James Hastings.

Dictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) online

. (page 202 of 234)
Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 202 of 234)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the preceding chapter to the presence of apostles at
Ephesus (xi. 2 : ol /ecu TCHJ diroarbXoa irdvTore ffwrjffav)
even if ffwijtrav and not <rwrivra.v be the true text
is not much to set against the absence of any
direct reference.

The fact that Polycarp never mentions him in
his Epistle to the Philippians has very little bear-
ing on the question. The natural interpretation
of Papias' Prologue is that at the time when he
was collecting his information (c. A.D. 100) John
the son of Zebedee was dead. His name occurs in
the list, introduced by the past tense rl clirev ; as
contrasted with the &re \tyovau> which follows.
But this does not preclude an earlier residence at

It is probable that Polycrates of Ephesus, in his
list of the jteydXa orotxeia of Asia wnich he gives
in his letter to Victor of Rome (A.D. 190), regards
as the son of Zebedee the John whom he places
no doubt in the chronological order of their deaths
after Philip ' the Apostle.' But his account of
the e-jriarriOios is clearly legendary, and sufficient
time had elapsed since the death of the John of




Ephesus (? 110), to whom he refers, for the growth
of confusion, whether ' deliberate ' or unconscious.

The evidence against the Asiatic residence of
the Apostle which Corssen (ZNTW v. [1901], p.
2ff.) finds in the Vita Polycarpi has been carefully
discussed by Clemen (p. 421). It is not conclusive.

It is impossible to repeat in detail the well-
known evidence of Irenseus, Tertullian, and
Clement of Alexandria, for the accepted tradition
of their tim. It is too wide-spread to be derived
from any one single source, and is difficult to
reconcile with the view that the son of Zebedee
had no connexion at all with Asia and Ephesus.
However we interpret the relation of Irenaeus to
Polycarp, and tlie former's account of the latter in
his Letter to Florinus, we cannot be sure that the
John of whom Polycarp used to speak was really
the Apostle and not the ' Elder,' or the author of
the Apocalypse (if these two are not to be identi-
fied). Justin's attribution of the Apocalypse to
the Apostle proves that the tradition connecting
his name with Asia is at least as old as the middle
of the 2nd century. And if Irenseus derived from
Papias not only the words of the Elders but also
the description which he gives of them, the words
' non solum Joannem, sed et alios apostolos' (Iren.
II. xxii. 5) would show that Papias also knew of
the tradition.

On the whole, the least unsatisfactory explana-
tion of the evidence, with all its difficulties and
complexities, is the hypothesis that the Apostle
did spend some years of his later life in Epliesus,
where he became the hero of many traditions
which belonged of right to another or to others.

5. The Fourth Gospel. The use which may be
made of the Fourth Gospel as a source of informa-
tion about the sons of Zebedee depends on ques-
tions of authorship which cannot be discussed in
this article. They are never mentioned by name
in the Gospel, and only once in the Appendix (21 a ).
Probably the author of this Appendix identified
the ' disciple whom Jesus loved ' with the younger
son of Zebedee, and not with one of the fiXXot 5vo,
unless indeed he intends to introduce a new-comer
in v. 20 . He certainly identities the loved disciple
with the author of the Gospel (v. 24 , if this verse
comes from his pen). The natural interpretation
of 19 35 distinguishes between the author and that
disciple, if the ' witness' of that verse is to be iden-
tified with the loved disciple. The only other
definite references to the disciple whom Jesus
loved are 19 26 ('Behold thy son') and 13 23 (the un-
masking of the Traitor). The customary identifi-
cation of him with the 4XXos jj.a.9r)n?is of 18 15f - (known
to the high priest who gained admission for Peter
into the avX-fi) and of 20 3 '- (who went with Peter to
the Tomb), is probable but not necessary. He is
usually found in the other disciple of the Baptist,
who at his suggestion followed Jesus (I 37 ). The
phrase TOV d5e\<pbi> rbv tdiov 'Li/j.uva cannot be pressed
to indicate this. In the Greek of the period tSios
is hardly more than synonymous with the posses-
sive pronoun. And the natural interpretation of
the passage is that Andrew first finds his (own)
brother Simon, and next day, when wishing to
return home to Galilee, Philip, to whom Jesus says,
' Follow me.' At the same time the whole story
of Jesus' first meeting with the disciples who came
over to Him from John contains much which is
difficult to explain (see, however, M. Dibelius,
Die urchristl. Uberlieferung von Johannes d.
Taufer in Forschungen zur Religion und Litteratur
des alten und neuen Testaments, Gottingen, 1911,
p. 106 tf.) as apologetic invention. It suggests the
recollection of early and treasured experiences,
and gives a wholly probable account of the rela-
tions between Jesus and John, and the undoubted
connexion between the two, to which the Synop-

tists bear witness, though other and later elements
in the story are abundantly clear.

On the whole, though the pre-eminence of John
in the Synoptic account is hardly such that he
must have appeared in the Fourth Gospel, if he
were not the author, yet the facts of the Gospel
and the traditions of later times about it are most
easily explained by the view that ' behind the
Gospel stands the Son of Zebedee ' (see Harnack,

LITERATURE. In addition to the ordinary Commentaries on
the Synoptic and Fourth Gospels, the following books and
articles may be mentioned: T. Zahn, Introduction to the HT,
Eng. tr., London, 1909; C. Clemen, Die Entxteltung des
Johaniiesevamjeliums, Halle, 1912 ; J. B. Mayor, art.
' James ' in II L>B (where the usual references will be found for
the legendary history of St. James in Spain) ; P. W. Schmiedel,
art. ' John. Son of Zebedee,' in EBi ; B. W. Bacon, The Fourth
Gospel in Research and Debate, London, 1910 ; J. Reville, Le
Quatrieme Evanflile, Paris, 1901 ; E. Schwartz, Ueber den
Tod der Sohne Zebedcei (AGG, new ser. vii. 5), Berlin, 1904,
also art. 'Johannes und Kerinthos,' in ZSTW, xv. [1914];
W. Heitmiiller, ' Zur Johannes-Tradition,' ib.


( || Mt 13 55 ) James is mentioned first, presumably
as the eldest, among the brethren of Jesus. In
Mk 3 21 - 3)ff - ( || Mt 12 J6f -, Lk 8' 9f -) we hear of an at-
tempt on the part of Jesus' mother and His
brethren to restrain Him as being ' beside himself.'
In Jn 7 5 we are told that ' his brethren did not
believe on him.' In 1 Co 15 7 , however, St. Paul
mentions an appearance of the risen Jesus to

According to the curious story which Jerome (de Vir. lllwttr.
ii.) quotes from the Gospel of the Hebrews, James (represented
as present at the Last Supper) had vowed not to eat until he
should see Jesus risen from the dead. Jesus accordingly ap-
peared to him first and took bread and blessed and brake,
saying, ' My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen
from them that sleep.'

In Gal I 19 we find James closely associated with
the apostles at Jerusalem, and in Gal 2 tt we hear
how those who were ' accounted pillars ' James
and Cephas and John wished God-speed to Paul
and Barnabas in their mission to the Gentiles.
There is perhaps a hint of irritation in St. Paul's
reference, a few verses earlier, to those ' who were
accounted somewhat' (2 s ), as though the accord
had not been reached without some difficulty, and
in v. 13 we find that St. Peter's vacillation in
the matter of intercourse with the Gentiles is at-
tributed to the fear of certain who came ' from
James,' though it does not follow that they repre-
sented his attitude. In Acts, James always ap-
pears as a leader. St. Peter sends the news of his
escape 'to James and the brethren' (12 17 ). At
the Apostolic Conference he sums up the discus-
sion, proposes a policy, and apparently drafts the
decree (15 13 ' 21 ). In 2*1 18f - he receives St. Paul at
the close of his Third Missionary journey, and, it
is implied, approves the fateful proposal designed
to conciliate the legalist Christians.

He is understood to be meant by the modest
self-designation 'James the servant of the Lord'
(Ja I 1 ), and the author of the Ep. of Jude is con-
tent to describe himself as the ' brother of James.'
In view of the fact that he seems to have remained
constantly at Jerusalem, it is at least uncertain
whether he is included among the brethren of the
Lord who ' led about' a wife (1 Co 9 s ).

That the 'brethren of the Lord' were the sons
of Mary and Joseph is the natural, though not in-
evitable, inference from the language of Scripture
(Mt I 28 , Lk 2 7 , Mk 6 s , etc.). Those who prefer to
believe otherwise, hold either (1) that they were
the sons of Joseph by a former marriage, or (2)
the sons of Mary's sister. These three views are
sometimes called, respectively, from their early
defenders, the Helvidian, Epiphanian, and Hier-
onymian. (For discussion see J. B. Mayor, The




Ep. of St. James 3 , pp. vi-xxxvi ; J. B. Lightfoot,
Galatians 5 , 1876, pp. 252-291; and art. 'Brethren
of the Lord' in HDB, DCG, and SDB.)

Turning to the extra-canonical references, we
find in Josephus (Ant. xx. ix. 1) an account of the
circumstances of the death of James. The high
priest Ananus (a son of the Annas of the Gospels) ,
a man of violent temper, seized the opportunity
of the interval between the death of Festus (c.
A.p. 62) and the arrival of his successor Albinus to
bring to trial 'James the brother of Jesus who
was called Christ and some others ' as law-breakers,
and delivered them to be stoned. This account is
inherently probable. It ie sometimes rejected as
an interpolation, on the ground that Josephus
makes no other mention of Jesus or of Christian-
ity ; but it may be noted that F. C. Burkitt has
lately defended the genuineness of the famous
reference to Jesus in Josephus, Ant. xvm. iii. 3
(ThT xliii. [1913] pp. 135-144). Harnack has
signified agreement (Internationale Monatsschrift,
vii. [1913] pp. 1037-1068). If this be accepted,
the present passage presents little difficulty.
Hegesippus (ap. Euseb. HE ii. 23) gives a much
more highly coloured account of James's mar-
tyrdom, representing him as hurled from the
pinnacle of the Temple because he refused to
make a pronouncement against Jesus (which the
Scribes and Pharisees had confidently expected of
him !). Among other personal traits Hegesippus
mentions that James was a Nazirite and strict
ascetic, and that, so constant was he in prayer,
his knees had become hard as a camel's. There is
a variant of the martyrdom story in Clem. Recog.
1., Ixix., Ixx., where, after James has shown 'by
most abundant proofs that Jesus is the Christ,' a
tumult is raised by an enemy, and he is hurled
from the Temple steps and left for dead, but

The tendency to exalt the position of James in
later times is seen in the statement of Clem. Alex,
(ap. Euseb. HE ii. 1) that Peter and James and
John chose him to be bishop of Jerusalem ; while
in the letter of Clement prefixed to the Clem.
Horn, he is addressed as 'lord,' and 'bishop of

LITERATUBE. To J. B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. James*,
1910, Introduction, ch. i. : 'The Author,' and the other litera-
ture mentioned above, add T. Zahn, 'Briider und Vettern
Jesu,* in Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen
Kanons, vi., Leipzig, 1900, pp. 225-363 ; A. E. F. Sieffert, in
PRE 3 , viii. 574 ff. ; F. W. Farrar, Early Days of Christian-
ity, 1882, vol. i. chs. xix., xx. \V. MONTGOMERY.

**JAMES, EPISTLE OF 1. Literary character-
istics. The Epistle strikes us at once as the ex-
pression of a vigorous personality. The author
plunges into his subject with a bold paradox, and
his short, decisive sentences fall like hammer-
strokes. He constantly employs the imperative,
and makes much use of the rhetorical question.
His rebukes contain some of the sharpest invective
in the NT (4 1 " 4 5 1 " 6 ), and he knows when irony will
serve him best (2 19 ) . He piles up metaphor upon
metaphor until the impression becomes irresistible
(3 3 ~ 12 ), and multiplies attributes with the same effect
of emphasis (e.g. 'earthly, sensual, devilish' [3 15 ;
cf. I*- 8< 19 ]). Like most vigorous writers, he
delights in antithesis (cf. I 9f - I 22 - 25 3 5 4 7 ). In his
illustrations he uses direct speech with dramatic
effect ('sit thou here in a good place,' etc. [2 3 ; cf.
2 16 4 13 ]). Every here and there are struck out,
like sparks from the flint of this rather hard-edged
style, phrases of arresting beauty and significance :
'the crown of life which the Lord promised to them
that love him ' (I 12 ) ; 'the grace of the fashion of it
perisheth' (I 11 ) ; 'mercy glorieth against judge-
ment' (2 13 ); 'What is your life? For ye are a
vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then

vanisheth away' (4 14 ) ; 'Behold, the husbandman
waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being
patient over it, until it receive the early and latter
rain' (5 7 ) ; 'the supplication of a righteous man,
when it puts forth its strength, availeth much

The form is, in the main, the terse, gnomic
form __ of the Wisdom literature, but the spirit
that inspires it has deeper roots. It goes back to
OT prophecy. It is an Amos that we seem to hear
in the vigorous denunciation of 5 1 " 6 ; Isaiah is the
direct inspirer of the stately passage in l lof -, and
the writer has distilled the quintessence of the
prophets into that fine saying which sums up his
teaching and comes home with special force to the
modern world : ' Pure religion and undefiled before
our God and Father is this, to succour (cf. Lk I 68 )
the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and
to keep oneself unspotted from the world' (I 27 ).

It is in part, at least, owing to this gnomic style
and prophetic temper that the Epistle does not
form a logically constructed whole, according to
Western theories of composition. This is not to
say that it has no cohesion. A considerable part
of it is grouped round three or four main ideas
temptation, the bridling of the tongue, the danger
of lip-religion, the relation of rich and poor.
Within and between these groups the movement
is determined, to an extent which seems curious to
our ways of thought, by verbal associations. The
emphatic word of one sentence becomes a catch-
word linking it to the next.

It may be worth while to analyze a paragraph with a view to
bringing this out. The salutation, 'James ... to the twelve
tribes . . . giveth }'oy' (I 1 ), supplies the key-word for the ap-
parently abrupt opening : ' And joy unmixed count it, brethren,
when . . .' (v. 2 ). Again, 'that ye may be perfect, lacking noth-
ing (v.<). _ And if any lack wisdom [for the apparently abrupt
introduction of wisdom, see below], let him ask . . . (v. 6 ), but
let him ask in faith ' (v. 6 ). This idea ia then developed up to
the end of v. 8 . The transition to v. 9 , 'Now let the lowly
brother,' etc. , is apparently again abrupt (see below) . Verse 12
returns, as though w.*- 11 might be considered as a digression,
to the idea of temptation, and, passing from the sense of ' trial '
to that of 'inducement to evil,' deals with some difficulties con-
nected therewith. It is interesting to note that two abrupt
transitions in the above can be explained, with considerable
probability, as due to literary reminiscence. In v. 6 we want a

the sons of men, yet if the wisdom that cometh from thee be
not with him, he shall be held in no account.' Again in v.',
where the transition appears quite abrupt, a connexion with
the central idea of wisdom is supplied by Sir 1 1 1 : 'The wisdom
of the lowly shall lift up his head,' and with the next verse Sir
3 18 may be compared : 'The greater thou art, humble thyself
the more, and thou shalt find favour before the Lord" (cf . also,
for the double antithesis, Sir 20").

2. Religions attitude and teaching. The main
purpose of the Epistle is to protest against pre-
vailing worldliness (4 4 ), which finds expression in
avarice (4 3 5 4 ), pleasure-seeking (I 14 4 1 ), the vaunt
of a barren orthodoxy (2 14f> ), social arrogance and
sycophancy (2 lf -), bitter contentions (4 1 *.), sins of
the tongue (I 26 3 5 - 10 ). Against these the author
holds up the ideal of a lif e inspired by the ' wisdom
which is from above' (3 17 ), which here plays the
part assigned to the Spirit (as gift) in St. Paul and
the NT generally. (With 3 17 cf . Gal 5 22 , and with
I 5 cf. Lk II 13 and Jn 3 34 .) This heavenly wisdom
is above all things 'pure' (byrf), primarily no doubt
in the sense of unstained loyalty to God (cf. the
reference in 4 4 to the worldly-minded

** Copyright, 1913, by Charles Scribner's Sons.

and see 2 Co II 2 ), and expresses itself in humility
(I 10 ), meekness (I 19f 3 13 ), reasonableness (3 17 ), peace-
ableness (3 17f -), mercifulness (2 13 3 17 ), whole-hearted
earnestness (3" 5 6 - 8 ), active beneficence (I 27 3 17 ),
dependence on the Divine will (4 7 - 10 - 15 ), obedience
inspired by faith (2 21 ' 25 ). It has often been re-
marked that purely theological conceptions occupy
little space in the Epistle. And this is literally
true; but there is a good deal of compressed




theology in expressions like 'of his own will he
brought us to birth by the word of truth, that we
should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures'
(I 18 ; cf. Jn I 13 6 63 , Ro 10 17 8 19f -), 'the implanted
word, which is able to save your souls' (I 21 ; cf.
Ro I 16 ), 'the perfect law of liberty' (I 25 ; cf. Mt
5 17 ' 20 , Ro 8 2 ), 'heirs of the kingdom which he pro-
mised to them that love him' (2 5 ), 'the parousia of
the Lord is at hand ' (5 8 ) ; not to mention 2 1 , if
with some very good scholars we take rijs d6^s
as in apposition to TOV mplov rjfj.tav Iijcrov XPWTOV, and
understand 'our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory' (in
conformity with 2 Co 4 6 , He I 3 , Jn I 14 ), as a refer-
ence to the Incarnation. It is remarkable, how-
ever, that the Epistle contains no reference to the
Death and Resurrection of Jesus, or, in connexion
with such a passage as 5 lof -, to His earthly life.

The writer is apparently little interested in
questions of organization (ct. the Didache, Clement,
Ignatius). It is only incidentally that we hear of
the 'elders of the Church' (5 14 ) the only officials
mentioned; and we infer, rather than are told,
that the teaching office was not strictly regulated
(3 1 ) . Incidental, too, is the mention of the meeting
for worship (2 2 ), and we hear nothing as to its
conduct. (For ffwayutyf) in the sense of a Christian
assembly cf . Herm. Hand. xi. 9 : Ignat. ad Polyc.
iv. 2.)

3. Reception in the Church. Re-ascending the
stream of tradition from the point at which our
present NT canon may be considered as definitely
established in the AVestern Church (Third Council
of Carthage, A.D. 397), we find that the acceptance
of the Ep. of James long remained dubious.
Jerome, de Vir. Illustr. ii. (A.D. 392) says that,
while some asserted it to have been issued by
another under the name of James (' ab alio quodam
sub nomine eius edita'), it had gradually, as time
went on, established its authority. Eusebius, HE
iii. 25 (c. A.D. 314) mentions it along with Jude, 2
Peter, 2 and 3 John, among the books which,
although widely known, were ' disputed ' (djriXe'y-
6fjxva). Again, in ii. 23, after mentioning the
martyrdom of James, he proceeds : 'whose epistle
that is said to be which is first among the Epistles
styled Catholic,' adding that it was not free from
suspicion (lit. 'is held spurious' [sc. by some]),
because many ancient writers make no mention
of it, as was also the case with Jude, though all
the Catholic Epistles were publicly read in most
churches. Origen (c. 240) ^suggests the same un-
certainty when he refers to it as the Epistle 'which
goes under the name of James' (-fj <pepo/>t) laKwfiov
&r7To\iJ [in loann. xix. 6]), though according to
the Latin version of the Homilies he elsewhere
quotes it as Scripture (Com. in Ep. ad Rom. iv. 1),
and as by 'James the Lord's brother' (ib. iv. 8).
It is noteworthy that in his Com. in Matt. (x. 17)
he mentions the Ep. of Jude but not that of James.
The Muratorian Canon omits it, along with Heb-
rews and 1 and 2 Peter (on the other hand, the
Peshitta includes it, while omitting Jude. 2 Peter,
2 and 3 John, and the Apocalypse). Clement of
Alexandria is said to have included a commentary
on 'Jude and the rest of the Catholic Epistles' in
his Hypotyposeis (Euseb. HE vi. 14) ; but, while
his notes on 1 Peter, 1 and 2 John, and Jude are
extant in a Latin translation, James is wanting.
As regards the indirect evidence of quotations, the
earliest work for which a dependence on James
can be established with any high degree of proba-
bility is the Shepherd of Hermas, which is variously
dated between A.D. 100 and 150. (For Hermas'
use of James see the art. by C. Taylor in JPh
xviii. [1890] 297 ff . on the priority of the Didache
to Hermas.) Some critics are inclined to see in
Clement of Rome evidences of the use of James.
But none of the passages are decisive, and in an

extended reference to the faith of Abraham (ad
Cor. x. 1 ff .) Clement quotes Gn 15 6 in its proper
context, following St. Paul ; and, though he refers
to the sacrifice of Isaac, he speaks of it as offered
fit* UTraKOTjj and not Sib ir/o-rews.

4. Date and authorship. As might perhaps have
been expected from the character of the external
evidence, the internal evidence is enigmatic. This
will appear from a statement of some of the various
theories, with the difficulties which each involves.

A. Take first the theory which, accepting the
traditional authorship,* makes the Ep. prior to
the main Epp. of St. Paul and unrelated to his
teaching. Against this the following objections
are alleged.

(a) There is strong evidence, it is held, that the
passage in 2 14ff - has in view St. Paul's teaching in
Ro 3 and 4, and is therefore subsequent to that
Epistle. The arguments advanced in favour of
this position are as follows. (1) In denying that
a man is saved by faith without works, James is
attacking a paradox; but no one is at pains to
attack a paradox unless someone else has previously
maintained it. Now there is no evidence that this
paradox had been maintained previous to St. Paul.
Faith had been praised and works had been praised,
and, if we may accept 2 Esdras (whatever its actual
date) as a witness to pre-Christian Jewish beliefs,
the combination of faith and works had been
praised (13 3 ; cf. 9 7 ), but the antithetic opposition
of faith and works, to the apparent disparagement
of the latter, originated, so far as our evidence
goes, with St. Paul. (2) The Scripture example
to which both writers appeal is much more favour-
able to St. Paul's argument than to James's. In
Gn 15 6 'Abraham believed God,' etc., refers specifi-
cally to belief in God's promise; James by an
exegetical tour de force gives it a prospective refer-
ence to Abraham's 'works' in the sacrifice of
Isaac. This is the procedure, not of a writer who
is choosing his illustrations freely, but of one who
must at all hazards wrest from an adversary a
formidable weapon. (3) The passage is written in
a technical phraseology : SiKaiova-Oai K irkrrews,
SiKaiovcrVai i Hpyuv, vlffris %wpls run %pyuv t i>eKp6s
(applied to faith, where St. Paul applies it to
works). It is less probable, it is urged, that this
terminology; was invented by James, who only
employs it in this controversial passage, than by
St. Paul, for whom it is the necessary expression
of some of his fundamental doctrines.

(6) In a number of other passages there are
points of contact, and in some of them the sugges-
tion of literary priority is distinctly on the side of
St. Paul. For example, if we compare St. Paul's
statement in Ro 8 2 , 'the law of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus hath made me free (-fj\ev6tpuff4 fie [v.l.
o-e]) from the law of sin and death,' with James's
references to the law of liberty (P<VIOJ TTJS fXevffepias
[I 25 2 12 ]), the latter succinct, technical-looking ex-
pression has the air of an already coined and
current phrase, while St. Paul seems to be stating
a fact of experience.!

(c) With the exception of the language of
Hebrews, the Greek is the most accomplished in
the NT. There is a certain amount of rhetorical

Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 202 of 234)