Herod’s political position in the power structure of the Roman Empire is designated by the title “Associated king and friend of the people of Rome” (rex socius et amicus populi Romani).
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
[An] attempt [at] full-scale reassessment of Jesus and the Last Supper in light of the recent advances in Jesus research, especially restoration eschatology. You would be amazed at just how small a role the Last Supper has played in many of the major historical portraits of Jesus in the century and how people have failed to connect it with the rest of his public ministry (e.g., E. P. Sanders).
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
This suggestion gains force if the epistle gathers together tradition originating with James the Just, presenting it in a way relevant to a new and later situation. In other words, the reference of James 5:6 would be understood in relation to the martyrdom of James the Just if the epistle appeared subsequent to that event, as we have suggested.
There are no serious arguments to weigh against the plausibility of the epistolary situation indicated by James 1:1. The letter can be read as what it purports to be: an encyclical from James of Jerusalem to the Diaspora.
Hegesippus’s claim that James was universally known as ο δικαιος is one more embellishment in an account admittedly heavily embroidered with legendary hagiographic motifs. This source provides no reliable information about what James was actually called by his contemporaries. (2) Hegesippus’s account is indeed reliable on this point at least, and Luke has suppressed the information for reasons that parallel Lake and Cadbury’s embarrassment: ο δικαιος is a title that rightly applies to Jesus alone.
Hays is probably correct in his comments about the account recorded in Eusebius. It still appears to me that the epithet of “the Just” could be a later accreditation to James, based on his life and ministry and the legend that developed surrounding James. The question then becomes, how much later? The view that James is an earlier rather than later document still possesses enough explanatory power to suggest that when the epistle of James was written the title of ο δικαιος was used [as a title?] more frequently for Jesus than for James. Thus, Painter’s argument may have merit, depending on when one understands James to have been written and how plausible Hegesippus’s claims are understood. Given our understanding that James is early, it seems unlikely that the reference here is to James, even though later generations, (in the time of Eusebius & Hegesippus?), may have seen here an allusion to James.I think there are good reasons for preferring the first of these explanations: the tradition about the epithet as a designation for James is attested neither by any of the several NT writings that mention him, including most tellingly even the Epistle of James, nor by Josephus. Even if the latter explanation that Luke has suppressed James’s characteristic title is correct, however – indeed, especially if it is correct - Luke bears witness to a stream of early tradition that reserves the epithet ο δικαιος for the eschatological deliverer, Jesus.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The case of the righteous man in 5:6 is very likely intended to be understood as an autobiographical statement by the author.
However, if Painter or any other thesis is preferred, does that automatically disqualify Hays’ position? We shall have to investigate this carefully. What makes Hays' proposal interesting is that scholars have long lamented the absence of any direct reference to the death of Jesus in James. This is strikingly peculiar when compared with other early Christian literature. Many contemporary commentators part ways with Hays' in suggesting this as a reference to the death of Jesus. So what could lead Hays to such a judgement? We can only guess...In the next few posts, I'll begin to explore Jas. 5:6, it's exegetical options and contemporary interpreters of this verse. We shall pay careful attention to Hays' position as it has caught my interest. We shall also question the connection between 5:1-6 and 5:7-11, as this question proves decisive in our analysis.  John Painter, Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition (Fortress, 1997)  John Painter, Just James, pg. 259  Richard Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament (Harper Collins, 1996), pg. 470 n.6  For e.g., R. Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, 2 vols., trans. K Grobel (Scribner, 1951-55) Vol.1 pg. 84.  Except perhaps for Acts, Jude, 2 Peter, the Didache 2 Clement and Hermas.  Hartin, Moo, Martin, Davids, Adamson, Ropes and Wall. But for a defence of this view see Andre Feuillet “le Sens du Mot Parousie dans l’Evangile de Matthieu” in David Daube and W. D. Davies, eds., The Background of the New Testament and its Eschatology (Cambridge University Press, 1964), pgs. 261-280. Unfortunately, my French is non-existent so I cannot interact with this essay.If James 5:6 alludes – as I believe it does – to the death of Jesus, then it is “the rich” (not, e.g., “the Jews”) who are blamed for the death of Jesus. The shadow of the cross looms over the image of the wealthy who ‘have lived on the earth in luxury and pleasure.’