Re: James 1:1a Translation Question

Carl W. Conrad (
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 15:08:32 -0500

At 2:27 PM -0500 9/6/96, Albert Collver, III wrote:
> I am reading James 1 right now. I have a translation question on the
>Iakwbos theos kai kuriou Ihsou Christou doulos
> The common translation is "James, a servant of God and the Lord
>Jesus Christ
> What is the possibility of this translation?
> "James, a servant of Jesus Christ who is God and Lord ..."
> Please comment and give support for either position taken.
>both seem to be acceptable. However, the first translation listed seems to be
>the most common.

The second word in your citation should be the genitive QEOU rather than
the nominative QEOS, but I think that was a typo.

My reason for thinking it more likely that we have two distinct genitives,
QEOU and KURIOU IHSOU XRISTOU, that belong each (separately) to DOULOS, is
that KURIOU here has no article. Of course neither does QEOU, but QEOS here
seems to be used as a proper name in itself. KURIOS seems to be used as a
title attached to IHSOUS XRISTOS, here together apparently as a proper name.

At any rate, the sense you want to derive from this passage would be much
more clearly expressed with the aid of articles thus: IAKWBOS TOU IHSOU
XRISTOU TOU TE QEOU KAI KURIOU DOULOS--"James, of Jesus Christ (who is)
both God and Lord a servant." At any rate, you're trying to make QEOU KAI
KURIOU attributive, and that can't really be clearly established without

What do others think?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR