James 1:1

James (Iakwbo). Grecised form (nominative absolute) of the Hebrew Iakwb (so LXX). Common name among the Jews, and this man in Josephus (Ant. XX.9.1) and three others of this name in Josephus also. Servant (doulo). Bond-servant or slave as Paul ( Romans 1:1 ; Philippians 1:1 ; Titus 1:1 ). Of the Lord Jesus Christ (kuriou Ihsou Cristou). Here on a par with God (qeou) and calls himself not adelpo (brother) of Jesus, but doulo. The three terms here as in Titus 2:1 have their full significance: Jesus is the Messiah and Lord. James is not an Ebionite. He accepts the deity of Jesus his brother, difficult as it was for him to do so. The word kurio is frequent in the LXX for Elohim and Jahweh as the Romans applied it to the emperor in their emperor worship. See 1 Corinthians 12:3 for Kurio Ihsou and Philippians 2:11 for Kurio Ihsou Cristo. To the twelve tribes (tai dwdeka pulai). Dative case. The expression means "Israel in its fulness and completeness" (Hort), regarded as a unity ( Acts 26:7 ) with no conception of any "lost" tribes. Which are of the Dispersion (tai en th diasporai). "Those in the Dispersion" (repeated article). The term appears in Deuteronomy 28:25 (LXX) and comes from diaspeirw, to scatter (sow) abroad. In its literal sense we have it in John 7:34 , but here and in 1 Peter 1:1 Christian Jews are chiefly, if not wholly, in view. The Jews at this period were roughly divided into Palestinian Jews (chiefly agriculturists) and Jews of the Dispersion (dwellers in cities and mainly traders). In Palestine Aramaic was spoken as a rule, while in the Western Diaspora the language was Greek (Koin, LXX), though the Eastern Diaspora spoke Aramaic and Syriac. The Jews of the Diaspora were compelled to compare their religion with the various cults around them (comparative religion) and had a wider outlook on life. James writes thus in cultural Koin but in the Hebraic tone. Greeting (cairein). Absolute infinitive (present active of cairw) as in Acts 15:23 (the Epistle to Antioch and the churches of Syria and Galatia). It is the usual idiom in the thousands of papyri letters known to us, but in no other New Testament letter. But note cairein legete in 2 John 1:10 2 John 1:11 .