James (a.k.a. James the Just) ~ brother of Jesus


1.0 Roman Catholic tradition1)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus

Roman Catholic tradition2)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus generally holds that this James is to be identified with James, son of Alphaeus, and James the Less.3)Camerlynck, Achille (1910), “St. James the Less”, The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8, New York: Robert Appleton Company (retrieved from New Advent).  It is agreed by most that he should not be confused with James, son of Zebedee.


2.0 Did Jesus have brothers and sisters (siblings)?4)http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-siblings.html

Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in several Bible verses. Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:56). In John 7:1-10, His brothers go on to the festival while Jesus stays behind. In Acts 1:14, His brothers and mother are described as praying with the disciples. Galatians 1:19 mentions that James was Jesus’ brother. The most natural conclusion of these passages is to interpret that Jesus had actual blood half-siblings.

Some Roman Catholics claim that these “brothers” were actually Jesus’ cousins. However, in each instance, the specific Greek word for “brother” is used. While the word can refer to other relatives, its normal and literal meaning is a physical brother. There was a Greek word for “cousin,” and it was not used. Further, if they were Jesus’ cousins, why would they so often be described as being with Mary, Jesus’ mother? There is nothing in the context of His mother and brothers coming to see Him that even hints that they were anyone other than His literal, blood-related, half-brothers.

A second Roman Catholic argument is that Jesus’ brothers and sisters were the children of Joseph from a previous marriage. An entire theory of Joseph’s being significantly older than Mary, having been previously married, having multiple children, and then being widowed before marrying Mary is invented without any biblical basis. The problem with this is that the Bible does not even hint that Joseph was married or had children before he married Mary. If Joseph had at least six children before he married Mary, why are they not mentioned in Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-7) or their trip to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15) or their trip back to Nazareth (Matthew 2:20-23)?

There is no biblical reason to believe that these siblings are anything other than the actual children of Joseph and Mary. Those who oppose the idea that Jesus had half-brothers and half-sisters do so, not from a reading of Scripture, but from a preconceived concept of the perpetual virginity of Mary, which is itself clearly unbiblical: “But he (Joseph) had no union with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus” (Matthew 1:25). Jesus had half-siblings, half-brothers and half-sisters, who were the children of Joseph and Mary. That is the clear and unambiguous teaching of God’s Word.


3.0 What should we learn from the life of James, the brother of Jesus?5)http://www.gotquestions.org/life-James.html

James was a son of Mary and Joseph and therefore a half-brother to Jesus and brother to Joseph, Simon, Judas, and their sisters (Matthew 13:55). In the Gospels, James is mentioned a couple of times, but at that time he misunderstood Jesus’ ministry and was not a believer (John 7:2-5). James becomes one of the earliest witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7). He then stays in Jerusalem and forms part of the group of believers who pray in the upper room (Acts 1:14). From that time forward, James’ status within the Jerusalem church begins to grow.

James is still in Jerusalem when the recently converted Saul arrives to meet with him and Peter (Galatians 1:19). Several years later, when Peter escapes from prison, he reports to James about the miraculous manner of the escape (Acts 12:17). When the Jerusalem Council convenes, James is the apparent chairman (Acts 15:13, 19). He is also an elder of the church, called a “pillar” in Galatians 2:9. Later, James again presides over a meeting in Jerusalem, this time after Paul’s third missionary journey. It is believed that James was martyred about A.D. 62, although there is no biblical record of his death.

James is the author of the epistle of James, which he wrote somewhere between A.D. 50 and A.D. 60. James identifies himself by name but simply describes himself as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). His letter deals more with Christian ethics than Christian theology. Its theme is the outworking of faith—the external evidence of internal conversion.

A study of James’ life provides some important lessons for us. His conversion gives testimony to the overwhelming power that came from being a witness of Jesus’ resurrection: James turned from being a skeptic to a leader in the church based on his meeting the resurrected Christ. James’ speech at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:14-21 reveals his reliance on Scripture, his desire for peace within the church, his emphasis of grace over the law, and his care for Gentile believers, although he himself ministered almost exclusively to Jewish Christians. Also worthy of note is James’ humility—he never uses his position as Jesus’ blood relative as a basis for authority. Rather, James portrays himself as a “servant” of Jesus, nothing more. In short, James was a gracious leader through whom the church was richly blessed.


4.0 James (Brother of Jesus)


5.0 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia6)C. M. Kerr http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/james.html

B) James, “The Lord’s Brother”:

I. New Testament References.

1. In the Gospels:

This James is mentioned by name only twice in the Gospels, i.e. when, on the visit of Jesus to Nazareth, the countrymen of our Lord referred in contemptuous terms to His earthly kindred, in order to disparage His preaching (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3).

As James was one of “his brethren,” he was probably among the group of Christ’s relatives who sought to interview Him during His tour through Galilee with the Twelve (Matthew 12:46).

By the same reasoning, he accompanied Jesus on His journey to Capernaum (John 2:12), and joined in attempting to persuade Him to depart from Galilee for Judea on the eve of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:3). At this feast James was present (John 7:10), but was at this time a non-believer in Jesus (compare John 7:5, “Even his brethren did not believe on him”).

2. In the Epistles:

Yet the seeds of conversion were being sown within him, for, after the crucifixion, he remained in Jerusalem with his mother and brethren, and formed one of that earliest band of believers who “with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer” (Acts 1:14).

While there, he probably took part in the election of Matthias to the vacant apostleship (Acts 1:15-25). James was one of the earliest witnesses to the resurrection, for, after the risen Lord had manifested Himself to the five hundred, “he was seen of James” (1 Corinthians 15:7 the King James Version). By this his growing belief and prayerful expectancy received confirmation. About 37 or 38 AD, James, “the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19), was still in Jerusalem, and had an interview there for the first time with Paul, when the latter returned from his 3 years’ sojourn in Damascus to visit Cephas, or Peter (Galatians 1:18,19; compare Acts 9:26).

In several other passages the name of James is coupled with that of Peter.

Thus, when Peter escaped from prison (about 44 AD), he gave instructions to those in the house of John Mark that they should immediately inform “James and the brethren” of the manner of his escape (Acts 12:17).

By the time of the Jerusalem convention, i.e. about 51 AD (compare Galatians 2:1), James had reached the position of first overseer in the church (compare Acts 15:13,19). Previous to this date, during Paul’s ministry at Antioch, he had dispatched certain men thither to further the mission, and the teaching of these had caused dissension among the newly converted Christians and their leaders (Acts 15:1,2; Galatians 2:12).

The conduct of Peter, over whom James seems to have had considerable influence, was the principal matter of contention (compare Galatians 2:11 if). However, at the Jerusalem convention the dispute was amicably settled, and the pillars of the church, James, John and Cephas, gave to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (Galatians 2:9).

The speech of James on this occasion (Acts 15:13-29), his sympathy with the religious needs of the Gentile world (Acts 15:17), his desire that formalism should raise no barrier to their moral and spiritual advancement (Acts 15:19,20,28,29), and his large-hearted tributes to the “beloved Barnabas and Paul” (Acts 15:25,26), indicate that James was a leader in whom the church was blessed, a leader who loved peace more than faction, the spirit more than the law, and who perceived that religious communities with different forms of observance might still live and work together in common allegiance to Christ.

Once more (58 AD), James was head of the council at Jerusalem when Paul made report of his labors, this time of his 3rd missionary Journey (Acts 21:17). At this meeting Paul was admonished for exceeding the orders he had received at the first council, in that he had endeavored to persuade the converted Jews also to neglect circumcision (Acts 21:21), and was commanded to join in the vow of purification (Acts 21:23-26).

There is no Scriptural account of the death of James From 1 Corinthians 9:5 it has been inferred that he was married.

This is, however, only a conjecture, as the passage refers to those who “lead about a sister, a wife” (the King James Version), while, so far as we know, James remained throughout his life in Jerusalem.

This James has been regarded as the author of the Epistle of James, “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”; compare JAMES, EPISTLE OF. Also, for details concerning his relationship to Christ, compare BRETHREN OF THE LORD.

II. References in Apocryphal Literature.

James figures in one of the miraculous events recorded in the Gnostic “Gospel of the Infancy, by Thomas the Israelite philosopher,” being cured of a snake-bite by the infant Jesus (compare Hennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, 73).

According to the Gospel of the Hebrews (compare ib, 11-21), James had also partaken of the cup of the Lord, and refused to eat till he had seen the risen Lord.

Christ acknowledged this tribute by appearing to James first. In the Ac of Peter (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 475), it is stated that “three days after the ascension of our Lord into heaven, James, whom our Lord called his `brother in the flesh,’ consecrated the Offering and we all drew nigh to partake thereof: and when ten days had passed after the ascension of our Lord, we all assembled in the holy fortress of Zion, and we stood up to say the prayer of sanctification, and we made supplication unto God and besought Him with humility, and James also entreated Him concerning the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Offering.”

The Preaching of James the Just (compare Budge, II, 78-81) tells of the appointment of James to the bishopric of Jerusalem, of his preaching, healing of the sick and casting out of devils there.

This is confirmed by the evidence of Clement of Alexandria (Euseb., HE, II, 1). In the Martyrdom of James the Just (compare Budge, II, 82-89), it is stated that J., “the youngest of the sons of Joseph,” alienated, by his preaching, Piobsata from her husband Ananus, the governor of Jerusalem. Ananus therefore inflamed the Jews against James, and they hurled him down from off the pinnacle of the temple. Hegesippus, quoted by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, II, 23), and Josephus (Ant., XX, ix, 1), testify to the general truth of this.

It is thus probable that James was martyred about 62 or 63 AD.

Besides the epistle which bears his name, James was also the reputed author of the Protevangelium Jacobi, a work which originated in the 2nd century and received later additions (compare Henn, NA, 47-63; also JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY).


genealogy-150-150

son of Mary and Joseph

half-brother to Jesus

brother to Joseph, Simon, Judas, and their sisters


SOURCES

1.0) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus

2.0) Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-siblings.html

3.0) Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/life-James.html

4.0) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus

5.0) Source: http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/james.html

6.0) Source: bibleresources.americanbible.org | Tittle: “A Guide to Key Events, Characters and Themes of the Bible”


Related: Biblical Overviews List of Key Old Testament Characters

References

↑ 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus
↑ 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus
↑ 3. Camerlynck, Achille (1910), “St. James the Less”, The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8, New York: Robert Appleton Company (retrieved from New Advent).
↑ 4. http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-siblings.html
↑ 5. http://www.gotquestions.org/life-James.html
↑ 6. C. M. Kerr http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/james.html

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