^. In O. T. found only in Wisdom, Ecclesi- 
asticus, 3 Maccabees ; not used in this sense in secular writers, 
and to be associated with the Jewish use of ktl^co and its de- 

Von Soden, misled by his failure to see any adequate connection of 
thought for V. ", wished to take x-utaixd-rcov of God's new creation {cf. 
2 Cor. 5" xatv-f) XTbtq, Gal. 6>=, Eph. 21" 4=0, within which these par- 
ticular Christians addressed are distinguished by reason of their sub- 

l68 JAMES 

jection to fiery trials. But (i) this does not suit axexutiaev, which 
must at least refer to all Christians; (2) it would require some clearer 
indication of the restriction, since the idea is not a common one; 
and (3) while suited to vv. 2-", it is inappropriate at this point in the 

19-27. Let your aim he not speech^ hut attentive hearing; not 
hearing only, hut doing; not empty worship, hut good deeds. 

The thought here turns to the need of reahty and sincerity 
in religious instruction and public worship {V-^-z^^). 

19-21. To hear is hetter than to speak; listen to the Word. 

19. Vaxe] Bi^^AC minn ff vg boh syrt"^i-™8. 

(CJTto] i^*. 

"axe Se] A boh™". ' 

wars] KLP minnp'"' syrp"!" hoi-t^t. 
om] minn. 

eaxw Se] B^^CP* minn S. vg boh. 

XOtl ECTTG)] A ^^. 

sffTw] KLP= minnpie"' syrp"'''"^!. 
The Antiochian reading (wote . . . saxw) is a characteristic emen- 

iVre, "know this." The address aSeXcfiOi /xov shows that 
this belongs in the paragraph with the following. The sense 
alone would perhaps suggest that tVre is probably indicative 
(so R.V.), not imperative (A.V.) ; but the analogy of opare, 
fi€iJ.vr]ao, and similar rhetorical appeals in the Greek diatribes 
(Bultmann, Stil der paulin. Predigt, p. 32) leads to the opposite 

For this view it may also be urged that Jas. 4* has oVSare as the in- 
dicative, tffxe is the sole form of the imperative, and the more literary 
form of the indicative. Note Vaaat in Acts 26*; Heb. 12I' has "axs 
(probably indicative), 10'" o't'SatJLev; Eph. 5^ late is probably indica- 

7ra9 dv6p(07ro<i, not limited to teachers, but cf. 3^3. 

rax^'i €L<; to uKovcrai. 

In view of the reference to the Word in vv. ^^-^^ (note Sto), 
it is likely that rwy^v^ ek to ctKovcrai relates primarily to the 
hearing of the Word, and not merely to social intercourse gen- 

I, 18-20 169 

erally. The same phrase is found in Pirke Aboth, v, 18, of the 
trait of the good pupil, who is "quick to hear and slow to for- 
get." Cf. Gal. 4^1. 

ek TO. This can be justified in Greek as a development of 
the meaning "with reference to," cf. Lk. 12^1, Rom. i6i^ Dio 
Chrys. Or. 32, p. 361 A i'ywt he fiaWov av vfia^ eTTrjvovv ^paSd 
fxev (fydeyyofievom e^Kparw Se ari<yo)VTa'i • ^Ivov 7rp6<i opyrjv 
fir] raxv^ aWa ^pa8v<;, but it is not attested as common in 
ordinary secular Greek. Cf. e. g. Pirke Aboth, v, 18, HiriDD 
'j^^^^b, "quick to hear," ^y^^h nt'p, "slow to hear," Aboth 
R. Nathan, i, "be slow to judge." 

aKovaaij \a\r}araL^ op'^rjv. 

Ecclus. 5^^ 'yivov ra'^^v^ ev a/cpodaei aov koX ev fiaKpoOvfiid 
^Oeyyov ctTTo/cpiaLv is the closest parallel to this verse among 
the many precepts of the Wisdom-literature which relate to con- 
trol of speech and restraint of anger. Cf. Ecclus. ^^5, Prov. 10" 
(and Toy's note) 132 151 1622 1728 2920^ Eccles. 7^ g^^. See be- 
low on 3I-10. Cf. Pirke Aboth, ii, 14, "Be not easily provoked," 
also V, 17, and note Mt. 522. 

The interpretation of opyiQ given by Bengel (ut nil loquatur contra 
deiim nee sinistre de deo), followed by Gebser, Calvin, Spitta, who 
take the anger as impatience against God, has little to commend it. 
On the other hand, Beyschlag's interpretation of Spy-fj as "passionate 
disposition (leidcnschaftliche Gemiilhsverfassung) " of every kind, show- 
ing itself in murmurings against God and in fanaticism, as well as in 
quarrels, goes too far. The writer is thinking of what men ordinarily 
know as anger, against whomsoever directed. Its opposite is good 
temper and self-restraint. 

20. ipydt^erai, more naturally taken to mean ''do," "practise," 
than in the rarer sense, "effect," "produce," "bring about," 
which properly belongs to Karepyd^ofxai (cf. v. ^). Hence 
SiKatocrvvTjv is to be taken as equivalent to ro Sikuiov, "right- 
eous action" (cf. 2^ ajiapriav ipyd^eade). Cf. Acts lo^^, Heb. 
1 1 33, Ps. 152 ipya^ofievo^ StKacoavvrjv, and the common O. T. 
phrase Trotelv rr)v SiKaLoavvTjv, e. g. Gen. 18". The opposite 
of epyd^eaOai SL/caioa-vvrjv is ipyd^eadat d/xapriav, 2^. Sikui- 
o(Tvvr]v Oeoi) then means "righteousness which God approves" 

170 , JAMES 

(c/. Mt. 6^^ 4 Mace. lo^"), and the phrase is here due to the 
contrast with 0/37^ avBp6<;. 

The whole sentence means: "Wrath doeth not righteous- 
ness," i. e. "Out of wrath righteous action does not spring." 
It is doubtless intended as a warning against wrong use of the 
doctrine that anger is sometimes valuable as an engine of 

Another interpretation, however, gives to egy&'Qz'zxi the rarer sense 
"effect," "produce" (c/. 2 Cor. 7"), and refers the phrase "produce 
righteousness" to the effect of the teacher's anger on a pupil, cf. Zahn, 
Einleitimg, i, § 4, note 2. 

oux ipyi^exoet] BXAC^ minn. 
ou£gy6iX,exxi\ CKLP minnp'". 
External attestation, possibility of conformation to i ', and transcrip- 
tional tendency to strengthen the verb decide for epYa^^exat. xaxsp- 
Ytil^eTat may have been intended to have the sense "produce." 

21. Sio, "acting on this principle." An exhortation to a 
meek and receptive spirit. The emphatic word is TrpavTTjjt, 

aTTode/xevoi, "stripping off." For the same collocation, 810 
aiToOefievot, used to introduce an exhortation, see Eph. 4". 
Cf. also I Pet. 21 aTToOefievoi, with Hort's note, Rom. 1312, 
Eph. 422 ff-, Col. 35 ff-, Clem. Rom. 13, Ps.-Clem. Epistle to 
James, 11. 

The word is used of clothes, but also of the removal of dirt from the 
body {cf. I Pet. 3" aapx.b<; axoSsai? puxou), and very commonly in 
Greek writers of the rejection of a mental or moral quality. For 
quotations from early Christian writers, see Mayor^, p. 66. 

pvirapiav, "filthiness" {cf. 2 2), probably carrying out the 
figure of clothes. Evil habits and propensities in general seem 
to be meant. 

pwapiav is complete in itself and does not need to be con- 
nected with KaKiw^. The force of iracrav, however, probably 
continues to TrepiacreiaVj which would otherwise have the article. 

For O. T. use of the figure of dirty clothes, cf. Zech. 3*. Derivatives 
of puxos are used in Philo (c. g. De mul. nom. 21) and in Greek writers 
to denote moral defilement (see references in Mayor). 

1, 20-2I 171 

Trepia-creiav /caKia<;, "excrescent wickedness," ''superfluity of 
naughtiness" (A.V.), cf. Rom. 5^^ ttjv irepiaaeiav tyi^ x«^tTo?. 
KaKiwi is genitive of apposition, and the phrase calls attention 
to the fact that wickedness is in reality an excrescence on char- 
acter, not a normal part of it. Cf. Philo, De somn. ii, g, where 
he uses the figure of pruning off sprouts, KaOdirep yap rok 
SevBpea-Lv i7rL(f)V0VTa(, ^Xdarai irepiaaai ktX. ; De sacr. 9 ra? 
irepi.Tra'i (f)va€L<; tov rjye/xovLKOV^ a? al afxerpoL TOiv rraOoiv ea- 
Treipdv T€ Koi avvrjv^rja-av opfxal Kol 6 KaKO<; '^f^?}'? yecopyb'i 
e(f)VTev(rev ^ dcfypoavvrj ^ /Mra o"7rouS?}? airoKeipacrde and the figure 
of pruning used in Jn. 15^. 

This is more forcible than to take the phrase to mean merely "abun- 
dance of evil," i. e. "the abounding evil," "the great amount of evil," 
which we find in our hearts, cf. 2 Cor. 8=, Lk. 6<». Still less natural is 
the interpretation of some who make xeptaaefa equivalent to xepta- 
a£U[xa, "remainder" {cf. Mk. 8'), i- e. from the past life.* For other 
unacceptable interpretations, see Mayor and Beyschlag. 

The fact that the Aramaic mjp seems to be used to mean both "be 
foul" and "be abundant," as well as "sin," is probably of merely curi- 
ous interest. See Buxtorf, Lexicon, cols. 1549-1550. More significant 
is the use of ^uxapt'oc in the sense of sordid meanness by Teles (ed. 
Hense^, pp. t,t,, 37) and Plutarch, De adul. el ainico, 19. 

KaKia<i, "naughtiness" (A.V.), "wickedness" (R.V.). This 
more general meaning {cf. pvirapiav) is better here than the 
special sense of "malice," which is not rendered appropriate to 
the context even by 0/377;, and is not the natural opposite of 
irpavTq'i ; cf. Acts 8". See, however, Lightfoot on Col. 3*, 
Trench, Synonyms, § xi. 

ev Trpavrrjri, "meekness," "docility." The contrast is with 
opyi] rather than KaKiwi. Cf. 3". Calvin : significat niodes- 
tiam et facilitatem mentis ad discendum compositae. This is the 
centre of the whole disposition recommended in vv. ^^"-^. Cf. 
Ecclus. 3^^ 48 io2* 45^ (eV TrpaiiTrjjL in each case). 

Cf. Lightfoot on Col. 3^^ Trench, Synonyms, § xlii ; Heisen, 
Novae hypotheses, p. 637, gives some good Greek definitions of 

* The emendator whose hand appears so often in A 33 seems to have substituted nepuacreviia 
in his text (so A 33 442). 

172 JAMES 

he^acrOe, Jer. g^, Prov. i' 2^ 41", Ecclus. 5I^^ 
This seems to refer (like hi^acrOai eh jrjv Kaphiav (tov in 
Deut. 30^), not to the mere initial acceptance of the gospel, 
preached and heard, but (cf. €iJb(f)VTov) to attention to the knowl- 
edge of God's will, cf. Mt. ii^S i Cor. 2^'. The Christian's 
ideal should not be much talking (which leads to angry strife) 
but meek and docile listening to the voice of God. There lies 
the way to salvation. 

TOV €/i(f)VTOv Xoyov. efi(f)VTO<;, from efi^veiv, "implant," may 
mean "implanted" (R.V.), "innate" (Wisd. 12"), "intrinsic," 

t7 eixtpuToc; often means the "natural" — in contrast to the "taught" 
(Plato, Eryx, 398 C StSax-ubv -f) dpsx-f) 'q ^piyuTov), to the "extraneous" 
(Herod, ix, 94 spLtpu-cov [xavTtx'fiv eixe, i. e. "as a power arising within 
himself"), or to the "acquired" (Justin Martyr, Apol. ii, 8 Sta to 
l;jL(puTov Tcavxl ylvet avSpwxwv axIpfAa toQ Xoyou) ; it also means the 

•3 "deep-rooted," in contrast to the "superficial" (Polyb. ii, 45 Sta tt)v 

! e'tigjuTov dStxfav xal TuXeove^fav 96ovT)aavTs?). But, since the " implanted " 

or "inherent" is not necessarily innate, ejAepuTo? can be used of that 

which has been in fact bestowed, provided it is thought of as deeply 

rooted within the man. 

On the other hand, the rendering "engrafted" (A.V.), which has been 
recommended to many by the connection with Si^aaOe, is unsuitable 
because it directly expresses the idea of "foreign," "applied from with- 
out," "not a natural growth," a meaning for which a derivative of 
IfjLipuTeuecv, "engraft," would be required. 

In the present context the sense "innate" is made inappro- 
priate by Be^acrde, by tov 8vvd/x€vov kt\., and by the absence 
of any special indication of this meaning. e/x(f)VTo<; seems to 
be used here to describe the "word" as one which has entered 
into union with the nature and heart of man, "the word deeply 
rooted within you." The attribute adds a certain solemnity 
and intensity to the appeal. 

Cf. Ep. Barnab. i- outoj? €/x<jiVTOv rr}? Scopea^ 7rv€VfiaTtKr]<i 
Xf^pt'V €lX^(f)aT€, "I rejoice ... at your blessed and glorious 
spirits ; so deeply rooted within is the grace of the spiritual 
gift that ye have received," 9^ olSev 6 ttjv €iJL(f>VTOv Scopeav 
T^9 SiaOijKrj'i avTov d€fi€VO<; iv rjfuv^ Pseudo-Ign. Eph. 17 ^i-a, tl 

I, 21 173 

€fi(f)VTOv TO irepl Oeov irapa X.pi(7T0v Xa/SoWc? KpiT'qpiov et? 
dyvoiav KaraTTLTTTOfxev. 

The €fjL(f)vro<; X070? itself is called in v. " vofxo'i reXeco'i, and 
in vv. ^^ '• is described as something to be done. It seems to 
mean the sum of present knowledge of God's will. It is in- 
wrought into a man's nature and speaks from within, but this 
does not exclude that it should also exist for man's use in written 
or traditional form, whether in the law of Moses or in the pre- 
cepts of Jesus. In v. ^^, as was natural for a Jew, the writer 
seems to have turned in his thought to the external expression 
in the law. 

Cf. 4 Ezra 9^1, " For, behold, I sow my law in you, and it shall s/ 
bring forth fruit in you, and ye shall be glorified in it for ever" ; 
4 Ezra 8^, Deut. 30"-!^ (v. ^*, "But the word is very nigh unto v' 
thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou may est do it"). 

There is probably no allusion to the parable of the sower; yet cf. 
Mk. 420, Lk. 813. "^ 

The interpretation here given is substantially the one most common 
in modern commentaries. Similarly "CEcumenius" takes the whole 
phrase as referring to conscience, ejicpuTov Xofov xaXel tov Staxptxtxbv toO 
^eXxt'ovoq xal toG x£tp°'^°?) ^'^^' o ^"^^ Xoycxol eajxlv %a\ xaXoutieGa. 

Hort's note gives valuable material, and Heisen, Novae hypotheses, 
pp. 640-699, has collected a great number of more or less apposite quo- 
tations, and fully presented the older history of the exegesis. Calvin, 
De Wette, and others take sfxcpuxov as proleptic, "Receive the word 
and let it become firmly planted" (Calvin : ita siiscipile ut vere insera- 
tur) ; but the attributive position seems hardly to admit this. 

The ancient versions translate as follows : 
Bohairic, "newly implanted." 
Syriac, Peshitto, "received in our nature." 

Cod. Corb. (£f) geniliim. 

Cod. Bob. (s) insitum. 

Vulgate insitum. 

The Latin insitiis means "implanted" or "engrafted" or "innate"; 
see the instructive examples from Cicero and other writers in Harpers' 
Latin Dictionary. 
The history of the English translation has been as follows : 

Wiclif, 1380, " insent or joyned "; 1388, "that is planted." 
Tyndale, 1526, "that is grafted in you." 

174 JAMES 

Great Bible, 1539, "that isgraffed in you." 

Geneva, 1557, "that is grafted in you." 

Rheims, 1582, "engrafted." 

A.V. 161 1, "engrafted." 

R.V. 1881, "implanted," mg. "inborn," 

(TcocraL. Cf. 2^* 4^2 5^'', Rom. i^^ ov jap eiraia-'x^vvofjiai ro 
evajyeXiov, SvvafjLt^ yap deov iarXv et? acoTrjpiav^ Acts 20^'-. 

ra? ypv')(a<i v/jlmv. Cf. 5'", i Pet. i' crwrrjpiav \pv)(^cov, Heb. 
10^^ et? irepLiroirjcnv \f/v^7]^j Ep. Barnab. 19^" ixeXerSiv ek to 
aSyaac j/'u^^t' tw \6ya>. 

Evidently, when this was written, not merely the idea of salvation 
but the phrase "salvation of the soul" was fully current. 

22-25. But hearing only, without doing, is valueless. 

Cf. 2i'*-26, "Faith without works is valueless" ; 31^, "Wisdom 
which does not issue in peace is of the earth." 

22. yiveade. yiveaOat serves in many cases as a kind of 
aorist of elvai. Hence the imperative yCvecrde is used like an 
aorist imperative to convey a "pungent" exhortation to "be," 
not merely to "become." ecrre as imperative is not found in the 
N. T. Cf. Jas. 3S Mt. 6^^ 24^^, i Cor. 142°, Eph. 521. There 
is no need of the elaborate translation "show yourselves" or 
"prove yourselves" {cf. Lex. s. v. yCvofiai^ 5. a), nor of any 
other of the subtleties which the commentators offer. See 
Blass-Debrunner, §§ 335-337. 

That hearing the commands of a law, or a teacher, must be followed 

by doing them is an obvious precept of ethics, often overlooked in 

practise in all ages. Cf. Ezek. 33'^, Mt. y^* icaq ouv oaxt? dxouei \xou 

» / Touq Xdyou? TOUTOut; xal Tcotel auTou?, oiiocwO-^aexat dvSpl 9povqx(p, 7-'"-^ 

Lk. 8" ii28 12". 

The antithesis of hearing and doing is frequently found in the Tal- 
^ ! mud. Cf. Pirke Aboth, i, 16; i, iS, R. Simeon b. GamaUel I.: "All 
' my days I have grown up amongst the wise, and have not found aught 
good for a man but silence ; not learning but doing is the groundwork ; 
and whoso multiplies words occasions sin," iii, 14, R. Chananiah b. 
Dosa: "Whosesoever works are in excess of his widsom, his wisdom 
stands ; and whosesoever wisdom is in excess of his works, his wisdom 
stands not," iii, 27, v, 20 ; also Sifre on Deut. 11", quoted in Taylor, 
SIF"^, p. 50, note 23 ; T. B. Shabbath 88 a, quoted in Mayor, p. 69, 

h 21-23 17s 

note I. Cf. also Philo, De pram, et poenis, 14 raq ee{a<; xapaiveaeti; 
. . . [Ji9j xsvaq xal £pT)[jiou? (ztcoXcxsIv twv oixstwv xptiqscov, dXXd TCXiQpwaott 
Touq XoyoLiq epyo'? £TCatv£Tot<;, De congr. erud. grat. 9, and passages given 
by Elbogen, Religionsanschauimgen der Pharisder, 1904, pp. 41 /. 

Cf. Seneca, Ep. 108. 35 sic ista ediscamus tit quae fuerint verba shit yy 

'TToiTjTal \6yov, "doers of the word." 

This sense, "carry out what is commanded," forxotelv and its deriva- 
tives ■rcoiT)TT)<; and %oirj<nq, is a Hebraism (cf. nir'jj) and peculiar to 
Biblical Greek. See Lex. s. v. xotslv, and cf. i Mace. 2" ttouc; "Koi-qzaq 
ToO vojiou. In classical Greek TcocTiT-f)!; toG vdfxou means vo[jio6^TT)q. 

aKpoarai. Found three times in James (i-. 23, 25) . elsewhere 
in N. T. only Rom. 2^^, ov yap ol aKpoarai vofiov hUaiOL irapa 
ra> dew aXX ol irotr^ral BLKaiooO^aovrac. The close resem- 
blance here is an excellent illustration of the common relation 
of both Paul and James to Jewish moral thought and precept. 

aKpoarai naturally suggests hearing the public reading of ^ 
the Scriptures in Jewish or Christian worship, cf. Rev. i^ 01 
aKovovre^ rov^ Xoyovi ri]<i 7rpo(l}r]reta<i Kal rrjpovvre'i ra iv 
avrj} yeypa/jLfjLeva. 

[lovov dtxpoocxat] B minn ff vg with other versions read ixpoaral [jiovov. 
The decision as to which reading is the emendation must rest wholly 
on the weight assigned to B ff. That a few minuscules omit [xovov is 
not significant. 

irapaXoyi^ofievoL iavroik, "deceiving yourselves" by the 
notion that hearing is sufficient. Cf. v. ^6, Gal. 6^ Mt. 721-23, 
Rom. 2^^-25. eavrovfi for v/ieZ? avrov^, cf. J. H. Moulton, 
Prolegomena, p. 87. 

23. on, "because," introduces, as a kind of argument, a 
brief illustrative parable. 

ov is the appropriate negative, because ov TroiT/r?;?, as a 
single idea, is opposed to aKpoar7]<i. 

ovro^;^ cf. vv. '^'■'- -° (rovrov), 32. 

eoLKev. Only here and i^ in O. T. or N. T. 

avhpl^ cf. V. «. 

KaravoovvrL, "look at," with no thought of a hasty or any 
other special kind of glance ; so KarevorjaeVj y. ^*. 


176 JAMES 

TO TrpoacoTTov Tt}<? y€V€a-€(o<; avrov, "the face that nature gave 
him," seen in a mirror, is here used as a comparison for the 
ideal face, or character, which a man sees set forth in the law. 
As one may forget the former and have no lasting benefit from 
seeing it, so the mere aKpoarrj^ has no profit from the latter. 
T^9 ryeveaeco^ is emphatic, to mark the distinction of the two 
kinds of "faces." 

y€V€(T€ay>, gen. of attribute, or perhaps of source. 

7eWo-i9 is here used, as in 3^, in the sense of "Nature," much 
as in modern usage, to mean the created world (including man) 
as distinguished from God, and with a suggestion of its character 
as seen and temporal. So Plato, Res p. viii, p. 525 B; Plut. De 
gen. Socr. 24, p. 593 D; Philolaus ap. Stob. Ed. i, c. 22 (ed. 
Wachsmuth, p. 197); and especially Philo in many passages, 
e. g. De post. Cain. 9 6eov jxev 'iStov r/pe/xia koX (rrdai<;^ yevecreco'; 
8e fierd^aa-i'i re koL fxera^ariKr] irdaa Kivrjaui. For abundant 
references to Philo, see Mayor*, pp. 117/. The Romans trans- 
lated by rerum nakira. 

More congenial to the Jewish point of view, and hence more com- 
mon in the O. T., is /,Ttac<;, "creation," which is often used collectively 
in the later books {e. g. Ps. 104=*, Judith 161^ Wisd. i62\ Ecclus. 49'*, 
3 Mace. 2'' '), in much the same sense as ylvsat? in Philo. 

Beyschlag states strongly certain difficulties of the usual interpreta- 
tion of Tb xp6a(i>icov "zriz Ysveaeo)?, but fails to discover an acceptable 
substitute for the meaning given above. The meaning "birth" {cf. e. g. 
Gen. 32 3 z\z Ti)v Y^v t^? -^zyiiszijiq aou) is hardly adequate, since a man 
sees in the glass not merely the gift of birth but also the acquisitions of 

ecToirrpcp. The ancients, like the modern Japanese, had pol- 
ished metal mirrors of silver, copper, or tin. Cf. EB, " Mirrors," 
ZrD5, "Mirror." 

The figure of a mirror is frequently used by Greek ethical writers 
(see references in Mayor, pp. 71/.), but otherwise than here, with ref- 
erence to the reflection of the actual, not of the ideal, man. Philo, 
De vita content pi. 10, compares the law (•?) vofAoSsata) to a mirror for the 
rational soul (t) Xoytx-f) i}"JX"n)) iri a manner which recalls James's figure. 

24. Karevorjaev ^ eirekadero. Probably gnomic aorist, which 
is intrinsically a form of popular expression, not a literary 

1, 23-25 177 

nicety. Cf. Buttmann (transl. Thayer), p. 201, and see i" and 
note. For iireKddeTO^ cf. Hermas, Vis. iii, 13-. 

aireXrfKvOev, perfect, because of reference to a lasting state 
("is off," "is gone"), not merely, like the other verbs, to a 
momentary act. See J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 144. 

For similar alternation of gnomic perfect and aorist, see Plato, Protag. 
328 B. But cf. Buttmann (transl. Thayer), p. 197, where any "subtile 
distinction" is denied. 

25. 7rapaKv\l/a<ij "look in." This compound has lost all trace 
of any sense of "sideways" {Trapa-)^ or of stooping {KVTrra)) to 
look, cf. Jn. 20^' 1^, I Pet. i^-, Ecclus. 14^^ 21^. The figure 
is of looking ("peeping," "glancing") into a mirror, and is here 
brought over in a metaphor from the simile of v. -^ See F. 
Field, Oiium norvicense, iii^, p. 80 (on Lk. 24^2), pp. 235/. (on 
Jas. i^^) ; cf. iyKVTTTcOj Clem. Rom. 40^, with Lightfoot's note. 

The word often implies "a rapid, hasty, and cursory glance," see the 
good examples quoted by Hort ; but that shade of meaning seems here 
excluded by the latter half of the verse. 

voixov reXeiov top t?}? eXev^epia?, shown by the context to 
be the same as rov €fi,(l)VTOv Xoyov of v. ^^ ; cf. 2^'- v6/jlov iXev- 

The omission of the article is frequent with t'o/Lto? {cf. 2^' 1^, 
and see Sanday's note on Rom. 2^"^) ; but this explanation is 
here unnecessary, since the term is further defined by an attrib- 
utive expression with the article, cf. Gal. 3'"^ ; see Blass-Debrun- 
ner, § 270; Winer, § 20. 4; J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 74; 
L. Radermacher, N eutestamcntUche Grammatik, 191 1, pp. 19, 89. 

reXeLOVj cf. i^', Rom. 12- to OeXrjfMa rov Oeov^ to ayaOov koX 

eudpearov koX reXeiov. The epithet is not in distinction from 

some other, imperfect, law, but means simply (Spitta) such a 

law that a better one is inconceivable (cf. Pss. 19 and 119), "the 

ideal perfection which is the goal of life" (Sanday). Philo, 

De vita Mos. ii, 3, ]M. p. 136 ol vofjioi KaWunoi kol m a\r}6ci)<i 

OeloL jxrjhev a>v 'xpr] 'jrapakiirovre'i. The perfection of the law 

in question is made plain by the further description of it as 

" the law of freedom." 


rov TYj^ iX€v6epca<i, "the law characterised by freedom." 
This expression means "the law in the observance of which 
a man feels himself free." It could have been used of the 
Mosaic law by a devout and enthusiastic Jew ; cf. Deut. 28^^, 
Ps. I- 19^-11 408 546 11932, 45. 97^ 

Cf. Pirke Aboth, iii, 8, R. Nechonyiah b. ha-Kanah (c. 80 
A.D.) : "Whoso receives upon him the yoke of Torah, they re- 
move from him the yoke of royalty and the yoke of worldly 
care" ; vi, 2, R. Jehoshua b. Levi (c. 240 a.d.) : "Thou wilt find 
no freeman but him who is occupied in learning of Torah," 
with Taylor's notes on both passages ; see the glorification of 
the law of Moses in contrast to other laws which were imposed, 
ft)? ovK €\€vdepoL<i aWa Bov\oi<;j in Philo, De vita Mos. ii, 9. 
These references show that there is no ground for the common 
affirmation that this phrase implies a sublimated, spiritualised 
view of the Jewish law, which, it is said, would have been im- 
possible for a faithful Jew, cf. Jiilicher, Einleitung^- ^, p. 190. 
It is also evident that the words reXeiov and rr}<; eXef^e/Jia? 
are not introduced in order thereby to mark the law which 
James has in mind as distinguished from, and superior to, the 
Jewish law. 

In the passages of Irenaeus where lex lihertatis and similar phrases 
occur {cf. Iren. iv, 13^ 343. 4 371 393) there is emphasis on the original 
divine gift of human freedom, with which the law stands in no conflict, 
but which it rather confirms. It is not possible to apply these passages 
directly to the interpretation of James. 

To a Christian "the perfect law of liberty" would include 
both the O. T. (parts of it perhaps being spiritually interpreted, 
cf. Mt. s^^-"*, I Cor. 921, Rom. 2>" 8^ Ep. Barnab. 10) and the 
precepts and truths of the Gospel ; cf. 2*-^^, where the ten com- 
mandments and the commandment of love are all expHcitly 
said to be a part of the law. The use of the phrase by a Chris- 
tian implies that he conceived Christianity as a law, including 
and fulfilling (Mt. 5^^) the old one. This is not inconsistent 
with an early date, for even Paul cannot avoid sometimes (i Cor. 
9^1, Rom. 3^^, Gal. 6^) referring to the new system as a law. 
Cf. Jn. 13^*, I Jn. 2^ ^-j I Tim. i^ deXovre^ elvai vofjLoSLSdaKoXoL 

h 25 179 

(used of persons who present themselves as Christian teachers). 
See Introduction, supra, pp. 37/. 

The use of the term "law" in this inclusive sense is plainly 
of Jewish origin and illustrates the direct Jewish lineage of 
Christianity. But the tendency to conceive Christianity as 
essentially a system of morals (a "new law") was not specifi- 
cally Jewish. It seems to have been present from primitive 
times in the common Gentile Christianity. "The Pauline con- 
ception of the Law never came to prevail, and Christendom at 
large did not know how, nor dare, to apply criticism to the O. T. 
religion, which is Law. (Without criticising the form they spir- 
itualized the contents.) Consequently the formula that Chris- 
tianity consists of Promise plus Spiritual Law is to be regarded 
as of extreme antiquity {uralt)^' (Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dog- 
mengeschichte, i^, p. 250; i^, p. 317). 

Being the product of a permanent trait of human nature, to 
be seen in all ages, this moralism was not confined to any lim- 
ited locality or single line of tradition in early Christianity. 
The doctrine of Christianity as law is emphasised in the Shep- 
herd of Hermas, cf. Vis. i, 3'', Sim. v, 5^ 6^, viii, 3- with Har- 
nack's note. See also Barn. 2^ (0 Kaivo<} v6/jlo<; rov tcvpiov 'qjxoiv 
'It^o-oO 'KpiaTOv^ avev ^vjov avdyKT]'; wy), with Harnack's note 
and the references contained in it. In Justin Martyr (e. g. 
Apol. 43) and the other apologists the idea is of frequent oc- 
currence, and it was probably a part of the primitive theology 
of Asia Minor in which the more developed system of Irenaeus 
had its roots. With Irenaeus and his contemporaries the "new 
law" took an important place. See Ritschl, Die Entstehung 
der altkatholischen Kirche"^, 1850, pp. 312-335 (with abundant 
citations), Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte*, i, pp. 
316/. note I, pp. 548/. § 3 ; Loofs, Leitfaden zum Studiiim der 
Dogmengeschichte*, § 21. 4. 

The familiar Stoic idea expressed in the maxims oxt (idvo? 6 aoqsb? 
eXsuOspo? %xq a'tppwv 8ou>.o<;, deo parere libcrlas est (Seneca, De mt. 
heat. 15) is expanded in Philo's tract about slavery and freedom, Quod 
oninis prohiis liber, for instance, 7 rap' oU [jlIv av opyr) ri sxtOLi[jLca ij 
Tt otXXo TuaOo? 1^ xal sxt'^ouXoi; xaxia Syvaaxsus:, Tcavxws zh\ SouXot, 

l8o JAMES 

oaot 5e (lexa v6[iou i^ujtv, sXeiOepot. The combination of these ideas 
with the Jewish enthusiasm for the law is to be seen in 4 Macc.,c. g. 
^22-26 J42 J) ^aatXsus XoYtd^jLot ^ajtXtxwxepot xa'. iXeuOepwv sXeuOcpcoTspo:. 
A tacit claim that the Greek philosopher's ideal of freedom charac- 
terises the Jewish and Christian law may possibly underlie the lan- 
guage of James, whether or not such is to be traced in the rabbinical 
sayings quoted above. 

Other interpretations given for the phrase are : 

(i) "Natural law in the soul," "the hght of nature." But nothing 
suggests this. 

(2) That law which by the new covenant has become implanted in 
the souls of men, written in their hearts (Jer. 31''-^-), so that the fulfil- 
ment of it springs from inner spontaneous impulse, not from enforced 
conformity to externally imposed precepts; in a word, the gospel on 
that side on which it is a rule of conduct (so Beyschlag). 

The chief difference of this view from the one adopted above is that 
the latter takes the "law of liberty" in the sense of Christianity con- 
ceived as law, while Beyschlag takes it of that element in Christianity 
which is law. The real difference is not great. Beyschlag's main in- 
terest here is to show that the phrase does not imply the legalistic con- 
ception of Christianity of the Old Catholic period, and in this he is 
probably right. 

(3) The Christian law in distinction from the Jewish, because it 
consists of positive and not of negative precepts. On this, see supra. 

Pliilo enforces the same thought with a different figure, Dc 
sacr. Abel, et Cain. 25, "After ha\ing touched knowledge, not 
to abide in it (/^^ eTrifielvai) is like tasting meat and drink and 
then being prevented from satisfying one's hunger." 

epyov, the addition of epyov to TrotT/r?;? gives a certain em- 
phasis, "a doer who does." 
^ lxaKdpio<i, cf. V. 12. See Jn. 13I", Lk. 12^^ Seneca, Ep. 75, 7 
^ non est bcafus qui scit ilia sed qui facit. 

Trj TTOLijcret avrov probably means collectively the man's whole 
conduct (Hebrew "w'*>'r)) (^f- Dan. 9^^ (Th.), but not without 
allusion to the preceding iroiriTrj'^ -^ "he will be worthy of con- 
gratulation in these deeds of liis." 

[i-axapto? does not mean "prosperous" (Huther, Beyschlag, and oth- 
ers), but is the opposite of "blameworthy." 

26-27. Careful attention to worship is no substitute for self- 
restraint, purity of life, and good works. 


I, 25-26 181 

The connection with the preceding is here made in two ways : 
(i) by the advance from the more general precept of reaUty, 
*'not hearing but doing," to the more specific, ''not mere wor- 
ship but doing good"; (2) by the reference in v. ^s to the sin 
of uncontrolled speech {cf. v. "). 

26. hoKel, "tliinketh," i. e. "seemeth to himself." Cf. v. i^ 
fir]8eU Xejerco ; and, for the same use of SoKelv, Gal. 6^ i Cor. 
iQi^ Jn. s''- 


This adjective is not found elsewhere excepting in lexicons, 
but derivatives are common, notably OprjCKeCa (w. ^^^ "), 
which means "religious worship, especially, but not exclusively, 
external, that which consists in ceremonies" {Lex.). OprjaKo^ 
means "given to religious observances." The Greek words have 
somewhat the same considerable range of meaning as the Eng- 
lish word " worship," with reference to the inner and the external 
aspects of religious worship. Mayor quotes a useful series of 
passages from Christian writers ; see Trench, Synonyms, § xlviii ; 
E. Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, pp. 55-57; and Lex. In the 
present verse dpr]aK6<; doubtless refers to attendance on the 
exercises of public worship, but also to other observances of re- 
ligion, such as almsgiving, prayer, fasting {cf. Mt. 6^"l^ 2 Clem. 
Rom. 16^). The passage impHes that a large and recognised 
field of religious observance was naturally and ob\'iously open 
to the persons whom James has in mind. 

For both thought and language, cj. Philo, Quod del. pot. insid. 7 : 
"Nor if anyone in his abundant wealth builds a temple with splendid 
contributions and expenditures, or offers hecatombs and never ceases 
sacrificing oxen, or adorns the temple with costly offerings, bringing 
timber without stint and workmanship more precious than any silver 
and gold, shall he be reckoned with the pious ([xst' eOae^uv avaYeTps'?^") > 
for he also has erred from the path of piety, accounting worship a sub- 
stitute for sanctity (6pT)5X£'!av ccvtI oatoTr^To? fjyoJiJLEvoi;)." 

The English words "religion," "religious," used here and in v. ", 
for OpTjaxsia, Opijaxd?, are to be understood in the external sense of 
"worship," "religious rite," etc., in which formerly they were more 
used than at present. Cf. Milton: "With gay religions full of pomps 
and gold" {Paradise Lost, i, 372) ; Shakespeare : "Old rehgious man," 
i. e. religieiix, "belonging to a religious order" {As You Like It, v, 4, 166). 

l82 JAMES 

'i \ As used at the present day," religion " conveys the meaning of 6pY]ffx.E{a 
I well enough in v. ^^, but is inadequate in v. ", where the Greek word 
' means specifically "worship." See HDB, "Religion." 

fir) ;i^aXtya7ft)7wy yXcocraav, cf. v. " and 31-^^. For the meta- 
phor, cf. Lucian, Tyramiicida, 4 xa? rcov rjSovMV ope^ei'^ %ctA,i- 
vaywyova-Tji; -^ De saltat. 70; Philo, De mut. nom. 41, De agric. 
15 /., Quod det. pot. insid. 8; Plut. De sol. anim. 10, p. 967; 
Hermas, Mand. xii, i; and the phrase a')(^d\ivov arofia in 
Aristoph. Ran. 862 ; Eurip. Bacchae, 386 ; Philo, De vita Mosis, 
iii, 25. 

There is no good reason for Hmiting either the unbridled 
speech here referred to or the 6/0777 of vv. ^^f- to extravagant 
and intemperate utterance in preaching and teaching {cf. 3 2) ; 
the precepts are of general appHcabihty. 

airaTOiv KaphCav iavTOv. Cf. Test. XII Patr. Nephth. 3 fir] 
ovv (TTrovSa^ere . . . iv Xoyoi'; /cevoU arrarav Ta<i \f/v')(a<i v/jlmv 
OTL aicoTTCovre^ (v. I. cr/coTroit'Te?) iv KaOapo^rjn KapSia<; crvvr']- 
<7€T6 TO deXrj/jLa rod deoii Kparelv; and on the use of Kaphia, 
cf. s\ Acts 14!^ 

fidraio^, from fiaTrjv, "in vain," "failing of its essential pur- 
^ pose." His very dprjaKeia, in itself good, becomes useless, be- 
cause spoiled by this fault of character. Cf. v. 2°, and veKpd, 

^ ^ The fact fhat fiaTaio^ in the 0. T. is specially used of idols 
and idol-worship (e. g. Jer. 2^ 10^, cf. Acts 14^^, i Pet. i^^) adds 
point to this sentence. Cf. Spitta, p. 57, notes 2 and 3. 

27. 9p7]aK€ca. 

This is not a definition of religion, but a statement (by an 
oxymoron) of what is better than external acts of worship. 
James had no idea of reducing religion to a negative purity of 
conduct supplemented by charity-visiting. 

Cf. Coleridge, Aids to Reflection, Introductory Aphorisms 
XXIII (and Note [8]): "Morality itself is the service and cere- 
monial (cultus exterior, dprjaKeia) of the Christian religion." 

The thought is the same as that of the prophets, cf. Mic. 6«-', Is. !•»-•', 
58s Zech. 7^-", Prov. 142. Cf. Clem. Al. Strom, vi, § 77, p. 778 P, o5 
{viz. he who keeps the commandments) B' jgtI to Op-rjaxsuecv -zh Osiov §isl! 

I, 26-27 183 

tf^q ovTUi; StxaioauviQi;, epyuv -ce xal yvtiaew?, and among Greek writers, 
Isocrates, Ad Nicocl. p. iS^^ E, fjyoCi Se 60(i,a touto xaXXtaTov elvat xai 
Oepaicetav [Ji,eYtffi;T]v av ox; ^^Xxtaxov xotl SixatoTaxov aauxbv iLapiyjiq, In 
the higher forms of heathen Hellenistic religious thought "a spiritual 
idea of God is contrasted with anthropomorphic conceptions and naive 
worship of idols, while purity of heart, as the best sacrifice, and ad- 
hesion to the will of God, as the true prayer, are contrasted with foolish 
prayers and vows"; see P. VVendland, Hellenisiisch-rdmische Kultur", 
1912, p. S7, and note 8 (references). 

fcaOapa Kol afiiavTO<;, synonyms giving the positive and nega- 
tive side, cf. i^' ^, etc. 

The two words are often found in Greek writers in an ethical sense 
and together, Dion. Hal. A.R. viii, 43^; Plut. Perid.^g; also Philo, 
Leg. all. i, 15, De animal, sacrif. idon. 13; Hermas, Mand. ii, 7, Si7ti. v, 7, 
Test. XII Patr. Jos. 4\ etc. 

For ix\xl(xyio<;, cf. Heb. 7-% i Pet. i^; in the O. T. only found in Wis- 
dom and 2 Maccabees. 

The words are naturally used with dprjaKeia, because ritual 
purity and spotlessness was required in all ancient worship, 
Jewish and heathen, and was never more insisted on among the 
Jews than by the Pharisees in the first Christian century {cf. 
Mk. 7^ ff-, Mt. 2325). There is no special contrast meant (as 
Spitta thinks) to heathen worship. 

Trapa tw dew, "in God's judgment," "such as God approves," 
cj. Lk. 1 30, I Pet. 2^. 20^ Rom. 2^\ 2 Thess. i«, Prov. i^^\ Wisd. 
9^° 12^, etc. This is a good Greek use of irapd (see Winer, § 48, 
d. 6.; L. and S. s. v.), which, with other expressions (Lk. 24'' 
ivavTiov, Lk. i^'^ ivminov, etc.), is the equivalent of the Hebrew 

Oew Kal Trarpi. 

Oew v.tx\ xotTpi] KC^KL minn. 

Tw Gsw xal xaxpt] BC*P minn. 

T(j) 6ew /.Jtl Ttp xctTpi] A. 

Tip Osw xaxpt] minn. 

The usage in the N. T. is to write either Osbg irax-^p (e. g. Rom. i', 
Gal. I', and often) or 6 Osbs xal xaxT)p (e. g. i Cor. is'* and, with t)|jl(7)v 
added. Gal. 1*, etc.). The only instance of 6sbc; xaxt)?, excepting 
the present one, is the easily explicable case Eph. 4^ ; the only rases of 

1 84 JAMES 

6 Gsbi; Tcax-^p are Col. i' (xw Gsip xaxpi in Codd. BC* and versions; tu 
6ew Tw Tcaxpi in Codd. DFG), 3", and possibly i^-. Hence probably 
the article is a conformatory emendation and the formula here unique 
in the N. T. 

The phrases deb'i koX Trartjp and ^eo? irarrjp are found at 
the opening and else'vhere in Paul's epistles and other N. T. 
writings, but nowhere in the Gospels,* Acts, i John, or Hebrews. 
They evidently belong to the common semi-liturgical religious 
language which at once grew up among the early Christians, 
but not at all to the tradition of Jesus' sayings. This designa- 
tion of God is possibly used here because it is the care for God's 
fatherless ones {cf. Ps^_6^ which is enjoined. 

iTTLaKeTTTeadaL, used of visiting the sick, in Mt. 253"' ^^, Ecclus. 
7'^ and also in secular Greek, e. g. Xen. Cyr. v, 4^° ; Plut. De 
san. prcec. 15, p. 129 C. 

op(^avov^ Kol %^j0a9, the natural objects of charity in the 
community, cf. e. g. Deut. 27^^, Ecclus. 41" 71^01; op<^avol<i «? 
Trarrjp^ koL avrl av8p6<; rrj firjrpl avrojv, Acts 6^, Barn, 20 
(the Two Ways), Polyc. 6, Hermas, Mand. viii, 10. 

For abundant further references, see Spitta, p. 57, note 5 ; 
Weinel, Die Wirkungen des Geistes imd der Geiste, p. 145, note; 
Gebhardt and Harnack on Hermas, Mand. viii, 10. 

iv ry dXi-yjrei avrcov^ i. e. the afifliction of their bereavement. 
CJ. Jn. ii^^, and Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, pp. 172 /., for 
the Jewish custom. 

aairikov, '' unstained." For the same phrase, nipelv aarnXov, 
cf. I Tim. 614. 

aTTo, see Buttmann, § 132, 5. 

ToO Kocr/jiov. Cf. 4'^ r} (piXia rod Koafiov, 2^. 

This twofold statement of a moral ideal, compactly expressed 
in the latter half of this verse, is elaborated at great length in 
Hermas, Mand. viii. The comparison is instructive and points 
clearly to current religious modes of expression among the Jews. 

KocTjXQ'i in the ethical sense in which it represents the world 
as opposed, or at least alien, to God is found only in Paul, 

*InMt. 6' the reading 6 fleo? 6 irarjjp vij.utv of Codd. N*B and sah. vers, is probably an 
emendation for 6 Trarnp vy-uiv of all other authorities, while Jn. 6" 8" are different. 

1, 27-11, 1 185 

James, 2 Peter, and the Gospel and First Epistle of John. In 
the writings of John this sense is pushed to an extreme of sharp 
opposition. The usage, which is evidently wholly familiar to 
James and his readers, must have its origin in Jewish modes of 
thought {cf. the use of uT\';^ and i^9 =5^ ^^ ^^^^^ Jewish literature 
for K6(rfxo<i^ not merely for alcov), but the history of the ethical 
sense of the word has not been worked out. 

See HDB,Sirt. '"World"; Pi?E, art. "Welt"; Dalman, D/f 
Worte Jesu, i, 1898, pp. 132-146 (Eng. transl. pp. 162-179). 


1-7. To court the rich and neglect the poor in the house of wor- 
ship reverses real values. 

In 2^-^ the thought of the supreme importance of conduct, 
stated in i"^-""-', is further illustrated by an instance from a situa- 
tion of common occurrence. With this instance the writer con- 
nects his reply to two excuses or pretexts (w. ^-^^^ 14-26)^ which 
are perversions of true reUgion, and in so doing he is led to 
enter upon broader discussions. Ch. 2 is more original and less 
a repetition of current Jewish ideas than any other part of the 

1. a8e\(f)0i fiov, marking transition to a new topic, cf. i^' 
2^^ 3^ 5^ and see note on i^ 

iv 7rpo(T(07ro\r}iJ,\pLai^ "with acts of partiaHty." Trpoacoiro- 
Xi]fx\pM (found also Rom. 2", Eph. 6^ Col. 3^5, Polyc. Phil. 6), 
toge'ther wdth the cognate words TrpocrwTroXi] /xTrrecv (Jas. 2'), 
7rpoaQy7ro\rjfi7rTr]<i (Acts 10^^), aTrpoaoyrroXrj/jLTrTO^ (ecclesiasti- 
cal writers), airpoaooTroXijixTnw'i (i Pet. i^', Clem. Rom. i^. 
Barn. 412), is a compound formed from the LXX translation of 
the O. T. phrase D''^2 ^*^^, Xa/jL^dveiv Trpoaoiirov ^ Lev. 19^^, 
Ps. 82^, etc. (For an analogous compound, cf. ifioa^OTroujaav, 
Acts 7^0- These words were of course used only among per- 
sons acquainted with the Greek 0. T., that is, Jews and Chris- 

This group of expressions has had a history not unlike that 
of English "favour," "favouritism," etc., and, having often had 

1 86 JAMES 

originally an innocent sense, came in the 0. T. to mean "respect 
of persons" in the sense of improper partiality. The early uses 
related chiefly to partiality on the part of a judge. In later 
use any kind of improper partiality might be meant, whether 
judicial favouritism or, as here, selfish truckling to the powerful. 
For the meaning of the Hebrew expression, see Gesenius, The- 
satirus, s. v. '^'^^, p. 916 ; cj. Lightfoot on Gal. 2^, and, for some 
similar O. T. expressions. Mayor on Jas. 2^. 

The plural denotes the several manifestations of favouritism ; 
cf. Winer, § 27, 3 ; Hadley- Allen, § 636 ; cJ. 2 Cor. 1220, Gal. 5^0, 
I Pet. 43. 

ev denotes the state, or condition, in which the act is done; 
here the acts with which the action of the main verb is accom- 
panied. Cf. 2 Pet. 3^1 vTrdp')(eLV ev evae^eiai^^ Col. 3^^ vTraKovere 
. . . fir) iv 6(f)da\fJLoBovXiai<ij Jas. i^^ iv Trpavrrjri. 

Warnings against contempt of the poor are common in the 
V O. T., cf. Lev. 19!^ Prov. 22^2, Ecclus. lo^^, etc. 

fir) €X€T€. Not interrogative (R.V. mg., WH.), but impera- 
tive (A. v., R.V. text), as is better suited to the gnomic style of 
the epistle (cf. i^- 22 -^i ^u^ etc.), and to the following context. 

The question " Do ye, in accepting persons, hold the faith of our 
Lord?" would express doubt whether a faith accompanied by this fault 
is true faith in Jesus Christ at all. 

But this makes a weak and unnatural opening to the paragraph, is 
too subtle and indirect for so straightforward a writer, and does not 
suit so well the transition to the following sentence with yap. This 
writer (e. g. in vv. ^' «■ ') uses the question-form rather in argument 
than in exhortation. Note, too, the directness with which his other 
paragraphs open, e. g. !-■ ' 3^ $''■ Moreover, such a surprisingly drastic 
denial that the readers were Christian behevers would require a clearer 
form of statement. 

e^ere jrjv TrlarLv. Cf. 2"- 1^ 314^ Mt. 1720 2121, Mk. 1122, 
Lk. 17^ Acts 14^, Rom. 1422, i Tim. i^^, Philem. 5. e^;© is used 
in its natural sense, with reference to "having" an inner qual- 
ity. This is a Greek usage, see L. and S. s. v. e^ft) A. I. 8. Cf. 
rrjpelv rrjv ttlo-tiv, 2 Tim. 4^, Rev. 14^2 Yot the whole phrase, 
cf. Herm. Mond. v, 2^ tcov rrjv tticttlv eyovrwv oKokXijoov, 

II, I 187 

TTjv ttIo-tlv. The "subjective" faith, not the later idea of a 
body of doctrine to be believed ; so throughout this epistle, i^-^ 
2 5, 14-26 ^i5_ Faith in Jesus Christ is the distinctive act which 
makes a man a Christian. See A. Schlatter, Der Glaube im 
Neuen Testament, 1896. 

Tov Kvpiov. Objective genitive, cf. Mk, 11--, Gal. 2^^; Her- 
mas, Sim. vi, i-, etc. 

The view of Haussleiter, Der Glaube Jesu Christi mid der christUche 
Glaube, 1891, and James Drummond, Epistle to the Galatians, 1893, p. 
91, that these genitives after muiiq are subjective, not objective, is 
unnatural, and seems disproved by both Mk. 11" and Gal. 2^^. See 
Sanday on Rom. 322. Hort paraphrases : the faith "which comes from 
Him and depends on Him," but this is unnecessary. 

T?}9 S6^r]<i. "Glory" is the majesty and brightness of light 
in which God dwells, and which belongs also to the Messiah; 
see Sanday on Rom. 3^3, G. B, Gray, art. "Glory," in HDB ; 
A. von Gall, Die Herrlichkeit Gottes, 1900. 

The interpretation now most commonly given for this diffi- 
cult expression is probably right, t?)? So^t;? is genitive of char- 
acteristic {cf. Lk. 16^ 18^, Heb. 9^ Xepov^elv So'^7/9), limiting 
the whole preceding phrase tov icvpCov rj/jicbv 'I'>]aov X/atcrroO, 
i. e. "our glorious Lord Jesus Christ." The expression is a not (3 
altogether happy expansion of 6 Kvpio^ T7]<; So^t]^ (i Cor. 2^), cf. 
6 ^609 T?}? So'l?;?, Ps. 29^, Acts 7-, 6 irarrjp r?}? Sofr;?, Eph. i^'. 
By its solemnity the writer may intend to emphasise the in- 
consistency between the great privilege of Christian faith and 
this petty discrimination between rich and poor. 

No convincing objection can be made to this interpretation, although 
there is no complete parallel to it. Among the other interpretations 
the following deserve mention : 

(i) Talq xpoa(j)itoXT)[nJ^tat<; ir}<; h6^t]q, "partiality arising from your 
own opinion," or "partiality arising from external glory" {admiratio 
hominuin secundum externum splendorem, Michaelis). But the separa- 
tion of the words is too great, and the meaning "glory" for S6?a in this 
context too obvious, to permit this interpretation, and it is now held 
by no one. 

(2) t9)v xfaTtv TTjc; So^T)?, "faith in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" 
(Pesh.), or "Christ-given faith in the glory" {i.e. the glory which 

1 88 JAMES 

we are to receive, Rom. S^'), or "the glorious faith in Christ." But the 
last two of these are forced, and the first involves too strange an order 
of words to be acceptable, in spite of such partial analogies as Acts 4", 
I Thess. 2". Cf. Buttmann, § 151, III; Winer, § 61, 4; for many illus- 
trations of hyperbaton from LXX and secular authors, see Heisen, Novae 
hypotheses, pp. 768 Jf. 

(3) Various interpretations separate off some part of the phrase Toij 
xupfou -^[i-wv 'IirjaoO XptaxoO, which is then connected with -zriq So^t}?, 
and the two together taken as in apposition with the rest of the phrase. 
The least objectionable of these is perhaps that of Ewald, "our Lord, 
Jesus Christ of glory"; but this division is unnecessary, and it seems 
impossible that the writer should not have meant to keep together the 
whole of the familiar designation. 

(4) A.V. and R.V. supply toO xupi'ou, and translate "the faith of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory." There are abundant parallels 
for this latter phrase, but none for such a singular omission. 

(5) Bengel, Mayor, Hort, WH. mg., and others take -u^q So^t]? as in 

i apposition to the preceding and as referring to Christ (perhaps as the 
Shekinah) under the title of " the Glory." But the evidence that this 
is a possible use of ■^ So^a (see the full note of Mayor', pp. ^gf., cf. 
Lk. 2", Eph. I", Tit. 213, Heb. i^ is inadequate. 

(6) Spitta and Massebieau think the words -^[xtov 'IiQaoO Xptaxoij an 
interpolation by the Christian editor. This would leave the expression 
"the Lord of glory," referring, as in Enoch, to God. Beyschlag's an- 
swer to this, that an interpolator would not have broken the phrase toij 
xupt'ou TTj? S6?T)s, is not quite satisfactory, since the natural words to 
follow Tou xupt'ou are -^iawv TiQaoiJ XpiaroO. But the interpolation is 
not sufl&ciently obvious to justify itself apart from the general theory 
to which it belongs. See the long note in Mayor. 

2. ydp explains the warning by pointing out that respect of 
persons is easily recognisable as sin. '^dp introduces ov Sie- 
KpiOrjre ktX., v. ■*. 

elcreXOrj, cf. i Cor. 1423-25, 

avva<yQ)yi]v means "meeting," and it is not necessary here to 
distinguish between the "meeting" as an occasion and as an 
assembled body of persons. It is the proper word for a Jewish 
religious meeting, but is occasionally used, chiefly by writers 
having some Jewish or Syrian connection, for a Christian meet- 
ing; cf. Herm. Mand. xi, g orav ovv eXOrj 6 dvdpoyiro<i 6 e^f^v 
TO TTvev/xa ro delov et? avvwyoyyrjv avSpcov SiKaitov • Ign. Polxc. 
4-; Iren. Hcer. iv, 31^'^; Epiph. HcBr. xxx, 18 (Tvva<yoiyrfv 8e 

n, 1-2 189 

ovTOL [the Ebionites] Kokovat ttjv iavTcov iiCKXr](Tiav^ koI ov')(l 
eKKXrjaiav. The Christian Palestinian Aramaic dialect used a 
single word [KHB^'^iD] as well for "synagogue" as for "church." 
In view of this wide-spread occasional use, no trustworthy in- 
ference as to the place of writing of the epistle, still less any 
conclusion as to its Jewish-Christian authorship, or as to the 
nationahty of the persons addressed, can be drawn from the 
occurrence of this word here. 

The material is fully collected and well discussed by Zahn, 
Einleitung, i, § 4, note i ; Harnack in his long note on Hermas, 
Hand, xi, 9; Schiirer, GJV, ii, § 27, notes 11 and 12. 

The meaning "place of meeting," "meeting-house," natural if this 
were a Jewish synagogue, is wholly unhkely for a Christian writing. 
The only parallel to be adduced would be the inscription (from a 
locality not far from Damascus) IluvaywYT) Mapxtwvta-uwv, xu[x(Tg<;) Ae- 
^apwv ToCi x(upto)u 5tal a((i)T^)p(os) 'lTf)(aoO) XprjaToO, Tcpovotg: ITauXQ'j 
•3cp£aP(uxepou), toO Xx' etous, Le Bas-Waddington, Inscript. grccques cl 
lat. iii, no. 2558. The date is a.d. 318-319. 

XPv<7oSaKTv\Lo<;, cf. Lk. 15-, also Gen. 3818' ^^ 4142^ ig, 321- 
and see note in Mayor'', p. 83, and "Ring," in EB, HDB, and 
Didt. Antt. for details of the custom of wearing rings. 

For similar description of a rich gentleman, cj. Epictet. i, 22^^ 
ri^ei TK yepcov 7ro\L6<; 'x^pvaov<i haicTvkiov; e%ft)y ttoXXou?, Sen- 
eca, Nat. qucBst. vii, 31 exornamus amdis digitos, in omni arti- 
culo gemmam disponimus. 

XPUCToSaxTuXto;; is found only here, but is correctly formed, cf. 
Xpuuoxetp in the same sense, xpuaoaxdipavoi;, xpuuoxaXtvoi;, etc. 

iv iaOijTL XafiTrpa^ cf. Lk. 23^^ 

The term \afi7rp6<; seems here to refer to elegant and luxuri- 
ous, "fine," clothes (cf. Rev. 181"), but it can also be used of 
freshness or cleanness (Rev. 1^^) without reference to costliness, 
and sometimes (Acts lo^") appears to mean "shining." Its nat- 
ural opposite in all these senses is pvirapos, "dirty," "shabby," 
as below, cf. Philo, De Joseph. 20, avrl pviroacrri'; Xap/irpav 
ia-dijra avriS6vre<i. Mayor gives other instructive references. 
See also Lex. s. -cv. Xaprnpo^ and pvirap6<i. 

For the same construction as vv. 2. 3^ cf. vv. 1^-". 

190 JAMES 

3. e7n/3\€\J/T]T€, "look," i.e. with favour, "have regard." 
eTrt^Xeireiv has this sense also in Lk. i"** 9^^, apparently through 
the influence of the LXX usage ; cf. i Sam. i" 9^^, Ps. 25*^ 69^^, 
Job 3^, Judith 13*, etc. The development of this sense in an 
appropriate context is a natural one ; but in classical usage 
only Aristotle, Eth. Nic. iv, 2, p. 11 20, is cited. 

eLirrjre. Doubtless the speaker is one of the dignitaries of 
the congregation, cf. to vTroTroBiov fiov. 

Kadov. This form of the imperative (for the more hterary 
Kcidrjcro), found uniformly in O. T. and N. T., was doubtless 
in ordinary colloquial use, as is attested by its occurrence in 
comic writers of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. and in post- 
classical usage. See Lex. s. v. and Winer-Schmiedel, § 14, 3, 
note 3. 

KaXay;. Usually explained as meaning "in a good seat," 
"comfortably." But the usage does not fully justify this (see 
Mayor's citations), and some polite idiom in the sense of 
"please," "pray," is to be suspected. In various Greek liturgies 
the minister's direction to the worshipping congregation, (Ttm- 
Hev /caXco?, presents the same difficulty and suggests the same 
explanation. See F. E. Brightman, Liturgies, Eastern and 
Western, vol. i, Oxford, 1896, pp. 43, 49, 383, 471. The 
Syrian liturgies sometimes merely carry this over, "Stomen 
kalos," but also render by, "Stand we all fairly," ibid. pp. 72, 
74, 104. On the Jewish custom of distinguished places in the 
synagogue, cf. Mt. 23'', Mk. 12^^, Lk. 11" 20*^, and see "Syna- 
gogue," in EB and HDB. 

A noteworthy commentary on these verses is offered by a passage 
found in various ancient books of church order. Its oldest form is 
perhaps that in the Ethiopic Statutes of the Apostles (ed. Horner, 1904, 
pp. 195 /.) : "And if any other man or woman comes in lay dress [/. e. 
in fine clothes], either a man of the district or from other districts, 
being brethren, thou, presbyter, while thou speakest the word which 
is concerning God, or while thou hearest or readest, thou shalt "not 
respect persons, nor leave thy ministering to command places for them, 
but remain quiet, for the brethren shall receive them, and if they have 
no place (for them) the lover of brothers or of sisters, having risen, will 
leave place for them. 

II, 3-4 191 

"... And if a poor man or woman either of the district or of the 
(other) districts should come in and there is no place for them, thou, 
presbyter, make place for such with all thy heart, even if thou wilt 
sit on the ground, that there should not be respecting the person of 
man but of God." 

See also the Syriac Didascalia apostolorum, 12; Apostolic Constitutions, 
ii, 58 ; E. V. d. Goltz, " Unbekannte Fragmente altchristhcher Gemein- 
deordnungen," in Sitzungsberichte der kgl. preuss. Akademie, 1906, pp. 
141-157. There is no sufficient indication that the passage is dependent 
on James. 

aTrjOi^ in contrast to fcdOov. 

ffT^Ot Tj xa6ou ex.el] B fif. 

oT^Gt T] xaOou] sah. 

oT^et sxet TJ xczGou] A S3 minn Cyr vg Jer Aug syr"^"*. 

aiTjOt exst ri xaOoLi wSe] t<C'-KLP minn boh syrp«=''. 

cx^9i x,al xa6ou] C*. 

The reading of B ff makes the rough words an invitation to stand or 
to take a poor seat. So the Sahidic, which thus on the whole supports 
B ff. The readings of A al and {^ al seem to be different emendations, 
both due to the wish to make ffT^6t]]explicit and so to create a better 
parallelism. But since the indefinite sxsl does not in itself imply any 
disrespect to the visitor, the effect is to lessen rather than intensify 
the rudeness of or-r^Ot, and the product is a weaker text than that of 
B ff (sah). The text of B ff is thus on both external (see p. 85) and 
internal grounds to be preferred. 

^ KciOov mel viro to viroTrohLov /xov, i. e. in a humble place. 
This is a sorry alternative to standing. Cf. Deut. ;^;^^ vtto ere, 
"at thy feet," Lk. 8^^ lo^^ Acts 22^ irapa row Tro'Sa?, 

These persons who come into the meeting are visitors, who 
may be won for the church, and the treatment of them at this 
critical moment reveals the real feeling of the members toward 
the relative worth of the different classes in society. The vis- 
itors seem clearly distinguished from the members of the con- 
gregation; and nothing indicates, or suggests, that they are 
members of sister churches. They are undoubtedly outsiders, 
whether Jews or Gentiles. 

ux6] B' P 33 minn have emendation to the easier Ixt. 

4. oj] Omitted by B ff minn. The repetition of — ov OY might 
suggest either the insertion or the omission of the word in transcrip- 

lg2 JAMES 

tion. The attestation and the greater intrinsic vigour of the sense 
speak for the omission. 

KLP minn read xal ou, the Y.«i being added to indicate the apodosis. 

Bi6KpidrjTe. "Ye have wavered," "doubted," i.e. "practi- 
cally, by your unsuitable conduct, departed from and denied 
the faith of v. ^, and thus fallen under the condemnation pro- 
nounced in I'^-s against the SlxJ/v^o^.'" Cf. i*^ and note, 3^^ 
aScaKpiTO^-^ and, for the mode of argument, i* hlypv^o^, 4^ 
d/iiaprcoXoLj hiypv')(pi. 

Of the various meanings proposed for StcxptOriTs this one, which is 
common in the N. T. although not attested in secular Greek, yields in 
the present context the best sense, being especially recommended by 
the allusion to the " waverer " of i=. CJ. Mt. 21=', Mk. ii^^, Rom. 14-', 
Jas. i«, and the kindred sense " hesitate" in Acts 10=", Rom. 4-". 

Other interpretations which have been given are classified as fol- 
lows by Huther, whose elaborate note, as reproduced with additions 
by Beyschlag, pp. 103 /., should be consulted for the history of the 

Sta/,ptv£a9at = (i) scparare; 
' (2) discrimen faccre ; 

(3) judicare; 

(4) dubitare ("hesitate"). 

Under each of these senses several interpretations are possible accord- 
ing as the verb is taken as an afi&rmation or a question, and under sev- 
eral of them a choice between an active and passive meaning is possible. 
Most of the interpretations are too remote from the natural suggestion 
of the context, or any natural meaning of the verb, to be worth consid- 
ering, and none suits on the whole so well as the interpretation given 

The renderings of A.V., "Are ye not then partial?" and R.\'. mg., 
"Do ye not make distinctions? " are based on (2), the verb being given 
an active sense. This corresponds to the view of Grotius and others, 
and is perhaps not impossible, even with the passive aorist, but at best 
it would be unusual, it runs counter to all N. T. usage, and it gives an 
inherently weak and tautologous sense. To R.V. text, "Are ye not 
divided?" no objection from the ordinary meaning of the verb can 
be brought, but it is less idiomatic and pointed than the rendering 

/c/otrat" means "judges"; it cannot mean "approvers" (as 
Wetstein takes it). 

II, 4-5 193 

Kpiral BtaXoyicriJbMv Trovrjpcov, "judges with evil thoughts," 
gen. of quaHty. Evidently, like BieKpidrjre, this describes in 
language already famiHar an admittedly wrong attitude. There 
is a play on words in Sie/cptl^T^re, KpnaC, which cannot be imi- 
tated in English, and which goes far to account for the intro- 
duction of Kptrai into a context to which the idea of "judging" 
in any proper sense is foreign. That TrpoacoTroXrjixtpia is the 
characteristic sin of the bad judge may also have had its influ- 
ence. The sentence must be taken to mean : " You have passed 
judgments {i. e. on rich or poor) prompted by unworthy mo- 

For SiaXoYtffti.wv xovYjpuv, cf. Mt. 15'', Mk. 7-', and Ps. 56'. StaXo- 
YtopLoq (like narnc) is in Biblical usage a general word which includes 
purpose as well as deliberation. See Lightfoot on Phil. 2'^; Hatch, 
Essays, p. 8. 

5-7. The poor are the elect heirs of God, whereas the rich 
are your persecutors. 

These verses are intended to reinforce the exhortation of v. * 
by pointing out how peculiarly heinous in the readers' case is 
partiality in favour of the rich. 

5. aKovcrare, as in diatribes, cf. Bultmann, Stil der pauli- 
nischen Predigt, p. 32, with foot-notes. 

aSeX^ol iiov a'^airr^Toi^ inserted here for emphasis, cf. i^" 3^^. 

6eo^ i^eXe^aro. Election is a Jewish idea, cf. e. g. Deut. 
4^^ Ps. Sol. 9^ ; see Sanday, Romans, pp. 244 /. 248 f. 

Tois TTTW^ou? rat Koafiw, " the poor by the standard of the ^ 
world," TO) Koa-fim is dative of reference, or "interest," cf. Acts 
720 a<7Teto9 Tu) dew, 2 Cor. 10^, see Hadley- Allen, § 771 ; Winer, 
§ 31, 4, a. Cf. I Tim. 6i^*-, on which Schottgen quotes *''^y^ 
n^iy, Baba bathra 8, 2 ; D^yn "l^lTj;, ibid. 4, i. 

Others (Weiss, etc.) take xy x.6a[jicp as naming the possession which 
the poor lack. But the poor lack not "the world" but the world's 

The election of the poor to privileges is not here said to be 
due to any merit of their poverty, but, in fact, poverty and 
election coincide. This does not deny that an occasional rich 

194 JAMES 

man may have become a Christian, nor affirm that all the poor 
/ have been chosen, cf. i Cor. 1 26-28^ Mt. ig^^-^s, 

Iv T()) x,6at«.(p] minn. 

£v Touxcp Ttp y.6ff;x(j)] min*. 

ToO xoff^jLou] A^C^KLP minn. 

Tou xoafiou TOUTOu] minnp*"". 

owj mini. 

The reading of the older uncials easily accounts for all the others. 

TrXovaiovi iv iTLcrTet, "rich in the sphere of faith," "in the 
domain where faith is the chief good" ; i. e. rich when judged 
by God's standards. Cf. Lk. 1221, j ^or. is^ i Tim. i^ 6^*, Eph. 
^ 2^; and rabbinical "rich in the law" (i. e. learned), Wajjikra 
r. 33 on Prov. 29^' (Wetstein), Tanchuma 34, 3 (Schottgen on 
I Tim. 61^). 

The contrast of poor and rich in different spheres is a natural 
one. See quotations in Mayor^, p. 86, and Spitta, p. 63 ; cf. 
Rev. 2 9, Test. XII Patr. Gad f. 

Other modes of analysis of the meaning of Iv xtaTst do not affect 
the general sense of the phrase, but they seem less adapted to the con- 
text. Thus : 

(i) "rich by reason of faith"; 

(2) "rich in having an abundance of faith," cf. Eph. 2*, i Cor. i^ 
I Tim. 6'8. This unduly Hmits the range of the " riches." 

K\7]pov6fjLOv<; tt}? /SacnXeLa^. 

This expression corresponds to Mt. 25^^ i Cor. 6^- i" 15^" 
(KXrjpovofxelv ^aaiXetav), Gal. 5^1, as well as to KXrjpovofielv 
^corjv aloiVLOv in Mt. ig-'^ 25^'', Mk. lo^^ Lk. 10-'^ 18^** {cf. 
Dalman, Worte Jesti, i, pp. 102-104; E. Tr. pp. 125-127. 

"Heirs" are persons who are appointed to receive the in- 
heritance. The kingdom is here thought of as still future (as 
is shown by eTrrjyyeiXaro). The kingdom is not further de- 
scribed, nor does James use the term again, and it is possible 
to say of the term here only that it denotes the great blessing 
which God offers to his chosen, being thus practically equivalent 
1^ to salvation. Cf. Mt. 53. " Lk. 12^^ '-. 

n, 5-6 195 

See Westcott's note on Heb, 6^2 for the history of the use of 
the term Kk7]pov6fxo<i. 

gaatXetat;] AC read £xaYY£X[£]ta?. 

7}<i i7rr}yyeL\aT0 T0T9 ayaTraxriv avrov. On the expression, 
cj. 2 Tim. 4^^, Ep. ad Diogn. 10. 

Cf. 1^'-, Tov (TT€(j)avov tt}? ^ft)?}? kt\., with note. Life and the 
kingdom are practically identical. 

eTrrjyyeiXaro does not refer to any one specific occasion, and 
hence is better translated "has promised." Cf. Burton, Syn- 
tax of the Moods and Tenses of N. T. Greek, §§ 46, 52. The 
"promise" was implicit in the very conception of the kingdom. 

6. '^Ti/xdaaT€, "dishonoured," i. e. by your truckling to the :> 
rich. On aTtfid^etVj cf. Prov. 14-^ arifxdi^wv irevqra'i afiaprd- 
veL^ 22^2, Ecclus. io23, Acts 5^1. 

A.V. "despised" is a possible translation {cf. Field, Notes on the Trans- 
lation of the New Testament {Otium now. iii-), 1S99, p. 236, for good 
examples), but the context (v. 3) makes the R.V. "dishonoured" pref- 

TOV Tnoaxov, generic. Mayor well recalls i Cor. 11 22 for an- | "" 
other case of dishonour to the poor in early Christian life. 1 

KaTaBwaarevovaiv, "oppress," cf. Wisd. 2I", Amos 8^ Jer. 
7«, Ezek. 1812. 

For examples of such oppression, cf. Jas. 5^- '', and references 
in Spitta, p. 64, notes 9, 10, and 11; also Lucian, Nee. 20. 
^H^ISMA. 'ETretSr/ TroWd Kal Trapdvo/xa ol ifKovaLOi hpoicrt 
irapd TOV ^lov dpird^ovTe^ Kal fita^ofievoi Kal irdvTa TpOirov 
T(ov TrevrJTOJV KaTacfipovovvTe'; kt\. 

avToi, "Is it not they who," etc. Similarly, v. \ On avTO'i 
in nominative as personal pronoun with no intensive force, 
cf. Lex. s. V. avTO'i, II, 2. 

eXKOvaLV, so Acts i6i^ of "dragging" into court, cf. Lk. 12^8 
KaTaavpeiv 7rpb<; tov KptTr^v, Acts S'* (crvpcov), Acts 17"; a usual 
meaning, see Lexx. 

This does not seem to refer to religious persecution, which 
was at least as likely to proceed from the side of the poor as 

196 JAMES 

of the rich, but to other oppression, with legal action, arising 
from the ordinary working of social forces in an oriental com- 
munity and having to do with wages, debts, rents, and the like. 

Many think, indeed, of religious persecution (as Acts 6'-)- But this 
is not naturally suggested by xaxaotjvaaxeuouatv (instead of which we 
should in that case expect Stw/.oLi(jcv, cf. Mt. 5'°, Lk. 2V-, Acts 7^-, Gal. 
I"). Nor is it made necessary by pXotfftp-rjtxouatv, which seems to refer 
to a different act of hostility and is properly so punctuated by WH. 

€49 KpnrjpLa, "before judgment-seats," "into courts," cf. 
Sus. 49. On established courts throughout Palestine, see EB, 
"Government," §§ 30, 31; Schiirer, GJV, § 23, II. 

7. ^Xaa(f)r}iJLOvaiv. Blasphemy is injurious speech, especially 
irreverent allusion to God and sacred things. 

For blasphemy from the Christian point of view, i. e. against 
Christ, cf. Acts i3''5 18" 26^1, i Tim. i^\ i Cor. 12^, Justin, Dial. 
§ 117 (KpiaTOv) ovofxa (Be^rfkayOrivai Kara nraa-av rrjv yrjv ical 
p\.aa(^r]ixe1a6ai ol a/j^ie/aet? tov Xaov v/jlmv kol hihaaKaXoi 
elpyda-avTO, Pliny, Ep. x, 97^; Polyc. Mart. 9'' Xoihoprjaov 
TOV X-piarov. Cf. Hermas, Sim. ix, 19^ (of apostates). On 
blasphemy against God by the rich among the Jews, cf. Enoch 
5^ 94* ^- and other passages collected by Spitta, p. 65. 

It is not natural to take this of " those who profess to know God but 
by their works deny him" (Mayor), cf. Tit. i^s; Hermas, Sim. viii, 6^. 
Rom. 2-* (Is. 52^) Tb yap ovofxa tou GeoO 8t' b\Kdiq ^Xaa^TQtAecxat Iv lolc, 
eBysaiv, and the cognate passages, 2 Pet. 2^, i Tim. 6', Clem. Rom. 
I', 2 Clem. Rom. 13, etc., are all of a different tenor, although the 
language is similar ; the verb is there in the passive, and the blasphemy 
comes from the discredit which is thrown upon the Christian religion 
by the faults of those who profess it. 

TO KaXbv ovo/xa to iiriKXTjOev i(f) vpba'i. 

This means the name of Christ, to whom his followers belong, 
cf. I Pet. 414-16. Cf. 2 Sam. i2-», Amos 912, Is. 4S 2 Mace. S^^ 
eveKa r?}? eV avTOv<; iinKX-qaeco'; rod crefivov Kal /xejaXoTrpe- 
TToO? ovop^aTo^ avTov, 4 Ezra 10-- et nomen quod nominatum est 
super nos profanatum est, etc. For more references, see Mayor^, 
p. 88, Spitta, p. 65. In all these passages the reference is to 
Israel, dedicated to God by receiving his name. This idea was 

n, 6-8 197 

naturally transferred to the Christians, with a reference in their 
case to the name of Christ, Cf. Hermas, Sim. viii, 6^ ro ovofia 
Kvpiov TO iTriKXrjOev iir auTov?, and other cases of the use of 
ovoiia in Hermas, Sim. viii, ix, and xi, given in Heitmiiller, 
Jm Namen Jesu, 1903, p. 92. The phrase does not necessarily 
refer to baptism, nor to any definite name {e. g. ^pi(TTiavo{) 
by which Christians were known. See Harnack's note on 
Hermas, Sim. viii, 6^. 

6-7. It is very evident that "the rich" here are not Chris- 
tians. Those who maintain the opposite are driven to give 
to ^\aa(f)7]iMva-i,v the meaning rejected above. The rich are 
plainly neighbours who do not belong to the conventicle but 
may sometimes condescend to visit it. 

No word, however, hints that the two classes do not worship 
the same God, and the whole tone of the passage seems to imply 
a less complete departure from the dominant religion of the 
community than would have been the case in Rome or any 
heathen city. If the whole surrounding population were hea- 
then, the argument would have to be differently turned. Con- 
trast the tone of Phil. 2^'' ^■, Eph. 4^'-^^ Col. 3^ i Cor. 6'-K 

A settled and quiet state of things is indicated, in which the 
normal relations of the different classes of society prevail. The 
sense of missionary duty is not prominent. 

The situation is thus that of a sect of some sort living in a 
community whose more powerful members, though worshipping 
the same God as the sect, do not belong to it. 

8-11. The law of Love is no excuse for respect of persons. The 
cancelling of one precept by another is not permissible, for the 
whole law must be kept. The royal law is therefore not a license 
to violate other parts of the law. 

These verses are a reply to a supposed excuse, viz. that the 
Christian is required by the law of love to one's neighbour to 
attend to the rich man. This excuse by the pretext of "love" 
is parallel to the excuse by the pretext of "faith," w. "-". 
Cf. also i^^' 26. Like Mt. 5^^^-, this passage is opposing a wrong 
and self-indulgent use of the principle that the law of love cov- 
ers the whole law. 

198 JAMES 

8. €i /xevToi, "if now," "if indeed." The particle /xevroi, 
besides its common adversative force, *'but," "nevertheless" 
(so Prov. 54 i625. 26 229 2612, Jn. 4^? 713 12^2 20^ 21", 2 Tim. 2^^), 
has a "confirmative" meaning, as a strengthened /^eV, hardly 
to be translated. In such cases it indicates an implied contrast, 
which appears in the present instance in the correlative Se of 
V. 9. Cf. Jude 8, and see Kiihner-Gerth, Grammatik der griech. 
Sprache\ § 503, 3, g. 

vofjiov ^aaiXiKov, "the royal law." v6/xo<i means the Law of 
God, as known to the readers through the Christian interpreta- 
tion of the O. T. The article is probably omitted because v6fio<; 
is treated as a quasi-proper noun, as in 2"- ^^ 4" ; cf. \0701?, Jas. 

j22, 23^ 

Most take the "royal law" to be identical with the jpacfirj 
{legum regina) quoted immediately. But W/xo? is not used in 
the sense of cvtoXt] (cf. Mt. 22^^ iroia ivroXr] fjLeydXr} iv to. 
vofiQ)), and it is therefore better to take ^ao-iXcKov as a deco- 
rative epithet describing the law as a whole, of which the fol- 
lowing precept is a part. The expression Kara Tr)v ypacji'^v 
icrX. implies, indeed, that the perfect observance of this pre- 
cept covers the observance of the whole law, as in Mk. 12^^, 
Rom. 138, Gal. 5", cf. Lev. ig^"", Jn. 1512. 

It is thus not necessary to make an unnatural distinction between 
v6[xo? here and in v. ^ 

^aaikLKov^ i. e. "supreme." Cf. Philo, De justitia, 4 ^acriXi- 
Krjv he etdiOev ovofid^eiv M.(ov(Trj<; oBov rrjv fiea-qv^ De congress, 
erud. grat. 10 ; 4 Mace. 14^. The term either goes back to the 
tradition that kings are supreme sovereigns, or else is drawn 
from the use of jSacrtXevs to mean the Roman emperor. 

At the same time there may be here an allusion to the Stoic 
conception of the wise as "kings," parallel to the lurking allu- 
sion in i^s to the conception of the wise as alone "free." The 
Law of Christians is alone fit for "kings." Cf. the similar appli- 
cation of the word lBaai\iK6<i in Clem. Al. Strain, vi, 18, p. 825; 
vii, 12, p. 876, and the other passages quoted by Mayor^, p. 90; 
also I Pet. 2'. See Knowling's good note, p. 49, Zahn, Einlei- 

II, 8-IO 199 

tung, i, § 6, note i, and for the Stoic paradox the references 
in Zeller, Philosophie der Griechen*, III, i, p. 256, note 5. 

As in 1^5, so here, the attribute of the law is decorative and 
suggestive only ; it is not meant specifically to distinguish the 
true law from some other inferior one. 

The interpretation of PaatXtx6v as "given by the King" (God or 
Christ) has nothing to recommend it. Equally little has Calvin's in- 
genious reference to "the king's highway," "plana scilicet, recta, et 

Tr)U 'ypa(^r}V^ i. e. "passage of Scripture" (Lev. 19^^) ; cf. Mk. 
i2i°, Jn. 19-^, Lightfoot on Gal. 3--. 

Tov ttXtjctCov. Properly "neighbour," in LXX for Hebrew 
J?"^," friend," "fellow countryman," or "other person" generally, 
and so, under the influence of the teaching of Jesus (Lk. lo^^-"), 
equivalent to erepo^ {cf. especially Rom. 13^' ^^ 15^). 

9. aaaprCav ipyd^eade, cf. i^ and note. Such conduct is 
sin, directly forbidden by the law, and hence cannot be excused 
as a fulfilment of the royal law. y 

i\€'y')(pfi€Vot inro rov vofxov. Cf. Lev. 19^^ ov \')]/x\pr] irpocroj- 
TTOV TTTco'^ou ovSe duvfidaet^ TTpocrooTrov Svpciarov, ev BiKaiocvvrj 
Kpivei'i Tov 7r\i]aiov a-ov, Deut. i^" i6^^ 

10. 6a-TL<i . . . rrjpija-r}, with av omitted. Cf. Burton, Moods 
and Tenses, 307, Blass-Debrunner, § 380. 

TTip^oT)] BSC minn 1^ ^^^ 
t:t]pti(tecJ KLr mmnp''^'' ) 

xXTjpwffsi] A minn. 

Tikripdiaxq TTjpTjast] 33. 

TsX^ast] minn, cf. v. '. 
The future is probably an emendation called out by the absence of av. 
The same thing has happened to %xxlaT], for which KLP minnp'»f have 
TUTat'ffst. The synonyms, and the conflation in ^Sy 3-re interesting. 

Trraia-rj, in sense of "sin," Rom. ii", Jas. 3^, cf. Deut. 7-^ 
See M. Aur. Anton, vii, 22 thtov dvOpoiirov (fnXetu koX rov<i 
inaiovTa^, Maximus Tyr. Diss. 26 rt? he ctvrjp dyadb^ w? 
SieXdelv ^iov aTrraiaroyi ; 

iv ivi, "in one point," neuter, since vdfio^ is not used of 
single precepts. 


200 JAMES 

TrdvTcov evo')(p<i. iravrav is neuter, and the genitive, as in 
] classical Greek, denotes the crime. This is a rhetorical way 
of saying that he is a transgressor of "the law as a whole" 
(irapa/SaTT]'? vo/jlov^ v. "), not of all the precepts in it. 

For similar emphasis on the several individual precepts which make 
up the law, cf. Mt. 51', and especially Test. XII Patr. Aser 2°-i'> 
(Charles's translation): "Another stealeth, doeth unjustly, plundereth, 
defraudeth, and withal pitieth the poor : this too hath a twofold aspect, 
but the whole is evil. He who defraudeth his neighbour provoketh 
God, and sweareth falsely against the Most High, and yet pitieth the 
poor : the Lord who commandeth the law he setteth at nought and 
provoketh, and yet he refresheth the poor. He defileth the soul and 
maketh gay the body ; he killeth many, and pitieth a few : this too 
hath a twofold aspect, but the whole is evil. Another committeth 
adultery and fornication, and abstaineth from meats, and when he 
fatteth he doeth evil, and by the power of his wealth overwhelmeth 
many; and notwithstanding his excessive wickedness he doeth the 
commandments : this, too, hath a twofold aspect, but the whole is 
evil. Such men are hares ; for they are half clean, but in very deed 
are unclean. For God in the tables of the commandments hath thus 

The roots of this verse evidently lie in rabbinical modes of empha- 
sising the importance of certain special precepts and of every precept. 
Thus Shemoth rabba 25 fin., "The Sabbath weighs against all the 
precepts"; Shabbath, 70, 2, "If he do all, but omit one, he is guilty 
for all severally." Schottgen and Wetstein give many sayings of sim- 
ilar tenor from rabbinical writings of various dates. 

Augustine, Ep. 167 ad Hier., draws a comparison with the Stoic doc- 
trine of the solidarity of virtues and vices. The Stoic doctrine is that 
virtue is an indivisible whole, a man is either virtuous or vicious. The 
wise (or virtuous) _is free from fault, the foolish (or vicious) does no right 
act; hence Vaa xd djiapxTjixaTa xal xd xaxopGwixaxa. The character of 
every act depends on the controlling inner purpose and disposition. 
See Zeller, Philosophie der Griechen*, III, i, pp. 251-263, with abun- 
dant references. This doctrine has plainly nothing to do with that of 

11. /A^ fji,0L)(^ev(r7}<i . . . ixrj (fiOvevcrr)<i. Ex. 20^^- ^^, Deut. 5^^*-. 
This order, in which the seventh commandment is mentioned 
before the sixth, is perhaps due to the order found in the LXX 
(Cod. B, not AF) of Ex. 20. So Lk. iS^", Rom. 13', Philo, De 
deed. 12, 24, 32, De spec. leg. iii, 2 ; but not so Mt. s^^- ^\ 

II, IO-I3 20I 

C minnp*""' syr'»''i arm have conformed the text to the usual order 
by putting murder first. In the following sentence this is done by 
minnp'""=' arm. 

ov fjLocx€vet<i. ov follows the regular N. T. usage in present 
simple conditions. Cf. Buttmann, § 148 ; Burton, § 469 ; J. 
H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 170/.; Winer, § 55, 2, c (where 
it is said that el ov makes the negative emphatic). Here, since 
the negative belongs only to a part of the protasis (fJi^Lx^vei<i) 
and not to the rest {^ovev€i<i), ov is in any case necessary. 

12-13. General exhortation to remember the Judgment, which 
is the sanction of the law ; together with special inculcation of the 
precept of mercy, violated by their respect of persons. 

12. XaXeTre, Troietre, cf. i^^- 23-25, 25^ ^ section which seems to 
be in mind in this summarising exhortation. 

The collocation is very common, e. g. Test. XII Patr. Gad 6^, 
cf. Acts i^ 722 eV Xoyoi^ koI epjoi,<; avTov (and commentaries), 
I Jn. 31*, and Lex. s. v. epjov, 3. 

8ia v6/xov e\ev6epia<i, "under the law of liberty." Cf. i^S; 
^Lo, here indicates the "state or condition in which one does or 
suffers something" ; see Lex. s. v. 8cd, A. I. 2 ; cf. e. g. Rom. 2^' 
Slo, vojjuov KpidrjcrovTaL. 

13. 'yap introduces the reason why the sin of respect of 
persons will be punished with special severity. It involves a 
breach of the law of mercy, and that has as its consequence 
unmerciful punishment. 

apeXeo<;. Found only here for the usual avT]\€i]<i, dj^eXe?;?, 
but regularly formed from the noun eXeo?; see Moulton and 
Milligan, Vocabulary of the Greek Testament. 

L minnps™" read avfXewc;. 

On the thought, cf Mt. 5^ 6^^ 71 iS^^-^^, Ps. iS^^- 2", Ecclus. 
282 ff-, Test. XII Patr. Zab. 5 and 8. Jer. Baba q. viii, 10, 
"Every time that thou art merciful, God will be merciful to 
thee; and if thou art not merciful, God will not show mercy 
to thee," Rosh hash. 17 a, "To whom is sin pardoned? to him 
who forgives injury." 

KaratcavxaraL eXeo'i Kpiaeco^, "mercy boasts over (or against) 

202 JAMES 

judgment." e\eo? is human mercy shown in practise, /c/aio-etB? 

^ is God's condemnatory judgment, cf. Jas. 5^2^ Jn. 5^4. This 
gives the converse of the previous sentence. As the unmerciful 
will meet with no mercy, so a record of mercy will prevent con- 

udemnation. Cf. 520 and Ecclus. 3^0 40", Tob. 49-". The doc- 
trine (and need) of God's forgiving mercy is here assumed in 
regular Jewish fashion. 

On the great importance ascribed to mercy as a virtue in Jewish 
thought, see Bousset, Religion des Jiidentums-, pp. 162 /. 

The contrast of God's opposing attributes of mercy and justice does 
not seem to be in mind here. The contrast of eXeoq and xpfan; is a 
natural one, and is found in both Greek and Jewish sources, cf. Diog. 
Laert. ii, 3% references to Bereshith r. in Wetstein, and the references 
in Spitta, p. 70, note 6. 

/.a-raxauxatott is found elsewhere only in Jas. 3'^, Rom. ii"^, Zech. 
1012, Jer. 5o[27]'> x.aTsxocux^'^Os Stapxat^ov-rs- x-fjv 7,XT)povo[j.cav [jlou, 
5o[27]38. It does not occur in secular writers, i Cor. 15^^ well illus- 
trates the meaning of this word. 

xoETajtauxaxat] B ( — re) i<KL minnp'" fif m vg Aug boh. 

f.a.-za.7.0Luyjk<s%tji\ A 33 minnP''"". 

•f.<xx(x%(xuya'3^A C- syrp^"!". 

xai:a>tauxau9e is insufficiently attested and is probably due to an 
error. xo;Tg^ux«'^9<"> 's the harder reading, but the group A 2,2, points 
to an emendation. 

eXso? xpiffsw?] CKL minn read eXsov xpfasw?. Since the accusa- 
tive yields no sense, this must ^ve been understood as xb g'Xsov, 
attested by Ps.-Herodian, Epimerismoi, ed. Boissonade, 1819, p. 235, 
^nd not found elsewhere. 

14-26. Neither does the possession of Faith give any license 
to dispense with good works. 

This touches another case of substitution of a sham for the 
reaUty ; cj. 122-25, 26 f. 38 f.. As an e.xcuse, faith is worth no more 
than love. 

The fundamental idea of a warning against sham is common 
enough to all moralists. The special interest here is that James 
makes his contrast not between, e. g., sayings and doings, but 
between two terms important in Christian thought, viz., faith 

II, 13-14 203 

and works, and that in the course of his argument he uses other 
theological terms and reveals an acquaintance with many diverse 
theological conceptions and modes of thought. 

14. Faith, if it does not lead to good works, is impotent to 

Ti o^eXo9, cf. V. 1^ I Cor. 1532, and (ti? w^eXia) Ecclus. 203" 
41^^, Job 21^^ o(f)e\o^ is found in LXX only once (Job 15'). 
Cf. tC yap (or ovv, or Be) 6(f)€\o^ (note absence of the article, as 
here), Philo, De poster. Cain. 24, Quod deus immut. 33, De agric. 
30; Teles (ed. Hense), p. 27 tl ovv 6(^e\o<i to ovT(o<i e^et^; ri 
o(/)eXo9 was a common expression in the vivacious style of the 
moral diatribe. See Bultmann, Stil der paulinischen Predict, 
P- 33- 

ogsKoq] EC* 102 ; cf. V. " (sine ^6, BC*), i Cor. 15" (sine z6, DFG). 
•zh oqjeXo?] SAC^KL minnf^'^ 0"°, probably emendation. 

a8€X(f)0i fiov. Marks a new paragraph"^ cf. 2^, -etc. 

iriaTLv. Introduced without the article as a new idea; cf. 
r] irCaTL'i, v. ^^, and i^- ^' ^^ 

Cf. 1^' " 2^' ^' "-" 51^. Faith (c/. especially 2^) is here assumed 
to be the fundamental attitude of the Christian adherent, which 
makes him a Christian. No ground exists for thinking that 
this assumption was, or could be, doubted b}^any one. All 
Christians (cf. inaTOi, "believers," Acts 16^ 2 Cor. 6^^ i Tim. 
S^f^) have faith, and Jam^s uses the term, without any. attempt 
at the formation of an exadrpsychological concept of the con- 
tents of faith, merely as the ordinary term familiar to all for a 
well-known inner state. The cases of the demons, Abraham, 
and Rahab all present an analogy to Christian faith which, 
while inadequate, is yet valuable for argument — the more so 
that Abraham and Rahab were recognised on all hands to have 
been "justified." 

Xeyrj, "say," in presenting his claim to be approved of men 
and of God. So i^'' firjSeU XeyeTco, cf. 2^. This word is not to 
be too much emphasised, as if it meant "pretend," and as if 
doubt were seriously thrown on the man's actual possession of 
faith. The inadequate and empty "faith" which produces no 

204 JAMES 

works may be hardly worthy of the name, but it is not necessa- 
rily a deliberate hypocrisy. 

The contrast is not between saying (Xey?;) and doing {epya 
'^XV)j s-s it was in i^^ between hearing and doing; it is rather 
between mere adherence to Christianity and conduct, or between 
church-membership and life {iriaTiv ei^eti', ep'ya exeiv). 

epya, cf. i". 

€p<ya seems here a recognised term for "good deeds." Cf. Mt. 
5^^ 23^, Rom. 2^, Jn. 320, Tit. i^^ etc., etc., where to. epya means 
"conduct," which is made up of an infinite number of separate 
epya. For the use of the word in moral relations, cf. Prov. 2412 
09 aTToStScoaiv mdaTU) Kara ra epya avrov, Ps. 62^-, Apoc. 
Bar. ^i'^ "saved by their works," 4 Ezra 7^\ Pirke Aboth, iii, 
14; iv, 15, and many other passages referred to by Spitta, pp. 

On the expression epya ex^iv, Triariv e\;eti', cf. 4 Ezra 7" 
g32 j^-is "even such as have works and faith toward the Al- 
mighty," Apoc. Bar. 1412 (the righteous) "have with them a 
store of works preserved in treasuries." 

The epya here do not appear as specifically €pya vopov ; the 
word merely denotes conduct as contrasted with faith. This 
contrast cannot be original with this writer {cf. 4 Ezra 9^ i3^0- 

The contrast of faith and works will appear wherever faith 
is held to be the fundamental characteristic of the true members 
of the religious community, while at the same time a body of 
laws regulating conduct is set forth as binding. It is inevitable 
that by some, whether in practise or in theory, the essential 
underlying unity of the two absolute requirements will be over- 
looked and one or the other regarded as sufficient. This will 
always call out protests like that of James, who represents the 
sound and sensible view that not one only but both of these 
requirements must be maintained. 

In the discussions of the Apostle Paul the contrast is the same 
in terms, but its real meaning is different and peculiar. Paul's 
lofty repudiation of "works" has nothing but the name in com- 
mon with the attitude of those who shelter their deficiencies of 
conduct under the excuse of having faith. Paul's contrast was 

II, 14 205 

a novel one, viz. between the works of an old and abandoned 
system and the faith of a newly adopted one. His teaching was 
really intended to convey a doctrine of forgiveness. 

Our author, on the other hand, with nothing either of Paul's 
subtlety or of his mystical insight into the act of faith and 
glorification of faith's contents, is led to draw the more usual 
contrast between the faith and works which are both deemed 
necessary under the same system. Hence, while faith is the 
same thing with both — an objective fact of the Christian life, 
the works of which they speak are different — in one case the con- 
duct required by the Jewish law, in the other that demanded 
by Christian ethics. That the two in part coincided does 
not make them the same. One was an old and abandoned fail- 
ure, impotent to secure the salvation which it was believed to 
promise, the other was the system of conduct springing from 
and accompanying a new life. 

But this distinction, while it makes plain that James is not 
controverting what Paul meant, yet does not insure the full 
agreement of James and Paul, for Paul, although he would have 
heartily admitted the inadequacy of a faith which does not 
show itself in works, would never have admitted that justifica- 
tion comes e| epjoiu. James has simply not learned to use 
Paul's theology, and betrays not the slightest comprehension 
of the thought of Paul about faith and the works of the Law. 

The contrast between reliance on membership in the religious 
community and on conduct is as old as Amos and the Hebrew 
prophets, and comes out in the words of John the Baptist, and 
of Jesus in the Synoptics and John. All that James adds to 
these is the term ''faith," to denote the essential element in the 
membership, and then an elaborate discussion in which the terms 
and instances of later Jewish theology are freely employed. 

The use (see below) of the same formula which Paul seems to 
have created indicates that Paul had preceded James, but it is 
plain that James had made no study of Paul's epistles, and these 
formulas may have come to his knowledge without his having 
read Paul's writings, which, we must remember, the Book of 
Acts does not even mention. See Introduction, supra, pp. 35 /. 

2o6 JAMES 

fir} BvvaTaL rj iriaTL'; aSiaat auroV; cj. i^* (and note) 4" 

This question is presented as if it admitted of but one an- 
swer, and that a self-evident one. 

15-17. Illustration from the emptiness of words of charity 
as a substitute for deeds. 

This is not, like the closely similar verses, 2'- f-, a concrete in- 
stance of James's contention, but a little parable ; for another 
parable to the same purport, cf. 2^^. The illustration is ab- 
ruptly introduced, as in 3"' ^^. 

The comparison has itself a moral significance, and the same 
thought is found in other Uterature, e.g. Plautus, Epid. 116/. 
nam quid te igitur rettulit beneficum esse oratione si ad rem aux- 
ilium emortuomst? 

15. IAv] Bt< 2>S 69 minn ff m. 

lav 8^] ACKL minnp'" vg syrpe^h- hoi. 
lav ifap] sah. 

ryvfivoi^ "naked," in the sense of "insufficiently clad"; cf. 
Job 22^ "stripped the naked of their clothing," Is. 20^' ^ 58^, 
Jn. 21'^ (without the eirevhvTrj'i) , Mt. 25^6 ff-. Acts iq^'^; see ref- 
erences in L. arid S. 

The plural after singular subjects connected by V is in ac- 
cord with the occasional usage of good Greek writers. See 
Hadley-Allen, §608; Blass-Debrunner, § 135. Buttmann and 
Blass ascribe the plural here to the fact that the two nouns are 
of different genders, but this is not the case in all the examples 
from secular Greek. 

i(f)r}/x€pov Tpo(f)r]<;, "food for the day," "the day's supply of 

The word i(f)i]fi€po<i is not in the 0. T., but this whole phrase 
is found in Diod. iii, 32 ; Dion. Hal. viii, 41; Aristides, xhx, ed. 
Dindorf, p. 537. It is an expression natural to secular Greek, 
and used here, much like the English "daily bread," to describe 
the poor person's need as urgent ; cf. Philo, In Flacc. 1 7 TrevrjTe^ 
ia/jLev Koi /Ji,6\i<; to icp^fiepov et? avra to, avajKala iropi^eiv 
Bvvdfxeda, Ps.-Plutarch, An vitios. p. 499 C TrpoaaiTijaLU ij)r}- 

II, 14-17 207 

fiepov rpo^ri<i. Other extracts may be found in Mayor', p. 97, 
and Field, Notes on the Translation oj the New Testament, 1899, 
pp. 236/. ^ 

16. vTrdyere iu elpiqvrj, "good bye," a Jewish expression; 
cf. Acts i636, Mk. 5^^ Lk. ;«*, Judg. iS^, i Sam. i^^ 20*2, 2 Sam. 
^5^ ; ^/- J- Friedmann, Der gesellschaftliche Verkehr und die 
Umgangsformeln in talmudischer Zeit, Berlin, 1914, p. 34. 

depfiaivecrOe koI xoprd^ea-Oe. The context requires that these 
be taken as passive ; and, indeed, in order to say " warm and 
feed yourselves" it would be necessary in the late usage of 
the N. T. to use the active with a reflexive pronoun, u/xa? 
ayroi)?, leairroy? ; cf. e.g. i^- 7rapa\o<yt,^6fji,evot eavTOv<i. Cf. 
Blass-Deb runner, § 310. 

That Gspixatvetv was commonly used of the effect of warm clothes 
is shown by Job 31-", Hag. i% but also by Plut. QucbsL conviv. vi, 6, 
p. 691 D, and a curious passage (quoted by Wetstein) in which Galen 
(De vir. medic, simpl. ii) criticises the common neglect of writers to 
observe the distinction between that which warms and that which 
merely keeps off the cold. 

Ba)Te, plural after rt?, which is treated as a kind of collective. 
See Hadley-Allen, § 609 a ; Kriiger, § 58, 4, A. 5. 

Ta iiTLTijSeLa, "the necessaries of life." Not elsewhere in 
the N. T. ; occasionally in LXX, but with no corresponding 
Hebrew word. 

otfzkoi;] sine to BC*; cf. v. '<. 

17. ovTOJ^, making the application of the parable, cf. Lk. 151" 

iap fit] exo epya, cf. vv. ^^' '^' -^ 17 7riaTL<; %w/3t9 [tmu] epywu. 

Faith is said to "have" works, perhaps in the sense of "at- 
tendance or companionship" (Lex. s. v. e%w I, 2, c). 

v6Kpd, cf. V. 2^. The two things which are opposed are not 
faith and works (as with Paul) but a living faith and a dead 
faith. The dead faith is also called apy^ (v. -°) ; cf. i^^ fxdTato<;. 
It is not denied that faith can exist without works, but it is the 
wrong kind of faith. 

On the figurative use of ve/cp6<i for "inactive and useless," 

2o8 JAMES 

Rom. 6" 78, Heb. 6^ 9^^ cj. Epict. Diss, iii, 23^8 koI firjv av firj 
Tavra (sc. a conviction of sin) efiiroLjj 6 tov (j)i\oar6(}30v X070?, 
V€Kp6<; iaTL koI avTO<i icai 6 Xeycav. 

Ka6' kavTrjv^ "in itself" (R.V.), strengthens veKpd, "inwardly 
dead"; not merely hindered from activity, but defective in its 
own power to act; see 2 Mace. 13^^, Acts 28^'^, Rom. 14-2, and 
secular references in Lex. s. v. Kara, II, i, e, cf. Gen. 30^ 43 3^. 

Of the various renderings proposed the only other one deserving 
mention is that of Grotius and others, who give it this meaning of "by 
itself," "alone" (ff sola), but interpret, "faith without works is dead, 
being alone." This involves a tautology, and in strictness would 
require the addition of the participle oiHaa. 

18. A possible rejoinder in behalf of the censured persons, 
and its refutation. 

Supposed bringer of excuses: "One has pre-eminently 
faith, another has pre-eminently works." 

James: "A live faith and works do not exist sepa- 
a\X' epel tl^. An objection or defense suggested, as in i^^ 
2*-". For the half-dialogue form, cf. Rom. 9^* ii^^, i Cor. 15^^ 
aXka ipel tl^^ 4 Mace. 2 2^, Ep. Barn. 9^, and innumerable pas- 
sages in the Greek morahsts. See Introduction, supra, p. 12. 

The future here "denotes a merely supposable case" (Lat. dicaf), 
Winer, § 40, b, p. 280; Buttmann, § 139, 18; Viteau, Grec dii N. T., 
Le verbe, § 43. Cf. Heb. 11'-. 

In reply to the censure upon those who rely on faith and 
neglect conduct, it is here suggested that one person has faith 
{cf. I Cor. 12^ irepq) iriaTv^ iv rw avrw irvev/xaTL), another 
works, doubtless not in either case with perfect exclusiveness 
but in pre-eminent degree. This is a defense which suggests 
antinomianism, but includes a curious tolerance. While ob- 
viously weak — a weaker position, indeed, than downright anti- 
nomianism — ^it has a certain plausibility, and very likely fairly 
expresses the underl)dng unformulated philosophy of not a few 

The objector's words are contained in one sentence; then 

II, 17-18 209 

James replies with Sei^ov fwi kt\. This sentence is e\ddently 
from the point of view of vv. ^^-'^ and is intended flatly and 
comprehensively to deny that faith and works are separate 
gifts, like, for instance, prophecy and healing. 

o-v, Kayo). The pronouns do not refer to James and the 
objector, but are equivalent to et<?, erepo^;, "one," "another," 
and are merely a more picturesque mode of indicating two 
imaginary persons. Very much the same is true of "thou" 
and "I" in the second half of the verse, where James has no 
idea of emphasising his own superior uprightness. 

ou cannot be made to refer to James (i) because James is contend- 
ing not for faith but for works, and (2) because James's personality has 
up to this point been so little prominent (the first person has been only 
used in the conventional address dSeX9ot [xou), that some clear indi- 
cation of such a direct contrast between him and the objector would 
be expected, at least igel -ziq Ifxoi instead of epst xiq. 

For a similar usage cf. the quotation from Bion in a fragment of the 
Cynic Teles (ed. Hense^, pp. 5/., from Stobaeus, Anthol. iii, i, 98 [Mein. 
V) 67]), [lY) oi!iv ^ouXou S£UTepoX6Yo<; wv tb xpwToXoYou xpoawicov ' et Ss \}A], 
av(jl:p(i,0ffT6v xi Ti:otT)aet<;. au jxev apxetq xaXu?, ey(!j Ss apxonat, cpT]ffl {sc. 6 
Bt'wv), xotl ai [Asv icoXXwv, eytl) Ss Ivb? toutoui xatSaYwybq yevoiJievoq, xal 
au [jlIv euxopoq Yev6[JL£V0(; St'Swq IXeuOepfox;, eytl) Ss Xaix^avw eu6apffti>(; 
xapa aoG oux utcotcixtwv ouSe ayevvti^uv ouBs [ji,e[jii|it(j.otp(I)v. 

Teles (c. 230 B.C.), quoting his predecessor Bion, is urging that every 
man must play the part that Fortune assigns him, and says : "If, then, 
you are a second-class actor, don't envy the role of the first-class player. 
If you do, you will commit blunders. You are a ruler, I am a subject 
(says [Bion]); you have many under you, I, as a tutor, but this one; 
and you grow prosperous and give generously, while I cheerfully receive 
from you without fawning or degrading myself or complaining." 

It is to be noted that in the first sentence from Teles au is the man 
with the inferior actor's part, while in the rest of the passage au is the 
more prosperous man, in contrast to the speaker, who modestly pre- 
sents himself as the representative of lesser worldly fortune. This is 
not unlike the way in which James (see below) fails to preserve strictly 
the r61es of his fragmentary dialogue. 

On the "ideal" second person in Greek (equivalent to ziq), see Gil- 
dersleeve. Syntax of Classical Greek, i, igoo, p. 41, with many examples. 

e;)(;ei9. To be taken as an affirmation not a question. ^X^^? 
and e^oi are manifestlv parallel. 


iriaTiv means ttIcttiv %&)/ot9 tmv epycov, or, at least, with a 
minimum of €pya, epya is epya with a minimum of TTLcrTif. 

Sel^ov, "show," "prove," "demonstrate," cf. Jas. 3'^ Here 
begins the reply addressed to the objector. James replies, first, 
by a challenge to the objector to produce a case of faith stand- 
ing by itself without accompanying works. This challenge rests 
on the assumption that such a "dead" faith is really no faith 
at all. James, however, does not pursue that aspect of the mat- 
ter, but proceeds, secondly (Kcfyo) aoi Sei^o)), with the converse 
of the first challenge, in the form of an offer to show that any 
case of works supposed to stand by themselves without under- 
lying faith is merely deceptive and really implies a co-existent 

On the form of expression, by challenge and offer, cf. Theoph. 
Ad Autol. i, 2 Set^ov /ml tov avdpwirov aov Kayo) croi Sei^o) tov 
6e6v fiov, Epictet. i, 6*^ eyfo aoi hei^oi , , . ai) B' ifiol SeiKVve 
and other references in Bultmann, p. 33. 

Xwpfc] BJ^ACP minn ff vg boh sah syrp''='>- •><■' arm. 

I/.] KL minn'°°s« p'". An unfortunate conformation to the follow- 
ing clause, which spoils the sense. 

It is interesting that in the EngUsh A.V. the influence of the Vulgate 
(sine) led to the rendering "without," which is not a correct translation 
of the Received Greek Text, which reads ex. 

Xwpl? Tuv ?pYO)v] CKL minnp'" add aou, doubtless part of the same 
emendation which produced ex. 

Kayo) croi Sei^o). "From the very existence of righteous con- 
duct the fact of faith can be demonstrated, for without faith 
I could not do the works." Note the elegant construction of 
this sentence in which the chiastic order irlaTiv — epyoav^ epycov 
— TTiartv well corresponds to the natural emphasis. 

xayw ffot Set'^w] BS minn. 

xayo) Sef^w aoi] ACKL minn vg. A weakening conformation to 
order of preceding oeisov [loi. 

ex Twv epywv [kou] ff vg syr''"' omit (Jiou, by a conformation to their 
text of the preceding clause. 

II, l8 211 

icfaTiv 3°] Bi<C s^ minn ff. 

lutaxiv (iou] AKLP minnp'«'' vg boh sah syrps^b- hci. Conformation to 

Tl^jV Xl'aTtV ffOU. 

The interpretations of this difificult verse are very numerous and for 
the most part highly subtle and unsatisfactory. The interpretation 
presented above, which was given by Pott in Koppe's Novum Testa- 
mcntiim', 1816, and by H. Bouman, Commcntariits perpetuus in Jacohi 
epistolam, Utrecht, 1865, differs from others in taking au and lyw in 
the defense as referring merely to two representatives of different types 
of religion, not to the writer of the epistle and the objector himself. 
Thereby one of the chief difficulties of the exegesis is overcome, namely, 
the difficulty that 06 and eyw in the objection (v. '^a) ^q not suit well 
the corresponding iixoi, tiou, and aou, aoi, in the retort of James (v. '">). 
With any other mode of interpretation it seems impossible to gain a 
satisfactory sense from the passage. 

The interpretations are divided into two main groups, according as 
dXk' ipel iiq is taken (i) as interposing a reply in defense of the ten- 
dency censured in vv. '^-i', or (2) as introducing the reinforcement of 
an ally who adds his word in the same contention as that of James. 

I. 11c, as an objector. 

This interpretation (which I adopt) finds its support chiefly in the 
argument used above, that this is the only natural meaning of the phrase 
aXk' spsc Tt<; in such a context. Under this view the words introduced 
by ipel will not extend beyond s'xw, v. '« », for Sel^ov x-cX. is evidentlj' 
spoken in the interest of James's main contention. As to how the 
words ('* ^) can express an objection, and what that objection is, opin- 
ions have been various. The first and most obvious difficulty in this 
view has always been that the objector seems to declare that James 
has faith, while the objector himself has works. That would reverse 
their respective parts, and the difficulty has been met in three ways. 

1. Since the objection is quoted by James, au is taken as if from 
James's point of view and lyw as if referring to James : "But someone 
will say, 'Thou (/. c. the representative of the class just censured) hast 
faith, while I (James) have works.' " This is taken either (a) as a de- 
fense of the class censured, on the ground that several types of religion 
are alike admissible, or (b) as an attack upon James, who is declared 
to have only works (which are inferior to faith), whereas the person 
attacked has faith, the superior quality (so Weiss). To this, under 
either form, (a) or (&), James replies that faith cannot exist alone. 

Both these explanations are exposed to the fatal difficulty that the 
objection of the defender is given in direct discourse (as, e. g., in 2^) so 
that syci cannot possibly refer to James; the interpretation of Weiss 
is exposed to the further, equally fatal, objection that it is impos- 
sible to suppose that James could have introduced, in the mouth of a 

212 JAMES 

supposititious defender, such an insulting personal attack on himself. 
The rhetorical device of the objector's defense is very characteristic of 
Greek popular moral exhortation of this period, and is always adopted 
solely in order to state vividly a possible point of view, in itself not 
wholly unreasonable, but liable to the crushing rejoinder with which 
the author follows it. It must be assumed as intended to aid, not to 
hinder, the development of the main contention. To withdraw the 
reader's mind from the main subject by raising the question of the 
author's own character and principles would be a strangely inept turn. 
Moreover, for Weiss's view the precise bearing of the attack (through 
the supposed inferiority of works to faith) would have to be more clearly 
expressed. James nowhere lays himself open to the accusation that he 
thinks works can exist without faith. 

2. A second way of meeting the difficulty is that of von Soden, WH. 
mg., and others, who take gxet<; as a question, by which doubt is ex- 
pressed of James's possession of faith ; thus : 

James: "Faith without works is dead." 

Opponent: "Hast thou any faith?" 

James: "1 have works. Show me thy faith without works, and I 
will prove that I have faith." 

Apart from the fact that this interpretation gives the passage too 
much the character of personal debate, with an argumentmn ad hominem, 
to suit the style proper to general hortatory moral writing, this theory 
fails because it does violence to the Greek. For (a), in order to call in 
question James's faith, the opponent would have had to say \^'ii au Tcfartv 
?xet? ; (c/. e. g. V. •*)• The present form of the question would be wholly 
weak and unnatural, {h) The theory neglects the obvious parallelism 
of aCt e'xeti;, xiyfi) s'xg), in which the presence of /.at and the lack of any 
sufficient introduction to the second part make it impossible to assume 
that we have a question and answer. 

3. (a) In despair of any other solution, Pfleiderer, Urchrislentiim, 
»i887, p. 874 ; 2igo2, ii, p. 547 ; E. Y. Hincks {Journal of Bibl. Literature, 
xviii, 1899, pp. 199-201), Baljon, Katholieke Brieven, 1904, p. 42, have 
declared the text corrupt, and propose to read against all Mss. (except 
the Latin Codex Corbeiensis [ff], the reading of which is admittedly a 
secondary correction) au 'igf<x ^x^'? y-iyiii xiaiiv sx<i). 

The meaning will then be, as in the explanation defended above, an 
appeal by the opponent to the equal value of various religious gifts, 
faith and works both being good in their own way. In the text as re- 
constructed each gift will be assigned to the right person, faith to the 
opponent, works to James. 

But (i) this reconstruction of the text is too violent a procedure to 
be acceptable so long as any other explanation can be found, and (2) 
the resulting text is unsatisfactory. For James's own character and 
principles have not been in question, and to represent the defender as 

II, i8 213 

here drawing a sharp contrast specifically between James and himself 
is to make the words amount to an attack on James. Thus this solu- 
tion is exposed to the same objections as that of Weiss already discussed. 

(b) Of the same violent sort is the suggestion of Spitta, followed by 
HoUmann, that the objection originally introduced by ocXk' epel xtq 
has fallen out, so that originally au iziaziy e'xet^ constituted the first 
words of James's rejoinder. 

But such a rejoinder, in which the writer declares that he possesses 
these highly prized works, would be very unnatural, to say nothing of 
the fact that James would not have admitted voluntarily and gratu- 
itously that his own faith required proof. And Spitta's attempt to 
reconstruct the objection introduced by spec Tt^; is weak ("Aus dem 
Fehlen gewisser Werke konne nicht geschlossen werden, der Glaube sei 
nicht lebendig, und die Werke, auf welche Jakobus poche, konnten 
den Mangel der xiotk; nicht ersetzen," p. 79). 

Hollmann's attempt is equally unconvincing : " Allein da wird jemand 
sagen : [Was niitzen Werke ohne Glauben ? Ich aber habe Glauben !] 
Du hast Glauben und ich habe Werke? Zeige mir deinen Glauben" 
(in J. Weiss, Schriftcn des N. T. ii, 1908, p. 10). 

4. The interpretation defended above is not open to any of these 

n. Tti; as an ally. 

The unsatisfactoriness of the more usual of the interpretations above 
described has led a second group of interpreters to take the sentence 
introduced by aXX' Ipet Tt? as coming not from an opponent but from 
a third party, who is an ally of James. The sentence au xta-utv sxetq 
xiyd) epya s'xw is then taken to be merely the introduction, establish- 
ing a basis for argument, while Ssc^ov [lot y.i\. contains the real gist 
of the utterance of Tt? : "Nay, someone will say, 'Thou (the person 
censured by James) hast, or art supposed to have, faith, while I (the 
ally of James now speaking) really have works ; in fact thy faith (since 
it cannot be demonstrated by works) is not only dead but practically 
non-existent, while my recognized works prove that I have faith as 
well.' " 

Where the quotation from the imaginary ally stops is less easy to 
determine, and that is not very important, since in most forms of this 
theory the point of view of the ally and of James are identical. Some 
make it stop with v. i«, others carry the interjected remarks on to the 
end of V. -^. This latter view has the great disadvantage of separating 
the example of Abraham from the parallel instance of Rahab. 

1. Under the more common form of this view (De Wette, Beyschlag, 
Mayor) the interrupting ■ztq is thought of as another Christian ; aXXdc 
is taken as like linmo vera (cf. Jn. i6=, Phil, i", Lk. 12' 16") ; aii xwtiv 
s'X£t<; is given the meaning "thou pretendest to have faith," a pretense 
which is shown to be false in the sentence Ssi^ov ti.oi xtX. 

214 JAMES 

But the natural sense of xXk' spec iiq is too clear to permit here this 
meaning of aXka ; and it is not justifiable to make e%et<; equivalent to 
XeYetq e'xetv. Further, the introduction of an ally, representing the 
same point of view, is wholly uncalled for, and cannot be accounted 
for on the ground either of "modesty" (Mayor) or of "dramatic vivid- 
ness" (Beyschlag). It would have to be made more obvious by the 
context. James cannot thus boast of works, nor has he occasion to 
defend himself against any charge of lack of faith. This interpretation, 
although widely held, cannot be accepted. 

2. A more plausible form of this theory, or rather an important ad- 
vance upon it, is the interpretation of Zahn (Einleikmg, i, § 4, note 4), 
based upon the view of Hofmann and Stier. Zahn accepts the view that 
•ct? is a kind of ally, but finds that the only ally that would suit the 
conditions is an unbelieving Jew, whose supposed words run through 
v. " : "Nay, if you maintain your practices, some Jew will say, 'Thou, 
as a Christian, hast thy faith, and I, as a Jew, my works ; but thy con- 
duct gives the lie to thy professions of faith, whereas my conduct shows 
that I have all the faith a man needs. Thy vaunted faith is no more 
than that of the demons.' " This is concrete and has advantages over 
most other interpretations. But the difiiculty remains that akX' spsl th; 
is more naturally taken as introducing not a reinforcement of James's 
position, but an objection or defense of those censured. Further, in 
the general style of this epistle (which is not a true letter addressed 
to a definite body of readers) such a reference to Jewish Christian argu- 
ment would have to be made more explicit and clear. And, finally, 
there is no evidence that faith and works were ever the accepted party 
cries of Jews and Christians. On the contrary, faith characterised the 
Jew, and not epya but vo'^oq and •jrepiTofjiT) were what he claimed as 
his distinction, cf. Rom. g*' ^, Phil. 3'. And the content of faith, as 
indicated in v. i', is a monotheism which Jew and Christian shared. 
If faith, as such, were here thought of as that which distinguishes 
Christian from Jew, v. " could not possibly have been written. 

Similar is the view of E. Haupt (Sliidlen und Krilikeii, vol. hi, 1883, 
p. 187), who substitutes a non-christian moralist for the Pharisaic Jew. 
This is open to the same objections as Zahn's view, and to the additional 
one that, especially in Palestine, the defender of "mere morahty" seems 
less appropriate in such a tract than the polemical Jew. 

For criticism of various views, besides the commentaries see Holtz- 
mann, Lehrh. d. neutest. Theologie^, 191 1, ii, p. 374, note 2. 

19-26. Argument from the instances of the demons and of 
Abraham and Rahab. 

(a) V. ^^. Faith by itself can be exerted by demons. 

(b) vv. -°"2^ In Abraham's case, faith had to be com- 
pleted by works in order to secure justification. 

II, i8-i9 215 

(c) V. 2\ Likewise Rahab was justified by works. 

(d) V. 26. Thus faith without works is dead. 

19. Faith (even the supreme faith in One God) can be ex- 
erted by demons, who are not thereby saved. 

James, after refuting the excuse of the objector, proceeds with 
his main argument. The point made in v. ^^ is in support of 
the original proposition of w. "• ^^ that faith without works 
is dead ; v. ^^ is thus an argument parallel to that of vv. ^^■'^\ 

7rtcrT€V€i<;. Perhaps better taken as afl&rmation than (Tdf. 
WH.) as question. 

oTL eh 6eo<i eaTiv. 

This, the existence and unity of God, is doubtless thought of 
as the chief element in faith, but it is going too far to represent 
it as including the whole of James's conception of faith. Cf. 
the emphasis on monotheism (with reference to Christ added) 
in I Cor. 8^- «, Eph. 4«, i Thess. i*. 

The emphasis on monotheism as the prime article of the Jewish creed 
is to be seen in the Shema (Deut. 6*), "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our 
God is one Lord" (cf. Mk. 1229), and may be illustrated from Philo, 
De opif. miindi, 61 ; De nobilitale, 5 ; Leg. ad Gaium, 16. See Bousset, 
Religion des Judentums, ch. 15. 

That a strong perception of the fundamental and distinctive 
significance of monotheism passed over into the early church 
may be illustrated from Hermas, Mand. i, TrpatTov irdvTwv irCa- 
Tevaov OTL eh eariv 6 ^eo? ; it was not peculiar to Jewish 
Christians. Cf. Harnack, Mission und Ausbreitung des Christen- 
tums, Buch ii, Kap. 9. 

Sxt elq Oeb? laxtv] BC {h Osos) minn^ ff Priscill. 
8t[ el<; laxtv h 6e6c;] J<A min' vg. 
8xt 6 bsbc, elq ejxiv] KL minnp'«''. 

Some other minor variations in a few minuscules are due to the 
omission of the article before Geo?. The Latin versions are : 
ff quia units deiis ; 
Priscillian quia umis dens est; 
vg quoniam unus est dens. 
The text of KL has probably put h Oeos first in order to give it a more 
emphatic position. As between the other two readings, that of B is 
less conventional (see Mayor's note, p. 100), hence more likely to be 
original. The parallel 412 probably exhibits the same tendency, for 

2l6 JAM£S 

there also the reading of B (with P, which is here lacking) is probably 
right as against an emender who inserted the article. 

/caXM<i iroiet'i, cf. v. ^ KoKm TroieiTe. "This is good as far 
as it goes," perhaps said with a sUght touch of irony, as in Mk. 7'. 

TO, SatfiovLa. The evil spirits whose presence and power is 
so often referred to in the Gospels ; cf. 3^^ 

This is better than to think of the gods of the heathen, whom nothing 
here suggests. 

TTia-TevovcTLv. For illustration of this, cf. Mt. S-^, Mk. i^^. 
(^piao-ovaiv^ "shudder in terror." This word properly means 
"bristle up," cf. Latin horreo, horresco. 

The "shuddering awe" of demons and others before the majesty of 
God was a current idea, cf. Dan. 71=*, Or. Man. 4, Jos. B. J. v, lo^ ; Justin 
Martyr, Dial. 49, Xptaxo) ov xal Tct 8at(i.6vta (fpiaaBi {cf. Dial. 30 and 
121), Test. Abrah., Rec. A, 16; Xen. Cyr. iv, 2^^ ; the Orphic fragment 
(nos. 238, 239) found in Clem. Alex. Strom, v, 14, p. 724 P. oai'tJiovcs 3v 
(ppwaouat ; and passages quoted by Hort, ad loc. 

Here the thought is of a fear which stands in contrast to the 
peace of salvation. A faith which brings forth only this result 
is barren. Cf. Deissmann, Bihelstudien, pp. 42/., E. Tr. p. 288. 

20-24. The argument from reason of v. ^^ is followed by an 
argument from Scripture. In the great case of Abraham faith 
and works co-operated to secure justification. 

20. 6eK.eL<i Se <yv(ovai. Introducing this new argument : "Do 
you desire a proof?" Like the similar Rom. 13^ (see Lietz- 
mann, ad loc. in Handbuch zum Neuen Testament, 1906), this 
can be taken as an aflirmative sentence with little difiference of 

a) avOpcoTre Keve. This address to a single person corresponds 
with V. ^^ v. 1', and v. ^2. In v. '^^ the writer falls out of the 
singular into the more natural but less forcible and pungent 
plural, perhaps because he is there giving a summary statement 
in conclusion. Direct address in the singular, and in harsh tone, 
is characteristic of the diatribe, so & TaKaiircope^ raX,a<?, aav- 
viwv^ A'cope, Trovrjpe, Infelix, miser, stulte ; cf. Bultmann, p. 14. 

Kev6<i means "empty," i. e. "deficient," and is used here much 

n, 19-21 217 

like "fool"; cf. the Aramaic N*p'''l. paKci, Mt. 522, also Paul's 
dcfipov, "thou fool," I Cor. 15^6, and « avdpayire, Rom. 2^ g^". 
See Trench, Synonyms, § xlix, and Mayor^, p. 102. It is used as 
a common term of disparagement in obvious senses in Hermas, 
Mand. xi, passim. The strong expression is called out by- 
James's abhorrence of this sham faith. 

The view of Hilgenfeld and others, that the Apostle Paul is meant 
as the av9p(oxo<; xev6<; hardly needs to be referred to. 

apyr), "ineffective," "barren" (R.V.), "unprofitable," "un- 
productive of salvation," cf. Mt. 12^^ 2 Pet. i», Wisd. 14^ 
(with Grimm's note) ; this sense is common in classical Greek, 
where a/3709 is connected with such words as X^P^> ^V, XPV' 
fiara, 86pv, %/3oVo9, haTpi^rj. Cf. vcKpo^, vv. i^- ?«, in much 
the same sense. 

There is possibly a little play on words here, between x^pk twv epYwv 
and dpy-fj (from d-spYT)^). 

apyifi] BC* minn fF sah. 

vexpi] KAC^KLP minnp'" boh syrp«'''- ^oi. Conformation to v. 2«. 

21. 'Afipaafi 6 irarrjp ri/icov. Cf. Mt. 3^ Rom. 41, 4 Mace. 
i62o 176 (Codd. NV, and better reading), Pirke Aboth, v, 4', etc. 
On Abraham as the supreme example of faith, see EB and 
JE, art. "Abraham," Lightfoot, Galatians, pp. 154-164. 

The use of this phrase suggests that the writer was a Jew, but is not 
wholly conclusive, for the Christians held themselves to be the spiritual 
children of Abraham (cf. Gal. 3^ Rom. 4'= f ). Cf. 1 Cor. 10', Clem. 
Rom. 312, which were addressed to readers not of Jewish extraction. 

ehKaicoOr). Used here as a familiar and current term sub- 
stantially equivalent to aojaai^ v. !■*. 

hiKaiovv means "pronounce righteous," "acquit" {e.g. Ex. 
23"), and hence is used of God with reference to the great assize 
on the day of judgment. Like aco^eiv^ however (cf. Acts 2", 
I Cor. 1^1) the word was used by anticipation, as it is here in 
James, to refer to the present establishment of a claim to (or 

2l8 JAMES 

acceptance of the gift of) such acquittal {e. g. Lk. i8^^ Rom. 
8^°). The meaning of the word hucaiovv in Paul's use does 
not differ from that which he found already current, although 
his theological doctrine of justification, which he set forth with 
the aid of the word, was highly original. Nor does the meaning 
in the present verse depart at all from the ordinary. The justi- 
fication here referred to is not anything said by God in Genesis, 
but is the fulfilment of the promises there recorded. See Lex. 
s.v. BiKaLoo); HDB, "Justification"; Sanday, Romans, pp. 

For an account of many attempts to give a different meaning to 
IStxatwe-r), see Beyschlag, pp. 132 /. 

ef epyoyv. 

Cf. Rom. 4, especially v. 2, el <yap 'A^paa/x e| epycov iBiKatcoOrj^ 
e')(ei Kav')(7]p,a • aXX' ov irpo^ 6e6v ktX,^ Rom. 3^°' ^^, Gal. 2^^ ov 
BiKaLOVTaL av6poiTro<i ef epyoiv vofiov ktX. The contention of 
James corresponds to the usual Jewish view and to a somewhat 
superficial common sense. 

Note how in Rom. 4', as here, the case of Abraham is brought in as 
the great test case to which the readers' minds are likely spontaneously 
to turn and to which the opponent will appeal. In each case the 
writer has to argue against the established idea of his readers, Paul 
against the Jew, James against the Christian who is using the justifica- 
tion of Abraham as a cloak for iniquity. Hence the abruptness of the 
opening in both cases. 

avevejKa'i ktX.^ Gen. 22^' ^. 

This was an epyov^ and is here presented as the ground of 
Abraham's justification. See note on eiriaTevaev^ v. ^3, 

That Abraham was justified and saved was of course recog- 
nised by all ; that his justification depended not merely on the 
initial act of faith, but also on his confirmatory manifestation 
of this faith under trial is the contention of James. This, he 
thinks, becomes clear so soon as reference is made to the great 
incident of the sacrifice of Isaac, whereby (Gen. 22^) the vital 
reality of Abraham's faith was tested, and on which followed 
(Gen. 22^^'^*) a renewal of the promise. Abraham's failure to 

II, 21-22 219 

sustain this test would have shown his faith weak and doubt- 
less have prevented his justification ; thus the inference from 
the great representative case of Abraham to the situation of 
the readers themselves was unavoidable. 

At the same time James's real contention in vv. 20-22 ig not 
so much of the necessity of works as of the inseparability of 
vital faith and works. Not merely are works needed in order 
to perfect faith, but faith likewise aids works. This is all said 
in reply to the suggestion in v. ^^ that faith and works are sep- 
arable functions of the Christian life. 

In this connection note the singular, jSXeTret?, v. ^2, and con- 
trast, V. 24, opaTe. 

The article with OvaiaaTrjpiov has reference to the well-known 
altar of the story {cf. Gen. 22^). 

avutcpepetv, in the sense of "offer" (as a religious act), appears to 
be foreign to secular Greek (which uses icpoacplpeiv), and due to the 
LXX, where it is common, mainly as a translation for ^'j'?^^., less often 
for i^apn. In the LXX xpoaipepetv is mainly used for ^^"^PJ}. See West- 
cott's note on Heb. 7-^ 

eufftczaTTjptov, Ukewise, in the sense of "altar," is not found in secular 
Greek writers; see Westcott, Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 453-461. 

22. on. The force of on probably runs through vv. 22 
and 2^'. 

rj TTiaTL's. The existence and efificiency of Abraham's faith 
(which has not previously been mentioned) is assumed, but 
alone it is declared not to have been adequate to secure justi- 

avv'qp'yet, T0Z9 €pjOL<i avrov. 

auviQPYet] S*A ff read auvepysi. The weight of ff is here diminished 
by the fact that it also renders sxsXsitoOri (for which there is no Greek 
variant) by the present tense confirmatur. 

"Faith helped works, and works completed faith," sc. toward 
the end of justification, as v. 21 indicates. In this general state- 
ment the mutual relation of faith and works is made plain — 
the two are inseparable in a properly conducted life {cf. v. ^^^). 
It is thus hardly true to say that the whole emphasis here 
rests on rot? epyoi^. Bengel : duo commata quorum in priore si 

2 20 JAMES 

illud, fides, in altero operibus aim accentu pronunciaveris, sen- 
tentia liquido percipietur, qua exprimitur, quid utravis pars alieri 

The change of tense (avv^pyeL, ireXeKoOrj) is due to the dif- 
fering nature of the two words ("linear" and "punctiHar," cf. 
J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. io8/.). 

rot? epyoi<i, dat. of advantage. 

avvepyelv is a common enough Greek word, but is found in 
the LXX only in i Esd. 7^ and i Mace. i2\ and in the N. T. 
only Mk. 1620, Rom. 8^8, i Cor. i6i«, 2 Cor. 6\ It means "co- 
operate with," "assist," "help." The E.V. "wrought with" 
is misleading, because it tends to put too much emphasis on 
"wrought" and not enough on "with." 

Grimm (Lex. s.v. CTuvspyew) interprets: "Faith (was not inactive, 
but by coworking) caused Abraham to produce works," and this view 
is held by many. V. " does, indeed, suggest that James had reached 
this conception of the relation of faith and works as source and product, 
but it is not expressed in v. ", nor is it directly implied there. The 
persistent attempts to find it in v. -- are ultimately due to Protestant 
commentators' interest in the doctrine of the supremacy of faith. Not 
the power of vital faith to produce works, but the inseparability of faith 
and works is James's contention throughout this passage. The argu- 
ment is directed against those who would excuse lack of works by 
appealing to their faith; faith alone, it is declared, is ineffective for 
securing salvation. 

That auvrjpYEt is used in conscious contrast to apyTj (a-epyr)) is com- 
monly affirmed, but this interpretation spoils the sense. James does 
not mean that Abraham's faith, being accompanied by (auv-) works, 
was effective (-rjpyeO, but that faith and works co-operated. 

ereXetco^T/, "was perfected," not as if previously, before the 
works, it had been an imperfect kind of faith, but meaning that 
it "was completed" (almost "supplemented"), and so enabled 
to do its proper work. If, when the test came, the faith had 
not been matched by works, then it would have been proved 
to be an incomplete faith. The works showed that the faith 
had always been of the right kind, and so "completed" it. 

Schneckenburger and many others take the opposite view, "fides 
theoretica imperjecta est donee accedai praxis" ; but these plain people's 

II, 22-23 221 

faith was no such theologian's theory. Huther and Beyschlag think 
of faith as "perfected," in the sense of growing strong by exercise in 
works, but this is not exactly the writer's thought here. Calvin and 
others try to give to eTeXetwOiQ the unhkely sense "was shown to be 
perfect." Others urge that the process was the complete development 
of what faith really was. The difficulties which the commentators find 
are due partly to dogmatic prepossession, partly to their error in sup- 
posing that James was a subtle theologian who did not write his practical 
maxims and swift popular arguments until he had thought out the 
exact definitions, psychological distinctions, and profound and elusive 
relations involved in the subject. 

23. fcal i7r\j]pa)6'rj. Kai introduces the result of evvrjp'yei 
Kol eTekeLwOrj. 

rj jpacf)')], viz. Gen. 15'', quoted accurately from the LXX, ex- 
cept that all but two of the chief Mss. have Kal iiricTTevaev 
for eTTicTTevcrev he. 

Paul's quotation in Rom. 4' has 31, but so do Philo, De mid. noni. 
i^; Clem. Rom. io«; Justin Martyr, Dial. 92, so that the agreement 
need not be significant for the relation of James to Paul. See Hatch, 
Essays, p. 156, where the evidence is given in full. 

The passage Gen. 15^ {e\.o<yi<T6r] kt\) is taken as a prophecy. 
As such, it was really fulfilled by Abraham's conduct set forth 
in Gen. 22. ''And so, by the addition of conduct (whereby 
his faith was manifested) his faith was perfected, the Scripture 
promise that he should be justified was fulfilled, and he was 
called God's friend." The same passage of Genesis is also used 
by Paul (Rom. 4*, Gal. 3®) as proof of his doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith ; James, as if in reply, points out that what he has 
been saying in v. ^^ shows that works had to come in and perfect 
this faith in order to bring about the desired end of justification. 


In Gen. 15^ the object of Abraham's faith is that God will 
fulfil the promise just given and grant him an heir. In i Mace. 
2^2, 'AfSpaa/x ovK ev ireipaafiw evpeOrj Trtcrro?, Kol iXoyiadi] 
avrm SiKaioavvq (Codd. i<V ei9 SiKaioavvrjv) , Gen. 15'' is al- 
luded to, and the signal exhibition of this faith in the sacri- 
fice of Isaac (Gen. 22, note 22^) appears to be in mind. So here 
in James the sacrifice of Abraham is the act which manifests 

2 2 2 JAMES 

the faith, cf. Gen. 22^^-^^; and this seems to follow the ordinary 
Jewish understanding of the matter. In other passages of the 
N. T. the case is various. Rom. 4^^ ^- refers to the belief of 
God's promise of a son ; Heb. 11* ^- to the faith shown by Abra- 
ham's departure for an unknown country; Heb. 11^ to his 
residence in Canaan; Heb. ii*' ^- to the sacrifice of Isaac. 
Clem. Rom. 31 connects the sacrifice of Isaac with Abraham's 
righteousness and faith; Gen. 15^ is quoted, but the precise 
nature of Abraham's faith is not indicated. 

iXoycaOr] avTa> eh StKaioavvrjv. From Gen. 15^. 

The same expression is found (of Phinehas) in Ps. 106^°- ^^ ; 
cf. Gen. 15"^ (with Skinner's note), Deut. 24^^, ''it shall be right- 
eousness unto thee before the Lord, thy God," Deut. 6"^^, Prov. 
27^*. It means that God accounted the act (here an act of faith) 
to be righteous, i. e. righteous in special and distinguished meas- 
ure. The developed use of SiKaioa-vprj to denote the possession 
of God's approval on the whole, and not merely with reference 
to a single act, necessarily enlarged the meaning of the expres- 
sion, which in the N. T. is treated as equivalent to iSiKaiwdr] . 

The name of God is avoided in the LXX translation by recasting the 
sentence and using the passive voice eXoYiaOr) for the active verb of 
the Hebrew (see Dalman, Worte Jesit, i, pp. 183 Jff., Eng. transl., pp. 
224-226). Similarly in Ps. 10630 '-, i Mace. 2^'^. 

Kol (/)iXo9 6eov mXr^drj. 

This sentence, which is not to be included as a part of i) 
7/9a^?7, is parallel to r) TTtVrt? iTeXetoidi] Kal iirXTjpcodr) rj ^pac^rj^ 
"In this fact (i. e. iKXtjdrj) the promise implied in iXoyiadi] was 
fulfilled." The reward was greater than in the case of the 
justification and salvation of ordinary men. 

"Friend of God," i.e. "beloved by God," appears to have 
been a designation commonly applied to Abraham. So Is. 41* 
(A^paa/x ov '^ydirrjcraj Aq. ayaTrtjTov fiov, Sym. rov (f)L\ov 
fiov) ; Philo, De sobr. 11, M. p. 401 (where in quoting Gen. 18^^ 
<^C\jov fwv is substituted for TratSo? /jlov), Jubilees ig^ 302°, 
Test. Abraham, passim. The same idea is expressed in different 
language in 2 Chron. 20^ {'q^yairr) ixevo<i) ^ Dan. 3^^^, 4 Ezra 3^^ 

II, 23-24 223 

Philo, De Abrahamo, 19 (^eot^tX?;?), and Abraham's love to 
God is emphasised in Pirke Aboth, v, 4, Among modern Arabs 
the common designation of Abraham is "the friend of God," 
el khalil Allah, or el khalil (cf. Koran, sura iv, 124), and the name 
is even given to Hebron, his burial-place ; cf. Hughes, Dictionary 
of Islam, 1885, p. 269. 

In view of this evidence it can only be said that Clem, Rom. 
10* (A^pad/x^ 6 (f)i\o<; irpoaa^opevdei^) , 172, Tertullian, Adv. 
JiidcBos 2, unde Abraham amicus dei deputatus? do not furnish 
proof of the dependence of Clement of Rome and Tertullian on 
James. In Iren. iv, 16^, ipse Abraham sine circumcisione et sine 
observatione sabbatorum, credidit deo, et reputatum est illi ad jus- 
titiam, et amicus dei vocatus est, the similar combination of Gen. 
15^ and this sentence is probably a mere coincidence. See In- 
troduction, pp. 87, 90/. 

It seems more likely that James writes here with the title already 
commonly applied to Abraham in mind than that he uses 91X0? as merely 
equivalent to StxatwGst'?, as many {e. g. Spitta, pp. 82 /.) hold. Yet 
the repeated use in the Book of Jubilees (chs. 19, 30) of the expression 
"written down as a friend of God," in the sense of "having been granted 
salvation," and the connection in one instance (ch. 30) of this expression 
with the phrase, "it became righteousness to them," gives some plausi- 
bility to such a view. In any case (pi'Xo? OsoO £xXtj6t) and eBtxatw8Tf) 
relate to the same act of God, whether the former is a mere equivalent 
of the latter or has a larger meaning. 

But to assume that James was thinking of the "heavenly tablets" 
when he wrote s-^XtjGt) is gratuitous. Jewish thought knew of other 
ways by which God could give a name besides inscribing it in a book. 

24. 6paT€, direct address in plural, as everywhere in the 
epistle except vv. ^^-^^, cf. 4 Mace. 12'', Clem. Rom. 12^ 

KL minnp'"'' add toi'vuv. 

e'/c TTio-reco? fiovov^ i. e. without the aid and co-operation {cf. 
V. 22) of works. This is a formal and conclusive reply to the 
question of v. 1*. 

It is not to be inferred that James held to a justification by works 
without faith. Such a misunderstanding is so abhorrent to his doctrine 
of the inseparability of faith and works that it does not occur to him 

224 JAMES 

to guard himself against it. And the idea itself would have been 
foreign to Jewish as well as to Christian thought. The fate of the 
heathen does not come into the question. 

25. An additional argument from Scripture: Rahab's jus- 
tification came from works. 

'Faal3 rj iropvrj, so Josh. 6^'- "• ^s; cf. Josh, s^-^i 6^^- 22-25^ Heb. 
ii^i, Mt. i'', Clem. Rom. 12. 

Older writers tried to soften the reference by taking x6pvT) in some 
unnatural sense, as cook, landlady (here following Jewish guidance), 
or idolater ; but the literal sense is the only possible one ; see Lightfoot's 
note on Clem. Rom. 12. 

In Jewish midrash of various ages Rahab was the subject of 
much interest. She was believed to have become a sincere 
proselyte, to have married Joshua, and to have been the ances- 
tress of many priests and prophets, including Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel. Her faith as implied in Josh. 2" was deemed notably 
complete, and was said to have evoked the express recognition 
of God himself ; and she, with certain other proselyte women, 
was called "the pious." See JE, "Rahab." This evidence of 
special Jewish attention to Rahab, although the actual rabbin- 
ical passages are some of them late, fully justifies the assump- 
tion that the references to Rahab in Hebrews and Clement of 
Rome are independent of this verse in James ; cf. Introduction, 
pp. 22, 87. It is noteworthy that none of the words used to 
describe Rahab's conduct are the same in Hebrews and in 
James. Clement of Rome may, of course, here as elsewhere, 
be dependent on Hebrews. 

e| epywv. The works consisted in the friendly reception 
(vTroSe^afxevrj) and aid in escaping (i/c^akovaa) given to the 
spies, as described in Josh. 2. The faith to which an opponent 
might have pointed (cf. Heb. ii^S Clem. Rom. 12) is displayed 
in Rahab's words. Josh. 2^-^^, especially v. " ore Kvpio^ 6 6eb<i 
v^oiv 6eo<; (so Cod. A) iv ovpava> avw koX cttI r^? 77}? kclto). 

The choice of Abraham and Rahab as examples here is prob- 
ably to be explained by observing that the one was the accepted 
and natural representative of faith and justification, while the 

II, 24-26 225 

other is an extreme case, where, if anywhere, James's argument 
might seem to fail. Notice KaC, and a certain emphasis on 17 
TTopvr}, " even though a harlot." These two instances thus cover 
the whole wide range of possibilities. This is better than the 
view, long ago suggested, that the mention of Rahab, a prose- 
lyte from the Gentiles, shows that the epistle was addressed 
to Christian communities containing Gentiles as well as Jews 
(Zahn, Einleitung, § 4, Eng. transl. i, p. 91). 

dyy^^o'Js] CK™8L minn ff boh syrP"!"- '»<=• read xaiaox6xou<;, cf. 
Heb. II". 

eK^aXova-a, "sent out," with no thought of any violence of 
action, cf. Mt. 9'^« 12^5, Lk. 6" lo^^ 

26. Concluding statement. 

waxep. The deadness of faith without works is illustrated 
from a dead body. With works absent, faith is no more alive 
than is a body without the irveufxa. 

The comparison is sometimes said to halt, because, whereas the death 
of the body is caused by the departure of the spirit, the deadness of 
faith is not caused, but only recognised, by its failure to produce works ; 
and it is suggested that faith, as the soiu"ce of activity, could better be 
compared with the spirit, and works with the body. But to the mind 
of James faith and works co-operate to secure Justification, and by 
works faith is kept alive. So the body and the spirit co-operate to 
secure continued Hfe, and by the spirit the body is kept alive. When 
V. " is given its true meaning, the parallel is seen to be better than is 
often thought. 

Yap] B syrps'"" arm omit. £E renders autem. 

TrveviJ.aTo<i. This is most naturally taken of " the vital prin- 
ciple by which the body is animated." 

A less probable interpretation takes TCveujia as meaning "breath," 
which the body is thought of as producing. This makes a more com- 
plete parallel to the relation of faith and the works which it ought to 
produce, but is forced. Cf. Ps. 104", Tob. 3S Q- Curtius Rufus, x, 
19 illud scire debetis militarem sine diice turbam corpus esse sine spiritu. 


2 26 JAMES 


Ch. 3 relates to the Teacher and Wise Man. That the two 
are treated as substantially identical is significant. It is inter- 
esting to compare the directions for leaders of the Christian 
community given in the Pastoral Epistles or in the Didache. 

The main thought in vv. ^-^^ is the greater responsibility of 
teachers and the extremely dangerous character of the instru- 
ment which they have to use. In vv. ^-^^ the noble possibili- 
ties of the tongue are presented as a motive for checking its 
lower propensities. This passage naturally connects itself with 

jl9 f . 26 2l2_ 

In vv. ^^'^^ the discussion springs from the same abhorrence 
of sham which gives rise to so much of ch. i (vv. ^■^' 22-27)^ ^^(j 
controls the thought throughout ch. 2. 

1-3. Against overeagerness to be teachers ; in view of the great 
responsibility involved, and of the difficulty of controlling the tongue. 

1. /XT) TToWol SiBdaKaXoi yivecyde, "Do not many of you 
become teachers." ttoXXoi is to be regarded either as subject 
or as in apposition with the proper subject (in that case I'/^et?) ; 
8t,8d<7Ka\oL is predicate ; cf. Heb. 7-^ 

TToXXof] L by a not unusual corruption reads xoXXu. This does not 
point to a reading xoXu, and has no relation to the mistranslation of 
m noliie muUiloqui esse {cf. Mt. 6'). 

Bi,Bdafca\o<i means rabbi {cf. Mt. 23^ Lk. 2^^, Jn. i^^ 20^^ 31°; 
see references in Lex. s. vv. Bi8daKa\o<i and pajSjSi)^ and the 
teachers here referred to, if in Jewish Christian churches, would 
naturally have occupied a place not unlike that of rabbis in the 
synagogues. This would apply both to the dignity of the po- 
sition and to a part of the duties of the rabbis. Among Chris- 
tians the term was used both for a teacher resident in a church 
(Acts 13^ Antioch) and for a travelling missionary (Didache 
jjif. j^2 j^2)^ Nothing in the text indicates whether James's 
reference was limited to one or the other of these classes. The 

m, I 227 

position of teacher was the function of a specially gifted person, 
not a standing office, and it was plainly possible for a man who 
beUeved himself competent for the work to put himself forward 
and take up the activities of a teacher. James is himself a 
teacher (kijfjLxJ/o/jLeda, v. ^), and points out the moral dangers of 
the teacher's life, with special insistence on the hability to opin- 
ionated disputatiousness (w. ^^-^»). A good concrete impres- 
sion of the nature of the meetings at which they spoke may be 
gathered from i Cor. 14. The Epistle of James itself will give 
an idea of one of the types of early Christian "teaching." 
Teachers were important from the earhest times (Acts 13^ i Cor. 
12^8, Eph. 4") and were found in the Christian churches of many 
lands. The references of this epistle would seem appHcable in 
any part of the world and during any part of the period which is 
open for the date of the epistle. 

An interesting expansion of this exhortation of James found 
in the first pseudo-clementine Epistle to Virgins, i, 11, is prob- 
ably from Palestine or Syria in the third century, and vividly 
illustrates the same situation even at that late time (text in 
Funk, P aires apostolici, vol. ii; Eng. transl. in Ante-Nicene 
Fathers, Buffalo, 1886, vol. viii). 

On teachers in the early church, see articles in DD.BB., and 
especially Harnack, Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums, 
"1906, pp. 279-308; Eng. transl. -igo8, i, pp. 333-366, where a 
great amount of interesting material is collected and discussed. 

aBeXcJML fwv, introducing a new section, cf. i^- ^' 2^' ^* 5'' ^^. 

etSo're?, "for you know," presenting a motive. 

fiel^ov Kpifia, "greater condemnation"; cf. Mk. 12^" (Lk. 
20''^) ofJTOi \riii\povTai TrepicrcroTepou Kpifia^ Rom. 13-. The 
teacher's condemnation (or, as we should say, his responsibility) 
is greater than that of others because having, or professing to 
have, clear and full knowledge of duty, he is the more bound to 
obey it, cf. Lk. 12^^ '-. 

\T)lx\p6fi€da, i. e. at the last day. Notice that James includes 
himself as a SiSdaKaXo^ . 

The Vulgate (sumilis) and the Bohairic version have altered this to 
the second person. 

228 JAMES 

To this warning no good earlier or Jewish parallel has been 
produced. The sayings about the dangers of speech apply, in- 
deed, to the teacher, but they are in most cases of an entirely 
general cast. 

2-12. The Hellenistic associations of the following passage, vv. ^-^-, 
are shown in the references in the notes. The more striking parallels 
have been effectively put together by J. Geffcken, Kynika und Ver- 
wandtes, 1909, pp. 45-53. Geffcken thinks that James here betrays de- 
pendence on a written tract on calumny, or some such subject, which 
he has adapted and expanded. This is not impossible, but the infelicities 
in the sequence of James's thought in the passage, on which Geffcken's 
theory rests, are not quite sufficient to prove anything more than de- 
pendence on ideas which had been worked out for a different purpose 
by others, and were familiar commonplaces of popular moral preaching. 

2. TToXka yap vraio/jbev airavT€<i. This gives the reason 
{yap) for the warning of v. ^. All men stumble, and of all faults 
those of the tongue are the hardest to avoid. Hence the pro- 
fession of teacher is the most difficult mode of life conceivable. 

On the universality of sin, cj. Rom. 3^-1*, i Jn. i*, Eccles. 7-°, 
Ecclus. 19^'^, 2 Esd. 8^^, and the similar observations of Greek 
and Latin writers collected by Wetstein, Schneckenburger, and 
Mayor, e. g. Seneca, De clem, i, 6 peccavimus omnes, alii graviora 
alii leviora. 

The besetting danger of sins of speech and of the misuse of 
the tongue was clearly seen and often mentioned by ancient 
moralists. Noteworthy 0. T. passages (among many others) 
are Prov. is^'^- ^- '^' *«• ^s, Ecclus. s"-6i 22^^ 2812-6. 

€t ou, see note on 2". 

OVTO<i^ cJ. 1-3. 

TekeLO<i avrjp^ cJ, 1* and note. Used of moral perfection, 
"blameless," cf. Mt. 5^^ 1^21^ Col. i^s 412, Wisd. 96, Gen. ()\ 
Ecclus. 44^^ The same Hebrew word 2'*'?^, used in the same 
sense, is translated in Gen. 6^ by re\eLO<i, in Gen. 17^ by 

hvvar6<i kt\. Expands the idea of re'XeiO?. 

'XpikivayijoyrjaaL, "hold in check," cJ. 1"^ and note. 

oiXov TO (Tcofjia, i. e. the whole man. The contrast of the 
tongue and the body, as of a part and the whole, has led here to 

Ill, 1-3 229 

a mode of expression which seems to imply that sin does not 
exist apart from the body. But the writer shows himself to 
be fully aware that sin resides in the inner man, although on the 
whole its more conspicuous manifestations are prominently con- 
nected with the body. The body is thought of as providing 
the man with his organs of expression and action. It is a natu- 
ral and popular, not a philosophical or theological, mode of ex- 
pression. Cf. V. '^ iv TOt<? fieXeo-Lv, 4I, Rom. 8'^ 

3. It is with men as with horses: control their mouth and 
you are master of all their action. 

tSe, "behold," introduces an illustration, cf. l8ov vv. *- ^ ^*' ". 

On IBe^ ISov, see Moulton's Winer, pp. 318/. note 5; J. H. 
Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 11, note. 

iM] CP minnp'"' *" sah syr'*"! arm. 

fSou] minn"' ^id pauo, 

dhk ydtp] X* syrp*^''. 

ei 3e] BAKL minn" £f vg boh {if). 

Of these readings ESou {cf. 3*- ' 5^' ') and the addition of y&p may be 
at once rejected as emendations; the latter, however, is significant 
because it impUes that e!oe was understood as equivalent to Bi. As 
between iM and ec 3i, the external evidence is strong for the latter, 
although P when it departs from KL is an excellent witness. But in 
this instance the variant reading is likely to be due to a misspelling and 
not to deliberate emendation, whereas the excellence of B's text de- 
pends solely on its freedom from emendation, not in any accuracy of 
speUing. In such a case "intrinsic evidence" from the sense is the 
only guide; and this speaks strongly for ioi, which is therefore to be 

TMV iTTTTOiV, Dcpcnds on Tov<; 'xaXtvov^, but is put iirst be- 
cause it contains the new and emphatic idea. 

'XpXLVo'i is used of the "bridle" proper (or "reins"), of the 
"bit," and, as perhaps here, of the whole bridle, including both. 
The figurative use of "bridle" in English does not extend in the 
same degree to "bit," and hence "bridle" (A.V., R.V.) is pref- 
erable as the English translation here. 

^dWofiev, "put," cf. Philo, De agric. 21 ^aXtfw eViSaXoVre? ; 
Xen. De re equestr, vi, 7 ; L\, 9 ; Ael. F. //. ix, 16 "inroo ifi(3ci\- 

230 JAMES 

If e? M is read (with WH.), y-al has to be taken as introducing the 
apodosis, as often in Hebrew. 

/j^rdyofiev, "guide," "direct" (E.V. "turn about"). 

Cf. Philo, De opif. mundi, (29) 88 (the charioteers) f) oiv lOIXtoatv aiixo; 
a'Youot Twv Tjvtwv iv£ikri[L[Kiwt. ; Aristippus in Stobasus, Anthol. (ed. 
Hense), iii, ch. 17, 17 xpatet :qSovo<; oux 6 dcirex6[Ji.evo<; dXX' 6 yj^u^^xz^^oq 
[xev (A-f) xotpexipepotJLevo? M, waxep xal vecix; xotl Vxtcou oux [Ji-?j xpu^Jievoq 
dcXX' 6 [ji.ext5:Y0)v bxot ^oiiXeTat. 

The comparison turns on the importance which the tongue 
has because control over the whole creature can be exercised 
through it, as through the horse's mouth. The smallness of 
the member hardly comes into consideration here. 

4-12. The dangers of the tongue. 

4-6. The tongue, though small, is as powerful as a little rudder 
on a great ship, ajui as dangerous as a little fire in a great forest. 

4. Kal TO, TrXoTa, "ships also," like horses. The article is 
generic. The parallel of ship and horse is emphasised by the 
repetition of fierdr/eiv^ a repetition characteristic of James, 
cf i^^ ^- 2^*' ^® 2^^' ^^ 

cKkripoiv, "harsh," "stiff" ; hence here of winds, "strong" ; 
the adjective heightens the contrast with the Httle rudder. 

For the phrase, cf. Dio. Chrys. De regno, iii, p. 44 K\vh(avo^ 
a^piov KoX 'xaKe'KOv vto avefjicov orKXrjpcov fxeTa^aXXofievov, 
Prov. 271*5 aK\7)pb<i dve/jio<; (where the difference from the He- 
brew is instructive), and other references in Wetstein, Mayor, 
and Schneckenburger. 

opfii], "impulse," "desire." Used in N. T. only here and 
Acts 14^, and not in this sense in O. T., but common in classical 
Greek writers. See Trench, § Ixxxvii, and see L. and S. for full 
references, e. g. Xen. Anab. iii, 2^ fiia opfxfj-^ Plato, Fhil. 35 D, 
where op/w.?) is parallel to eTriOvfiia. 

Others take this of the pressure of the steersman on the helm, but 
without any sufficient reason. 

Tov €v0vvovTO<; , "the one who directs it." Cf. Philo, De 
conf. ling. 23 ^t\eT yap eariv ore ')(Oipl<i 7)vl6')(c>)v re Kal kv- 

in, 3-4 231 

fiepvr}Toiv 6 re irXoik koX 6 Sp6/jU)'i evdvvecdac ; also Prov. 20^^, 
Ecclus. 37^^ 

The twin figures of the control of horse and of ship are fre- 
quently found together in later Greek writers, as the following 
passages show. In some of the instances the point of the com- 
parison is the smallness of the instrument which controls so 
great a body. James is evidently acquainted with the forms of 
current Greek popular thought. 

In the following the figures of ship and horse are characteristically 
combined : 

Plutarch, De and. poetis, 12, p. S3 F "Tpoxo? eaO' 6 x£i6a)v toO \i-(oy- 
Toq, ou Xiyo? ■ " xal igoizoq [iky ouv xal "kdyoq ' ri Tpoxoq Sta Xoyou, xot- 
GdcTcep tirxsij? Sea xaXtvoO y.a\ Side xYjSaXiou -/.u^spv^xY]?. 

Plutarch, De genio Socratis, 20, p. 588 E. 

Aristippus, in Stobaeus, A^tthol. iii (ed. Hense), 17, 17 (quoted 
supra) . 

Philo, De opificio mundi, 29 (xapxupe? S'tjv'oxo' '^"^ xu^spviiTat • ol [xsv 
•/ap uaieptl^ovxsi; xuv uxoi^uYi'wv xal xaxoxtv auxuv l^exat,6[j.evot ^ av eOeXw- 
atv auxa a'YOuat xwv Tjvtwv lv£tXT)[jLtJ^£Vot xal xoxe [lev sytevxe? xpb? ^^uv 
cp6yi,ov x6x£ 8'dvaxa[xii^ovx£q, £t tpopo: xoij Seovxoc; xXeiovc 6£0t • o't S' aii 
xu^EpvYJxott xpb? xb xij? veu? Ejxa'^ov /wptov xpuytvav xap£X66vx£(; xivxwv 
w? £Xo<; £tx£tv Etatv aptffxoi xwv eixxXeovxiov, ax£ xfjc; v£w? xal xwv Iv auxjj 
XT)v awxTjpfotv £V XSP"^^ '^<^'? auTwv £XOVX£(;. 

Philo, Lfg. alJeg. iii, 79 ; Z)c agricult. 15 ; Oe cow/z<s. //wg. 23 ; In 
Place. 5. 

For the figure of the ship's rudder, cf. Lucretius, De rer. nat. iv, 

quippe etenim ventus subtili corpore tenuis 
trudit agens magnam magno molimine navem, 
et manus una regit quanto vis impete euntem 
atque gubernaclum contorquet quolibet unum, 
multaque, per trocleas et tympana, pondere magno 
commovet atque levi sustollit machina nisu. 

The often-quoted passage from Ps.-Aristotle, Mechanica, 5, is not 
apt, since there the rudder is mentioned not as a literary figure, but as 
one example of the principle of the lever. 

For the figure of the horse, cf. Sophocles, Antig. 477/. 

fft^txpw xaXivw 0' oi5a xout; 6uixouyL^voui; 
Yxxou? xo(xapxu6^vxo(<;. 

232 JAMES 

5. fieydXa avx^i is equivalent to fieydXavxei, " be haughty," 
which has here been separated into its component parts in order 
to make a good parallel to fiiKpov /leXo? eariv. The phrase is 
here used in the sense not of an empty boast, but of a justified, 
though haughty, sense of importance ; cf. Moulton and Mil- 
ligan. Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, p. 94. 

The usual associations, however, of [xsyaXauxsTv are bad, as here. 
A boasting compatible with proper humiljty would probably be ex- 
pressed by xczuxaa6ai. Cf. Zeph. 3", Ezek. i65o, Eccles. 48", 2 Mace. 
1532, 4 Mace. 2>5. 

Perhaps the alliteration i^iicpov^ fi^Xo<i, fieydXa is intentional, 

cf. V. '. 

[jLsyaXa u\)X£i] BAC*P ff vg boh. 

[ASYaXauxsi] KC^KL minn. This seems to be emendation to a more 
familiar word. 

5''-6. The tongue is as dangerous as a fire. Cf. Ecclus. 

7}\iK0v, "how small." 

^Xfxov] BNACP vg. 

6>v(yov] A*C2KL minn°°"» ^'J fif m syr"*' boh sah. Emendation. 

rfkiK'qv^ "how much." For the double question, cf. Mk. 15^*, 
Lk. 19^^, and see Winer, § 66, 5. 3. 

v\r}v. The abundant references in ancient Hterature to for- 
est fires, sometimes with direct reference to the smallness of the 
spark which leads to vast destruction, and the repeated use 
of this comparison in ethical discussions make it likely that 
vK-qv here means "forest" rather than "fuel." 

In Homer, II. ii, 455 

fjUT£ TcOp diSiQXov k%i(fki'{ti aaxETOV uXigv 

the comparison is to describe the glitter of the armour of a great host ; 
in the similar verse //. xi, 155, it is the rout of a fleeing army. 

Pindar, Pyth. iii, 36-37 

ivoXXiJv t' 2pst "TCup I? Ivbi; 
(jTclpjxocTOi; IvGopbv diarwaev uXav, 

in, 5-6 233 

Euripides, Ino, fragm. 411 

ticxpoO Y«p ex "koii^Tzxrigoc, 'iSatov XixoiZ 
TcpTJaeiev av xtq. 

Ps.-Phocylides, Poema admonitorium, 144 

e^ okiyou ffTctvGijpo? dBeacpaToq otTOsxat uXtj. 

Philo, Z)e (feca/. 32, M. p. 208 [IxtOutAca] oloc (f^hc, Iv uXy] v^fAETott 5«- 
Ttavwaa xav-ra xotl ^Ostpouca. 

The above quotations refer to a forest fire. The following are sig- 
nificant in using with similar purpose the figure of a great conflagration 
in a city or in general. 

Philo, De niigr. Abr. 12, M. p. 455 axtvSifjp yap xocl 6 ppaxuxaxo? Ivtu- 
!p6[JLsvo(;, oTav xaxaicveuaOsli; ^wTuupigOfi, tisydXigv s^diuxEt itupdv. 

Seneca, Controversiarum excerpla, v, 5, nesciebas quanta sit potentia 
ignhim . . . quemadmodum tolas absumat urbes, quam levibus initiis ori- 
antur incendia. 

Diogenes of Oinoanda (Epicurean philosopher, second century after 
Christ), fragm. xxxviii, 3 (ed. William, Leipzig, 1907, p. 46) xal axtv6^pt 
[xetxpw ravu Tr;}^tx6v8s Exe^ixxsTat xup, tjXi'xov xaxaqiX^yEt XtfA^vaq xal 

Among Hebrew writers, Is. 9'' io>', Ps. 831* use the figure of a forest 
fire; and Ecclus. ii=- uses the figure of the small spark which kindles 
"a heap of many coals." The tongue is compared with a fire in Ps. 
i2o'f-, and in Midrash, Leviticus rabba, 16: R. Eleasar in the name of 
R. Jose b. Zimra : "What fires it [the tongue] kindles !" (see Schottgen, 
Horae hebraicac, pp. 102 1 /.). But the specific parallels make it seem 
plain that this comparison is drawn from a standing simile of current 
Greek popular philosopliy. 

6. /cat y yXcoaaa irvp sc. icmv. This applies the com- 
parison made in the preceding sentence. 

f) YXwaca 2"] P minnpi"'' syr'"'' ''• * prefix o'u'xwi; xat; L min prefix 
ouxu?. Conformation to v. K 

6 Kocrixoii TYj^ aSt/cta?. As the text stands, no satisfactory 
interpretation is possible for this phrase in this context. 

For the expression taken by itself "the iniquitous world" is 
the most probable sense. aSt/cia? is then genitive of quality, 
cf. i23, 25 212^ Lk. i6«- 9 186, Enoch 48", "this world of iniquity." 

On Koarfio'i, cf. Jas. i-^ 2'- 4'*, and see note on i-'. 

Other meanings have been suggested ; on the history of the exegesis, 
see Huther's and Mayor's notes. Thus Vg translates "the whole of 

234 JAMES 

evil," universitas iniquitatis. But the sense "the whole" for b x6a[xoi; 
is attested only Prov. 17^ oXo? 6 xoajjio? -cwv XPW^"^^"^) smd, moreover, 
the meaning does not suit our passage well. 

Another interpretation is "the ornament of iniquity." This is ca- 
pable in itself of an intelligible sense, as referring to the use of rhetorical 
arts by designing speakers (Wetstein : malas actiones et suadet el excusat), 
but that seems foreign to the circle of thought in which the writer is 
here moving. This sense was, however, a favourite one with Greek 
interpreters. From Isidore of Pelusium, Epist. iv, 10, who gives it as 
one possible meaning, it is taken into Cramer's Catena, p. 21, and it is 
also found in "CEcumenius," on vv. --\ and in Matthai's scholia (eitt- 
xoa[ Yap pT)(jLocffiv saO' oxe dtStxtav). 

As the text stands, x6apio<; cannot easily be connected with what pre- 
cedes, whether as appositive of xOp or as a second predicate, parallel 
to Tcup and after sariv understood, for neither of these constructions 
yields a recognisable sense. If connected with what follows, a colon 
being put after xijp instead of a comma, we get the best sense of which 
the passage seems capable, viz. : "The tongue stands as {i. e. represents) 
the unrighteous world among our members ; it defiles the whole body, 
itself having direct connection with hell" (so E.V.). 6 x6ayio<; is then 
taken as predicate after xaOwTaxat. So the free Latin version in the 
Speculum : ita et lingua ignis esl : et mundus iniquitatis per linguam 
constat in memhris nostris quae maciilat totam corpus. 

Even this interpretation, however, is awkward and unsatisfactory, 
and it is probable that the text is corrupt. The context calls for some 
word in place of 6 /.datJios which should yield the meaning "produc- 
tive of," or "the tool of," or "representative of" wickedness. The 
phrase would then aptly explain in what way the tongue is in fact a 

The Peshitto inserts uXrj after aStxtaq and thus makes of 6 xoafioq 
XT)? aoixfaq an independent sentence parallel to -^ yXwaaa icGp; "the 
wicked world is a forest." This is a possible conjecture; it seems to 
rest on no Greek evidence. A simpler and better conjecture, often 
made, is to exclude 6 xoaiio? x^q dtScxi'a? from the text altogether as a 

Spitta, following others, conjectures that -fj yXwaaa xCip 6 x6a[io? 
xj\q ciSixfaq is all a gloss. He holds that the words were written as 
the title of 3 '-4'- (which form the Euthalian chapter), and then wrongly 
introduced from the margin into the text, while, as a result of this in- 
terpolation the words ■?] airiXouffa oXov xb au(j,o( were also added. These 
are appropriate to the idea of 6 xoa^jioi; {cf. i"), but not to that of a 
fire; and are not very naturally suggested by the idea of the tongue, 
breaking the forcible simplicity of the original context which Spitta 
thus reconstructs. Exegesis by leaving out hard phrases is an intoxi- 
cating experience. 

in, 6 235 

KadLO-Tarai, "presents itself" ; see on 4*. 

rj (TTiXovaa, ''which defileth," "staineth"; justifying the 
preceding statement. The tongue defiles the body by lending • 
itseK to be the organ of so many sins. 

Cf. i" ciaTikov ctTTo Tov Koa-fwv, Test. XII Patr. Aser 2^ [0 
irXeopeKTMv] tt)v \pv')(rjv airiKoZ koL to (xcb/xa Xa/xTpvpei. 

ij axtXouaa] S boh read (by emendation) xal axtXoOoa. 

okov TO (TOiiia^ cf. V. ^ which is here in mind. 

^Xoyi^ova-a, "setting on fire," "kindhng" ; cf. v. ^ avaTTei. 
This returns to the figure of fire and completes the interrupted 
application of that comparison. 

axtXoGv and (fko-xCQziv are'each used a very few times in the Bible, 
and are not common {<f'ko-^i'C,sf.y being mainly poetical) in secular Greek. 

TOV Tpcypv Trj<i yev€a-€0}<;, "the wheel of nature." 

TTj? YEv^aew?] t< minn vg syrp^'^^ add Tjyiwv ; probably emendation. 

The grammarians distinguish between xpoxo?, "course," and Tpox6i;, 
"wheel," but in view of the derived senses of the latter word the dis- 
tinction is unimportant. 

yeueaa is here to be taken (cf. i'^ and note) as substantially 
equivalent to ktlctl';, "creation." As a spark can set a great 
forest fire, so the tongue kindles the whole world into flame. 
The description of nature as a "wheel" is made comprehensible 
by some of the parallels given below under 2 (c). Here it is 
used to suggest the continuousness, and so the far-reaching 
vastness, of the damage done, but the whole phrase is native 
to other contexts, and the writer's idea is not to be too precisely 
defined. Of course, what is actually enkindled by the tongue 
is mankind and human society, in which the evil results of wrong 
speech are manifest and universal ; the actual phrase is more 
inclusive, but in such a rhetorical expression the exaggeration 
is pardonable. 

For full accounts of the various commentators' guesses at the 
exact meaning, see Heisen, Novae hypotheses, pp. 819-880 (with 
great collections of illustrative material, mostly not apt) ; D.J. 
Pott, Novum Test, grcsce, editio Koppiana, Gottingen, 1810, 

236 JAMES 

vol. ix, pp. 317-329; Huther, ad loc. Much material is given 
in Mayor^, ad loc. pp. 114-116; Windisch, ad loc; and Hort, 
St. James, pp. 72-74, 106/. The only critical discussion of the 
evidence is that of Hort, whose own interpretation, however, 
( is impossible to accept, being based on Ezek. i^^-". 

The translations are as follows : 

syr the successions of our generations, which run like wheels. 
boh the wheel of the birth. 
ff rotam nativitatis. 
vg rotam nativitatis nostras. 
m rotam geniturae. 

Cf. Priscillian, ed. Schepss, p. 26 (deus) sciens demiitationem firma- 
menti et distruens rotam geniturae reparatione haptismatis diem nostrae 
nativitatis evicit. The phrase rota geniturae is here used in the sense of 
astrological fatalism, and is equivalent to 6 Tpoxo? xfiq av^YXT)?. The 
relation of m to Priscillian's text of James makes it probable that in 
this version of James rota geniturae was intended to have that sense, 
and hence geniturae substituted for an earlier nativitatis. 

The interest of the phrase lies not so much in the determina- 
tion of its exact meaning as in the fact that it cannot be ac- 
counted for from Jewish modes of expression and implies con- 
tact with (though not understanding of) Greek thought. It 
does not, however, betray knowledge of any particular system 
of thought (Orphic or other), or any closer contact with Hellen- 
ism on the part of the writer of the epistle than can be inferred 
from other ideas and expressions which he uses. This is true 
in spite of the occurrence in Greek writers of the exact phrase 
6 Tpo')(o<i ri)^ yeveaeoo^ and its equivalent kvkKo^ t?}? ye- 

The two characteristics of the wheel which mainly attracted the at- 
tention of the ancients were (i) its constant change of position and (2) 
its circular figure and motion. In tracing the meanings it should be 
noticed that "wheel" (xpoxd?) and "circle" (xuxXo?) are frequently 
used with little or no distinction. 

1. That any revolving motion is full of change caused the wheel to 
be a sjonbol of the changeableness of human fortune, now up, now down. 
Thus Tpoxi<; T3: dvOpwzivo! ' tjtoi £u|AeTi:poXa was a proverb (Leutsch 

m, 6 237 

and Schneidewin, Corpus pammiographorum, u, Gottingen, 1851, p. 
87, with many references, cf. also ii, p. 223 (Macarius Chrysoc. cent, viii, 
58) ; and from Cicero's time the wheel became a regular attribute of 

So Anacreon, iv, 7 Tpox^? apfxa-roi; fOLg ota ^t'oxos -zgiyti xuXtaOefi;. 

Orac. sibyll. ii, 87 (Ps.-Phocyl. 27) xotva xaOfj xavxwv " gt'oxoi; xpoxo?- 
affxaToq oXpo?. 

Herodotus, i, 207 6? xuxXo? twv dv6pa)xi^t(i>v eaxl TupTjyfJKiTwv xspt- 
<pep6tJi,£voi; Be oux. sot atel xou? auxoCx; s'jtux^s'v. 

For other illustrations, see Gataker's notes on Marcus Aurelius, ix, 28 ; 
Mayor', pp. 116-118; Hort, 5/. Jaines, p. 107. But nothing in James 
(not even i'" 4") indicates that the writer had in mind here this aspect 
of the "wheel of nature." 

2. Another aspect of the turning of a wheel is that it goes round 
and round on its own axis, making no real progress and finding no 
given termination of its motion ; or, to state the same thing from a differ- 
ent point of view, that its figure is circular, and so continuous, returning 
on itself, without beginning and without end. Hence arose various 
derived senses for both "wheel" and "circle." Thus the rhetoricians 
and grammarians speak of the "circle of the period," much as we 
might say the "rounded period," and of the closed "circle" of an argu- 
ment ; a verse beginning and ending with the same word was called a 
"circle," and so was a continuous series of myths (especially the "epic 

For instance. Ocellus Lucanus (neo-py thagorean) , LibeJI us de universi 
natura, i, 15 (Mullach, Fragmcnta philoso phomm grceconim, i, p. 394), 
Yi xs Y<ip ToiJ ax-f}[L(xxoq tSea XIJX.X01; ' ouxo? Se xavxo9ev 'iooq xal '6[t.oio<; . 
Stoxep avapxo? xal axsXsJXTjxoi;. 

In physiology the continual cycle of breathing in and out is described 
by Plato {Tim. 79 B) as olov xpoxoij x£ptaYO[A£vou {cf. also Galen, De 
placitis Hippocratis et Platonis, p. 711). More important to be con- 
sidered here are the following uses : 

(a) In general, "wheel" and "circle" are used of the round of human 
life, the cycle of successive generations which endlessly are born and 
disappear; and the same mode of thought was applied to the whole 
universe, all parts of which are subject to endless succession of forma- 
tion and decay.f 

Thus Euripides, I no, fragm. 415, fragm. 419, ed. Nauck (in Plutarch, 
Consol. ad Apollonium, 6, p. 104 B) : 

xuxXo? yap auihc, xapicifiot? xe -{y]q (puxot?, 
Ovrjxwv x£ ysvea " xuv (jlIv ot-j^sxat ^t'o?, 
xwv Se (pOi'vEi X£ y.tx\ 6ep{l^£xat xdXtv. 

* See Stephanus, Thesaurus, or Liddell and Scott, s. v. kvkKo<;. 

t Of a different order is the mechanical conception of the revolving universe, used with 
great ingenuity by Plato, e. g. Polil. ii-14, PP- 269-271 ; Leg. x, 8, p. 8g8. 


A good statement of the same idea (but without the word x6xXo<;) is 
that of Plutarch {Consol. ad A polloniiim, lo, p. io6 E) in a neighbouring 
context to that in which he cites the above fragment (p. 104 B). He 
refers to the doctrines of Heraclitus, and compares the progress of the 
generations — our grandparents, our parents, ourselves — to the con- 
tinuous flow of a river (6 t^<; yeveaedx; xoTotixb? outo? evSeXex^? p^wv 
oiJ'xoTs ax-^aexai), while in the opposite direction flows the correspond- 
ing river of death (xal xaXtv kq svavxtac; kutm 6 ttj? (fGopa?). But here 
the contrast of -^hsaiq and 96opd shows that yeveati; has its proper 
sense of "coming into being," not the meaning which we have to as- 
sume for it in James. 

Simplicius (c. 500 a.d.) Comm. in Epicteti enchiridion, ed. Didot, 
ch. 8, p. 42, uses the phrase " the endless circle of becoming" (tSyiXtiAo? 
. . . TM axepavTM t^? Ysv^ffeu? xuxXtj), Sta touto Ix' axetpov xpo'tovTc, 8ta 
•rb TTjv aXXou 9eopav aXXou ysveutv slvat), and similarly, ed. Didot, ch. 27, 
p. 76 (quoted by Hort, St. James, p. 73).* 

These passages well illustrate that conception of the circle itself 
which is probably the basis of James's use of Tpox6<;, but in them yevsuk; 
means not "nature," in the sense of tj xxcat?, but "becoming," "origi- 
nation," as the context shows. Thus the close similarity of expression 
to that of James turns out to be mainly accidental, and the passages 
are not directly available for the interpretation of the phrase in the 

In accordance with this general method of thought Isidore of Pelu' 
sium (t c. 440), Ep. ii, 158, interprets the phrase in James (which he 
misquotes xbv xpo^bv Tfjq Cw^?) to mean "time" and says oxt xbv xpo- 
^bv xbv xpovov sxdXsffS 8ta xb xpoxosiSs? xal xuxXtxbv C5yr\\xct, zlq eauxbv 
Yotp dtveXfxxexat.f His general interpretation is on the right track, but 
the phrase in the epistle does not mean "time." 

(&) In connection with the Orphic and Pythagorean doctrine of the 
transmigration of souls to new bodies after death, the term "wheel," 
or "circle, " was naturally used to describe the unending round of death 
and rebirth. Metempsychosis, which in its primitive Thracian form 
had been a means of gaining after death a full life, such as was incon- 
ceivable apart from a body, became for Greek religious thought a form 
of purifying punishment, from whose dismal cycle salvation could 
come only from the god and to those alone who had pursued the ascetic 
practises of the " Orphic life." % To " cease from the Wheel and breathe 
again from ill" (xuxXou x' av XiQ^at xal avaxveiiaat xa7.6xir]xo<;, Or ph. fragm. 
226, Proclus, In Plat. Tim. comm. v, p. 330 B) was the goal of the relig- 

* See also, for similar phrases, the index to Proclus Diadochus, In Plalonis Timmum comm. 
ed. Diehl, igo6, s. v. kvk\o<;. 

t This has gone into Cramer's Catena, pp. 20/. 

X See E. Rohde, Psyche^, 1903, ii, pp. 121-131, 133-136, 165, note 2, 217-219 /. ; Jane E. 
Harrison, Prolegomena (as cited below); Lobeck, Aslaophamus, 1829, ii, pp. 795-806. 

Ill, 6 239 

ious life of the Orphic initiate, and in the ritual a wheel seems to have 
played a part. "The first article in the creed or confession of the 
Orphic soul is xuxXou S's^eicTotv PapuicevSeo^ apyaXeoto, 'I have flown 
out of the sorrowful weary wheel.' " * 

This Orphic round of birth, death, reincarnation, over and over again 
repeated, is described as "the wheel of fate and birth" (6 -cij? elfiapiilvTjs 
x£ xal •^eveasiiiq xpox6?)t a^^d "the circle of birth" (6 xuxXoq t^<; ys- 
v^a£(i)?).t The phrase "compulsory circle" (/.U/.X01; avayxr)?) is also 
foimd in a statement of the kindred transmigration doctrine attrib- 
uted to Pythagoras. § But the phrases, although almost identical 
with that of Jas. 3% do not throw any light upon it. To think 
of the tongue as enflaming the "wheel" of metempsychosis is non- 
sense; and, on the other side, nothing could be more opposed to 
James's robust doctrine of moral responsibility than the idea of a 
fatalistic circle. 

It is therefore impossible to draw the inference that the author of 
the epistle had direct contact with Orphic mysteries and ideas. The 
resemblance of language may well be a mere accident, and even if 
we suppose that he had picked up and misused a chance phrase, that 
would be fully accounted for by acquaintance with Cynic popular 
preachers, or Stoic-cynic writers of diatribes, who must have given 
currency to such catch-words incidentally to their satirical attacks on 
the ideas which the phrases 

(c) Similar expressions are used of fatalistic necessity. So Philo, 
Dc sonin. ii, 6, p. 664, xuxXov xal xpoxov avayxiQ? aTeXsux-^xou. In the 
magic literature are found such expressions as x6y.Xa xij? avayxiQ? ; see 
O. Gruppe, Griech. Mylhologie iind Religions geschichte, 1906, p. 1086, 
note I. 

In this connection it may be observed that ysvecrtt; in later philo- 
sophical use means "necessity" (for instances, see Clementine Recogni- 
tions, viii, 2, 4, 6, 7, etc.). But this whole field of fatalistic thought is 
diametrically opposed to everything that James held dear. 

*The verse is from the Compagno tablet, Kaibel, Inscr. Ilal. et Sicil. 641, p. 158. Sec 
Jane E. Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, Cambridge, 1903, pp. 586, 
589-594, 668-671; and note the similar use of <TTe<f>avos in other verses of the same in- 

t Simplicius, In Arisl. de ccbIo comm. ii, p. 168 b (ed. Heiberg, p. 377). 

' Produs, In Plat. Tim. comm. v, p. 330 A; cf. also Orphica, fragmm. 222, 223, 225, ed. 
Abel, 1885, pp. 244-246. 

§ Diogenes Laert. viii, 14, Vila Pythag. npaiTov <j>a<Ti. tovtov [Pythagoras] airotjyrjvai tiji' 
tfivx^v kvk\ov avdyKr]^ afjiei^ovcrav aWoTe aAAois evSeiaOai, C^cuotj. 

II See A. Dieterich, Nekyia, Leipzig, 1893, p. 141. 

In any case a mere accidental coincidence seems to be involved in the fact that Simpli- 
cius's " wheel of fate and birth " is an allegorical interpretation of Ixion's wheel, and that 
Ixion's wheel was sometimes represented as fiery. As a rationalising interpretation of James's 
language, parallel to this, may be mentioned the idea of a wheel catching fire from a " hot 
box " at the axle, which is seriously offered by many commentaries 1 

240 JAMES 

virb rr}? yeeuvrj^. Gehenna, a term elsewhere used in the 
N. T. only in the Synoptic Gospels, here means the place of 
punishment of the wicked. It was naturally associated with 
lire, cf. Mt. 522 18^, Mk. g^^, and see HDB, "Gehenna." 
Observe the sudden intrusion of a purely Jewish idea into a 
notably Greek context. 

7-12. The tongue is untamable; Us use in blessing God gives 
no security against its abuse later for cursing men; this is wrong 
and contrary to nature. 

7. 7ap, explains how the extreme statement of v. ^ is justi- 
fied. The dreadful character of the tongue comes from its 

Oripiwv re /cat TereLvooy epirerxoy re koI evoKicov^ "beasts 
and birds, reptiles and fishes." CJ. Deut. 4I"' ^^, i Kings 4^^, 
Acts 10^2 jj;6^ which all, like the present passage, have more or 
less direct reference to Gen. i^o- 24. 26^ 

eVaXtW, i. e. fishes. This word is not found elsewhere in the 
Bible, but is common in secular Greek, both poetry and late 

Bafict^erat koL BeSdfiaaTat, "is from time to time, and has 
actually been, tamed." Cf. Schmid, Atticismus, ii, p. 276. 

Trj <f>va-eL rji avOpfOTLvrj. The dative is used in the sense of 
"in subjection to." The term itself means "human kind" 
{cf. L. and S. s. v. and references in Wetstein), andjs used 
here instead of the more natural toT? avOpooiroL^ in order to 
make a little play with iracra ^vai<;. 

The control of animals by man was a familiar Hebrew obser- 
vation, cf. Gen. i28 g-, Ps. 8^-*, Ecclus. 17*; it was also a com- 
mon subject of Greek and Roman comment and moralising, 
see references in Mayor. 

8. ovSek Safidcrat Bvvarai. Notice the alliteration with S, 
cf. V. ^ and 4 Mace. 15", where k is repeated six times. 

avdpoiTQiu. Belongs with ouSei? ; alludes to auOpcoTLur). 

This is not meant to be, as Augustine {De not. el gral. ch. 15) and others 
since have thought, in contrast with the divine power which can do ail 
things, but is a popular way of saying that complete control of the 
tongue is not to be expected ; cJ. v. = tiXetot; dvi^p. 

Ill, 6-9 241 

The Pelagian interpretation, which took this as a question, in order 
to avoid a proof-text for universal sinfulness, is unacceptable because 
opposed to the context. 

aKardaTaTov KaKoi', "a restless, forthputting, evil"; best 
taken (because of fiea-Trj) as nominative absolute; cf. Mk. 12^*. 
aKaTd(7TaTo<i is the opposite of BeSa/xaafiei^o^; ; see on i*, and 
cf. 3" aKaraaraaia. Cf. Hermas, Mand. ii, 3 irourjpa rj /cara- 
XaXtctj cLKardaTaTOV Saifioviov iariv. 

dy.3£TacTTaTov] CKL minnp''^'' m syrut' Cyr read axaTiaxsTov ; more 
commonplace, hence probably an emendation. 

lov davaTT](f)6pov, "deadly poison," probably with allusion to 
the poison of the serpent's tongue. Cf. Ps. 140', quoted in 
Rom. 3". Cf. Lucian, Fugit. 19 lov fieaTou avToi'i to aTo/xa. 
The figure of poison was a common one among the Greeks, 
used for various hateful things (references in Mayor). 

9. Continues thought of v. *. Even good use of the tongue 
now gives no security against misuse later. 

eV avTjj, "by it," cf. Rom. 15^ This might be the Hebrais- 
tic instrumental eV (see Blass, § 41. i, J. H. Moulton, Pro- 
legomena, pp. 11/., 61/., 104), but is more probably an ex- 
tension of Hellenistic usage for which good parallels are found 
only in very late, Byzantine, writers (see Stephanus, Thesaurus, 
ed. Hase and Dindorf, s. v., coll. 963 /.). 

This twofold use of the tongue is frequently mentioned. Philo, De 
decal. 19, p. 196 ou yAp offiov, St' ou <sxb\^at.'zoc, xb kpcotaxov 3vo[ji,a xpo- 
(pIpETaf Ttq, 8ta TOUTOU qjOeYYeaOac tc twv ataxpwv. 

Plutarch, De garridUate, 8, p. 506 C oBsv 6 rTcxxaxb? ou xaxw?, tou 
AtYuxxt'wv ^aaiX^w? TC^[jnj*avxo<; tepetov auxw, xal xeXsijaavxoq xb xa>>A!axov 
Y.(x\ xb x£'Pt<J'rov e^sXetv xpiaq, £Tce[jnJ;sv I^eXmv x-f)v yXcixxav, wg opyavov 
txev dtyaOwv, opyavov Ss xwv xaxwv xwv lAsy faxwv ouaav. Substantially the 
same story is told in Levit. rabba, ^7, pr. on Prov. iS^' (Schottgen, 
Horae heb. i, p. 1024) of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, who sent his servant 
to market to buy first good and then bad food, and found himself 
both times supplied with tongues. See other references in Mayor and 
Windisch, and cf. the passages in which SfYXu(jao<; occurs, Prov. ii'^^ 
Ecclus. s'. " 6' 28", Orac. Sib. iii, 37. 

€v\oyoufM€v. Doubtless with reference both to the Jewish 

custom of adding "Blessed be He," whenever the name of God 

242 JAMES 

was mentioned {cf. Rom. i-"" 9-^ 2 Cor. ii^O) and to other litur- 
gical ascriptions of praise. For the latter, cf. 2 Cor. i^, Eph. i^, 
I Pet. i^ Ps. i45^S and the Shemone Esre (Schiirer, GJV, § 27, 
Anhang) . 

Tov Kvpiov KOI irarepa. Both words refer to God. See on 2^ ; 
cf. i". The expression has no complete parallel ; cf. i Chron. 
2910, Is. 631s Mt. ii25, Ecclus. 231' ". 

Karapcofieda^ cf. Job 31^", Ps. 10^ 62^ 109-^, Lk. 6^8, Rom. 

Test. XII Patr. Benj. 6 r} ayaOr] Bidvoia ovk e^et Bvo <y\(oa- 
cra? €v\ojLa<; /cat /carapa?. 

Tov<; Ka6' ofioioocrtv Oeov yeyovora';. Cf. Gen. i'^^ 9®, Ecclus. 
17^ Wisd. 2-^. Cf. Bereshith r. 24 (Wetstein), quoted by 

10. ou XPV- Used only here in N. T, 

11-12. The contrary example of springs and trees. What 
takes place with the tongue would be impossible in nature. 
For the same thought, cf. Enoch 2-5^. 

11. V T^vyV- T^vyv has the article as the representative of 
its class; see Winer, § 18. i. 

jSpuet, "gush." "Send forth" (E.V.) is an exact, but prosaic, 
rendering of this mainly poetical word, which is not used else- 
where in O. T. or N. T. It means "teem," "be full to burst- 
ing," and is ordinarily used intransitively, with dative or geni- 
tive, of the swelling buds of plants and so, figuratively, of vari- 
ous kinds of fulness. Here the context shows that the thought 
is of the gushing forth of the water. 


Cognate accusatives, as in Justin Martyr, Dial. 114 xerpa? 
. . . ^Mv vhcop ISpvovaTj'i. Mayor gives many other references, 
in some of which, as here, the cognate accusative occurs. 
yXvKv means "fresh," iriKpov {cf. v. 1- akvKov), "brackish." 
Cf. Ex. 1523-25 {TTiKpov^ ijKvKciuOi]) , Jer. 23^^ 

This occurrence is prophesied as a portent in 4 Ezra 5' in diilcibus 
aqtds salsae invenientiir. "Only in the times of the End, in the days 
of the sinners, when all nature reverses its order and shows itself 
ripe for destruction, does such a phenomenon appear" (Spitta, p. 104). 

in, 9-13 243 

12. a8e\(j)0i fwv. Here inserted to add emphasis, not, as 
more often, to mark a transition; so i^^ 2*. 

avKYj^ i\aia<i^ afnr€\o<i. 

The fig, the oHve, and the vine are the three characteristic 
natural products of warm countries about the Mediterranean. 
For the figure, cf. Mt. 7" I23'' ; Plutarch, De tranquill. anim. p. 
472 F rrjv dfiTeXov avKa ^epetv ovk a^iov/jLev ov8e Trjv ekaiav 
^6Tpv<i; similarly, Seneca, Ep. 8f^, De ira ii, 10'= ; Epict. Diss. 
ii, 20^*. 

ovT€ seems to be an error for ovSe, but the constant inter- 
change of these words in the Mss. by textual corruption makes 
it hard to be sure that good ancient writing did not exercise 
more freedom in the use of them than the grammarians would 
sanction ; see Radermacher, N eutestamentliche Grammaiik, p. 

aXvKov, sc. vSoop, "salt water"; i.e. a salt spring. There 
were salt springs or brine-pits on the shore of the Dead Sea, 
and the hot springs of Tiberias are described as bitter and salt ; 
see Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1856, ii, p. 384. 

j\vKv TTOLrjaai vSoop, sc. Biivarat (as is shown by the parallel 
first half of the verse). 

No application of these illustrations is made, and James turns 
abruptly to another aspect of the matter. The passage well 
illustrates his vividness and fertility of illustration, as well as 
his method of popular suggestiveness, rather than systematic 
development of the thought. 

oSts dXuxJjv Y^uxu] BAC minn. 

ouTox; ou-ue [ouSs ^ minn] aXuxbv yXuxu] XC' minn ff vg syrp«»'» boh 

ouTw<; ouSs(x{a xrjy?) aXuxbv xal yXuxu] KLP (outs) minnp'" syr*";' <••* 
(syrtci tit om ou-uox;). 

13-18. The true Wise Ma?i's wisdom must he meek and peace- 
able ; such wisdom alone comes from above, and only peaceable 
righteousness receives the divine reward. 

13. The Wise Man must by a good life illustrate the meek- 
ness which belongs to true wisdom. 

244 JAMES 

Ti?. For similar rhetorical questions, see Ps. 33^2 107''^, Is. 
50^°, Ecclus. 6^^, etc. These short interrogative sentences (fre- 
quent in Paul) are characteristic of the diatribe; Bultmann, 
pp. 14/. 

It is not necessary here, although it would be possible, to take liq 
in the sense of oaxiq. See Buttmann, § 139 (Thayer's translation, p. 
252) ; Blass, § 50. 5 ; J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 93 ; Winer, § 25. i. 

co^6<i. The technical term for the Teacher (c/. v. ^) ; in 
Jewish usage one who has a knowledge of practical moral wis- 
dom, resting on a knowledge of God. The words of James re- 
late to the ideal to be maintained by a professional Wise Man 
and Teacher, not merely to the private wisdom of the layman. 

iinaT'j/jLOiVj "understanding," with a certain tone of superi- 
ority, like our "expert." Cf, Ecclus. proL, Dan. i* veaviaKOVi 
. . . eTrL(TTrjiM)va^ iu irdcrr) ao(f)ia. 

aocf)6^ and iTia-Tijfjicop are used as synonyms in Deut. i^^' ^^ 
4^, Dan. 5^2, cf. Philo, De pram, et pcenis, 14 (ro(f)6v dpa yeva 
Kal e'inaT7}fxovLKOiTaTov, 

Sei^ciTO} m Trj<i KaKr]<; avaarpo^r]'; rd epya avrov eV irpav- 
Tr]Tt o-o^tia?, "let him by his good life show that his works have 
been done in the meekness appropriate to wisdom." 

The relation of the parts of the sentence must be interpreted 
by the aid of 2^^, Sei^co e/c tcov epyoov ixov Tr]v TrCariv. The wise 
Man is here called on to prove not (as many commentators 
suppose) his wisdom (which would require Bei^drco ttjv croipiav), 
but his meekness. For Jewish examples of the tendency of 
learned discussion to excite passion, see J. Friedmann, Der ge- 
sellschaftliche Verkehr und die Umgangsformeln in tahmidischer 
Zeit, 1 9 14, pp. 58/. 

It is better to take ev xpaijTT^Ti aocpte? in this way than as if it were 
used in deprecation of the possible ostentation implied in Set^ixw 
("Let him point to his good works, but let him do so with due meek- 
ness such as befits wisdom"). This would have to be indicated more 
clearly, as by inserting dXX4 before Iv. 

The reason for rejecting the (at first sight simpler) interpretation, 
"Let him prove his wisdom by his good life" (Clem. Rom. 38= 6 ao^bc; 
lvS£txvuff6co T-?jv ao^fav aOxoG [j.-?] sv Xdyoti; dtXX' sv spyoK; ayaOoft;), which 

in, 13-14 245 

many commentators have adopted, has been indicated above. It does 
not do justice to the text of v. '^ and does not give to "meekness" 
the emphasis that is needed in order to prepare for v. '^ 

eV TrpavTTjTij cf. i^^ (of the hearer, as here of the teacher). 

"Meekness" is the opposite of arrogance and of the quahties 
referred to in v. " ; see Trench, Synonyms, § Ixii. Pirke Aboth, 
iv, II, "He that is arrogant in decision is foolish, wicked, and 
puffed up in spirit," is a maxim which refers to this besetting 
danger of rabbis ; see Taylor's Sayings of the Fathers'^, p. 69, 
notes 13 and 14, with quotation from R. Jonah, and cf. Pirke 
Aboth, iv, 12, 14. 

14. And if your heart enkindle with fierce, obstinate, and 
divisive zeal for your own views, do not let such passion come 
to expression. 

Be, " and," in continuation of v. ^^ not in contrast. 

WH.'s period before d oe is too strong a punctuation ; a colon is 

^rjXou TTiKpov, "harsh zeal." Because of epiOlav this mean- 
ing for ^rfKov is better than the meaning "jealousy" (in the 
ordinary sense of personal jealousy), and corresponds well to 
the general thought. The idea is of a fierce desire to pro- 
mote one's own opinion to the exclusion of those of others. 

This sense of "fanatical zeal" (as distinguished from "emulation" 
and "jealousy") is not wholly foreign to Greek usage, but has been 
made specially common by the influence of the LXX, where X^r^koq 
stands in all cases for nxjp, "jealous devotion to a cause," "fanatical 
ardoiur," as I^tjXouv does in nearly all cases for the verb njp. 

It is the virtue of the religious "zealot," cf. i Kings ig^"- ", Ecclus. 
48' (Elijah), I Mace. 2". "^ 4 Mace. i8'= (Phinehas), Phil. 3' (Paul), 
Gal. I", Acts 212". But it also becomes the vice of the fanatic; and 
hence its special danger for the religious teacher. 

In secular use 'C^Xo? generally means "heat," as expressed in "emula- 
tion," "rivalry" — whether good or bad; see below, note on 4'. The 
Biblical sense brings it near to the Hellenic aTCouSr), which, starting from 
another side ("haste," "exertion"), acquired a wide range of meanings 
including "zeal" and "rivalry." 

See Trench, Synonyms, § xxvi, Lightfoot on Clem. Rom. 3. Note the 
connection of ^^Xo? and a/.aTa3-:acj{a in v. ", and cf. Clem. Rom. 3 2. 

246 JAMES 

epidiaVj "selfish ambition." The word denotes the inclina- 
tion to use unworthy and divisive means for promoting one's 
own views or interests, cf. Rom. 2*, 2 Cor. 12^°, Gal. 5™ (and 
Lightfoot's note), and references in Mayor, together with 
Hort's valuable note, ad loc. pp. 81-83; ^^epidia really means 
the vice of a leader of a party created for his own pride : it 
is partly ambition, partly rivalry" (Hort). 

eV TTj KapSia vfiwv has a certain emphasis, in contrast with 
KaraKavxaade. The meaning is: "If you have these quaHties 
in your heart, do not let them come to expression." 

fiT) KaTaKav^acrde {sc. twv aXKo)v) koI \pev8ea6e Kara r?}? 
aXijdeia'i. "Do not boast and be arrogant, and thus prove 
false to the Truth." That would be the natural fruit of the 
spirit of ^^Xo? and epidia in the heart; and it must be sup- 
pressed. KaraKavxaa-de (cf. note on 2^^) seems here to relate 
to the browbeating on the part of the Wise Man who haugh- 
tily forces his own views on others. 

Others connect [x-f) xaxaxauxasGe directly with xaxa ttj? aXirjOeca?, 
see Winer, § 54. 5, note (Thayer's transl. p. 470, note 3). The sense 
then would be: "Do not boast over, and lie against, the truth." But 
the idea of "boasting over {or against) the truth" is out of place in the 
context, and is itself unnatural. xai;axayxaj6ac xaia -ccvo? is a con- 
struction which nowhere occurs. 

Kal xJ/evBecrOe Kara r?}? oKrjdeia^. "And thus play false 
against the truth," i. e. by your conduct (KaraKavxaa-dai) 
prove false to, and belie, the truth which you as a Wise Man 
profess to have and utter. 

Cf. 4 Mace. 5^< oj '^leuaofxai as, xoctSeuTa vojAe, 13*'; see L. aiid S. 
s.v. for examples of (J'suSoiJ-a' with accusative, meaning "prove false 
to" an oath, a treaty, a marriage, an aUiance, a threat, a promise. 

See also Zahn, GnK, i, p. 792, note, and J. Weiss, Der crsle Korinlher- 
bricf, p. 354, note, for examples of /.otxaij'eijSeaOat, "speak falsely to 
the injury of someone." 

T77? a\r]0eia<;. Cf. i^^ Xo^oj aXT^^em?, 519 TKavrjOrj airo r^? 
akrjOela^i. This means the Christian truth which the Wise 
Man knows — truth of both practical morals and religion. See 

Ill, 14-15 247 

the fuller discussion in the note on 5^^. The conduct here cen- 
sured is contrary to and forbidden by this truth ; hence, if the 
Wise Man is guilty of that conduct, he is false to the truth of 
which he is the representative. 

If the phrase <\>z()is<jQe xxzi Tfjq iXTjOeias stood alone, a simpler in- 
terpretation would perhaps be "do not lie, violating the truth" {cf. 
Ecclus. 4='' [i-^ ivxiXeYS xf) a>vT)8et(j:, Test. XII Patr. Gad 5' XaXwv xaxa 
T^s a>.iQ0eias), but that would be alien to the context here, and it is 
in itself not wholly acceptable since it makes xaxd ti^q ii.'kt]Qd(xq a mere 

IJiT) xxxx-KauxiaQs xal iJ^EuSeaOe xaxoc T^q d'ki]Qei(xq] S syrp*^'^ read [ir] 
xaTaxaux«<j6s [^s'^+] Tfjs ctXTjOstas y-oA (J^euSeaGe. Doubtless an emen- 
dation due to the apparent incompleteness of xaiaxauxaaGe alone. 

15. avTr] rj cro</)ia, " that wisdom," i. c. the professed wisdom 
which is accompanied by s'r}Xo9 inKpo^, ipidia^ /cara/cav^T/crt?, 
and lacks irpavn]^. 

duoodeu Karepxo/Ji'ei^r), i.e. divine, from God, cf. i^-"; cf. 
Philo, De prof. 30 ao<piav avoodev o/x^pijdelcrav a-w ovpavov, Be 
congr. erud. grat. 7, De prcem. et pcen. 8; Hermas, Mand. ix, 11, 
xi, 5 ; and Schottgen, Horae hehraicae, ad loc, for many rabbin- 
ical instances of what was plainly a common Jewish expres- 
sion. The phrase is contrasted with the following three ad- 

For the divine origin of true wisdom, cf. c. g. Prov. 2^ 8---", Wisd. 7" 
g*' ="■, Ecclus. !'-< 24' ff-, Enoch 42, Philo, as above, i Cor. V^-2'. 

iircyem, "earthly," cf. Phil, s'^ Col. 3-, i Cor. 15", Jn. 3^1 

CTT 176609 seems to mean here "derived from the frail and 
finite world of human life and affairs." Cf. Philo's contrast of 
oupdvto^ and7T;tVo9, Leg. all. i, 12, and the far-reaching dualism 
on which it rests. 

\pvxc/c-^, "natural" (Latin animalis, E.V. "sensual"), i.e. 
pertaining to the natural life {^vxn) which men and animals 
alike have; i Cor. 2^* 1^44-46^ Jude 19. 

Cf. Rev. 8' ('^u/Tj of animals). See Philo, Leg. all. ii, 7 and 13, Quis 
rer. div. her. 11, and E. Hatch, Essays, p. 124, cf. pp. 11 5-1 20. 

248 JAMES 

The word was intelligible and familiar in this sense to Paul's 
readers, and does not imply later gnostic usage ; see J. Weiss, 
Der erste Korintherbrief , 1910, pp. 69/., 371-373 ; R. Reitzen- 
stein. Die hellenistischen Mysterienreligionen, 19 10, pp. 42-47, 
109, 112, 151/. 

The curious resemblance to the gnostic designation of the two lower 
grades of men as -/jA-mI and t^uyj'/.oi is probably not significant. Yet 
see Pfleiderer, Urchristentum^, ii, p. 546. Useful references will be 
found in Mayor. 

8aifiovico8r]<;, "resembling," or "pertaining to" ("proceeding 
from"), an evil spirit, cf. 2*^, i Tim. 41. This word has been 
pointed out elsewhere only Sym., Ps. 91^, and Schol. on Aris- 
tophanes, Ran. 293, (fydvTaafxa 8aifxovto)Ses vto '^Karrjs iiri- 

These three words, "earthly, sensual, devilish," describe the 
so-called wisdom, which is not of divine origin, in an advancing 
series — as pertaining to the earth, not to the world above ; to 
mere nature, not to the Spirit ; and to the hostile spirits of evil, 
instead of to God. Hermas, Mand. ix, 11, xi, 8, show a variety 
of resemblances to this passage of James, but there is no evi- 
dence of Hterary dependence. 

The church speedily and permanently used this conception of Satanic 
origin to account for the gnostic "wisdom" ; cf. e. g. Justin, Apol. i, 58. 
In James, however, it is not the substance, but the temper, of the 
"wisdom" that makes it false. James is not attacking systems of 
false teaching. See Weinel, Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geiste, pp. 
i3/-> 16-18, 20/. 

16. 7«'p. Introduces proof that v. ^^ is true. "For such a 
temper, even on the part of one who claims to be a Wise Man, 
leads to every evil." 

oirov . . . e'/cet. For this rhetorical turn, cf. i Cor. 3^ and 
Epict. Diss, iii, 22" (Mayor). 

aKaraaraaLa, "disorder," "disturbance," "trouble." Cf. i» 
38 aKaTd(TTaTo<;. 

The word seems to have something of the bad associations of 
our word "anarchy," and has to bear much weight in this sen- 
tence. Cf. Prov. 26^8, I Cor. 14^^, 2 Cor. 12-" t^Xo?, epiOiai, 

Ill, 15-17 249 

KaraaTao-iai ; and the similar list of evils, Gal. 5^0, which has 
i'vAof, iptdiai, 8t%oo-Tao-iat ; Lk. 21*, Clem. Rom. i^. See 
Hatch, Essays, p. 4: "The political circumstances of Greece 
and the East after the death of Alexander had developed the 
idea of poHtical instabiUty, and with it the word aKaraar atria, 
Polyb. I. 70. I." 

(pavKov, "vile," see Trench, Synonyms, § Ixxxiv. ^aOXo? is 
found only ten times in the LXX, five instances being in Prov- 
erbs, the others in Job, Ecclesiasticus, and 4 Maccabees. 

17. Cf. Wisd. 7"-25. 

TrpoiTOv fxev dyvrj, "first pure," i. e. "undefiled," free from any 
faults such as the ^r]\o<; and ipiOia above mentioned. Nothing 
which shows itself as half-good, half-bad, can be accounted 
wisdom, Wisd. 7-^. 

See Trench, § Ixxxviii and references in Lex. s. v. ayio<;. Cf. 
Phil. 4*, I Pet. 32. In the LXX ayvoi; is found eleven times, of 
which four instances are in Proverbs and four in 4 Maccabees. 
See Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, 


e-weiTa introduces the following adjectives, which, thus 

grouped, stand over against a<yvq^ the quality from which they 

all proceed. 

dpr}VLKi], "peaceable," cf. Mt. 5'. 

iineiK7]<;, "reasonable," "considerate," "moderate," "gentle" 
(E.V.). See Trench, Synonyms, § xliii: "We have no words in 
English which are full equivalents of the Greek." See Light- 
foot on Phil. 4^, and Mayor's note, p. 131. 

This is a distinctively Greek virtue ; the word £xtetx,Tf)? and its deriva- 
tives are found but a few times in LXX, e. g. Ps. 86=, 2 Mace. 9=^ In 
the N. T. 2 Cor. lo', Phil. 4=, i Tim. 3', Tit. 3-, i Pet. 2^\ Acts 24^ 

€iT€t6i]^, "obedient," "ready to obey"; here perhaps "will- 
ing to yield," the opposite of "obstinate" (Philo, Dc fortitud. 3). 

Only here in the N. T. In O. T. only 4 Maccabees, and in strict 
sense of "obedient." 

/xea-Tt], cf. Rom. i-^ 15", 2 Pet. 2^\ The word is not common 
in LXX. 

2 so JAMES 

eXeow, "mercy," a compassion which leads to practical help, 
not the mere emotion of pity, cf. 2^^. See Trench, Synonyms, 
§ xlvii ; and Lex. s. v. eKeelv. 

Kap-KMV a'yaOSiv, i. e. good works, cf. Mt. 21*^ Gal. 5", Eph. 
5«, Phil. ill. 

aOLUKpiTO^, "undivided," i. e. unwavering, whole-hearted, 
with reference to the evil situation described in vv. ^-^°. 

Cf. I* & 8iaxptv6[ji£V0(;, 2* disxpi^fjxs. Only here in N. T. ; in O. T. 
cf. Prov. 25' (aStixptTO'.), and there the sense is doubtful. See Ign. 
Trail, i' a\x(x)\i.oy Sicivototv x,al aStdxpixov ev uizo^Lovfi eyvwv u[ 'iyovzaq, 
Rom. inscr., Philad. inscr., Magn. 15; Clem. Alex. Pad. ii, 3, p. 190 
liSiaxptTw "TCtaTet. 

The Latin translations (Vg. non judicatis; Cod. Corb. sine dijudi- 
catlone) seem to have missed the meaning of this word, as have many 
interpreters. Thus Luther translates " imparteiisch" ; so A.V., R.V. 
mg. "without partiality." 

avvTTOKpiTo^, "without hypocrisy." 

In O. T. only Wisd. 51' iS'S; in N. T. Rom. 12=, 2 Cor. 6^, i Tim. i', 
2 Tim. 1 5, I Pet. i", in sense of "sincere." Elsewhere only as adverb 
(avuTcoxpfTcog), e.g. 2 Clem. Rom. 12'. 

These characteristics of true wisdom are selected in pointed 
opposition to the self-assertive, quarrelsome spirit characteristic 
of the other sort. Apart from the fundamental dyprj they fall 
into three groups : 

elprjVLKrj^ eTneiKr]^^ eviretO^^ • 

fiecTTrj eXeoL"? /cat Kapiroiv af^aOoiV • 

aBiaKpLTOf^ apvTTOKpiToi; . 

18. Kapiro^ SLKaioa-vu7}<; , "the fruit of righteousness," i.e. 
the reward which righteous conduct brings, cf. Heb. 12" Kapivov 
elprjviKov BtKatocrvvr]'; , Phil, i^^ ireTrXrjpo^fiePOL Kapirov SiKato- 

That the expression "fruit of righteousness" has the sense "product 
of righteousness " is shown by those O. T. passages which seem to have 
given it its currency, and in which it is used with a variety of applica- 
tions. Cf. Prov. 3" (LXX), 1 1 3° ex xapicou StxaioaiiviQ? ^uasxat SevSpov 
l^wTji;, i. e. "righteousness brings long life," 13 ^ (LXX), Amos 612. In 

Ill, 17-18 251 

all these cases 8txatoauvT)<; indicates the source of the "fruit." Similarly 
Is. 32I' : "And the work of righteousness (idc epya t'O? 5t3<.atoffuvY)s) shall 
be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and confidence 
forever." For the figure of sowing, cf. Prov. ii^' (LXX), 6 3e oTcsi'pwv 
Si5tatoauvY)v XT^fJuJ^sxott [xtaOov, Hos. lo'^ Job 4^ Test. XII Patr. Levi, 
13', etc. 

iu elpijurj o-ireipeTat, "sown in peace," and in peace only; 
i. e. a righteousness capable of gaining its due reward must be 
peaceable; cf. i^°. The sower is, of course, the righteous man. 

For the slightly inaccurate expression "sow the fruit, or crop" (in- 
stead of the seed), cf. Apoc. Bar. ;^2\ "Sow the fruits of the law," 
Plutarch, De vitando are alieno, 4 axsipovuss oux ^t^spov xapxov, Antiph- 
anes. Fab. inc. iv, 4 axst'pstv xapxbv xaptTo<;. 

rot<? TTOLoixTLv elpr]VT]v. 

To "do peace" {cf. Eph. 2^^, Col. i-" elptjvoroteco ; Mt. 5' 
eiprji'OTroio'i) means not merely to conciliate opponents, but to 
act peaceably. It is the complete opposite of f^Xo? and epiOla. 

The interpretation of v. '« here given may be paraphrased, with a 
change of figure, thus: "The foundation which righteousness lays for 
eternal Hfe can be laid only in peace and by those who practise peace." 
This is equivalent to saying that righteousness includes peaceableness. 

Another common interpretation takes xapicbs 3(/.ato(j6vY)s as mean- 
ing "the fruit which consists in righteousness." The source will then 
be the true wisdom, of which righteousness is the product. The evi- 
dence for this would be Heb. 12", where righteousness seems to be itself 
the fruit, and the parallelism of Jas. 3'^, where the product of "Qqkoz and 
eptOi'a is said to be djcaxaffxaaia and xav cpauXov xpayi^-a- Phil, i", to 
which appeal is often made, is ambiguous, and cannot be taken as 
meaning that righteousness is the fruit except by giving to Siz-acoauvrj 
its pecuHar Pauline sense. 

But the O. T. passages referred to above create a strong presumption 
against this interpretation; the simple meaning of the phrase speaks 
against it; and, further, righteousness is more naturally thought of 
(apart from Pauline theology) as the condition of receiving divine re- 
ward, not as the reward itself. The general drift of the verse would be 
the same under either interpretation. 

252 JAMES 



1-12. The cause of the crying evils of life is the pursuit of pleas- 
ure, an aim which is in direct rivalry with God and abhorrent to 

1-2**. Quarrels and conflicts are due to the struggle for 
pleasure and for the means of pleasure. 

The paragraph is written not so much to censure the quarrels 
as to set forth the evil results of aiming at pleasure ; in nowise 
is it introduced in order merely to give an abstract analysis 
(irodev) of the ultimate source of the quarrelling. 

Some have taken 4"^- cf difficulties between the teachers (cf. i^-^i 
3'')) but this is not indicated in the text, and is an unnatural limita- 

We have here, doubtless, a glimpse of the particular com- 
munities with which the writer was acquainted, but the exhor- 
tation assumes that all communities show substantially the 
same characteristics. The addition of ep vfuu, v. ^, recalls the 
thought from the ideal pictures in the preceding verse to the 
actual situation in the world — and even in the Christian church. 
Cf. Philo, De gig. 11: "For consider the continual war which 
prevails among men even in time of peace (rw iv dprjvri avve'^^rj 
TToXefwv audpoiTTicp), and which exists not merely between na- 
tions and countries and cities, but also between private houses, 
or, I might rather say, is present with every individual man; 
observe the unspeakable raging storm in men's souls that is 
excited by the violent rush of the affairs of life; and you 
may well wonder whether any one can enjoy tranquillity in 
such a storm, and maintain calm amid the surge of this bellow- 
ing sea." 

The opening of this paragraph and of the two following, 4^-1' 5»-«, 
lacks the usual aSsX^of [xou. 

IV, I 253 

iroXefWt, "feuds," "quarrels"; fJ^ax^^^ "conflicts," "conten- 
tions." The two words cover the chronic and the acute hos- 
tiUties in the community. 

xoXefjLo? and (aczxt) are so frequently combined in Homer as to elicit 
comment from Eustathius more than once. See especially Eustathius 
on //. i, 177. In later writers they became a standing combination; see 
references in Wetstein, e. g. Epict. Diss, iii, 13'. Hence the combined 
phrase is naturally used here with no great distinction between the two 

For TuoXeiiog used of private quarrel, cf. Test. XH Patr. Gad 5, Dan 
S«, Sim. 4', Ps. Sol. 12^ Jos. Antiq. xvii, 2*, Ps.-Diog. Ep. 28, Clem. 
Rom. 465. For (xcixiO referring to private strife, cf. Neh. 13", Prov. 
17S Ecclus. 6' 27'\ 2 Tim. 2"' -\ 2 Cor. 7=, Plat. Tim. 88 A tidxcf? 
Iv Xdyoi? xocecaSat, Epict. Diss, i, ii'', ii, 12'^ iii, 121=, iv. 5=. 

eK Toiv rjBovcoVj "because you make pleasures your aim," 
SovXevourei; eTTt^v/iiai? Kal rjSoval'i Trot/ctXai? (Tit. 3^). Over 
against pleasure as the great end stands submission to God 

TMv cTpaTevofievwv ev to'l<; jxeKeaiv, "which are at war with 
one another, having their seat in your bodily members," and 
which so bring about conflicts among you. The war is between 
pleasures which have their seat in the bodies of several persons, 
not between conflicting pleasures throwing an individual into 
a state of internal strife and confusion. Since the pleasures 
clash, the persons who take them as their supreme aim are nec- 
essarily brought into conflict, arparevofjieixiop makes the con- 
nection between rjSovaL and iroKefxot. 

By some interpreters the warfare is thought of as merely directed 
toward the winning of gratification, by still others as a war against the 
soul (i Pet. 2"), or against the voO? (Rom. 7" ; see passages from Philo 
cited by Spitta, p. 113, note), or against God. But it is entirely fit- 
ting, and makes much better sense, to understand it, as above, with ref- 
erence to the natural activity of pleasures — necessarily conflicting with 
one another, and so leading to the outbreak of conflict. The point of 
James's attack is pleasure as such, not lower physical pleasure as dis- 
tinguished from higher forms of enjoyment. The passage from Plato, 
PJi(edo,p. 66, often cited, and given below (p. 258), is therefore not an 
apt illustration here. 

Pleasure is not here equivalent to, nor used by metonymy for, 
Ixt6u[jita, "desire." But the two are of course closely related; e.g. 

2 54 JAMES 

Philo, De pram, et pxn. 3 xaTax£?p6vT)xsv ■JjSovuv xal IxtBujJLtwv, 4 Mace. 
I-- xpb tJ.£v oOv T^q YjSovfiq saxlv extGuiJiia, 5" ; Stobaeus, ii, 7, 10 (ed. 
Wachsmuth, p. 88) Tjoovfjv [jlev [IxtY'TveaOai] oxav TuyX'^'^^f'Sv <I)v Ixe- 
6u[JLoO[jLev ri l>t{puy(i)[j,ev a s^opouiJieOa. The underlying conception is the 
same as in Jas. i", although no expUcit reference to yjSovt^ is there 

On eu Toi<i /xeXeo-iv, cf. 3®. James thinks of pleasure as pri- 
marily pertaining to the body. Cf. the frequent use of "mem- 
bers" for "body," Rom. 6^'- " j'- ^\ Col. 3^ Apoc. Bar. 833. 

The resemblance to i Pet. 2" is probably accidental ; nor is there 
probably any direct allusion to Rom. 7". 

2. V. 2 explains in detail the connection between rjhovai and 
TToKefWL /cat fid'XjO.i. Ungratified desire leads to <^6vo<i ; zeal 
for pleasure unable to reach its end, to fJ'f^X'^ ^^<i iroXefw^. 

oiv. ?xsTe hi&] BAKL mirm vgf". 

y.<x\ oux 'iyeze Sta] XP minn ff vg»™ boh syr"*'. 

oux exETs Se Sta] minn. So Textus Receptus. 

The short reading is probably original. 

Under the reading adopted, the last clause, oix Ixexe Sti zh ^lii 
acTsTaOat b[>.a:q, belongs with v. ^ (so WH.). R. Stephen's verse-divi- 
sion, which connects v. 2 <= with the preceding instead of the following, 
and the punctuation of the A.V. are due to the Textus Receptus. 

eTidvueXre^ /cat ovk e^ere • cfiovevere. /cat ^rjXovre^ /cat ou 
hvvaade iirtTvx^elv • fid')(e<r6e koI iroXe/jLetre. 

This punctuation alojie (so WH. mg. and many commentators) 
preserves the perfect parallelism between the two series of verbs, 
which is fatally marred by the usual punctuation {<^ovevere /cat 
^rfKovre^ /cat ov Svpaade iirLTvxelv^ so Tisch. WH. etc.). The 
abruptness is then not greater than in 2^^ 5^' " '-. For the asyn- 
deton, cf. 2^2' 2*. These passages mark the extreme of the abrupt- 
ness which in various forms is a quality of James's style. The 
usual punctuation is made additionally unacceptable by the 
impossible anticlimax 4>ovever6 Kal ^rj\ovTe {cf. Plato, Menex. 
242 A). 

eTtOvfieLTe, not a new idea but necessarily suggested by 
rjSovcbv (v. ^). Pleasure and desire are correlative; see on v. K 

(fiovevere^ "kill," "murder." No weaker sense is possible, 

IV, 1-2 255 

and none is here necessary, for James is not describing the con- 
dition of any special community, but is analysing the result of 
choosing pleasure instead of God. The final issue of the false 
choice is flagrant crime, -q^vri implies eTndvfila ; eiviBv^xia is 
often unsatisfied ; in such a case its outcome, if unrestrained, 
is to cause the murder of the man who stands in its way. 

eTnOvixeire^ e%ere, (j)OU€veTe are practically equivalent to 
a conditional sentence, in which iiridv/xelTe Kal ovk e^ere 
forms the protasis, (jiovevere the apodosis; cf. 3^^ 5^^*-, Bult- 
mann, pp. 14/. In the use of the second person plural the 
writer is taking the readers as representative of the world of 
men in general. 

On the "universal," or "gnomic," present, see Gildersleeve, Syntax of 
Classical Greek, i, § 190; Winer, § 40. 2. a; on asyndetic sentences of 
the nature of a condition, cf. Buttmann, § 139. 28 ; Winer, § 60. 4. c. 

The same idea that murder is the horrible outcome to be expected 
from actually existing conditions, unless their natural tendency is 
somehow checked, is found in Didache 32 iat] ytvou opyiXo? ' oStjysT jacp 
T) fipY"?) xpb<; Tbv <p6vov ' tXY]§e ^TjXwT-fj<; [i,T)Se Iptff-utxbq [L-qhk Qu[ii.y.6q ' iv. 
ydp -couTuv dxavTwv <p6vot •{syvdyzoii. ; cf. also Clem. Rom. 4'' ', quoted 
below, Test. XII Patr. Sim. 3^ xivToxe [6 ipOovo?] uiuo^aT-Xst dveksXv 
Tbv <p6ovoij(ji.evov. It must not be forgotten that to cause a death in- 
directly is often called murder, and that even downright murders have 
not been unknown in otherwise respectable communities. Cf. Acts 9^' 
2o3 23'- 'f-, Jas. 5^ s^ovsuaaTs, i Pet. 4^^ oovsu^, Ecclus. 34". 

Kal ^T^XoOre, Kal ov Bvvaade eTTirvx/iv • /xa%eo-^6 /cat TroXe- 

Having established the connection between ■qhovri and ^6vo<i^ 
the writer presents another chain, still hypothetical and general, 
but showing that the origin of the prevailing state of iroKefioi 
Kal fid'xo.t (v.^) is l^^o<i, which when it cannot attain its cov- 
eted prize regularly leads to fighting and strife. 

James, writing to no one community, but to the whole Chris- 
tian world, is speaking of general tendencies, not of the sins of 
any particular local group. Hence his strong language has no 
personal sting. 

The underlying principle is not the same as that of Mt. 5" '-, although 
there is obvious resemblance. There, as in Mt. 5^=^ the point is that 

256 JAMES 

it is the inner passion of the heart which God considers, not merely the 
carrying out of an angry thought in murder. Here in James the wicked- 
ness and dangerousness of the end sought, viz. pleasure, is exposed by 
showing to what an awful issue, if uninhibited, it surely leads. 

I Jn. 3'^ xa? 6 (jiKjwv xbv aSeX^bv aiixoij dcvOpwrcoxxovoi; kGT:iv comes 
nearer, but is still different. 

To the mistaken idea that James is here giving a description of the 
particular communities which he addressed is due the conjecture 960- 
vsTte for tpovEUETe, which was printed in the second edition of Erasmus 
(1519), was supported by Calvin, translated by Luther {ihr hasset), 
and has been adopted by many other commentators, both older and 
more recent. Various other instances of the textual corruption, (p6voq 
for (pBovoq, can, indeed, be adduced (see Mayor^, p. 136) ; but there 
is no manuscript evidence for the reading here. The conjecture is 
unnecessary, and it obliterates the careful parallelism of the two 

Interpreters who have been unwilling to emend the text, and yet 
have felt bound to see in 9ov£ueT£ an actual description of the Chris- 
tian community addressed, have been driven to various expedients. 
The more usual methods have been either to reduce the meaning of 
(poveiisTE to "hate," or else to assume an hendiadys, by which "murder 
and envy" becomes "murderously envy" (Schneckenburger : ad necem 
usque invidetis). Both methods are linguistically impossible. 

Kol ^rjKovre. Kai connects the two series. 

^r)\ovT€, ''hotly desire to possess," "covet," cf. Ecclus. 51*8, 
Wisd. i'^ I Cor. 1221 141. ^\ Gal. 4'' '■, Demosth. 01 ii, 15 o fxev 
B6^r]<; iTndvfiei Kal rovro e^rfKo^Ke. The meaning is different 
from that of T'J^os in 31^. 

Xfiikac, and i;-r)X6(i) start with the fundamental meaning of " hot emo- 
tion." For the peculiar Hebraistic and Biblical meaning "zeal," see 
note on Jas. 2>^y In secular use the meanings are developed on two 
sides, desire to surpass ("emulation," "rivalry") and desire to possess 
("envy," etc.). In either sense the words may refer, according to cir- 
cumstances, to either a good or an evil desire. See Trench, Synonyms, 
§ xxvi. 

In our verse liciTuxetv shows that the desire is for possession ; but 
X,xi\wxz may then mean either "envy" (the possessor) or "covet" (his 
possessions). "Covet" (so R.V.; A.V. "desire to have"), as being 
the more general idea and a better parallel to extBuixsiTS, is to be pre- 

The English word "jealousy" is derived from i;^Xo<; through French 
jalousie, Latin zelus, but in most of its meanings "jealousy" corre- 

IV, 2 257 

spends rather to (fUvoq, the "begrudging" to another, indicating pri- 
marily not the desire to possess, but the unwillingness that another 
should have. 

ndyeaOe Kal TroXe/ietre, i. e. against those who possess what 
you wish to take from them. The connection of either barren 
envy or ungratified covetousness with strife is so natural that 
it hardly needs to be illustrated ; but cf. Clem. Rom. 3-6 (where 
the Biblical and secular meanings are not distinguished), with 
Lightfoot's note on 3', Philo, De deed. 28; Iren. iv, iS''. 

This passage is made more intelligible by passages from Greek 
and Roman writers, which show that not only the connection 
of pleasure and desire, but that of desire, conflict, and war, was 
a commonplace of popular moraUsing in the Hellenistic age. 
See Zeller, Die Philosophie der Griechen\ iii, i, pp. 221-225. 

Thus Philo, De deed. 28, M. pp. 204/.: "Last of all he forbids desire 
(extOuyietv), knowing desire (-ctjv ext9u[ji.tav) to be productive of revolu- 
tion and addicted to plots. For all the passions of the soul (xa ^^yjlZ 
•TCiieT)) are bad, exciting it and agitating it unnaturally, and destroying 
its health, but worst of all is desire. . . . The evils of which the love 
of money or of a woman or of glory or of any other of those things 
that produce pleasure is the cause — are they small and ordinary ? Is 
it not because of this passion that relationships are broken, and thus 
natural good- will changed into desperate enmity? that great and pop- 
ulous countries are desolated by domestic dissensions? and land and 
sea filled with novel disasters by naval battles and land campaigns? 
For the wars famous in tragedy, which Greeks and barbarians have 
fought with one another and among themselves, have all flowed from 
one source: desire (eTCiGuixia) either for money or glory or pleasure. 
Over these things the human race goes mad." 

Ibid. 32, M. p. 208 TiltXTCTov 3e [i.e. the fifth commandment of the 
second table] ih (xvzip'^oy ttjv twv aStXTjtiaxwv xrjyiQV, sTrt9u(i.tav, icp* f^q 
plouatv a'l TCtzpavotJLWTaTac xpa^etc;, 'c'Stat xal xotvotf, [xtxpal xotl [xeYotXat, 
leoal xal ^i^rfkoi, xspt ts awtJiaxa xal <\iuxdcq xal xa XeYotAsva ex.x6<; " Sta- 
cpeuY£t t^p ouBdv, 0)1; X3(l itpoxepov iXi'/Qt], xtjv exi6u[j,{av, dXX' ola (fkh^ ev 
uX'n v^tJiexac Saxavwaa xd:vxa cpOst'pouaa. 

Philo, De Josepho, 11, M. p. 50; Z?e posteritale Cain, i, 34, M. pp. 
247/.; De migratione Abr. 12; Lucian, Cynic. 15, xiivxa y«P "^^ r.oLf.di 
xotq divBpwxotq ex x'^<; xouxuv exc6u(i,(ac; tpiiovxat, xal axdiasci; xal xoXefAot 
xctl extPouXotl %a\ acpayaf. xauxl xcivxa %-(]'{-^v I'xet x9)v IxtOu'^iav xou xXsfo- 
vo<;; Cicero, De finibiis, i, 13 ex cupiditatibus odia, dissidia, discordiae, 
seditiones, bella nascuntiir ; Seneca, De ira, ii, 35 ista quae appetilis quia 

258 JAMES 

exigua sunt nee possunt ad alteriim nisi alteri erepta Iransferri, eadem 
affectaniibus pugnam et jiirgia excitant. Cf. Plato, Phcedo, p. 66 C xal 
yap xoXijjLoui; xal axdaet? xal (x<ixa<; ouSev aXXo xap^xet 13 xb awjAa xal al 

TOUTou eTCt6u[jL(at. 

See note on i", and cf. Wendland and Kern, Beitrdge zur 
Geschichte der griech. Philosophie und Religion, pp. 36-37; J. 
Drummond, Philo JudcBus, ii, pp. 302-306. 

In contrast to pleasure stands God. So Philo, Leg. all. ii, 23, 
M. p. 83, says that it is impossible to master pleasure except 
by complete submission to God. 4 Mace. 5^2 6'* represent, in 
more secular fashion, reason (Koyi(T/x6<;) and sound principles 
(^L\o(TO(f)ia) as able to control pleasure and desire; but Test. 
XII Patr. Benj. 6 shows true Jewish character in the sharp 
contrast which it draws : " [The good man] delighteth not in 
pleasure ... for the Lord is his portion." This section of 
the Testament of Benjamin is full of parallels to James. 

2*^-3. Bv aiming at pleasure men cut themselves off from 
the only sure source 01 irue satisfaction. 

ovK e^ere returns to the matter of the unsatisfied desire 
(eTLOvfieiTe /cat ovk e%ere) in order to point out another as- 
pect of the futility of pleasure as a supreme end. So long as 
men allow their lives to be governed by 17 eTndvfiCa tcov -qhovtav, 
their desire is sure to be unsatisfied. The only sure source 
from which men can always receive is God. By choosing pleas- 
ure as their aim, men cut themselves off from this source, for 
they do not ask God for gratifications such as these, or, if they 
do, only find that their prayers, aiming at their own pleasures 
and not at his service, are unacceptable, and that they ought 
not to have offered them. 

James's principle is : Make the service of God your supreme 
end, and then your desires will be such as God can fulfil in an- 
swer to your prayer {cf. Mt. 6^^"^'). Then there will be none of 
the present strife. Pleasures war, and cause war. Desire for 
pleasure, when made the controlling end, leads to violence, for 
longings then arise which can only be satisfied by the use of 
violence, since God, from whom alone come good things (i^^, 
will not satisfv them. 

IV, 2-3 259 

It should be needless to point out that o5x exe-vs is not thought of 
as the rcsiiU of [lixsaQe xal xoXs^JieiTs. 

Sia TO firj alTela-dac vfjLd<i. The vfia^; is unnecessary, but not 

emphatic. Cf. i^^ 4^^ alreladat here means prayers to God. 

3. alretre, cf. Jas. i"^'-, Mt. 7' 2122, Mk. ii^", Lk. ii^, Jn. 

I4I3 157. 16, l623 f. 26 I Jn. 322 ^14 f.. 

Here, as often in secular Greek (cf. L. and S.), no difference 
in meaning is perceptible between the active and middle of 
aLTetv. Cf. I Jn. 5^^'^'^ alrcofieOa^ yr^JKUfiev , alTrjcreL, Mk. 6"^^' ^* 
alTTjCTOv^ alT'^aoiiixat, and other examples quoted by Mayor. 

That there was once a distinction in use is likely, but even the state- 
ments quoted by Stephanus, Thesaiir. s. v., that aETsiaBat means to 
ask (xex' Ixeafoti; or [asto: xapax>.Y)aew<; do not make the matter intelli- 
gible. See J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 160 ; J. B. Mayor, in Expos- 
itor, 8th series, vol. iii, 1912, pp. 522-527; Hort, ad loc. 

KaKw, "wrongly," cf. Wisd. 1429. s", 4 Mace. 6". The fol- 
lowing clause explains this to mean: "with the selfish purpose 
of securing pleasure, not of serving God," cf. Mt. 6^2. For rab- 
binical ideas of bad prayers, see Schottgen on Jas. 4'. 

The promises are that the prayers of the righteous and the 
penitent will be heard ; cf. Ps. 34^^"" 145^*.. Prov. lo^'*, Ps. Sol. 
6«, Lk. 18^-", Jas. i«ff-, I Jn. s^\ Hermas, Sim. iv, 6. 

'iva eV rat? r)8ovaX'i vfioiv Bairav^arjTe. "ip marking the 
realm in rather than the object ow" (Lex. s. v. SaTavdo)). The 
distinction is thus not in the things prayed for, but in the pur- 
pose with which they are to be used, and for which they are 
desired — i. e. whether pleasure or the service of God. Hence 
probably the unusual, though not unexampled, preposition. 

ha-KavTqarire^ "spend"; not necessarily "waste," nor "squan- 
der"; cf. Acts 2i2^, 2 Cor. 12^^, I Mace. 1432. The object of 
Sairav^cnjTe is the means of securing enjoyment for which they 
pray; throughout the passage money is especially in mind. 

Saxav^ffT]Te] J^'AKLP minno"" ^'^. 

Baxavfjaexs] B. 

xaTaSaicavfjasTs] S*. 

B and J< have both fallen into error. 

26o JAMES 

4. /AOi^aXiSe?, "adulteresses," i.e. "renegades to your 
vows." God is the husband to whom the Christian is joined 
as wife. The figure arose with reference to Israel as the wife 
of Jahveh; cf. Is. 54^ Jer. 320, Ezek. 16, 23, Hos. 9I, Wisd. 3^^, 
Mt. i2»8 i6S Mk. 8^8; and see Heb. Lex. s. v. nJT. 

To this corresponds the position of the church as the bride 
of Christ (2 Cor. iii- 2, Eph. 521-28^ Rev. 19^ 2i9). The term 
is often, as here, applied to individual members of the people 
of God ; cf. Ex. 34^^ Num. 15^^, Ps. 73^^ iravra top Topvevaavra 
airo aov, Hos. 4^'^. The feminine fwi'x^a\i<; is alone appropriate 
in this sense, since God is always thought of as the husband. 

The harsh word comes in abruptly ; it anticipates and sum- 
marises the thought expressed in the verse itself. For the sever- 
ity, and the direct address, cf. i* 4.^^ 5^ 

The word is fully explained by the figurative sense : to take it liter- 
ally (Winer, Spitta, Hort, and others) is to violate the context and to 
introduce a wholly foreign and uncalled-for idea. Moreover the femi- 
nine used alone is then inexplicable. 

[AotxotXfSs?! BS*A 33 ff ifornicatores) vg (adulteri) boh {adulterers) 


[jLotxol xal [AOtxaXfSsql X°KLP minn syri"=>. Plainly emendation. 

ovK o'ihare. The idea which follows is at any rate familiar 
to the readers, whether or not these words (as Spitta thinks) 
introduce a quotation. 

(f>Lkia, "friendship," the usual meaning {cf. L. and S.) of this 
word, which is a common one in the Wisdom-literature and in 
I, 2, and 4 Maccabees; cf. Wisd. 7^*. 

Tov Koafiov. Objective genitive, "friendship for the world." 
Cf. I" (and note), 2^, Jn. is^^f-, i Jn. 2^\ 

To make pleasure the chief aim is to take up with 57 ^tXia 
TOV Koa-fiov. To be "a friend of the world" is to be on good 
terms with the persons and forces and things that are at least 
indifferent toward God, if not openly hostile to him. It does 
not imply "conformity to heathen standards of living" (Hort), 
and is entirely appropriate in connection with a Jewish com- 

IV, 4-5 26i 

CJ. 2 Tim. 3^ <j)t\i]Bouot fidWou rj ^CkoOeoi, Philo, Leg. alleg. 
ii, 23, yeyove <f)i\'q8ovo<i avrl (fjiKaperov. 

The precise sense of t) tptXi'a tou xoa^iou is much discussed in the 
commentaries. For summary of views, see Beyschlag, who himself 
takes it in the active sense of "love," as given above. 

ex^po- Tov deov^ " enmity as regards God." The accentuation 
e%^pa, not e%^P«, is required in order to preserve the sharp- 
ness of the contrast. CJ. Rom. 8' exOpa. et? deov^ Rom. 51° ii^s, 
Col. i-i, in which passages, however, rather more of mutual re- 
lation is implied. 

It is to be observed that a state of enmity between men and God 
differs from a state of enmity in ordinary human relations in that the 
permanent attitude of love on God's part is not thereby interrupted. 

0? edv for o? dv is characteristic of vernacular Greek, and is 
shown by the papyri to have been ''specially common" in the 
first and second centuries after Christ. See J. H. Moulton, 
Prolegomena, pp. 42-44, 234, where references to other discus- 
sions will be found ; also Winer, § 42 fin., Biass, § 26. 4, and the 
references in Mayor's note, pp. 139/. 

o3v] om L 33 minn boh. The weakness of attestation here counter- 
balances the presumption in favour of the shorter reading. Possibly 
OYN fell out by accident after ean. 

(fii\o<; Tov KocTfxov. Cf. 2^^ (^lAo? deov. 

Ka6 l(TT ar at /'sta.nds," cf. 3^ Rom. 5^^ 2 Pet. i^ The word 
suggests a lasting state. But see J. de Zwaan, in Theol. Stu- 
dien, 1913, pp. 85-94. 

5-6. Remember the Scripture which declares that God is a 
jealous lover and suffers no rival for the loyalty of the human 
spirit; and observe that God gives grace to fulfil his require- 
ments, and that this grace is bestowed on the humble, not on 
those proud of their worldly success. 

5. V, introducing "a question designed to prove the same 
thing in another way" (Lex.) ; cf. Mt. 122', i Cor. 6^^, etc. 

Kevw, "emptily," i.e. "without meaning all that it says." 
Cf. Deut. 32*^ oTL ovxi Xo'70<? /cei'o? ovTo<i vixlv kt\. 

262 JAMES 

77 ypafjit]. See 2^^ and note. The term must refer to "Holy- 
Scripture." The quotation which follows is not found in the 
O. T., and either the writer has quoted (perhaps by mistake) 
from some other writing or a paraphrase, or else the Greek O. T. 
in some one of its forms had a sentence like this. The sentence 
seems to be a poetical rendering of the idea of Ex. 20^. 

Aeyei. The formula is frequent; cf. Rom. 4^ 9^^ 10" ii^. 

Various unsuccessful attempts are made to explain this sentence as 
not meant to be a quotation. 

(i) The usual method is to take the two sentences icpb? <p06vov 
IztxoOst -cb xv£ij(xa S xaTuxiasv ev b[ • [izil^oyx Ss BfSwatv x<xpiv, as a 
parenthesis (Hofmann, B. Weiss, and others). Against such an idea 
speaks the technical introductory formula, which here prepares for 
the quotation with unusual elaboration. Such a formula is generally 
(cf. V.') followed at once by the quotation (Rom. 11--^ is no excep- 
tion to this rule). Moreover, if what follows is not quoted, "kifzi. 
would have to be given the somewhat imusual meaning "speaks" (as 
in Acts 24"). Such a parenthesis would introduce confusion into the 
thought of an otherwise well-ordered and forcible passage and make 
the Sto of V. « imaccountable. 

(2) Equally futile is the theory that James is merely summarising 
the thought of the O. T. without intending to refer to any specific pas- 
sage, e. g. (Knowling) Gen. 6^-\ Deut. 32i'"- »'• ^i, Is. 62,^-^^, Ezek. 36'', 
Zech. i'^ 8^2. The following sentence would then become merely the 
utterance of the writer, and against this speaks conclusively the formula 
of citation (yj ypayr) Xdyet).* 

(3) Neither can the sentence be accounted for as an inexact citation 
of such passages as Ex. 20^ lyw y«P e'S^-' xupto? 6 6£6i; aou, Oeb? i^TjXtoxr)?, 
although the sense is akin. 

(4) The attempt to make Xeyst refer vaguely to the substance of 
V. * is also vain. 

(5) Unacceptable are also the textual conjectures by which various 
scholars have tried to eliminate a supposed gloss : thus Erasmus and 
Grotius would excise Stb Xeyst . . . xap'v {cf. i Pet. 5O; Hottinger 
and Reiche, \x.zl'C,ma. 8e St'Suatv xaptv ' Stb X^yet (with the insertion of 
li before e£6<;). 

Trpo? (jiOovov, "jealously," or, more exactly, " begnidgingly." 

•7cp6i; with accusative is a regular periphrasis for the adverb ; so lupb? 
^catav for piat'o)?, icpbc; opyijy, "angrily," •xpb? euiriXetav, "cheaply," 

* The objection, however, that this interpretation makes it necessary to take 17 ypa-<i>ri to 
mean "the Scriptures" as a whole is not conclusive, cf. Lightfoot on Gal. 3«, Hort on i 
Pet. 2«. 

IV, 5 263 

•Tcpb? iqSovtjv xal z<ip'v, "pleasantly and graciously" (Jos. Anl. xii, lo'). 
See L. a>id S. s. v. xp6<; C. III. 7 ; Lex. s. v. xp6<; I, 3. g. This idiom is 
not found elsewhere in the N. T. ; see Schmid, Allicismus, iv, Index. 

In the sense of "jealously," icpb? l^fjXov would have been more in 
accord with LXX usage, cj. Num. 5'* icveutia i^TiXwaeus, Ex. 20°, Prov. 
6" 27<, Cant. 8«, Ecclus. 9', so 2 Cor. ii^; but this meaning, "ardent 
desire for complete possession of the object" as in the case of the 
husband (Hebrew ^^<Jp), seems to be foreign to l^^Xo? in general Greek 
usage, which denotes that emotion by (p66vo?, as here, xpb.;' tpOovov is 
thus a phrase drawn from Hellenic models, not founded on the lan- 
guage of the LXX. 

906vos means primarily "ill will," "malice," due to the good fortune 
of the one against whom it is directed, >vuxr) ex' iWozgioxq ayaOoIs 
(Diog. Laert. vii, 63. 11 1; see other similar definitions in Trench, 
Synonyms, § xxvi). This begrudging spirit may be shown in the re- 
fusal either to give or to share (so especially the verb ^Oov^w) ; or in 
the jealous ill will of the gods toward overfortimate mortals; or in 
other ways corresponding to some of the meanings of English "envy" 
and "jealousy," neither of which, however, is in meaning wholly co- 
terminous with (yBovoc;. See Trench, I. c. ; L. aiid S. s. vv. ifiGovoi;, 
(fOovdo), acpOovoq, d?6ovfa. So, like English "jealousy," yOovoq is used 
in a bad sense of the ill will felt toward another with whom one has 
to share a prized object, but it does not seem ever to be qujte equiva- 
lent to the EngUsh term for the lover's, or husband's, "jealousy"; 
the object of the emotion seems always to have been found in the 
hated possessor, not (as often in the English word) in the prized object. 

The Latin equivalent of 996vo<; is invidia, from which comes English 
"envy." But the English word is in modern times often used in a 
milder sense, with reference only to the desire for equal good fortune 
with another and with no thought of ill will. It thus approaches 
more nearly the sense of '(,'qkoq, just as the English "jealousy" (see on 
3" 4'), though derived from i^^Xo?, zelus, has acquired much of the 
peculiar meaning of 966V01;. 

7rpo9 (}>d6vov limits eTnirodeZ. To connect it with Xe^et 
yields but a poor sense. 

When connected with XeY£t, xpo? is usually taken in the sense of 
"with reference to," or "against" (so Spitta). But there has been no 
previous mention of <p06vo<; in this paragraph to account for the intro- 
duction of such a quotation relating to it. If the phrase is connected 
with Xdyet and taken in the sense "enviously," as explaining xevdx;, 
it lacks the proper, and indispensable, conjunction to connect it with 
xEvw? (inserted by " OEcumenius" in his paraphrase : ou yap xsvwq 15x01 
tiaxato)!;, 13 xpJx; <p66vov), and the general sense is less satisfactory. 

264 JAMES 

eiriToOel, "yearns," ''yearns over," of the longing affection 
of the lover. See Lightfoot on Phil. i^. Cf. 2 Cor. g^\ Phil, i*, 
Deut. if 32", Jer. 131". In Ezek. 2^- ^- » (Aq.) it has the 
lower sense of "dote on." 

As subject of iinTrodei we may supply 6 ^eo'?, and then take 
TO Tvvevixa as object of the verb ; or to ivvevtia may be taken as 
subject and 'r]jxa<i supplied as object. In the former case to 
TTvevjxa means the human spirit breathed into man by God (c/. 
Gen. 2^, Is. 42^, Eccles. 12^, Num. 16-2 27^^ Zech. 12S Heb. 12'). 

This has the advantage that iTnroOet and KaTcpna-ep then 
have the same subject, and seems on the whole better, /caro)- 
Ktaev contains a hint of God's rightful ownership through 

On the other hand, ih xveiJiia as subject would mean the Holy Spirit, 
to whom this would be the only reference in the epistle. In favour of 
this is the fact that the conception of the Holy Spirit as dwelling in man 
is repeatedly found in the N. T. and in early Christian literature. Cf. 
Ezek. 36'', Rom. 8"'-, i Cor. 3'^ Tb xveOti-a tou 6eoiJ ev u[xlv oixef, 
Hermas, Sim. v, 6', Mand. iii, i, v, 2, Z)e aleatoribus, 3. 

Weinel, Wirkungen des Geistes tmd der Geisle, p. 159, suggests that 
IxixoGsi here (like Xutcite, Eph. 4'°) refers to the idea of Hermas, Sim. 
V, 6', ix, 32, that God has given us as a deposit a pure spirit, which we 
are bound to return to him unimpaired. " God jealously requires back 
the spirit, pure as he gave it." But this interesting interpretation is 
not supported by any clear indication in the context. 

If taken thus as a declarative sentence, the quoted passage 
means "God is a jealous lover." This obviously suits perfectly 
the preceding context. 

By some the sentence is taken interrogatively. It will then mean, 
"Does the Spirit, set within us by God, desire to the extent of becom- 
ing jealous ? " and will express the incompatibility of the Spirit with 
the sin of jealousy. But (i) this would require \i.-Ti to introduce the 
question; (2) 996vo(; is too weak a word after icoXeyiot, lA^xotc, qjoveuexe; 
and (3) the general meaning of the sentence becomes altogether far 
less suited to the context. 

Mayor', pp. 141-145 gives a convenient and full summary of the 
various views held about this verse, relating to (i) the construction of 
Tcpbs 966VOV, (2) the meaning of izphq (p66vov, (3) the subject of eitticoOet. 
A large amount of material is to be found in Heisen, Novae hypotheses. 

IV, 5-6 265 

pp. 8S1-928. Pott, "Excursus IV," pp. 329-355, and Gebser, pp. 329- 
346, who gives the views of commentators at length. See also W. 
Grimm, Studicjt mid Krilikcn, vol. xxvii, 1854, pp. 934-956; and Kirn, 
Sludicn und Krilikcn, vol. Lxxvii, 1904, pp. 127-133, 593-604, where 
the conjecture nPO2TON0N for nPOS4)0ONON (first proposed 
by Wetstein, 1730) is elaborately, but unconvincingly, defended, and 
the quotation explained as a combination of Ps. 42' and Eccles. I2^ P. 
Corssen, Goltingischc gclehrte Anzeigen, 1893, pp. 596 /., defends the 
conjecture IxtxoOstTe, and the sense: "In envy ye desire: but the 
Spirit which God hath put within you giveth greater grace; sub- 
ject yourselves, therefore, to God." 

xax(pxtaev] Bi>sA minnP^"". 

xaxwxTQffev] KLP minnpi^f ff vg boh syr"*■^ The weight of external 
evidence leads to a (somewhat doubtful) decision for xaxtpxcaev. 

6. fieil^ova Be SiScocTiZ^ %«pij'. God makes rigorous require- 
ments of devotion, but gives gracious help in order that men 
may be able to render the undivided allegiance which he ex- 
acts. The subject of SiSucriv is clearly ^eo? (cf. fcarmKicrev). 
That the phrase is drawn from, and directly prepares for, the 
quotation from Proverbs which follows makes it unlikely that 
this sentence is part of the quotation of v. ^. 

ixel^ova. The comparative is most naturally taken as mean- 
ing "greater grace in view of the greater requirement." 

Another interpretation is that of Bede : " majorem gratiam' dominus 
dat quam amicitia mundi" ; so also many other commentators. 

Xo-Pi-V- The context seems to require that this be under- 
stood of the "gracious gift" of aid to fulfil the requirement of 
whole-hearted allegiance. Cf. i Pet. 3^, Eph. 4^ On the mean- 
ing of %api?, cf. J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 221 f. 

Those who take x'^P''" in the sense of "favour," i. e. not the means 
of complying, but a reward for complying, have difficulty with {xed^ova, 
which is then inappropriate ; and the idea itself suits the context less 

hio \eyec, sc. v ypo.(t>V or 6 ^€09. A regular formula of quo- 
tation, Eph. 4* 51*, Heb. 3' ; 8l6 {cf. Gen. 10*, Num. 2ii^) means 
that the truth just affirmed has given rise to the sacred utter- 
ance to be quoted. On the formula, see Surenhusius, Bt^Xo? 
KaraXXttY?}?, 17 13, p. 9. 

266 JAMES 

The quotation from Prov. 3^^ illustrates and confirms the 
main position of the preceding passage, vv. ^-^ viz. that God will 
not yield to Pleasure a part of the allegiance of men's hearts, but 
that by his grace he enables men to render to him undivided 
allegiance. "So says the Scripture: 'God is opposed to the 
proud and worldly, it is the humble who receive his gift of 
grace.' Hence (vv. ''^■) to gain his favour we must humble 
ourselves before him." The quotation thus has the important 
fimction of making the transition from the negative to the posi- 
tive aspects of the subject, cf. the use of it in Clem. Rom. 30^. 

The quotation is taken verbatim from the LXX of Prov. 3'S except 
that 6 6e6<; is substituted for /.liptos. This is also the case in the same 
quotation in i Pet. 5^ and Clem. Rom. 30, and is probably due to a 
common form of popular quotation. 

On the theory of Oort (1885) and Gratz (1892-94), that the ob- 
scure Hebrew dk in the passage quoted is a corruption of a''n'7N, which 
has been preserved in James, i Peter, and Clem. Rom., see Toy on 
Prov. 3'*. 

vTepr](f)dvoi<;, "haughty persons," here applied to those who, 
despising the claims of God, devote themselves to worldly pleas- 
ures and position, and insolently look down on others, especially 
on the humble pious. They are haughty both toward God and 
toward men, and are here identified with the "friends of the 
world." Cf. ii" 2'-' 5IA 

On vTrepr)<^avLa, cf. Ps. 31-^ Ecclus. lo^- ^2. is^ 2 Mace. 9"* ", 
Ps. Sol. 2^^ (where Pompey is described as setting himself up 
against God), 4^*, and see Trench, Synonyms, § xxix. 

avTLTaa-aeTai, "opposes," cf. v. * and Acts i8«, Rom. 13", 
Jas. 5«. 

TttTretJ'ot?, "humble persons." Here applied primarily to 
those who are humble toward God {cf. v. ^ vTOTciyijTe, v. ^^ 
TaTeLV(oOr]Te iucoinov Kvpiov), but not without thought of the 
same persons' lowly position in the community, cf. i^" 2^. 

Spitta (pp. 1 1 7-1 23) has ingeniously argued that the unidentifiable 
quotation in v. ^ is from the apocryphal book " Eldad and Modad " (cf. 
Num. 11=*-='). This work is referred to by Hermas {Vis. ii, 30> a.nd 

IV, 6-7 267 

Lightfoot suggests that the quotation given as ypa^Tj in Clem. Rom. 23' '■ 
and as 6 xpo(pT)Ttx,b<; Xoyo? in 2 Clem. Rom. 11--^, as well as the one 
in Clem. Rom. 17% come from it. Spitta believes that, besides furnish- 
ing the quotation, it has also influenced the context here in James. 

The basis of his view is an exegesis which translates the passage thus : 
"Think ye that the Scripture says in vain concerning envy: 'It (i. e. 
envy) longeth to possess the Spirit which He hath made to dwell in us ; 
but He giveth (because of that envy) greater grace (to us) ' ? " 

This suggests to Spitta, following Surenhusius and Schottgen, the situ- 
ation of Num. II-*-", where Eldad and Modad are complained of by the 
envious Joshua because they have the spirit of prophecy, which no 
longer rests on him and the others of the Seventy Elders. The haggadic 
development (Wunsche, Midrasck Bemidbar Rabba, pp. 408/.) em- 
phasised the greater grace granted to Eldad and Modad, which is ex- 
plained by R. Tanchuma (Bemidbar r. 15) as due to their greater 
humility, since they modestly declined to be included in the number 
of the Seventy. 

The resemblance is here striking, provided the underlying exegesis 
of James be once accepted. But that requires the conjecture (peovette 
for ipoveueis in v. -, and the consequent understanding of the whole 
passage as dealing primarily with ^Odvo? as its topic. It would thus 
make necessary a wholly different apprehension of the author's purpose 
from that presented above. 

Some of the confirmatory resemblances which Spitta finds between 
James and passages that may be supposed to have some connection 
with Eldad and Modad are curious. Thus, Hermas, Vis. ii, 3^ cf. Jas. 
4'; Clem. Rom. 23 (2 Clem. Rom. 11), cf. Jas. 4''- S{4'uxo'» laXacxop-^- 
aaie, 3'« dtxa-uaaxaata, 1= 5'"- ; Clem. Rom. 17^, cf. Jas. 4'< ax\Llq. 

Spitta would also connect with Eldad and Modad the unlocated quo- 
tation in Clem. Rom. 46=, in which he finds some resemblance to the 
story of Korah, Num. 16. And he compares Hermas, Vis. iii, 6 Sim. 
viii, 8, which seem to him to allude to this passage. 

But the evidence collected is not sufficient to overturn the more 
natural interpretation of the general course of thought in the context. 
Spitta's theory introduces a whole series of incongruous ideas, which 
have no good connection with what precedes and lead to nothing in 
what follows ; and it must be pronounced fantastic. 

7-10. Practical exhortation to the choice of God instead of 
pleasure as the chief end. 

These verses are addressed to the whole body of Christians, 
who are all subject to these moral dangers, and some of whom 
may be supposed to be liable to the reproach contained in 
vT€p7](fiavoL^ djjLapTQiXoi^ Sixl/vxpt, 

268 JAMES 

It is interesting to notice how James's religious ideal of penitent de- 
votion to God here diverges from the Stoic ideal of reason as ruler 
over all passion and desire, which is given as the teaching of the Jewish 
law in 4 Mace. 5-'. 

7. ovv^ "in view of the relation of God and his service to 
the pursuit of worldly pleasures." Cf. for similar grounding of 
practical exhortations, Rom. i3i'2 14^^, Gal. 5^ 61", Eph. 4-^ {816) 

51% Col. 2I6 3I, 5. 12_ 

vTroTdryr]T€, "submit yourselves" (A.V. ; better than R.V. "be 
subject"), i. e. "become Taireivoc^' (v. ^), cf. TaireivdiOrjTe, v. i". 

On this and the eight following aorist imperatives, the more 
"pungent" form, see note on i^ 

On the passive aorist with the significance of the middle voice, which 
is a common phenomenon of the late language, cf. Buttmann, § 113. 4 
(Eng. transl. p. 51); Winer, § 39. 2 ; J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 
152-163, especially p. 163; note iJiapav6T)a£Tat i", TaiuetvuOirjTs 4'". 

uxoxaaaofxat is used elsewhere in the N. T. of volimtary submission 
to God only in Heb. 12', where the analogy of submission to earthly 
fathers has occasioned the use of the word. It is also found in Ps. 37' 
62>' \ Hag. 2i^ 2 Mace. 9'=, in the sense of general submission of the 
whole soul to God. Submission is more than obedience, it involves 
humiUty (Calvin). 

avTio-Trjre Be rw Sia^oKcp. "Take a bold stand in resisting 
temptations to worldliness sent by 'the prince of this world' 
(Jn. 143°), and you will be successful." 

This idea seems to have been a commonplace of early Christian 
thought; cf. I Pet. 58. \ where, as here, the quotation of Prov. ^^* 
precedes, but where it is better not to assume literary connection with 
James. For the conception of a fight with the devil, cf. Eph. 6" '■ and 
see Weinel, Wirkungeu des Geslcs uiid der Geisle, pp. 17/. 

The following passages may be compared : 

Hennas, Matid. xii, 5^ Suvaxat 6 Sta^oXoi; avTncaXatuat, xaTctxaXal- 
cat 8e 06 Suvaiai. eov ouv devTtaTaO^TS auTw, nxriQeXq ^eu^e-rat dip' 6(j.(i>v 

Test. XII Patr. Nephth. ?,* Idv ouv xal ufist? epyciffYiaGe ih f.oCK(>w . . 
h Sti^oXo? (peuqExat d?' uiJLWv, Issach. 7' TaOxa %a\ Citielq, t^xvk (jlou, tcoc- 
eiT£, xal xdv xvsupLa xou BeXtap ^eu^exat dy' ujjlwv, Benj. 5^, Dan 5'. 

In these passages from Test. XII Patr., however, the thought is 
different ; good conduct is there the means by which the devil is driven 

IV, 7-8 269 

off, and the idea is that right action diminishes the chance of being 
tempted later on. James, on the other hand, is- merely saying that 
boldness will avail against the tempter. 

8. iyyiaare, as those who wish to be in the closest possible 
relation to God. 

It is assumed throughout that the ostensible purpose of the 
persons addressed is right. They intend to be God's servants, 
but by yielding to natural inclinations they are in practise 
verging toward a state of exdpa. tov deov. 

To draw near to God is used of the priests in the temple, 
Ex. 1922, Ezek. 44^^ It is half figurative in Ex. 24^, Is. 29^^, 
and wholly so in such passages as the following: Hos. 12^, 
Wisd. 619 (20)^ Judith 8", Heb. 71^ {cf. 4I6) ; cf. Ps. 145I8, Deut. 4, 
and Philo's comment in De migr. Abr. 11, M. p. 445. Test. 
XII Patr, Dan 6^ iyyiaare tw Oew, is an instructive parallel. 

iyyicrei corresponds to fxei^ova SiScoaip x^P^'^i v. ^; as well 
as to 4>€v^€Tai, V. ^ 

Cf. Zech. I', on which James is very likely dependent, 2 Chron. 1$-, 
Mai. 3', Ps. i4S>«. 

Kadapiaare x^Tpa?, "make your outward conduct pure." 
From the ritual washing to make fit for religious duties (e. g. 
Gen. 352, Ex. 301^-21), which was perfectly famihar in N. T. 
times {cf. Mk. 7 3), sprang a figurative use of language, e. g. Is. 
ii^ Job 173 22'°, I Tim. 2^, Clem. Rom. 29^ In Ps. 23^ ada)0<i 
Xepcrlp /cat Ka6ap6<; rfj KapSia, and in Ecclus. 3810 the combina- 
tion foimd in James is already complete. 

;)^;eTpa<?, KapSia?. For the omission of the article, cf. Schmie- 
del-Winer, § 19. 7, where it is explained under the rule that 
pairs of nouns often omit the article, 

a/xaprcoXot. A sharp term is used to strike the conscience of 
the reader, and is then partly explained by the parallel ^(ypvxoi. 
Half-hearted Christians, such as James desires to stir to better 
things, are in reality nothing but "world's people " — a reproach 
meant to startle and sting. 8i\l/vxoi, "doubters," is entirely 

270 JAMES 

The word dixapxwXo? is very rare in secular Greek, but there, as in 
the O. T. and N. T., has the sense of "hardened sinner," "bad man," 
cj. Plutarch, Dc and. poet. 7, p. 25 C, the standing phrase Te>.(I)vat xal 
&[L(xpi(i)koi, Mt. 9'" f-, etc., and the application of x^Locp-zoikoq to heathen, 
I Mace. I", Gal. 2", etc. Cf. Enoch 5« 38^ 45 = 94" 952. 3, 7 ^gi, 2, 4, 
Suidas defines dpiapTwXoi as ol izoigayo^^icf auCijv xpoocipoutJLevot xal ^lov 
Ste(p6ap[Ji£vov dtaxalI,6[j.£vot. 

djviaare KapSta?. 0.71^09 means "clean," "pure," ceremo- 
nially (Jn. 11^^), and so morally. The latter development had 
already been made (otherwise than in the case of a<yLO^) in 
secular Greek use. 

Cf. I Pet. I" Td? (puxd? ufAwv -fiYvtKOTsq ev t^ uxaxoij T^q dtX-rjOefag, 
Is. i'", and especially Ps. 24* 73". 

Bi\l/vxoc. It is here implied that St\j/vx^<^ involves some de- 
filement from the world, cf. Hermas, Mand. ix, 7 KaOdpiaov ttjv 
Kaphlav aov airb r^9 Bixpvx^f^'i. Test. XII Patr. Aser 3^, 01 
BLTTpoacjjTTOt ovK elcrl Tov deov aWa rat? iinOvixiai^ avrcov 
BovXevovcnv, is an excellent commentary on this verse. 

9. " Make yourselves wretched, mourn, lament ; that is a 
state of mind more suited to a Christian than worldly gaiety 
and joy!" 

This is primarily a call to repentance ; but, more than that, 
it is a vehemently expressed recommendation of sober earnest- 
ness as the proper mood of a Christian, in contrast to a light 
and frivolous spirit. The writer was a sober man who felt the 
seriousness of living, and wished that others should feel and 
express it; in a word, a Puritan. 

The force of James's exhortation must not be reduced by in- 
terpretation, nor its range unduly limited. There is positive 
emphasis on the sadness, and even anguish, which is appropri- 
ate to the readers' actual situation, and which they ought to 
seek, not try to avoid, cf. Mt. 5^. Yet neither must the words 
be misunderstood as representing that a cheerfulness founded 
on the joy of faith is wrong for a soul which knows itself at one 
with God (cf. i-f). James is not giving a complete directory 
for conduct at all times, but is trying by the unexpected inten- 
sity of his language to startle half-hearted Christians into a 

rv, 8-9 271 

searching of heart and a self-consecration which he believes 
essential to their eternal salvation. 

For the same mood, due to a different cause, cf. Eccles. y^-*, cf. also 
Ecclus. 21=" 27". Jer. 4" '■ g'^f- and some of the other prophetic par- 
allels, such as Joel i^'>^-, Mic. 2\ Zech. iiS have some resemblance, 
but differ in that in those passages the impending punishment is made 
prominent. They are nearer to Jas. 5' {cf. especially Zech. 11''). 

TaXatTrajpT/care "make yourselves wretched," cf. 5^ 

The word TaXat'xwpoc; and derivatives are employed both in secular 
and Biblical use of misery and wretchedness, whether strictly physical 
or general, often representing some form of Hebrew tib*; cf. Tob. 13", 
2 Mace. 4^', 4 Mace. 16', Ps. 12^, Mic. 2\ Ps. 38^ Jer. 1212, Rom. 7", 
Rev. 3'', Clem. Rom. 23' TaXottxwpoi eiacv o\ St'4'uxot. 

raXatTTcopew in itself is not limited to mental anguish, nor to 
repentance. It is here used in order to make a sharp contrast 
with the pleasures which the persons addressed are seeking. 
They had better, says James, make wretchedness their aim, and 
so humble themselves in penitence and obedience before God. 

The paraphrase of Grotius, "affligite ipsos vosmet jejuniis et aliis cor- 
poris (TxXr)paYG)Y{ati;," which corresponds to the view of the Roman 
Catholic commentators (e. g. Est : opera pcenalia subite) goes further 
than the text. 

Trevdr}aaTe Kol KXavaare, "mourn and lament." Cf. 2 Sam. 
191, Neh. 89, Mt. s\ Mk. 161", Lk. 6^', Rev. i8"- ^'- ^K 

irevdelv "expresses a self-contained grief, never violent in 
its manifestations" {Lex.); see Trench, Synonyms, § Ixv. But 
the two words are here used merely to secure a forcible fulness 
of expression. 

There is no ground for taking xev8T)ffaT£ specifically of an outward 
garb of mourning. 

TCEverjaaTe xotl /.XauaaTs] KA omit xal ; perhaps by accidental confu- 
sion of KAI with KAA — . The omission would connect TOveriffcrre with 
the preceding, and separate it from xXauaaxe in a very unnatural way. 

7eXco? vfjLMV, pertaining to their present easy ways. This 
sentence makes the preceding words more intelligible. 

272 JAMES 

€t? Trev6o<i, cf. Amos. S^", Tob. 2«, Prov. 1413, i Mace, i^^ 9«. 

fxerarpaT'^Tco, a poetical word which " seems not to have been 
used in Attic" (L. and S.). In the Greek O. T. it is used in 
4 Mace. 6*, and by Aquila in Ezek. i^, Symmaehus in Ezek. 10". 

[iSTaTpa-rci^Tw] BP minn. 

li,£TaffTpa<})T)Tw] J<AKL minnp•«^ Apparently an emendation, sub- 
stituting a more familiar verb. 

KaT'^cpeiav^ ''dejection," "gloominess," from KaT-q^r)^, "of a 
downcast look." In accordance with its origin the word refers 
primarily to the outward expression of a heavy heart, cf. the 
pubHcan in Lk. 18^^ The word (not found in LXX; nor else- 
where in N. T.) is frequently used of dejection due to shame, 
and this association may have governed the choice of it here. 
Cf. Lex., L. and S., Wetstein, for many examples ; and see Field, 
Notes on the Translation of the N. T., p. 238. 

10. raxett-w^T/re "humble yourselves." James here returns 
to the starting-point of his exhortation (v. ^ raxetwt?), and 
sums up in TairetvcoOrjTe the several acts directed in vv. "'. 
This act implies single-hearted faith, and such a soul has a sure 
reward from God, cf. i^. See references in Lex. s. v. Taireivo- 
<^po<Tvv7]j and cf. Ecclus. 2^^ ol (^o^ovixevoi Kvpiov . . . evwinov 
avTOv raTreLvaxJOvcTLV rd? xpvx^a^ avToyv^ 3I8 yiv^ raTreiPoco 
means "to confess and deplore one's spiritual littleness and 
unworthiness " (Lex.) . 

On the use of the passive aorist, cf. note on vTOTdyrjTe, v. '. 

evwTTLOv KvpCov. Kvplov here means God ; cf. vv. ^- ''• *. 

v\pa)(TeL, i. e. morally and spiritually, by his presence (w. ^' ''• * 
and i^) ; and in the glory of eternal life (i^^ 5^); cf, Lk. i", 
Mt. 2312, Lk. 14" 181*, 2 Cor. II' ifxavTou raTreivoiv tW vp.el<i 

I Pet. 5^ bears close resemblance in form, and is noticeable because 
of the complicated resemblance of the context in Jas. 4 and i Pet. 5. 
But the meaning is different. Here in James it is a humbling of the 
soul before God, with repentance, and is in contrast to uiceptitpavfa. 
I Peter is exhorting to a spirit of submissiveness to God (t9jv xpotTatdv 
XeTpa ToiJ Gsou), even when his providence appears in the hardships 
of persecution (v. ' t9)v [ilptfAvav ujawv lxtp((i'avTei; Ix' aux6v), cf. also 
I Pet. I" 3" 4'2 « . 

IV, 9-II 273 

11-12. "Do not talk harshly of one another. He who judges 
his brother, sets himself above the law of love, and infringes on 
the prerogative of God, who alone is lawgiver and judge." 

Vv. " and i- come in as a sort of appendix, much as s^'''^ is 
attached as an appendix after the whole epistle has received 
a fitting conclusion in 5". The thought of the writer reverts 
(cj. 1^6 3I-10) to those facts of life which had given him the text 
for his far-reaching discussion and exhortation (4^"^°), and be- 
fore passing to other matters he offers an example of how one 
particular form of M^X*/ is at variance with a proper attitude to 
God. The writer still has fully in mind the great opposition 
of the world and God, and hence probably arises the somewhat 
strained form in which the rebuke of vv. ^^-^' is couched. 

Criticism of others is often occasioned by a supposed moral 
lapse, and it may well be, as Schneckenburger suggests, that 
this was what James had here specially in mind. If that were 
the case these verses would be a very neat turning of the tables, 
quite in the style of this epistle (cf. 2-^), and the peculiar form 
of the rebuke, and its attachment as an appendix, would also be 
partly accounted for. To this would correspond the address 
dSeX<^oi, V. ", to which MO^XCtXt'Se?, v. ", ajiapToiKoi^ SixJ/vxpL, 
V. *, present a marked contrast but no real contradiction. This 
passage in James would then correspond closely with the mode 
of thought of Rom. 14I'', where the KaToXaXtd rebuked is occa- 
sioned by laxity and by intolerance, and where, as here, the 
reader is told that such judgment may safely be left to God the 

11. /caraXaXetre, "talk against," "defame," "speak evil" 
(A, v.), usually applied to harsh words about the absent. 

On the present imperative, cf. Winer, § 43, 3, § 56, i, b; 
Buttmann, § 139, 6 ; Gildersleeve, Syntax, § 415. Contrast 
the aorists of w. ^-1°. The present is here appropriate in the 
sense "desist from." KaToKaXid is habitual and should be 

The word is used in this sense in writers of the Koine (Polyb. Diod. 
C 7. G. 1770; see L. and S.) and in the Greek O. T. ; cf. Ps. ioi», 
where -cbv xaxaXaXoOvaa XaOpa tov xXtjacov auxou evidently refers to 

274 JAMES 

a generally recognised type of evil-doer, also Ps. 50'". Cf. 2 Cor. 12" 
eptOc'at, /.axaXaXtaf, (J*t6upta[Ji.ot, i Pet. 2', Rom. i'". 

See Clem. Rom. 30!' ' 35^, etc., 2 Clem. Rom. 4^ Hermas, 
Sim. vi, 55, viii, 7^, ix, 26^; Mand. ii, 2; Barn. 20; Test. XII 
Patr. Gad 3^ 5^. 

What is meant here is indulgence in unkind talk. Nothing indicates 
that anything more is intended than the harsh criticism common in 
ancient and modern daily hfe. It is not directed especially against 
the mutual backbiting of the teachers (4^^ ^■). For such a view as, e. g. 
Pfleiderer's, that this is a polemic against Marcion's attitude of superi- 
ority to the Jewish law, there is no more reason (note the address aSeXtpot) 
than for the idea (Schneckenburger) of a rebuke of those who tore Paul's 
character to pieces behind his back. 

aBeXcfiOL marks a transition, but here, as in i^' 2^, a minor 

aSe\(fiov^ TOP aSeX^bv auroO, with a certain pathetic emphasis. 
So in I Jn. 2' 4'^°. 

Kpivwv^ cf. Mt. 7^, and note that this is interpreted in the 
parallel Lk. 6" by the substitution of KaraBiKci^eiP, "con- 
demn," cf. Rom. 2^. For similar cases of two participles under 
one article, cf. i^^, Jn. 5 2*. 

KaToKoKet vofxov Kal Kpivet vofxov, i. e. in so far as he thereby 
violates the royal law of love (2*, note the context preceding 
the precept in Lev. 19^*), and so sets himself up as superior to 
it. Speaking against the law involves judging the law. 

vojxov, i. c. the whole code of morals accepted by the readers, 
as i" 2^. voixo'i without the article does not here differ from 
o v6(xo^. The particular clause in question is evidently the 
"second great commandment," cf. the phrase top Tr\r}crioVj v. ^2. 

TroirjTT)'? vonov, cf. i"'- (and note), Rom. 2", i Mace. 2". 
These are the only cases in the Bible of this phrase, which in 
secular Greek means "lawgiver," not "doer of the law." 

KpLTrj<;^ thus claiming a superiority to the law such as belongs 
to God alone. The judge is here thought of, not as himself 
acting under law, but more as the royal judge, the fountain of 
right, i. e. such a judge as God is — an idea of KpLTi]<i which in- 
cludes voixo0€ri]<i. 

IV, 11-13 275 

xptxT),; is not to be expanded into xptxr)^ w[lou, "critic of the law" 
(cf. v6(j.ov xptveii;), as is done by many commentators, for that idea 
has already been fully expressed, while in xpnra we have evidently a 
new idea and a step forward in the argument. 

V. " bears a close relation to the thought of Rom. 2^ 14^, but 
the resemblance does not imply literary dependence. 

12. eh. "One is lawgiver and judge, He, namely, who is 
able," etc. Cf. Mt. 19" eh earXv 6 ajaOo';. 

eh is the subject, voixoOerr]^ Kal KpiTtj'i the predicate; o 
BvudfX€vo<; is in apposition with eh. 

God, not Christ, appears clearly intended here; KpiTrj'^ in 
5^ is not decisive against this, and voixodeTTjij is far more likely 
to be used of God, while eh eariv unequivocally means God. 
eh is used in order to emphasise the uniqueness, not the unity, 
of the lawgiver. 

vojxodeTr]<i . Elsewhere in the Bible only Ps. g^". See 2 Esd. 
7«' \ Cf. POfxoOeTcov, 2 Mace. 3^^ 4 Mace. 5^^, Heb. 7" 8\ 
Very frequent in Philo. 

The word is here added to KpiTij^ because the latter does not 
fully express the idea of complete superiority to the law. 

voiLobixriq] BP. 

b voExoOsTT^q] all others. 

The reading without the article makes vo\xoU-L-qc, predicate and is 
more expressive. The article was probably inserted to bring an un- 
usual expression into conformity with the more common type of sen- 

xal xpt'u-^<;] cm KL minn. External evidence here outweighs, on the 
whole, the authority of the lectio brevior. 

6 hvvdixevo^ acoaai Kal a-woXeaai. Cf. Mt. 10'-'*. God's al- 
mighty power, to which we are wholly subject, gives him the 
right to judge. Cf. Hermas, Mand. xii, 6^ rov irdvTo. Zvvdjievov^ 
aayaat Kal airoXeaai^ Sim. ix, 23^ &)? hvvdjxevo^ a-KoKeaai 7} 
crcoaac avrov. Cf. Ps. 682", Deut. 3239, i Sam. 2«, 2 Kings 5^. 
This description of God must have been common in Jewish use. 

Th el C/. Rom. 920 144, Acts III', Ex. 3". ^^ 

13-17. The practical neglect of God seen in the trader's pre- 
sumptuous confidence in himself ; and the futility of it. 

276 JAMES 

After the discussion of the fundamental sin of choosing pleas- 
ure and not God as the chief end of life, two paragraphs follow 
illustrating by practical examples the neglect of God. Both 
paragraphs are introduced by the same words, and lack the 
address, aSe\<^ot' 

The persons in mind in vv. "-^^ may or may not be Christians. 
V. ^^ implies that these presumptuous persons know better. The 
type of travelling traders referred to was common among Jews. 
The ease of travel in ancient times is amply illustrated by the 
Book of Acts and the epistles of Paul. Cf. C. A. J. Skeel, 
Travel in the First Century after Christ, 1901; Zahn, "Weltver- 
kehr und Kirche wahrend der drei ersten Jahrhunderte, " in 
Skizzen aus dem Leben der alten Kirche-, 1898. 

13. a7e J'Of, "come now," "see here," c/. 5^ ^76, like «^epe, 
or Latin age, is usually an insistent, here a somewhat brusque, 
address, vvv increases the insistency. 

a7e is wholly non-biblical in its associations, Judg. 19'^, 2 
Kings 4^*, Is. 43^ being the only instances of the idiom in the 
O. T. 

ol Xe70J're9, i. e. in their hearts, cj. i" 2^^. 

\ auptov] BX minn ff vg boh syrp^i" Jerome. 

xal aupiov] AKLP minn syr^":! Qy^ (fj_ lj^ j;_j32 f.^^ 

A decision is possible only on external grounds. 

xopeuaojAsOa, irof^aofjiev, l[Ji.'7cop£ua6[A£Ga, xepSiQaofJiev. The future in- 
dicative is the consistent reading of Bt< (except xotT^aw^Aev) P minn 
f[ vg boh Cyr. 

The aorist subjunctive (■rcopeuawfAsOa, etc.) is read in each case by 
KLS'F minn. A has TcopsuawiJisOa, xoifjawji-ev, esjixopsuaotAsOa, x,£pSi^ao[ji.£v. 

The context speaks on the whole for the future indicative. In such 
a case external evidence has little weight {cj. Rom. 5'). 

rr]vhe Tr)V iroXiv, "this city"; not "such a city" (A.V. ; 
Luther: "m die und die Stadt" ; Erasmus: in ha no ant illam 
civitatem) . 

17017)0-0 jxev, "pass," "spend." See Lex. s. v. roteo) II. d, for 
examples of this meaning, which is said to be confined to later 

ifXTTopevaoideOa, "traffic," "do business." 

IV, 13-14 277 

This word is not very common in the Greek O. T., and is found only 
a few times in this sense (e. g. Gen. 34'° 42'*). In secular Greek it is 
used in this sense: cf. Thuc. vii, 13, and other references in L. and S. 

KepS-^aofxeu. That travel is for the purpose of gain was ob- 
vious to Greek thought, cf. Anthol. palai. ix, 446 aypb^; Tep\ptv 
dyeLj KepSo'i ttXo'o?. 

The word is used absolutely, as here, "to get gain," in secular writers, 
e. g. Hdt. viii, 5, but is not found in LXX (once in Symmachus). 

14. ocrive<i, with full classical meaning, "of such a nature 
that." For the loose grammatical attachment, cf. i^ ^- avrjp 

TO r?}? avpiov. Cf. Prov. 27^ m^ Kav^f^ tcl et<f avpiov^ ov yap 
yLvdiaK€L<i Tt re^erai 57 iiTLOvaa, also Ecclus. ii^^^-, Lk. 12^^ '^•. 
For a good parallel from Debarim rabba 9, see Schottgen or 
Wetstein on Jas. 4^^. Many parallels are to be found in Philo 
and in Greek and Latin writers (see Wetstein), e. g. Philo, 
Leg. alleg. iii, 80, p. 132; Pseudo-Phocylides, 116/.: 

OL'Set? ytvoiCFKei rl jxer avpcov rj ri /xe^' tdpa.v ' 
daKOTTo^ icFTL ^poTMv ddvaTO^^ TO he p.e\\ov dhifKov^ 

Seneca, Ep. loi, especially §§ 4-6, quam stultum est, cetatem 
disponere ne crastini quidem dominum . . . nihil sibi quisquam 
de futuro debet promittere, etc., etc. Other passages on the 
uncertainty of life are collected by Plutarch, Consolatio ad 
Apollonium, n, p. 107, and in Stobaeus, Anthol. iv, cap. 31, 
"Oti ajSe/3ai09 rj twv dvOpcaircov evirpa^ta^ jueraxtTrroucTT/? 
pa8(oi<i rr)? tv^V^, where especially the tragedians are drawn 
on. But in both the N. T. and Philo the commonplace is 
given a different turn: "let the uncertainty of Ufe remind 
you of your dependence on God.'^ 

TToia^ "Of what character?" *'. e. " Is it secure or precarious?" 
The answer is: "it is a mere passing mist." 

aTjik, "vapour," cf. i". Cf. Clem. Rom. 17'^ (from "Eldad 
and Modad"?) 670) (/. e. Abraham) he eijii uTfxU diro Kvdpa^ 
("steam from a pot"). For the comparison of the Ufe of the 
wicked to smoke and vapour, cf. 4 Ezra 7", Apoc. Bar. 82^ 

278 JAMES 

Whether James meant "smoke" or "steam" is impossible to deter- 
mine. In the LXX the word is several times used of smoke, Gen. 19=', 
Lev. 16", Ecclus. 22^4 (?) 24^'% Hos. 133 (?), although it properly means 
vapour, in distinction from xaicvoq ; cf. Aristotle, Meteor, ii, 4, p. 359 b. 
The very similar passage Wisd. 2* uses StAi'xXif], "mist." Cf. Ps. 102' 
e^^Xtxov wael -/.axvb? a\ -fjyi^pac [aou, Ps. 37'"'. 

Seneca, Troad. 401, compares human life to smoke {calidis Jumus 
ah ignibus). 

yap introduces the answer to iroia \'tX,, and also the reason 
for the whole rebuke contained in w. ^^ '•. 

^avTOtxevrj ^ eirecTa Kal acfjavL^ofxepr]^ "appearing and then 
disappearing," with a more delicate play on words than is quite 
reproducible in the English rendering. 

The same contrast and play is found in Aristotle, Hist. an. vi, 7, 
Ps.-Aristotle, De mundo, vi, 22, and evidently was a turn of expression 
common in Greek usage. 

The best text for this verse is the following : 

oYxivei; oOx i-ziuiau^s xb tt]<; auptov xota tj i^wrj u[Ji,uv; (5x^x1? Yap ears 
[rjl Tzphq oXtyov (p(xivo\xivrj, sxetxa xa'. a{pavti^o[j.evT). 

The various readings here adopted are attested by cither B or {<, or 
both. The following variants require comment: 

"zh TTj? auptov] SKL minnp'^' ff vg sah syrp«3h. 

Toc zriq aupcov] AP 33 minn syr^ci boh. 

xric, auptov] B. 

The external evidence is strongly for xb tt]? auptov, in view of the ten- 
dency of B to omit articles and the demonstrably emended character 
of A ^$ (cf. Prov. 27\ which may have been in the emender's mind). 

The "intrinsic" evidence of fitness also speaks for the retention of 
TO. In the text of B (oux STctaxaaGs xfj? auptov xota l^w?) u[j.{I)v) the 
writer would declare that the censured traders do not know what are 
to be to-morrow the conditions of their life — e. g. whether sickness or 
health, fair weather or foul. In fact, however, the latter part of this 
same verse (dtxtJit? xxX.) and v. '= (l^-^aojjiev) show that the uncertainty 
of life itself is what he has in mind. Hence xot'a cannot be connected 
with ext'axaaOe to form an indirect question, but must be a direct in- 
terrogative introducing a direct question to which dx[i,f<; xxX. gives the 

TCofa] BK* 1518 syrhci boh™d. 

•Tcofa yap] S^AKLP minnp'" vg boh syrps'i^. 

quae autem] S. 

The shorter and better attested reading is to be accepted, 

IV, 14-15 279 

f) ^o)iq] B omits f), doubtless by error. 

dx[uq yap] A ^t, vg boh omit yap. Doubtless emendation to avoid 
introducing the answer by ydp. t>s omits the whole clause dT^ilq yip 

ea-re] B minn syr'"'' Jerome. 

ea-cat] AKP minn. 

ia-ziv] L minn ff vg boh (was). 

Either eaxat or eaxs may well have originated in an itacistic corrup- 
tion of the other ; the evidence for the two together far outweighs that 
for laxcv. As between iaxs and eaxat, external evidence (t< is lacking) 
speaks on the whole for saxe. 

•^ -Kpbq oXtyov] BP omit tj. The question is difficult to decide and 
unimportant for the sense. An accidental agreement here between B 
and P is possible, but a little improbable.* 

15. avrl Tov \eyeiv properly belongs with 'KeyoPT€<i, v. ". 
iav 6 KvpLO'i de\r], "deo volente" ; cf. Acts iS^^, i Cor. 419 
16', Rom. iio, Phil. 219. 24, Heb. 6K 

The expressions lav Gsb? OIXt), o5v Oew, Sswv pouXofjievMv, xwv 6ewv 
esXovxwv, or the equivalent, were in common use among the an- 
cient Greeks. For references to papyri, see Deissmann, Neue Bibel- 
studien, 1897, p. 80; see also Lietzmann on i Cor. 4". C/. Plato, 
Alcib. I. p. 135 D, Hipp, major, p. 286 C, Laches, p. 201 C, Leges, pp. 
688 E, 799 E, etc., Thecet. p. 151 D, Aristophanes, Pint. 1188, Xeno- 
phon, Hipparchicus, 9, 8 (Mayor quotes many of the passages) . Similar 
expressions were also in familiar use by the Romans, from whom the 
modern deo volente is derived. Cf. Lampridius, Alex. Sever. 45 si dii 
voluerint, Minucius Felix, Ociavius, 18 "si dens dederit" vidgi iste tiatu- 
ralis sermo est, Sallust, Jug. 14, 19 dels volentibus, Ennius ap. Cic. De off. 
i, 12, 38 volentibu' cum magnis diis, Plautus, Capt. ii, 3, 94 si dis placet, 
id. Poen. iv, 2, 88 si di volent, Liv. ix, 19, 15, absit invidia verba. See 
other references in B. Brisson, De formtdis et solemiibus popidi Romani 
verbis, rec. Conradi, Halle, 1731, i, 116 (pp. 63/.) ; i, 133 (p. 71) ; viii, 
61 (p. 719). 

The corresponding formula inshallah, "if God will," has been for 
many centuries a common colloquial expression of modern Arabic, cf. 
Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, ch. 13. It is 
not unlikely that the Mohammedans derived it from the Syrians, and 
that these had it from the Greeks. The Jews do not seem to have com- 
monly used any such formula either in Biblical or in Talmudic times. 

*0n this whole passage, see Corssen, Gottlngische gdehrte Anzeigen, 1893, pp. 578/.; B. 
Weiss, Zeitschrift fiir wissenschaflHche Theologie, vol. xxxvii, 1894, pp. 434/. The view taken 
above is substantially that of Corssen. The resulting text is the s^^me as that underlying 
the translation of the English R.V. 

28o JAMES 

The use of such formulas "was introduced to the Jews by the Moham- 
medans" (L. Ginzberg, /£, art. "Ben Sira, Alphabet of"). 

The statement often found that the practise recommended was a 
part of Jewish customary piety in N. T. times goes back at least to J. 
Gregory, whose Notes and Observations on Some Passages of Scripture, 
first published in 1646, are reprinted in Latin in Critici sacri, 1660, 
vol. ix. He quotes from the "Alphabet of Ben Sira" (written not ear- 
lier than the eleventh century ; see JE, I. c.) a Jewish instance of the 
formula, and evidently based his statement {"mos erat inter JudcBOs") 
on this, with, perhaps, some knowledge of the ways of mediaeval and 
later Jews. For the passage from the "Alphabet," see Schottgen, 
Horac hebr. pp. 1030/.; the earliest use of it to illustrate Jas. 4'^ is prob- 
ably J. Drusius, Qucestiones hebraicae, iii, 24, 1599 (reprinted in Critici 
sacri, vol. viii). 

The origin of this t3T)e of "apotropaic" formula among the Greeks 
and Romans is to be sought in the notions of divine vengeance for human 
presumption, to be averted by thus refraining from a positive assertion 
about the future. 

It thus appears that James is here recommending to Chris- 
tians a Hellenistic pious formula of strictly heathen origin. His 
own piety finds in it a true expression of Christian submission 
to divine providence. 

Kal . . . Kai, "both . . . and." 

Others take the first v.(xl as introducing the apodosis. But the more 
natural suggestion of the repeated xa( speaks for the view given above. 

Z,-f}ao[, Tjotviffopi.ev] BJ<AP minn ff. 

!^iQaa)[A£v, xotTQawfisv] KLS*F 048 minnp■«^ Probably emendation due 
to a mistaken notion that these verbs were included under ixv. 

See Beyschlag for references to older discussion of this variant. The 
two Mss. (181, 328) alleged (by Wetstein and later critics) to contain 
the reading l^-^ffuyisv . . . TCOf^aotiev both read — w — in both cases. 

.16. vvu Se, "but actually, in point of fact," in contrast to 
what they ought to do. 

KavxpLcrOe iu rat? aKa(^oviai<; vfxcov^ "glory in these your acts 
of presumption." Kavx^'O'de is thrown into strong emphasis 
by vw Se. Instead of humility toward God, their attitude is 
one of boasting. 

a\a^oviat<i refers to the attitude described in v. ^^ (ot \eyov- 
T€?), Kavxa<T0e (which carries the emphasis) signifies an aggra- 
vation of it, viz. the pride which they take in their own over- 

rv, 15-17 281 

weening self-confidence and presumption. eV indicates that 
aXa'^oviat are the ground of the glorying, cf. i^ 

Another view takes xauxauBs of the arrogant talk itself, described 
in V. ", and understands ev as merely giving the presumptuous manner 
of it (Mayor : "the manner in which glorying was shown, 'in your self- 
confident speeches or imaginations' = i>>al^oveu6[Asvot"), cf. Clem. Rom. 
21 5 dv6pwxot<; EYxauxwtJiEvoti; Iv dXx^ovta tou Xoyou. This is possible, 
but is repetitious, and gives no such advance in the thought as the 
emphatic vQv S^ seems to call for. 

ciXa^ovia, "braggart talk," or, more inclusively, ''presump- 
tuous assurance," "vainglory" (so i Jn. 2^^ [R-V.]) ; much 
like vTreprj(f)aviaj with which it is frequently associated, cf. 
Rom. 1^0, 2 Tim. 32, 2 Mace. 9* (v. I.). 

It is stronger than KavxacrOac, and has the idea of emptiness 
and insolence, cf. Wisd. 2^^ 5^ 4 Mace, i^e 2^^ S^^ rrju Kevoho^iav 
ravT-qv Kol oKedpo^opov oKa^oviav, See the full discussion 
in Trench, Synonyms, § xxix. aka^oiv and its derivatives are 
found twelve times in the Greek O. T. Cf. Test. XII Patr. 
Dan I^ Joseph 17*; Teles (ed. Hense-), p. 40. 

TTOvripd, "wrong." Cf. Jas. 2*, Mt. 151^, Jn. 31^ f, i Jn. 3^2^ 
Col. 1 21, Acts 25I8. 

There is no distinction drawn in vv.^''" between xovTjpa and &\i<xp'zla. 

17. This is a maxim added merely to call attention to the 
preceding, and with no obvious special application. It is almost 
like our ^'verbum sap sat," and means, "You have now been 
fully warned." For the same characteristic method of capping 
the discussion with a sententious maxim, cf. 1^^ 2^^ 3^^. 

There is, however, a certain pointedness in v. ^^ by reason 
of its relation to James's fundamental thought. "You Chris- 
tians have in your knowledge of the law a privilege, and you 
value it {cf. the reliance on faith in 21^ f^) ; this should spur you 
to right action." Cf. Rom. 2^'^--^, of the requirement of conduct 
imposed on the Jews by their superior knowledge. 

ovv, "so then," serving to introduce this summary conclud- 
ing sentence, which is applicable to the whole situation just 
described; see Lex. s. v, ovv^ d; cf. Mt. i^' 7^^, Acts 26", 

282 JAMES 

KoXov, "good," opposed to Tropr]p6<i {cf. v. ^^). So nearly 
always in N. T. (only Lk. 21'' in sense of "beautiful"), cf. Jas. 
27 ^13^ ]y[t_ ^16 i;jj,(aif Ta KoXa epja. 

dfxapTia avTO) earCv^ sc. to koXou, i. e. the good thing which 
he does not do. 

On avTa)j cf. Clem. Rom. 44^, and the similar expression eartv 
eV aol a,uapr ta, which is a standing phrase in Deut., e.g. 15^ 
2321 f. 2415. 


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

1. a'ye vvv ol ifkoixJiOL, cf. on 4^^. 

ol T^ovaiOL, cf. 1^° f- 2--*'. The chief question here is whether 
"the rich," who are attacked and warned, were Christians or 

In i^" f- the rich man referred to seems certainly to have been 
a Christian brother (see note) ; in 2^ f- the rich visitor is appar- 
ently not a Christian, so "the rich" of 2^. In the passage be- 
fore us the rich as a class are apostrophised, without reference 
to their religious profession, in order to make clear to the Chris- 
tian readers the folly of admiring or striving after riches. Those 
who possess riches, runs the argument, do not present an at- 
tractive example, so soon as the real character of their posses- 
sions and prospects is understood. Like pleasure (4^"^°), so 
also wealth — which is sought after in order to gain pleasure — 
is a false aim. The tone is thus not of an appeal to evil-doers 
to reform (contrast 4^-1" and even 4.^^'^^), but of a threatening of 
judgment; and the attitude ascribed to the rich is that of 2^^-, 
rather than of i^^^-. Some of the rich may be Christians, but 
it is not as Christians that they are here addressed. The pur- 
pose of the verses is partly to dissuade the Christians from set- 
ting a high value on wealth, partly to give them a certain grim 
comfort in the hardships of poverty (cf. 5^-"). 

The passage is highly rhetorical and in detail recalls the de- 
nunciations of the O. T. prophets. Many of the ideas are found 

IV, I7-V, I 283 

in Wisd. 2, where the customary arrogance and selfishness of the 
rich, the transitoriness of their prosperity, and their treatment 
of the righteous are set forth. Lk. 6^^ f • also forms a close par- 
allel. Cf. Enoch 94'-" 96^-8 973-10 984-16 9911-16 1006-13 J035-8, 

The only important argument for supposing these "rich" to be Chris- 
tians is that they are in form directly addressed. For a full statement 
of the arguments, see Zahn, Einleiking, i, § 4. But the form is the 
same as that of the prophetic denunciations of foreign nations, e. g. Is. 
13 s (Babylon), 15^ (Moab) ; cf. Mt. 23 (the apostrophe against scribes 
and Pharisees), and the regular form of Biblical "Woes." 

/cXavcrare, "lament." Cf. 4^; but there the lamentation is 
connected with repentance, here it is the wailing of those who 
ought to look forward to an assured damnation. CJ. Rev. 6i^-i^ 
(note ol ir^ovaioij v. 1^), Joel i^ K'Xavcrare. 

oKo\v^ovTe^, "with howls of mourning." Cf. Is. 13^ (against 
Babylon) oXoXv^ere^ iyyv'; yap r/fxepa Kvpiov, Is, 152. 3 
(against Moab) irdvTi'; oXoXvl^ere jxera Kkavd/jiov, Amos 83 
(note the following context), Zech. 11 2, Is. iqI" 1431 (against 
Philistia), 16^ (Moab), 231 (Tyre), 231- ^' (ships of Tarshish), 
651^ Jer. 4820, Ezek. 2112. 

6XoX61^6) and dtXaXiil^ti) both mean "cry aloud" (onomatopoetic), and 
both refer in earHer secular Greek to Joyful crying, or to a cry raised 
to the gods in worship, seldom to a mere wail of grief or pain. 

In the LXX oXoXu'Cw is the ordinary representative of ^^^ and means 
"howl," especially in distress or from repentance. It is used only in 
the prophetic books, and nearly always in the imperative. 

dXaXdl^w is the regular representative of Hebrew >in, except in Jere- 
miah, where in all the four cases of its use, 4' 29 (47)2 30 (49)' 32", it 
stands for h^y, cf. also iXoLkixyiJ.oq, Jer. 2o'8, for r^^^\ It means "cry" 
— with joy, triumph, battle fury, by way of sounding alarm, or the 

Thus in the Greek O. T. there is a differentiation of meaning between 
the two words oXoXu^w and dXaXdl^w. In the N. T. oXoXul^w only occurs 
once, while dXaXd!;^ is found but twice, Mk. 5'' (xXat'ovrcts xal dXaXd- 
^.ovTa?, in the sense of a cry of grief), and i Cor. 13 ^ (xujjL^aXov iXaXi^oy). 
The explanation of the facts seems to be that in later Greek usage 
fiXoXut^w took the special sense of "cry in distress," while dXciXdJ^w 
retained a wider range of meaning. 

284 JAMES 

TaXat7rcop/at9, "miseries," i. e. the sufferings of the damned, 
cf. vv. '• \ Rev. 18^ f- 218, Ps. 14010, Enoch 6310 99" 103^ 

For the denunciation of future punishment against oppressors, 
cj. 2 Mace, yi"' i^- i^- ^\ 4 Mace. 93- ^^ 10" n^. 23 -^2^-' la 1315. 

The reference found here by many older, and some more recent, 
commentators to the destruction of Jerusalem is wholly uncalled for ; 
it is equally wrong to apply this to the distress preceding the Last 
Judgment; and still worse to think merely of the loss of property by 
the rich. 

iirepxoiJ.euaK, "impending," cf. Eph, 2^, Lk, 2126, Hermas, 
Vis. iii, 9^; iv, i^ 

2-3. Your wealth is already, to any eye that can see reali- 
ties, rotten, moth-eaten, and rusted. The rust of it will testify 
to you in the Day of Judgment how valueless it and your con- 
fidence in it are. And the worthlessness of your wealth will 
then be your ruin, for you have been storing up for yourselves 
only the fire of hell. 

2. aeatjirep, "has rotted," "is rotten," i. e. of no value. The 
word is here used to apply (literally or figuratively) to every 
kind of wealth. 

On the general idea, cf. Mt. 6^^ In James it is not the per- 
ishabihty but the worthlessness of wealth that is referred to. 
The property — no matter what its earthly value, or even its 
earthly chance of permanence — is worthless if measured by true 

This and the following verbs in the perfect tense (yeyovev, 
KaTMTai) are picturesque, figurative statements of the real 
worthlessness of this wealth to the view of one who knows how 
to estimate permanent, eternal values. The perfect tense is 
appropriately used of the present state of worthlessness. 

Others take the perfect tense in these verbs as describing by prophetic 
anticipation {cf. Is. 60O what will inevitably happen with the lapse of 
time. But this is unnecessary, and the change to the future in iaxxt 
makes it unlikely. Notice also that the mention of the "rusting" of 
gold and silver points to a figurative meaning. 

The view taken of these perfects carries the decision for a series of 
exegetical problems in vv. ■' ' which are discussed in detail in the notes. 

V, 1-3 28s 

A different view can be made clear by the following paraphrase, based 
on Huther's interpretation : 

"Your wealth will all perish in the Day of Judgment. The rust of it 
will testify to you beforehand of your own coming destruction, and the 
Judgment, when it has destroyed your possessions, will afterwards fall 
on you. You have been amassing treasure in the very days of the 
Judgment itself!" 

The idea that alu-oicev y.iX. gives the first specification of the actual 
sin of the rich, who show their rapacity by treasuring up wealth and 
letting it rot instead of using it to give to the poor or as capital to pro- 
mote useful industries ("GEcumenius," Calvin, Homejus, Laurentius, 
Grotius, Bengel, Theile), is needless and far-fetched. 

TO, l/jidTLa. On garments as a chief form of wealth, cf. Mt. 
6^9, I Mace. ii24, Acts 20^3, also Hor. Ep. i, 6, lines 40-44, 
Quint. Curt, v, 6^ 

arjTo^poira, cf. HDB, "Moth," and EB, "Moth." 

The word is found elsewhere in the Bible only in Job 13^8 w? \[L<kxiov 
OTiTogpwTov. In secular Greek it has been observed only Orac. Sib. 
ap. Theoph. Ad Autol. ii, 36 (fragm. 3, 1. 26), aYjToPpwTa SlSopxe (of 
idol-images). Cf. Is. 51' 50', Mic. ^* (LXX), Job 32" (LXX). 

3. /v'aricorat, "rusted," "corroded." The preposition Kara- 
has a "perfective" force, almost like "rusted out," or "rusted 
through," cf. the only other Biblical instance, Ecclus. 12" 
el? Te\o^ KaTMaev. Hence R.V. "utterly rusted." See J. H. 
Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. in f. The word is found in Epict. 
Diss, iv, 6*^ but is rare. 

In fact, silver does not easily corrode so as to become worthless (cf., 
however, Ecclus. 291° f), and gold not at all. On ancient knowledge of 
the freedom of gold from rust, see references in Wetstein. In the ap- 
parent references to the rusting of gold in Ep. Jer. 11 and 24, tarnishing 
is probably meant. But James's bold figure has nothing to do with 
such expressions. He means that even the most permanent earthly 
treasure has no lasting value. "Have rusted" is equivalent to "are 
worthless," and the writer is thinking of the present, although the pres- 
ent is illuminated by what he knows about the future. 

Cf. Chaucer, Prologue to Canterbury Talcs : 

"And this figure he addide yit therto, 
That if gold ruste, what shulde yren doo?" 

286 JAMES 

ek jxaprvpiov, used in various relations in the N. T., Mt. 8* 
(Mk. I", Lk. 5"), iQi^ 241-', Mk. 611 (Lk. 9^), 13^ (Lk. 2113), 
Heb. 3^ It seems to mean "for a visible (or otherwise clear 
and unmistakable) sign." 

It is derived from an O. T. expression, found in Gen. ai^o 31"^ Deut. 
2ii9. 26j Josh. 24", in all which cases it represents i;?.'? or .tij;.V, which 
means "to be a sign," or "pledge," or "symbol," usually with reference 
to some material object, a book, a stone, a group of animals. See also 
Job 16' (Job's sickness as [i-apTupiov of his guilt), Mic. i=. In Josh. 
22S7, 28, 34^ Ruth 4' [AapTijpcov is used in a different grammatical rela- 
tion but in the same sense. In i Sam. 9^^, Prov. 29'^, Hos. 2^-, Mic. 7'', 
zlq yLapxuptov is found, due to a mistranslation but probably intended 
by the translator in the same sense. 

So here the rust is the visible sign and symbol of the real 

state of the case — of the perishability of riches and hence of 

the certain ruin awaiting those who have no other ground of 

Others take s.lq [jiapTuptov to mean "for witness of your rapacity" 
(see above on a^aTjxsv) or "of your own coming destruction." The 
latter view corresponds with that which takes the perfects a^uYjicev /.xX. 
in a future sense as prophetic of the Judgment. 

v}xlv, "to you," "giving you proof of the facts." 

This is better suited to the context than "against you," viz. in the 
judicial process of the Last Day. Cf. Enoch 96* for parallel to this 

(f)dyeTai Ta<i adpKa<; v/jlcov, "shall consume your fleshly parts," 
i. e. "the perishability of your riches will be your ruin," "you 
and your riches will perish together." The idea is of rust cor- 
roding, and so consuming, human flesh, like the wearing into 
the flesh of a rusty iron chain — a terrible image for the disas- 
trous results of treating money as the reliance and the chief 
aim of life. For a somewhat similar turn, cf. Ecclus. 34(3 1)^ 

ip^YETat is used as future of saGiM in LXX and N. T. 

ea6((i) is found in secular writers of the devouring of a fire (Horn. //. 
xxiii, 182), the eating of a sore (^sch. Philoctdes, fragm.), the effect of 
caustics, and the like. 

V, 3 28; 

crapK-a?. The plural is used from Homer down, also by Attic 
writers and Plato, in a sense not distinguishable from that of 
the singular. So Lev. 2629, 2 Kings 9^6, 4 Mace. 15^^ Rev. lyi^ 
igi*- ", Lk. 24" (Tischendorf). 

0)9 wvp ed-qaavpiaare, ''since you have stored up fire," i. e. 
the fire of Gehenna. There is a play in the word idrjaavptaare 
{cf. vv. ^^■), as in Mt. 6" ; cf. a curiously similar play in Ecclus. 
29". Prov. 16" aPTjp dcfypcov opvacrei eavra KaKo,^ eivX he ro)V 
eairrov 'x^eiKeoiv drjaavpi'^ec irvp. On the fire of hell, cf. Is. 
30", Judith i6i^ Mt. 522, and see P. Volz, Jiidische Eschato- 
logie, pp. 280 /. 285 /. ; W. Bousset, Die Religion des Juden- 
tunis^, p. 320. 

On w? with the meaning "since," see Lex. s. v., I, 4, b. (not 
quite adequate), L. and S. s. v., B, IV. 

(Sx; zup would more naturally be connected with the preceding (so 
WH. fng.), cf. Is. 30" xal t) opY'^ xoO 6utAou wi; ■rcjp eSexac. But this 
leaves i^ricauplaaie without an object, which is impossible, unless, 
indeed, the text is defective and a word has dropped out. Windisch 
conjectures opyTjv, cf. Rom. 2K Syr omits wg and connects xup with 
the following sentence. Latin vt and vg connect with the preceding ; 
but a wide-spread alteration (Cod. Amiat., not Cod. Fuld.) has relieved 
the difl&culty by adding tram after Ihesaurizasiis. 

Cf. Mt. 6'^ 19", Mk. 10=', Lk. 18", Rom. 2^ 6T]aaup(!^£t<; aeotUTw 
dpY'Jlv ev ii[i.ig(f 6pY'0<;, Prov. i»' (LXX), 2', Tob. 4' ee[j,a -(xp dyaObv 
6T)a3tup(^et<; aeauT(p et<; ■f)[j.^pav avaYXT)(;, 4 Ezra 6' 7" "a treasure of 
works laid up with the Most High," Apoc. Baruch 24', and Charles's 
note, Test. XII Patr. Levi 13=, and Charles's note. 

eV ia'x^a.TaLi; T^juepat?, i. e. "which shall be in the last days." 
The last days are the days of judgment, when punishment will 
be awarded. Cf. the same phrase in 2 Tim. 3^ and (with the 
article) Acts 2^', Didache i6^ 

For the omission of the article with a superlative, cf. Winer-Schmiedel, 
§ 19. 9. Other similar phrases are xfj saxaxYj i)\xipq: (Jn. 6" '■, etc.), 
lax<4xT] upa (i Jn. 2"), Iv xatptp eaxa'^tp (i Pet. i^, £x' lax'i'^ou xp^vou 
(Jude 18, etc.) ; see Lex. s. v. 'iaxocioq, i and 2, a. 

The same expressions are found in the O. T., cf. Nimi. 24", Deut. 4", 
Is. 2= 41", Jer. 232", Ezek. 38", Dan. 2-', Hos. 3^ 4 Ezra 13". 

Other interpretations are possible for the last sentence of v. M 

288 JAMES 

(i) With the punctuation, as above, by which w? TcOp is connected 
with the following, w^ can be taken in the sense, "as," "as it were." 
But this is less forcible, since the writer who wrote the preceding and 
following denunciation would not be likely to hold back from the out- 
and-out threat of "fire." 

(2) d)? TuOp can be connected with the preceding sentence, and IGtj- 
aaupiaaxs made to begin a new sentence (so A.V., R.V., WH. mg., fol- 
lowing Old Latin and Vg). In that case we must read: "The rust of 
them will be for a witness and will eat your flesh like fire. You have 
laid up treasure in the Last Days," etc. This makes a fairly suitable 
context for (oq xOp. But the following sentence is left mutilated, for 
eBTjejaupiaare requires an object; and the sense is weakened. Under 
this interpretation the "Last Days" have to be understood as already 

4. As an example of the way in which the rich have been 
treasuring up fire for themselves, James specifies injustice to 
farm labourers, a conspicuous form of oppression from early 
O. T. times down. Cf. also v. ^. Hermas, Vis. iii, g'^, has many 
points of similarity. 

fXLdOo'ij cf. Deut. 24^^ au6r]iJ,epov cnroScaaeLS top ixtaOov avrov 
. . . oTc . . . KaTa^orjaerai Kara crov irpos Kvpiov^ Lev. ig^^, 
Mai. 3^ Tovs airoaTepovvTas ixiadov jiiadoiTOv, Ecclus. 31 
(34)2^-", Tob. 4!^ Ps.-Phocylides, 19 ixiaOov iioxOvcravrL BiBov • 

ipyaTwu, "labourers," especially used of farm labourers. 

In O. T. only Wisd. 17", Ecclus. 19' 40", i Mace. 3^ Ps. 94" (Sym.). 
The word has thus almost no LXX associations. In the N. T., beside 
this passage in James it is used freely by Matthew (six times) and by 
Luke and Acts (five times) , and four times in the Pauline and Pastoral 

ctfxrjadvTcap, "reap." Only here in N. T. Cf. Lev. 25", Deut. 
2413, Is. 175 3730, Mic. 615. 

;y;c6pas, "estates," "farms," cf. Lk. 121^ 2121, Jn. 4^^, Amos 
39. 10. 11, 2 Mace. 8^ E.V. "fields" suggests too small a plot 
of ground ; X^P^ means not a fenced subdivision but the whole 
estate under one ownership. 

a(f)vaT€p7]fxe^'o^, "kept back," an appropriate word, rare in 
Biblical Greek. Cf. Neh. g'^^ ; used intransitively in Ecclus. 14.^*. 

V, 3-5 289 

afpuatepTfj^Levog] B*S- 
axsaTsprjtJLsvoc;] B'AP minnpi<". 
axooTspTjtJiivoi;] KL. 

The rare word found in B*t< has been emended to a more familiar 
one, c/. Mai. 3^ Ecclus. 4' 296 31(34)". 

a(f)' vfxwv, "by you," cf. i^^ See Lex. s. v. cnro, II, 2, d. bb. 
col. sg^. Cf. Winer, § 47 (Thayer's translation, p. 371), Butt- 
mann, § 147. 6 (Thayer's translation, pp. 325/.). 

Kpd^ei, cf. Deut. 241^; Gen. 4i« (blood of Abel), iS^o*- 19" 
(sin of Sodom), Enoch 47^ (prayer and blood of the righteous). 

et9 TO, a>Ta Kvpiov aafiacod, cf. Is. 5^ rjKovadr] 'yap ek ra a>Ta 
Kvpiov aa^aoid raina (i. e. the aggressions of the rich), Ps. i8^ 

Kvpiov aajSacod, "Lord of Sabaoth," "Lord of Hosts," 
riii<3^ mn\ This term originally referred to Jahveh as the 
god of the armies of Israel, then as ruler of the "hosts of heaven," 
i. e. the stars and heavenly powers. In LXX usually represented 
by iravTOKpaTup (see Lex. s. v.), but in all cases in Isaiah and 
in nine others transHterated, as here and Rom. g^a. See HDB, 
"Lord of Hosts," EB, "Names," Smith, DB, "Sabaoth," San- 
day on Rom. g^a. The term is here used (after Is. 5*) to sug- 
gest the almighty power and majesty of Him who will make the 
cause of the labourers his own, so in 3 Mace. 6^^ ' ■. 

5. Your luxurious life on this earth is nothing in which you 
can take satisfaction, it is but the preliminary to a day of 

Cf. Lk. i6"-3i (Dives and Lazarus), Lk. 62" f- 12I6-21. Cf. 
Enoch 98" 102 ^ 

iTpv(f)')](TaTe, "you have lived in luxury," "lived delicately" 
(R.V.). Derived from dpvTVTQ), to "break down," "enervate" ; 
it denotes soft luxury, not necessarily wanton vice. Cf. Neh. 
925 Kal icpdjoaav Kal iveifKrjcxdricrav kol eknrdi'drjcrav Kal er- 
pv^rjcav, Ecclus. 14'' ; and for rpvcf)-)] Lk. 7", 2 Pet. 2^^, Ecclus. 
14!^ Cf. Hermas, Sim. vi, i^ Tpv(^(avTa rjv /cat Xiav (nrara- 
\SiVTa^ Lk. 16" eu(f>paLv6iJLeuo<; Kad'' rj/xepav Xa/X7rp&)9. 

The aorist is "constative" or summary (cf. J. H. Moulton, 
Prolegomena, p. 109), and is properly translated by the English 
perfect (A.V., R.V.). 

290 JAMES 

iirl T)7? 77;?, in contrast to heaven, or the next world; €i> 
riixepa (T(f)ayr]<; is the day which introduces the next world. Cf. 
Mt. 619. 

6(7 Trar aX T^crare, " given yourselves to pleasure." R.V. " taken 
your pleasure" is weaker than the original, and not so good as 
the antiquated "been wanton" of A.V. Cf. i Tim. 5^, Ecclus. 

axaxaXav is a less literary word than Tputpaw, having worse associa- 
tions in secular use, and suggesting positive lewdness and riotousness. 
This word and its cognates, axa'zakoq, (jTztxToki), y.axxaTzxxoc'kioy, are 
each used a few times in LXX, Sym. and "alii." Cf. Barn. lo', Varro 
ap. Non. p. 46. 12 spatula cviravit omncs Veneri vaga piieros. Hort, pp. 
107-109, assembles many instances of the word from the LXX and 
other sources. 

edpeypare Tas naphias vfXMV eu rjixepa a<f)ay7]s, "you have 
fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter," This declares, 
with a hard, ironical turn, what has been the real nature of the 
Tpv(pdv and (nraToXdv, the life of luxurious pleasure; it is 
merely a fattening of the ox that he may be fit for slaughter, 

Cf. Jer. 46^1 (ocfwep ix6(T')(pL airevToi Tpec^ojxevoi^ Xen. Mem. 
ii, 1^2 Te6pap.p.evrj els TroKvaapKiap, Philo, In Flacc. 20 (Tvt la 
/XOL Kal TTOTa Kaddirep rots dpenixaaLV eVl a^ayrjv SiSorac, 

KapStas, i. e. the heart as the seat of pleasures, appetites, 
passions. See Lex. s. v. KapSia^ 2. b. 8. Cf. Mt. 151^, Lk. 21=**, 
Acts 14!^ Ps. 1041^, Judg, 19^' *, Hermas, Sim. v, 3^, 

iv riiJ.€pa crcjiajris, "for (i. e. so as to be fat in) the day of 
slaughter." On this use of eV, cf. i Thess. 3^^. The rendering 
of A.V,, R.V., "a day of slaughter," is wrong, cf. Rom. 2^, 
I Pet. 212. The article is omitted, as often in compact prepo- 
sitional expressions, Blass-Debrunner, § 255. Cf. Jer. 12^ ad- 
poLcrop avTovs cos irpo^ara eis cr(f)a'y)]P^ ayvLcrov avTOvs els 
i)fx€pap a(f)ajris avTMv, ^o", Is. 342- ^, Ezek, 2Il^ Ps, 44^2, 
Orac. Sib. v, 377-380. The Day of Judgment is meant. Cf. 
Enoch 94^ "Ye have become ready for the day of slaughter," 
98'° 99«, Jer. 2534. 

Many interpreters think that Iv 7);j.£p<? afxyfic must refer to the time 
in which e6p£<j;aTe has been going on. Then the sense will be: "You 

V, 5-6 291 

have been occupied with pampering yourselves in the very day when 
you will be finally cut off." But this is unnecessary, and the words 
become less pregnant and significant, while it is not natural to speak of 
the present time as if the Day of Judgment itself (near though it may 
be) had already come. 

£v ^tiepi?] BK*P S3 mimi ff vg boh. 

£V ri[iip(xt<;] A. 

wq ev T)[xep?] K^KL 048 minnp'" syr"*' Cyr. 

A's reading is unsupported error. The prefixing of ox; changes and 
weakens the sense because of failure to note the allusion to the Day of 
Judgment in iQixspo: atpayfis- This reading with w>; is correctly enough 
paraphrased by aeth (ed. Piatt) id qui sagiftat bovcm in diem mactationis. 

6. By your oppression you are guilty of the blood of right- 
eous men ; do you not find them your enemies ? 

KareSiKdaare, "condemned." Cf. Mt. la^- ^^^ Lk. 6". The 
rich are judges, or at any rate control the courts. 

e(^oj^eyo-aTe, "murdered." C/. 2" 4-. Oppression which un- 
justly takes away the means of life is murder. Cf. Ecclus. 4^ 

apros eTiSeoiJieuoiP fco^ tttw^mv^ 
aToarepoJv avrrjv dvdpcoTros aljxdTMV ' 
^vevoiv TOP irXrjaiov 6 d^ai,povjievos avix^LOidiv 
Kol iK'x^euv at/itt 6 airocTTepcov ixiaBov fxicrdlov. 

Here, however, every kind of cruel conduct leading to the 
death of the poor and righteous is doubtless meant, including 
in some cases actual murder — whether violent or judicial (e. g. 
the execution of Stephen). 

Cf. Enoch 9915 loo^ 103I1-15, Wisd. 2™, Ps. 37^^ Is. 57S Mt. 2335. 

Tov SkaLOP, singular, representing the class. 

Cf. Is. 3"'' " 571 (note v.^ iperpvcfi'jaaTe), Wisd. 2^-, Enoch 95^. 
The oppressed and the righteous are evidently the same persons. 
The rich here are not thought of as Christians. Cf. Amos a^- ^ 
51- 8^ where the poor, the oppressed, and the righteous are the 

In Lk. 23", Acts 3'^ 7== 231^ i Jn. 2' {cf. i Pet. 3I8), Stx,atoq is used 
of Christ, cf. Enoch 38- 53". It is not, however, likely that Christ 
would here be referred to so vaguely, although his death might natu- 

292 JAMES 

rally be included in the writer's mind under IcpoveiaaTs. The attack is 
upon the rich as a class, and their misdeeds are thought of as character- 
ising their whole history. Mt. 23" is an excellent parallel; cf. also the 
reproaches in Acts 751-53. 

ovK avTLTdaaeraL vfxiv -^ "does not he (sc. 6 SiKaios) resist 

avTLTciacreTaL {cf. Jas. 4"^, i Pet. 5^ Rom. 13^, Acts i8^ Prov. 
3") evidently relates to a highly formidable resistance, and 
probably the witness of the poor at the Day of Judgment is 
meant. Cf. Enoch 91^^ (and Charles's note) 98^^ 104^. 

In Hos. i« dvTtTacCTEaSat is contrasted with sXesIv, to "show mercy"; 
in Prov. 3'* with Stoovat %aptv, "be favourably inclined." It seems 
to be used of active opposition or resistance, not of a merely hostile 
attitude. So Esther 3^, Prov. 3'^ 4 Mace. 16=3 (Cod. t^). 

Other interpretations of v. « are to be rejected : 

(i) If, with many interpreters, oux avrtxaaffsxat is taken as a positive 
statement instead of a question, it must probably refer to the dehber- 
ate non-resistance of the righteous on principle, as in Is. 53', i Pet. 2-^. 
But (a) this sense is wholly unsuited to the context, (b) the asyndeton 
after St'xatov then becomes well-nigh impossibly violent, and (c) to end 
this powerful passage of triumphant denunciation with a brief reference 
to the submissive non-resistance of the righteous would be strange in- 

(2) For this last reason the view that the meaning is, "he offers you 
no effective resistance," is almost equally unacceptable. 

(3) Hofmann and others take ivTixiaaeToet as impersonal passive, 
"no opposition is made," cf. v. ^K But (Mayor) "it is the middle, not 
the active, which means to resist." 

(4) Some interpreters would supply 6 Oso? as the subject of avTitaa- 
o£Tat, taking the latter interrogatively. This would be in accord with 
the Jewish avoidance of the name of God wherever possible, and 
would form an allusion to 4' ; but it seems here unnecessary and un- 

In the interest of this last interpretation Bcntley conjectured OKC 
for OYK ; like most N. T. conjectures, it is unnecessary. 

(5) By those who take xbv Bfxatov to refer to Jesus Christ, oix dtvTt- 
z&aaezai is interpreted either interrogatively, as a warning of the Day 
of Judgment (cf. Mt. 25" ' ), or affirmatively, in the light of i Pet. 2". 

7-11. Encouragement to patience, and constancy, and to mu- 
tual forbearance, in view of the certainty and nearness of the Com- 

V, 6-7 293 

ing of the Lord, and in view of the great examples of the prophets 
and Job, and of their reward. 

With V. ^ begin the Counsels for the Christian Conduct of 
Life, which occupy the rest of the chapter and are contrasted 
with the censure of Worldliness in 4^-5 ^ 

7. naKpodviJLijaaTe, "be patient." This word has more the 
meaning of patient and submissive, vTo^xeueiv that of stead- 
fast and constant, endurance. But the two words are nearly 
synonymous. Cf. i''-^' 5", Col. i" 3'' (with Lightfoot's 
notes), I Cor. i^'- ^ 2 Cor. 6^- «, Heb. 6"f- '', 2 Tim. 3". See 
Trench, Synonyms, § liii. 

lAaxpoOutietv is rare in secular Greek, but is common (as verb, noun, 
and adjective) in the LXX, partly with reference to God's attribute 
of long suffering (c. g. Ps. 86'^, partly in passages commending the 
virtue to men, e. g. Prov. 19", Ecclus. 29', Baruch 4" -rlxva, [Aotxpo- 
Ou^JL-^aaTe (suffer patiently) t'Jjv icctpoi: tou Osou IxeXOouaav ufAlv opyrjv- 

Enoch 961' ' 97^-^ 1031-5 are good parallels, combined, as they 
are, with the series of Woes to which vv.^-^ are so closely similar. 

It is to be noted that the evil and hardship which are to be 
borne with patience, and which call out groans (v. '), are not 
necessarily persecution, or unjust oppression, but may well be 
merely the privations, anxieties, and sufferings incident to the 
ordinary life of men. Note the reference to the example of 
Job (whose misfortunes were grievous sickness and the loss of 
children and property), and the special precepts about conduct 
in sickness, vv. ^* ^■. Notice also KaKOTradet, v. ^^ a general 
word for being in trouble. 

ovv presents the exhortation as a direct corollary from the 
declaration in vv. ^-® that judgment awaits the rich ; but the 
paragraph as a whole is related to the main underlying thought 
of 4^-5^, not exclusively to 5^-®. Cf. 2 Thess. i^- \ 

aBe\(f)oij possibly in contrast to ol irXovaioi^ v. ^ 

T7}s irapovaias tov Kvptov, "the coming of the Lord." Cf. 
Mt. 243. -'■ ", 39^ I Thess. 3'3 41^ 5^3, 2 Thess. 2\ 2 Pet. i»« t,\ 
I Cor. is-\ I Thess. 2^\ 2 Thess. 2», i Jn. 2'-\ cf. Mk. i4«2. 

TOV Kvplov refers to Christ, cf. i^ 2^ 5", 2 Pet. 3^-. 

294 JAMES 

The word xapouaia is found but five times in the LXX (Neh. 2« 
(Cod. A), Judith lo's, 2 Mace. 8'- 15=', 3 Mace. 3"), and until the N. T. 
wc do not find it used with reference to the Messiah at all. Nor does 
God's coming to redemption and judgment appear to be referred to in 
Jewish sources by this term. Its natural associations in such use are 
with the "advent," or visit (xapojat'a), of Greek kings to the cities of 
their realm; c/. Deissmann, Licht vom Osten-, pp. 278 _^., Light from the 
Ancient East, pp. 372 J'., and especially Brooke's full note on i Jn. 2-^. 

Test. XII Patr. Jud. 22-, sax; irjq xapouai'ai; 6eo0 zijc; Btxatoaiivrj^ 
is probably a Christian addition ; it is not found in the Armenian ver- 
sion. It refers to Christ with the naive patripassianism characteristic 
of these interpolations. The quotations given by Spitta (p. 137) from 
the Testament of Abraham are of Christian origin, and refer to the 
TCotpouat'a of Christ (cf. Schiirer, GJV, § 32, V, 6). 

iSov 6 7ecop7os. 

"The farmer has to wait, and to be patient" ; a comparison 

used as an argument, and introduced abruptly, as in 2^^ 3*- '". 

This comparison does not bear any special relation to the occu- 

^/ pation of the readers. yecopyos refers to the independent 

t farmer, not to the ipydrrjs. 

We are here reminded of the parables of the Gospels, where the con- 
summation of all things is repeatedly compared to a harvest, e. g. Mt. 
^ I 13'°; cf. also Ecclus. 6", Ps. 1268' «. For the thought, cf. (Wetstein) 

Tibullus, ii, 6. 21/. and the apocryphal fragment quoted in Clem. Rom. 
23'-= and 2 Clem. Rom. ii^-*. 

Tov TijJLLOv KapiTov, "the precious crop" for which he longs. 
TifXLOs is added in order to make the comparison complete. 

ctt' avTa>, "over it," "with reference to it." 

Cf. the use of eVl with TrapaKoKelv^ "console," in 2 Cor. i*, 
I Thess. 3^, and with fxeravoetp, 2 Cor. 12^1; also the more 
general use, Jn. 12^^, Rev. 22^^. 

€(os \dfirf sc. Kap-wos. So R.V. A.V. and R.V. mg., with 
some interpreters, supply "the farmer" as subject. 

xp6'ttAov] B 048 (minnpa"") vg sah. 

u£Tbv xpoc'tiov] AK (LP minnpis"') syrp^'i" syr>><:i'»t. 

xapxbv Tbv xp6t[i.ov] S*(S'' om -rdv) min ff syrtcimg boh. 

The shortest reading is to be preferred ; the others represent two dif- 
ferent methods of completing a supposedly defective text. It should be 
Stated that B^KL minnp'""' read xpwitJiov, the more usual fornj of the word, 

V, 7 295 

Another possibility would be that the Syrian reading with uexov, 
which clearly gives the best sense, is original; and either (i) that ustov 
was accidentally omitted, so as to produce the text of B, and by a 
secondary conjecture (xapicov) that of t>, or else (2) that for uexov, 
not understood outside of Palestine and Syria, xapxov was directly 
substituted, so that the editor of the text of B, having to choose 
between two rival readings, cut the knot by refusing to accept either. 
But against this stands the weight of the external testimony to the 
omission, together with the argument from the shorter reading. In 
any case the reading xapxov is secondary. 

irpoinov Kal 6\pLixov sc. verou, "the early and late rain." On 
the ellipsis, to which there is no complete parallel, cf. 3". 

To fill the ellipsis, xapxov is sometimes supplied from the preced- 
ing (so many interpreters from Cassiodorius to Spitta), and then the 
reference will perhaps be to the succession of barley and wheat, Ex. 9" f • ; 
cf. Stephanus, Thesaur. s. v. %giii\x.oc,; Geoponica, i, 12". 37^ with similar 
distinction of 01 ■KpMiiJ.ot xapxol xal ol o<\iv^of. ... 01 Zk [liaoi ; Xen. 
CEc. i7«. 

The sentence would then mean, "until he receive it early and late," 
and would emphasise the continuance of the farmer's^anxiety until all 
the harvests are complete. But this does not well suit the comparison 
with the Parousia, where it is the event itself, not the completion of a 
series of processes, that is significant. Moreover, the O. T. parallels 
tell strongly against this interpretation, and there is no evidence that 
such a distinction had any place in popular usage. 

The use of these terms for the two critical periods of rain is 
found in Deut. ii^S Jer. 52", Joel 2^3, Zech. iqi (LXX) ; cf. Jer. 
33, Hos. 6^. The comparison is drawn from a matter of in- 
tense interest, an habitual subject of conversation, in Palestine, 

The "early rain" normally begins in Palestine in late October " 
or early November, and is anxiously awaited because, being 
necessary for the germination of the seed, it is the signal for 
sowing. In the spring the maturing of the grain depends on 
the "late rain," light showers faUing in April and May. With- 
out these even heavy winter rains will not prevent failure of the 
crops. Thus the farmer is anxious, and must exercise [xaKpo- .• 
6viJ.La, until both these necessary gifts of Heaven are assured. 

The special anxiety about these rains seems to be character- 
istic of the climate of Palestine and southern Syria, as distin- i 

296 JAMES 

guished from other portions of the subtropical region of the 
Mediterranean basin. Elsewhere, although the dry season and 
rainy season are quite as well marked, the critical fall and 
spring months are pretty certain to secure a sufficient rainfall, 
as in Italy, or else there is no hope of rain in them, as in northern 
Egypt in the spring. But in Syria these rains are usual yet 
by no means uniform or certain ; hence only there do they 
take so prominent a place in the life and thought of everybody. 
See J. Hann, Handhuch der Klimatologie^, iii, 191 1, pp. 90-96, 
especially the instructive tables, pp. 12/., 93 ; H. Hilderscheid, 
"Die Niederschlagsverhaltnisse Palastinas in alter und neuer 
Zeit," in Zeitschrift des Deutschen Paldstinavereins, xxv, 1902, 
especially pp. 82-94 ; E. Huntington, Palestine and Its Trans- 
formation, 191 1 ; EB, "Rain." 

It is instructive to observe that the v. I. uexov belongs to the " Syrian" 
(Antiochian) text, the framers of which were familiar with a similar 
climate, while in Egypt x.apx6v (S boh, etc.) or else the shorter reading 
with no noun at all (B sah) was prevalent. The reading xapxov (or 
the corresponding interpretation) was hkewise natural from the point 
of view of Italy and the western Mediterranean (ff Cassiodorius). 

The question arises whether this may be a purely hterary 
allusion, drawn from the O. T. passages and made without any 
personal knowledge of these rains and their importance. That 
is made unlikely by the absence of any other relation here 
(apart from the names of the two rains) to the language or 
thought of any one of the O. T. passages. The author uses a 
current phrase as if he were himself familiar with the matter 
in question. To suppose that to him and his readers this was 
a mere BibUcal allusion to a situation of which they knew only 
by literary study would give a formal stiffness and unreality 
to the passage wholly out of keeping with the intensity and 
sincerity of the writer's appeal. 

The resemblance here to the O. T. is in fact less close than 
to the tract Taanith of the Mishna, where the date is discussed 
at which, if rain have not yet begun, it should be prayed for. 
The tract shows in many ways how deeply these seasons of rain 
entered into all the life of the people. See also JE, "Rain." 

V, y-io 297 

The Apostolic Fathers and the apologists contain no reference 
to these terms for the rains of Palestine, and the names do 
not seem in any way to have become part of the early Christian 
religious vocabulary. 

8. 'v'ctt, as often in comparisons. Cf. Jn. 6", Mt, 6^^, i Cor. 
15", Phil, i^o; ouTcos K'at, Jas. i^^ 3^. 

(TTrjpL^areras KapSias vjjlmp, "make your courage and pur- 
pose firm." Cf. I Thess. t,^^, Ps. 112*, Ecclus. 6^' 22^^, Judg. 
iq5, 8_ (XTTjpL^eLu is common in N. T., cf. i Pet. 5", 2 Thess. 2^^, 
Lk. 2232, Acts i823, Rom. i", etc. 

TJyyiK€v, cf. I Pet. 4^ Mk. i^^, Mt. 32. 

9. iJirf arevd^ere Kar aXkrfKoiv^ "do not groan against one 
another." (Treva^eiv does not mean "murmur," but "groan," 
"complain of distress," cf. Heb. 13'". It is frequently used 
in the LXX for the utterance of various kinds of pain and 

The more emphatic words here are Kar aXkrfKmv, and the 
sentence means: "Do not blame one another for the distress of 
the present soon- to-be-ended age." This, it is pointed out, is 
both wicked (tva /jlt) KpLdrjTe) and needless (IBoi) 6 Kptr^s vrpo 
TMU dvpoiv edTrjKev). We ought to cultivate patience in general, 
and we ought not to blame one another for our unmerited dis- 
tress, for we should recognise that it is part of the inevitable 
and temporary evil of the present age. 

The translation "grudge" (A.V.) means "complain"; cf. Ps. 59" 
(A. v.), Shakespeare, i. Henry VI, iii, i, 176. 

lua p.7) KpLdr]T€. They are themselves in danger of judgment, 
if they commit the sin of complaining of their brethren. Cf. 
212 f. ^12 ^12^ also Mt. 7^ (but there is here in James nothing of 
the idea that judging brings Judgment). As in 4^^, so prob- 
ably here, God is the judge, and with the coming of the Lord 
{i. e. Christ), v. ^ God's judgment appears; cf. Rom. 2^^ 

The sentence means hardly more than "for that is wrong," 
cf. v. 12. 

irpo Twv Bvpoiv^ cf. Mk. 1329, Mt. 24", 

10. vTToSeLjfxa Xd^ere^ "take as an example." Cf. Ecclus. 

298 JAMES 

44^^ 2 Mace. 62»' ^i^ 4 Mace. i7-\ Jn. 13^^; i Pet. 2^1, vToypa/jL- 


rrjs KaKoiradias hcal rrjs jiaK pod vjjl {as, "of hardship coupled 
with patience," i. e. "of patience in hardship," easily understood 
as a form of hendiadys. 

Cf. 4 Mace. 9^ Sta rrjaSe Trjs KaKowadlas Kal vTrofxovrjs, 
"through this patient endurance of hardship." 

KaKoiradia and KaKoirade'co are somewhat rare words; they 
correspond well to English "hardship." Cf. Mai. i^^, Jonah 4^0, 
2 Mace. 2^6 f-, Ep. Arist. 492s, also Sym. in Gen. 3'', Ps. 12^ 16^ 

Toiis xpo^T^ras. Cf. Mt. 5^2 2334, 37^ ^cts 7^2, Heb. ii^^, 
I Thess. 2i^ Lk. 11 "9, 2 Chron. 361". 

It is noteworthy that the example of Christ's endurance of 
suffering is not here referred to, as it is in i Pet. 2^1 »-. 

oi i\ci\7]aav iu ra opofxari, KvpCov. Cf. Dan. 9^ (Theod.) ot 
iXdXovu iu rm ouofxari aov, Jer. 20' 44^^. 0? iXdXrjaav kt\. is 
added in order to point out that even the most eminent ser- 
vants of God have been exposed to suffering and hardship, 
cf Mt. 512. 

Iv Tw 6v6|j.aTi] BP minn""'*'. 

ev 6v6[j.a-i'.] t<. 

Ixl TM ovoixaxt] rain. 

T(p 6v6[j.aTt] AKL 048 minnp'"''. 

DiflScult to decide ; external authority is here against lectio brevior. 

11. fxaKapi^ofxeu tovs viroyiiivavTas. Cf. i^- ^-, Dan. 12^2 
IxaKapcos 6 vTro}x4v(jdv, 4 Mace, i^'' 722, dhm otl to hia ttjv 
apeTrjv Tcivra ttovov virop.eviiv jxaKcipiov ianv, Mt. 241^. 

(xaKapi'^ofxev refers to the prevalent habitual estimate of the 
worth of constancy. It sounds as if James had in mind some 
well-known saying like Dan. 1212. 

rovs viro/jLeipavras, " those who have proved themselves con- 
stant" — a general class, not specific individuals. 

toiIk; u%o\ielvaYVxz] BJ^AP minn ff vg syrpe^''-'":!. 

Touc; b%o[Livovx(z<;] KL 048 minnp''^"' sah. 

External evidence rau^t decide ; the nieaning differs by only a shade. 

V, lO-II 299 

Tr]v vTVOnovr)P 'Ift)/3. 

This virtue was seen in Job's refusal to renounce God, Job \ o 
1 21 f- 2^ *• 13^* 16^^ 192^ *f-. It had evidently already become a ' 
standing attribute of Job in the popular mind ; in Tanchuma, 
29. 4 (Schottgen, Home hebraicae, pp. 1009/.) Job is given as an 
example of steadfastness in trial and of the double reward which 
that receives. Cf. Clem. Rom. 17' 26^, 2 Clem. Rom. 6^; this 
verse is the only mention of Job in the N. T., and has doubtless 
given rise to the modern saying, "as patient as Job." 

rJKOv(TaTe. Perhaps in the synagogue; cf. Mt. ^^^- 2^- ^^- ^^- ", 

TO reXos Kvpiov, "the conclusion wrought by the Lord to 
his troubles." Cf. Job 4210-1% especially v. 12 6 Se Kvpios ev- 
Xo7?;cre to, ea'x^ctTa 'IwjS. 

•ub T^Xo<; xupi'og is taken by Augustine, Bede, and many later inter- 
preters to mean the death of Christ. But in that case not the mere 
death, but the trimnph over death, would have had to be made promi- 
nent. The suggestion is at variance both with what precedes and with 
what follows ; and the death of Christ is not likely to be introduced 
so ambiguously. "If xfkaq is supposed to refer to the Resurrection 
and Ascension, the main point of the comparison (suffering) is omitted : 
if it refers to the Crucifixion, the encouragement is wanting" (Mayor). 

ziXoc, sometimes means "death," as Wisd. 3", cf. 2'' [xaxapt^st 
I'axa'^at Stxat'wv. But it is not necessary to give it that meaning here. 

ecSere, i. e. in the story of Job. Cf. Heb. 319, Test. XII 
Patr. Benj. 4^ tSere ovv^ reKva fxov. rod ayadov avSpbs to reXos 
(i>. I. eXeos). 

To\v(nr\a'y'xy6s ecxTiv 6 Kvpios KaX olKTipfxcov. 

Cf. Ps. 103'* (note v. ' ovk els TeXos opyiadrjaeTai), 11 1* 
145*, Ex. 34^, Ecclus. 2'-", Ps. Sol. lo^, Test. XII Patr. Jud. 19% 
Zab. g'. 

T:^'k(i^'£k(x-^y\oq means "very kind." Apart from far later Chris- 
tian use (c. g. Theod. Stud. p. 615, eighth century) it is elsewhere found 
only in Hermas, Sim. v, 7<, Mand. iv, 3. Cf. izo'kuaTz'Ka-^xyix, Hermas, 
Vis. i, 32, ii, 28, iv, 2', Mand. ix, 2, Justin Mart. Dial. 55; luoXusua- 
icXotYX^o?, Hermas, Sim. v, 4^ ; xoXusuaxXaYx^'ot, Hermas, Sitn. viii, 6'. 

It seems to be equivalent to LXX icoXuiXeoq. Like other words from 
axXiyx^^ (o^'rOl) it must be of Jewish origin. This group of words 
is rather more strongly represented in the N. T. than in the LXX, and 
seems to have come into free popular use in the intervening period. 

300 JAMES 

oIktlphwv, "merciful." In classical Greek only a poetic 
term for the more common iXeij/jLcav (Schmidt, Synonymik der 
griech. Sprache, iii, p. 580). Frequent in the LXX for D''Ipni ; 
nearly always used of God ; in the majority of cases combined 
with ekerjixoiv. Cf. Lk. 6^^ 

12-18. Do not break out into oaths. Instead, if in distress, 
pray ; if well of, sing a psalm to God ; if sick, ask for prayer and 
anointing, and confess your sins. Prayer is a mighty power ; 
remember Elijah's prayer. 

The exhortation relating to oaths appears to be parallel with 
1X7] arevd^ere. "Do not put the blame for your hardships on 
your brethren : do not irreverently call upon God in your dis- 
tress." Vv. ^2'^* all relate to the religious expression of strong 

12. Trpo iravTOiv 8e, "but especially," emphasising this as 
even more important than ixrj arevd^ere. 

For the use of this formula near the end of a letter, cf. i Pet. 
4^, and see examples from papyri quoted in Robinson, Ephe- 
sians, p. 279. 

Hrj oixviiere. A reminiscence of Mt. 5^^-" (note especially 
V. " and the reference to ovpavos and 7^ in vv. ^* *•). 

Tov ovpavov. The accusative is the ordinary classical con- 
struction after ojjlvvijLL-^ eV with the dative, as found in Mat- 
thew is a Hebraism. 

^Vco, for eVrco. See references in Lex. and Winer-Schmiedel, 
§ 14. I, note; also Mayor's note, p. 167, J. H. Moulton, Pro- 
legomena, p. 56. 

7]T(j) Be vjxSiv TO val vaC, "let your yea be yea" (and nothing 

This is simpler, and in every way better, than to translate, "Let 
yours be the 'Yea, yea,'" i. e. the mode of speech commanded by the 
Lord in Mt. 5". 

It is not to be supposed that James had in mind any question 
of the lawfulness of oaths in a law-court in a Jewish or Chris- 
tian country. To any oriental such a saying as this, or Mt. 5", 
would at once suggest ordinary swearing, not the rare and 

V, II-I2 301 

solemn occasions about which modern readers have been so 
much concerned. 

The commentators are divided on this point. Huther (Beyschlag) 
names many who hold that James meant to forbid all oaths, but a 
still larger number who think that only frivolous swearing was in his 
mind. Huther's own argument is that if he had meant to forbid se- 
rious oaths he would have had to mention exphcitly the oath by the 
name of God. 

The form here differs from that of the saying in Mt. 5" earo) 
Be 6 X070S vfXMv pal vai^ and it is a singular fact that the words 
of Jesus are quoted substantially in the form found in James 
by many early writers, including Justin Martyr, Apol. i, 16, 
Clem. Alex. Strom, v, 14, 99, p. 707, vii, 11, 67, p. 872. 

The form in James is simpler and seems to correspond to a 
current Jewish mode of describing truthfulness. Similar lan- 
guage is found in Ruth rabba 3, 18, "With the righteous is their 
'yes,' yes, and their 'no,' no," ascribed to R. Huna (f 297 a.d.), 
quoting his contemporary R. Samuel bar-Isaac, and doubtless 
independent of the N. T. 

The fact probably is that at an early date the text of Mt. 5" 
was in the East either modified or misquoted by the influence 
of the more familiar current phrase, which also appears in 
James. In the later quotations, however, direct influence from 
Jas. 51- is very likely to have come in. The theory that we have 
here in James and in these early writers the traces of an oral 
form of the sayings of Jesus preserved independently of Mat- 
thew's Greek gospel is unlikely, and unnecessary. For a con- 
venient presentation of the facts, see A. Resch, Aussercanonische 
Paralleltexte zu den Evangelien, ii, Matthaeus und Marcus, 1894 
(Texte und Unters. x), pp. 96/. 

The commonness of oaths (often half-serious, half-profane) in daily 
speech in the ancient world, both Jewish and Gentile, does not need 
to be illustrated, cf. Eccles. 9=. The censure of the moralists seems to 
have proceeded both from the tendency to untruthfulness which made 
an oath seem needed (and which it intensified) , from the dishonest dis- 
tinctions between the valid and the invalid oath, and from the irrever- 
ence of profanity (Philo, De decal. 19 ^ue-uat yap ex xo'Kuopv.ixq ijieu- 

302 JAMES 

SopxJa y.ct\ iae^eta). To these motives should be added the dread 
among the Greeks of an oath which might commit to unexpected ob- 
ligations perhaps tragic in their result. 

From Jewish sources there are consequently many sayings recom- 
mending either complete abstinence from swearing or at least the 
greatest possible restriction of the custom. Thus Ecclus. 23'-'! 27X. 
Philo discusses oaths in De decal. 17-19, and De spec. leg. ii, 1-6. His 
principle is that oaths are to be avoided when possible, that oaths 
should be taken by lower objects ("the earth, the sun, the stars, the 
universe") rather than by "the highest and eldest Cause," and he 
praises the man who by any evasion (cf. English, "Oh My!") avoids 
the utterance of the sacred words of oaths. His abhorrence of oaths 
is due to their profane impiety and unseemliness, but he also lays stress 
on truthfulness and on the wickedness of false swearing and of swear- 
ing to do wrong. 

Rabbinical teaching was to much the same effect, with varying de- 
•^ ' grces of rigour. Nedarim 20 a, "Accustom not thyself to vows, for 
sooner or later thou wilt swear false oaths"; Midrash Bemidbar r. 
22, "Not even to confirm the truth is it proper for one to swear, lest 
he come to trifle with vows and swearing, and deceive his neighbour 
by oaths" ; Midrash Wajjikra r. 6 {cf. Shebuoth 47 a), where all swear- 
ing is forbidden. See A. Wiinsche, Ncue Beitrdge zur Erldiiterung der 
Evangelien aiis Talmud und Midrasch, 1878, pp. 57-60, and E. Bischoff, 
Jesus und die Rabbinen, 1905, pp. 54-56. 

In particular the Essenes refrained from oaths; Josephus, BJ, ii, 8^: 
I " Every statement of theirs is surer than an oath ; and with them swear- 
ing is avoided, for they think it worse than perjury. For they say that 
he who is untrustworthy except when he appeals to God, is already 
under condemnation," cf. Ant. xv, io<. Philo, Quod omn. prob. liber, 12, 
mentions among the doctrines of the Essenes ih dvw{j.0Tov, xb d<^euMq. 

Similar reasons led to the discouragement of oaths by Greek moral- 
ists. Pythagoras himself is said (Diog. Laert, Pythag. 22, Jamblichus, 
Vita Pythag. 9 and 28) to have taught (jlyjS' 6[jLv6vat Qzodq, daxetv yap 
aurbv Secv dt^tdxtaxov Tcotpsxetv, and this was certainly a principle of the 
Pythagoreans. See also Diodor. Sic. x, fragm. 9^ 

From the Stoic side comes the saying of Epictetus, Enchir. 33% opxov 
•rcapxfxTjaat, et jjiev olov xe, ec's aicav, s\ SI \Lri, ex. xwv evovxwv, and that of 
the Stoically influenced Eusebius, in Stobseus, Anthol. iii, 27, 13 o\ 
xoXXol xoi? dcvBpwxoiat xb suopxoui; elvat auxots xapatvdouaiv, eyo) SI xotl 
xb ipZ'^v tJiTjS' euitexlox; ©(xvuvat oaiov d-iuotpafvoixat. 

For other Greek sayings, cf. Choerilus of Samos (fourth century B.C.), 
Spxov S' oux' dtStxov xpewv 6fjivuvat oCxe Stxatov (in Stobaeus, Anthol. 
iii, 27, i); Menander, Sail. sing. 441 opxov SI <peuYe xal Stxat'ws xa- 
Sfxtoi;; the statement of Nicolaus Damascenus (Stob. Anth. iv, 2, 25), 
•i'puYe'i opxot? oij xpwvxat, oiix' 6[ji.viivte?, ou'xe t^XXoui; s^opxouvxs?; 

V, 12-13 303 

Sosiades* maxims of the Seven Sages, in Stobaeus, Anlhol. iii, i, 173 

5pX(,) [AT) xpw- 

See R. Hirzel's excellent monograph, Der Eid, 1902 ; L. Schmidt, 
Die Ethik dcr alien GriecJien, 1882, ii, pp. i-ii; references in Mayor 
and Wetstein on Mt. 5"; Stobaeus, Anlhol. iii, c, 27 Ilepl opxou. 

With early Christian writers the objection to oaths was further in- 
creased by reason of the necessary association with heathen worship 
and formulas. The subject is discussed by TertuUian, Clement of 
Alexandria, Chrysostom, Augustine. See references in Mayor, K. F. 
Staudlin, Geschichte der Vorstellungen and Lehren vom Eide, 1824, 
"Oaths," in DC A. 

iva fxr) vTTo KpicTLV ireffTjTe^ cf. v. ^, with the same meaning. 

(ixh xptutv] BSA minn ff vg boh sah syr"f. 

dq xpt'atv] minn=. 

et? uxoxpiatv] KLP 048 minn'""'''. 

The reading of KLP is a superficial emendation. 

13-15. The negative precepts for behaviour under the trials \ 
of earthly existence (m^ crevd^eTe Kar aWi^Xcov^ ixrj oiivvere) 
are followed by positive precepts for the conduct of life in the 
shifting scenes of this world. In trouble and joy, and in sick- 
ness, the first thought and the controlling mood should be 

13. Ka/co7ra0et Tts ; "is any in trouble?" Cf. note on ^■a- 
KoiraQias, v. 1° ; the word refers to calamity of every sort, 
and is not to be limited to the opposite of eWvixCa. 

These short sentences, with question and answer, are characteristic 
of the diatribe; cj. Teles, ed. Hense^, p. 10. See Introduction, p. 12. 

evOvfxel Tts; "is any in good spirits?" evdvtxtlv^ evOvjiia 
are 'not found in LXX, evdvidos only in 2 Mace. 11 28, In the 
N. T. they are found elsewhere only in Acts 241" 27^2- 25, 36 — [^ 
both cases in passages of a distinctly Hellenic character. 

rpaWero}^ "let him sing a hymn." 

Cf. Eph. 519, Rom. 159, I Cor. 14.'^; \pa\iJi6s, i Cor. 1426, Eph. 
519, Col. 3i«. 

Properly "play the harp," hence frequent in 0. T., especially in 
Psalms (forty times), for nrr, "sing to the music of a harp," e.g. 
Ps. 7" 98^. But the word does not necessarily imply the use of an 

304 JAMES 

14. acrdeuei rts ; "is any sick?" Cf. Mt. io», Jn. 4*^, Acts 
9^', Phil. 226 £., 

rovs Trpecr/Si/repofs rf/s iKK\7]<Tias, definite oflEicers, not merely 
the elder men in general, cf. Acts 20^'. 

Presbyters as church oflSicers are mentioned in the N. T. in Acts 1 1 3° 
1423 151, 6. 22, 23 i64 201' 2111, I Tim. 5^- 2. 17. 19 (?)^ Tit. I^ i Pet. s'^, 
2 Jn. I, 3 Jn. I. Jewish villages also had presbyters. On the origin 
and history of the Christian office of presbyter, see EB, "Presbyter," 
"Bishop," "Ministry"; HDB, "Bishop," "Church," "Church Govern- 
ment," "Presbytery." 

The solemn visit here described gives a vivid picture of the customs 
of a Jewish town. James recomm^ends it not as anything new, nor as 
J excluding all other therapeutic methods. Visiting the sick (cf. Mt. 25") 
was enjoined by the rabbis: Nedarim 39, "He who visits the sick 
lengthens his hfe, and he who refrains shortens it" ; cf. Sanhedrim loi, i 
(Wetstein), where R. Elieser is visited in sickness by four rabbis ; Shab- 
bath 127b; Sota 14 a. See Edersheim, Jewish Social Life, pp. 167 /. ; 
S. Schechter, Skidies in Judaism, second series, Philadelphia, 1908, 
pp. 99/. and note 42, p. 311. 

The following interesting passages have been brought to the atten- 
tion of N. T. scholars by the aid of Dr. S. Schechter (see Fidford, St. 
James, pp. 117/.): Samachoth Zutarti (ed. Chaim M. Horowitz, 
Uraltc Tosefta's, Mainz, 1890, pp. 28-31), "From the time when a man 
takes to his bed, they come to him and say, 'Words neither revive one, 
nor do they kill. ' [After exhorting the sick man to set his worldly affairs 
in order, as Isaiah did Hezekiah, 2 Kings 201, if he sees that the sick 
man is dangerously ill, the visitor says], 'Confess before thou diest, for 
there are many who have confessed and died not ; others who did not 
confess have died. Again perhaps on the merit of thy confession thou 
wilt recover.' If he can confess with his mouth, he does so. If not, 
he confesses in his heart. Both the man who confesses with his mouth 
and the man who confesses in his heart are alike, provided that he 
directs his mind to God and his understanding is clear." T. B. Shab- 
bath 13 b, "He who comes to a sick man says, 'May the Lord have 
mercy on you.'" "He who comes to pay a visit to a sick man must 
not sit on a bed or on a chair; but let him wrap his mantle round him, 
and pray the mercy of God for the man. There is a divine presence 
at the head of the sick man." 

Closely like the verse in James is Baba bathra 116 a, "Let him into 
whose house calamity or sickness has come, go to a wise man (/. c. a 
rabbi) that he may intercede for him with God." 

iKKKy]aias, cf. note on avvayiioynv, 2^, and EB, "Church." 
irpoffev^dadoio-au. Cf. Ecclus. 38"- ^\ 

V, 14 305 

akei^avTes eXato), cf. Mk. G^l 

The aorist participle does not imply that the anointing is to 
precede the prayer ; cf. Burton, Aloods and Tenses, §§ 139-141 ; 
Blass-Debrunner, § 339 ; Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 130-132. 

The Jews, as well as other ancient peoples, used oil as a common 
remedial agent. In many cases, doubtless, the application had thera- 
peutic value; often, however, in the lack of scientific knowledge it 
must (like many other remedies, ancient and modern) have owed its 
efficacy wholly to influence on the patient's mind. Cf. Is. i^ Lk. lo^S 
and the evidence collected by Mayor; and see "Oil" and "Anointing," 
in EB, and HDB. Galen, Med. letup, ii, calls oil "The best of all rem- 
edies for paralysis (irol<; i^t]p(x\j.[i.iwiq %a\ auxt^wSeai autxajtv)," 

Talm. Jems, in Berakoth 3. i, "R. Simeon, the son of Eleazar, per- 
mitted R. Meir to mingle wine and oil and to anoint the sick on the 
Sabbath. And he was once sick, and we sought to do so to him, but 
he suffered us not." Tahn. Jerus. in Maasar Sheni 5,3. 3, "A tradition : 
Anointing jon the Sabbath is permitted. If his head ache, or if a scall 
comes upon it, he anoints it with oil." Talm. Bab. in Joma 77. 2, "If 
he be sick, or scaU be upon his head, he anoints according to his man- 
ner." Talm. Jerus. in Shab. 14. 3, "A man that one charmeth, he 
putteth oil upon his head and charmeth." 

With these Jewish ideas may be compared the notion of the oil which 
flows from the tree of life in paradise and bestows physical and spiritual 
blessings (Apoc. Mos. 9, Vita Adae et Evae 36, Evang. Nicod. 19). 

This use of oil for heahng was combined with the appeal to spiritual 
forces, as we can see in Jas. 5^^ and as is hinted in Mk. 6''. The refer- 
ence in James is to an accepted popular custom, and the writer would 
hardly have been able to distinguish the parts played in the recovery 
by the two elements, or perhaps even to give any theory of the function 
of the oil. It is possible, as has often been suggested, that one motive 
for James's exhortation is to counteract the habit of seeking aid from 
superstitious, often heathenish, incantations and charms. The verse is 
often quoted to that end by later Christian writers (see references ^w/ra). 

The same therapeutic use of oil {oleum infinnorum) in combination 
with reUgious rites continued in the earlier centuries of the Christian 
era, and is there, as among the Hebrews, carefully to be distinguished 
from that anointing {oleum cateckutnenorum, chrisma principale, etc.) 
which was the symbol of the conveyance of a character or grace. 

The story told by Tertullian {Ad Scapulam, 4) is often quoted : 

"Even Severus himself, the father of Antoninus, was graciously 
mindful of the Christians; for he sought out the Christian Proculus, 
sumamed Torpacion, the steward of Euhodias, and, in gratitude for 
his having once cured him by anointing, he kept him in his palace till 
the day of his death." 

io6 JAMES 

Besides this case Puller, Anointing uf the Sick, has collected a large 
number of narratives of cures through the administration of holy oil, 
written at various dates from the third to the seventh century, and at- 
tested by contemporary or nearly contemporary evidence. Many of 
theiri are cases of paralysis or blindness, and may weU have been of an 
hysterical nature (see P. Janet, The Major Symptoms of Hysteria, 1907). 
During this period of church history it does not appear that the 
therapeutic anointing with oil was generally thought of as also hav- 
ing spiritual efficacy. Origen, Horn, ii in Levit. 4, uses the passage in 
James to illustrate the remission of sin through penitence, but seems 
to pay no attention to the reference to anointing. Likewise Chrysos- 
tom, De saccrd. iii, 6, quotes James to prove the authority of priests 
to forgive sins, but seems to take no thought of the anointing. Other 
writers also make it plain that they think of the oil merely as a means 
of securing bodily health. 

The value in the Christian church of such a popular substitute for 
pagan magic was felt at this time. Cyril of Alexandria, De adorat. 
in spir. et ver. vi, p. 211, urges his readers to avoid the charms and 
incantations of magicians, and fittingly quotes Jas. 5'^"'S and likewise 
Caesarius of Aries more than once quotes the verses on occasions when 
he is warning his people against the common recourse to sorcerers and 
superstitions, instead of which he recommends the consecrated oil. Cf. 
Append, serm. S. Augustini, serm. 265, 3, Migne, vol. xxxix, col. 2238, 
and serm. 279, 5, col. 2273; also the Venerable Bede, Exposit. super div. 
Jacob, epist., Migne, vol. xciii, col. 39. 

From the fourth century on there are Greek and other oriental litur- 
gies containing forms for blessing the holy oil, for instance in one of the 
oldest, the Sacramentary of St. Serapion (fourth century, Egypt), ed. 
Brightman, Journal of Theol. Studies, i, 1899-1900, pp. 108, 267/. 

The Latin forms are to the same effect. During these centuries the 
therapeutic use of oil consecrated by a bishop or a priest or a wonder- 
working saint was permitted to any person without distinction. The 
letter of Pope Innocent I to Decentius {Ep. 25, 8, Migne, vol. xx, cols. 
560/.), dated March 19, 416, says that sick believers "have the right to 
be anointed with the holy oil of chrism, which, being consecrated by 
the bishop, it is lawful not for the priests only, but for all Christians 
to use for anointing in case of their own need or that of members of 
their household." 

Before the end of the eighth centurj^, however, a change came about 
in the West, whereby the use of oil was transformed into an anoint- 
ing of those about to die, not as a means to their recovery, but with a 
view to the remission of their sins, and in connection with the giving 
of the viaticum. How far the change in the church may have been in- 
fluenced by coexisting popular customs and ideas, which now forced 
themselves into legitimate usage, is not known. For instance, Ire- 

V, 14 307 

liaeus, i, 21^, says that the gnostic Marcosii anointed the dying with 
oil and water as a protection of their souls against the hostile powers 
of the spirit-world. 

In any case this history shows the transformation of a wide- 
spread popular practise, having religious associations but purely me- 
dicinal aims, into a strictly religious rite, limited to priestly adminis- 
tration and carefully ordered with fixed forms and estabhshed rules. 
The \vithdrawal of the rite from the sphere of popular medicine was 
doubtless fundamentally due to the advancing control of rational in- 
telligence in the affairs of the church and to a sound progress in re- 
ligious conceptions. It was felt that religious observances should have 
a spiritual purpose. But by retaining the physical element, and ascrib- 
ing to it spiritual efficacy ex opcre operato, there was brought about a 
different and more far-reaching intrusion of the physical into the sphere 
of the religious. 

The sacrament of Extreme Unction is first mentioned by name as 
one of the seven sacraments of the church in the twelfth century. It 
was fully discussed by the schoolmen, and received authoritative defini- 
tion in the decree of the Council of Trent, which declares that holy 
unction of the sick was estabhshed as a sacrament by Christ our Lord, 
" implied {insiniiatmn) in Mark, and commended and promulgated to 
the faithful by James the Apostle and brother of the Lord" (Sess. xiv, 
Doctrina dc sacr. extr. unct. cap. i). Since that time such a view as 
that of Cardinal Cajetan, that James does not refer to the sacramental 
anointing of extreme unction {"nee ex verbis nee ex efeetu verba haec 
loqimnlur de sacramentall imctione extremae unctionis," Co7nment. in 
ep. S. Jacobi, dated 1539), has been illegal in the Roman church. 

In the Greek church the mystery of anointing (euxsXacov) has re- 
tained in part its original purpose as a therapeutic process, and is ad- 
ministered to the sick while there is still hope of recovery. In the 
Russian use the recovery to health is the chief point, with the Greeks 
the main emphasis is on the forgiveness of sins. 

F. Kattenbusch, "Olung," in Herzog-Hauck, PRE, 1904; F. W. 
Puller, Tkc Anointing of the Sick in Scripture and Tradition, =1910; 
"Oil" and "Unction," in DCA. 

ev Tw ov6p.aTi tov KvpLov. Belongs with aKeCypavres, " anoint- 
ing with oil with the use of the name"; see Heitmiiller, Im 
Namen Jesu, 1903, pp. 86/. The use of ''the name" made 
this anointing a partly religious act and not a merely medicinal 

Tou xupiou] B omits. This is probably an error, but on "the Name," 
with no genitive, cj. 3 Jn. 7, Acts $", Lev. 24", 2 Clem Rom. 13 (and 
Lighlfoot's note), Ign. Eph. 3 (and note), Pirkc Aboth, iv, 7, cJ. Jas. 2'. 

3o8 JAMES 

15. r) evxn. The prayer is the more important part of the 
process, but of course is not thought of as exclusively oper- 
ative. Intercessory prayer was a familiar idea to Jews. 

eijX"n is elsewhere in the N. T. used of a vow. In secular Greek, vow 
and prayer are in many cases not easily distinguished ; eux'O has there 
the meaning "wish" also. In the LXX it means "vow" in the vast 
majority of cases, but in Prov. 158. 29 has the sense of "prayer." eu'xotAac 
is regularly used for "pray" as well as "vow." 

rrjs TTto-recos, cf. i®. 

aaxret, i. e. restore to health, cf. Mt. 9^1 f-, Mk. 6^^ Diod. 
Sic. i, 82 Kciv [oi larpol] aSvuaTTjacoaL awcrai top KaixvovTa. 

Some interpreters, both Protestant scholars (as von Soden) and 
Catholic (as Trenkle), have given this the meaning "save to eternal 
life," while others have tried to include both ideas. But the natural 
meaning of the word in this context is decisive (so, among Roman 
Catholics, Belser). 

Tov KcifxvoPTa, "the sick man," cf. acfOevel, v. ^*. 

xayivstv is common in secular Greek in this sense, but is not found 
in LXX nor elsewhere than here in N. T. It is used, e. g. of gout and 
of disease of the eyes (xtSttxvscv tou? o^OaXfjiouq), and there is no reason 
whatever for taking -rbv xitAvovcot to mean "the dying" (von Soden). 

iyepel. The word means "raise from the bed of sickness 
to health," and is a virtual repetition of awa-ei ; cf. 2 Kings 4^^ 
Ps. 411°, Mk. i3i. 

•ifepel cannot refer here either to the awakening of the dead to Kfe 
or to the resurrection. 

Kvpios. If TOV KvpLOv, V. ^*, is genuine, and refers to 
Christ, Kvptos may have the same meaning. It would be 
more natural that it should mean "God." 

Kau^ "and if," cf. Mk. i6i^ Lk. 13', and many other passages 
quoted in Lex. s. v. xav. 

afxapTia^, i. e. sins which have occasioned the sickness. 

Sickness was generally held to be due to sin, cf. Mk. 2'=^-, 
Jn. 92 f- S^S I Cor. ir™, Deut. 28^2. 27^ pg. ^g, Is. 38I', Ecclus. 
j819-2i^ Nedarim, fol. 41. i, "No sick person is cured of his dis- 

V, 15-16 309 

ease until all his sins are forgiven him," Test. XII Patr. Rub. 
i\ Sim. 2^2, Zab. s\ Gad s^^-. 

a^edrjaeraLj impersonal passive, cf. Mt. 7^' '', Rom. lo^", Blass- 
Debrunner, § 130, Gildersleeve, Syntax, § 176. This seems to re- 
fer not to general forgiveness but to the special sins in question. 

16. i^o/JLoXoyetade, Tvpoaevx^c^d^. 

The confession is by the sick, the prayer by the well for the 
sick. The value of confession is as an expression of penitence, 
and as thus furnishing ground for the others' prayers. On con- 
fession in Jewish piety, see S. Schechter, Some Aspects of Rab- 
binic Theology, ch. 18, and on the history of confession, see 
DC A, "Exomologesis," "Penitence," EB, "Confess." 

ow, since this is the method of securing healing (ottcos 

aXK'q^oLS, not necessarily restricted to the presbyters. 

OTTCOS iadfjTe refers to bodily healing, as is clearly shown by 
the context {cf. v. "). The subject of ta^Tyre is "you who are 
prayed for." The sick persons' own prayers for themselves are 
not in mind. 

SerjcTLs, "prayer," with especial thought of petition, common 
in LXX and not infrequent in N. T., e. g. Phil. i^'. Cf. 
Trench, Synonyms, § li, Lightfoot on Phil, 4^, Ellicott on 
Eph. 6^^, commentaries on i Tim. 2*. 

Bi.K.alov, cf. V. '^ rj ev')(ri tt/'s iriCFreoiS, 1^ ^■. 

evtpyovixevT)^ "when it is exercised," "exerted," "put forth." 
The meaning is: "A righteous man's praying has great effect 
when he prays." The participle adds but little to the sense; 
for more significant participles in the same construction, see i^^ 

On the verb evtpyelv^ see J. A. Robinson, St. PauVs Ep. to 
the Ephesians, pp. 241-247, Mayor, ad loc. The word is used 
intransitively to mean "be active," and transitively (as here) in 
the sense of "effect," "carry out," "do." In certain instances 
in Paul (notably i Thess. 2^^, 2 Thess 2^, 2 Cor. 4^^, Gal. 5^, 
Rom. 7^, Eph. 32'', cf. 2 Cor. i^, Col. i^^) it is used in the passive, 
and the subject is an agent or power, which is "made active," 
"set at work," "made to work." This is a step beyond the 
usual meaning, but such an explanation of these instances is 


better than (with Lightfoot) to take them as middle, which 
neither accords with usage nor follows inner fitness. 

The Greek commentators on James take the word as passive, 
in the sense "being made effective." This is thought of as 
accomplished either by the virtues of the one who prays or by 
the ensuing good conduct of him for whom the prayer is offered. 
Maximus Confessor, in Qucestiones ad Thalassium, 57 (Migne, 
vol. xc, cols. 589-592, also Cramer's Catena) offers both ex- 
planations. "CEcumenius" gives only the latter, as does Mat- 
thaei's scholiast, who writes crvvepyovixevri vro t?}s tov Seo- 
jxevov [i. e. the needy man's] <yu(oiJLi]s Kal Trpa^ecos. Modern 
commentators sometimes interpret: "when actuated by the 
Spirit," but it is not legitimate here to assume this altogether 
later use, from which the term energumen, "possessed person," 
comes. Others take it as meaning "made active," "energised," 
and so as about equivalent to ivepyijs, "effectual," or eKrevrjs, 
''earnest." But the writer would hardly have desired to re- 
strict the power of a righteous man's prayer to exceptional 
cases where it showed more than ordinary intensity; the sen- 
tence owes its whole force to being an unqualified statement. 
Moreover there is no good evidence that the word was capable 
of bearing this sense. 

The Latin ff has frequens, vg assidua, Luther, wenn es ernst- 
lich ist. Of the English versions Wiclif and the Rhemish fol- 
low the Vulgate with "continual"; Tyndale, the Great Bible, 
the Geneva version, and the Bishops' Bible follow Luther with 
"fervent." A.V. has the combination "effectual fervent," * 
while R.V. (under the influence of Lightfoot) takes the parti- 
ciple as middle and translates "in its working." 

17. Vv. 1^ f- confirm by the example of Elijah the statement 
TToKv i(T')(yeL. 

'HXems, cf. i Kings 171 iSi- "^ff.. 

The importance in Jewish popular thought of Elijah's rela- 
tion to the famine is illustrated by Ecclus. 481-^, 4 Ezra 7^'. 

Vv. ^^' ^* are dependent on midrashic tradition in the foUow- 

* Lightfoot, On a Fresh Revision', 1891, p. 203, thinks the word "effectual" was introduced 
by inadvertence from a note in L. Tomson's N. T. of 1376, 

V, i6-i7 311 

ing respects (c/. the similar dependence on Jewish tradition in 
Jas. 2" 511) : 

(i) Elijah's prayer that it might not rain, i Kings 17^ 
speaks only of a prophecy. The idea of a prayer was an in- 
ference from the words, " God, before whom I stand," in i Kings 
17I; note also the prominence given to Elijah's prayer in his 
other great miracle, i Kings i']'^'^--'^, cf. 4 Ezra 7^^ This embel- 
lishment followed regular Jewish methods of interpretation ; 
e. g. the Targum to Gen. 18^^ 19-' translates "stood" by "min- 
istered in prayer." That EUjah procured the drought is di- 
rectly stated in Ecclus. 48*. 

(2) The period of "three years and six months." The same 
statement is made in Lk. 4^5 err] rpia koI ixTjvas e^, and is found 
in Jalkut Shimoni, fol. 32, col. 2, on i Kings : "In the thirteenth 
year of Ahab there was a famine in Samaria for three years and 
a half" (text in Surenhusius, BijSXos KaraWayris, Amsterdam, 
1713, p. 681). The O. T. basis for this midrash was i Kings 18^ 
("many days," "in the third year"). Various explanations for 
the precise definition of three years and sLx months are sug- 
gested by J. Lightfoot, Horae hebraicae on Lk. 4-^, and by 
Surenhusius, pp. 680-682. For other Jewish estimates of the 
length of the drought, cf. Ruth rabba i, 4 (Wetstein), "fourteen 
months," and W. Bacher, Die Agada der Tannaiten tind Amorder; 
Bibelstellenregister, on i Kings 17^ i8K 

It is possible, but not demonstrable, that the apocalyptic number of 
the half-week, three and one-half, may have had influence on the num- 
ber here; cf. Dan. 7" 12", Rev. ii-' '■ ' i2«' '^ I3^ 

(3) V. i« Kal ttoXlv 7rpoji]v^aTO is perhaps justified by i 
Kings 18^-. 

oixoiOTtadrj'i ^IXLV, "suffering the like with us," i. e. "a man 
like us." This should encourage us to take the example to 
heart, and is perhaps occasioned by the current tendency to 
emphasise superhuman traits in Elijah; cf. Ecclus. 48^-22 for 
earlier, and JE, "Ehjah," for later developments in that direc- 

TTpoaev^^ Tpoaijv^aro, " prayed a prayer." It was the prayer 

312 JAMES 

of Elijah, not any magic wrought by a superhuman being, 
which brought about the noteworthy result. 

xpoaeuxTJ throws into relief the important idea of the sentence, much 
as in the classical analogies Y<4txw YeYa^nQxcIx;, "marry in true wedlock," 
Demosth. p. 1002, 12, or the figurative and frequent (peuystv (puy^, 
"flee with all speed," Plato, Symp. p. 195 B, etc. These and other 
examples of the_^gMra etymologica (some of which are also given in the 
grammars) are to be found, together with valuable distinctions and 
classifications, in Lobeck, Paralipomena grammaticae grcecae, 1837, pp. 
523-527. Speaking of the LXX idiom, which he does not, however, 
trace to its source in the Hebrew infinitive absolute, Lobeck says, "hand 
aliena ilia ab emphasis ratione, sed aliena tamen a Grcecorum grcBcensiuni 
consuetiidine," that is (J. H. Moulton), they are "possible, but unidio- 
matic" expressions. 

In the LXX the idiom is much overworked, having been one of sev- 
eral convenient methods of representing the Hebrew infinitive absolute ; 
cf. Gen. 2^' Oavaxo) dcxoOavsTaOott, Gen. 31^° exiGu[Jn'qc eictGuin^asti; (so Lk. 
22>5), etc., etc. Such a case as Jn. 3" x^P? X^^P^t is to be regarded as 
imitative. Acts 5 2' xapaYyeXiqt T:ixpr)'{fd'k(x[Lev is probably a transla- 
tion from Aramaic. 

See Blass-Debrunner, § 198, Buttmann, § 133. 22, Winer, § 4, § 44, 
Rem. 3, § 54. 3, J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 75 /. 

It may well be that James's phrase is directly or indirectly affected 

by this familiar Biblical idiom, but the A.V. "prayed earnestly," R.V. 

"prayed fervently," although they would be legitimate translations of 

a corresponding Hebrew phrase, introduce into this Greek verse what 

'^ is not properly to be found there. 

Tov fxr] jSpe^at. 

The infinitive with tov^ like other expressions of purpose (cf. 
Phil, i^ TrpoaevxojJ-o.t' tVa), is often, as here, reduced to the force 
of an object clause. Cf. i Kings i^'', Is. 5^, Acts 1520. See J. 
H. Moulton, Prolegomena, pp. 216-218, Blass-Debrunner, § 400, 
Winer, § 44. 4, Buttmann, § 140. 16. 

eirl Tris 7?}s, "on the earth," cf. Lk. 4^5 eirX irdaav Trjv yrjv^ 
Gen. 7'2 (of the flood) eVt rrjs 7?)?, i Kings 18^ eVt Tpocrcoirop 
T7]S yr]S. 

18. KO.I ovpavos verop ehoiKev. For verov hihovai, cf. i 
Sam. 12", I Kings iS^, Acts 14", in all which cases the 
subject is "God." 

For similar instances of the efficacy of prayer in bringing a 

severe drought to an end, cj. Jos. Antiq. xiv, 2^, in the case 
of Onias, hkaios koI 6eo(})L\i]s, and Epiphanius, Hcsr. Iviii 
(Ixxviii), 14, in a story of James himself. 

19, 20. Conclusion. Final saying on the privilege of being in- 
strumental in the restoration of an erring brother to the way of 

This seems to be a general appeal, equally related to all the 
preceding discussions of specific tendencies and dangers. As 
such, it forms a fitting conclusion and gives the motive of the 
whole tract. 

With this conclusion Spitta well compares that of Ecclus. 51 3". 

19. a8e\(f)0i jxov. In the first place in the sentence, as else- 
where in 2^ only. In both cases there is an abrupt change of 

■jrXaurjdy, "err," "wander." 

The figurative use of "wander" and "cause to wander," with refer- 
ence to "erring from truth and righteousness," is common in the O. T. 
especially in the prophets and Wisdom-literature. Cf. Wisd. 5^ sx- 
XaviQOY]tAev axb oSou dXTjOet'ac;, Is. 9'^ Ezek. 34^ to xXava)[j.evov oux axsa- 
Tp|i|jotT£ {v. I. i%zaigi<\KX'ze) , etc. Also in the N. T., cf. Heb. 5=, 2 Pet. 
2>5, 2 Tim. 3", Rev. 18^', and Polyc. Phil. 6' s'3naTp£(}!0vx£<; idc axoicex- 
XavT)[j,£va. In Test. XII Patr. the evil spirits are called •rcveutJ.aTa xfiq 
■jcXavYjs, and Beliar, their chief, is 6 apxtov xr]? Tc'k&yqq, cf. Charles's 
note on Test. XII Patr. Rub. 2'. 

arb Trjs aXrjdeias, cf. 1^^ 3^^ and notes. 

"The truth" is here the whole code of religious knowledge 
and moral precept accessible to the members of the Christian 
church. To err from it means any departure from the right 
path in thought or conduct. Various examples of such erring 
have occupied the attention of the writer throughout his epis- 
tles ; here, however, grave sin (v. ^o) seems to be chiefly in his 

The use of tj dtXf)6eca in this comprehensive sense is not founded on 
the O. T. nrs, njirs, which ordinarily mean "stabihty," "faithful- 
ness," or else "conformity to fact," while in many cases in the O. T 
"truth" is hardly to be distinguished from practical "righteousness," 

314 JAMES 

e. g. Hos. 4>. Yet in Dan. 8'- g'^ xal rofj auvtlvat Iv xitrn dtXTf)6£t(j( aou, 
and the Apocrypha, rj dXifi9eta is occasionally employed in a sense more 
like that of Greek writers ; so Ecclus. 4=', 3 Mace. 416, 4 Mace. 5'". 

For the Greek usage, cf. Dion. Hal. De Thiic. jud. 3, ttj? ytXoaocpou 
Oewpt'aq axoxov; Icttiv t) TTi<; dXifjOefaq yvwcjtg, Plutarch, Gryll. p. 986 A 
nevbv ayaObv xaJ sVowXov ivxl 'z'qq iXipziaq Stwxwv. 

In the N. T. this sense of "a body of true principles" is found in 
Paul (e. g. 2 Thess. 210, Gal. 5', 2 Cor. 42, Eph. 42*), often in John (e. g. 
8^2 1613 18", I Jn. 3"), and elsewhere. Yet even here the influence of 
the O. T. is to be seen in the strong moral element included in the con- 
ception. The truth is not merely an object of knowledge, as in secular 
usage, but a moral and religious ideal, God's revealed will, to which 
the loyalty of the heart must be given. Cf. Rom. 22° s'xovtoc ttjv 
[Jiopcpwffiv TTJi; yvwcrswq xal Trie; dCkT\%Eiaq sv tm v6[Xw, Jn. 3^1 6 Ss xottov 
TT)v aXiTjOetav. 

See Cremer, Worterhuch der neutcst. GracitdP, 1902, s. v, aCkrfiziai., 
Wendt, " Der Gebrauch der Worter aXifjOsta, oikri%-i\c, und aXT39cv6s im 
Neuen Testament," in Stiidien und Kritiken, 1883, PP- 5ii"547 ; V. H. 
Stanton, "Truth," in IIDB. 

eTnaTpe^r), "turn," i. e. from error to the way of truth. 

The norm of departure and return is sufficiently shown by the con- 
text; there is here no necessary indication that the word itself had 
already acquired the technical religious meaning of the modem verb 
"convert," although such passages as Mt. 13'^ (Is. 61°), Lk. i'« 22^-, 
Acts 313 i4'5, I Thess. i' show that that process had already begun. 
See Mai. 2\ Dan. 123, Ecclus. 18", Ezek. 34^ (Cod. A), Polyc. Phil. 6, 
Apost. Const, ii, 6, cf. i Pet. 2^5. 

It is used in the sense of "turn from an error" by Lucian, De hist, 
conscr. 5, cf. Plut. Ale. 16. Cf. Test. XII Patr. Zab. 9', Dan 5", Benj. 
45 ; for other passages, see Charles's index. 

The sense "turn back," which the word seems to have here, is not 
wholly foreign to Greek usage {cf. Hippocr. 135 E, of a fever, "recur"), 
but it is rare, while in the LXX, following air, that sense is very 
common. Cf. Mt. i2<<. 

20. yivcoffKeTO). If the alternative reading, yiPaiaKere, is 
adopted, it is to be taken as probably imperative, cf. 2^ 3^ 
S', etc. 

Yivwaxlxci) oTi] ^AKLP minn vg boh. 

Ytvcoj/.s-re oxt] B 69 1518 syri""!. 

om] ff sah. 

The omission by ff sah is rnere freedoni of translation. As between 

V, I9-20 3i5 

YtvuaxlTO) and Ytvoiaxste, the latter might have arisen from an attempt 
to eliminate the hard question, necessarily present with the reading 
Yivwax^Tw, as to who (the converter or the converted) was the subject 
of the verb. The address dos'k'foi justified the change to the unam- 
biguous, but colourless, Y(vujx.eTe. On the other hand, it is unlikely 
that the influence of xiq should have led to the change from the wholly 
unobjectionable yivwaxsxe to yivwaxixo). The reading of {< is accord- 
ingly the "harder" reading, and to be preferred. This is one of the 
rare instances of an emended reading in B. 

See P. Corssen, Gottingische gelehrtc Anzeiger, 1893, p. 585, B. Weiss, 
Zeilschriftfiir wisscnschaftlichc Theologic, vol. xxxvii, 1804, pp. 439-440. 

e/c 7r\dvr]S oSov avrov, "from the error of his way," cf. i Jn. 
4« for contrast of a\7]deia and irXctvi]. 

aayaet. For instances of cro)^eLV in this sense with a human 
subject, cf. Rom. IIl^ i Cor. f\ i Tim. 4^^ 

awjet] For this reading (supported by all Greek witnesses, and by 
vgam fu Ambrst Cassiodor) ff with certain Vulgate Mss and Orig'^' 
reads salval. 

Similarly xaXuis-. is translated with the present tense by vg and 
Origiat (but not by ff). 

^v')(r)v avTov, i. c. the erring brother's soul, cf. i^^ and note. 

i|iuxT)v] BKL minnp'"'' fi sah. 

i^^ux'Tjv auTou] SA ("^V '>JX"nv aJToG) P minn vg boh syr"". 

In the same connection it is to be noticed that B ff read ly. 6avi:Tou 
aiTou for the i/. Oava-uou of nearly all other witnesses. In both cases 
the shorter reading is to be preferred. 

€K Oavdrov. The force of the sentence depends on this word, 
which expresses the seriousness of the situation when a man 
wanders from the truth, a seriousness which may easily be over- 
looked and forgotten. This sentence is no platitude, provided 
Oavdrov receives its proper emphasis. On davdrov, cf. 1^^ and 
3C yeei'i'i]s. Note how here, as in i^', death is the result of sin. 

KaKv\J/eL TvXrjdos djiapTccav. KaXinrreLV in connection with 
sins usually means "cause them to be forgotten," "procure par- 
don," and that is the meaning here. Cf. Ps. 321^- 85- (quoted 
Rom. 4^), Neh. 4", Ep. ad Diogn. 9. 

dfjLapTicbv means the sins of the converter (so Roman Catholic 
comrnentators and some others) ; to refer it to the sins of the 

3l6 JAMES 

converted person, as many do, makes a bad anticlimax. See 
Origen, Horn, in Levit. ii, 5 where converting a sinner is in- 
cluded as one method of securing forgiveness of one's own sins. 

Cf. Sohar 92. 18, "Great is the reward of him who leads back sinners 
to the way of the Lord," 2 Clem. Rom. 15 [xtaOb? y^P ^^'^ eaxtv [xtxpb? 
TC>vav(i)ti,£VT)v 4"JXV '^<^' axoAXutieviQv ixoaTps^'a' £'<; tb ffwGfjvat, Pistis 
Sophia, ch. 104, Pirke Aboth, v, 26, "Whosoever makes the many 
righteous, sin prevails not over him." 

I Pet. 4^ has a closely similar sentence, ayd-wq KaKvirreL 
T\7]dos ajiapTioiv^ introduced as if a familiar aphorism. It is 
also found in Clem. Rom. 49, 2 Clem. Rom. 16. See Light- 
foot's notes on both passages. 

Both I Peter and James are usually held to be dependent 
on the Hebrew of Prov. lo^-, ''Hatred stirs up strife, but Love 
hides all transgressions" (Toy). There, however, the sense is 
not exactly "forgive" (as in the above-mentioned passages from 
the Psalms, etc.), but rather "hide," "turn attention away 
from," other men's sins, as kindly feeling would suggest, cf. 
I Cor. 13". 

Similar is the meaning in the rabbinical passages quoted by Wet- 
stein, where it is a question of keeping quiet about another's sin, of 
refraining from gossip, not of forgiveness. So Prov. 17^ Sq xpuxte 
dt8c/,T3tJ.o(Ta 'CTQiet cpiXi'av. 

Moreover, the LXX of Prov. 10^2 (TcivTas Be tovs fxr] <j>lKo- 
peLKOvvras KoXvirreL <^tXia) is wholly unlike the N. T. passages, 
and the resemblance of James to even the Hebrew text is too 
slight to justify the idea of direct influence upon him from that 
soiurce. The sentence in i Pet. 4^ may possibly have been in- 
fluenced by Proverbs, but it is more likely that some familiar 
Greek aphorism (all the associations of which can no longer be 
traced) has been used by i Peter, while a part of the same form 
of words has been independently used, in a very different sense, 
by James. 

See Lightfoot on Clem. Rom. 49 and 2 Clem. Rom. 16, Resch, 
Agrapha, pp. 248/., Ropes, Die Spriiche Jesu die in den kanoji- 
ischen Evangelien nicht iiberliefert sind, pp. 75/. 


Andreas of Crete, 73. 
Apocalypse, 22, 152/. 
Apocryphal gospels, 69/. 
Apostolic Fathers, 37/., 87-90. 
Armenian church, use of epistle, 95. 
Astrology, 164, 236. 

Beatitudes, 150. 

C^SAREA, 49. 

Catholic epistles, order of, 103 /. 
Clement of Alexandria, 54, 56, 12, 

91 /• 
Clement of Rome, 20, 87/., 222-224. 
Clementine Recognitions, 70/., 72. 
Commentaries on James, patristic 

and mediaeval, 110-113; modern, 

Crowns, 150-152. 

Dante, 45. 
Deo volente, 279/. 
Diatribe, 3, 17; history, 10-12; char- 
acteristics, 12-16. 

Ecclesiasticus, 17, 19. 
Eldad and Modad, 266/. 
Ephraem Syrus, 96/. 
Epiphanius, 54, 58/., 60, 71-73. 
Epistles, 6-10, 127/. 
Eusebius, 44, 64, 71/., 94/-, 103. 

Faith, 30-32, 35/., 135, 140/., 1S7, 

203/., 2t8/. 

Gnosticism, 36/., 155, 248. 
Greek church, history of epistle in, 

Hebrews, Epistle to the, 22. 

Gospel according to the, 68/. 
Hegesippus, 54, 64-68, 71, 72. 
Helvidius, 55, 57. 
Hermas, 88-90. 

Iren^us, 90, 179, 223. 

James, New Testament persons 
named, 53/. 

James son of Alphaeus, 45/., 53. 

James son of Zebedee, 45/., 53, 62. 

James, St., festival of, 73/. 

James the Lord's brother, 44-46, 
50-52, 53-74- 

James, Epistle of: origin, i; pur- 
pose, 2; contents, 2-5; literary 
type, 6-18; relationship to other 
writers, 18-24; language, 24-27; 
vocabulary, 25; relation to LXX, 
25/.; Aramaic origin, theory of, 
27; ideas, Jewish, 28-31; ideas, 
Christian, 31-34; Spitta's theory, 
32-33; relation to Paid, 34-36; 
relation to Gnosticism, 36/.; re- 
lation to Gospels, 38/.; relation 
to x\postolic Fathers, 20, 37; rela- 
tion to Matthew, 39; situation, 
39-43; authorship (views on), 43- 
47; authorship, 47-52; date, 43, 
49; pseudonymity, 51; history in 
the church, 86-109. 

Jerome, 44, 52, 56, 57/-, 60/., 68/., 

71, 72/., 84, 102/., 160. 
Josephus on James, 64. 
Justification, 35/., 217/., 222. 




Law, 29, 30, 35, 37, 4^, 50/-. 167, 
173, 198, 274; of liberty, 177/-. 

Luther on James, 45, 59, 105-109. 

Oaths, 300/. 
Oil, anointing with, 305/. 
Origan, i, 51/., 54, 56,86,92-94. 
Orphic doctrine, 238/. 

Paul, relation to, 34-36, 48, 204/., 

217, 221. 
Persecution, not implied in epistle, 

4, 40, 43, 133, 153, 195/- 
Peter, First Epistle of, 22/. 
Philo, 20, 24, 31. 
Polycarp, 88. 

Protevangelium Jacobi, 55, 69, 73. 
Protrepticus, 18. 
Proverbs, Book of, 16/., 19. 

Reformation, history of epistle in 

and after, 105-109. 
Rich, the, in the epistle, 31, 40/., 

43, 145-148, 193-197, 282/. 
Russian literature on James the 

Lord's brother, 56/. 

Steps of James, 71, 73. 
Symeon Metaphrastes, 73. 
Syrian church, history of epistle in, 

Temptation, 153^. 

TertuUian, 91, 223. 

Testaments of XII Patriarchs, 20/. 

Text of epistle, 74-86; Greek Mss., 
74-75; Egyptian versions, 76-78; 
Ethiopic version, 78; Syriac ver- 
sions, 78-80; Armenian version, 
80; Latin versions, 80-84; use of 
authorities, 84-86. 

Tobit, 17. 

Trent, Council of, 46, 105, 307. 

Virgins, pseudo-clementine epistles 
to, 1,42, 51/-, 94, 227. 

Western church, history of epistle 

in, 100-103, 104/. 
Wisdom of Solomon, 17, 19. 
Wisdom-literature, 16/., 18/., 132. 
Word, word of truth, 167, 172/. 
Works, 2sf; 204/. 


Note. — A complete list of the Greek words occurring in the epistle may 
be found in Mayor^ pp. 239-258. 

dSeXqid?, 131/. 
ahiti), 259. 

dxaTaaxaafa, ixaTaaxaTOs, 144, 248/. 

dXaXaJ^w, 283. 

dXi^eeta, 246/., 313/. 

dxapx"^, 167. 

dxXw?, dxXoxYis, 139/. 

dicoffxfaatAa, 165. 

^XaaipT];jL£(i>, 196. 

-ihtaiq, 176, 235/. 

Staxpt'voiiac, 141, 192, 250. 

Staaxopd, 120 Jff. 
StSaaxaXoi;, 226/. 
St4<uzos, 143/- 
86^a, 187. 
SouXo?, 117/. 

lxxXif)a{a, 119. 

ItifUToc;, 172/. 

evepYeti), 309/. 

eTciBuixta, 156, 253 f., 257/. 


'Ct)Xos, 'CirjXow, 245, 255/., 2(33. 

YjooviQ, 253/. 

OpTjaxsfa, 6pY)ax6^, 181 ^. 

xaXw?, 190. 
xaxaxauxdoiAat, 202, 246. 

xauawv, 148. 

xauxdo[i,ac, 145. 

xdoilo?, 184/., 193, 233/. 

P-i^XTj, 253. 

oXoXui^d), 283. 

xapaXXayi^, 162. 
xaq, 129/., 158. 
7cetpaffti6q, 132/., 153/. 
icoixfXoq, 134. 
TOXefio?, 253. 
xoXuaxXaYX"*"^^! 299. 
xpot'tAOs xal 0(|ii[j.O(;, 295 _^. 
xpoacoxoXit5[j.4"'a, 185/. 

pcxii;w, 141/. 

aoipfa, 139, 247. 
aoyd?, 244. 
(jxiipavoc;, 150^. 
ffUvaywYiQ, 188/. 
auvepY^w, 220. 

TeXeio?, 138, 159, 177, 228. 
xpoxiQ, 164/. 
■^poX^s, 235/. 

uxonovT^, 13s/., 299. 

q>06vo(;, 263. 
(ffXoi; 6sou, 222/. 
90veu(i), 254/. 


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