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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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James 1:1

James (Iakwbov).
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 (doulov).
Bond-servant or slave as Paul (Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1).

Of the Lord Jesus Christ (kuriou Ihsou Xristou).
Here on a par with God (teou) and calls himself not adelpov (brother) of Jesus, but doulov. The three terms here as in 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 kuriov 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 Kuriov Ihsouv and Philippians 2:11 for Kuriov Ihsouv Xristov.

To the twelve tribes (taiv dwdeka pulaiv).
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 (taiv en thi 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 (Koine, 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 Koine but in the Hebraic tone.

Greeting (xairein).
Absolute infinitive (present active of xairw) 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 xairein legete in 2 John 1:10,11.

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on James 1:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=jas&chapter=001&verse=001>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

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