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however severe, and requires not any artificial defences, however apparently expedient.



1. That the book before us is an Epistle, not a homily or treatise, is too plain to require more than a passing assertion. Its personal and circumstantial notices are inseparable from it, and the language is throughout epistolary, as far as the nature of the subject would permit.

2. And it is almost equally plain, that it is an Epistle addressed to JUDEO-CHRISTIANS. The attempt to dispute this must be regarded rather as a curiosity of literature, than as worthy of serious attention. The evidence of the whole Epistle goes to shew, that the readers had been Jews, and were in danger of apostatizing back into Judaism again. Not a syllable is found of allusions to their conversion from the alienation of heathenism, such as frequently occur in St. Paul's Epistles : but every where their original covenant state is assumed, and the fact of that covenant having been amplified and superseded by a better one is insisted on.

3. If then it was written to Judæo-Christians, on whom are we to think as its intended recipients ?

4. Was it addressed to the whole body of such converts throughout the world? This view has found some few respectable names to defend it. But it cannot be seriously entertained. The Epistle assumes throughout a local habitation, and a peculiar combination of circumstances, for those who are addressed : and concludes, not only with greetings from " those from Italy," but with an expressed intention of the Writer to visit those addressed, in company with Timotheus; which would be impossible on this ecumenical hypothesis.

5. If then we are to choose some one church, the first occurring to us is the mother church at Jerusalem, perhaps united with the daughter churches in Palestine. And this, in one form or other, has been the usual opinion: countenanced by many phænomena in the Epistle itself. At and near Jerusalem, it is urged, a) would that attachment to the temple-worship be found which seems to be assumed on the part of the readers : there again b) were the only examples of churches almost purely Judaic in their composition: there only c) would such allusions as that to going forth to suffer with Christ " without the gate(ch. xiii. 12), be understood and appreciated.

6. But these arguments are by no means weighty, much less decisive. For a) we do not find any signs in our Epistle that its readers were to be persons who had the temple-service before their eyes; the Writer


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refers much more to his Septuagint, than to any existing practices : and men with their Bibles in their hands might well have been thus addressed, even if they had never witnessed the actual ceremonies themselves. Besides which, all Jews were supposed to be included in the templerites, wherever dwelling, and would doubtless be quite as familiar with them as there can be any reason here for assuming. And again, even granting the ground of the argument, its inference is not necessary, for there was another Jewish temple at Leontopolis in Egypt, wherein the Mosaic ordinances were observed. 7. With regard to b), it may well be answered, that such an exclusively Jewish church, as would be found in Palestine only, is not required for the purposes of our Epistle. It is beyond question that the Epistle of St. James was written to Jewish Christian converts; yet it is expressly addressed to the dispersion outside Palestine, who must every where have been mingled with their Gentile brethren. Besides, it has been well remarked, that the Epistle itself leads to no such assumption of an exclusively Jewish church. It might have been sent to a church in which both Jews and Gentiles were mingled, to find its own readers : and such an idea is countenanced by the exhortation, ch. xiii. 13, compared with the words not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together," ch. x. 25. It has been well shewn by Riehm, that our Writer's whole pro: cedure as concerns Gentile Christians can only be accounted for by his regarding the Jewish people—see ch. ii. 17, iv. 9, xiii. 12, ii. 16,—as the primary stock, into which all other men were to be engrafted for the purposes of salvation : as a theocratic rather than a physical development. For that the Lord Jesus tasted death on behalf of every man, is as undeniably his doctrine.

8. The argument c) is evidently not decisive. Wherever there were Jews, priding themselves on their own nationality, and acquainted with the facts of our Lord's death, such an exhortation might be used. The type is derived from the usage of the tabernacle ; the antitype, from a known historical fact: the exhortation is, as explained by Theodoret (see note on ch. xiii. 13), to come forth out of the then legal polity of Judaism, content to bear the reproach accruing in consequence : all of which would be as applicable anywhere, as in Palestine, or at Jerusalem.

9. There seems then to be at least no necessity for adopting Jerusalem or Palestine as containing the readers to whom our Epistle was addressed. But on the other hand there are reasons against such an hypothesis, of more or less weight. These I will state, not in order of their importance, but as they most naturally occur.

8 By Holzmann, in an article in the Studien und Kritiken, 1859, part ii.; to which I have been indebted for several suggestions on this part of my subject.

10. The language and style of our Epistle, if it was addressed to Jews in Jerusalem or Palestine, is surely unaccountable. For, although Greek was commonly spoken in Palestine, yet on the one hand no writer who wished to obtain a favourable hearing with Jews there on matters regarding their own religion, would choose Greek as the medium of his communication (compare Acts xxii. 2). And the gospel of St. Matthew is no case in point: for whatever judgment we may form respecting the original language of our present gospel, there can be no doubt that the apostolic oral teaching, on which our first three gospels are founded, was originally extant in Aramaic : whereas it is impossible to suppose the Epistle to the Hebrews a translation, or originally extant in any other tongue than Greek. And, on the other hand, not only is our Epistle Greek, but it is such Greek, as necessarily presupposes some acquaintance with literature, some practice not merely in the colloquial, but in the scholastic Greek of the day. And this surely was as far as possible from being the case with the churches of Jerusalem and Palestine.

11. A weighty pendant to the same objection is found in the unvarying use of the Septuagint Greek version by our Writer, even, as in ch. i. 6, ii. 7, x. 5, where it differs from the Hebrew text. “How astonishing is this circumstance,” says Wieseler, “ if he was writing to inhabitants of Palestine, with whom that version had no authority!"

12. Another objection is, that it is not possible to conceive either of St. Paul himself or of any of his companions, that they should have stood in such a relation to the Jerusalem or Palestine churches, as we find subsisting between the Writer of our Epistle and his readers. To suppose such a relation in the case of the Apostle himself, is to cut ourselves loose from all the revealed facts of his course, and suppose a totally new mind to have sprung up in Jerusalem towards him. And least of all his companions could such a relation have subsisted in the case of Apollos and Timotheus ; at least for many years, far more than history will allow, after the speech of St. James in Acts xxi. 20.

13. Connected with this last difficulty would be the impossibility, on the hypothesis now in question, of giving any satisfactory meaning to the notice in ch. xiii. 24, They from Italy salute you. If the Writer was, as often supposed, in Rome, how unnatural to specify the Jews residing there by this name! if in Italy, how unnatural again that he should send greeting from Christian Jews so widely scattered, thereby depriving the salutation of all reality! If again he was not in Rome nor in Italy, what reason can be suggested for his sending an especial salutation to Jews in Palestine from some present with him who happened to be from Italy? The former of these three supposi. tions is perhaps the least unlikely: but the least unlikely, how unlikely!

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14. Again, the historical notices in our Epistle do not fit the hypothesis in question. The great notice of ch. ii. 3, would be strictly true of any church rather than that of Jerusalem, or those in Palestine generally. At any date that can reasonably be assigned for our Epistle (see below, § iii.), there must have been many living in those churches, who had heard the Lord for themselves. And though it may be said that they had, properly speaking, received the tidings of salvation from those that heard Him, yet such a body, among whom Jesus Himself had lived and moved in the flesh, would surely not be one of which to predicate the words in the text so simply and directly. Rather should we look for one of which they might be from the first and without controversy true.

15. Another historical notice is found ch. vi. 10, who have ministered to the saints, and do minister, which would be less applicable to the churches of Jerusalem and Palestine, than to any others. For it was they who were the objects, not the subjects of this ministration, throughout the ministry of St. Paul: and certainly from what we know of their history, their situation did not improve after that Apostle's death. This" ministration for the saintswas a duty enjoined by him on the churches of Galatia (1 Cor. xvi. l; Rom. xv. 26), Macedonia, and Achaia, and doubtless by implication on other churches also (see Rom. xii. 13): the saints being the poor believers at Jerusalem. And though, as has been replied to this, some of the Jerusalem Christians may have been wealthy, and able to assist their poorer brethren, yet we must notice that the ministration here is predicated not of some among them, but of the church, as such, in general : which could not be said of the church in Jerusalem.

16. There are some notices, on which no stress can be laid either way, as for, or as against, the claim of the Jerusalem church. Such are, that found ch. xii. 4, which in the note there we have seen reason to apply rather to the figure there made use of, than to any concrete fact assignable in history : and that in ch. v. 12, which manifestly must not be taken to imply that no teachers had at that time proceeded from the particular church addressed, but that its members in general were behind what might have been expected of them in spiritual knowledge.

17. It may again be urged, that the absence, no less than the presence of historical allusions, makes against the hypothesis. If the Epistle were addressed to the church at Jerusalem, it seems strange that no allusion should be made in it to the fact that our Lord Himself had lived and taught among them in the flesh, had before their eyes suffered death on the Cross, had found among them the first witnesses of His Resurrection and Ascension.

18. If then we cannot fit our Epistle to the very widely spread assumption that it was addressed to the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem and Palestine, we must obviously put to the test, in search of its original

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readers, the various other churches which came within the working of St. Paul and his companions. Of many of these, which have in turn become the subjects of hypotheses, it is hardly necessary to give more than a list. Wall believed the Epistle to have been written to the Hebrew Christians of Proconsular Asia, Macedonia, and Greece: Sir J. Newton, Bolten, and Bengel, to Jews who had left Jerusalem on account of the war, and were settled in Asia Minor: Credner, to those in Lycaonia : Storr, Mynster, and Rinck, to those in Galatia : Lyra and Ludwig, to those in Spain : Semler and Nösselt, to those in Thessalonica : Böhme, to those in Antioch: Stein, to those in Laodicea (see the citation from Philastrius in § i. 65, and note): Röth, to those in Antioch: Baumgarten-Crusius, to those at Ephesus and Colossæ.

19. Several of these set out with the assumption of a Pauline authorship: and none of them seems to fulfil satisfactorily any of the main conditions of our problem. If it was to any one of these bodies of Jews that the Epistle was addressed, we know so little about any one of them, that the holding of such an opinion on our part can only be founded on the vaguest and wildest conjecture. To use arguments against such hypotheses, would be to fight with mere shadows.

20. But there are three churches yet remaining which will require more detailed discussion : CORINTH, ALEXANDRIA, and Rome. The reason for including the former of these in this list, rather than in the other, is, that on the view that Apollos was the Writer, the church in which he so long and so effectively laboured, seems to have a claim to be considered.

21. But the circumstances of the Jewish portion of the church at CORINTI were not such as to justify such an hypothesis. It does not appear to have been of sufficient importance in point of numbers : nor can the assertion that it was confirmed to us by those that heard [Him], of ch. ii. 3, have been asserted of them, seeing that they owed their conversion to the ministry of St. Paul.

22. ALEXANDRIA is maintained by Schmidt and Wieseler to have been the original destination of the Epistle. There, it is urged, were the greatest number of resident Jews, next to Jerusalem : there, at Leontopolis in Egypt, was another temple, with the arrangements of which the notices in our Epistle more nearly correspond than with those in Jerusalem : from thence the Epistle appears first to have come forth to the knowledge of the church. Add to which, the canon of Muratori (see above, & i. par. 31) speaks of an Epistle to the Alexandrines, which may probably designate our present Epistle. Besides all this, the Alexandrine character of the language, and treatment of subjects in the Epistle, and manner of citation, are urged, as pointing to Alexandrine readers. 23. And doubtless there is some weight in these considerations :

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