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whom he calls pillars; and tells us, that when they perceived the inspiration and miraculous powers which he possessed, they gave him the right hands of fellowship, mentioning James first, Gal. ii. 9. And knowing the grace that was bestowed on me, James, Cephas, and John, who were pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship. This implies, that James, whom in the first chapter he had called the Lord's brother, was not only an apostle, but the presiding apostle in the church of Jerusalem. In the same chapter, Paul giving an account of what happened after the council, says, ver. 11. When Peter was come to Antioch 12. Before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: But when they were come, he withdrew, and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision. This shews that James resided at Jerusalem, and presided in the church there, and was greatly respected by the Jewish believers. The same circumstance appears from Acts xxi. 17. Where, giving an account of Paul's journey to Jerusalem with the collections for the saints in Judea, Luke says, ver. 18. Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. Farther, the respect in which James was held by the apostles, appears from two facts recorded by Luke. The first is, When Paul came to Jerusalem three years after his conversion, Barnabas took him and brought him to Peter and James as the chief apostles. Compare Acts ix. 27. with Gal. i. 19. The second fact is, After Peter was miraculously delivered out of prison, about the time of the passover in the year 44. He came to the house of Mary,— where many were gathered together praying, Acts xii. 12.-And when he had declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of prison, he said, Go shew these things to James, and to the brethren, ver. 17.-These particulars are mentioned by Lardner, and before him by Whitby and Cave, to shew that James the Lord's brother, was really an apostle in the strict acceptation of the word; consequently, that Eusebius was mistaken, when he placed him among the seventy disciples. E. H. lib 1. c. 12.
In the history of the Acts, there are some circumstances which, as learned men have remarked, lead us to conclude, that the apostles, by common agreement, allotted to each other the offices and duties which they were to perform. Thus, Acts viii. 14. When the apostles, who were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word, they sent to them Peter and John.
Acts xi. 22. Then tidings of these things, (namely, that a number of the Hellenist Jews in Antioch had received the word,) came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem, and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch-Gal. ii. 9. When James, Cephas, and John, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. Wherefore, if James the Lord's brother was really president of the church in Jerusalem, as was formerly mentioned, and as the ancients universally affirm, he was in all probability placed in that station by the appointment, or with the approbation, of the other apostles, as an ancient tradition, preserved by Eusebius and Jerome, informs us. But Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and Photius think he was raised to that office by our Lord himself.-That one of the apostles should reside constantly in Jerusalem, to whom the faithful might apply for advice in any difficult case, was very proper; because circumstances might make it necessary for the greatest part of the apostles to leave Jerusalem, and go to other countries. Wherefore, as James the Lord's brother was a person of singular prudence, and great authority, as well as an apostle, he was well qualified for that important station, and may have been appointed to it by common consent. And as every apostle, by virtue of his superior character and illumination, had a right to direct the affairs of the church where he happened to reside, the apostle James, by constantly residing in Jerusalem, became the perpetual president and director of the church there; on which account the ancients called him the Bishop of Jerusalem.
Lardner's character of James deserves a place here. "Though "we do not allow ourselves to enlarge on every thing said of " him in the history of the council of Jerusalem, and his recep❝tion of Paul when he came up to Jerusalem and was imprison"ed: yet I suppose, that every one may have discerned marks "of an excellent character, and of his admirably uniting zeal and "discretion, a love of truth and condescension to weak brethren. "His epistle confirms that character. I think likewise, that the "preservation of his life in such a station as his, to the time "when he is mentioned last by Luke, may induce us to believe, "that he was careful to be inoffensive in his behaviour to the "unbelieving part of the Jewish nation, and that he was had in "reverence by many of them." Can. vol. iii. p. 20.
James the Lord's brother was surnamed the less, John xix. 25. either because he was younger than James the son of Zebedee, or because he was a person of small stature, which is the literal meaning of т8 μxps, the little. James was likewise surnamed the Just, not indeed in the New Testament, but by the an cients, who gave him that appellation on account of his singular virtue. Some indeed have supposed James the Just to be a different person from James the son of Alpheus, and have ascribed this epistle to him; but I think without foundation. For, as there are only two persons of the name of James mentioned in scripture as apostles, and as the most ancient Christian writers have given James the Lord's brother the surname of the Just, there is no reason to believe that there was any third person of the name of James, who was surnamed the Just, and who was the writer of this epistle. See Euseb. E. H. lib. ii. c. i. Lard. Com. vol. iii. p. 26,
Of the Authenticity and Authority of the Epistle of James.
Beza in his preface to this epistle tells us, that in the Syriac version, (I suppose he means the second Syriac), the general title prefixed to the Catholic epistles is, The three epistles of the three apostles before whose eyes the Lord transfigured himself. Wherefore, according to that translator, the author of this epistle was James the son of Zebedee; in which opinion he hath been followed by the Arabic translator, and by some modern commentators. But on that supposition, the epistle of James must have been written the first of all the epistles; namely, before the year 43 or 44. for in one of these years James the son of Zebedee was put to death by Herod, Acts xii. 2. The errors, however, and vices reproved in this epistle, shew it to be of a much later date, being the very errors and vices which gave occasion to the epistles of Peter, and John, and Jude, which all agree were written towards the conclusion of the lives of these apostles. Besides, there are passages in the epistle itself, which imply, that at the time it was written the destruction of Jerusalem was at hand. For these reasons, Jerome's opinion, formerly mentioned, page 4. ought to be adopted, who tells us, that this epistle was written by James, who was called
the Lord's brother, because he was the son of Mary the sister of our Lord's mother.
That this epistle was anciently esteemed a part of the sacred Canon, we learn from Eusebius, whose words I will recite. E. H. lib. 3. c. 25: "Here it will be proper to enumerate, in a 66 summary way, the books of the New Testament, which have "been already mentioned. And, in the first place, are to be " ranked the four sacred gospels; then the book of the Acts of "the Apostles; after that are to be reckoned the Epistles of "Paul; in the next place, that called the First Epistle of John, "and the first of Peter; after these is to be placed, if it be "thought fit, the Revelation of John, the opinions of the ancients "concerning which we shall in due season explain. Now these "are among the acknowledged books. Among the contradicted, "but yet well known to many," or approved by many," are that "called the Epistle of James, and that of Jude, and the second of "Peter, and the second and third of John whether they were "actually composed by the Evangelist, or by another of the same "name." From this passage it appears, that in the beginning of the fourth century, the seven epistles called Catholic were well known, and received by many, though some of them were not received by all. Farther, the same author (E. H. lib. 2. c. 23.) writes as follows: "Thus far concerning James, the writer of "the first epistle called Catholic. But it ought to be observed, "that, voĴever, it is thought spurious." By which Eusebius does not mean that it was in his time thought a forged writing, but that it had not been universally received by the church, as is evident from the reason which he subjoins: "For as much as "there are not many of the ancient writers who have quoted it,
as neither that called Jude's, another of the epistles named "Catholic. However, we know, that these also are commonly "used," that is, publicly read, " in most churches with the rest.” From this passage it appears, that notwithstanding the epistle of James was doubted of by some, and not often quoted by the ancients, it was in Eusebius's days generally received, and publicly read in the churches of Christ.
That the epistle of James was early esteemed an inspired writing, is evident from the following fact: That, while the second epistle of Peter, the second and third of John, the epistle of Jude, and the Revelation, are omitted in the first Syriac translation of the New Testament, which was made in the beginning
of the second century for the use of the converted Jews, the epistle of James hath found a place therein, equally with the books which were never called in question. This is an argument of great weight. For certainly the Jewish believers, to whom that epistle was addressed and delivered, were much better judges of its authenticity, than the converted Gentiles, to whom it was not sent, and who, perhaps, had no opportunity of being acquainted with it till long after it was written. Wherefore, its being received by the Jewish believers, is an undeniable proof that they knew it to be written by James the apostle. Whereas the ignorance of the Gentile believers concerning this epistle, is not even a presumption against its authenticity.
That the converted Gentiles had little knowledge of the epistle of James in the first ages, may have been owing to various causes; such as, That it was addressed to the Jews, and that the matters contained in it were personal to the Jews. For on these accounts, the Jewish believers may have thought it not necessary to communicate it to the Gentiles. And when it was made known to them, they may have scrupled to receive it as an inspired writing, for the following reasons: 1. The writer does not in the inscription take the title of an apostle, but calls himself simply, James a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.-2. Many of the ancients, by calling the writer of this epistle James the Just, have rendered his apostleship doubtful.-3. As they have done likewise, by speaking of him commonly as Bishop of Jerusalem, and not as an apostle of Christ.-It is little wonder, therefore, that this epistle was not generally received by the converted Gentiles; consequently that it was not often quoted by them in their writings. But afterwards, when it was considered that this epistle was from the beginning received by the Jewish believers, and that it was translated into the Syriac language for their use; and that Paul, though an apostle, sometimes contented himself with the appellation of a servant of Christ, Philip. i. 1. Philem. ver.' 1. and sometimes took no appellation but his own name, 1 Thess. i. 1. 2 Thess. i. 1. and that the apostle John did not in any of his epistles call himself an apostle, the title which the author of the epistle of James had to be an apostle was no longer doubted, but he was generally acknowledged to be James the son of Alpheus, and the Lord's brother; and his epistle, after an accurate examination, (see Preface to 2 Peter, sect. 1. paragr. 2.) was received into the canon as an inspired writing. So Estius tells us, who affirms, that after the fourth century no church, nor ecclesi