James 2:1
My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
II.

(1) My brethren.—The second chapter opens with some stern rebukes for those unworthy Christians who had “men’s persons in admiration,” and, doubtless, that “because of advantage” to themselves. (Comp. Jude 1:16.) The lesson is distinctly addressed to believers, and its severity appears to be caused by the Apostle’s unhappy consciousness of its need. What were endurable in a heathen, or an alien, or even a Jew, ceased to be so in a professed follower of the lowly Jesus. And this seems to be a further reason for the indignant expostulation and condemnation of James 2:14. Thus the whole chapter may really be considered as dealing with Faith; and it flows naturally from the foregoing thoughts upon Religion—or, as we interpreted their subject-matter, Religious Service.

Have (or, hold) not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with (or, in) respect of persons.—“Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote St. Paul to the proud and wealthy men of Corinth (2Corinthians 8:9), “that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich;” and, with more cogent an appeal, to the Philippians (James 2:4-7), “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves: look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God”i.e., Very God, and not appearance merely—nevertheless “thought not His equality with God a thing to be always grasped at,” as it were some booty or prize, “but emptied Himself” of His glory, “and took upon Him the shape of a slave.” Were these central, nay initial, facts of the faith believed then; or are they now? If they were in truth, how could there be such folly and shame as “acceptance of persons” according to the dictates of fashionable society and the world? “Honour,” indeed, “to whom honour” is due (Romans 13:7). The Christian religion allows not that contempt for even earthly dignities—affected by some of her followers, but springing more from envy and unruliness than aught besides. True reverence and submission are in no way condemned by this scripture: but their excess and gross extreme, the preference for vulgar wealth, the adulation of success, the worship, in short, of some new golden calf.

James

FAITH IN HIS NAME

Jam 2:1.

THE rarity of the mention of Jesus in this Epistle must strike every attentive reader; but the character of the references that are made is equally noticeable, and puts beyond doubt that, whatever is the explanation of their fewness, lower thoughts of Jesus, or less devotion to Him than belonged to the other New Testament writers, are not the explanation. James mentions Christ unmistakably only three times The first occasion is in his introductory salutation, where, like the other New Testament writers, he describes himself as the slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ’; thus linking the two names in closest union, and proffering unlimited obedience to his Master. The second ease is that of my text, in which our Lord is set forth by this solemn designation, and is declared to be the object of faith. The last is in an exhortation to patience in view of the coming of the Lord, to be our Judge.

So James, like Peter and Paul and John, looked to Jesus, who was probably the brother of James by birth, as being the Lord, whom it was no blasphemy nor idolatry to name in the same breath as God, and to whom the same absolute obedience was to be rendered; who was to be the object of men’s unlimited trust, and who was to come again to be our Judge.

Here we have, in this remarkable utterance, four distinct designations of that Saviour, a constellation of glories gathered together; and I wish now, in a few remarks, to isolate, and gaze at the several stars - ‘the faith of our Lord - Jesus - Christ - the Lord of glory.’

I. Christian faith is faith in Jesus.

We often forget that that name was common, wholly undistinguished, and borne by very many of our Lord’s contemporaries. It had been borne by the great soldier whom we know as Joshua; and we know that it was the name of one at least of the disciples of our Master. Its disuse after Him, both by Jew and Christian, is easily intelligible. But though He bore it with special reference to His work of saving His people from their sins, He shared it, as He shared manhood, with many another of the sons of Abraham. Of course, Jesus is the name that is usually employed in the Gospels. But when we turn to the Epistles, we find that it is Comparatively rare for it to stand alone, and that in almost all the instances of its employment by itself, it brings with it the special note of pointing attention to the manhood of our Lord Jesus. Let me just gather together one or two instances which may help to elucidate this matter.

Who does not feel, for example, that when we read ‘let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith,’ the fact of our brother Man having trodden the same path, and being the pattern for our patience and perseverance, is tenderly laid upon our hearts? Again, when we read of sympathy as being felt to us by the great High Priest who can be ‘touched with a feeling of our infirmities, even Jesus,’ I think we cannot but recognise that His humanity is pressed upon our thoughts, as securing to us that we have not only the pity of a God, but the compassion of a Man, who knows by experience the bitterness of our sorrows.

In like manner we read sometimes that ‘Jesus died for us,’ sometimes that ‘Christ died for us’; and, though the two forms of the statement present the same fact, they present it, so to speak, from a different angle of vision, and suggest to us different thoughts. When Paul, for example, says to us, ‘If we believe that Jesus died and rose again,’ we cannot but feel that he is pressing on us the thought of the true manhood of that Saviour who, in His death, as in His resurrection, is the Forerunner of them that believe upon Him, and whose death will be the more peaceful, and their rising .the more certain, because He, who, ‘forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood likewise took part of the same,’ has thereby destroyed death, and delivered them from its bondage. Nor, with loss emphasis, and strengthening triumphant force, do we read that this same Jesus, the Man who bore our nature in its fulness and is kindred to us in flesh and spirit, has risen from the dead, hath ascended up on high, and is the Forerunner, who for us, by virtue of His humanity, hem entered in thither. Surely the most insensitive ear must catch the music, and the deep significance of the word which says, ‘We see not yet all things put under him {i.e., man}, but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour.’

So, then, Christian faith first lays hold of that manhood, realises the suffering and death as those of a true humanity, recognises that He bore in His nature ‘all the ills that flesh is heir to,’ and that His human life is a brother’s pattern for ours; that, He having died, death hath no more terrors for, or dominion over, us, and that whither the Man Jesus has gone, we sinful men need never fear to enter, nor doubt that we shall enter, too.

If our faith lays hold on Jesus the Man, we shall be delivered from the misery of wasting our earthly affections on creatures that may be false, that may change, that must be feeble, and will surely die. If our faith lays hold on the Man Jesus, all the treasures of the human love, trust, and obedience, that are so often squandered, and return as pain on our deceived and wounded hearts, will find their sure, sweet, stable object in Him. Human love is sometimes false and fickle, always feeble and frail; human wisdom has its limits, and human perfection its flaws; but the Man Jesus is the perfect, the all-sufficient and unchangeable object for all the love, the trust, and the obedience that the human heart can pour out before Him.

II. Christian faith is faith in Jesus Christ.

The earliest Christian confession, the simplest and, sufficient creed, was, Jesus is the Christ. What do we mean by that? We mean, first and plainly, that He is the realisation of the dim figure which arose, majestic and enigmatical, through the mists of a partial revelation. We mean that He is, as the word signifies etymologically, ‘anointed’ with the Divine Spirit, for the discharge of all the offices which, in old days, were filled by men who were fitted and designated for them by outward unction - prophet, priest, and king. We mean that He is the substance of which ancient ritual was the shadow. We mean that He is the goal to which all that former partial unveiling of the mind and will of God steadfastly pointed. This, and nothing less, is the meaning of the declaration that Jesus is the Christ; and that belief is the distinguishing mark of the faith which this Hebrew of the Hebrews, writing to Hebrews, declares to be the Christian faith.

Now I know, and ‘I am thankful to know, that there are many men who earnestly and reverently admire and obey Jesus, but think that they have nothing to do with these old Hebrew ideas of a Christ. It is not for me to decide which individual is His follower, and which is not; but this I say, that the primitive Christian confession was precisely that Jesus was the Christ, and that I, for my part, know no reason why the terms of the confession should be altered. Ah, these old Jewish ideas are not, as one great man has called them, ‘Hebrew old clothes’; and I venture to assert that they are not to be discarded without woefully marring the completeness of Christian faith.

The faith in Jesus must pass into faith in Christ; for it is the office described in that name, which gives all its virtue to the manhood. Glance back for a moment to those instances which I have already quoted of the use of the name suggesting simple humanity, and note how all of them require to be associated with this other thought of the function of Christ, and His special designation by the anointing of God, in order that their full value may be made manifest.

For instance, ‘Jesus died.’ Yes, that is a fact of history. The Man was crucified. What is that to me more than any other martyrdom and its story, unless it derives its significance from the clear understanding of who it was that died upon the Cross? So we can understand that significant selection of terms, when the same Apostle, whose utterances I have already Been quoting in the former part of this sermon, varies the name, and says, ‘This is the gospel which I declared unto you, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.’

Again, suppose we think of the example of Jesus as the perfect realised ideal of human life. That may become, and I think often does become, as impotent and as paralysing as any other specimen without flaw, that can be conceived of or presented to man. But if we listen to the teaching that says to us, ‘Christ died for us, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps,’ then the ideal is not like a cold statue that looks down repellent even in its beauty, but is a living person who reaches a hand down to us to lift us to His own level, and will put His spirit within us, that, as the Master is, so may also the servants be.

Again, if we confine ourselves to the belief that the Man named Jesus has risen again, and has been exalted to glory, then, as a matter of fact, the faith in His Resurrection and Ascension will not long co-exist with the rejection of anything beyond simple humanity in His person. If, however, that faith could last, then He might be conceived of as filling a solitary throne, and there might be no victory over death for the rest of us in His triumph. But when we can ring out as the Apostle did, ‘Now is Christ risen from the dead,’ then we can also say, ‘and is become the first-fruits of them that slept.’

So, brethren, lift your faith in Jesus, and let it be sublimed into faith in Christ. ‘Whom say ye that I am?’ The answer is - may we all from our hearts and from our minds make it! - ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God:

III. Christian faith is faith in Jesus Christ the Lord.

Now, I take it that that name is here used neither in its lowest sense as a mere designation of politeness, as we employ ‘sir,’ nor in its highest sense in which, referred to Jesus Christ, it is not unfrequently used in the New Testament as being equivalent to the ‘Jehovah’ of the Old; but that it is employed in a middle sense as expressive of dignity and sovereignty.

Jesus is Lord. Our brother, a Man, is King of the universe. The new thing in Christ’s return to ‘the glory which He had with the Father before the world was’ is that He took the manhood with Him into indissoluble union with the divinity, and that a man is Lord. So you and I can cherish that wonderful hope: ‘I will give to him that overcometh to sit with Me on My throne.’ Nor need we ever fear but that all things concerning ourselves and our dear ones, and the Church and the world, will be ordered aright; for the hand that sways the universe is the hand that was many a time laid in blessing upon the sick and the maimed, and that gathered little children to His bosom.

Christ is Lord. That is to say, supreme dominion is based on suffering. Because the vesture that He wears is dipped in blood, therefore there is written upon it, ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ The Cross has become the throne. There is the basis of all true rule, and there is the assurance that His dominion is an everlasting dominion. So our faith is to rise from earth, and, like the dying martyr, to see the Son of Man at the right hand of the majesty of the heavens.

IV. Lastly, Christian faith is faith in Jesus Christ, ‘the Lord of glory.’

Now, the last words of my text have given great trouble to commentators. A great many explanations, with which I need not trouble you, have been suggested with regard to them. One old explanation has been comparatively neglected; and yet it seems to me to be the true one. ‘The Lord’ is a supplement which ekes out a meaning, but, as I think, obscures the meaning. Suppose we strike it out and read straight on. What do we get? ‘The faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory.’

And is that not intelligible? Remember to whom James was writing - Jews. Did not every Jew know what the Shekinah was, the light that used to shine between the Cherubim, as the manifest symbol of the divine presence, but which had long been absent from, the Temple? And when

James falls back upon that familiar Hebrew expression, and recalls the vanished lustre that lay upon the mercy-seat, surely he would be understood by his Hebrew readers, and should be understood by us, as saying no more and no other than another of the New Testament writers has said with reference to the same symbolical manifestation - namely, ‘The Word became flesh tabernacled among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’ James’s sentence runs On precisely the same lines as other sentences of the New Testament, For instance, the Apostle Paul, in one place, speaks of ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.’ And this statement is constructed in exactly the same fashion, with the last name put in opposition to the others, ‘The Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory.’

Now, what does that mean? This - that the true presence of God, that the true lustrous emanation from, and manifestation of, the abysmal brightness, is in Jesus Christ, ‘the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His person.’ For the central blaze of God’s glory is God’s love, and that rises to its highest degree in the name and mission of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Men conceive of the glory of the divine nature as lying in the attributes which separate it most widely from our impotent, limited, changeable, and fleeting being. God conceives of His highest glory as being in that love, of which the love of earth is kindred spark; and whatever else there may be of majestic and magnificent in Him, the heart of the Divinity is a heart of love.

Brethren, if we would see God, our faith must grasp the Man, the Christ, the Lord, and, as climax of all names - the Incarnate God, the Eternal Word, who has come among us to reveal to us men the glory of the Lord.

So, brethren, let us make sure that the fleshy tables of our hearts are not like the mouldering stones that antiquarians dig up on some historical site, bearing has obliterated inscriptions and ‘fragmentary names of mighty kings of long ago, but bearing the many-syllabled Name written firm, clear, legible, complete upon them, as on some granite block from the stonecutter’s chisel. Let us, whilst we cling with human love to the Man ‘that was born in Bethlehem, discern the Christ that was prophesied from of old, to whom all altars point, of whom all prophets spoke, who was the theme end of all the earlier Revelation. Let us crown Him Lord of All in our own hearts, and let us, beholding in Him the glory of the Father, He in His Light until we are changed into the same image. Be sure that your faith is a fullorbed faith; grasp all the many sides of the Name that is above every name.

And let us, like the apostles of old, rejoice if we are counted worthy to suffer shame for the Name. Let us go forth into life for the sake of the Name, and, whatsoever we do in word or deed, let us do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory.James 2:1-4. My brethren — The equality of Christians intimated by this name is the ground of the admonition; have — That is, hold; not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory — Of which glory all who believe in him partake; with respect of persons — So as to give undue preference to any on account of their external circumstances; honour none merely for being rich, despise none merely for being poor. Remember that the relation in which the meanest of your fellow-Christians stands to Him who is the Son of God, ought to recommend them to your regard and esteem. For if there come unto your assembly — Convened either for religious worship, or for deciding civil differences; a man with a gold ring — Or, having his fingers adorned with gold rings, as χρυσοδακτυλιος may be rendered. For, as the learned Albert hath observed, those who valued themselves upon the richness and luxury of their dress, were accustomed to deck their fingers with a considerable number of costly and valuable rings, frequently wearing several upon one finger. And a poor man in vile (ρυπαρα, in sordid, or dirty) raiment, and ye have respect — Ye show an undue regard to the former, and put a visible slight on the latter, without considering what may be the real character of the one or the other. Are ye not partial in yourselves — Or, as ου διεκριθητε εν εαυτοις may be rendered, ye distinguish not in yourselves, according to the different characters of these two men, to which of them the most respect is due, to the poor or to the rich; but only regard their outward appearance, and are become judges of evil thoughts — Or evil-reasoning judges, as the original words may be translated. You reason ill, and so judge wrong; for fine apparel is no proof of worth in him that wears it.2:1-13 Those who profess faith in Christ as the Lord of glory, must not respect persons on account of mere outward circumstances and appearances, in a manner not agreeing with their profession of being disciples of the lowly Jesus. St. James does not here encourage rudeness or disorder: civil respect must be paid; but never such as to influence the proceedings of Christians in disposing of the offices of the church of Christ, or in passing the censures of the church, or in any matter of religion. Questioning ourselves is of great use in every part of the holy life. Let us be more frequent in this, and in every thing take occasion to discourse with our souls. As places of worship cannot be built or maintained without expense, it may be proper that those who contribute thereto should be accommodated accordingly; but were all persons more spiritually-minded, the poor would be treated with more attention that usually is the case in worshipping congregations. A lowly state is most favourable for inward peace and for growth in holiness. God would give to all believers riches and honours of this world, if these would do them good, seeing that he has chosen them to be rich in faith, and made them heirs of his kingdom, which he promised to bestow on all who love him. Consider how often riches lead to vice and mischief, and what great reproaches are thrown upon God and religion, by men of wealth, power, and worldly greatness; and it will make this sin appear very sinful and foolish. The Scripture gives as a law, to love our neighbour as ourselves. This law is a royal law, it comes from the King of kings; and if Christians act unjustly, they are convicted by the law as transgressors. To think that our good deeds will atone for our bad deeds, plainly puts us upon looking for another atonement. According to the covenant of works, one breach of any one command brings a man under condemnation, from which no obedience, past, present, or future, can deliver him. This shows us the happiness of those that are in Christ. We may serve him without slavish fear. God's restraints are not a bondage, but our own corruptions are so. The doom passed upon impenitent sinners at last, will be judgment without mercy. But God deems it his glory and joy, to pardon and bless those who might justly be condemned at his tribunal; and his grace teaches those who partake of his mercy, to copy it in their conduct.My brethren - Perhaps meaning brethren in two respects - as Jews, and as Christians. In both respects the form of address would be proper.

Have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ - Faith is the distinguishing thing in the Christian religion, for it is this by which man is justified, and hence, it comes to be put for religion itself. Notes, 1 Timothy 3:9. The meaning here is, "do not hold such views of the religion of Christ, as to lead you to manifest partiality to others on account of their difference of rank or outward circumstances."

The Lord of glory - The glorious Lord; he who is glorious himself, and who is encompassed with glory. See the notes at 1 Corinthians 2:8. The design here seems to be to show that the religion of such a Lord should be in no way dishonored.

With respect of persons - That is, you are not to show respect of persons, or to evince partiality to others on account of their rank, wealth, apparel, etc. Compare Proverbs 24:23; Proverbs 28:21; Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Psalm 40:4. See the subject explained in the Acts 10:34 note; Romans 2:11 note.

CHAPTER 2

Jas 2:1-26. The Sin of Respect of Persons: Dead, Unworking Faith Saves No Man.

James illustrates "the perfect law of liberty" (Jas 1:25) in one particular instance of a sin against it, concluding with a reference again to that law (Jas 2:12, 13).

1. brethren—The equality of all Christians as "brethren," forms the groundwork of the admonition.

the faith of … Christ—that is, the Christian faith. James grounds Christian practice on Christian faith.

the Lord of glory—So 1Co 2:8. As all believers, alike rich and poor, derive all their glory from their union with Him, "the Lord of glory," not from external advantages of worldly fortune, the sin in question is peculiarly inconsistent with His "faith." Bengel, making no ellipsis of "the Lord," explains "glory" as in apposition with Christ who is THE GLORY (Lu 2:32); the true Shekinah glory of the temple (Ro 9:4). English Version is simpler. The glory of Christ resting on the poor believer should make him be regarded as highly by "brethren" as his richer brother; nay, more so, if the poor believer has more of Christ's spirit than the rich brother.

with respect of persons—literally, "in respectings of persons"; "in" the practice of partial preferences of persons in various ways and on various occasions.Jam 2:1-9 It is not agreeable to the Christian profession to

regard the rich, and despise the poor.

Jam 2:10-12 The guilt of any one breach of the law.

Jam 2:13 The obligation to mercy.

Jam 2:14-19 Faith without works is dead.

Jam 2:20-26 We are justified, as Abraham and Rahab were, by

works, and not by faith only.

Have not; profess not yourselves, and regard not, or esteem not in others.

The faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; i.e. faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; not the author but the object of faith is meant, as Galatians 2:20 Galatians 3:22 Philippians 3:9.

The Lord of glory; Lord not being in the Greek, glory may be joined with faith, ( admitting only a trajection in the words, so frequent in the sacred writers), and then the words will run thus, the faith of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. the faith of his being glorified, which by a synecdoche may be put for the whole work of redemption wrought by him, which was completed by his glorification, as the last part of it; or, by a Hebraism, the faith of the glory, may be for the glorious faith. But the plainest way of reading the words is (as our translators do) by supplying the word Lord just before mentioned; Lord of glory, ( Christ being elsewhere so called, 1 Corinthians 2:8), i.e. the glorious Lord; as the Father is called the Father of glory, Ephesians 1:17, i.e. the glorious Father: and then it may be an argument to second what the apostle is speaking of; Christ being the Lord of glory, a relation to him by faith puts an honour upon believers, though poor and despicable in the world; and therefore they are not to be contemned.

With respect of persons; the word rendered persons signifies the face or countenance, and synecdochically the whole person; and, by consequence, all those parts or qualities we take notice of in the person. To respect a person is sometimes taken in a good sense, Genesis 19:21 1 Samuel 25:35. Mostly in an evil, when either the person is opposed to the cause, we give more or less to a man upon the account of something we see in him which is altogether foreign to his cause, Leviticus 19:15, or when we accept one with injury to or contempt of another. To have, then, the faith of Christ with respect of persons, is to esteem the professors of religion, not for their faith, or relation to Christ, but according to their worldly condition, their being great or mean, rich or poor; this the apostle taxeth in the Hebrews to whom he wrote, that whereas in the things of God all believers are equal, they respected the greater and richer sort of professors, because great or rich; so as to despise those that were poor or low. The Greek hath the word plurally, respects, which may intimate the several ways of respecting persons, in judgment or out, of judgment. This doth not exclude the civil respect we owe to magistrates and superiors upon the account of their places or gifts; but only a respecting men in the things of religion upon such accounts as are extrinsical to religion; or, with prejudice to others as considerable in religion as themselves, though inferior to them in the world.

My brethren,.... As the apostle is about to dissuade from the evil of having respect to persons, this is a very fit introduction to it, and carries in it an argument why it should not obtain; since the saints are all brethren, they are children of the same Father, belong to the same family, and are all one in Christ Jesus, whether high or low, rich, or poor:

have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons: that is, such as have, and hold, and profess the faith of Christ, ought not along with it to use respect of persons, or to make such a distinction among the saints, as to prefer the rich, to the contempt of the poor; and in this exhortation many things are contained, which are so many arguments why such a practice should not be encouraged; for faith, whether as a doctrine or as a grace, is alike precious, and common to all; and is the faith of Christ, which, as a doctrine, is delivered by him to all the saints, and as a grace, he is both the author and object of it; and is the faith of their common Lord and Saviour, and who is the Lord of glory, or the glorious Lord; and the poor as well as the rich are espoused by him, as their Lord and husband; and are redeemed by him, and are equally under his government and protection, and members of his body: the Syriac Version reads, "have not the faith of the glory of our Lord Jesus", &c. meaning either the glory which Christ is possessed of, whether as the Son of God, in the perfections of his nature, or as man and Mediator, being now crowned with glory and honour, and which is seen and known by faith; or else that glory which Christ has in his hands, to bestow upon his people, and to which they are called, and will appear in, when he shall appear, and about which their faith is now employed: and since this glory equally belongs to them all, no difference should be made on account of outward circumstances, so as to treat any believer with neglect and contempt.

My {1} brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of {a} glory, with respect of persons.

(1) The first: charity which proceeds from a true faith, cannot exist with the respecting of people: which he proves plainly by using the example of those who, while having reproach or disdain for the poor, honour the rich.

(a) For if we knew what Christ's glory is, and esteemed it as we should, there would not be the respecting of people that there is.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jam 2:1. In close connection with the thought contained in chap. Jam 1:27, that true worship consists in the exhibition of compassionate love, James proceeds to reprove a practice of his readers, consisting in a partial respect to the rich and a depreciation of the poor, which formed the most glaring contrast to that love.

After the impressive address ἀδελφοί μου, he first expresses the exhortation with reference to that conduct, that their faith should not be combined with a partial respect of persons. Schneckenburger regards the clause as interrogative, remarking: interrogationis formam sensus gravitas flagitat et contextus (so also Kern); incorrectly, for although the interrogation with μή may not always require a negative answer, yet it is only used when the interrogator, with every inclination, to regard something as true, yet can scarcely believe that it is actually the case; comp. Winer, p. 453 f. [E. T. 641]; Schirlitz, p. 366. This is inadmissible here, as the fact mentioned in what follows, the προσωποληψία of the readers, was undoubtedly true. μὴἔχετε is thus imperative, as Jam 1:16, Jam 3:1.

The plural προσωποληψίαις is used because the author thinks on individual concrete instances in which the general fault manifested itself (Hornejus: multiplex illud malum in vita est); comp. Colossians 3:22; 2 Peter 3:12. For the explanation of προσωποληψία (only here and in Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25), foreign to classical Greek, see Matthew 22:16; Luke 20:21; Galatians 2:6 (see Meyer in loc.); from the O. T. Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17, and other places (the verb προσωποληπτέω, Jam 2:9; the adjective, Acts 10:34). The phrase ἐν προσωποληψίαις ἔχειν τ. πίστιν is not, with Pott, to be explained according to such expressions as ἔχειν τινα ἐν ὀργῇ, ἐν αἰτίαις, ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει (Romans 1:28), for James intends not to reproach his readers, that they have a partial faith, or that they convert faith into the object of partiality, but that they hold not themselves in their faith free from προσωποληψία. Also ἔχειν does not stand for κατέχειν, whether in the meaning prohibere or detinere (Grotius: detinere velut captivam et inefficacem); but ἔχειν ἐν expresses the relation of internal connection thus: Have not your faith, so that it is as it were enclosed in προσωποληψίαις, i.e. combined with it. Thus was it with the readers, who in their very religious assemblies made a distinction of persons according to their external relations.

De Wette’s opinion is incorrect, that πίστιν ἔχειν here is to be understood of “the management of the concerns of faith.”

Faith is more exactly described as ἡ πίστις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς δόξης]. Most expositors (particularly Schneckenburger, Kern, de Wette, Brückner, Wiesinger) take τοῦ κυρίου as a genitive of object, and make τῆς δόξης, as a second genitive (besides ἡμῶν), dependent on κυρίου; thus: “the faith in our Lord of glory, Jesus Christ.” Neither the appellation of Christ as the Lord of glory (comp. 1 Corinthians 2:8; Psalm 29:3 : ὁ Θεὸς τῆς δόξης), nor the dependence of two genitives (ἡμῶν and τῆς δόξης) on one substantive (κυρίου), see Winer, p. 172 [E. T. 238], has anything against it; yet this construction cannot be held to be correct, because the name Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, which follows τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, so entirely completes the idea that a second genitive can no longer depend on κυρίου; if James had intended such a combination, he would have written either τὴν πίστιν Ἰησ. Χριστοῦ, τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν τῆς δόξης, or τ. π. τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν τῆς δόξης, Ἰησ. Χριστοῦ.[110] It is evidently an entire mistake to construct τῆς δόξης with προσωποληψίαις, whether it be taken as = opinio (Calvin: dum opum vel bonorum opinio nostros oculos perstringit, veritas supprimitur) or = gloria (Heisen: quod honorem attinet). Some expositors make τῆς δόξης depend on Χριστοῦ; thus Laurentius, who explains it the Christus gloriae = gloriosus; so also Bouman; also Lange: “the Messiah exalted in His glory above Judaistic expectations.” Decisive against this construction are—(1) the close connection of Ἰησοῦ and Χριστοῦ, as when those two names are so directly united as here, Χριστοῦ is purely nomen proprium; (2) the N. T. mode of expression does not admit of a more exact statement of being after Χριστοῦ by a genitive dependent on it; also in this case the article τοῦ before Χριστοῦ would not be wanting. In this commentary hitherto (former editions) τῆς δόξης was explained as a genitive of the object dependent on τὴν πίστιν, and τοῦ κυρίου ἡμ. . Χρ. as the genitive of the subject, in the sense: “faith in the glory springing from our Lord Jesus Christ,—founded on Him,” namely, τὴν μέλλουσαν δόξαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς, Romans 8:18. This construction, although grammatically possible, is unmistakably harsh. It seems simpler, with Bengel, to regard τῆς δόξης as in apposition with Ἰησοῦ Χρ.; still the idea δόξης is too indefinite. The passages cited by Bengel, Luke 2:32, Ephesians 1:17, 1 Peter 4:14, Isaiah 40:5, are of another kind, and cannot be adduced in justification of that explanation. Perhaps it is most correct to unite τῆς δόξης as a genitive of quality, not with Χριστοῦ only, but with the whole expression τοῦ κυρ. ἡμ. Ἰησ. Χρ., by which δόξα is indicated as the quality of our Lord Jesus Christ which belongs to Him, the exalted One. Similar expressions are ὁ οἰκονόμος (Luke 16:8), ὁ κριτής (Luke 18:6), τῆς ἀδικίας. At all events, τῆς δόξης is added in order to mark the contrast between the προσωποληψία paid to passing riches and the faith in Jesus Christ.

[110] The genitive, indeed, not unfrequently is separated from the word which governs it; see Php 2:10; Romans 9:21; and Winer, p. 172 [E. T. 238]; but in that case the intervening word is never in apposition with the preceding idea, with which it is completely concluded.Jam 2:1-13 take up again the subject of the rich and poor which was commenced in Jam 1:9-11.Ch. James 2:1-13. Respect of Persons

1. have not the faith …] Better, do not hold. The Greek for “respect of persons” (better, perhaps, acceptance of persons) is in the plural, as including all the varied forms in which the evil tendency might shew itself, and stands emphatically immediately after the negative. The name of “our Lord Jesus Christ” is used obviously with a special force. He had shewn Himself, through His whole life on earth, to be no “respecter of persons” (Matthew 22:16), to have preferred the poor to the rich. There was a shameful inconsistency when those who professed to hold the faith which had Him as its object acted otherwise. To the name of the Lord Jesus is added the description “the Lord of Glory.” The first two words are not repeated in the Greek, but the structure of the English sentence requires their insertion. The motive of the addition is clear. In believing in Him who was emphatically a sharer in the Eternal Glory (John 17:5), who had now returned to that Glory, men ought to feel the infinite littleness of all the accidents of wealth or rank that separate man from man. This seems the most natural construction, but the position of the words “of glory” is anomalous, and some have joined it with “faith” either as a genitive of the object “faith in the future glory,” or as a characterising attribute = “the glorious faith.”Jam 2:1. Ἄδελφοί μου, my brethren) The equality of Christians, as indicated by the name of brethren, is the basis of this admonition.—ἐν) The phrases, ἐν προσωποληψίαις ἔχειν, and ἐν ἐπιγνώσει ἔχειν, Romans 1:28, are similar.—προσωποληψίαις, receivings of persons) The one (manner of receiving) has reference to the rich who are strangers to the faith; the other, which is widely different, has reference to the poor who are Christians.—τὴν πίστιν, faith) in which the poor abound.—τῆς δόξης, of glory) The pronoun our seems to show, that this (of glory) does not depend upon the word Lord. It is therefore put in apposition, so that Christ Himself is called ἡ δόξα, the Glory. Comp. Luke 2:32; Isaiah 40:5; Ephesians 1:17; 1 Peter 4:14. The Glory is Christ Himself. Thus James both declares Him to be the Son of God, and publishes His resurrection from the dead, as it becomes an apostle. Christ is Glory; and therefore faith in Him is glorious, and the faithful are glorious. This glory of the faithful is far above all worldly honour; no respecter of persons acknowledges it.Verses 1-13. - WARNING AGAINST RESPECT OF PERSONS. Verse 1. - The translation is doubtful, two renderings being possible.

(1) That of the A.V. and R.V., "Hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."

(2) That of the R.V. margin and Westcott and Hort, "Do ye, in accepting persons, hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory?" According to this view, the section commences with a question, as does the following one, ver. 14. According to the former view, which is on the whole preferable, it is parallel to James 3:1. The faith of our Lord. "The faith" here may be either

(1) objective (tides quae creditur), as in the Epistle of St. Jude 1:3, 20; or

(2) subjective (tides qua creditur), "Have the faith which believes in," etc. (cf. Mark 11:22). Our Lord Jesus Christ. Exactly the same title occurs in Acts 15:26, in the letter written from the Apostolic Council to the Syrian Churches - a letter which was probably drawn up by St. James himself. The Lord of glory. The same title is given to our Lord in 1 Corinthians 2:8, and seems to be founded on Psalm 24:7, etc. The genitive, τῆς δόξης, must depend on Κυρίου in spite of the intervening Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ. Similar trajections occur elsewhere; e.g. Hebrews 12:11, where δικαιοσύνης depend, on καρπόν, and, according to a possible view, Luke 2:14 (see Hort's 'Greek Testament,' vol. 2, appendix, p. 56). Bengel's view, that τῆς δόξης is in apposition with Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ can scarcely be maintained, in the absence of any parallel expression elsewhere. Respect of persons (ἐν προσωποληψίαις) literally, reception of faces. The substantive is found here and three times in St. Paul's Epistles - Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; the verb (προσωποληπτεῖν) only here in ver. 9; προσωπολήπτης in Acts 10:31. None of them occur in the LXX., where, however, we find πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν in Leviticus 19:15; Malachi 2:9, etc. (cf. Luke 20:21), for the Hebrew גַשָׂז פָנִים. Bishop Lightfoot has pointed out ('Galatians,' p. 108) that, in the Old Testament, the expression is a neutral one, not necessarily involving any idea of partiality, and more often used in a good than in a bad sense. "When it becomes an independent Greek phrase, however, the bad sense attaches to it, owing to the secondary meaning of πρόσωπον as a mask,' so that πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν signifies 'to regard the external circumstances of a man' - his rank, wealth, etc. - as opposed to his real intrinsic character. Thus in the New Testament it has always a bad sense." It is exactly this regard to external circumstances against which St. James is warning his readers; and the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ had himself been known, when on earth, as no respecter of persons (Luke 20:21), would give point to his warning. The plural (ἐν προσωποληψίαις) is perhaps used to include the different kinds of manifestations of the sin. Have (ἔχετε)

Rev., hold, not in the sense of hold fast, cleave to, but of possessing, occupying, and practising, as a matter of habit. Thus we say that a man holds his property by a certain tenure. A rented estate is a holding. So of an opinion, or set of opinions, with which one is publicly identified. We say that he holds thus and so.

With respect of persons (ἐν προσωπολημψίαις)

From πρόσωπον, the countenance, and λαμβάνω, to receive. To receive the countenance is a Hebrew phrase. Thus Leviticus 19:15 (Sept.): Οὐ λήψῃ προσωπον πτωχοῦ: Thou shalt not respect the person (receive the countenance) of the poor. Compare Luke 20:21; Romans 2:11; and Jde 1:16.

The Lord of glory

Compare 1 Corinthians 2:8; Acts 7:2; Ephesians 1:17.

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