Orthodox Lutheran Father Quote of the Day

The Epistle to the James

(2) “The author of this Epistle calls himself neither an apostle nor the brother of the Lord.” We respond. Paul, too, in his Epistle to the Philippians, both to the Thessalonians, and to Philemon does not call himself an apostle of Christ, but either a servant, which James does also, or he adds nothing. Likewise, John adds the name “apostle” in neither his Epistles nor the Apocalypse. But Jude, too, who was beyond all doubt in the number of the twelve apostles, does not call himself an apostle but only the servant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James. As to why neither Jude nor James calls himself brother of the Lord, the explanation given that they could have appeared to have honored themselves rather than Christ if they had called themselves the brothers of Him whose apostles and servants they were, especially if they were to do this in public, letters written to their churches. In the epistle of Epiphanius to John of Jerusalem, which Jerome translated from Greek to Latin, James the author of this letter, is called in clear words sometimes an “apostle,” sometimes “the brother of the Lord.”

Johann Gerhard
On the Nature of Theology and on Scripture
p 250


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