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Re: [GTh] Saying 12

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  • FMMCCOY@msn.com
    INTRODUCTION Let us look at Thomas 12: The disciples said to Jesus, We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader? Jesus said to them,
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 18, 2007
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      INTRODUCTION

      Let us look at Thomas 12:
      The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who
      is to be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to
      go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into
      being."

      This James the Just is James, the brother of Jesus.

      Why did the Thomas group accept him as being the legitimate successor to
      Jesus as the head of the movement he founded?

      In this post, it will be argued that there were two reasons:
      1. James was the actual successor to Jesus as the head of his movement
      2. Jacobian thought and Thomasine thought are close to each other in
      some important respects.

      I SOME FIRST CENTURY CE EVIDENCE ON JAMES

      A Paul--c. Mid-fifties

      The earliest information on James comes from Paul (Saul) and dates to
      the mid-fifties CE

      Three passages from Galatians are particularly important:
      1. 1:18-19, "Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get
      acquainted with Cephas, and I stayed with him fifteen days. But I did
      not see other of the Apostles except James, the brother of our Lord."
      The time of this trip to Jerusalem is uncertain, but perhaps was in the
      late 30s. Cephas is probably Simon Peter--for Cephas and Peter are,
      respectively, the Aramaic and Greek words for "Stone/Rock". Here, we
      learn James was an Apostle. Further, it appears, he had been residing
      in Jerusalem.

      2. 2:8-10, "And, realizing that grace had been given to me, James and
      Cephas and John (the ones seeming to be pillars), gave the right hand of
      fellowship to me and Barnabas--that we for the Gentiles, but they for
      the Circumcision--only the poor we should remember, which I also was
      eager this very thing to do." Here, we learn, James was the first of
      three "Pillars" of the Jesus group in Jerusalem--the other two being
      Cephas (probably Peter) and a person named John. Since Paul lists James
      first, it is reasonable to infer that James had probably been the head
      of the Jesus group in Jerusalem, with both Cephas and John being his
      subordinates.

      3. 2:11-13, "But, when Cephas came to Antioch, I stood against him to
      his face because he had been condemned. For, before certain ones came
      from James, he was eating with Gentiles. But, when they came, he was
      drawing back and separating himself, fearing the ones of the
      Circumcision. And the rest of the Jews joined in pretense with him, so
      that also Barnabas was carried away with their hypocricy." Here, Paul
      is upset because, after messengers came from James, the Jews at Antioch,
      even Cephas and Barnabas, stopped eating with Gentiles. This all but
      confirms that James had been the head of the Jesus group at
      Jerusalem--ahead of even Cephas.

      The general picture of James in Galatians, then, is that of a man who
      was residing in Jerusalem, who was an Apostle, and who was the leader of
      the Jesus group in Jerusalem--with his authority extending even to areas
      in the Diaspora like Antioch.

      Paul also mentions James in I Cor. 15:3-7, "For I handed on to you,
      among the first things, that which also I received that Christ died for
      our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he
      was raised on the third day according to the scriptures and that he was
      seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve. Afterwards, he was seen by over 500
      brethren at one time--of whom the majority remain until now, but some
      fell asleep. Afterwards, he was seen by James, then by all the
      Apostles."

      Since Simon Peter was the head of the Twelve, Paul's phraseology, "he
      was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve", means, "he first appeared to
      Cephas, the head of the Twelve, then to all of the Twelve."

      This directly relates to Paul's use of the phraseology, "He was seen by
      James, then by all the Apostles." As a result, it appears, what Paul,
      in essence, states here is that he first appeared to James, the head of
      the Apostles, then to all of the Apostles." This meshes well with
      Galatians, where Paul implies that James had been the head "Pillar".

      B. Mark/Matthew--c. 70-90 CE

      James is also mentioned in two closely related passages:
      1. Mark 6:3a, where the people of Jesus' home town say this about him,
      "Isn't this one the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and
      Joses and Judas and Simon and are not his sisters here with us?"
      2. Matthew 13:55-56a, where the people of Jesus' home town say this
      about him, "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called
      Mary and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? Are not all
      of his sisters with us?"

      In both passages, James heads the list of the four brothers of Jesus.
      So, it appears, he had been the eldest brother of Jesus.

      C. Josephus--c. 93 CE

      Flavius Josephus mentions James in the Antiquities of the Jews (Book
      XX), "Caesar sent Albinus to Judea as procurator, when he was informed
      of the death of Festus. But the younger Ananus, who as I said had
      received the high priesthood, was headstrong in character and audacious
      in the extreme. He belonged to the sect of the Sadducees, who in
      judging offenders are cruel beyond any of the Jews, as I have already
      made clear. Being a man of this kind, Ananus thought that he had a
      convenient opportunity, as Festus was dead and Albinus still on the way.
      So he assembled a council of judges and brought before it James, the
      brother of Jesus, known as the Christ, and several others, on a charge
      of breaking the law, and handed them over to be stoned."

      Here, we learn, in 62 CE, James was found guilty by the Jerusalem
      Sanheidrin of breaking the Law of Moses and was stoned to death.

      D. Summary on Some First Century CE Evidence on James

      The first century CE evidence on James we have examined indicates that
      he was eldest brother of Jesus who succeeded Jesus as the head of his
      movement--with even Simon Peter, the head of the Twelve, being his
      subordinate. He apparently resided in Jerusalem until he was executed
      in 62 CE. This evidence tells us nothing about his Christology. The
      evidence regarding his attitude towards the Law of Moses is ambiguous,
      perhaps even contradictory. He did send messengers to Antioch, ordering
      the Jewish followers of Jesus there to stop eating with Gentile
      followers of Jesus--which, in effect, was an order for the Jewish
      followers of Jesus to obey the dietary ordinances of the Law. But, Paul
      indicates that James only directed him, in his ministry work, to
      remember the poor--which implies that James gave Paul no orders to obey
      the Law of Moses and/or to preach obedience to the Law of Moses. Even
      more striking, James was found guilty by the Jerusalem Sanheidrin of
      violating the Law of Moses.

      E. Luke's Effective Removal of James from History

      In Acts, Luke's portrayal of Peter being the head of the Jesus Assembly
      in Jerusalem appears to be deliberate mis-representation. He apparently
      knew about James, but decided to remove him from the history of the
      Jesus movement. The only time I can see James referred to at all by
      Luke in Acts, and this not by name, is in Acts 1:13-14, "And when they
      entered into the upstairs, they went up where they were staying, both
      Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and
      Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the
      son of James. These all with one mind were devoting themselves to
      prayer with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers."
      Here, he is one of the unnamed brothers of Jesus who Luke FALSELY
      portrays as being lower in status than even the women. Note that, in
      Acts 1:13-14, Luke identifies only two people named James as having
      prominence in the early Jerusalem Assembly. One is simply called James,
      but Luke elsewhere identifies him as being a son of Zebedee. The other
      is James the son of Alphaeus. Luke reports the death of James the son
      of Zebedee in Acts 12:2. He then reports about a prominent person,
      named James, three times later in Acts, i.e., in 12:17, 15:13 and 21:18.
      Since, up to this point in Acts, Luke has only identified two people
      named James as being prominent, and as one of them is now dead, this
      James can only be the other James, i.e., James the son of Alphaeus. So,
      in Acts, James, the brother of Jesus, is never mentioned by name. This
      is part of a consistent pattern, by Luke, of NEVER mentioning James, the
      brother of Jesus, by name. This is why, for example, there is no Lukan
      parallel to Mark 6:3a/Matthew 13:55-56a, even though at least one of
      these two gospels was used as a source by Luke.

      F. Other Evidence on James

      There is a ton of evidence on James in material that is either clearly
      later than the first century CE or else of unknown age. I deem this
      material too unreliable to use as source material on James.

      G. Some Light Shed on Thomas 12

      We have learned that James had been the successor to Jesus as the head
      of his movement. This, then, is probably a reason why, in Thomas 12,
      James is explicitly made the legitimate successor to Jesus as the head
      of his movement.

      II THE EPISTLE OF JAMES

      A. Written by James, the Brother of Jesus

      In the New Testament, there is the Epistle of James. There is debate
      over whether it had been written by James, the brother of Jesus.

      I think that it was written by him.

      Very important is James 1:1, "James, a slave of God and of Lord Jesus
      Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Diaspora, grace."

      It is what one might expect James, as described by Paul, to write.

      First of all, as we have seen, Paul implies that James had been the
      leader of the Jesus movement.

      Similarly, it appears that the author of this passage had been the
      leader of the Jesus movement.

      Although James (Jacob) was a common name, this James does not identify
      himself outside of being a follower of God and Jesus. This is an
      indication that he is *the* James. That is to say, this is an
      indication that he is James, the brother of Jesus--for he was the leader
      of the Jesus movement

      It can be objected that, if the author of James is James, the brother of
      Jesus, then we would expect him to call himself a brother of Jesus.

      However, the author of James apparently did not put much stock in bodily
      relationships. It is stated that the soul can be saved (1:21, 5:20),
      but it is nowhere stated that the body can be saved. It is emphasised
      that a body without the spirit is dead (2:26). God jealously yearns for
      one's spirit (4:5), but there is no yearning of God over one's body.
      With this evident down-grading of the body in relation to one's
      soul/spirit, it would appear that the author of James put more emphasis
      on soul relationships than on bodily relationships. Indeed, when
      "brothers" and "sisters" are used in this epistle, they refer to fellow
      believers, soul mates so to speak, rather than to brothers and sisters
      in a bodily sense.

      Also, one would expect a forger to explicitly make the claim to being a
      brother of Jesus. So, IMO, that the author of James does not explicitly
      make such a claim is an indication that it is genuine.

      Again, according to Paul, the three pillars (including James) agreed to
      preach to the Circumcision (i.e., Jews and, possibly, Samaritans),
      leaving the Gentiles to himself and Barnabas.

      Similarly, here, the author of James limits the intended recipients of
      his epistle to "the twelve tribes", i.e., Jews and, possibly,
      Samaritans.

      Finally, as we have seen, Paul relates how James sent a message to the
      Jewish followers of Jesus in Antioch. As a result, we know, James, the
      brother of Jesus, did sometimes send messages to Jewish followers of
      Jesus outside Palestine.

      Similarly, here, the author of James addresses "the twelve tribes *in
      the Diaspora* (i.e., outside of Palestine)".

      Very striking is the phrase, in James 3:b, "Being set on fire by
      Gehenna". "Gehenna" is a locale in the Jerusalem area also called the
      Valley of Hinnom. That this Jerusalem area locale is used as the name
      for Hell, rather than a more generic term like "Hades", is a strong
      indicator that the author of the Epistle of James resided in the
      Jerusalem area. James, as we have seen, resided in the Jerusalem area.

      Also, it appears likely that the author of James, like James the brother
      of Jesus, had been a member of the Jerusalem Assembly in its first
      years, when there was a community of goods: so that all were poor, yet
      all were guaranteed the essentials of life, such as clothing and food,
      through a daily distribution. At least, this explains why, in 2:1-17,
      he is upset and morally outraged over a later and much different
      reality--when the economic classes in society as a whole were beginning
      to be mirrored in the Jesus movement, with the rich getting special
      honors in gatherings of the Jesus group and the poor in such gatherings
      getting the shaft and with some of the poorer members of the Jesus
      movement lacking even such essentials as adequate clothing and food.

      This championing of the poor, further, is exactly what one would expect
      James, the brother of Jesus to do. After all, as we have seen, Paul
      claimed that the three pillars (led by James) had given him only one
      firm order--to remember the poor.

      Finally, we need to take note of this statement by James D. Tabor in the
      Jesus Dynasty (p. 275), "What is amazing is that the letter of James,
      short as it is, contains no fewer than *thrity* direct references,
      echoes, and allusions to the teachings of Jesus found in the Q source."

      However, there is no tangible evidence that there ever was a Q--a
      postulated common source for Matthew and Luke. More likely, I suggest,
      Matthew utilized James as a source, using passages he read in James to
      create sayings of Jesus: with Luke then using Matthew as a source. If
      so, then James is not only pre-Matthew, but was written by a brother of
      Jesus--for why else would Matthew feel free to treat sayings in it as
      reflecting the thought of Jesus himself?

      So, IMO, James, the brother of Jesus, is the author of James. Further,
      he wrote it during the second phase of the Jesus Assembly in Jerusalem,
      when it was the center of mass movement akin to the earlier one of John
      the Baptist. He is profoundly upset over what he perceives as a steep
      drop in ethical standards from the early phase--when the goal was
      creating a select community of holy ones. The date of its writing is
      somewhere between the mid forties and his death in 62 CE.

      B. Some Important Similarities Between James and Thomas.

      1. The Poor Will Enter the Kingdom

      There are a number of important similarities between James and Thomas.

      Compare, for example, Thomas 54 and James 2:5b:
      Th 54, "Jesus said, 'Blessed are the poor, for yours is the Kingdom of
      Heaven.'"
      James 2:5b, "Did not God choose the poor ones of the world to be rich in
      faith and heirs of the Kingdom?"

      2. The Absence of Any Doctine of Atonement

      Another important similarity between Thomas and James is that neither
      one expresses support for a doctrine of atonement. Apparently, then,
      neither James nor the Thomas group believed that the death of Jesus had
      any salvific import.

      3. The Absence of the Doctrine of the Bodily Resurrection of the Dead

      A third important similarity between Thomas and James is that neither
      one expresses support for the doctrine of the resurrection of the
      dead--not even as respects Jesus. Apparently, then, neither James nor
      the Thomas group believed in the bodily resurrection of dead and, so,
      did not believe that Jesus had been bodily resurrected from the dead.

      In this regard, it is noteworthy that, in I Cor. 15:7, Paul says that
      Jesus appeared to James rather than that Jesus bodily appeared to James.

      So, I suggest, what James thought he saw was not a bodily resurrected
      Jesus but, rather, a Jesus appearing in his true nature as a radiant
      divine being (compare the Markan account of the Transfiguration of
      Jesus). At least this explains why, as we shall now see, James believed
      his brother to have been the divine being called the Logos (Word).

      4. Jesus is the Logos

      a. Introduction

      A fourth important similarity between Thomas and James is that, in both,
      Jesus is the Logos.

      b. Jesus as the Logos in James

      Let us look at James 1:21, "Therefore, having put away all filthiness
      and remains of wickedness, in meekness receive the implanted Logos,
      being able to saving your souls."

      Note that, here, the Logos is characterized as "being able to saving
      (dynamenon swsai) your souls."

      Compare 4:12, "One is the Lawgiver and Judge--the one being able to save
      (dynamenos swsai) and to destroy.

      The implication: The Logos is the Judge--the one being able to save and
      to destroy.

      This is in accord with Philonic thought. So, in Exodus (Book II, 13),
      Philo states that "of necessity was the Logos appointed as judge and
      mediator."

      Again, in On Dreams I (85-86), Philo states, "It is of the divine Logos
      that it is said, 'The sun went forth upon the earth, and Lot entered
      into Zoar, and the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire'
      (Gen. xix. 23 f.). For the Logos of God, when it arrives at our earthly
      composition, in the case of those who are akin to Virtue and turn away
      to her, gives help and succour, thus affording them a refuge and perfect
      safety, but sends upon her adversaries irreparable ruin."

      Here, the Logos is said to be the Sun and Lord of Genesis 19:23 f.. As
      such, he acts as Judge--the one being able to save and to destroy.

      Compare James 5:7-10, "(7) Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the
      coming of the Lord. Behold! The farmer awaits the precious fruit of
      the earth, being patient for it until it receives early and later rain.
      Be patient. (8) Also, you, establish your hearts because the coming of
      the Lord has drawn near. (9) Do not murmur, brethren, against one
      another lest you be judged. Behold! The Judge before the doors has
      stood. (10) Take, brothers, as an example of suffering evil and of
      patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord."

      Here, I sugget, the subject is the Logos: the Lord who is the
      Judge--the one being able to save and destroy. As he went forth upon
      the earth long ago, going door to door while judging the inhabitants of
      Sodom and Gomaorrah, so the time has drawn near for him to return to
      judge us in a similar fashion.

      That this Lord is the Logos is further indicated by 5:10: where, it is
      said, the prophets spoke in the name of this Lord--for the Logos who
      speaks through the prophets. See Who is the Heir (259), where Philo
      states, "Now with every good man it is the holy Logos which assures him
      his gift of prophecy. For a prophet (being a spokesman) has no
      utterance of his own, but all his utterance came from elsewhere, the
      echo of another's voice."

      In 5:7-10, the Logos, as the Lord who is Judge, appears to be identified
      with Jesus. This is because the word used to describe the coming of
      this Lord who is Judge is parousia--a word associated with Jesus, but
      neither with God nor with the Logos. For example, Richard Bauckham
      ("James and Jesus", The Brother of Jesus, Edited by Bruce Chilton and
      Jacob Neusner, p. 134) states, "Outside of 1:1 and 2:1, Jame's
      references to Jesus call him just 'the Lord' (kyrios), a term which he
      also uses for God. But there is no doubt that some of these references
      are to Jesus, since the phrase 'the coming (parousia) of the Lord.'
      which James has twice (5:7, 8), was in standard early Christian usage as
      a reference to the future coming of Jesus (cf. 1 Thess 3.13, 4.15, 5.23,
      2 Thess 2:1), whereas the word *parousia* is never used of God in early
      Christian usage."

      If, as appears to be the case, James believed his brother to be the
      Logos, this impacts on several other passages in James.

      One is James 1:17-18, (17) "Every good endowment and perfect gift is
      from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no
      variation or shadow due to change. (18) Of his own will he brought us
      forth by the Logos of Truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of
      his creatures."

      Here, we appear to have the idea that God created the Cosmos, including
      the lights (i.e., stars) and human beings, through the Logos. Compare
      the Sacrifices of Cain and Abel (8), where Philo speaks about "that same
      Logos by which He made the universe".

      As a result, since James apparently believed that Jesus is the Logos, it
      appears that, James believed, Jesus had played a role in the creation
      of the Cosmos.

      Another relevent passage is James 1:21, "Therefore, having put away all
      filthiness and remains of wickedness, in meekness receive the implanted
      Logos, being able to saving your souls."

      So, if, as appears, James believed Jesus to be the Logos, then he
      believed that Jesus indwells in a just/righteous person.

      This even mpacts on how to interpret the title of Christ given to Jesus
      in James 1:1. In this case, in James, Jesus is probably not to be
      understood to be the Christ in the sense of being the Davidic Messiah.
      Rather, he is probably to be understood to be the Christ in sense of
      being the Logos.

      In this regard, it is noteworthy that, in Flight and Finding (108-14),
      Philo identifies the Logos as being the high priestly Christ of Lev
      21:10. As such, the Logos is a Cosmokrator, ruling over the Cosmos as
      God's Viceroy and holding it together. So, Philo (111) states, "Moses
      also says that 'he shall never remove the mitre' from his head; he shall
      not, that is to say, lay aside the dingly diadem, the symbol not of
      absolute soveregnty, but of an admirable viceroyalty; 'nor', again,
      'shall he rend his clothes' (Lev. xxi. 10); for the Logos of Him that IS
      is, as has been stated, the bond of all existence, and holds and knits
      together all the parts, preventing them from being dissolved and
      separated."

      This perhaps helps us to understand James 2:1, "My brothers, do not
      with partiality have the faith of our Lord, Jesus Christ--of glory.
      Perhaps, in particular, we are to see the "of glory" as reflecting a
      very high Christology of Jesus as the Logos and who, as such, is a Lord
      who is Judge and a Christ who is the ruler of the Cosmos and who played
      a role in the creation of the Cosmos and indwells in a just/righteous
      person..

      c. Jesus as the Logos in Thomas

      There are several places in Thomas where Jesus is identified as being
      the Logos.

      One is 77, "Jesus said, 'It is I who am the light which is above them
      all. I is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto
      me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood and I am there. Lift up
      the stone, and you will find me there.'"

      The Logos is the true Light--see John 1:9. The Logos is the incorporeal
      all from which the corporeal all came forth--see On the Creation (36),
      where Philo states, "The incorporeal world, then, was now finished and
      firmly settled in the Divine Logos, and the world patent to sense was
      ripe for birth after the pattern of the incorporeal". Also see John
      1:3a, "All things through him (i.e., the Logos) came to be." The Logos
      permeates the corporeal all--see On Flight and Finding (112), where
      Philo states, "For the Logos of Him that IS is, as has been stated, the
      bond of all existence, and holds and knits together all the parts,
      preventing them from being dissolved and separated."

      Another is 24:1-3, "(1) *His disciples said, 'Teach us about the place
      where you are, because we must seek it.'* (2) He said to them, 'Whoever
      has ears should listen! There is light within a person of light. And
      it lights up the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark.'"

      Here, Jesus is the Logos, the true Light. As in James 1:21, he indwells
      in a just/righteous soul. So, here, the basic idea is that Jesus, the
      Logos who is the light of the world, is found within a just/righteous
      soul, making that person (as (s)he has this light of life) a person of
      light.

      Yet a third is 10. "Jesus said, 'I have come to cast fire upon the
      world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.'"

      As in James 5:7-9, Jesus is the Logos who, as Lord, is the Judge who
      will soon be coming to judge the wicked with the fire he had earlier
      rained down on the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah.

      5. The Rich Die in the Pursuit of Yet More Riches

      A fifth important similarity between Thomas and James is that, in both,
      the rich are depicted as dying the pursuit of yet more riches.

      Examples:
      James 1:11-12, "For the sun rose with the burning heat dried the grass
      and its flower fell and the beauty of its appearance perished. Thus
      also the rich man will fade away in his goings."
      Thomas 63, "Jesus said, 'There was a rich man who had much money. He
      said, I shall put my money to use so that I may sow, reap, plant, and
      fill my storehouse with produce, with the result that I shall lack
      nothing. Such were his intentions, but that same night he died. Let
      him who has ears hear.'"

      6. A Negative Appraisal of Merchants and Traders

      A sixth important similarity between Thomas and James is that, in both,
      there is a negative appraisal of merchants and traders;

      Examples:
      James 4:13-16, "Come now, the ones saying, 'Today or tomorrow we will go
      into this or that city and we will do (business) there for a year and
      will merchandize and will make a profit.' You do not know what tomorrow
      or your life (will be). For you are a mist, for a little while
      appearing, then, indeed, disappearing....But now you boast in your
      pretensions. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to the one knowing
      to do good, but not doing it, to him it is sin."
      Th 64:12, "Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my
      Father."

      7. The Tongue Can be Deadly, the Law of Moses is Not Salvific, But
      Loving Others is Salvific

      a. Introduction

      A seventh important similarity between Thomas and James is that, in
      both, the deadly nature of the tongue is stressed and the Law of Moses
      is not salvific. Further, what one needs to do can be summed up in a
      simple rule to love other people as you do yourself.

      b. James

      James 3:3-13 is one of the longest sections of James and it is a
      discourse on the necessity of controlling the tongue for one to be
      saved--withthe tongue called "a world of unrighteousness" in 3:6 and "an
      uncontrollable evil, full of death-dealing poison" in 3:8.

      In addition, it appears, James had been profoundly influenced by Philo's
      concept of the Logos as expressed in On Dreams II (223-224). This led
      him to believe that the Logos is, besides being personified in Jesus, a
      Law. As a result, in the Epistle of James, the Law that James speaks
      about is not the Law of Moses but, rather, the Logos as a Law--although
      he does think that there is some over-lap between the two laws. It is
      the Logos as the Law, rather than the Law of Moses, that is salvific.
      Further, the Logos, as the Law, can be summed up in the simple rule to
      love your neighbor as yourself.

      In Som ii (223-224), Philo states, "For instance, He says of the
      Covenant filled with his graces (charitwn), the highest Law and Logos
      that is, which rules existent things, that this God-like image shall be
      firmly planted with the just/righteous (dikaiou) soul as its pedestal.
      For so He declares when he says to Noah, 'I will establish My covenant
      on thee' (Gen. ix. 11). And these words have two further meanings.
      First that dikaion (justice/righteousness) and God's covenant are
      identical; secondly that while the gifts bestowed by others are not the
      same as the recipients', God gives not only the gifts, but in them gives
      the recipients to themselves."

      Here, we have:
      God's covenant filled with His graces = the highest Law = the Logos =
      that which rules existent things = this God-like image = that which is
      firmly planted in a just/righteous soul = justice/righteousness = the
      themselves given to its recipients

      This means that the Logos is:
      1. God's covenant filled with His graces
      2. the highest Law
      3. that which rules existent things
      4. this God-like image
      5. that which is firmly planted in a just/righteous soul
      6. justice/righteousness
      7. the themselves given to its recipients

      Now, in order to facilitate this to what we find in the Epistle of
      James, these four modifications to this list need to be made:
      Modification #1 As this God-like image, the Logos is, more precisely,
      the Image of God, of which one's soul is a copy. See Plant (19-20),
      where Philo states, "Accordingly we also read that man has been made
      after the Image of God (Gen. i 27), not however after the image of
      anything created. It follows then, as a natural consequence of man's
      soul having been made after the Image of the Archetype, the Logos of the
      First Cause,...". So, as one's mind or soul is made after the Logos,
      and as the Logos is the Law, it is the case that each person's mind or
      soul has engraved on it a copy of the Law.
      Modification #2 Since it is in respect to the soul that a human being is
      a copy of the Logos, it is the case that the Logos, as the themselves
      given to its recipients, is, more fully, the themselves given to the
      human souls that are its recipients.
      Modification #3 As the highest Law, the Logos is, more precisely, the
      infallible Law bringing freedom (eleutherias). See Prob (46-47), where
      Philo states, "And the right Logos is an infallible Law engraved not by
      this mortal or that and, therefore, soulless as they, but by immortal
      nature on the immortal mind, never to perish. So, one may well wonder
      at the short-sightedness of those who....deny that the right Logos,
      which is the fountainhead of all other law, can impart freedom
      (eleutherias) to the wise, who obey all the it prescribes or forbids."
      Modiification #4 Justice/righteousness is, more fully,
      justice/righteousness to men and, as such, it is a love of men in which
      one acts impartially, supplying good things in equal measure to others.
      See On Abraham (208), where Philo states, "For the nature which is pious
      is also kindly, and the same person will exhibit both qualities,
      holiness to God and dikaiosyne (justice/righteousness) to men." Also
      see the Decalogue (109-110), where Philo states, "Others conceiving the
      idea that there is no good outside of doing justice to men have no heart
      for anything but companionship with men. In their desire for fellowship
      they supply the good things of life in equal measure to all for their
      use, and deem it their duty to alleviate by anything in their power the
      dreaded hardships. These may justly be called lovers of men,...".

      With these modifications, this means that, in Philonic thought, the
      Logos is:
      1. God's covenant filled with His graces
      2. the infallible Law that brings freedom (eleutherias)
      3. that which rules existent things
      4. the Image of God, of which a human soul is a copy
      5. that which is firmly planted in a just/righteous soul
      6. impartial love of men
      7. the themselves given to the human souls that are its recipients

      This Philonic list regarding the Logos underlies what is stated by James
      in 1:21-25 and 2:8-13.

      Let us begin with James 1:21, "Therefore, having put away all filthiness
      and remains of wickedness, in meekness receive the implanted Logos,
      being able to saving your souls." Here, the Logos is, as in item 5 in
      the Philonic list, that which is firmly planted in a just/righteous
      soul.

      Next, let us turn to James 1:22, "(22) But be doers of the Logos and not
      only hearers, deceiving yourselves. (23) Because if anyone is a hearer
      of the Logos and not a doer, this one is like a man observing his face
      of genesis (proswpon tes genesews) in a mirror. (24) He observed himself
      and has gone away and immediately forgot what he was like. (25) But the
      one, having looked into the perfect Law, the one of freedom
      (eleutherias), and having remained, not a forgetful hearer having
      become, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in his doing."

      Here, the Logos is, as in item 2 in the Philonic list, the infallible
      Law that brings freedom (eleutherias).

      The phrase "face of genesis (proswpon tes genesews)" alludes to Genesis
      2:7, where God breathes into the face (proswpon) of Adam and he became a
      living soul (psychen zwsan). So, this face is not to be understood to
      be one's physical face but, rather, the "face" of one's soul.

      As a result, in 1:22-25, it is said, to hear the Logos as the perfect
      Law, but not to do it, is like looking at the "face" of one's soul in a
      hand-held mirror and then turning away, forgetting what one has seen.
      However, to hear the Logos as the perfect Law and to do it is like
      continously gazing at the "face" of one's soul in a hand-held mirror, so
      one does not forget what one has seen.

      This mirror analogy is based on the idea that to look at one's soul is,
      in effect, to look at the Logos. That is to say, in 1:22-25, the Logos
      also is, as in item 4 in the Philonic list, the Image of God, of which a
      human soul is a copy--meaning that to look at one's soul, is, in effect,
      to look at the Logos.

      Next, let us turn to James 2:8-9, "(8) If, indeed, the Royal/Kingly
      (basilikon) Law you perform according to the scripture, 'You shall love
      your neighbor as yourself', you do well. (9) But, if you show
      partiality, you commit sin, being exposed by the Law as transgressors.

      Here, James speaks of "the Royal/Kingly Law".

      This phraseology is based on the Logos being, as in items 2 and 3 in the
      Philonic list, both a Law and that which rules the Cosmos--which means
      that this Logos, as a Law is a Royal/Kingly
      Law.

      This Royal/Kingly Law, then, is none other than the Logos as the perfect
      Law that gives us freedom.

      This Law, James states, can be summarized in Lev. 19:18, where one is
      told to love one's neighbor as oneself. Further, he stresses, one must
      not act partially in doing it.

      Here, the Logos is, as in iterm 6 in the Philonic list, impartial love
      of men. So, as a Law, the Logos is an imparital love of men--meaning
      that Lev. 19:18 is one way of expressing this Law.

      This tells us that there an over-lap between the Logos as the perfect
      Law and the Law of Moses.

      But, how great is the overlap?

      A clue comes in the immediately following 2:10-11, "(10) For whoever all
      the Law keeps, but stumbles in one, he has become guilty of all. (11)
      For the One having said, 'Do not commit adultery', also said, 'Do not
      murder'. Now if you do not commit adultery, but you murder, you have
      become a transgressor of the Law.

      Here, we learn, the Logos as the perfect Law that gives one freedom
      includes two ordinances of the Law of Moses regarding our dealings with
      other people. So, the Logos as the perfect Law is apparently
      understood, by James, to include the ordinances of the Law of Moses
      regarding our dealings with other people.

      What, though, about the ordinances of the Law of Moses regarding
      something other than our dealings with other people--such as the
      commandments regarding circumcision, regarding the Sabbath and regarding
      food and drink?

      While an argument from silence, by its nature, tends to be rather weak,
      I think it significant that James is silent on this subject. To me, it
      is a clear indication that he did not deem these ordinances to be a part
      of the Logos as a Law.

      Next, let us turn to James 2:12-13, "(12) So speak and so do as by the
      Law of Freedom being about to be judged. (13) For the judgment will be
      merciless to the one not having shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over
      judgment."

      Here, we learn, we are to be judged by how we speak and act by the Logos
      as the perfect Law that gives us freedom rather than by the Law of
      Moses. So, one's eternal life depends upon one's obedience to the Logos
      as a Law rather than to one's obedience to the Law of Moses.

      Finally, let us turn to James 2:21-24, "(21) Was not Abraham, our
      father, justified from works, having offered up his son, Isaac, upon the
      altar? (22) You see that faith was working with his works and from the
      works the faith was made complete. (23) And the scripture was fulfilled
      saying, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for
      righteousness.", and he was called a friend of God. (24)You see that a
      man is justified from works and not from faith alone."

      Abraham lived before the giving of the Law of Moses. So, in 2:21-24,
      the works he performs to complete his faith are not works in accord with
      the Law of Moses but, rather, works in accord with the Logos as the
      perfect Law.

      Compare the Migration of Abraham (130), where Philo states, "So, in
      another place He says, 'Abraham did all My law' (Gen. xxvi. 5): 'Law'
      being evidently nothing else that the Divine Logos enjoining what we
      ought to do and forbidding what we should not do." So, according to
      Philo, the Law observed by Abraham was the Logos as the perfect Law.

      Also see Abraham (275), where Philo states, "But to add to these praises
      of the Sage (i.e., Abraham), so many and so great, Moses adds this
      crowning saying 'that this man did the divine law and the divine
      commands.' He did them, not taught with written words, but unwritten
      nature gave him the zeal to follow where wholesome and untainted impulse
      led him." Here, the Law which Abraham observes is not the written Law
      of Moses but the unwritten perfect Law--whose ordinances, since they
      were an integral part of his soul, were the wholesome and untainted
      impulses that led him.

      To summarize, in James 3:3-13, there is a stress on the need to control
      an evil tongue in order for one to be saved. In addition, in James
      1:21-25, 2:8-13, and 2:21-24, we have a Philonic concept of the Logos,
      with an emphasis on this Logos as a Law--the perfect Law that gives one
      freedom. It is this Law, rather than the Law of Moses, that is
      salvific. As this Law, the Logos is justice/righteousness to men, which
      means that it is an impartial love of men and, as such, can be summed up
      in the simple rule to love your neighbor as yourself.

      c Thomas

      In Thomas, similarly, there is a stress on the need to control the
      tongue in order for one to be saved, the Law of Moses is not salvific,
      but what is salvific is loving others as you love yourself.

      Particularly important is Thomas 6, "His disciples questioned him, and
      said to him, 'Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Shall we
      give alms? What diet shall we observe?' Jesus said, 'Do not tell lies,
      and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of
      heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing
      covered will remain without being uncovered."

      The ordinances of the Law of Moses regarding fasting, prayer and alms
      are not salvific. Rather, what one needs to do in order to be saved is
      to control the tongue by not telling lies and to not do what one
      hates--which is a negative way of saying that one ought to act with the
      same love to others that you have for youself. A positive form of this
      rule is found in 25, "Love your (sg) brother like your soul, guard him
      like the pupil of your eye."

      Also important is 14:5, "For what goes into your mouth will not defile
      you, but that which issues from your mouth--it is that which will defile
      you." One need not be concerned about the ordinances of the Law of
      Moses regarding food and drink--for the Law of Moses is not salvific.
      Rather, what one needs to be concerned about, because your salvation is
      at stake, is the need for you to control your evil tongue.

      8. Summary

      As we have seen, there are these seven important similarities between
      the Epistle of James and Thomas:
      1. The poor will enter the Kingdom
      2. The absence of any doctine of atonement
      3. The absence of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the dead
      4. Jesus is the Logos
      5. The rich die in the pursuit of yet more riches
      6. A negative appraisal of merchants and traders
      7. The tongue can be deadly, the Law of Moses is not salvific, but
      loving others is salvific.

      This gives us another reason as to why the Thomas group took James to
      have been the legitimate successor to Jesus as the head of his movement.
      That is, on a number of important doctrinal issues, there were broad
      areas of agreement between James and the Thomas group.

      Frank McCoy
      2036 E. Magnolia Ave.
      St. Paul, MN 55119


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jmgcormier
      ... Frank: ... a lot of good excavation work in your note, but I am left wondering somewhat if we don t yet have a few basic Sitz im Lieben issues to resolve
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 19, 2007
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        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, FMMCCOY@... wrote:
        >
        > INTRODUCTION
        >
        > Let us look at Thomas 12: etc, etc ....



        Frank:

        ... a lot of good excavation work in your note, but I am left
        wondering somewhat if we don't yet have a few basic Sitz im Lieben
        issues to resolve before we can even try to legitimize Logion 12 as
        Thomasene /Jacobian.

        For example, while the James "the righteous" (or James the Just)
        referred to in this logion is widely believed to have been James the
        brother of Jesus (Matt: 13:55) and the one who eventually became
        head of the Church in Jerusalem, its main difficulty is that Jesus'
        brother "James" only came to be head of the Jerusalem Church (and
        eventually referred to as "the just" or "the righteous" by anyone
        including Jesus himself as per Acts 1:14) long after His (Jesus')
        death. We know from the wording of "the disciples'" question in the
        logion, however, that the time frame in which the question is being
        asked and answered is necessarily one when Jesus is still alive (or
        at least prior to His resurrection / ascension) because in the
        logion, Jesus has not yet "departed" according to the words which
        the disciples use ... (We know that you WILL - future - DEPART from
        us.) How could Jesus, then, be possibly referring to his brother
        James as "the Just" or as "the righteous" while He (Jesus) is alive
        under such circumstances and under such New Testament references?

        To add emphasis, if we are to believe John 7:5 and Mark 3:21, during
        Jesus' ministry, "His brothers (including James no doubt) did not
        even believe in Him (Jesus) or in His (Jesus') ministry" while He
        (Jesus)was alive ! It sounds to me, then that the title James "the
        Just" or "the Righteous" would be (time-wise, at least) logically
        nonsensical as a title bestowed upon "brother James" by Jesus during
        His lifetime as he seems to be doing in logion 12.

        My own bias, based on this evidence, is that we can only conclude
        that logion 12 has to be some sort of fantasy, fabrication or
        possible add-on (by a poorly informed or late blooming "wanna-be"
        interpretor / author ... at least to the extent that Jesus would
        have actually uttered it). Remember that with much less of an
        argument at hand, some have argued that logion 114 is a
        similar "later add-on" to Thomas by someone wanting to also skew its
        meaning in a given (biased?) direction ... "noblesse oblige" ...

        I am not sure if my point throws a wrench in your Thomasene /
        Jacobian theory (which is not my intention), but I would submit that
        there may be a lot more to Thomas than meets the proverbial eye if
        we dont stand back periodically and look at it from a non
        traditional perspective.

        - Maurice
      • Jordan Stratford
        ... Maurice - I m a little gobsmacked at this. I can t imagine any credible scholar suggesting that Thomas is or was ever intended to be a literal accounting
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 19, 2007
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          >
          > My own bias, based on this evidence, is that we can only conclude
          > that logion 12 has to be some sort of fantasy, fabrication or
          > possible add-on (by a poorly informed or late blooming "wanna-be"
          > interpretor / author ... at least to the extent that Jesus would
          > have actually uttered it).

          Maurice -

          I'm a little gobsmacked at this. I can't imagine any credible
          scholar suggesting that Thomas is or was ever intended to be a
          literal accounting of the sayings of Jesus. Of COURSE it's not going
          to make literal sense... any more than Acts could be taken as
          reliable history.

          Perhaps "fantasy, fabrication" can be attributed to any parable or
          teaching, but it's apparent that there's a huge paradigmatic gap
          between a model wherein communities of late first / early second
          century Christians were speaking figuratively to convey wisdom
          teachings, and some kind of bronze age CNN reporting. It's like
          arguing about the colour of the fox's fur in Aesop.

          Thrown for a loop,

          Jordan
        • jmgcormier
          ... going ... or ... Hello Jordan, and thank you for your thoughts ... The idea I am trying to capsulize about logion 12 is that like logion 114, it appears
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 19, 2007
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            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Jordan Stratford <jordan@...> wrote:



            > Maurice -
            >
            > I'm a little gobsmacked at this. I can't imagine any credible
            > scholar suggesting that Thomas is or was ever intended to be a
            > literal accounting of the sayings of Jesus. Of COURSE it's not
            going
            > to make literal sense... any more than Acts could be taken as
            > reliable history.
            >
            > Perhaps "fantasy, fabrication" can be attributed to any parable
            or
            > teaching, but it's apparent that there's a huge paradigmatic gap
            > between a model wherein communities of late first / early second
            > century Christians were speaking figuratively to convey wisdom
            > teachings, and some kind of bronze age CNN reporting. It's like
            > arguing about the colour of the fox's fur in Aesop.
            >
            > Thrown for a loop,
            >
            > Jordan
            >



            Hello Jordan, and thank you for your thoughts ...


            The idea I am trying to capsulize about logion 12 is that like
            logion 114, it appears disappointingly foreign to the apparent
            thrust of the Thomasene message and genre given the "literary situ"
            in which it exists ... in fact this is a pet subject of mine within
            the context of Thomas, and I was somewhat disappointed that no
            members of the list were forthcoming to my enquiry of July 2nd in
            search of examples or research done on what you might call "literal
            accounting" in Thomas when I was trolling for "verbatim logia"
            existent in it which may have close or exact commonality with New
            Testament sources. (this has nothing to do with the truth value of
            logia and sayings per se) No one responded, of course, which may
            prove your point ... but then, can one only be a "scholar" if one
            has norms within which he or she limits or embraces his or her
            beliefs or within which one therein finds motivation for his or her
            actions?

            Behold the thoughts of both a great scholar and a great believer on
            the subject ... enjoy!

            "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not
            believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
            Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in
            your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the
            authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions
            because they have been handed down for many generations. But after
            observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with
            reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then
            accept it and live up to it." - The Buddha
          • Frank McCoy
            Maurice: Regarding Thomas 12, you state: For example, while the James the righteous (or James the Just) referred to in this logion is widely believed to have
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 20, 2007
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              Maurice:

              Regarding Thomas 12, you state:
              For example, while the James "the righteous" (or James the Just)
              referred to in this logion is widely believed to have been James the
              brother of Jesus (Matt: 13:55) and the one who eventually became
              head of the Church in Jerusalem, its main difficulty is that Jesus'
              brother "James" only came to be head of the Jerusalem Church (and
              eventually referred to as "the just" or "the righteous" by anyone
              including Jesus himself as per Acts 1:14) long after His (Jesus')
              death.

              What evidence do you have that James didn't became the leader of Jesus
              Assembly in Jerusalem until long after the death of Jesus?

              You continue:
              We know from the wording of "the disciples'" question in the
              logion, however, that the time frame in which the question is being
              asked and answered is necessarily one when Jesus is still alive (or
              at least prior to His resurrection / ascension) because in the
              logion, Jesus has not yet "departed" according to the words which
              the disciples use ... (We know that you WILL - future - DEPART from
              us.) How could Jesus, then, be possibly referring to his brother
              James as "the Just" or as "the righteous" while He (Jesus) is alive
              under such circumstances and under such New Testament references?

              I agree with you that, in Thomas 12, the extravagant phraseology Jesus
              uses regarding James is almost certainly fictional. Still, there might
              be a kernel of historical reality to Thomas 12, so I wouldn't dismiss it
              out of hand on this basis.

              You continue:
              To add emphasis, if we are to believe John 7:5 and Mark 3:21, during
              Jesus' ministry, "His brothers (including James no doubt) did not
              even believe in Him (Jesus) or in His (Jesus') ministry" while He
              (Jesus)was alive !

              Maurice, your concerns here are addressed by James D. Tabor in the Jesus
              Dynasty (p 165), "It seems that the one thing people think they know
              about the brothers of Jesus is that they did not believe in him. This
              spurious opinion is based on a *single* phrase in John 7:5 that many
              scholars consider to be a late interpolation. Modern translations even
              put it in parentheses. Once we realize that the brothers are a part of
              the Twelve, and that James is the 'beloved disciple,' then many things
              begin to make new sense. There are two passages in Mark that some have
              taken as downplaying the importance of Jesus' family, but they have been
              misread based on the false assumption that the brothers did not believe
              in Jesus. It is amazing what firm opinions have been built upon such
              shaky foundations."

              I would make these qualifications to what he states:
              1. I think that he presents inadequate evidence to validate his
              hypothesis that the brothers are a part of the Twelve. Above all, he
              fails to adequately explain why Luke differentiates the Twelve (or, to
              be more proper, the remaining Eleven after the defection of Judas) from
              the brothers of Jesus in Acts 1:13-14
              2. I think that John 6:1-7:14 and John 21 are late inserts into an
              original version of John, so I do not deem John 7:5 to be an
              interpolation. Rather, I deem it to be a part of a massive late
              addition to John consisting of 6:1-7:14 and Chapter 21.
              3. I only partially agree with Tabor regarding his hypothesis that James
              is the Beloved Disciple of John. I do think that James is the Beloved
              Disciple in the original John. However, in the above late inserts, the
              Beloved Disciple is the pillar named John.

              These qualifications do not mar the basic thrust of his argument--which
              is that John 7:5 is unlikely to be correct because it is a late addition
              to the original John and, once this is realized, then Mark 3:21 can be
              viewed in new light.

              Maurice, if (as both he and I think) James is the Beloved Disciple of
              John 13:23, then James was not only present at the Last Supper, but had
              the place of honor next to Jesus. This is a clear indication that Jesus
              intended James, rather than Peter, to be his successor as the head of
              his movement. In this case, then, there almost certainly is a hard core
              of historical reality to Thomas 12, even though the extravagant wording
              in it almost certainly is fictional.

              What follows is a presentation of the hypothesis that James was the
              original Beloved Disciple.

              JAMES--THE ORIGINAL BELOVED DISCIPLE

              A Introduction

              In the Gospel of John, there is a mysterious figure cryptically referred
              to as the disciple whom Jesus loved. In scholarly literature, this
              person is called the Beloved Disciple.

              Traditionally, the Beloved Disciple has been taken to be John the son of
              Zebedee--one of the Twelve.

              However, as we shall see, it appears that the original Beloved Disciple
              was James, the brother of Jesus. Then, a later editor did a switcheroo
              to falsely make it appear that the Beloved Disciple had been named John.
              This switcheroo has been so successful that the strong Christian
              tradition of the Beloved Disciple having been John the son of Zebedee is
              still very popular--even in scholarly circles.

              B. The Five Passages

              Here are the five passages in which the Beloved Disciple is mentioned:
              1. 13:23-26a--in Jerusalem during the Last Supper, "One of his
              disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining on the bosom of Jesus.
              Therefore, Simon Peter nods to this one to ask who it may be about whom
              he (i.e., Jesus) speaks. Having leaned back, then, this one on the
              bosom of Jesus says to him, 'Lord, who is it?' Answers Jesus, 'It is
              the one to whom I will dip the morsel and give to him.'"
              2. 19:25-27--in Jerusalem, during the crucifixion of Jesus, "But there
              had stood before the cross of Jesus his mother and the sister of his
              mother, Mary of Clopos and Mary the Magdalene. Therefore, Jesus, having
              seen the mother and the disciple whom he was loving having stood by,
              says to the mother, 'Woman, behold your son.' Then he says to the
              disciple, 'Behold, your mother.' And from that hour, the disciple took
              her into his own."
              3. 20:1-10--In Jerusalem, during the next Sunday, "Now, on the first day
              of the week, Mary the Magdalene comes to the tomb early, it still being
              dark, and sees the stone having been taken from the tomb. Therefore,
              she runs and comes to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus was
              loving, and says to them, 'They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and
              we do not know where they have placed him.' Therefore, Peter and the
              other disciple went forth and they were coming to the tomb. The two
              were running together and the other disciple ran ahead, faster than
              Peter, and came first to the tomb. And, having stooped down, he sees
              the linen cloth lying. However, he did not enter. Simon Peter (was)
              following him and he entered the tomb and he sees the linen cloths lying
              and the face cloth, which was upon his head, was not lying with the
              linen cloths, but apart. Then, therefore, entered the other disciple,
              the one having come first to the tomb, and he saw and believed. For
              they knew not yet the scripture that it was necessary for him to rise up
              from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own."
              4. 21:7--at the Sea of Tiberius, an unknown amount of time later,
              "Therefore, says the disciple whom Jesus was loving to Peter, 'It is the
              Lord.'"
              5. 21:20-24--at the Sea of Tiberius, later that day, "Having turned,
              Peter sees following the disciple whom Jesus was loving--who also
              reclined during the supper upon his breast and said, 'Lord, who is the
              one betraying you?' Having seen this one, Peter says to Jesus, 'Lord,
              what about this man?' Jesus says to him, 'If I want him to remain unitl
              I come, what to you? You, follow me.' Therefore, went out this one
              saying to the brethren that the disciple would not die. But Jesus did
              not tell him that he would not die but if I want him to remain unitl I
              come, what to you? This is the disciple, the one testifying about thse
              things and the one having written these things, and we know his
              testimony is true."

              C. Contrasts Between the Beloved Disciple and Peter in Passages 1-3 vs.
              4-5

              When comparing passages 1-3 (i.e., 13:23-26a, 19:25-27 and 20:1-10) vs.
              passages 4-5 (i.e., 21:7 and 21:20-24, we find three major contrasts
              between the Beloved Disciple and Peter:
              1. The Beloved Disciple is physically closer to Jesus than Peter in
              passage 1, but Peter is physically closer to Jesus than the Beloved
              Disciple in passage 5
              2. Peter speaks to the Beloved Disciple in passage 1, but the Beloved
              Disciple speaks to Peter in passage 4
              3. Jesus speaks to the Beloved Disciple in passages 1 and 2, but Jesus
              speaks to Peter in passage 5.

              These contrasts, I suggest, serve the purpose of establishing who is the
              boss and who is the subordinate, with:
              1. The one who is physically closest to Jesus being the boss of the
              other one
              2. The one to whom both Jesus and the other one speak being an
              intermediary between Jesus and the other one and, thus, the boss of the
              other one.

              So, in passages 1-3, the Beloved Disciple is Peter's boss. However, in
              passages 4-5, Peter is the Beloved Disciple's boss.

              D. A Hypothesis

              How can it be that the Beloved Disciple is Peter's superior in passages
              1-3 (i.e., 13:23-26a, 19:25-27 and 20:1-10), but his subordinate in
              passages 4-5 (i.e., 21:7 and 21:20-24?

              A clue comes from Galatians 2:8-9, where Paul states, "And, realizing
              the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John (the ones
              seeming to be pillars), gave the right hand of fellowship to me and
              Barnabas--that we for the Gentiles, but they for the Circumcision."

              The order, here, is hierarchical, so that James (who is the brother of
              Jesus) is the superior of Cephas (i.e., Peter), while Peter, in turn, is
              the superior of John.

              In light of this, I propose the hypothesis:
              In John, the Beloved Disciple is always one of the three pillars.
              However: (1) in passages 1-3, he is the pillar named James, i.e., James
              the brother of Jesus, and (2) in passages 4-5, he is the pillar named
              John.

              This explains why the Beloved Disciple is the superior of Peter in
              passages 1-3. This is because James, the brother of Jesus, as the chief
              pillar, had been Peter's superior.

              This also explains why the Beloved Disciple is the subordinate of Peter
              in passages 4-5. This is because John, as the least of the pillars, had
              been Peter's subordinate.

              In addition, this explains why, in passage 2 (i.e., 19:25-27), Jesus
              tells his mother that the Beloved Disciple is her son and tells the
              Beloved Disciple that his own mother is also his mother. This entails
              that the Beloved Disciple is a brother of Jesus. Indeed, according to
              this hypothesis, in passage 2, the Beloved Disciple is the brother of
              Jesus named James.

              Finally, this explains why, in passage 5 (i.e., 21:20-24), it is
              declared that the Beloved Disciple has written these things. Since what
              has been written is the Gospel of John, this presumably means that the
              Beloved Disciple had been named John. Indeed, according to this
              hypothesis, in passage 5, the Beloved Disciple is named John.

              E. Rewriting History

              The way that Chapter 21 was written effectively masks the situation of
              passages 1-3 (i.e., 13:23-26a, 19:25-27 and 20:1-10) referring to a
              Beloved Disciple who is James the brther of Jesus and makes it appear
              that they, like passages 4-5 (the two passages within Chapter 21), refer
              to a Beloved Disciple who is named John.

              This chapter thusly begins in 21:1-3a, "After these things, Jesus
              manifested himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Now,
              he was manifested thus. There were together Simon Peter and Thomas, the
              one being called Didymus, and Nathanael, the one from Cana of Galilee,
              and the sons of Zebedee and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter
              says to them, 'I am going to fish.' They say to him, 'We are coming
              with you.'"

              Here, there are two indicators that Peter is the chief disciple: (1) he
              is the first disciple to be named and (2) the other disciples follow him
              when he decides to go fishing.

              There is a strong entsion between these two indications that Peter is
              the chief disciple and passages 1-3--where there are several indications
              that Peter is subordinate to the Beloved Disciple. Evan in passage 3
              (20:1-10) there is an indication that Peter is subordinate to the
              Beloved Disciple, i.e., it is *twice* explicitly stated that the Beloved
              Disciple beat Peter to the tomb.

              This tension becomes unbearable in 21:7 (i.e., passage 4): where, we
              learn, one of the other disciples in 21:1-3a is the Beloved Disciple.

              So, now the reader of John faces a dilemma. After having read passages
              1-3, where the indications are that Peter had been subordinate to the
              Beloved Disciple, (s)he now finds some indications that the Beloved
              Disciple had been a subordinate of Peter.

              Thus, the reader now faces the question: Which indicators are correct,
              and which are incorrect red herrings?

              What appears to be the answer is found in 21:15-17--where the risen
              Jesus tells Peter in three different ways to feed his sheep.

              This can only mean that Peter had been chosen by Jesus himself to be his
              earthly successor as the shepherd of the holy flock and that, therefore,
              the Beloved Disciple had been his subordinate.

              So, the reader is led to conclude, the indications, in passages 1-3, of
              Peter being a subordinate of the Beloved Disciple must be incorrect red
              herrings.

              Then, to nail things down, it is explicitly declared in passage 5 (i.e.,
              21:20-24) that the Beloved Disciple of this passage is also the Beloved
              Disciple of passage 1 (i.e., 13:23-26a). As a result, the reader is
              forestalled from divining the true situation--which is that the Beloved
              Disciple of passages 1-3 is not the Beloved Disciple of passages 4-5.

              Thus, Chapter 21 is a rewriting of history. It falsely portrays Peter
              as having succeeded Jesus as the head of his movement, when the reality
              is that James succeeded Jesus as the head of his movement. Further, it
              transforms the Beloved Disciple from being James to being the pillar
              named John.

              In effect, Chapter 21 is so written that James is effectively erased
              from history, thereby making Peter, rather than (as was actually the
              case) James, the first shepherd of the holy flock of Jesus and making
              John the Beloved Disciple rather than (as was actually the case) James.
              As a result, Chapter 21 was an important step in the formulation of the
              orthodox position that Peter had been the successor of Jesus as the head
              of his movement and the crucial step in the development of the very
              strong Christian tradition that the Beloved Disciple had been John the
              son of Zebedee.

              Adding insult to injury, it appears that the person who wrote Chapter 21
              also wrote John 6:1-7:14--where (in 7:3-10) the brothers of Jesus are
              pictured as being unbelievers.

              6:1-7:14 is an intrusion that interrupts the narrative flow. So, in
              John (p.10), Rudolph Butmann states, "For example Jn. 6.1 reports a
              journey of Jesus to the other bank of Lake Gennesaret, although chapter
              5 is set in Jerualem. 7:15-24 harks back directly to the Sabbath
              healing that lies far off in chapter 5."

              Bultmann suggests that the intrusive nature of 6:1-7:14 is due to a
              change in the original order of the text, perhaps caused by an
              interchanging of leaves.

              However, there is no readily apparent place elsewhere in John to place
              it.

              So, it appears more likely that, like Chapter 21, it is an addition to
              John by a later editor.

              By thusly portraying the brothers of Jesus as not believing in Jesus
              before the first mention of the Beloved Disciple, this later editor gave
              the biggest red herring of all, misleading the reader into thinking
              that, whoever the Beloved Disciple might be, he surely cannot be one of
              the brothers of Jesus.

              That both Luke and a later editor of John effectively erased James from
              the history of the Jesus movement and portray Peter as having been the
              legitimate successor to Jesus as the head of his movement has led almost
              all Christians to believe that Peter had been the legitimate successor
              to Jesus as the head of his movement. This is understandable,
              especially considering that, in the New Testament, John immediately
              precedes Acts. As a result, Chapter 21 of John (where Jesus appoints
              Peter to be shepherd of the flock) immediately precedes Chapter 1 of
              Acts, where Luke portrays Peter as leading the followers of Jesus right
              after the death of Jesus.

              Frank McCoy
              2036 E. Magnolia Ave.
              St. Paul, MN 55119







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • jmgcormier
              ... etc, etc, etc ... Hello Frank ... Thank you for your follow-up on logion 12. Your material is always deep rooted and challenging. Regarding your James the
              Message 6 of 21 , Jul 20, 2007
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                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Frank McCoy" <FMMCCOY@...> wrote:

                etc, etc, etc ...



                Hello Frank ...

                Thank you for your follow-up on logion 12. Your material is always
                deep rooted and challenging.

                Regarding your James "the Just" question, you will have to give me a
                bit of time to tidy up my notes on this subject as I cannot find it
                just now and I am but slowly recovering from recent surgery.

                As I recall, however, notwithstanding the date part, the argument
                had been made based on the writings of Esubius who had produced
                reference notes from James of Hegesippus who was arguing that James
                was not only called "the Just" because of his handling of Church
                issues, but because he was of clean living character since
                birth .... but then, let me try to find the actual reference for you
                if I can ... note that Acts 1, 14 nonetheless gives us a post Jesus
                death timeframe which we cannot ignore.

                On your "kernel of historical reality" point about Thomas 12 ...
                indeed, one has to keep an open mind. In fact, over time, I have
                often argued myself that because James the Just is rumored to have
                died "shortly after the death of Festus" (around 62 C.E.) by
                Josephus/Hegesippus, then unless Jesus (in logion 12) was suggesting
                to his disciples that they seek the guidance of a "late" James the
                Just ... logion 12 would have had to be written and recorded before
                that date .... (so much for the late daters of Thomas perhaps).

                On your "shaky foundations" point, yup ! ... agreed ... indeed, you
                may wish to re-read my Buddha reference to Jordan dated yesterday.
                It is one of my favorites on this sort of "just hold your nose and
                swallow" sort of thing ...

                Finally, on the issue of the Beloved Disciple, let me raise an
                interesting point or two with you "off-line" when I find a moment as
                it is a bit off-topic to the current discussion ....

                Cheers, Maurice
              • FMMCCOY@msn.com
                Regarding Saying 12 on James, Ron McCann writes, Frank, I was using the logion to show, or at least argue, that the Thomasines were aware and knew or knew
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 13, 2007
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                  Regarding Saying 12 on James, Ron McCann writes, "Frank, I was using the
                  logion to show, or at least argue, that the Thomasines were aware and
                  knew or knew that James had the reputation of being a strict
                  Torah-Observing Jew. It was known even to them. This, in the context of
                  the argument as to the EARLIEST authorities we have being of one mind on
                  that.
                  The PURPOSE of the Thomasines for either penning or including this
                  logion in their Gospel is a different issue. That addresses the question
                  of what they were using this logion FOR. The question might be better
                  framed as "Why on earth would they frame and/or include a logion
                  apparently tying, linking or submitting themselves to a strict
                  Torah-Observant figure, if they themselves were not only not
                  Torah-Observant but evidence scorn and derision, if not contempt for
                  those things that the Torah-Observant- the Jews, and (arguably) James,
                  held most dear, central to their faith, important and precious?" Well,
                  clearly, they cannot be using this logion as holding up James as an
                  Stirling exemplar to be followed and emulated in his strict Torah
                  Observance by all Thomasines. So what are they using it FOR?"

                  Ron, you are assuming that, in Saying 12, Jame's title of "the
                  Righteous/Just" means that he was Torah observant.

                  But is this assumption correct? I suggest that it is not correct.

                  In his work, James the Brother of Jesus, Robert Eisenman has several
                  discussions on this title.

                  He thinks that this title goes back to a Hebrew original, stating
                  (pp.14-15), "The mention of Zadok and Yehozedek is important, because
                  the root onwhich this noun cluster is based, the three Hebrew letters
                  Z-D-K, bears the meaning of 'Righteousness'. This is not only the basis
                  for James' cognomen, 'the Righteous' or 'Just One', according to all
                  early Church sources, but it is connected to the name of one of the
                  sects in Jesus' time, which transliterates into Greek, Sadducee or
                  Zadduki/Zaddoki."

                  The Greek word for "righteous/just" is dikaios. I don't know Coptic,
                  but, eyeballing the underlying Coptic word in Saying 12, it appears to
                  be related to this Greek word. Perhaps it is a loan word from the
                  Greek?

                  As for Saying 12, Eisenman relates it to a passage from the Zohar,
                  stating (p. 136), "In this passage from the Zohar, the pre-existence or
                  supernatural nature of 'the Zaddik' is stressed, an idea encountered as
                  well in the Prologue of the Gospel of John in terms of 'Logos' and
                  'Light' imagery, in the description there of Jesus' enterance into the
                  world. But there is another allusion in the recently rediscovered Nag
                  Hammadi Gospel of Thomas--'the Twin' or 'Judas Thomas'--the putative
                  third brother of Jesus after James and Simon. This bears on the ideal
                  of this pre-existent Righteous One of Heavenly Zaddik--in more mundane
                  terms, James in his role as Perfect Righteous One. In turn this also
                  bears on the appointment of James as Leader of the Jerusalem Church and
                  therefore of all Christianity everywhere as successor to Jesus."

                  He also states (Ibid.), "Aside from being a tradition incorporating the
                  long-lost direct appointment of James by Jesus as Leader of the early
                  Church, it (i.e., Thomas 12) also bears on the idea of 'the Zaddik'.
                  Yet it is a thousand years earlier than the above description in the
                  Zohar, which was purportedly written in Spain in the 1200s-1300s."

                  Because of the lateness of the Zohar, I am extremely skeptical that it
                  can shed any light on Saying 12 and on James' title of "the
                  Righteous/Just".

                  In any event, later in James the Brother of Jesus (pp. 236-238),
                  Eisenman takes another approach to James' title of "the
                  Righteeous/Just".

                  He begins by stating, "In his famous description of essens in the War,
                  as well as that of John the Baptist in the Antiquities, Josephus makes
                  it very clear what was implied by this dichotomy (of piety and
                  righteousness). Righteousness is 'Righteousness towards men', that is,
                  the sum total of one's social obligations in this world towards one's
                  fellow man. This is very often summed up in a single commandment, known
                  from the Ten Commandments and often presented as the essence of Jesus'
                  teaching in Scripture, 'love your neighbor as yourself'. This,
                  therefore can be termed the Righteousness Commandment."

                  Then, he begins to associate this concept of righteousness with James,
                  thusly continuing, "As will also become clear form its use at Qumran and
                  in the New Testament, this included an economic dimension as well. One
                  could not love one's neighbor as oneself if one made economic
                  distinctions between oneself and one's neighbor or, to put it simply, if
                  one were Richer than one's neighbor--therefore not only the extreme
                  antagonism towards 'the Rich', but the pivotal emphasis on 'the Poor' in
                  all traditions associated with James--not to mention Jesus--as well as
                  those associated with the Righteous Teacher in all the texts at Qumran.
                  This, of course, moves into 'the Poor' or 'Ebionite' terminology and its
                  variations."

                  Finally, shortly thereafter, he explicitly associates this concept of
                  righteousness with James' title, stating, "This 'Righteousness', and the
                  ideology associated with it, is not only the basis of the cognomen to
                  this effect always attached to his name, it would appear to be a basic
                  element of all traditions associated with James, even more than for his
                  reputed brother Jesus....This 'Righteousness' ideology is also the basic
                  one where 'the Teacher of Righteousness'--the central character in the
                  Qumran documents--is concerned. If James is not identical with him,
                  then he is certainly a parallel character or one of a long series of
                  individuals bearing this title, because James certainly taught a
                  doctrine of Righteousness. This doctrine epitomized--as both the Letter
                  attached to James' name and parallel portions of the Damascus Document
                  attest--by the Commandment to 'love your neighbour as yourself'. It is
                  epitomized, too, in the notion of 'the Poor', one of the principal forms
                  of self-designation at Qumran, and the name either of James' group per
                  se in Jerusalem or the groups in early Church accounts after this, which
                  took him as its progenitor."

                  Ron, I think that Eisenman hits the nail on the head here. James had
                  the title of "the Righteous/Just" not because of any alleged obedience
                  to the Law of Moses but, rather, out of his zeal for being righteous to
                  men, preaching and doing the love of others.

                  There are two reasons why, I think, this is not widely accepted.

                  First, Paul's concept that one is justified and made righteous by faith
                  rather than by works of the Law of Moses fosters the misconception that,
                  for all Jews at the time, righteousness meant obedience to the Law of
                  Moses.

                  Second, many are unaware of just how wide-spread in first century CE
                  Jewish circles was the notion that there were the two cardinal virues of
                  piety to God and righteousness to men--and with righteousness to men
                  taken to mean love of other men.

                  As Eisenman points out above, this notion appears in Josephus and in the
                  DSS. Further, in one of the two times this notion appears in Josephus,
                  he claims that John the Baptist preached obedience to both of these two
                  cardinal virtues.

                  It even appears in Philonic thought. Thus, in On Abraham (208), Philo
                  states, "For the nature which is pious is also kindly, and the same
                  person will exhibit both qualities, holiness to God and justice to men."
                  Again, in the Decalogue, 108-110), he writes, "Now we have known some
                  who associate themselves with one of the two sides (of piety to God and
                  justice to men) and are seen to neglect the other. They have drunk the
                  unmixed wine of pious aspirations and turning their backs upon all other
                  concerns devoted their person life wholly to the service of God. Others
                  conceiving the idea that there is no good ouside doing justice to men
                  have no heart for anything but companionship with men. In their desire
                  for fellowship they supply the good things of life in equal measure to
                  all for their use, and deem it their duty to alleviate by any means in
                  their power the dreaded hardships. These may justly be called lovers of
                  men, the former sort lovers of God."

                  On the Philonic notion that those who love other men "deem it their duty
                  to alleviate by any means in their power the dreaded hardships", compare
                  the Damascus Document (VII), "They shall love each man his brother as
                  himself; they shall succour the poor, the needy, and the stranger."

                  Ron, now comes the key point: Not only is it the case that James
                  appears to have gotten his title of "the Righteous/Just" because of his
                  righteousness to men, loving them and doing what he could to alleviate
                  the hardships of the poor, but the Thomas group tried to be righteous in
                  just the same way. So, there is a negative version of the Golden rule
                  in Th 6. Again, it is stated in Th 25, "Love your brother like your
                  soul, guard him like the pupil of your eye." Too, see Th 95, where you
                  are told to lend money "from whom you will not get it back."

                  As a result, Ron, I do not think that the Thomas group ever renounced
                  being righteous in the same sense that James was known to be righteous,
                  i.e., in the sense of loving other human beings and providing whatever
                  assistance that is needed by those who have fallen on hard times. So, I
                  think, they had a legitimate claim to being faithful to him as "the
                  Righteous/Just", even though they renounced many Jewish practices
                  associated with the Law of Moses.

                  Frank McCoy
                  2036 E. Magnolia Ave.
                  St. Paul, MN USA 55119



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Ron McCann
                  Hello Frank. Thanks for your message of August 13th. You wrote:- Ron, you are assuming that, in saying 12, James s title of the Righteous/Just means that he
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 14, 2007
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                    Hello Frank. Thanks for your message of August 13th.

                    You wrote:- "Ron, you are assuming that, in saying 12, James's title of "the Righteous/Just means that he was Torah observant. But if this assumption correct? I suggest it is not correct."
                    You then supply 4 separate quotations/arguments from Robert Eisenman against my view that for "Righteous" in 12 we should be reading it as "Torah-Observant, or "strict Torah- Observant, or perhaps even" FULLY Torah-observant", and for an alternate view that the word "Righteous" in James's name does NOT refer to his (arguable) strict Torah observance, rather it refers exclusively to his pursuit and practice of the cardinal virtue of love for one's fellow man, as exemplified in his "works" to alleviate human suffering in pursuit of the virtue that Eisenman defines as "righteousness to men".
                    You then go into two reasons what Eisenman's view here, is not widely accepted.
                    Then you invoke some material from Philo which appears to support Eisenman's view, and also invoke part of the Damascus document in support.
                    Finally you get to your key point:-
                    "Not only is it the case that James appears to have gotten his title of "The Righteous/Just" because of this RIGHTEOUSNESS TO MEN (caps, mine) (That is- NOT by strict Torah-Observance.) loving them and doing what he could to allegiate the hardships of the poor, but the Thomas group tried TO BE RIGHTEOUS IN THE SAME WAY. (caps mine).

                    You conclude "" ... I do not think that the Thomas group ever renounced being righteous IN THE SAME SENSE that James was known to be "righteous"..{That is_ in pursuing the cardinal virtue of Righteousness towards Men"] ... they had a legitinate claim to being faithful to him [in pursuing the virtue of "Righteousness towards Men"] as the 'Righteous/Just", even though they renounced many practices associated with the Law of Moses."

                    Well, Frank, Eisenman's take on this is one of the worst cases of "hair-splitting" I have ever encountered, and with all due respect to him as a scholar, I think he is just plain wrong here, and completley missed the boat.

                    In the interests of brevity, I do not propose to address his or the other arguments point by point in refutation. Rather I'm just going to cut right through them directly to the heart of this matter. I do appreciate all the careful reasoning and the citations of (arguably) competent authorities on these matters, but I think I can dispose of most, if not all of their argument in another, more economical, way.

                    Frank, "Righteousness Towards Men" is not just some laudible cardinal virtue (How very Greek phisolophyish!) that the Jews, at their option, pursued. Iit is mandated in the TORAH. It is a commandment. It is PART of the Torah itself. It cannot be severed from it. It is every bit as much a part of it as the commandments, statutes, ordinances and regulations of Mosaic Law as "Thous shalt not kill." is.. At least 3/4's of the Ten Commandments address it and are concerned with it. Any Jew who is truly Torah Observant MUST obey it, therefore, and engage in those "humanitarian" and"relief" activities ('works").
                    This is the entire cut and thrust of Chapter 2 of the Letter of James, which you deem authentic. He speficially cites "You shall love your neigbor as yourself." as part of the "Royal Law" (his words). He is pointing out that in disobeying it they are BREACHING THE TORAH, even if, in every other respect, they are obeying it. Full righetousness before God and Man require BOTH.
                    Either Hillel or Gamiel (I forget which) made the same point when, in response to a fellow who demanded he explain the whole of the Torah while he himself stood on one foot, condensed the whole Torah down to two precepts. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all the soul , and with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and your neighbor as yourself." They are both inseparable parts of the Torah. Two legs attached to one body.
                    The same point, that is- that that loving and caring for your fellow man is MANDATED by the Torah, as something you MUST do in addition to loving God (Believing in him, having him as your one and only god, and obeying his commandments, ordinances, and regulations as set down by Moses)- is found underscored in Jesus' teachings in Matthew 22, v 34-40, and Luke 10 v 27- an ancient and hoary Q saying, and I'll quote Matthew's version:-
                    "When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadduces, they gathered together and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandmnet IN THE LAW is the greatest?" . He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second (commandment) is like it: "You shall love your neigbor as yourself. In these two COMMANDMENTS hang all the Law and the Prophets (The Torah)." True Torah observance required you to do both.

                    So why, on earth, would you seek to limit the aquisition of Righteousness in the eyes of God, and men, to the obedience to just the second of those two commandments?
                    Do we have to get into the story, where a rich man, who pleases Jesus because he has kept all the commandments since his youth, and asks what else he must do to be "saved" (ie: be fully righteous and worthy of salvation in God's eyes) is told that he has missed one, and is directed to go out, sell his possessions and give to the poor?
                    Mandatory conduct
                    In fact, Frank, the Letter of James stands as yet another First Century source (making 5 of them now)) that tells us James himself was strictly Torah-Observant. In Chapter 2, he is telling his fellow Jews in the Diaspora that they are not being FULLY Torah-Observant, and in fact are breaching the law in ignoning them commandment to "Love thy Neigbor",.and he is urging them to FULL observance of the Torah- BOTH legs.. And if he is urging that, of them, then what does that tell us about what he himsefl was practicing? Answer:- Full, strict Torah Observance. He was NOT forgetting that "second" commandment.
                    And I suggest to you that Paul, whom you mention on the point, was correct and that is that the First Century Jews believed that OBEDIENCE TO THE TORAH (What he seemed to call the Mosaic Law- but as we have seen, also included that "second" commandment) conferred righteousness in the eyes of God and men to one who practiced it.
                    I'd like to see you find a Rabbi, even to-day, who would tell you that Obedience to the Torah did NOT confer righteousness is the eyes of God and man.

                    So I say, that James acquired his nick-name, or his honorific, "James the Righteous" by, over the course of his life-time, building up a reputation for strict Torah Obedience. There is simply no warrant to limit his acquisition of the title and reputation for being "righteous" to his performance of only one leg of the Torah- the "second" commandment.

                    I would liked to have addressed some other points you raised, but this is already too long.

                    Ron McCann
                    Saskatoon, Canada


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • FMMCCOY@msn.com
                    Ron McCann writes, Frank, Righteousness Towards Men is not just some laudible cardinal virtue (How very Greek phisolophyish!) that the Jews, at their
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 16, 2007
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                      Ron McCann writes, "Frank, 'Righteousness Towards Men' is not just some
                      laudible cardinal virtue (How very Greek phisolophyish!) that the Jews,
                      at their option, pursued. Iit is mandated in the TORAH. It is a
                      commandment. It is PART of the Torah itself. It cannot be severed from
                      it. It is every bit as much a part of it as the commandments, statutes,
                      ordinances and regulations of Mosaic Law as 'Thous shalt not kill.' is..
                      At least 3/4's of the Ten Commandments address it and are concerned with
                      it. Any Jew who is truly Torah Observant MUST obey it, therefore, and
                      engage in those 'humanitarian' and 'relief' activities ('works').
                      This is the entire cut and thrust of Chapter 2 of the Letter of James,
                      which you deem authentic. He speficially cites 'You shall love your
                      neigbor as yourself. as part of the 'Royal Law' (his words). He is
                      pointing out that in disobeying it they are BREACHING THE TORAH, even
                      if, in every other respect, they are obeying it. Full righetousness
                      before God and Man require BOTH.
                      Either Hillel or Gamiel (I forget which) made the same point when, in
                      response to a fellow who demanded he explain the whole of the Torah
                      while he himself stood on one foot, condensed the whole Torah down to
                      two precepts. 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all the soul , and
                      with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and your neighbor as
                      yourself.' They are both inseparable parts of the Torah. Two legs
                      attached to one body."

                      Ron, James 2:8 reads, "If indeed you perform the Royal Law according to
                      scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself', you do well."

                      According to the way you interpret this passage, the Royal Law is the
                      Law of Moses.

                      However, this is not the only possible way to interpret the Royal Law.

                      For example, according to Luke Timothy Johnson, in "Brother of Jesus,
                      Friend of God (p 134), it is the Law of Love. So, he states, "The law
                      of love from Lev. 19:18b is characterized by basilikos not only because
                      of its 'excellence,' but because it is the 'law of the kingdom' (the use
                      of basileia in 2:5 is decisive for this)...".

                      It appears that our discussions now ends. There are scholars who
                      support your interpretation of the Royal Law as being the Law of Moses,
                      and there are those who do not. I happen to agree with those who think
                      it is a law in its own right. In particular, my opinion is that, in
                      Jacobian thought, the Royal Law, also called the Law of Freedom, is not
                      the Law of Moses but, rather, the Logos as a Law. So, it appears, we'll
                      just have to agree to disagree, since even the scholars can't come to an
                      agreement here. I've enjoyed the discussion, though, and I hope that you
                      have as well.

                      Frank McCoy
                      2036 E. Magnolia Ave.
                      St. Paul, MN USA 55119





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                    • Ron McCann
                      Thank you Frank, And yes, indeed I have enjoyed the fencing . We can agree to disagree as you say. Actually, in this exercise I was just keen on seeing what
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 16, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Thank you Frank,

                        And yes, indeed I have enjoyed the "fencing".
                        We can agree to disagree as you say.
                        Actually, in this exercise I was just keen on seeing what sort or evidence and argument your could muster, amass and align that could potentially "take down" those First Century authorities that SEEM to support the premise that James was a Torah-Observant Jew.
                        I had not actually intended to cross swords with you on the issue itself, but found myself compelled to respond to what I perceived to be some obvious holes in your argument, which, in turn, you've given good answer to, in terms of reply/rebuttal. Every time I was about to shout "Touché", you parried the thrust quite effectively.

                        All in all, a very creditable effort - if I can say that without sounding patronizing. Some, surely, will find your arguments compelling. I still have my doubts.

                        I too am feeling somewhat weary, and think that we have pretty much exhausted the matter.

                        In closing, let me just say that if I looked up across the aisle in a courtroom, and saw you appearing as opposing counsel for the other side, I'd certainly know, given your skill at argument, I had no cake-walk ahead of me.
                        As the French say:- "Formidable!".

                        My Thanks,

                        Ron McCann
                        Saskatoon, Canada



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