The Epistle of James in Vaticanus

I’ve previously posted links to images of the Epistle of James in Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus, along with a few papyri and the miniscule text, 676. I have now been able to get my hands on some black and white images of Vaticanus, taken from the 1999 edition produced by the Instituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato in Rome. Below is the breakdown of which verses of James are present in which column of each page. Links to the images of each page are found on the far left:

Page Column I Column II Column III
1426 1:1-11 1:11-19 1:19-27
1427 1:27-2:8 2:8-18 2:18-3:1
1428 3:1-8 3:8-17 3:17-4:8
1429 4:8-16 4:16-5:8 5:8-16
1430 5:16-20

Latest Expository Times on James

The latest Expository Times is out, containing two small articles and one review pertinent to the Epistle of James. Marilyn McCord Adams challenges Luther’s critique of James in “Faith and Works or, How James is a Lutheran!” (pp. 462-464 / PDF). Donald McCorkindale presents a great set of children’s activities/lessons taken from the Epistle in “Children’s Ministry: Thoughts with James” (pp. 465-466 / PDF). Paul Foster in his book review, “Studies on James” (pp. 481 / PDF) reviews the collection of essays edited by B. Chilton & C. Evans, The Missionsof James, Peter and Paul: Tensions in Early Christianity (NovTSupp 115; Leiden: Brill, 2005).

NOTE: PDF links above are available only with personal or institutional subscription.

Thanks to Michael Pahl for the heads-up.

J. B. Lightfoot’s essay, “The Brethren of the Lord”

J. B. Lightfoot wrote a seminal essay titled “The Brethren of the Lord” in his 19th c. commentary on Galatians. The text of this valuable writing is available at This essay contains an excellent summary of the various options regarding the familial relationship between Jesus and his brothers (including James). It discusses the early evidence, including the opinions of the Church Fathers. For the most part, the scanned text looks great, but the Greek text does not display correctly. Check it out here:

“The Comforter has Come”

James Tabor posts on James the Just again. This time, in addition to stating that James the Just is none other than the disciple whom Jesus loved in the Gospel of John (see also here & here), but James is also the paraclete:

I have wondered whether the original idea now embedded in latter part of the gospel of John, about the “Comforter” coming, was originally referring to be James. The Greek word is Paraklete and refers to one who represents or advocates. Later Christians personified this one as the “Holy Spirit” but in the various passages found in the Gospel of John “he” is spoken of in a very personal way, in the masculine gender, very much as one would speak of a person. Jesus says of this one that he will be “sent in my name,” and that he will be a Teacher who will remind the community of all that Jesus has taught them. The Ebionites had this idea of the “Christ Spirit” that “hastened through the ages” and rested upon various ones in a successive way. In other words, the spirit of Truth, that was passed on from John to Jesus, was now being passed on from Jesus to James. Jesus tells them that this one “abides with” them and will be “among” them. This one will “not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

I appreciate Tabor’s desire to highlight James the Just as a major player in nascent Christianity, but this seems like a stretch. Then again, he does preface his remarks saying, “I have wondered…” and labels his post “Late Night Speculations…”

“James the Just in History and Tradition” in Currents in Biblical Research

The latest edition of Currents in Biblical Research contains the first of a two part article on James the Just:

Matti Myllykoski, “James the Just in History and Tradition: Perspectives of Past and Present Scholarship (Part I)” Currents in Biblical Research 5 (2006): 73-122.

The article is available online with a subscription. I look forward to reading it. The abstract is as follows:

James the Just, the brother of Jesus, is known from the New Testament as the chief apostle of the Torah-obedient Christians. Up to the last quarter of the twentieth century, Jewish Christianity was regarded as an unimportant branch of the early Christian movement. Correspondingly, there was remarkably little interest in James. However, in the past two decades, while early Christianity has been studied as a form of Judaism, the literature on James has grown considerably. Now some scholars tend to assume that James was a loyal follower of his brother right from the beginning, and that his leadership in the church was stronger than traditionally has been assumed. Fresh studies on Acts 15 and Galatians 2 have opened new questions about the Christian Judaism of James and social formation of the community which he led. Part II of this article, to be published in a later issue of Currents, will treat the rest of the James tradition—James’s ritual purity, martyrdom and succession, and his role in the Gnostic writings and later Christian evidence. It will conclude with reflections concerning James and earliest Jewish-Christian theology.

Bono the Just + James 1:27

Tyler Williams at Codex recently posted Bill Hybel’s recent interview with Bono of U2. Be sure to check it out.

I’m relatively late in the game as a fan of U2. In my days as a “Christian-music-only-fundie” I shunned the group, but they finally won me over while at Seminary. I am continually impressed with Bono’s concern for the plight of the poor. While “Bono the Just” is certainly no ascetic (he is after all, a rock star), his concern for the poor resonates loudly with a major theme of the Epistle of James. This care for the poor is integrated in James’ view of Christian faith(fulness), as is illustrated in 1:27, in regard to care for widows and orphans:

θρησκεία καθαρὰ καὶ ἀμίαντος παρὰ τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ αὕτη ἐστίν, ἐπισκέπτεσθαι ὀρφανοὺς καὶ χήρας ἐν τῇ θλίψει αὐτῶν, ἄσπιλον ἑαυτὸν τηρεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμου. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (Darby) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)

I’ve provided Darby’s translation along with the NIV to illustrate the tendency to separate sanctification from social concern. Sean McDonough, of Gordon-Conwell once noted in a lecture the absence of καί between the phrases ἐπισκέπτεσθαι ὀρφανοὺς καὶ χήρας ἐν τῇ θλίψει αὐτῶν “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” and ἄσπιλον ἑαυτὸν τηρεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ κόσμου* “to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Interestingly enough, the NIV and every major English translation inserts an “and” in between the two phrases.** Only Darby’s translation reflects the absence of a conjunction. While the lack of the conjunction in Greek does not necessitate a lack of a conjunction in English,*** this seems to be a case where a more “wooden” translation would have better communicated the “flavor” of the text. Without the “and,” care for widows and orphans is more closely connected to keeping oneself clean of worldly influences. With the “and” inserted it seems easier to conclude that if I have kept myself “unsoiled” and “sanctified” then I at least have half of the game down. Without the “and,” at least the two aspects of “pure religion” are more closely related and interconnected, so that it is an “all or nothing” deal (a concept that would resonate with James’ condemnation of “double mindeness” [1:8; 4:8]). At most, James is saying that one keeps oneself unspotted from this world primarily by taking care of the vulnerable. I will leave this up to the grammarians to decide. In the meantime, I’m going to brush up on asyndeton.

* P47 has ὑπερασηίζειν αὐτου̂ς, “to protect them,” while some miniscules (614, 1505) have the plural, ἀσπίλους ἑαυτοὺς τηρει̂τε.
** Based on a comparison of all English versions in BibleWorks 7.0. The ASV, ERV, KJV, NAS, RWB and WEB do have the “and” marked in some way to indicate that the conjunction is not present in the Greek. All other English translations represented in BibleWorks simply include “and.”
*** Actually, Mayor suggests that asyndeton in this case serves antithetically, which would imply the translation: “to look after orphans and widows in their distress, but to keep onself from being poluted by the world” (Mayor, ccxxvi; 74).

James in Papyri

I’ve stumbled upon a few papyri that contain James:

Update (16 Aug 06): Wieland Willker also lists the following fragment of James on his page, “The Original Sources“:

Also, see this article by Peter M. Head on several new papyri, including P100 (listed above).

The Epistle of James in Sinaiticus at CSNTM

I posted earlier on the Epistle of James in Miniscule 676, as found on the CSNTM website. The same organization has recently posted images of the 4th c. majuscule text, Sinaiticus (as found in Kirsopp Lake’s 1911 photograph facsimile). Here’s the breakdown for James in Sinaiticus:

1:1-2:6 image 118b
2:6-3:6 image 119a
3:6-5:9 image 119b
5:9-5:20 image 120a

13th c. Miniscule (676) of James at CSNTM

Plagued with insomnia, I figured out where the text of the Epistle of James was located in the 13th century miniscule text 676, as available at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts site. The CSNTM site has a great selection of early manuscripts, and it will have much more in the future. In fact, they’ve recently added images of Sinaiticus. Here’s the breakdown for James:

1:1-14a image 324
1:14a-2:13a image 325
2:13b-3:13 image 326
3:14-5:4a image 327
5:4b-5:20 image 328