Faith, Works and Eschatological Justification at Cafe Apocalypsis

Alan S. Brady posts on Café Apocalypsis on Faith, Works, and Eschatological Justification. He compairs faith according to Paul and James and concludes:

The proof of one’s faith will result in their future justification based not only on what they say they believe but how they lived their lives. In short, true faith follows the example of Abraham in that his faith and his actions were working together.

The “James” in James T. Kirk = James the Just

Each day I do a blog search for anything written about James the Just or the Epistle of James. This time, I found a real gem! T. J. Sode writes:

Did you know that the original Star Trek was a subliminal attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to convert the masses back to true Christianity? Who is the Captain of the Enterprise? James Tiberius Kirk. James is the brother of Jesus, and after the crucifixion, James became the leader of the early sect. Tiberius was a Roman emperor. Kirk is the most common European spelling for the English word “church.” James T. Kirk = Jesus, Roman, church. We have a Kirk or church flying through space, representing an unseen Starfleet.

Of course, Sode goes on to explain some “fascinating” connections between Spock (who represents Satan) and McCoy (who represents the “true faith”). Don’t you just love speculative “exegesis?” I wonder if there are any Trekkies out there who could chime in… Are there other connections between James T. Kirk and James the Just?

The Testamonium Flavianum at

Ben C. Smith of TextExcavation has a helpful presentation of the Testimonium Flavianum, the account of Josephus that mentions Jesus and James the Just. The page has the pertinent texts with translation (see below) along with the parallel texts and translations from Eusebius, Origen, Jerome and others. Here’s a sample – Josephus’ description of James’ martyrdom (Antiquities 20.9.1 §200-203):

Ατε δη ουν τοιουτος ων ο Ανανος, νομισας εχειν καιρον επιτηδειον δια το τεθναναι μεν Φηστον, Αλβινον δ ετι κατα την οδον υπαρχειν, καθιζει συνεδριον κριτων και παραγαγων εις αυτο τον αδελφον Ιησου του λεγομενου Χριστου, Ιακωβος ονομα αυτω, και τινας ετερους, ως παρανομησαντων κατηγοριαν ποιησαμενος παρκεστατοι των κατα την πολιν ειναι και περι τους νομους ακριβεις βαρεως ηνεγκαν επι τουτω και πεμπουσιν προς τον βασιλεα κρυφα παρακαλουντες αυτον επιστειλαι τω Ανανω μηκετι τοιαυτα πρασσειν· μηδε γαρ το πρωτον ορθως αυτον πεποιηκεναι. τινες δ αυτων και τον Αλβινον υπαντιαζουσιν απο της Αλεξανδρειας οδοιπορουντα και διδασκουσιν, ως ουκ εξον ην Ανανω χωρις της εκεινου γνωμης καθισαι συνεδριον. Αλβινος δε πεισθεις τοις λεγομενοις γραφει μετ οργης τω Ανανω ληψεσθαι παρ αυτου δικας απειλων. και ο βασιλευς Αγριππας δια τουτο την αρχιερωσυνην αφελομενος αυτον αρξαντα μηνας τρεις Ιησουν τον του Δαμναιου κατεστησεν. When, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others. And, when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. But as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a Sanhedrin without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

TextExcavation also has helpful information on the Jewish gospels, including the gospel according to the Hebrews. This is a great site.

Kamell’s Paper on Faith in Hebrews and James Hosted Here

Mariam Kamell’s paper, “Faith in Hebrews and James: A Study of Hebrews 10:19-12:14 and James 1-2,” read on July 20, 2006 at the St. Andrews Conference on Hebrews & Theology in St. Andrews, Scotland, is now hosted here at James the Just!

Thank you Mariam for allowing James the Just to host the paper. I hope it sparks interest and discussion on a great topic.

James the Just had Dreadlocks

Sideshow BobJames the Just had “dreadlocks” according to Wikipedia:

Germanic tribes, the Vikings, the Greeks, the Pacific Ocean peoples, the Naga people and several ascetic groups within various major religions have at times worn their hair in dreadlocks. In addition to the Nazirites of Judaism and the Sadhus of Hinduism, there are the Dervishes of Islam and the Coptic Monks of Christianity, among others. The very earliest Christians also may have worn this hairstyle. Particularly noteworthy are descriptions of James the Just, “brother of Jesus” and first Bishop of Jerusalem, who wore them to his ankles.

I don’t know about this one. Hegesippus (via Eusebius) describes James:

He was holy from his mother’s womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh. No razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, and he did not use the bath. (Ecclesiastical History 2.23.5)

While I’m not sure exactly what hairstyle in which James wore his locks, the text certainly does not say that it was in dreads. Nor does it mention James’ hair reaching his ankles. On the other hand, if one interprets Hegesippus’ account as describing James the Just as a Nazirite, then I guess one could infer (based on Judges 16:13, 19) that James had “locks” (מחלפות) of hair, as did Samson – who is often held as the Nazirite par excellence. Of course, even if it could be proven that Samson’s locks were dreadlocks, it does not follow that all Nazirites had dreadlocks.

Interestingly enough, Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra contends that James’ ascetic lifestyle (as described by Hegesippus & Epiphanius) is more characteristic of the fasting of the high priest during the celebration of Yom Kippur. Interesting concept. I hope to explore this a bit further. See his monograph, The Impact of Yom Kippur on Early Christianity (WUNT 163; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 246-250; see also his article, “‘Christians’ Observing ‘Jewish’ Festivals of Autumn,” pages 53-71 in Image of the Judaeo-Christians in Ancient Jewish and Christian Literature (Tübingen : Mohr Siebeck, 2003).

Hmm… I wonder what Sideshow Bob would have to say about this?

Mariam Kamell: Hebrews/James Paper

Mariam Kamell (GreekGeek) has presented a paper titled “Faith in Hebrews and James: A Study of Hebrews 10:19-12:14 and James 1-2” at the Epistle to the Hebrews & Christian Theology conference at St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews. She has been kind enough to post her paper to the web! Take a look at the PDF linked at her blog.

Update (7.21.06): Mariam has kindly allowed me to host her paper on this website. Check it out HERE.

New Article on James in Novum Testamentum

Byron, John. “Living in the Shadow of Cain Echoes of a Developing Tradition in James 5:1-6.” Novum Testamentum 48 (June 2006): 261-274. Available with subscription HERE.


Behind the statements in James 5:1-6 is an echo of the Cain and Abel story. While it has been recognized that Abel served as an archetype for righteousness and unjust suffering, it is sometimes overlooked that Cain fulfilled a similar role. Beginning with the writings of Josephus and Philo and continuing through to the Midrashim, Cain was portrayed as an archetype for those who oppress the poor and the righteous for self-gain. Just as James accuses the wealthy of using dishonest means to retain the wages of the poor, so also Cain was accused of increasing his property and possessions through robbery and force. The enigmatic statements in 5:6 represent an indictment against the wealthy and declaring that they are guilty of the sin of Cain.

Deppe’s “Sayings of Jesus in the Epistle of James” for sale!

Dean Deppe, professor at Calvin Theological Seminary has a limited number of hard bound copies of his dissertation for sale.

Deppe’s dissertation is on “The Sayings of Jesus in the Epistle of James” and it has been cited by scholars as one of the most important works on James’ use of Jesus’ teachings in the Epistle. For instance, Richard Bauckham notes:

“Deppe’s very thorough study (unfortunately not easily accessible and so not used by most scholars writing subsequently) probably takes this method of approach to the relationship between James and the Gospels as far as it can be taken” (see pg. 117 in “James and Jesus” [pgs. 100-137 in The Brother of Jesus: James the Just and His Mission; eds. B. Chilton & J. Neusner; Louisville, KY: W/JKP, 2001]).

I’ve noticed that according to Open WorldCat, only 23 libraries own the text.

The details are as follows:

The sayings of Jesus in the Epistle of James / Dean B. Deppe.
299 p. ; 26 cm.
Chelsea, Mich. : Bookcrafters, 1989.
Thesis completed at Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam, 1989.

Dr. Deppe is offering copies of the dissertation for $25.00, plus $5.00 shipping & handling.

To order a copy, contact Dr. Deppe at or send a note to:

Dean Deppe
1731 Ridgemoor SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506