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tions is never thus barely used, in an address of an epistle, to designate an Apostle. It is true that in Phil. i. 1 we have “ Paul and Timotheus servants of Jesus Christ :” but a designation common to two persons necessarily sinks to the rank of the inferior one. In
other case where an Apostle names himself “servant,” it is in conjunction with “ Apostle ;" see Rom. i. 1; Tit. i. 1; 2 Pet. i. 1'.
That I see po exception to this in James i. 1, is plain to the readers of my Introduction to that Epistle.
2. That an Apostle may have thus designated himself, we of course cannot deny; but we deal with analogy and probability in discussing evidence of this kind.
3. The second designation, “brother of James,” still further confirms the view that the Writer is not an Apostle. Whoever this James may be, it is extremely improbable, that an Apostle of the Lord should have put forward in the opening of an Epistle of solemn warning and exhortation, not his exalted commission from Christ himself, but his mere earthly relationship to one who was better known than himself.
4. But this is met by some with the allegation, that we have elsewhere the Apostle Judas called [the brother] of James, “ Jude of James," Luke vi. 16; Acts i. 13. Even were this so (and it is uncertain whether we are making the right supplement ; see note on Matt. x. 2), that designation must stand on its own independent ground, and being mere matter of conjecture, cannot claim to enter as evidence here. If the considerations arising from this Epistle itself tend to shew that the Jude who wrote it was not an Apostle, then either we must 1) otherwise fill up the ellipsis in that expression, or 2) leave that difficult appellation in entire uncertainty. From the nature of the case, this must rule that other, not that other, this.
5. The question for us is, How would the probability arise, that any one should call himself “ brother of James ?” and the reply to this will depend somewhat on the personal dignity of the James here mentioned. If this person be assumed to be the well-known bishop of the church at Jerusalem, then there will be no difficulty in the Writer of this Epistle thus designating himself.
6. And this has been the general supposition. Those who see in that James, the Apostle James, son of Alphæus, regard our Writer as the Apostle Jude, also the son of Alphæus: the “ Judas not Iscariot" of John xiv. 22. Those, on the other hand, who see in that James, not one of the Twelve, but the actual (maternal) brother of our Lord, the son of Joseph and Mary, regard our Writer as the Judas of Matt. xiii. 55, another brother of our Lord, and a younger son of Joseph and Mary.
1 St. Paul in Philem. 1 calls himself merely “prisoner of Jesus Christ, but obviously both the name and the circumstances are widely different.
7. The reader will at once gather from what has been said in the Introduction to the Epistle of James, that this latter is the view here taken. The other seems to me to be beset with insuperable difficulties : involving us as it does in the wholly unjustifiable hypothesis, that those who are called in Scripture the brethren of our Lord were not his brethren, but his cousins, sons of Alphæus (Clopas).
8. It may be asked, if this Writer were indeed the brother of James, and thus the brother of the Lord Himself, should we not rather expect that he would give himself this high character, stating his relationship to Jesus, rather than that to James ? But surely such a question would shew great ignorance of the true spirit of the apostolic writers. It would be the last thing I should expect, to find one of the brethren of the Lord asserting this relationship as a ground of reception for an Epistle. Almost all agree that the Writer of the Epistle of James was the person known as the brother of the Lord. Yet there we have no such designation. It would have been in fact altogether inconsistent with the true spirit of Christ (see Luke xi. 27, 28), and in harmony with those later and superstitious feelings with which the next and fol. lowing ages regarded His earthly relatives. Had such a designation as s brother of the Lord” been found in the address of an Epistle, it would have formed a strong à priori objection to its authenticity.
9. I have before remarked in the Introduction to 2 Peter that such expressions as that in our ver. 17, " Remember the words which were before spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,” cannot be fairly alleged as evidence of the apostolicity or non-apostolicity of a writer.
10. Of this Judas, one of the Lord's brethren, we know nothing from early ecclesiastical tradition. The only trace of him is found in an interesting story which Eusebius gives from Hegesippus, of Domitian, in jealousy of the survivors of the family of David, sending for and examining two grandsons of this Judas, and dismissing them, on finding that they were poor working men, and hearing that the kingdom of Christ which they expected was not to be in this present world.
11. In this defect of our knowledge of the personal history of the Writer, we can only say that he, like his greater brother St. James, did not believe on our Lord during his ministry, but became a convert after the resurrection, and as in Acts i. 14, consorted usually with the Apostles and followers of Jesus. All else respecting him is left to be gathered from the spirit and style of this Epistle: and will be found treated in the section devoted to that part of our subject.
? See above, Introd. to 2 Pet. S iv. 22: also the notes, and on 2 Pet.iii. 2.
1. Eusebius reckons our Epistle, as indeed all the Catholic Epistles except 1 John and 1 Peter, among the disputed books : “ Among the disputed books, but still known to most, are the so-called Epistle of James and that of Jude"
And again : “Not many of the ancients have mentioned it, as neither that called the Epistle of Jude, which is also one of the seven so-called catholic: but yet we know that these are publicly read with the rest in most of the churches."
2. Tertullian however cites it as authentic, and attributes it to the Apostle Jude : “Enoch has a testimony in the writing of the Apostle Jude."
3. Clement of Alexandria gives citations from it as from Scripture : “With regard to these and the like heresies I believe Jude in his Epistle to have spoken prophetically "... (citing our vv. 8, 17).
And again : “For I wish you to know,' says Jude, 'that God having saved the people out of the land of Egypt'"... (vv. 5, 6).
And Eusebius says of Clement, “ that he made expositions of the whole canonical Scripture, not even omitting the disputed books, I mean that of Jude and the other catholic Epistles, and that of Barnabas, and that which is called the Apocalypse of Peter.”
4. The Muratorian fragment speaks of the Epistle as genuine and canonical.
5. Origen says: “ Jude wrote an Epistle of few lines, but full of speeches strong in heavenly grace; and he says in his prologue, .Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.''
And he refers to it in several places as Scripture; calling the Writer in one place, “Jude the Apostle." 6. Jerome
says : “ Jude the brother of James has left a short Epistle, which is one of the seven catholic ones. And because he adduces a testimony from the book of Enoch, which is apocryphal, the Epistle is, by most, rejected; still it has gotten authority by long usage, so as to be reckoned among the other Scriptures."
7. In the older copies of the Peschito, or ancient Syriac version, the Epistle is wanting : but Ephrem Syrus recognized its authenticity.
8. In later times, the Epistle has been generally received as authentic. The circumstance that the Writer does not call himself an Apostle, has ensured for it a more favourable reception than some other books of the New Test., with those who are fond of questioning the genuineness of the Epistles. Even De Wette thinks there is no reason why we should suspect it to be spurious. He is willing to pass over the phænomena in it which have appeared stumbling-blocks to others : its citation of the book of Enoch, its probable acquaintance with the Epistle to the Romans, its difficult but apparently Greek style.
9. Schwegler, on the other hand, though acknowledging its very simple and undeveloped character in point of doctrine, yet draws from vv. 17, 18 a proof that it belongs to the post-apostolic times. He thinks that the forger prefixed the name of Jude, brother of James, in order to give to his writing the weight of connexion, in point of doctrine and spirit, with this latter great name.
10. But as Huther well remarks, had this been so ;-in other words, for so the hypothesis seems to imply, had the Epistle been written in the interests of Judaizing Christianity against Pauline, we should surely have found more indications of this in it: and as to the superscription we may reply, that a forger would hardly have attributed his composition to a man otherwise so entirely unknown as Jude was.
11. The fact that doubts were entertained respecting the authenticity of the Epistle in early times, and that we do not find many traces of its use in the primitive Fathers, may easily be accounted for from its shortness, from its special character, from its presumed reference to apocryphal sources, from its apparently not being written by an Apostle.
FOR WHAT READERS AND WITH WHAT OBJECT WRITTEN,
1. The readers are addressed merely as Christians : perhaps, as De Wette suggests, because the matters mentioned in the Epistle are little to their credit. The evil persons stigmatized in it do not seem to have been heretical teachers, as commonly supposed, but rather libertines, practical unbelievers (vv. 4, 8), scoffers (ver. 18), whose pride and wantonness (vv. 8, 10, 12 f.), whose murmuring, and refractory and party spirit (vv. 11, 16, 19), threatened to bring about the destruction of the church. In 2 Peter, as I have already observed above, ch. iv. § iii. 4, these persons are developed into false teachers : one of the circumstances from which I have inferred the posteriority of that Epistle.
2. It is mainly to warn his readers against these, that St. Jude writes the Epistle : “ to exhort them that they should contend earnestly for the faith once," and once for all, “ delivered to the saints."
3. When we come to ask whether the readers formed a circumscribed circle of Christians, and if so, where, we find ourselves left to mere speculation for an answer. There does certainly appear to be a speciality about the circumstances of those addressed, but it is difficult exactly to define it. They seem to have been Jews, from the fact of the altogether Judaic spirit of the Epistle: from its appeal to Jewish traditions, and perhaps to Jewish books. They evidently dwelt among an abundant and a wicked population, probably of a commercial character. Hence some have thought of Corinth as their abode : some of Egypt, to which land it is said the physical phænomena are suitable (vv. 12 ff.): some of a commercial city in Syria, seeing that Palestine, where St. Jude dwelt, must at the time of writing the Epistle have been in a state of coinmotion, to which there is no allusion in it.
TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING.
1. On the former of these it is impossible to speak with any degree of certainty. Our principal indications are, the state of the church which may be inferred from the Epistle, the apparent use made in it of the apocryphal book of Enoch, and the reference made to the previous teaching of the Apostles.
2. The state of the church indicated is one not far advanced in historical development. Those errors which afterwards expanded into heresies were as yet in their first stage. The evil men were as yet mixed with the church, rocks of danger in their feasts of love. They had not yet been marked off and stigmatized: for this very purpose the Epistle is written, that they might no longer be latent in the bosom of the church. All this points to an early date.
3. The datum furnished by the apparent allusion to the apocryphal book of Enoch, guides us to no certain result. It is even yet matter of uncertainty, when that book was written'. So that this consideration brings us no nearer to our desired result.
4. The fact that St. Jude (ver. 17) refers his readers to previous teaching by the Apostles, is hardly of more value for our purpose. On the one hand the imperfect tense (ver. 18) seems to speak of the Apostles as if their work was done and they were passed away, -" they used to tell you :" on the other, it might fairly be used of men who were dispersed and carrying on their work in other parts. Then again, the language seems necessarily to imply that the readers had for themselves heard the Apostles. No safe inference can be drawn from the words that they were written after the apostolic age: nay, the natural inference is rather the other way. They appear to point to a tiine
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