The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

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John2
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Re: The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

Post by John2 »

Peter Kirby wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 2:35 pm
Are you claiming that there were never any oral traditions or Christian stories told about the death of James prior to Hegesippus?

Good question, and I guess my answer is no I"m not saying that, since it was surely a big event for Christians (and I also think the James passage in Josephus is genuine, so if from nowhere else, I suppose Hegesippus and other Christians could have expanded upon his account). But even still, by my reading, it looks like Clement and the Second Apocalypse knew Hegesippus.
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Re: The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

Post by Peter Kirby »

John2 wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 2:58 pm
Peter Kirby wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 2:35 pm
Are you claiming that there were never any oral traditions or Christian stories told about the death of James prior to Hegesippus?

Good question, and I guess my answer is no I"m not saying that, since it was surely a big event for Christians (and I also think the James passage in Josephus is genuine, so if from nowhere else, I suppose Hegesippus and other Christians could have expanded upon his account). But even still, by my reading, it looks like Clement and the Second Apocalypse knew Hegesippus.
Alright, then if we can include the element that there was an oral tradition prior to Hegesippus, the hypothesis that I am proposing is sufficiently economical, in that it doesn't really have any extra elements hypothesized, other than those included on other grounds.

I'm not totally hung up on whether or not Clement of Alexandria used Hegesippus. This may be causing some miscommunication. It's more accurate to say that I regard a relationship between the two as undemonstrated, even though it is sometimes assumed.

This diagram shows the basic elements of the synoptic problem solution, including both possibilities for Clement of Alexandria.
james-synoptic.png
james-synoptic.png (67.56 KiB) Viewed 194 times
The synoptic problem here isn't exactly easy to solve. When you say that it looks like the Second Apocalypse of James knew Hegesippus on your reading, you are acknowledging one possibility as the one that you accept without explicitly presenting an argument for it. It might be a bit premature for you to attempt to argue one way or another anyway! I spent a few weeks reading all of this, many hours at a time over several days, before forming a hypothesis, and it wasn't easy. The apparent quickness with which you seem to have reached a conclusion suggests that you may be able to benefit from further study here. Synoptic problems tend to permit of more than one possible solution, tend to be difficult to reason about, and also tend to permit the introduction of solutions that are obvious to someone even if they are not supported by evidence.
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Re: The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

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I'm not sure if the Ascents of James should be in both options though, even after all you've said, since James doesn't die in that account. In all the other accounts (in both of your options) James dies. If there was an oral tradition that James was beaten to death that started it all, why did the Ascents turn it into a beating that James survives?
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Re: The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

Post by Peter Kirby »

John2 wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2024 4:02 pm I'm not sure if the Ascents of James should be in both options though, even after all you've said, since James doesn't die in that account. In all the other accounts (in both of your options) James dies. If there was an oral tradition that James was beaten to death that started it all, why did the Ascents turn it into a beating that James survives?
It's not hard to find answers to the question you ask ("why did the Ascents turn it into a beating that James survives?"), and I would suppose that you could think of some possible answers yourself. We can come back to that question (although clues to an answer have already been presented in my previous posts).

If you're wondering why Ascents of James is included in the diagram of a synoptic problem solution, then we're at ground zero in this discussion and have to take it all from the beginning again. The question becomes whether Ascents of James is in a literary relationship with Hegesippus and the Second Apocalypse of James. The question of whether we can conclude that there were literary relationships among the various texts was the starting point of the discussion. In some cases I found sufficient evidence in favor of a literary relationship, and in other cases I did not.

Some Cases of Known Dependence on Hegesippus

Photius and Epiphanius presented two cases of known dependence on Hegesippus (without mentioning him by name in the given quote), whether directly or mediated by another text. Although I don't discuss it much here, both Photius and Epiphanius might also have information on Hegesippus not present in Eusebius.
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 7:02 pm Photius and Epiphanius provide a couple examples of related expressions about James, which can also be analyzed.

Photius in Bibliotheca, Codex 222, Bekker page 202a, line 22. Any translation errors are my own.

Ὁ δὲ Ἰάκωβος ἐφ' ὅσον ἀρετῆς ὕψος ἀνῆλθε καὶ τίνα παρεῖχεν ὑπόληψιν τῷ τῶν Ἰουδαίων λαῷ, καὶ ἡ κλῆσις ἀναβοᾷ· ὠβλίαν γὰρ αὐτὸν τὸ πλῆθος διὰ τὸ τῆς ἀρετῆς μέγεθος καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὸ θεῖον παρρησίαν, τουτέστι περιοχὴν καὶ σκέπην τοῦ λαοῦ, κατωνόμαζον.

But Jacob, as much as he ascended in the height of virtue and what kind of reputation he had among the Jewish people, and the calling proclaims Oblias, because the multitude admired him due to the greatness of his virtue and his boldness towards the divine, that is, the protection and shelter of the people, they called him.

Photius may have changed emphasis from being "righteous" (δίκαιος) to having "virtue" (ἀρετῆς) idiosyncratically, but Photius was probably aware of James being called the "Just" (δίκαιος) despite this. The reference to "Ἰουδαίων λαῷ" seems an insufficient basis to believe that there is a literary connection between Hegesippus' account (possibly mediated via Eusebius) and Photius, but the references to "ὠβλίαν" (not as widely used of James as δίκαιος is) and especially "περιοχὴν ... τοῦ λαοῦ" (which arguably originated with Hegesippus) make it very likely.

Of course, Photius certainly read Eusebius, which would have introduced him to this quote of Hegesippus. It seems that Photius did not read Hegesippus directly but may have known some other text besides Eusebius referring to Hegesippus, judging from a reference to the third book of Hegesippus in codex 232 (where Photius comments "in I do not know what context").

Epiphanius in Panarion 29 has this account of James:

3,7 But with the transfer of the royal throne the rank of king passed, in Christ, from the physical house of David and Israel to the church. The throne is established in God’s holy church forever, and has both the kingly and the high-priestly rank for two reasons. (8) It has the kingly rank from our Lord Jesus Christ, in two ways: because he is physically descended from King David, and because he is in fact a greater king from all eternity in virtue of his Godhead. But it has the priestly rank because Christ himself is high priest and the founder of the office of the high priests (9) since James, who was called the Lord’s brother and who was his apostle, was immediately made the first bishop. He was Joseph’s son by birth, but was ranked as the Lord’s brother because of their upbringing together.
4,1 For this James was Joseph’s son by Joseph’s < first > wife, not by Mary, as I have said in many other places and dealt with more clearly for you. (2) And moreover I find that he was of Davidic descent because of being Joseph’s son, < and > that he was born a nazirite—for he was Joseph’s first-born, and (thus) consecrated. And I have found further that he also functioned as (high)-priest in the ancient priesthood. (3) Thus he was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies once a year, as scripture says the Law directed the high priests to do. For many before me—Eusebius, Clement and others—have reported this of him. (4) He was allowed to wear the priestly tablet besides, as the trustworthy authors I mentioned have testified in those same historical writings.

Epiphanius must have read at least Eusebius, where he could have encountered the quote of Hegesippus. The only other source mentioned by name here is Clement, who is also mentioned by Eusebius. The quote of Hegesippus may have been part of what informed the reference here to entering "the Holy of Holies," since that quote says that "He alone was permitted to enter into the holy place" and "he was in the habit of entering alone into the temple." The reference to being a "nazirite" in those words isn't found in the quote of Hegesippus, but the content of this assertion is found in the references that are there, i.e. "and he drank no wine nor strong drink" and especially "No razor came upon his head" (cf. Numbers 6:1-6). It's possible that other sources may also have spoken about James entering the holy place of the temple (Epiphanius claims as much). However, the part about James having what appeared to be nazirite vows (even though this detail isn't very widely reported about James) and the reference here to Eusebius make it likely that Epiphanius was aware of the quote of Hegesippus there when writing this.

These are a couple examples where it is possible to reason about whether a source on James is in a literary relationship with the Hegesippus quote about the death of James, even though Hegesippus isn't mentioned explicitly or quoted as such. They can show the kind of reasoning that I would employ to argue that there was such a literary relationship; implicitly, they can reveal to some extent when I would not be able to conclude this.
Some Cases where Dependence on Hegesippus is not Known

This post can be revisited for its brief presentation regarding the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Gospel of Thomas, the First Apocalypse of James, and Clement of Alexandria.
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 9:01 pm Here are three four instances where I haven't concluded that there is a literary dependence on the Hegesippus account.
In the case of the Gospel of the Hebrews, we know that there is a literary relationship: Hegesippus used the Gospel of the Hebrews.

In the other three cases - the Gospel of Thomas, the First Apocalypse of James, and Clement of Alexandria - we don't know whether there is a literary relationship with Hegesippus. There isn't sufficient evidence to establish the conclusion of a literary relationship. Some people claim that the First Apocalypse of James and Clement of Alexandria used Hegesippus, but I haven't been able to find justification for such a conclusion.

In this thread, some do suggest that Clement of Alexandria used Hegesippus, and I regard it as a possibility. Nobody has attempted to claim that the First Apocalypse of James used Hegesippus, but F. Stanley Jones for example makes that claim in the literature.

The Synoptic Problem of the Literary Relationships of Ascents of James, the Second Apocalypse of James, and Hegesippus

But sometimes a literary relationship can be established as a rather probable conclusion. I claim that these three ante-Nicene texts are in a literary relationship, which allows them to be studied as a sort of synoptic problem. Attempting to explore this synoptic problem is the substance of this thread. The starting point of the discussion proper was an observation regarding a literary relationship among these three texts:
Peter Kirby wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 6:40 pm On the other hand, I consider there to be sufficient evidence to believe that there is a literary relationship among these three texts: the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions (or its source, an Ascents of James), the Second Apocalypse of James, and Hegesippus. The pairing of the Second Apocalypse of James and Hegesippus provides the strongest points of verbal contact, out of these, but the pairing of each of those two as being in a literary relationship with the Recognitions also seems more probable than not. It is less clear to me how to work out this "synoptic problem," but the quantity and nature of the shared material is enough to indicate to me in favor of a literary relationship.

I am working on some posts regarding this.
What follows are the three most important posts of the thread, comparing each pair. But before the third of those posts (Second Apocalypse of James and Hegesippus) came the two most important posts of the thread, comparing each of the other two to Ascents of James. Those two posts need to be read completely and carefully if the point of the thread is to be grasped at all.

Second Apocalypse of James and Recognitions

This is the second most important post of the thread.
Peter Kirby wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 9:09 pm Second Apocalypse of James and Recognitions

Painter in Just James draws several parallels between the Second Apocalypse of James and the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions.

With Recognitions 1 the Second Apocalypse shares the motifs of the prediction of the destruction of the Temple (R 64.2 and A 60.13—22); James’s secret ally in the Council (R 65.2; 66.4 and A 61.9-11); the speech of James (R 68.3; 69 and A 46.6—60.24); given on the steps of the Temple (R 70.8 and A 45.24); James’s fall (R 70.8 and A 61.25f.); and the tumult (R 70.4—8; 71.1 and A 61.1-5).

I will quote some of this.

A prediction of the destruction of the Temple

(Recognitions 1.64.1) For we know that he [God] is even more angered about your sacrificing after the end of the time for sacrifices.
(1.64.2) Precisely because of this, the temple will be destroyed, and they will erect the abomination of desolation in the holy place. Then, the gospel will be made known to the nations as a witness for the healing of the schisms that have arisen so that also your separation will occur.

(Second Apocalypse of James 59) “He, the master, was rejected before he stretched out his hand. [But] as for me, [he has] opened [my ears]....... (60) He makes me hear the <silencing> of your trumpets, your flutes, and your harps [for this] house. It is the Lord who has taken you captive, closing your ears that they may not hear the sound of my speech, yet you [will be able to pay] attention in your hearts, and you will call me ‘the Just.’ Thus I say to you <in the name of the Lord>, look, I have given you your house, which you say God has made, through which the one who dwells in it has promised to give you an inheritance. I shall tear down this house, to the ruin and derision of those who live in ignorance.”

James’s secret ally in the Council

(Recognitions 1.65.2) But Gamaliel, who was the head of the nation and who was, because it was advantageous, secretly our brother in the matter regarding faith, perceived that they were intensely gnashing their teeth in the great anger towards us with which they were filled. He said these things:

(Recognitions 1.66.4) Then there was a great stillness, Gamaliel, who as I said previously was our brother who was hidden from them because it was advantageous (for they especially accepted the advice of those who were thus, as if fellows of their way of thinking--thus, he kept himself in hiding so that when something was plotted against us we should be able to know the various things and to repel them from us, and he might be able to change peacefully those who are opposed to us through persuasion with appropriate advice) (5) spoke first wisely as if he were our enemy. Through his argument he attempted to persuade the people to listen in the love of truth to the words being spoken. He looked towards James the bishop and began with his discourse as follows.

(Second Apocalypse of James 1) This is the discourse that James the Just delivered in Jerusalem and Mareim wrote down. (2) One of the priests told it to Theudas, (3) the father of this just man, since he was a relative of his. He said, [Hurry] and come with [Mary] your wife and your relatives. ... So hurry. Perhaps, [if] you yourself lead us to him, [he will] come to his senses. For look, there are many who are disturbed at his [slander]. They are extremely angry [with him, for he has said], “They [do not] pray….” [He has said] these things often, and other things too.

(Second Apocalypse of James 61) Another day he came in again and spoke for a few hours. I was with the priests, and I said nothing of our relationship, because they were all saying with one voice, “Come, let us stone ‘the Just.’”

advice not to speak

(Recognitions 1.62.1) "After him, Caiaphas gave heed to me, sometimes as if exhorting me and sometimes as if finding fault with me. ‘Be silent and do not proclaim about Jesus that he is the Christ, for you are bringing destruction He said, on yourself since you have gone astray after him and are leading others astray.’ (2) Again, he found fault with me as with someone rash, ‘For while you were untaught and a fisher by trade you became a teacher by chance.’"

(Second Apocalypse of James 2) One of the priests told it to Theudas, (3) the father of this just man, since he was a relative of his. He said, [Hurry] and come with [Mary] your wife and your relatives. ... So hurry. Perhaps, [if] you yourself lead us to him, [he will] come to his senses. For look, there are many who are disturbed at his [slander].

"you have gone astray"

(Recognitions 1.62.1) ‘Be silent and do not proclaim about Jesus that he is the Christ, for you are bringing destruction He said, on yourself since you have gone astray after him and are leading others astray.’

(Second Apocalypse of James 62) They stretched out his body and rolled a stone on his abdomen, and they trampled him with their feet and said, “O you who have gone astray!”

a reference to Jesus doing miracles (being admired) or being a magician (leading astray)

(Recognitions 1.70.2) ‘What are you doing, O men, the children of Israel? How have you been carried off so quickly by wretched men who have strayed after a magician?’

(Second Apocalypse of James 56) You [they shall] admire because of all your miracles.

speech of James given on the steps of the Temple

(Recognitions 1.70.8) Now the enemy threw James from the top of the stairs.

(Second Apocalypse of James 45) He used to say these things while the multitude of the people was seated. But on this occasion he entered and sat down <not> in his customary place but on the fifth flight of steps, [which] is the favored place.

given over multiple days

(Recognitions 1.69.8) In seven full days he persuaded all the people together with the high priest so that they should immediately make haste to proceed to baptism.

(Second Apocalypse of James 61) He got up and left after saying these things. Another day he came in again and spoke for a few hours

speaking and then being silent

(Recognitions 1.55.4) Now he spoke these things as if at ease, testified to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognitions 1.56.3) Now he spoke these things, testified to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognitions 1.57.5) Now they spoke these things, witnessed to related matters, and then were silent.

(Recognitions 1.58.3) Now he spoke these things, witnessed to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognition 1.59.3) Now he spoke these things, witnessed to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recogntions 1.59.6) Now he spoke these things, also witnessed to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognitions 1.59.7) Now he spoke these things, witnessed to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognitions 1.60.4) Now he spoke these things, witnessed to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognitions 1.60.7) Now he spoke these things, witnessed to related matters, and then was silent.

(Recognitions 1.61.3) Now he said this, testified to similar matters, and then was silent.

(Second Apocalypse of James 59) Look upon the one who speaks, and seek the one who is silent.

(Second Apocalypse of James 63) When he finished speaking, [he] fell silent.

a call for violence instead of deliberation

(1.70.1) "Then a certain man who was the enemy entered the temple near the altar with a few others. He cried out and said,
(2) ‘What are you doing, O men, the children of Israel? How have you been carried off so quickly by wretched men who have strayed after a magician?’
(3) "He said things such as these, and he listened to counterarguments, and, when he was overcome by James the bishop, he began to create a great commotion so that the matters that were rightly being said in calmness would neither be put to the test nor be understood and believed.
(4) For this purpose, he let forth an outcry over the foolishness and feebleness of the priests and reproached them.
(5) He said, ‘Why are you delaying? Why are you not immediately seizing all those who are with him?’

(Second Apocalypse of James 60) Look, those who hold the office of judge are deliberating, to pass [judgment on all he said]. ... [61] [on] that day. All the [people] and the crowd were confused, and it was clear that they were not convinced. He got up and left after saying these things.
Another day he came in again and spoke for a few hours. I was with the priests, and I said nothing of our relationship, because they were all saying with one voice, “Come, let us stone ‘the Just.’” They arose and said, “Yes, let us kill this man, that he may be removed from our midst. For he will be of no use to us at all.”

James’s fall

(Recognitions 1.70.8) Now the enemy threw James from the top of the stairs. Since he fell and was as if dead, he did not smite him a second time.

(Second Apocalypse of James 61) They were there, and they found him standing by the pinnacle of the temple, next to the mighty cornerstone. They determined to throw him down from the height, and they did just that. [When] they [looked at him], they saw [he was alive. So] they arose [and went down], [62] and they seized him and [abused] him, dragging him on the ground. They stretched out his body and rolled a stone on his abdomen, and they trampled him with their feet and said, “O you who have gone astray!” Since he was still alive, they raised him up again, made him dig a hole, and forced him to stand in it. They covered him up to his abdomen and stoned him in this manner.

The parallels mentioned by Painter are less impressive when they are quoted in full than they originally appeared to be when presented in the abstract. Instead of finding any one passage where the texts are remarkably close (with the possible exception of the shared phrase "you have gone astray"), there are instead a fairly good number of different elements at various points in the story that are in common, yet in each case those elements are told differently. Determining the nature of the relationships of these texts would be a difficult endeavor.

If I had to make a guess, then I would suppose that the account given in the Recognitions or by its source has some degree of priority here, relative to the account given in the Second Apocalypse of James, assuming that there is some kind of literary relationship. One thing that I note is that the theme of "speaking and then being silent" is very much a characteristic of the narrative in the Recognitions, to the point that it seems like the theme was not likely borrowed from a reference or two from the Second Apocalypse of James. This may suggest that this reference was first introduced in this kind of context by the original source behind the Recognitions. Later, the Second Apocalypse of James was influenced by this. I wouldn't venture to guess whether it was influenced directly.
The following is the most important post in this thread.
Peter Kirby wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 10:55 pm The Recognitions Source and Hegesippus

Quotes of Hegesippus are from my old blog post Chasing Hegesippus, where the location of the citation in Eusebius and the Greek can be found.

Hegesippus makes mention of the "seven sects" in the context of discussing James:

Now some of the seven sects, which existed among the people and which have been mentioned by me in the Memoirs, asked him, ‘What is the gate of Jesus?’ and he replied that he was the Saviour. On account of these words some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the sects mentioned above did not believe either in a resurrection or in one’s coming to give to every man according to his works. But as many as believed did so on account of James. Therefore when many even of the rulers believed, there was a commotion among the Jews and Scribes and Pharisees, who said that there was danger that the whole people would be looking for Jesus as the Christ.

Hegesippus mentions the "seven sects" again in the context of Christian heresy:

And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as the Lord had also on the same account, Symeon, the son of the Lord’s uncle, Clopas, was appointed the next bishop. All proposed him as second bishop because he was a cousin of the Lord. Therefore, they called the Church a virgin, for it was not yet corrupted by vain discourses. But Thebuthis, because he was not made bishop, began to corrupt it. He also was sprung from the seven sects among the people, like Simon, from whom came the Simonians, and Cleobius, from whom came the Cleobians, and Dositheus, from whom came the Dositheans, and Gorthæus, from whom came the Goratheni, and Masbotheus, from whom came the Masbothæans. From them sprang the Menandrianists, and Marcionists, and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians. Each introduced privately and separately his own peculiar opinion. From them came false Christs, false prophets, false apostles, who divided the unity of the Church by corrupt doctrines uttered against God and against his Christ.

Hegesippus lists these "seven sects" that "were opposed to the tribe of Judah and the Christ":

There were, moreover, various opinions in the circumcision, among the children of Israel. The following were those that were opposed to the tribe of Judah and the Christ: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbothæans, Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees.

Quotes from the Recognitions are from F. Stanley Jones, An ancient Jewish Christian source on the history of Christianity : Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27-71. The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions speaks of a division into "many beliefs" or "many parties" here.

Syriac translation Latin translation
(1.53.4) Because of this, as | said before, they sent to us many times and besought us in order that they might either learn or teach as to whether Jesus is the Christ. We drew up a plan to go to the temple, to testify concerning Christ before the entire people, and simultaneously also to put many of them to shame with regard to the great crime. (5) For the people were divided into many beliefs that began in the days of John the Baptist. (1.53.4) And since they were frequently requesting that they might either learn or teach regarding whether Jesus is the Christ, it seemed to us right to go up to the temple and to testify publicly about him before the entire people and simultaneously to criticize the Jews with regard to the many things that are absurdly practiced by them. (5) For indeed the people were being divided into many parties having started from John the Baptist.
(1.54.1) For as Christ was ready to be revealed for the abolition of sacrifices and in order to reveal and show forth baptism, the slanderer who was opposed recognized from predestination the point in time and created sects and divisions, so that if the former sin should receive renunciation and correction, a second vice would be able to obstruct redemption. (1.54.1) "For when the coming of Christ was near, on the one hand to check sacrifices and on the other hand to impart the favor of baptism, the enemy understood from what had been predicted that the time was at hand and effected various schisms among the people so that, if the previous sin might possibly be abolished, the following offence would not be able to be corrected.
(2) "The first of these then are the ones called Sadducees, who arose in the days of John when they separated from the people as righteous ones and renounced the resurrection of the dead. They put forward their unbelieving doctrine speciously when they said, namely, ‘It is not right to worship and fear God in prospect of a reward for goodness.’ (2) The first was the schism of those who were called Sadducees, starting practically in the times of John. These began to separate themselves from the assembly of the people as more righteous than the others; they denied the resurrection of the dead and asserted this by an argument of unbelief saying that it is not appropriate for God to be worshipped as if for promised pay.
In this doctrine, as I have said, Dositheus began and, after Dositheus, Simon, who also started to create differences of opinions as he wished in the likeness of the former. The initiator of this opinion was first Dositheus and, second, Simon.
(4) "Others again are called Samaritans. They also renounce the resurrection of the dead and adore Mount Gerizim instead of the holy city Jerusalem. (4) Another is the schism of the Samaritans. Now while they, too, deny the resurrection of the dead, they assert that God should be worshipped not in Jerusalem but at Mount Gerizim.
(5) Now they do correctly await the one prophet who is to come to erect and establish unknown things just as Moses predicted. These fell into schisms through the cunning of Dositheus, and they were thus brought to nought so that they should not be restored by Jesus. (5) Though they do, however, properly await the one true prophet on the basis of Moses’ predictions, they have been hindered by the wickedness of Dositheus from believing that the one they awaited is Jesus.
(6) "But both the scribes and the Pharisees, (6) Both the scribes and the Pharisees are drawn away into another schism.
(7) who were baptized by John, were thus instructed that the word of truth is like the key to the kingdom of heaven, which they received from Moses in order to hide it. (7) They were baptized by John, and holding on to the word of truth received from Moses’ tradition as being the key to the kingdom of heaven, they hid it from the ears of the people.
(8) "Now the pure disciples of John separated themselves greatly from the people and spoke to their teacher as if he was concealed [or: said that their teacher was, as it were, concealed]. (8) Some of the disciples of John who imagined they were great separated themselves from the people and proclaimed their master as the Christ.
(9) Hence, owing to all these schisms that had arisen among the people, the baptism of Christ was hindered from being believed. (9) Now all these schisms were arranged beforehand so that both the faith of Christ and baptism might be hindered by them.

The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions names these groups that are also mentioned in the New Testament, i.e.: Sadducees, Samaritans, and Pharisees (and scribes), as well as (some of) the disciples of John. It also mentions two-well known heterodox figures, Dositheus and Simon. The text may admit of multiple interpretations, but the reading that I would suggest is that the Greek original was trying to say that Dositheus sprang from the Sadducees, while Simon sprang from the the Samaritans (and yes I am to some extent using other sources to shed light on the interpretation of Simon here but in a way that I consider to be consistent with the text of the Recognitions or its source). Finally, the certain disciples of John who are considered a schism were drawn from the Pharisees. This is then a description of three schisms, from three prior groups (sects):

Sadducees -> Dositheus
Samaritans -> Simon
Pharisees -> some disciples of John (maintaining John's innocence for the schism per Christian tradition)

There are also other plausible interpretations of the relationship of Dositheus and Simon to these sects. The exact correspondences are not that relevant here. More relevant is the general association of them with the Sadducees, Samaritans, and Pharisees as sects.

Hegesippus also claims that the schisms of Dositheus and Simon sprang from the sects, mentioning Simon as the first of these schisms:

But Thebuthis, because he was not made bishop, began to corrupt it. He also was sprung from the seven sects among the people, like Simon, from whom came the Simonians, and Cleobius, from whom came the Cleobians, and Dositheus, from whom came the Dositheans, and Gorthæus, from whom came the Goratheni, and Masbotheus, from whom came the Masbothæans.

It can be understood that Hegesippus does not believe that Simon or Dositheus or Masbotheus were part of the church, so Thebuthis would be the first "church" schismatic in the scheme of Hegesippus, while Simon may have been earlier (as told in Acts) but not part of the church. Indeed the Masbothæans are mentioned as one of the "seven sects" themselves that had split off from the tribe of Judah. Thebuthis is thus the first "church" schismatic that follows this pattern of springing from the "seven sects," corrupting the church because he wasn't made bishop. From these prior schisms, such as that of Simon (who is mentioned first by Hegesippus), sprang Christian heretics, as Hegesippus immediately continues:

From them sprang the Menandrianists, and Marcionists, and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians. Each introduced privately and separately his own peculiar opinion. From them came false Christs, false prophets, false apostles, who divided the unity of the Church by corrupt doctrines uttered against God and against his Christ.

By comparison, Hegesippus has a fulsome list of Jewish sects, including many groups that are not known from the Gospels, bringing the number to a round seven. Hegesippus has a longer list of schisms that sprang from those sects, mentioning more than Dositheus and Simon, while not mentioning the disciples of John as a schism in this quote. By mentioning Simon first (instead of Dositheus) after Thebuthis, Hegesippus agrees in emphasis with Acts, Justin, and Irenaeus. Hegesippus then additionally mention several Christian heresies that came from these schisms. In agreement again with Justin and Irenaeus, after having already mentioned Simon, Hegesippus mentions the heresy of Menander first of all. In parallel again to Justin (who talks about Simon, Menander, and Marcion in 1 Apology 26), Hegesippus mention the heresy of Marcion second, just after Menander.

What is probably a source here (often called Ascents of James) disagrees with other parts of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, which make out that Dositheus attempted to replace Simon by spreading a false rumor that he had died. These other parts agree on the primacy of Simon, unlike the source here, which mentions Dositheus first and as having sprang from the Sadducees.

Photius mentions a work of Hippolytus against heresies, as follows:

A booklet of Hippolytus has been read. Now Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenæus. But it (i. e. the booklet) was the compilation against 32 heresies making (the) Dositheans the beginning (of them) and comprising (those) up to Noetus and the Noetians. And he says that these heresies were subjected to refutations by Irenæus in conversation (or in lectures). Of which refutations making also a synopsis, he says he compiled this book. The phrasing however is clear, reverent and unaffected, although he does not observe the Attic style. But he says some other things lacking in accuracy, and that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not by the Apostle Paul.

F. Legge writes, in comparing with the Refutation of All Heresies: "It does indeed mention at the outset 'Dositheus the Samaritan,' but only to say that the author proposes to keep silence concerning both him and the Jews, and 'to turn to those who have wished to make heresy from the Gospel,' the very first of whom, he says, is Simon Magus." - https://www.gutenberg.org/files/65478/6 ... 5478-h.htm

The source behind the Recognitions does not agree with the Refutation of All Heresies, both because Dositheus is related to the Sadducees and because it doesn't make Simon out to be someone with "heresy from the Gospel." In this way, regarding the treatment of Simon, even Refutation of All Heresies (which mentions Dositheus sooner) has come under the influence of Justin or Irenaeus, while the source behind the Recognitions has not.

Irenaeus doesn't even mention Dositheus in his extant works, but Pseudo-Tertullian and Jerome both mention an association between Dositheus and the Sadducees, an association also found in this text.

Only this source has both put Dositheus first and maintained both Dositheus and Simon as the leaders of schisms (in a way disconnected from the church or the gospel). This is the only source out of those mentioned so far that shows no influence from the heresiological programs of Justin and Irenaeus, neither to pass on their details nor to deny them. It places some of the disciples of John alongside the sects of Dositheus and Simon, in a way that would be unnecessary and uncomfortable for those who were not in contact with disciples of John and who maintained John more simply as the forerunner of Christ. The list of Jewish sects stays closer to older material already well-known from the gospels about three groups and the disciples of John, while the schismatics named (Dositheus and Simon) are only the two supposed to be the oldest in various traditions. The source behind the Recognitions knows of "the enemy" (Paul), treated as an external threat, but conflict with Paul is apparent at the oldest layers of written Christian tradition, including the letters of Paul themselves.

The treatment of the schisms in the source behind the Recognitions seems like it isn't derived from Hegesippus, which has many elaborations and influences that are not present in Recognitions 1.27-71, including the influence of a second century heresiological project also associated with Justin or Irenaeus. The anti-heretical activity of Hegesippus is also known from elsewhere, such as his opposition to a certain saying or a certain reading of Paul quoted by Photius, his reference to Clement writing to respond to problems in Corinth, his collection of bishop lists, his claim that the church was kept a virgin until a successor was chosen after James died, and his own trip to Rome. Interaction with the anti-heretical project evinced by Hegesippus isn't present in the text behind the Recognitions, either in support or opposition.

As we will see below, there seems to be a relationship between the texts in the presentation regarding James. The treatment of schisms that derived from Jewish divisions further supports viewing the two texts as being in a relationship. And to the extent that we can tell, it seems more likely that the treatment of schisms in the source behind the Recognitions has priority.

The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions continues with arguments presented by opponents of the apostles, which I will outline and enumerate:

(1) the high priest ... praise them for they seemed to be speaking in favor of forgiveness of sins. He found fault, however, in our baptism, which was given by Jesus.

(2) the Sadducees ... ‘It is an error for us to believe that the dead will ever rise.’

(3) a Samaritan ... ‘The dead do not rise, and instead of the holy place that is in Jerusalem, Mount Gerizim is the house of worship.’ ... [Jesus] was not the prophet to come who was previously proclaimed by Moses.

(4) one of the scribes ... ‘Your Jesus performed signs and wonders as a magician and not as a prophet.’

(5) one of the Pharisees ... found fault ... when he said that Jesus was equal to Moses.

(6) One of the disciples of John approached and boasted regarding John, ‘He is the Christ, and not Jesus, just as Jesus himself spoke concerning him, namely, that he is greater than any prophet who had ever been. If he is thus greater than Moses, it is clear that he is also greater than Jesus for Jesus arose just as did Moses. Therefore, it is right that John, who is greater than these, is the Christ.’

(7) Caiaphas found fault with Jesus’ teaching for this reason: ‘He spoke vacant things when he came, for he called the poor blessed and promised earthly rewards so that they, the virtuous, would inherit the earth and would be filled with foods and drink and things similar to these.’ ...

(8) Caiaphas gave heed to me, sometimes as if exhorting me and sometimes as if finding fault with me. ‘Be silent and do not proclaim about Jesus that he is the Christ, for you are bringing destruction He said, on yourself since you have gone astray after him and are leading others astray.’ Again, he found fault with me as with someone rash, ‘For while you were untaught and a fisher by trade you became a teacher by chance.’

The high priest is Caiaphas, while the scribes are associated with the Pharisees, ambiguities that would indicate against the idea that the source is attempting to reach any particular symbolic number here. The objections of Caiaphas about "foods and drinks" for "the virtuous" resembles what is said of Sadducees in other sources. In the outline of criticisms made here during the public dispute, the source has stayed close to its prior discussion of the identity of the various sects. Some of their criticisms are based on views found earlier in the Gospels (the dead rising for Sadducees, the location of the holy place for Samaritans, the one awaited by Samaritans, the disciples of John revering him). Others are based on elements of the Gospels turned here into criticism (the baptism given by Jesus, the meek inheriting the earth, being fishermen by trade, possibly Moses appearing alongside Jesus in the transfiguration).

Previously, the text spoke about how God wished for sacrifices to cease, such that God would restore the Jews when they had stopped sacrificing and they would be punished after they started sacrificing again. A point is made about how the gospel will be preached to the nations after the destruction of the Temple:

Syriac translation Latin translation
(1.64.1) For we know that he [sc. God] is even more angered about your sacrificing after the end of the time for sacrifices. (2) Precisely because of this the temple will be destroyed, and they will erect the abomination of desolation in the holy place. Then, the gospel will be made known to the nations as a witness for the healing of the schisms that have arisen so that also your separation will occur. (1.64.1) "’For we ascertain as certain,’ I said, ‘that God is even more irritated with regard to the sacrifices you are offering, because at any rate the time of sacrifices has already expired. (2) And since you do not want to recognize that the time of offering sacrificial victims has already come to an end, for this reason even the temple will be destroyed and the abomination of desolation will be set up in the holy place. Then the gospel will be proclaimed to the nations as a testimony of you, so that your unbelief might be judged on the basis of their belief.

A speech of Gamaliel calls to mind this speech of his in Acts:

Acts (ESV) Syriac Translation Latin Translation
But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” But Gamaliel, who was the head of the nation and who was, because it was advantageous, secretly our brother in the matter regarding faith, perceived that they were intensely gnashing their teeth in the great anger towards us with which they were filled. He said these things: (3) ‘Cease and keep your peace, O people, the children of Israel, for we do not know the nature of this trial that has come upon us. Therefore, leave these men alone, for if this matter is of human origin, come to nought, but if it is of God, why then are you transgressing in vain, as you are not able to do a thing? For it befits the will of God to be continually victorious over all things. But when Gamaliel the head of the people (who was secretly our brother in faith but who by our counsel was among them) perceived that they were vehemently raging and were affected with great fury against us, rising he said, (3) ‘Be quiet for a little while, O Israelite men, for you do not perceive the trial that impends upon us. Therefore, leave these men alone. And if what they do is of human contrivance, it will quickly come to an end, but if it is from God, why do you sin without reason and accomplish nothing? For who is able to outstrip the will of God?

It's generally accepted that this text is dependent on the Acts of the Apostles.

Gerd Lüdemann makes a "synoptic comparison" between the Recognitions and Hegesippus. Lüdemann places Hegesippus on the left. I will place the Recognitions (Ascents of James?) on the left instead (because that's what proves synoptic priority, right? *kidding*). The comparisons are quoted from Opposition to Paul in Jewish Christianity, pp. 175-176.

66f.: James (=the Bishop [of Bishops]: 66.2, 5;[68.2] 70.3) wants to dispute with the leaders of the people in the temple (cf. 68.2) 1.8-11: First speech of James (=the Just: 12.15f., 18) in the temple
on the question, “Who is the gate of Jesus?” (8)
Success of the speech (9f.)
tumult among the people (10)
Speech of Gamaliel (67)
On the question of Caiaphas: “Is Jesus the true Christ?” (68.2) On the same question from the Pharisees and scribes: “Who is the gate of Jesus?” (12)
a speech (68.3—69.7) of James second speech (13) of James (13)
from the highest point of the temple (66.3; 70.8) from the pinnacle of the temple (12)
Messianic confession (Jesus is the Christ: 69.3) Messianic confession (Jesus is the Son of man: 13)
Doubled parousia (in lowliness and in glory: 69.4) Parousia (on the clouds of heaven: 13)
Success of the speech among the people Success of the speech among the people (14a)
and its leaders (69.8) (and its leaders: cf.10)
desire to be baptized “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
Tumult at the appearance of the “enemy” (70.1ff.) in the temple
Demand of the enemy 14b-15: Decision of the Pharisees and scribes
to kill James and his companions to kill James
“Why don’t we grab them and tear them in pieces?” (70.5) “Let us climb up and throw him down!” (14b)
70.8: Attempted murder of James Murder of James
Throwing him down from the highest point of the temple Throwing him down from the pinnacle of the temple (16)
Stoning (16)
James’s prayer of intercession (16)
Remains lying as one dead Deathblow from the fuller (18)

All of this contributes to the idea that there is a literary relationship between this text and Hegesippus.

Attempting to correlate texts in order, and with respect to James, Lüdemann would have the first speech of James in Hegesippus present no parallel in the Recognitions:

Now some of the seven sects, which existed among the people and which have been mentioned by me in the Memoirs, asked him, ‘What is the gate of Jesus?’ and he replied that he was the Saviour. On account of these words some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the sects mentioned above did not believe either in a resurrection or in one’s coming to give to every man according to his works. But as many as believed did so on account of James. Therefore when many even of the rulers believed, there was a commotion among the Jews and Scribes and Pharisees, who said that there was danger that the whole people would be looking for Jesus as the Christ.

But the text presents several things in paraphrase that are presented narratively in the Recognitions.

(1) Hegesippus mentions "some of the seven sects" as asking questions. The source behind the Recognitions speaks only of "some of the seven sects": namely, Sadducees, Samaritans, and Pharisees. Hegesippus provides no explanation of why only "some of the seven sects" were involved in questioning, but if we understand his purposes as including the gathering of existing traditions and presenting them in a way that has some kind of history-writing intent, then there doesn't need to be any reason for the reference other than basing it on an earlier source.

(2) Other than just saying that Jesus was the savior, Hegesippus doesn't provide the words that were compelling enough that "some believed that Jesus is the Christ." Again this makes sense if Hegesippus is not so much telling his own story here as he is paraphrasing earlier stories. While it is also a fairly ubiquitous theme in Christian literature, whether "Jesus is the Christ" is the explicit subject of the dialogue of the Recognitions.

(3) Hegesippus says "But the sects mentioned above did not believe either in a resurrection." Hegesippus doesn't specify which of his seven sects didn't believe in a resurrection. The source being paraphrased says that Sadducees and Samaritans didn't believe in the resurrection. Yet Hegesippus himself doesn't mention the Sadducees and Samaritans in this quote, even though they are the sects alleged not to believe in the resurrection. Hegesippus himself in this story mentions only the Pharisees at a later point, even though they aren't among those sects said not to believe in the resurrection. This again makes sense if Hegesippus is paraphrasing an earlier source, specifically the one known to us from the Recognitions.

(4) Hegesippus adds a little of his own voice to the paraphrase in saying "in one’s coming to give to every man according to his works," but the rest works as a paraphrase of the objection to Caiaphas, "He spoke vacant things when he came, for he called the poor blessed and promised earthly rewards so that they, the virtuous, would inherit the earth and would be filled with foods and drink and things similar to these."

(5) Hegesippus writes, "But as many as believed did so on account of James." Hegesippus has paraphrased what is a discussion of involving many apostles with some of the sects, which would allow the notion that belief could have come on account of the other apostles. The source here agrees with Hegesippus that those who believed did so only after James gave his speech. But only the source presents the context that explains the paraphrase of Hegesippus, where other apostles spoke and could have been the ones who brought people to belief.

(6) Hegesippus writes, again without providing motivation, "Therefore when many even of the rulers believed." In the Recognitions, the story is told about how Caiaphas "quietly" enters a discussion with James about the scriptural basis for Jesus being the Christ. In that discussion, James explains from scripture that there are two advents of the Christ, one in humiliation and the other in glory. Prophecy of his "humble coming" would be a suitable point of debate between Jews and Christians (if somewhat artificial still), but Hegesippus doesn't even describe such points that could come up to persuade anyone, let alone the rulers. The speech of James given later in Hegesippus is just a few words about just the coming of the son of Man. Again this kind of undermotivated characterization makes sense as the result of an effort of paraphrase at this point.

(7) The word θόρυβος in Hegesippus is defined in the LSJ first as "noise, esp. the confused noise of a crowded assembly, uproar, clamour" with another primary definition of "tumult, confusion." In the context of Hegesippus, what is happening is scheming to prevent more people from looking to Jesus as the Christ, which is neither a tumult nor the actions of the whole people. It is not the most natural and appropriate word to use in this context, until you look at its source, where the enemy incites "a great commotion so that the matters that were rightly being said in calmness would neither be put to the test nor be understood and believed." Frankenberg in Die syrischen Clementinen mit griechischem paralleltext, p. 75 back-translates (from the Syriac) the Greek word here in this source as θορυβείν. Hegesippus has construed this here as some kind of "murmuring" (another definition) or "commotion" of a crowd conspiring together, as this bridges from his paraphrase of this source to the presentation of different material.

This exploration seems sufficient for now to say that I think this source was used by Hegesippus.
A Partial Synoptic Problem Solution

After writing the two most important posts in this thread, I had arrived at a partial synoptic problem solution, an idea that can be called the priority of Ascents of James.
ascents-priority.png
ascents-priority.png (18.26 KiB) Viewed 184 times
An exploration of the priority of Ascents of James, with respect to the other two texts, would be the most logical way to start a discussion if someone wanted to discuss this synoptic problem with me, especially if they wanted to try to argue for a different solution. And for that discussion, the most logical starting point is to ask and answer whether there is a literary relationship.
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The Just One

Post by Peter Kirby »

Peter Kirby wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2024 10:47 pm [*]The Righteous One: The reputation of James as a holy man and teacher, as well as his eventual martyrdom, led him to be called the Righteous one or James the Just. There could also be some influence here from the Septuagint, which uses the word righteousness or justice (Genesis 32:10 LXX) with Jacob. This is a word that patristic writers also use with respect to the Septuagint Jacob. These are of course the same name.
It can be mentioned here that Jesus was called "the righteous one" in Acts 3:14 and Acts 7:52.

Acts 3:14
But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

Acts 7:52
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have.

James 5:6
You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

The phrase in James 5:6 also mentions "the just one," who was condemned and killed. Ben Smith once offered this suggestion:
Ben C. Smith wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:22 pm Verse 6 sounds like a pretty good description, honestly, of the death of James. I have nearly always been of the opinion (not well formed, but distinct) that the epistle of James is pseudonymous, and this verse strikes me as the author's homage to its namesake: speaking in his name to condemn the very sorts of people who supposedly put him to death.
In the context of the letter, ascribed to James, it is plausibly a reference to Jesus, similar to Acts 3:14 and Acts 7:52.

While it may or may not directly witness to James being called "the just one" (even if pseudepigraphic), it would not be surprising if it was later read by others as prefiguring the death of James himself (as one devout commentary says, "whose slaughter is here divinely foretold"). So it's possible that the Epistle of James pre-dates later reference to James as "the just one" but also helped solidify this title. This is compatible with both pseudepigraphy and authenticity hypotheses on the origin of the epistle.

Preventing us from readily adopting this hypothesis as being a full explanation here is the fact that the Epistle of James was largely not cited in the extant texts that we're reading of the second century and, when we finally see some reference, it's with some qualification. This doesn't mean that it wasn't read by someone in the second century, but it may not have been widely influential with the same authors that we know about who refer to James as "the just."
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Re: The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

Post by Chrissy Hansen »

New paper just dropped:

Nicholas List, "The Death of James the Just Revisited"

Abstract:

Based on the testimony of Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 20.197–203), most scholars place the death of James, the brother of Jesus in 62 c.e. This article breaks with this consensus, arguing that the reference to Jesus “called Christ” in Jewish Antiquities 20.200 is a later Christian interpolation. If it can be shown that the Josephan account was not originally about James, the early Christian leader, then James’s death cannot be linked to the high priesthood of Ananus in 62 c.e. It also means that if any of the historical circumstances surrounding James’s death can be recovered, they must be sought in the Christian narratival accounts of early antiquity. After reviewing the complex source-critical relations between the James tradition in Hegesippus, Clement of Alexandria, the Second Apocalypse of James, and the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, and establishing the earliest independent form of the tradition, I argue that the narrative logic of the martyrdom account depends on at least two minimal historical likelihoods: 1) that James was in fact killed; and 2) that his death occurred shortly before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 c.e.

https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/1/article/923167
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Re: The Legend of James the Just and His Martyrdom

Post by Peter Kirby »

Thanks for sharing the paper.
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