Re: James 2:18 WHo is the mysterious Mr. Tis?

Carl W. Conrad (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 07:33:40 -0500

Dear Paul: In view of our discussion heretofore, I thought you might find
this exchange interesting (at least a little bit). cwc

>Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 06:42:25 -0500
>To: Mike A Porter <>
>From: "Carl W. Conrad" <>
>Subject: Re: James 2:18 WHo is the mysterious Mr. Tis?
>At 4:17 AM -0500 4/18/97, Mike A Porter wrote:
>>There is an old mystery I remember trying to figure out during my 2nd
>>year greek a few years back. We had many debates theologically and
>>grammatically, as to who is TIS referring to in James 2:18. We all
>>agreed, for the sake of debate, to call him Mr. Tis.
>>There are several theories out there as to who he is. My opinion is that
>>many are not grammatically balanced. That is, they have seemingly solid
>>grammatical arguments that eventually collapse.
>>Some argue that ALLA must be a strong adversative, and therefore, negate
>>TIS as an ally. Others soften ALLA to a rare confirmatory, and
>>establish TIS as an ally. Still others offer an awkward use of "James
>>meant this and recast TIS in his own words" .
>>I seem to have landed on the TIS as ally, since, if ALLA can be softened,
>>would do justice to the pronouns, TIS, and the wording of the verses.
>Are all these same questions raised about 1 Cor 15:35 about some mysterious
>Mr. Tis?
>While I confess that I have not read what may be a voluminous literature on
>this question, I would suggest that anyone who has read a bit of ancient
>rhetoric will have seen ALLA EREI TIS more times than he/she can readily
>count. It is the standard ploy of one who argues forcefully for any
>proposition to answer in advance all expected hypothetical objections, and
>ALLA EREI TIS is one common forumula for introducing the hypothetical
>objection. Maybe I've read too much Cicero but I think I'd be rich if I had
>a quarter for every "Quaeret quispiam ...", "Sed dicet aliquis ...",
>"Attamen dicunt quidam ..." and such like phrases that I've seen over the
>years. There's no need then to butt heads over whether James is referring
>to Paul. He wouldn't need to go that far, even if Paul was in fact the
>first to proclaim a doctrine that faith is what effects salvation. I have a
>by-no-means hypothetical sister-in-law who honestly believes that a verbal
>profession of faith without any serious commitment to transform a person's
>existence toward faithful obedience to God's will is perfectly efficacious
>to win a ticket of admission to the pearly gates, and I think James could
>just as well have been predicting what she tells me. I have serious doubts
>whether she's read enough of the Pauline letters to consider whether that's
>really what he ever meant to imply. The last thing in the world I want to
>get into is a theological discussion on the question of SOLA FIDE; my point
>rather is that the rhetorical formula, ALLA EREI TIS, does not require at
>all that one look for the hidden person that the formula's user has in mind.
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics, Washington University
>One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
>(314) 935-4018
> OR

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