Imágenes de páginas
PDF

14

6 men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all”--this 7 is the testimony in due season, and for this I myself was appointed

a herald and apostle (I speak the truth, I lie not), a teacher of the 8 Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire then that in every place the men should offer prayer, lifting up holy hands without anger and disputa9 tion. Likewise that women adorn themselves in decent apparel, modestly

and moderately, not with braids of hair and gold, nor with pearls nor with 10 costly raiment, but (as befits women who make a religious profession) by 11 means of good deeds. Let a woman learn quietly, with entire sub12 mission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to dictate to man. She

is to keep quiet.
13 For Adam was formed first of all,

Then Eve :
And Adam was not deceived,

It was Eve who was beguiled and fell into transgression. 15 Still “women shall be brought safely through their childbearing, if they 3 1 continue in faith and love and sanctification, with soberness." THE SAYING

IS SURE. 2 If anyone aspires to a bishopric, he is desiring a noble task. Now a

bishop must be unblamable, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober3 minded, orderly, hospitable, a skilful teacher, not drunken or quarrel4 some, but forbearing; no wrangler, no lover of money, one who presides

ably over his own household, with his children in submission and entirely 5 respectful-if a man does not know how to preside over his own house6 hold, how is he to take care of a Community of God ?- not a novice, lest 7 his head should be turned and he fall into the devil's doom. Also, he

must have a creditable report from outsiders, lest he fall into the devil's 8 reproach and snare.

Deacons likewise are to be serious, not 9 talebearers, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for base gain, holding 10 in a pure conscience the secret of the faith. Also, let these men first of

all be tested ; then let them serve as deacons, if they are irreproachable. 11 Women likewise are to be serious—not slanderers, but temperate, trust12 worthy in all respects. Let deacons be hushands of one wife, presiding 13 ably over their children and their own households. For those who have

served ably as deacons acquire for themselves a good position and great 14 confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Though I 15 hope to come to thee soon, I am writing to thee thus, in order that,

if I am long in coming, thou mayest know how it is right to behave in

God's household, that is, in the Community of the living God, a pillar 16 and prop of the truth. And admittedly great is the secret of piety :

To Who was disclosed in the flesh,
Vindicated in the spirit,

Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,

Taken up in majesty." 41 But the Spirit expressly says that in later times some shall fall away

from the faith by their devotion to seducing spirits and doctrines of 2 daemons, through the hypocrisy of men who speak falsely, who have their 3 own conscience branded and marked, who forbid marriage and enjoin

abstinence from food-things which God created to be thankfully par4 taken of by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything

created by God is excellent; and nothing is to be rejected if it be thank5 fully received, for then it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

Give this advice to the brothers ; so shalt thou be an excellent minister of Christ Jesus, nourishing thyself upon the words of the faith 7 and of the excellent doctrine whose course thou hast followed. But as for 8 worldly and old wives' myths, have nothing to do with them. Train

thyself to piety ;“ bodily training is profitable for a little, but piety is pro

fitable for everything, as it has the promise of the present life and of the 9, 10 life to come.” THE SAYING IS SURE, and worthy of all approbation ; for

this is why we labour and are denounced, because we have set our hope

upon the living God, who is a Saviour of all men, especially of those who 11, 12 believe.

Charge thus and teach. Let no one despise thy youth; but show thyself a pattern to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in 13 faith, in purity. Till I come, devote thyself to the reading, the exhort14 ing, the teaching. (Neglect not the talent within thee, which was given

thee through prophecy, along with the laying on of hands by the elders' 15 assembly.) Practise these. Be absorbed in them, that thy progress 16 may be obvious to all. Pay attention to thyself and to thy teaching.

Persevere with these, for by so doing thou shalt save both thyself and

thy hearers. 51 Chide not a senior sharply, but appeal to him as a father; appeal to

2 younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women 3 as sisters, with all purity. Support widows who are really widows. 4 (But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to act piously to their own household and to render some return to those who

have brought them up; for this is a welcome thing in the sight of God.) 5 Now she who is really a widow and left desolate, has her hope set on 6 God, and perseveres night and day in supplications and prayers ; but she 7 who lives in dissipation is dead in life. Give this charge also, that they 8 may be unblamable: if anyone does not provide for his own people,

and especially for his own household, he has renounced the faith, he is 9 worse than an unbeliever. Let no one be registered as a widow, who is

less than sixty years of age; and she only who has been the wife of one 10 husband, who has a reputation for good deeds, who has brought up

children, practised hospitality, washed the saints' feet, relieved the 11 distressed, diligently practised every good deed. But refuse to register

younger widows; for when they come to wax wanton against Christ they 12, 13 wish to marry, and so get sentenced for breaking their first troth. Besides,

by going about from house to house they learn also to be idle ; and not

merely to be idle but also babblers and busybodies, talking of what they 14 have no right to mention. So I desire younger women to marry, to

bear children, to manage their households, to give the adversary no 15 opportunity for reviling--for some are turned aside already after 16 Satan. If any believing woman has widows, let her relieve them ;

nor let the Community be burdened, rather let it relieve those who

are really widows. 17 Let the elders who preside ably be held worthy of double support, 18 especially those who labour in word and teaching; for the scripture

saith, Thou shalt not muzzle an ox when he is treading out corn, and “The 19 labourer is worthy of his wages.” Accept no accusation against an elder, 20 unless it is certified by two or three witnesses. Those who sin, reprove 21 in the sight of all; so that the rest may also be in fear. In the sight of

God and of Christ Jesus and of the chosen angels, I solemnly charge thee

to be unprejudiced in following these directions, to be utterly impartial. 22 Lay hands on no one hastily, and have no share in other people's sins :

1 Reading όνειδιζόμεθα.

23 keep thyself pure.—Be a total abstainer no longer, but use a little wine

on account of thy stomach and thy frequent illnesses.24 The sins of some men are conspicuous, preceding them to judgment;

But they also follow after some men. 25 Likewise, while good deeds are conspicuous,

Even those that are otherwise cannot be hidden. 61 Let all who are slaves under the yoke reckon their masters worthy of

2 all honour, that God's name and the doctrine may not be nialigned. And

let not those who have believers as their masters, despise them because they are brothers ; nay, let them render service all the more heartily, seeing that those who enjoy the benefit of the service are believers and

beloved. 3 Teach thus and exhort. If anyone is a teacher of novelties and

refuses to assent to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the 4 doctrine which is in accordance with piety, he is besotted; he knows

nothing, but is morbidly excited about controversies and wranglings

over words, which produce envy, quarrelling, slanders, wicked suspicions, 5 incessant disputes, among men corrupted in mind and deprived of the 6 truth, who think piety is a source of profit. Piety with content7 ment indeed is a great source of profit. For we take nothing into the 8 world, nor 1 can we take anything out; yet if we have food and clothing, 9 we are to be satisfied with these. But those who desire to be rich fali

into temptation and a snare, and into many desires which are senseless 10 and injurious, such as sink men in destruction and perdition. For the

love of money is a root of all evils, and in aspiring to money some have

been led astray from the faith and have pierced themselves through with 11 many a pain.

But flee thou from these things, O man of God, 12 and pursue uprightness, piety, faith, love, patience, meekness. Play thy

part in the noble contest of the faith ; lay hold of the eternal life for

which thou wast called and didst make the noble confession in the sight 13 of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who makes all things live, and

of Christ Jesus, “who bore witness in the noble confession before Pontius 14 Pilate," I charge thee to keep the commandment unstained, unblamable, 15 until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which shall be shown in

due season by the blessed and only Prince-the King of kings, the Lord 16 of lords—who alone has immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable,

whom no man has seen or is able to see. To him be honour and eternal

power : Amen. 17 [Charge those who are rich in the present world not to be highminded,

and not to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who 18 provides us richly with all things for enjoyment; charge them to be 19 bountiful, to be rich in good deeds, liberal givers, generous, storing up

for themselves a good foundation for the future, that they may lay hold of

the life which really is life. 20 0 Timotheus, guard thy trust; and turn away from the worldly babble

and “antitheses" of “the knowledge” (which is falsely named “know21 ledge”), by professing which some persons have swerved in the matter of the faith. Grace be with you.

i Omitting örl.

THE EPISTLE OF JAMES

LIKE the book of Joel in the OT, the epistle of James must be dated either at the very outset or towards the close of the literature. The intermediate position (Schäfer, Einl. p. 304 f.; Trenkle, Einl. pp. 210, 211), i.e. in the seventh decade, as a correction of the Pauline doctrine of faith and works in some of its abuses, cannot any longer be held. The old notion that this writing contains any direct polemic against Paul, or that it could have been composed previous to 62 A.D., by James, the brother of Jesus, with any such intention, is one of the least defensible hypotheses in NT criticism, and is rightly abandoned by the majority of conservative and radical critics alike. Weizsäcker, however, still defends a modified form of it (AA, ii. pp. 27-32); and the traditional position is defended in this country by Farrar (Early Days of Christianity, pp. 309-311), Hort (Jud. Christianity, p. 148), and some others. 1

But it is impossible that such a letter could be addressed by James after the Council of Jerusalem to Jewish-Christians of the Diaspora, without a reference to the relations between themselves and the GentileChristians; and that Communities existed at that time which were wholly free from proselytes or Gentile-Christians is an unproved assertion. The truth is-

(1) In spite of all that is urged ? in favour of Galilean education, it is scarcely conceivable that a brother of Jesus should possess the wide culture, the fluent and idiomatic Greek style, and the powers of literary expression and allusion that mark this writing. (2) The tradition of the Jacobine authorship is very late ; the epistle is absent from the Muratorian Canon, and unknown to Hegesippus and Eusebius, while even its first mention (by Origen in the third century) implies considerable doubt as to its authenticity. (3) There is nothing in the rest of the NT (Ac 2118-20) to suggest on the part of James such a violent polemic against Paul as that given in chap. 2 must be, when the writing is taken as written during Paul's Christian activity and lifetime. (4) The complete absence of allusions to the Resurrection or Messiahship of Jesus, the scanty and distant references to him at all, and the failure to introduce these where they might naturally have been expected, are irreconcilable with what we know of the primitive church and with what would justly have been looked for in a brother of our Lord. To him Jesus must have been of vital and absorbing importance, on the score of birth and faith alike. But in fact the whole hypothesis of the Jacobine authorship 3 breaks down, whatever

1 Renan (L'antéchrist, chap. iii.) dates it c. 62 A.D. as an invective against Paulinism and also against the rich and overbearing Sadducees in Jerusalem, though he hesitates to relegate the manifesto to the apostle. Not very differently Jăcoby (NT Ethik, p. 200 f.).

2 E.g., by Mayor (op. cit., chap. x.) and in Prof. Roberts' Greek the Language of Christ and his Apostles, chap. ix.

3 The rigidity of the Christian Jews in Jerusalem upon the question of the law would have made it impossible for anyone to attain repute and authority among

date be taken for the writing. The only position for which a case can really be stated, is to suppose that the question of faith and works was started not by Paul's preaching, but by the previous training of the early Christians in Jewish rabbinical discussions, and that the "epistle," as a literary form of Christian teaching, was due not to Paul but to this solitary apostle. In this case James would be the earliest writing in the NT.

This hypothesis of James as a pre-Pauline document, a product of Christianity while it was still within the synagogue with a primitive, undeveloped, theology, is still held by some scholars. Besides Mangold, Hofmann, and Lechler, the theory has been strongly urged by Erdmann, Mangold, and Weiss (INT, ii. pp. 100–128); but the champion of this date was Beyschlag (-Meyer) in Germany, until the recent appearance of Zahn (Einl. i. pp. 52–108). Cp. also F. H. Krüger, Revue Chrétienne (1887), pp. 605 f.,, 685 f.; P. Ewald, Das Hauptproblem (1890), p. 58; and Blanc-Milsand, Étude sur l'origine et le développement de la Théol. Apost. (1884), pp. 36–57. There is little pith or moment in such theories, but in this country the view has always been a favourite, from Alford and Bassett (1876) to Lumby (EB, article “James”), Salmon (INT, pp. 448-468), Carr (CĠT (1896), and Meyrick (Smith's Dict. B. (2nd ed. 1893), pp. 1520-1522); the recent edition by Prof. J. B. Mayor (2nd ed. 1897 ; also in DB, ii. article “James ") gives the weightiest and most elaborate statement of the case in English, and Bartlet (AA, pp. 217–250) ingeniously pleads for it in the endeavour to make James a liberal Jewish-Christian. Certainly Jewish Christianity was different from Paulinism, nor had the latter anything like a monopoly during the years 45–55. But it could not have been different to the point of what is an almost entire indifference to the characteristic hopes and motives of Jesus.

In addition, however, to the arguments already advanced, it may be urged that to date the epistle before the Council at Jerusalem (c. 50 A.D.) is to leave too little space for the development of the vices in the Christian situation. Such a doctrine of faith, such hollow piety and widespread worldliness, such indifference to the human life of Jesus and his heavenly glory, such a feeling of delay in regard to the second coming, are simply incredible upon the threshold of the young church. Further, if this letter with its meagre appreciation of Jesus represents the early Christian consciousness, as exhibited in a brother of Jesus himself, who was living at the centre of Christian tradition, the subsequent development of Christianity becomes a hopeless enigma. If such were the dominant and official ideas in the church, the later literature and life are inexplicable-grapes from thorns ! But the positive and conclusive arguments against such a position are best given in a statement of what seem to be the true character and relationships of the writing in question.

The literary history and connections of James suggest a post-Pauline origin. The writer's acquaintance with the Pauline writings seems to admit of no serious denial (against Feine, Jakobusbrief, pp. 100–122), and it is hard to understand why Sanday and Headlam, who allow the use them, who did not share their position generally; that James did so, is proved by Acts and Galatians, and corroborated by tradition. Comparative strictness was the atmosphere of the capital. The leader of the local Christians owed his rank to legal correctness and the prestige of birth. And these are the very points absent from the epistle of James—care for the Law or references to Jesus.

1 Cp. also Burton (RLA), Dr. J. B. Crozier (Intell. Development, i. pp. 331, 332), Adeney (BI, pp. 434-440), Stevens (NTTh, pp. 249-252), and Chase (DB, iii. p. 765). The last-named unconvincingly suggests that the epistle was carried by the messengers of James (Gal 2).

« AnteriorContinuar »