|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-11 The word resurrection, usually points out our existence beyond the grave. Of the apostle's doctrine not a trace can be found in all the teaching of philosophers. The doctrine of Christ's death and resurrection, is the foundation of Christianity. Remove this, and all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firm, that Christians stand in the day of trial, and are kept faithful to God. We believe in vain, unless we keep in the faith of the gospel. This truth is confirmed by Old Testament prophecies; and many saw Christ after he was risen. This apostle was highly favoured, but he always had a low opinion of himself, and expressed it. When sinners are, by Divine grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful. He ascribes to Divine grace all that was valuable in him. True believers, though not ignorant of what the Lord has done for, in, and by them, yet when they look at their whole conduct and their obligations, they are led to feel that none are so worthless as they are. All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and then risen from the dead, is the sun and substance of Christianity. All the apostles agreed in this testimony; by this faith they lived, and in this faith they died.
Verse 7. - Seen of James. The "James" intended is undoubtedly the only James then living, who was known to the whole Christian Church, namely, "the Lord's brother," the author of the Epistle, and the Bishop of Jerusalem (Galatians 2:9; Acts 15:13; Acts 21:18). James the son of Zebedee had by this time been martyred, and James the son of Alphaeus was never much more than a name to the Church in general. There is no mention of this appearance in the Gospel; but in the Gospel of the Hebrews was a curious legend (preserved in St. Jerome, 'De Virr. Illust.,' 2.) that James had made a vow that he would neither eat nor drink till he had seen Jesus risen from the dead, and that Jesus, appearing to him, said, "My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man is risen from the dead." The truth of the appearance is strongly supported by the fact that James, like the rest of the Lord's "brothers," "did not believe" in Christ before the Crucifixion, whereas after the Resurrection we find him and the rest of "the Lord's brothers" ardently convinced (John 12:3-5; Acts 1:14; Acts 9:5, etc.). Of all the apostles (Acts 1:3; Luke 24:50). James the Lord's brother was only an apostle in the wider sense of the word.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
After that he was seen of James,.... Not James the son of Zebedee, and brother of John, though he was seen by him with other disciples, John 20:19 who was now dead when the apostle wrote this, having been killed by Herod many years ago, Acts 12:2 and so not quite so proper a witness to be mentioned; but James the son of Alphaeus, and brother of our Lord, a man of great fame and credit with the Jews, and still living, and therefore a proper and pertinent evidence. This appearance was made unto him when alone; and though the Scripture elsewhere makes no mention of it, there is no room to doubt it, since the apostle here affirms it. As for the account of the appearance of Christ to this James, immediately, after his resurrection, recorded by Jerom as he found it in the Gospel according to the Hebrews, it seems to be fabulous. His account is this (h);
"the Gospel written according to the Hebrews, which was lately translated by me into the Greek and Latin tongues, and which Origen often uses, relates, after the resurrection of the Saviour, that when the Lord had given the linen cloth to the priest's servant, he went to James, and appeared to him: for James had swore that he would not taste any bread from the time he had drank the cup of the Lord, until he saw him rising from the dead. Again, a little after, bring me, says the Lord, the table and the bread; and it is immediately added, he took the bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave it to James the just, and said unto him, my brother, eat thy bread, for the son of man is risen from the dead.''
Then of all the apostles; at the Mount of Olives, when he led them out of Jerusalem, as far as Bethany, blessed them, and was parted from them, and ascended to heaven out of their sight, Luke 24:50 so that this was the last appearance of him on earth after his resurrection.
(h) Catalog. Script. Eccles. sect. 3. fol. 90. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. seen of James—the Less, the brother of our Lord (Ga 1:19). The Gospel according to the Hebrews, quoted by Jerome [On Illustrious Men, p. 170 D.], records that "James swore he would not eat bread from the hour that he drank the cup of the Lord, till he should see Him rising again from the dead."
all the apostles—The term here includes many others besides "the Twelve" already enumerated (1Co 15:5): perhaps the seventy disciples (Lu 10:1) [Chrysostom].
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