James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

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DCHindley
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James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

Post by DCHindley »

There was a question posed on redditt about James the Just legend, and I referred to a file I created but never posted here:
DCH
gryan
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Re: James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

Post by gryan »

Thanks for this collection on James the Just!

Re: Origen's view of the "brother" relationship between Jesus and James

On one hand, "In Commentary on John 1.4, Origen states that those who think rightly say Mary had no other children; a fragment of the same commentary and Commentary on Matthew 10.17 both claim that Jesus's siblings were children of Joseph and an earlier wife, not biological children of Mary (in the latter commentary he cites a book attributed to James, probably the Protevangelium of James, as a source for this tradition). The same explanation appears in Homilies on Luke 7.4." https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals ... 2C5A64CB13

On the other hand, Origen can speak of "their relationship by blood" (το προς αιματος
συγγενες) in Against Celsus

Do these two claims made by Origen contradict one another? I think there is a contradiction based on exegesis of two different texts--Galatians 1 arguably refers to James as a "flesh and blood" brother vs the Gospels that arguably may not imply blood kinship--but am I missing an underlying harmony between Origen's two claims?
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GakuseiDon
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Re: James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

Post by GakuseiDon »

gryan wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:54 amOn the other hand, Origen can speak of "their relationship by blood" (το προς αιματος συγγενες) in Against Celsus

Do these two claims made by Origen contradict one another? I think there is a contradiction based on exegesis of two different texts--Galatians 1 arguably refers to James as a "flesh and blood" brother vs the Gospels that arguably may not imply blood kinship--but am I missing an underlying harmony between Origen's two claims?
To me it reads as though Origen himself didn't know, so he was being non-commital. As he writes:

And disparaging the whole of what appeared to be his nearest kindred, they said: Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? They supposed therefore that he was the son of Joseph and Mary. But some, depending on a tradition of the gospel inscribed according to Peter, or of the book of James, say that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph from a former wife, married to him before Mary...

Compare that to his comment about Paul:

[Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine.]

Origen doesn't seem to want to come down on one side or the other. Also, as Origen likes to do, he is 'reading between the lines' about what Paul "says" (unless there is some missing source that Origen had access to)

And a big thanks to DCHindley for putting that together!
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Re: James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

Post by gryan »

GakuseiDon wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:35 am
To me it reads as though Origen himself didn't know, so he was being non-commital. As he writes:

And disparaging the whole of what appeared to be his nearest kindred, they said: Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? They supposed therefore that he was the son of Joseph and Mary. But some, depending on a tradition of the gospel inscribed according to Peter, or of the book of James, say that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph from a former wife, married to him before Mary...

Compare that to his comment about Paul:

[Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine.]

Origen doesn't seem to want to come down on one side or the other. Also, as Origen likes to do, he is 'reading between the lines' about what Paul "says" (unless there is some missing source that Origen had access to)
Agreed.

As for "brother of the Lord" implying "virtue and doctrine", this view is supported by Paul's mention of more than one "brother of the Lord" who seemed to be in the role of apostle alongside Cephas (1 Cor 9:5). It is further supported by Acts 1:14 which portrays the 12 being in "one accord" with Mary, the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

Post by GakuseiDon »

gryan wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 3:06 pmAs for "brother of the Lord" implying "virtue and doctrine", this view is supported by Paul's mention of more than one "brother of the Lord" who seemed to be in the role of apostle alongside Cephas (1 Cor 9:5). It is further supported by Acts 1:14 which portrays the 12 being in "one accord" with Mary, the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.
That's an interesting point, since it gives context to the argument that Paul's use of "brother of the Lord" as being about extra-virtuous followers of Christ rather than as literal brothers.
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Re: James the Just in Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement & Origen

Post by gryan »

Re: "the justice of James was not at all small"

Origen, Against Celsus
c) και το θαυμαστον εστιν οτι, τον Ιησουν ημων ου
καταδεξαμενος ειναι Χριστον, ουδεν ηττον
Ιακωβω δικαιοσυνην εμαρτυρησε τοσαυτην.

A standard translation:
c) And the wonderful thing is that, though he [Josephas] did
not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony
that the righteousness of James was so great;

Ben Smith's translation:
And the wondrous thing is that,
although he did not accept our Jesus to be Christ,
[B2] he yet testified that the justice of James was
not at all small;

----------------

Ben Smith's translation is closer to the Greek wording. I think Origen is struggling with, and resisting the possibility (the likelihood IMHO) that gMark's epithet "James the lesser" refers to the "lesser" righteousness/justice of "the Lord's brother" in comparison to another, relatively greater "James."

Key words are these:
ουδεν ηττον -- not less/worse/inferior
τοσαυτην -- so great

I think Origen's bias was influenced by, and in keeping with gMatthew's erasure of gMark's epithet, "the lesser".
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