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10 My brothers, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of YHWH, as an example of evil suffering and of longsuffering.
10 Take, brethren, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord.
10a patience fruit of the Spirit Paul lists patience (makrothumia) as one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).
7–12 Divisio Textus In → the heading for this section is, "Concerning patience Catena(makrothumia) and perseverance (hupomonê) during suffering, and concerning the truth" ( 1844, 8:34).
10b the prophets Identity of the Prophets Bede understands the "prophets" in a broad sense, from Noah to the apostle James, son of Zebedee. These men offer several different types of examples:
10–20 Use in Lectionary →BL : Special and General Feasts: Prophets; 1 of 3 reading options.
10a suffering |א : nobility Instead of kakopathia ("suffering"), א reads kalokagathia ("goodness, nobility"). See also Literary Devices Jas 5:10a.
7f,10 patient Patience vs. Perseverance The verb makrothumeô and its cognate noun makrothumia can mean:
James uses two word families to describe the virtue of patience: hupomonê / hupomenô (used in Vocabulary Jas 1:3f; 5:11) and makrothumeô / makrothumia. Whereas hupomonê is closely connected with a trial (peirasmos), makrothumeô / makrothumia does not necessarily involve testing or suffering, but may simply involve waiting patiently for an event or person. Similarly, the cultural background of the words is strikingly different: makrothumeô / makrothumia is not a significant term in Greek philosophical ethics tradition, while hupomonê is regularly discussed in conjunction with the virtue of courage (andreia; Ancient Texts Jas 1:3). On the other hand, makrothumia is an important quality of God (Biblical Intertextuality Jas 5:7–10).
One can discern these two main elements in James’ use of makrothumeô / makrothumia in Jas 5:7–11.
10b in the name of the Lord Speaking and Acting with Divine Authority
10a,13a suffering Active Attitude The noun kakopathia in v. 10 means literally “suffering of evil.” Its cognate verb kakopatheô, “to suffer,” we will find slightly further in Jas 5:13. It comes from the noun pathos, “experience, emotion, state,” and kakos, “evil,” (compare by contrast eupatheô, “to enjoy oneself”).
10a suffering and of patience Hendiadys James here connects two nouns: suffering (kakopathia; Vocabulary Jas 5:10a) and patience (makrothumia; Vocabulary Jas 5:7f,10). One may simply translate, "an example of suffering and patience." Alternatively, one may take the second noun to modify the first by hendiadys, thus leading to a translation of "patient suffering" or "patience in suffering." A close parallel is →4 Macc. 9:8, which links kakopathia and hupomonê.
7–11 Theme of Patience
Jas 5:7-11 focuses on various aspects of patience (using two words to express the idea: makrothumeô / makrothumia and hupomenô / hupomonê). James' admonitions address two main aspects of patience:
Verse 9a, with its admonition to not speak badly of fellow believers, fits awkwardly within the thematic flow of Jas 5:7-11, leading some commentators to conclude that it originally was an independent saying. The other verses in Jas 5:7-11 focus on patience, while v. 9 echoes James' earlier admonitions that community members not speak badly about one another (see especially Jas 4:11, and earlier admonitions on the dangers of improper speech in Jas 1:19,26, and especially Jas 3:1-12). With its further connection with the theme of judgment ("so that you are not judged"), however, the verse does fit into a further theme of the Jas 5:7-11 passage: eschatological judgment.
The implicit logic seems to be the following: complaining against one's fellow believer is equivalent to judging him. If one judges another person, then one in turn brings judgment on oneself. This judging, in any case, is illicit, since there is only one legitimate judge: Jesus Christ.
By placing this admonition here, James may imply that community members should patiently bear suffering caused by fellow community members, rather than complain against them.
9–12 Use in Lectionary →RML : Friday, Week 7, Year 2.
10 an example ...of suffering and of patience: Persecution of the Prophets James assumes his readers' familiarity with the hardships of the prophets (e.g., Jer 1:17-19; Am 7:10-15). In the NT, the persecution of the prophets is a standard trope (Mt 5:12, Mt 23:34-37; Lk 13:33; Acts 7:52; 1Thes 2:14-15; Heb 11:32-38), that can take on an anti-Jewish flavor (e.g., Acts 7:52; 1Thes 2:14-15). The NT and early Christian adversus Iudaeos literature polemically link the "Jewish" persecution of the prophets and the killing of Jesus (e.g., 1Thes 2:14-15; →Barn. 5.11; → 93.4). See also Dial.Peritestamental Literature Jas 5:10a.
1:1–5:20 James Depictions of the Author Depictions of James, the author of the epistle, in paintings, statues, manuscript illustrations, engravings, woodcuts, and embroidery on liturgical vestments are particularly prominent in the Middle Ages. A common consensus of the artists is that the author of the epistle is James the Just, leader of the Jerusalem church; he is typically further identified with James, son of Alphaeus, one of Jesus' Twelve (Mk 3:18), and "James the Less" (Mk 15:40). The iconography of James draws particularly on accounts of James recorded in → 23 and Hist. eccl.→ 2, who in turn draw on accounts from Clement of Alexandria and Hegesipus. See also Vir. ill.→James: Introduction.
Several prominent features of these portrayals may be noted:
The following images are noteworthy:
James holds a club.
James, who resembles his brother Jesus, is second from his left. This full-scale copy was the main source for the— unfortunate—twenty-year restoration of the original (1978–1998). It includes several lost details such as Christ's feet, the transparent glass decanters on the table, and the floral motifs of the tapestries that decorate the room's interior. It was first mentioned in 1626 by the author Bartolomeo Sanese as hanging in the Certosa di Pavia, a monastery near Pavia, Italy, but it is unlikely that it was intended for this location. At some point, the upper third of the picture was cut off, and the width was reduced. Giampietrino is thought to have worked closely with Leonardo when he was in Milan. A very fine, full-size copy of this painting, before it was cut down, is installed at Tongerlo Abbey in Westerlo, near Antwerp, Belgium.
The side and central panels describe a a great hall with blue grey walls and three-colored tiles. In the side panels are depicted the half sisters of Virgin Mary, called after their fathers Mary Cleophas (left) and Mary Salome (right) together with their husbands.
Left panel: St. Mary Cleophas and Alphaeus (with the features of Friedrich the Wise with their two sons, the Apostles St. James the Less (at her breast) and Joseph Justus, called St. Barnabas, as annunciator of the Gospel of Matthew depicted with a book.
Central panel: Joseph, who seems to seems to sleep, the Virgin, dressed in blue with yellow lining, Anna and the Christ Child on her knee, who is stretching out his hand towards an apple given to him by Virgin Mary. Anna's three husbands following → are shown in the background in the matroneum: on the left Joachim, who is attracted by the holy women in front of him and whose relation is also shown by the corresponding blue and yellow color of his dress, Cleophas (with the physiognomy and chain of Emperor Maximilian I and Salomas, with the physiognomy of Sixtus Oelhafen von Schöllenbach, secretary of Friedrich III, Maximilian I and Karl V), who are talking to each other. There is an architectural structure by a great stone bench in the foreground of the central panel with two marble columns on the sides, over which is strectched a cloth of gold. On the right column is a tablet with date and signature: [LVCAS CHRONVS FACIEBAT ANNO 1509. The parapet of the matroneum is decorated by a sculptured frieze with dancing putti holding six escutcheons with the six fields of Electorate of Saxony. In the hall are shown the 17 members of the Holy Kinship. In the central panel are shown two more children of Mary Cleophas and Alpheus, the Apostles Simon, patron saint of weavers, dyers, tanners and saddlers and Jude, who went on mission and suffered their martyrdom together and therefore are regularly depicted together. Leg. aur.
Right panel: St. Mary Salome and Zebedee (with the features of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, and his brother Herzog Johann der Beständige). St. Mary Salome, dressed in gold with dark red lining, is combing her son Saint James the Greater and while Saint John the Evangelist is hiding in her dress.
James is shown holding a Bible, symbolizing his status as a scriptural writer, in one hand. James is depicted in the Mannerist style with elongated form and without any of the traditional iconographic symbols
The risen Jesus appears to James and breaks bread with him (based on an account recorded in → 2, said to be drawn from the Gospel according to the Hebrews). Vir. ill.
James holds a book and club.
James, resembling Jesus, prayers on his knees with outstretched arms. It perhaps reflects Hegesippus' statement that James spent so much time in prayer that his knees were as hard as a camel's.
The inscription bearing the name of the saint has disappeared, but the iconography—facial features and beard shape —suggest that the icon is of James. Byzantine art places him among the founding fathers of the Church. As the creator of the first liturgy containing memorial services and the author of the message, which speaks of the healing power of prayer (Jas 5:14-16), he was also worshipped in ancient times as a healer. In Novgorod, James is prayed for the end of the epidemics. In sacred iconography, the representations of James of Jerusalem alone are very rare. We know the icons of Novgorod in which he is represented with other saints: Nicholas the Thaumaturgist, James the brother of God, Ignatius the bearer of God, end of the 15th c.; James the brother of God, Cosmas and Damian, 2nd quarter of the 16th c. The icon comes from the best workshops in Moscow or Novgorod.