Testament of Zebulun 5:11Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs
I And now, my children, I bid you to keep the commands of the Lord, and to show mercy to your neighbours, and to have compassion towards all, not towards men only, but also towards, beasts. For all this thing's sake the Lord blessed me, and when all my brethren were sick, I escaped without sickness, for the Lord knoweth the purposes of each. Have, therefore, compassion in your hearts, my children, because even as a man doeth to his neighbour, even so also will the Lord do to him. For the sons of my brethren were sickening and were dying on account of Joseph, because they showed not mercy in their hearts; but my sons were preserved without sickness, as ye know.
11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law. 12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. 13 For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment. 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food,
Notes and References
"... The problem of determining whether this aphorism is reliant on a Jesus logion is even more severe. All commentators agree that the conception expressed in this verse is conventional in Jewish thought and literature from the prophets to the rabbis (Sirach 29:1; Testament of Zebulon 5:1; cf Tobit 4:1011). For example, J. H. Ropes notes that its performance in "Jer. Baba q. viii. 10. 'Every time that thou art merciful. God will be merciful co thee; and if thou art not merciful, God will not show mercy to thee,'" is very close to the performance in James 2:13. Betz correctly sums up the evidence: "for all branches of Judaism the exercise of mercy was one of the preeminent religious and social duties. This duty was based on the belief that God is a God of mercy. Early Christian theology continued this tradition in a variety of ways." ... with respects to James 2:13. the well-worn argument and widely accepted view is that James draws on Jewish tradition rather than a Jesus saying. The Jamesian performance certainly reflects, thinking similar to the thought emanating from the pre-Matthean SM ..."
Chilton, Bruce Authenticating the Words of Jesus (p. 448) Brill, 2002
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