1 Corinthians 15:7
After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.After that, he was seen of James - This appearance is not recorded by the evangelists. It is mentioned in the fragment of the apocryphal Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is, however, of no authority. It is probable that the Lord Jesus appeared often to the disciples, since he was 40 days on earth after his resurrection, and the evangelists have only mentioned the more prominent instances, and enough to substantiate the fact of his resurrection. This James, the fathers say, was James the Less, the brother or cousin-german of the Lord Jesus. The other James was dead (see Acts 12:1) when this Epistle was written. This James, the author of the Epistle that bears his name, was stationed in Jerusalem. When Paul went there, after his return from Arabia, he had an interview with James (see Galatians 1:19, "But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother"), and it is highly probable that Paul would state to him the vision which he had of the Lord Jesus on his way to Damascus, and that James also would state to Paul the fact that he had seen him after he rose. This may be the reason why Paul here mentions the fact, because he had it from the lips of James himself.

Then of all the apostles - By all the apostles. Perhaps the occasion at the sea of Galilee, recorded in John 21:14. Or it is possible that he frequently met the apostles assembled together, and that Paul means to say, that during the forty days after his resurrection he was often seen by them.

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].

The Scripture tells us nothing, in the history of the gospel, of Christ’s appearing to James; but we read of two appearances to the apostles besides these, which the apostle had before mentioned. 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.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 15:7. Both of these appearances also are otherwise unknow.

Ἰακώβῳ] The non-addition of any distinguishing epithet makes it more than probable that the person meant is he who was then the James κατʼ ἐξοχήν, James the Just,[30] not one of the Twelve, but universally known as the brother of the Lord (see on 1 Corinthians 9:4). Perhaps it was this appearance which made him become decided for the cause and service of his divine brother. Comp. Michaelis on our passage. The apocryphal narrative of the Evang. sec. Hebr. in Jerome, de vir. ill. 2, is, even as regards time, here irrelevant (in opposition to Grotius).

τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν] ἀπόστολοι, since it takes in James also (comp. Galatians 1:19), must stand here in a wider sense than ΤΟῖς ΔΏΔΕΚΑ, but includes them along with others. In the Book of Acts, Barnabas, for instance, is called an apostle (1 Corinthians 14:4; 1 Corinthians 14:14); and in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, Timothy and Silvanus are comprehended under the conception ἀπόστολοι, of whom, of course, Timothy at least cannot be as yet included here. Chrysostom supposes the Seventy to be included. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 12:28. In no case is it simply the Twelve again who are meant, whom Hofmann conceives to be designated here in their relation to the church. How arbitrary that is, and how superfluous such a designation would be! But πᾶσι stands decidedly opposed to it; Paul would have required to write ΕἾΤΑ ΠΆΛΙΝ ΤΟῖς ἈΠΟΣΤ. Notice also the strict marking off of the original apostles by ΟἹ ΔΏΔΕΚΑ, an expression which Paul uses in no other place.

[30] Comp. Plitt in the Zeitschrift f. Luth. Theol. 1864, p. 28 ff.1 Corinthians 15:7. “After that, He appeared to James”—sc. James, the brother of the Lord, as elsewhere in P. (Galatians 1:19; Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:12), included in the ἀδελφοὶ τ. Κυρίου of 1 Corinthians 9:5 above (see note); associated with P. in Acts 15:13; Acts 21:18 (see notes). The manifestation to James—only mentioned here—the chief of our Lord’s formerly unbelieving brothers (John 7:5), explains the presence of “His brothers” amongst the 120 disciples at Jerus. (Acts 1:14) and James’ subsequent leadership in the mother Church. His high position at the time of writing accounts for his citation in this place. Paul made acquaintance with James as well as Peter on his first visit to the Jerus. Church (Galatians 1:18 f.). The well-known story about the meeting of Jesus with James told by Jerome (De viris illustr., 2) implies an earlier date for this than Paul’s narrative admits of, since ἔπειτα signifies succession in time; succession of rank cannot be intended.—“After that, to all the apostles”: in this formal enumeration, ἀπόστολοις bears its strictest sense, and could hardly include James (see Acts 1:13 f.; he is not certainly so styled in Galatians 1:19). Paul was, presumably, aware of the absence of Thomas on the occasion of 1 Corinthians 15:5, and his consequent scepticism (John 20:24 ff.); he therefore says distinctly that all participated in this latter sight, which coincides in point of time with Acts 1:6-12, not John 20:26. The witness of the First App. to the resurrection was complete and unqualified.7. of James] It would seem from this (see Stanley and Alford) that St James was an Apostle. But it does not necessarily follow that he was one of the twelve. See Professor Plumptre’s elaborate note on the brethren of our Lord in the Commentary on St James in this series.1 Corinthians 15:7. [135] ΠᾶΣΙΝ, by all) More seem here to be called Apostles than the twelve, 1 Corinthians 15:5; and yet the term is used in a stricter sense than at Romans 16:7.

[135] Ιἀκωβῳ, James) the Less.—V. g.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.
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