From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

James ( Heb. יָעֲקֹב, Gr. Ἰακώβ, Ἰάκωβος. The English name is analogous to the Portuguese and Gael. ).—The name does not occur in the OT except in the case of the patriarch, but had become common in NT times, and is borne by several persons mentioned in the Gospels. Passing over the father of Joseph the husband of the Virgin Mary, according to St. Matthew’s genealogy ( Matthew 1:16 where the form is Ἰακώβ), we have—.1. James the father (Authorized Version ‘brother’) of Judas,  Luke 6:16 (‘not Iscariot,’  John 14:22, the Thaddaeus of Mt. and Mk.). The Authorized Version translation is derived from the Latin of Beza, and is due to a confusion of this Judas with a quite different person, Judas (Jude) the ‘brother of James’ ( Judges 1:1,  Matthew 13:55). The older English versions have either ‘Judas of James’ (Wyclif = Vulgate Iudam Iacobi ) or ‘Judas James’ sonne’ (Tindale, etc.). Further, St. Luke’s practice is to insert ἀδελφός when he means ‘brother’ ( Luke 3:1;  Luke 3:6;  Luke 3:14,  Acts 12:2). Nothing more is known of this James.

2 . James the brother of John ( Matthew 10:2,  Mark 3:17,  Luke 6:14,  Acts 1:13), elder* [Note: The usual order is ‘James and John.’ St. Luke sometimes inverts it (8:51, 9:28,  Acts 1:13), probably because of the early death of James and the subsequent prominence of John.] son of Zebedee, a well-to-do† [Note: He had ‘Hired servants’ ( Mark 1:20). his Wife Was one of those who ministered to Christ ‘of their substance’ ( Mark 15:41,  Luke 8:3).] Galilaean fisherman, most probably a native of Capernaum. The call of James to Apostleship is related in  Matthew 4:21-22,  Mark 1:19-20 and (perhaps)  Luke 5:10.‡ [Note: The question whether the Lukan narrative refers to the same incident as that related by Ml. is not easy to decide. Hammond, Trench, Wordsworth, and other commentators answer it in the affirmative; Alford, Greswell, etc., in the negative. Plummer (‘St. Luke’ in Internat. Crit. Com.) is doubtful. A. Wright regards it as a conflation of the Markan narrative with that found in  John 21:1-6. The characteristic features of the Lukan account are: (1) there is no mention of Andrew or Zebedee; (2) St. Peter is the prominent figure; (3) there is no command to follow Christ; (4) the fisherman are washing (not casting or mending) their nets; (5) there is a miraculous draught of fishes.] The two sons of Zebedee appear to have been partners (κοινωνοί, μέτοχοι) with Peter in the fishing industry. Their mother’s name was Salome, who was probably a sister of the Virgin Mary (see art. Salome). The two brothers received from our Lord the name Boanerges (‘sons of thunder’), perhaps because of their impetuous zeal for their Master’s honour, shown by incidents like the wish to call down fire to consume certain Samaritans who refused Him a passage through their country ( Luke 9:54; cf.  Mark 9:38,  Luke 9:49-50). James is specially mentioned as present at the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother ( Mark 1:29), at the raising of Jairus’ daughter ( Mark 5:37), at the Transfiguration ( Mark 9:2), at the Mount of Olives during the great ‘eschatological’ discourse ( Mark 13:3), and at the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane ( Mark 14:33). On two of these occasions, the first and the fourth, Andrew is associated with the three; but on all the others, Peter, James, and John are alone with Christ. The special favour accorded to the two brothers (and perhaps their kinship to Jesus) probably prompted the ambitious request of Salome that they might sit as assessors to Him in His kingdom ( Mark 10:35-40,  Matthew 20:20-23). James was called upon to ‘drink the cup’ of suffering ( Mark 10:38-39) first of all the Apostolic band, being beheaded by Herod Agrippa i. in a.d. 44 ( Acts 12:2). An untrustworthy tradition represents him as preaching the gospel in Spain, of which country he is patron saint. Eusebius ( Historia Ecclesiastica ii. 9) relates, on the authority of Clement of Alexandria, that, when he was tried for his life, his accuser was so greatly affected by his constancy that he declared himself a Christian, and died with him after obtaining his forgiveness and blessing. See, further, Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible ii. 541.

3 . James the son of Alphaeus, one of the Twelve ( Matthew 10:3,  Mark 3:18,  Luke 6:15,  Acts 1:13). In each list he stands at the bead of the third group along with Simon Zelotes (with whom he is coupled by St. Luke), Judas of James (= Thaddaeus, with whom he is coupled by Mt. and Mk.), and Judas Iscariot. The Gospels tell us nothing more about him, but he was most likely a brother of Matthew, who also was a ‘son of Alphaeus’ (cf.  Matthew 9:9 with  Mark 2:14). He has been identified with (4) and (5); but the probabilities seem to the present writer to be against the former identification, while the latter is almost certainly wrong.

4 . James ὁ μικρός§ [Note: Jerome’s rendering minor (Vulg. Maria Jacobi minoris), on which he founds an argument for the identificaton of this James with (3) and, (5), takes no account of the fact that the Greek is positive, not comparative.] ( Mark 15:40; cf.  Matthew 27:58,  John 19:25). He is mentioned as the son of a Mary, probably the wife of Clopas, one of the four women, of whom the other three were Mary the Lord’s mother, Mary Magdalene, and Salome, present at the crucifixion. This Mary, with Mary Magdalene, remained to see where Jesus was buried. She had another son Joseph. Those who identify this James with (3) argue that Alphaeus (Ἁλφαῖος, חַלפי) and Clopas (Κλωπᾶς) are two forms of the same name (Meyer, Alford). Philologically this is improbable. The extant Syriac Versions render ‘Alphaeus’ by Chalpai , while ‘Clopas’ is rendered by Kleopha . Nor can it be said to be absolutely certain that ἧ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ of  John 19:25 means the wife of Clopas. It may mean ‘ daughter of Clopas.’ And it is unlikely that St. Mark would describe James the son of Alphaeus by a new designation, James ‘ the Little ’ (in stature).* [Note: μικρός may also mean ‘young’ (Deissmann, Bible Studies, Eng. tr. 144).] Moreover, it is hard to see why St. John, writing for readers acquainted with the Synoptic Gospels, should introduce into his Gospel the name Clopas if he meant Alphaeus. On the whole, therefore, we must conclude with Ewald ( Hist. of Israel , vi. 305, note 4) that the identification is unlikely.† [Note: Ewald, however, identifies Clopas with Cleopas (a Greek name),  Luke 24:18.] Of this James we know nothing further.

5 . James the Lord’s brother. He is mentioned by name twice in the Gospels ( Matthew 13:55,  Mark 6:3). He is the eldest of four brothers, James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon (Simon and Judas,  Matthew 13:55). Other references to the Brethren of the Lord are found in  Matthew 12:46-50,  Mark 3:31-35,  Luke 8:19-21,  John 7:3-5. From these passages we learn that they thought Him mad, and opposed His work. St. John tells us plainly that His brethren did not believe in Him.

The following passages outside the Gospels have to do with this James:  1 Corinthians 15:7,  Acts 1:13;  Acts 12:17;  Acts 12:15 ( passim )  Acts 21:18-25,  Galatians 1:18-19;  Galatians 2:1-10; Josephus Ant . xx. ix. 1; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica ii. 1 (quotation from Clement of Alexandria), ii. 23 (quotation from Hegesippus), vii. 19; Jerome, de Vir. Illus . (quotation from the Gospel according to the Hebrews); Clementine Homilies ( ad init. ); Apostolic Constitutions , viii. 35. From these passages we learn that he was converted to a full acknowledgment of Christ (probably by the Resurrection), that the Lord appeared to him specially, that he became head of the Church of Jerusalem, and that he was put to death by the Jews either just before the siege (Hegesippus) or some ten years earlier (Josephus). He was surnamed the Just by his fellow-countrymen, and was greatly respected by all classes in Jerusalem.

The Epistle bearing his name, which is almost universally attributed to the brother of the Lord, is of the greatest interest to students of the Gospels. There is no Epistle which contains in a small compass so many allusions to the teaching of Christ subsequently contained in the Gospels as we have them. The following list includes all the more striking parallels:  Matthew 5:3;  Matthew 5:7;  Matthew 5:9;  Matthew 5:11;  Matthew 5:22;  Matthew 5:34-37 =  James 2:5;  James 2:13;  James 3:18;  James 1:2;  James 1:19;  James 5:12;  Matthew 6:19;  Matthew 6:24 =  James 5:2;  James 4:4;  Matthew 7:1;  Matthew 7:7-8;  Matthew 7:12;  Matthew 7:16;  Matthew 7:24 =  James 4:11-12;  James 1:5;  James 2:8;  James 3:11-12;  James 1:22 (all these are from the Sermon on the Mount). Cf. also  Matthew 12:38 with  James 3:1-2,  Matthew 18:4 with  James 4:6;  Luke 6:24 =  James 5:1;  Luke 12:16-21 =  James 4:14;  Luke 8:15;  Luke 21:19 (ὑπομονή, used by Lk. only in the Gospels) =  James 1:3-4;  James 5:11;  John 3:3 =  James 1:17;  John 8:31-33 =  James 1:25;  John 13:17 =  James 4:17.‡ [Note: Fuller lists will be found in Mayor, Epistle of St. James (2nd ed.), lxxxv-lxxxviii; Salmon, Introduction to NT, 455 (5th ed.); Zahn, Einleitung, i. p. 87; Knowling, St. James, xxi-xxiii.] On these passages it may be remarked (1) that, while some of the parallels may be explained as coincidences, there remain others which even Renan ( l’Antéchrist 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] , p. 54) admits to be reminiscences of the words of Jesus; (2) that the evidence is cumulative, and includes correspondence in teaching ( e.g. on riches, formalism, prayer) as well as in language; (3) that the most striking parallels are with the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and with the earlier parts of that, suggesting the possibility that James may at first have been a hearer of our Lord, and making it fairly certain that he was acquainted with the special Matthaean ‘source.’

A second point to be noticed is that the Epistle of James is clearly the work of one trained in the strict observance of the Law, while at the same time his obedience to it is the obedience of zealous love, as far removed as possible from the Pharisaic formalism denounced by our Lord ( James 1:22-27;  James 2:8-12;  James 4:5-7;  James 5:10-11). Both in his case and in that of St. Paul, although they developed on somewhat different lines, the Law was a παιδαγωγὸς εἰς Χριστόν. This view of the training of James, and consequently of our Lord his Brother, is confirmed by the Gospels. The names of the four brothers, James, Joseph, Simon (= Simeon), and Jude (= Judah), are those of patriarchs. The parents are careful to observe the Law in our Lord’s case ( Luke 2:22-24;  Luke 2:39;  Luke 2:41-42).

The Western Church, in regarding James the Lord’s brother as identical with James the son of Alphaeus, seems to have been influenced by the authority of Jerome, who, in replying to Helvidius ( circa 383 a.d.), urges that, as James the Lord’s brother is called an Apostle by St. Paul ( Galatians 1:18-19), he must be identified with James the son of Alphaeus, since James the son of Zebedee was dead; and, further, that he was our Lord’s first cousin. (Jerome does not identify Alphaeus with Clopas). But it may be observed (1) that Jerome himself seems to have abandoned this view ( Ep . cxx. ad Hedibiam ); (2) that ἀδελφός never = ἀνεψιός in the NT; (3) that James the brother of the Lord is always distinguished from the Twelve ( John 2:12,  Acts 1:14; cf.  Matthew 12:47-50); (4) that ‘His brethren did not believe in him’ ( John 7:3;  John 7:5); (5) that the word ἀπόστολος, on which Jerome relies, is not confined to the Twelve ( Acts 14:4;  Acts 14:14,  1 Corinthians 15:4-7).* [Note: In favour of their identification of (3), (4), and (5) it is sometimes urged that it is unlikely there would be lour persons, all named James, closely connected with our Lord. But it must be remembered (1) that the name was certain to be popular among patriotic Jews; (2) that ‘Jewish names in ordinary use at that time were very Few’ (Lightfoot, Galatians, p. 268). Twelve persons are mentioned in the NT as Bearing the name Siunon (Simeon), and nine that of Joseph (Joses).] [For a fuller discussion of the question see the article Brethren of the Lord].

Literature.—Besides the authorities quoted above, see articles in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (by J. B. Mayor), Encyc. Bibl . (by Orello Cone), Smith’s D B [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] (by Meyrick, with lull list of the views of British theologians); Herzog, PR E [Note: RE Real-Encyklopädie fur protest. Theologic und Kirche.] 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] (by Sieffert, with Bibliography); Commentaries of Swete (on Mk.), Alford, Meyer (English translation, Edin. 1882), Plumptre ( Cambridge Bible ), von Soden ( Hand-Commentar , Freiburg, 1890), Plummer (in Expositor’s Bible , 1891); W. Patrick, James the Lard’s Brother , 1906.

H. W. Fulford.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

"Jacob" in Greek; the name appearing in our Lord's apostles and contemporaries for the first time since the patriarch. Son of Zebedee, brother of John. Their father's "hired servants" and fishing vessel imply some degree of competence. John probably was the one with Andrew ( John 1:35-41), who, on John the Baptist's pointing to the Lamb of God, followed Jesus. The words Andrew "first findeth his own brother Simon" imply that John secondly found and called his own brother James to Jesus, or vice versa. Some months later the Lord saw Zebedee, James, and John, in the ship mending their nets. At His call James and John "immediately left the ship and their father and followed Him" ( Matthew 4:22). Their Leaving Their Father "With The Hired servants" ( Mark 1:20, a minute particular, characteristic of Mark' s vivid style and his knowledge through Peter of all which happened) was not an unfilial act, which it would have been if he had no helpers.

The next call was after an unsuccessful night's fishing, when the fishermen had gone out of their ships and had washed ( Luke 5:2, Vaticanus and Cambridge manuscripts read Eplunon , "were washing"; the Sinaiticus and Paris manuscripts have Epifainoo ) their nets; Jesus entering one of the ships, Simon's, prayed him to thrust out a little from land, and preached. Then rewarding his loan of the ship, He desired Simon, Launch out into the deep, and do ye let down your nets for a draught. At Christ's word, however unlikely to reason, he let down, and enclosed so many fish that the net broke; and the partners in the other ship came to his help, and they filled both ships so that they began to sink. Astonished at the miracle, yet encouraged by His further promise to Simon, "henceforth thou shalt catch men," the three forsook not merely their "nets" as before, but "all," and followed Him. In fact the successive calls were:

(1) to friendly acquaintance ( John 1:37);

(2) to intimacy ( Matthew 4:18);

(3) to permanent discipleship ( Luke 5:11);

(4) (toward the close of the first year of our Lord's ministry) to apostleship ( Matthew 10:1);

(5) to renewed self dedication, even unto death ( John 21:15-22).

In Matthew and Luke ( Luke 6:14), of the four catalogs of apostles, Andrew follows Peter on the ground of brotherhood. (See Apostles .) In Mark ( Mark 3:16) and Acts ( Acts 1:13) James and John precede Andrew on the ground of greater nearness to Jesus. These four head the twelve; and Andrew is at the foot of the four. Peter, James, and John alone witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter ( Mark 5:37); also the transfiguration ( Matthew 17:1); also the agony ( Matthew 26:37). The four asked our Lord "privately" when His prediction of the temple's overthrow should be fulfilled, and what should be the sign ( Mark 13:3). In  Luke 9:28 (the transfiguration) alone John precedes James. By the time that Luke wrote John was recognized as on a level with James, yet not above him, as Luke in  Acts 1:13 has the order, "James, John," but in  Acts 12:2 Luke calls James brother of John, who by that time had become the more prominent.

James was probably the elder brother, whence John is twice called "brother of James" ( Mark 5:37;  Matthew 17:1). No official superiority was given, for no trace of it occurs in New Testament; it was the tacitly recognized leadership which some took above the others. James and John were called Boanerges to express their natural character and the grace which would purify and ennoble it, making James the first apostle martyr and John the apostle of love. (See Boanerges .) Their fiery zeal in its untempered state appeared in their desiring to call fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans. These would not receive Jesus when He sent messengers to make ready for Him (i.e. to announce His Messiahship, which He did not conceal in Samaria as in Judaea and Galilee:  John 4:26;  Luke 9:54), because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem, whereas they expected the Messiah would confirm their anti-Jewish worship in the mount Gerizim temple.

James and John "saw" some actual collision between the Samaritans and the messengers who were sent before and whom our Lord and His apostles followed presently; just as Elijah in the same Samaria had called for fire upon the offenders face to face ( 2 Kings 1:10;  2 Kings 1:12). In  Luke 9:55-56, "ye know not what manner of spirit ye are (not the fiery judicial spirit which befitted Elijah's times, but the spirit of love so as to win men to salvation, is the spirit of Me and Mine), for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives but to save them," is not in Alex., Vat., and. Sin. manuscripts The same John subsequently ( Acts 8:14-17) came down with Peter to confer the Spirit's gifts on Samaritan believers. What miracles in renewing the heart does the gospel work! Salome the mother of Zebedee's children, impressed by Christ's promise that the twelve should sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, begged, and her two sons joined in the prayer, that they might sit one on His right the other on His left hand in His glory ( Mark 10:35-37).

They prefaced it with pleading His own promise, "Master, we would that Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire" ( Matthew 7:7;  Luke 11:9;  Mark 11:24). Perhaps jealousy of Peter and Andrew, their rivals for the nearest place to Him, actuated them ( Matthew 20:20-24). He told them that they should drink of His cup (Sin. and Vat. manuscripts omit in  Matthew 20:22-23 the clause as to the "baptism") of suffering ( Acts 12:1-2; James;  Revelation 1:9; John), but to sit on His right and left, said He, "is not Mine to give, except to those for whom it is prepared of My Father" (so the Greek). The ten were indignant at the claim. James was among those who abode in the upper room and persevered in prayer; the apostles, the women, and the Lord's brethren, after the ascension ( Acts 1:13). In A. D. 44 Herod Agrippa I, a pliant politician but strict Jew, "very ambitious to oblige the people, exactly careful in the observance of the laws. and not allowing one day to pass without its appointed sacrifice" (Josephus, Ant. 19:7, section 3), in consonance with his well known character, "laid hands (Greek) on certain of the church."

The Passover had brought James and Peter to Jerusalem ( Acts 12:1-3). So he took the opportunity just before the Passover to kill the most fiery of the two first, namely, "James the brother of John." "The sword" was the instrument of his execution, Herod preferring the Roman method to the Jewish punishment of seducers to strange worship, namely, stoning. Clement of Alexandria (Hypotyposeis, 7; Eusebius, H. E., 2:6) records a tradition that James's prosecutor was moved by his bold confession to declare himself a Christian on the spot; he begged James's forgiveness, and the apostle kissed him, saying "peace be to thee"; they were both beheaded together. A Roman Catholic legend says that he preached in Spain, and that his remains were transported to Compostella there!

James, surnamed "the Less" or "Little." Son of Mary ( Mark 15:40;  Matthew 27:56;  Luke 24:10). Brother of Jude ( Judges 1:1;  Luke 6:16;  Acts 1:13). "The brother of the Lord" ( Matthew 13:55;  Mark 6:3;  Galatians 1:19). "Son of Alphaeus" ( Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 6:15;  Acts 1:13). Writer of the epistle; president of the church at Jerusalem ( James 1:1;  Acts 12:17;  Acts 15:13;  Acts 15:19;  Galatians 2:9;  Galatians 2:12). Clopas (Alexandrinus and Vaticanus manuscripts,  John 19:25) or Cleophas (Sinaiticus manuscript) is the Hebrew, Alphaeus the Greek, of the same name: he married Mary, sister of the Virgin Mary, and had by her James, Joses, Jude, and Simon, and three daughters (Mary is sometimes designated "mother of James and Joses,"  Matthew 27:56, as these were the two oldest); he died before our Lord's ministry began, and his widow went to live with her sister the Virgin Mary, a widow also herself (for Joseph's name never occurs after Luke 2), at Nazareth ( Matthew 13:55), Capernaum ( John 2:12), and Jerusalem ( Acts 1:14).

Living together the cousins were regarded as "brothers" and "sisters" of Jesus. Being His elders, they went on one occasion to "lay hold on Him," saying that He was "beside Himself"; as He was so pressed by multitudes that He and His disciples "could not so much as eat bread," His cousin brethren thought they would restrain what seemed to them mad zeal ( Mark 3:20-21;  Mark 3:31-33). The statement in  John 7:3-5, "neither did His brethren believe in Him," does not imply that all of them disbelieved; James and Jude believed. Or if all are included, the negation of belief is not a negation of all belief, but of such as recognized the true nature of His Messiahship. They looked for a reigning Messiah, and thought Jesus' miracles were wrought with a view to this end: "depart hence (from obscure Galilee) and go into Judea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest, for there is no man that doeth anything in secret and (yet) he himself seeketh to be known openly (which they take for granted He seeks); if Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world."

The theory that denies any of the Lord's brethren to have place among the apostles involves the improbability that there were two sets of four first cousins, named James, Joses, Jude, Simon, without anything to show which is son of Clopas and which his cousin. Luke in enumerating the twelve calls Jude: "the brother of James," he must mean brother of the "James, son of Alphaeus," before mentioned. Jude appears in  Mark 6:3;  Matthew 13:55, as "brother of the Lord"; therefore James the son of Alphaeus must have been" brother," i.e. cousin, of our Lord. This proves the identity of Juntos the apostle with James the Lord's brother. Luke moreover recognizes only two Jameses in the Gospel and Acts down to  Acts 12:17; the James there must then mean the son of Alphaeus. An apostle is more likely to have presided over the Jerusalem church, wherein he is placed even before Cephas and John, than one who was an unbeliever until after the resurrection ( Galatians 1:19;  Galatians 2:9-12); compare  Acts 9:27, which calls those to whom Paul went "apostles"; now Peter and James were those to whom he went, therefore James was an apostle.

After the resurrection Christ appeared to James ( 1 Corinthians 15:7). The spurious " Gospel according to the Hebrew" says "James swore he would not eat bread from the hour that he drank the cup of the Lord until he should see Him risen again." Christ's special appearance to James strengthened him for the high position, tantamount to "bishop," which he subsequently held at Jerusalem. Christ's command to the collected apostles to preach the gospel everywhere is compatible with each having a special sphere besides the general care of the churches. To him and Peter Barnabas, A.D. 40, introduced Saul, three years subsequently to his conversion in A.D. 37 on his first visit to Jerusalem, and through their influence he was admitted to free intercourse with the disciples, who at first had been "all afraid of him, not believing he was a disciple" ( Acts 9:26-28;  Galatians 1:18-19).

When Peter was delivered by the angel, A.D. 44. he said to the assembly at Mary's house "Go show these things unto James" ( Acts 12:17). In A.D. 49 at the Jerusalem council James gives authoritative opinion, "My sentence is" ( Acts 15:13;  Acts 15:19). At the same time Paul recognizes as "pillars of the church" "James, Cephas and John" (James standing first):  Galatians 2:9. It was "certain who came from James," president of the mother church of Jerusalem, who led Peter to his Judaizing vacillation at Antioch ( Galatians 2:11-12). Finally in A.D. 57 Paul, having been on the previous day "received gladly" by the brethren, went in officially, with Luke and his other assistant ministers, in the presence of all the elders, and "declared particularly what God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry" ( Acts 21:17-19).

Besides Clement of Alexandria who speaks of his episcopate (Hypot. 6, in Eusebius H. E., 2:1), Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian in the middle of the second century, writes much of James, that he drank not strong drink, nor had a razor upon his head, and wore no woolen clothes, but linen, so that he alone might go into the holy place; in short he was a rigid Nazarite ascetic, following after legal righteousness, so that the Jews regarded him as possessing priestly sanctity; such a one when converted to Christ was likely to have most influence with the Jews, who called him "the just one," and therefore to have been especially suited to preside over the Jerusalem church. So we find him recommending to Paul a conformity to legal ceremonialism in things indifferent ( Acts 21:18-25), which however proved in the end really inexpedient. Hegesippus says James was often in the temple praying for forgiveness for the people.

At the Passover shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem (foretold in his epistle,  James 5:1) the scribes and Pharisees set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and begged him to restrain the people who were "going astray after Jesus as though He were the Christ." "Tell us, O just one," said they before the assembled people, "which is the door of Jesus?" alluding to his prophecy "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh ... behold the Judge standeth before the doors" (Greek,  James 5:8-9), wherein he repeats Jesus' words ( Matthew 24:33), "when ye shall see all these things, know that He (margin) is near, even at the doors." James replied with a loud voice, "Why ask ye me concerning Jesus, the Son of Man? He sitteth at the right hand of power, and will come again on the clouds of heaven." Many cried "Hosanna to the Son of David."

But James was cast down by the Pharisees. Praying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," he was stoned in spite of the remonstrance of a Rechabite priest ("Stop! the just one is praying for you!"), then beaten to death with a fuller's club. Thus the Jews wreaked their vengeance on him, exasperated at his prophecy of their national doom in his epistle, which was circulated not only in Jerusalem but by those who came up to the great feasts, among "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" to whom it is addressed. James was probably married ( 1 Corinthians 9:5). Josephus makes Ananus, the high priest after Festus' death, to have brought J. before the Sanhedrin for having broken the laws, and to have delivered him and some others to be stoned.

In  Hebrews 13:7 there may be allusion to James' martyrdom, "Remember them which had (not have) the rule (spiritually) over you, (Hebrew, over whom he presided) who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation" (their life walk). If this be the allusion, the Epistle to Hebrew was probably A.D. 68, and James's martyrdom A.D. 62. His apprehension by Ananus was very probably in this year; but according to Hegesippus he was not martyred until just before the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 69, to which, as near,  Hebrews 5:1 may refer.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

‘Ιακωβος , of the same import as Jacob. James, surnamed the greater, or the elder, to distinguish him from James the younger, was brother to John the evangelist, and son to Zebedee and Salome,  Matthew 4:21 . He was of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and left all to follow Christ. Salome requested our Saviour, that her two sons, James and John, might sit at his right hand, when he should be in possession of his kingdom. Our Saviour answered, that it belonged to his heavenly Father alone to dispose of these places of honour,  Matthew 20:21 . Before their vocation, James and John followed the trade of fishermen with their father Zebedee; and they did not quit their profession till our Saviour called them,  Mark 1:18-19 . They were witnesses of our Lord's transfiguration,  Matthew 17:2 . When certain Samaritans refused to admit Jesus Christ, James and John wished for fire from heaven to consume them,  Luke 9:54; and for this reason, it is thought, the name of Boanerges, or sons of thunder, was given them. Some days after the resurrection of our Saviour, James and John went to fish in the sea of Tiberias, where they saw Jesus. They were present at the ascension of our Lord. St. James is said to have preached to all the dispersed tribes of Israel; but for this there is only report. His martyrdom is related,  Acts 12:1-2 , about A.D. 42, or 44, for the date is not well ascertained. Herod Agrippa, king of the Jews, and grandson of Herod the Great, caused him to be seized and executed at Jerusalem. Clemens Alexandrinus informs us, that he who brought St. James before the judges was so much affected with his constancy in confessing Jesus Christ, that he also declared himself a Christian, and was condemned, as well as the Apostle, to be beheaded.

James The Less surnamed the brother of our Lord,  Galatians 1:19 , was the son of Cleopas, otherwise called Alpheus, and Mary, sister to the blessed virgin; consequently, he was cousin-german to Jesus Christ. He was surnamed the Just, on account of the admirable holiness and purity of his life. He is said to have been a priest, and to have observed the laws of the Nazarites from his birth. Our Saviour appeared to James the less, eight days after his resurrection,  1 Corinthians 15:7 . He was at Jerusalem, and was considered as a pillar of the church, when St. Paul first came thither after his conversion,  Galatians 1:19 , A.D. 37. In the council of Jerusalem, held in the year 61, St. James gave his vote last; and the result of the council was principally formed from what St. James said, who, though he observed the ceremonies of the law, and was careful that others should observe them, was of opinion, that such a yoke was not to be imposed on the faithful converted from among the Heathens,  Acts 15:13 , &c.

James the less was a person of great prudence and discretion, and was highly esteemed by the Apostles and other Christians. Such, indeed, was his general reputation for piety and virtue, that, as we learn from Origen, Eusebius, and Jerom, Josephus thought, and declared it to be the common opinion, that the sufferings of the Jews, and the destruction of their city and temple, were owing to the anger of God, excited by the murder of James. This must be considered as a strong and remarkable testimony to the character of this Apostle, as it is given by a person who did not believe that Jesus was the Christ. The passages of Josephus, referred to by those fathers upon this subject, are not found in his works now extant.

James, General Epistle Of Clement of Rome and Hermas allude to this epistle; and it is quoted by Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerom, Chrysostom, Augustine, and many other fathers. But though the antiquity of this epistle had been always undisputed, some few formerly doubted its right to be admitted into the canon. Eusebius says, that in his time it was generally, though not universally, received as canonical; and publicly read in most, but not in all, churches; and Estius affirms, that after the fourth century, no church or ecclesiastical writer is found who ever doubted its authenticity; but that, on the contrary, it is included in all subsequent catalogues of canonical Scripture, whether published by councils, churches, or individuals. It has, indeed, been the uniform tradition of the church, that this epistle was written by James the Just; but it was not universally admitted till after the fourth century, that James the Just was the same person as James the less, one of the twelve Apostles; that point being ascertained, the canonical authority of this epistle was no longer doubted.

It is evident that this epistle could not have been written by James the elder, for he was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in the year 44, and the errors and vices reproved in this epistle show it to be of a much later date; and the destruction of Jerusalem is also here spoken of as being very near at hand,  James 5:8-9 . It has always been considered as a circumstance very much in favour of this epistle, that it was found in the Syriac version, which was made as early as the end of the first century, and for the particular use of converted Jews,—the very description of persons to whom it was originally addressed. Hence we infer, that it was from the first acknowledged by those for whose instruction it was intended; and "I

think," says Dr. Doddridge, "it can hardly be doubted but they were better judges of the question of its authenticity than the Gentiles, to whom it was not written; among whom, therefore, it was not likely to be propagated so early; and who at first might be prejudiced against it, because it was inscribed to the Jews."

The immediate design of this epistle was to animate the Jewish Christians to support with fortitude and patience any sufferings to which they might be exposed, and to enforce the genuine doctrine and practice of the Gospel, in opposition to the errors and vices which then prevailed among them. St. James begins by showing the benefits of trials and afflictions, and by assuring the Jewish Christians that God would listen to their sincere prayers for assistance and support; he reminds them of their being the distinguished objects of divine favour, and exhorts them to practical religion; to a just and impartial regard for the poor, and to a uniform obedience to all the commands of God, without any distinction or exception; he shows the inefficacy of faith without works, that is, unless followed by moral duties; he inculcates the necessity of a strict government of the tongue, and cautions them against censoriousness, strife, malevolence, pride, indulgence of their sensual passions, and rash judgment; he denounces threats against those who make an improper use of riches; he intimates the approaching destruction of Jerusalem; and concludes with exhortations to patience, devotion, and a solicitous concern for the salvation of others. This epistle is written with great perspicuity and energy, and it contains an excellent summary of those practical duties and moral virtues which are required of Christians. Although the author wrote to the Jews dispersed throughout the world, yet the state of his native land passed more immediately before his eyes. Its final overthrow was approaching; and oppressions, factions, and violent scenes troubled all ranks, and involved some professing Christians in suffering, others in guilt.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]


1. James, the son of Zehedee , one of the Twelve, the elder brother of John. Their father was a Galilæan fisherman, evidently in a thriving way, since he employed ‘hired servants’ (  Mark 1:20 ). Their mother was Salome, and, since she was apparently a sister of the Virgin Mary (cf.   Matthew 27:56 =   Mark 15:40 with   John 19:25 ), they were cousins of Jesus after the flesh. Like his brother, James worked with Zebedee in partnership with Simon and Andrew (  Luke 5:10 ), and he was busy with boat and nets when Jesus called him to leave all and follow Him (  Matthew 4:21-22 =   Mark 1:19-20 ). His name is coupled with John’s in the lists of the Apostles (  Matthew 10:2 =   Mark 3:17 =   Luke 6:14 ), which means that, when the Twelve were sent out two by two to preach the Kingdom of God (  Mark 6:7 ), they wentin company. And they seem to have been men of like spirit. They got from Jesus the same appellation, ‘the Sons of Thunder’ (see Boanerges), and they stood, with Simon Peter, on terms of special intimacy with Him. James attained less distinction than his brother, but the reason is not that he had less devotion or aptitude, but that his life came to an untimely end. He was martyred by Herod Agrippa (  Acts 12:2 ).

2. James, the son of Alphæus (probably identical with Clopas of   John 19:25 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), styled ‘the Little’ (not ‘the Less’), probably on account of the shortness of his stature, to distinguish him from the other Apostle James, the son of Zebedee. His mother was Mary, one of the devoted women who stood by the Cross and visited the Sepulchre. He had a brother Joses, who was apparently a believer. See   Mark 15:40 ,   John 19:25 ,   Mark 16:1 .

Tradition says that he had been a tax-gatherer, and it is very possible that his father Alphæus was the same person as Alphæus the father of Levi the tax-gatherer ( Mark 2:14 ), afterwards Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. If these identifications he admitted, that family was indeed highly favoured. It gave to the Kingdom of heaven a father, a mother, and three sons, of whom two were Apostles.

3. James, the Lord’s brother (see Brethren of the Lord). Like the rest of the Lord’s brethren, James did not believe in Him while He lived, but acknowledged His claims after the Resurrection. He was won to faith by a special manifestation of the risen Lord (  1 Corinthians 15:7 ). Thereafter he rose to high eminence. He was the head of the Church at Jerusalem, and figures in that capacity on three occasions. (1) Three years after his conversion Paul went up to Jerusalem to interview Peter, and, though he stayed for fifteen days with him, he saw no one else except James (  Galatians 1:18-19 .). So soon did James’s authority rival Peter’s. (2) After an interval of fourteen years Paul went up again to Jerusalem (  Galatians 2:1-10 ). This was the occasion of the historic conference regarding the terms on which the Gentiles should be admitted into the Christian Church; and James acted as president, his decision being unanimously accepted (  Acts 15:4-34 ). (3) James was the acknowledged head of the Church at Jerusalem, and when Paul returned from his third missionary journey he waited on him and made a report to him in presence of the elders (  Acts 21:18-19 ).

According to extra-canonical tradition, James was surnamed ‘the Just’; he was a Nazirite from his mother’s womb, abstaining from strong drink and animal food, and wearing linen; he was always kneeling in intercession for the people, so that his knees were callous like a camel’s; he was cruelly martyred by the Scribes and Pharisees: they cast him down from the pinnacle of the Temple (cf.  Matthew 4:5 ,   Luke 4:9 ), and as the fall did not kill him, they stoned him, and he was finally despatched with a fuller’s club.

This James was the author of the NT Epistle which bears his name; and it is an indication of his character that he styles himself there ( James 1:1 ) not ‘the brother ,’ but the ‘ servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.’ See next article.

4. James, the father of the Apostle Judas (  Luke 6:16 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), otherwise unknown. The AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘Judas the brother of James’ is an impossible identification of the Apostle Judas with the author of the Epistle (  Judges 1:1 ).

David Smith.

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]


1. James, the son of Zebedee and brother of John ( Matthew 4:21;  Matthew 10:2;  Mark 1:19;  Mark 3:17;  Luke 5:10 ). As one of the twelve disciples ( Acts 1:13 ), he, with Peter and John, formed Jesus' innermost circle of associates. These three were present when Jesus raised Jairus' daughter ( Mark 5:37;  Luke 8:51 ), witnessed the transfiguration ( Matthew 17:1;  Mark 9:2;  Luke 9:28 ), and were summoned by Christ for support during His agony in Gethsemane ( Matthew 26:36-37;  Mark 14:32-34 ).

Perhaps because of James' and John's fiery fanaticism, evidenced as they sought to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritan village refusing to receive Jesus and the disciples ( Luke 9:52-54 ), Jesus called the brothers “Boanerges” or “sons of thunder” ( Mark 3:17 ). James' zeal was revealed in a more selfish manner as he and John (their mother, on their behalf, in  Matthew 20:20-21 ) sought special positions of honor for the time of Christ's glory ( Mark 10:35-40 ). They were promised, however, only a share in His suffering.

Indeed, James was the first of the twelve to be martyred ( Acts 12:2 ). His execution (about A.D. 44), by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judea, was part of a larger persecution in which Peter was arrested ( Acts 12:1-3 ).

2. James, the son of Alphaeus, one of the twelve disciples ( Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 6:15;  Acts 1:13 ). He is not distinguished by name in any occasion reported in the Gospels or Acts.

He may be “James the younger,” whose mother, Mary, was among the women at Jesus' crucifixion and tomb ( Matthew 27:56;  Mark 15:40;  Mark 16:1;  Luke 24:10 ). In  John 19:25 , this Mary is called the wife of Cleophas, perhaps to be identified with Alphaeus. See Cleophas; Mary .

3. James, the brother of Jesus. Bible students debate the precise meaning of “the Lord's brother” ( Galatians 1:19 ). Possibilities are the literal brother or stepbrother, a cousin, or intimate friend and associate. The literal meaning is to be preferred.

During the Lord's ministry, the brothers of Jesus ( Matthew 13:55;  Mark 6:3;  1 Corinthians 9:5 ) were not believers ( John 7:3-5; compare  Matthew 12:46-50;  Mark 3:31-35;  Luke 8:19-21 ). Paul specifically mentioned a resurrection appearance by Jesus to James ( 1 Corinthians 15:7 ). After the resurrection and ascension, the brothers are said to have been with the twelve and the other believers in Jerusalem ( Acts 1:14 ).

Paul, seeking out Peter in Jerusalem after his conversion, reported “other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother” ( Galatians 1:19 ). In time, James assumed the leadership of the Jerusalem church, originally held by Peter. Evidently, such was achieved not through a power struggle but by James' constancy with the church while Peter and other apostles traveled.

In a Jerusalem conference called regarding Paul's Gentile mission, James presided as spokesman for the Jerusalem church ( Acts 15:1 ). See Apostolic Council.

James perceived his calling as to the “circumcised,” that is, the Jews ( Galatians 2:9 ), and is portrayed as loyal to Jewish tradition. He was, however, unwilling to make the law normative for all responding to God's new action in Christ.

The death of James reportedly was at the order of the high priest Ananus, and was either by stoning (according to Flavius Josephus, first century historian of the Jews) or by being cast down from the Temple tower (after Hegesippus, early Christian writer, quoted by the third-century Christian historian Eusebius). These accounts of James's death (about A.D. 66), are not confirmed in the New Testament.

James E. Glaze

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

Surnamed the greater, or the elder, to distinguish him from James the younger, was one of the twelve apostles, brother of John the evangelist, and son of Zebedee and Salome,  Matthew 4:21   27:56 . Compare  Mark 15:40 . James was of Bethsaida in Galilee, and left his earthly occupation to follow Christ,  Mark 1:29,20 . His mother Salome was one of those women who occasionally attended our Savior in his journeys, and one day desired that her two sons might be seated at his right and left hand in the kingdom,  Matthew 20:20-23 .

James and John were originally fishermen, with Zebedee their father,  Mark 1:19 . They were witnesses of our Lord's transfiguration,  Matthew 17:1,2; and when certain Samaritans refused to receive him, James and John wished for fire from heaven to consume them,  Luke 9:54 . For this reason, or because of their zeal and energy as ministers of Christ, the name of Boanerges, or sons of thunder, was afterwards given to them,  Mark 3:17 . Together with Peter they appear to have enjoyed special honors and privileges among the disciples,  Mark 1:29   5:37,   9:2,   13:3,   14:33,   Luke 8:51 . After the ascension of our Lord, at which James was present, he appears to have remained at Jerusalem, and was put to death by Herod, about A. D. 44, the first martyr among the apostles,  Acts 12:1,2 .

Another apostle, son of Alphaeus, or Cleophas,  Matthew 10:3,   Mark 3:18,   Luke 6:15 . His mother's name was Mary, (3) and his brethren were Joses and Judas, (3)  Matthew 27:56,  Mark 15:40 . He is here called THE LESS, or the younger, to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee.

"The Lord's brother,"  Galatians 1:19; either a brother a Christ, being a son of Joseph and Mary; or as many think, a cousin of Christ, and identical with the James above, 2. He resided at Jerusalem,  Acts 15:13; and is called "the Just" by Josephus, and said to have been stoned to death, about A. D. 62. The epistle of James is ascribed to him by those who distinguish him from James the Less. The question of his true relationship to Christ is involved in much doubt. The gospels repeatedly mention James, Joses, Juda, and Simon, as "brothers" of our Lord, and speak in the same connection of his "mother" and his "sisters,"  Matthew 12:46   13:56,  Mark 3:31,  6:3,  Luke 8:19; moreover, the inspired writers expressly distinguish the brothers of Christ from the apostles both James the Less and Jude,  John 2:12   7:3-10   Acts 1:13,14 , thus furnishing strong reasons, as many believe, for the opinion that James the Just was literally a brother of our Lord.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [7]

James. (the Greek form of Jacob, Supplanter ).

1. James, the son of Zebedee, one of the twelve apostles. He was elder brother of the evangelist John. His mother's name was Salome. We first hear of him in A.D. 27,  Mark 1:20, when, at the call of the Master, he left all, and became, one and forever, his disciple, in the spring of A.D. 28.  Matthew 10:2;  Mark 3:14;  Luke 6:13;  Acts 1:13. It would seem to have been at the time of the appointment of the twelve apostles that the name of Boanerges , [sons of thunder] was given to the sons of Zebedee. The "sons of thunder" had a burning and impetuous spirit, which twice exhibits itself.  Mark 10:37;  Luke 9:54.

On the night before the crucifixion, James was present at the agony in the garden. On the day of the ascension, he is mentioned as persevering, with the rest of the apostles and disciples, in prayer.  Acts 1:13. Shortly before the day of the Passover , in the year A.D. 44, he was put to death by Herod Agrippa I.  Acts 12:1-2.

2. James, the son of Alpheus, one of the twelve apostles.  Matthew 10:3. Whether or not this James is to be identified with James the Less, the son of Alphaeus, the brother of our Lord, is one of the most difficult questions in the gospel history. By comparing  Matthew 27:56 and  Mark 15:40 with  John 19:25, we find that the Virgin Mary had a sister named, like herself, Mary, who was the wife of Clopas or Alpheus, (varieties of the same name), and who had two sons, James the Less and Joses.

By referring to  Matthew 13:55 and  Mark 6:3, we find that a James the Less and Joses, with two other brethren called Jude and Simon, and at least three sisters, were sisters with the Virgin Mary at Nazareth. By referring to  Luke 6:16 and  Acts 1:13, we find that there were two brethren named James and Jude among the apostles.

It would certainly be natural to think that we had here, but one family of four brothers and three or more sisters, the children of Clopas and Mary, nephews and nieces of the Virgin Mary. There are difficulties however, in the way of this conclusion into which we cannot here enter; but in reply to the objection that the four brethren in  Matthew 13:55 are described as the brothers of Jesus , not as his cousins, it must be recollected that adelphoi , which is here translated "brethren," may also signify cousins.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

James ( Jâmez ), Same Name As Jacob. 1. James the son of Zebedee, one of the twelve apostles, and elder brother of John. His mother's name was Salome. He was a fisherman,  Mark 1:19, when at the call of the Master he left all, and became a disciple.  Matthew 10:2;  Mark 3:7;  Luke 6:14;  Acts 1:13. The name of Boanerges was given to him and his brother. The "sons of thunder" had a burning and impetuous spirit, which twice exhibits itself.  Mark 10:37;  Luke 9:54. He was one of the three who witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter, the transfiguration, and the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane. On the day of the ascension he is mentioned as persevering, with the rest of the apostles and disciples, in prayer.  Acts 1:13. Shortly before the passover, in the year 44, he was put to death by Herod Agrippa I.  Acts 12:1;  Acts 2:2. James the son of Alphæus, one of the twelve apostles.  Matthew 10:3. Galled also James the Less.  Mark 15:40;  Mark 16:1;  Matthew 27:56;  Acts 1:13. Tradition says he labored in Palestine and Egypt. By some he is regarded as a cousin of Jesus. 3. James the "brother of the Lord."  Galatians 1:19. At some time in the 40 days that intervened between the resurrection and the ascension, the Lord appeared to him,  1 Corinthians 15:7. Ten years after we find James mentioned with Peter, and with him deciding on the admission of Paul into fellowship with the church at Jerusalem,  Acts 15:13; and from henceforth we always and him equal to, and sometimes presiding over, the very chiefest apostles, Peter, John, and Paul.  Acts 9:27. This pre-eminence is evident throughout the after-history of the apostles, whether we read it in the Acts, in the epistles, or in ecclesiastical writers.  Acts 12:17;  Acts 15:13;  Acts 15:19;  Acts 21:18;  Galatians 2:9. According to tradition, James was thrown down from the temple by the scribes and Pharisees; he was then stoned and his brains dashed out with a fuller's club while praying for his murderers. Josephus places his death in 62 a.d., but Hegesippus in 69 a.d.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

  • The son of Alphaeus, or Cleopas, "the brother" or near kinsman or cousin of our Lord ( Galatians 1:18,19 ), called James "the Less," or "the Little," probably because he was of low stature. He is mentioned along with the other apostles ( Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 6:15 ). He had a separate interview with our Lord after his resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:7 ), and is mentioned as one of the apostles of the circumcision ( Acts 1:13 ). He appears to have occupied the position of head of the Church at Jerusalem, where he presided at the council held to consider the case of the Gentiles ( Acts 12:17;  15:13-29 :  21:18-24 ). This James was the author of the epistle which bears his name.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'James'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/j/james.html. 1897.

  • Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [10]

    One of the apostles of Christ. There were two of this name, and both apostles; one the son of Salome, the other of Mary. Hence by way, of distinction, they are called James the Elder, and James the Less. The former was the brother of John, ( Matthew 4:21) the latter is called by Paul the Lord's brother, ( Galatians 1:19) not so in reality, as we now mean by the term brother, but as the custom then was, from tribes and families, Mary, James's mother, was sister to the blessed Virgin. James the Elder was the son of Zebedee; James the Less the son of Alpheus, ( Matthew 10:2-3) The former was killed by Herod,; ( Acts 12:1) the latter we have no scriptural relation of his death. It is to this man, under God the Holy Ghost, that we are indebted for that gracious Epistle which bears his name.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

    or rather JACOBUS ( Ι᾿Άκωβος , the Graecized form of the name Jacob), the name of two or three persons mentioned in the New Test. 1. James, The Son Of Zebedee ( Ι᾿Άκωβος Τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου ), and elder brother of the evangelist John, by one or the other of which relationships he is almost always designated. Their occupation was that of fishermen, probably at Bethsaida, in partnership with Simon Peter ( Luke 5:10). On comparing the account given in  Matthew 4:21,  Mark 1:19, with that in John 1, it would appear that James and John had been acquainted with our Lord, and had received him as the Messiah, some time before he called them to attend upon him statedly a call with which they immediately complied. A.D. 27. Their mother's name was Salome ( Matthew 20:20;  Matthew 27:56; comp. with  Mark 15:40;  Mark 16:1). We find James, John, and Peter association several interesting occasions in the Savior's life. They alone were present at the transfiguration ( Matthew 17:1;  Mark 9:2;  Luke 9:28); at the restoration to life of Jairus's daughter ( Mark 5:42;  Luke 8:51); and in the garden of Gethsemane during the agony ( Mark 14:33;  Matthew 26:37;  Luke 21:37). With Andrew they listened in private to our Lord's discourse on the fall of Jerusalem ( Mark 13:3). James and his brother appear to have indulged in false notions of the kingdom of the Messiah, and were led by ambitious views to join in the request made to Jesus by their mother ( Matthew 20:20-23;  Mark 10:35). From  Luke 9:52, we may infer that their temperament was warm and impetuous. On account, probably, of their boldness and energy in discharging their apostleship, they received from their Lord the appellation of Boanerges (q.v.), or Sons Of Thunder (for the various explanations of this title given by the fathers, see Suiceri Tlhes. Eccles. s.v. Βροντή , and Licke's , Commentar, Bonn, 1840, Einleitung, c; 1, § 2, p. 17). (See John).

    James was the first martyr among the apostles ( Acts 12:1), A.D. 44. Clement of Alexandria, in a fragment preserved by Eusebius (Hist. Ecclesiastes 1, 9 ), reports that the officer who conducted James to the tribunal was so influenced by the bold declaration of his faith as to embrace the Gospel and avow himself also a Christian; in consequence of which, he was beheaded at the same time.

    For legends respecting his death and his connection with Spain, see the Roman Breviary (in Fest. S. Jac. Ap.), in which the healing of a paralytic and the conversion of Hermogenes are attributed to him, and where it is asserted that he preached the Gospel in Spain, and that his remains were translated to Compostella. See also the fourth book of the Apostolical History written by Abdias, the (pseudo) first bishop of Babylon (Abdias, De historias certaminis Apostolici, Paris, 1566); Isidore, De viti et obitu Ss. Utriusque Testam. No. LXXIII (Hagonome, 1529); Pope Calixtus I's four sermons on St. James the Apostle (Bibl. Paetr. Magn. 15:324); Mariana, De Adventet Jacobi Apostoli Majoris in Hispaniam (Col. Agripp. 1609); Baronius, Martyrologieum Romanum ad Jul. 25, p. 325 (Antwerp, 1589); Bollandus, Aeta Santorum ad Jul. 25; 6:1-124 (Antwerp, 1729); Estius Comlmm. in At. Ap. c. 12; Anot. in diffiora loca S: Script. (Col. Agripp. 1622); Tillemont, Memoires pour sertcir a l'Histoire Ecclesiastique des six premiers siecles, 1, 899 (Brussels, 1706). As there is no shadow of foundation for any of the legends here referred to, we pass them by without further notice. Even Baronius shows himself ashamed of them; Estius gives them up as hopeless; and Tillemont rejects them with as much contempt as his position would allow him to show. Epiphanius without giving, or probably having any authority for or against his statement, reports that St. James died unmarried (S. Epiph. Adv. Haer. 2, 4, p. 491, Paris, 1622), and that, like his namesake, he lived the life of a Nazarite (ibid. 3:2, 13, p. 1045).

    2. James, The "Son" Of Alphaeus ( Ι᾿Άκωβος Τοῦ Ἀλφαίου ), one of the twelve apostles ( Mark 3:8;  Matthew 10:3;  Luke 6:15;  Acts 1:13). A.D. 27-29. His mother's name was Mary ( Matthew 26:56;  Mark 15:40); in the latter passage he is called James The Less ( Μικρός , The Little), either as being younger than James, the son of Zebedee, or on account or his low stature ( Mark 16:1;  Luke 24:10). There has been much dispute as to whether this is the same with "James, The Lords Brother" ( Galatians 1:19); but the express title of Apostle given to him in this last passage, as well as in  1 Corinthians 15:7 (comp. also  Acts 9:27), seems decisive as to their identity - no other James being mentioned among the Twelve except "James, the- brother of John," who was no near relative of Christ. Another question is whether he was the same with the James mentioned along with Joses, Simon, and Judas, as Christ's brethren ( Matthew 13:55;  Mark 6:3). This depends upon the answer to two other questions: 1st. Is the term "brother" ( Ἀδελφός ) to be taken in the proper sense, or in the general signification of Kinsman, in these texts? The use of the title in the last two passages, as well as in  John 2:12;  Matthew 12:46-50;  Mark 3:31-35;  Luke 8:19-21;  Acts 1:14, in explicit connection with his mother, and in relations which imply that they were members of his immediate family, most naturally requires it to be taken in its literal sense, especially as no intimation is elsewhere convened to the contrary. (See Brother).

    Nor can the term " sisters" ( Ἀδελφαί ), employed in the same connection ( Matthew 13:56;  Mark 6:3), be referred to other than uterine relatives. This inference is sustained by the striking coincidence in the names of the brothers in the list of the apostles (namely, James, Judas, and apparently Simon,  Luke 6:15-16;  Acts 1:13) with those in the reference to Christ's brothers (namely, James, Judas, Simon, and Joses,  Matthew 13:55;  Mark 6:3), and also by the fact that "James the Less and Joses" are said to be the sons of the same Mary who was "the wife of Cleophas" ( Mark 15:40; and  Matthew 27:56; comp. with  John 19:25). 2nd. Who is this "Mary, the wife of Cleophas?" In the same verse ( John 19:25) she is called "his [Christ's] mother's sister" ( Μήτηρ Αὐτοῦ Καὶ Ἀδελφὴ Τῆς Μητρὸς Αὑτοῦ , Μαρία Τοῦ Κλωπᾶ , Και Μαγδαληνή ); and, although some interpreters distinguish between these appellations, thus making four females in the enumeration instead of three, yet the insertion of the distinctive particle Kai, "and," between each of the other terms, and its omission between these, must be understood to denote their identity. It is manifest, however, that no two sisters German would ever have the same name given to them, an unprecedented oversight that would produce continual confusion in the family; besides, the law did not allow a man to be married to two sisters at the same time ( Leviticus 18:18), as Joseph in that case would have been; nor would either of these objections be obviated by supposing the two Marys to have been half- sisters. The only plausible conjecture is that they are called sisters (i.e. sisters-in-law), because of their marriage to two brothers, Cleophas and Joseph; a supposition that is strengthened by their apparent intimacy with each other, and their similar connection with Jesus intimated in  John 19:25. Cleophas (or Alphaeus) seems to have been an elder brother of Joseph, and dying without issue, Joseph married his wife (probably before his marriage with the Virgin, as he seems to have been much older than she) according to the Levirate law ( Deuteronomy 25:5); on which account his oldest son by that marriage is styled the (legal) son of Cleophas, as well as (reputed half-) brother of Jesus. (See Mary Alphaeus).

    This arrangement meets all the statements of Scripture in the case, and is confirmed by the declarations of early Christian writers. (See No. 3, below.) The only objection of any force against such an adjustment is the statement, occurring towards the latter part of our Savior's ministry, that " Neither did his brethren believe on him" ( John 7:5), whereas two of them, at least, are in this way included among his disciples (namely, James and Jude, if not Simon); and, although they are mentioned in  Acts 1:14 as subsequently yielding to his claims, yet the language in  John 7:7 seems too decisive to admit the supposition that those there referred to sustained so prominent a position as apostles among his converts.

    A more likely mode of reconciling these two passages is to suppose that there were still other brothers besides those chosen as apostles, not mentioned particularly anywhere (perhaps only Joses and one younger), who did not believe on him until a very late period, being possibly convinced only by his resurrection. Indeed, if three of these brethren were apostles, the language in  Acts 1:13-14, requires such a supposition; for, after enumerating the eleven' (including, as usual, James, Simon, and Jude), that passage adds, "Tamed with His Brethren." Whether these mentioned brothers (as indeed may also- be said of the Sisters, an/d perhaps of Simon) were the children of Mary, Cleophas's widow, or of the Virgin Mary, is uncertain; yet in the expression "her first-born son," applied to Jesus ( Luke 2:7), as well as in the intimation of temporary abstinence only in  Matthew 1:25, there seems to be implied a reference to other children (See Virgin); but, be that as it may, there can be no good reason given why such should not have been the case; we may therefore conjecture that while James, Simon, Jude, and Joses were Joseph's children by Cleophas's widow, and the first three were of sufficient age to be chosen apostles, all the others were by the Virgin Mary, and among them only some sisters were of sufficient age and notoriety at Christ's second visit to Nazareth to be specified by his townsmen ( Matthew 13:55;  Mark 6:3), Joses and the children of the Virgin generally being the "brethren" that did not believe in Jesus till late ( John 7:5;  Acts 1:14). (See Jude).

    To the objection that if the Virgin had had other children, especially sons (and still more, a half-son, James, older than any of them), she would not have gone to live with the apostle John, a comparative stranger, it may be replied that they may have been still too young (except James, who was already charged with the care of his own mother), or otherwise not suitably circumstanced to support her; and if it had been otherwise, still the express direction of Jesus, her eldest. son, would have decided her residence with "the beloved disciple," who was eminently fitted, as Christ's favorite, no less than by his amiable manner? and comparative affluence, to discharge that duty. (See John). (See Meth. Quart. Rev. Oct. 1851, p. 670-672.) See on the No. 3, below.

    There have been three principal theories on the subject:

    1. For the identity of James, the Lord's brother, with James the apostle, the son of Alphaeus, we find (see Routh, Reliq. Sacr. 1, 16, 43, 230 [Oxon. 1846]) Clement of Alexandria (Hypotyposeis, bk. 7, apud Eusebius, H. E. 1, 12; 2, 1) and Chrysostom (in  Galatians 1:19). This hypothesis, being warmly defended by St. Jerome (in  Matthew 12:49) and supported by St. Augustine (Contra Faust. 22, 35, etc.), became the recognized belief of the Western Church.

    2. Parallel with this opinion, there existed another in favor of the hypothesis that James was the son of Joseph by a former marriage, and therefore not identical with the son of Alpheus. This is first found in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter (see Origen, In  Matthew 13:55), the Protevangelium of James, and the Pseudo-Apostolical Constitution of the 3rd century (Thilo, Cod. Apocr. 1, 228; Const. Apost. 6: 12). It is adopted by Eusebius (Comm. Inl Esai. 17: 6; ''H. E'' 1, 12; 2, 1). Perhaps it is Origen's opinion (see Comm. In  John 2:12). St. Epiphanius, St. Hilary, and St. Ambrose we have already mentioned as being on the same side. So are Victorinus (Vict. Phil. In Gal. apud laii Script. Yet. Nov. Coll. [Romm, 1828]) and Gregory Nyssen (Olp. 2, 844, D. [Paris ed. 1618)], and it became the recognized belief of the Greek Church.

    3. The Helvidian hypothesis, put forward at first by Bonosus, Helvidius, and Jovinian, and revived by Herder and Strauss in Germany, is that James, Joses, Jude, Simon, and the sisters were all children of Joseph and Mary, while James the apostle and James the son of Alphaeus (whether one or two persons) were different from, and not alin with these "brothers and sisters" of our Lord. English theological writers have been divided between the first and second of these views, with, however, a preference on the whole for the first hypothesis. See, e.g. Lardner, 6. 495 (London, 1788); Pearson, Minor Works, 1, 350 (Oxf. 1844), and On the Creed, 1, 308; 2, 224 (Oxford, 1833); Thorndike, 1, 5 (Oxf. 1844); Horne's Introd. to I. S. 4:427 (Lond. 1834), etc. On the same side are Lightfoot, Witsits, Lampe, Baumgarten, Semler, Gabler. Eichhorn, Hug, Bertholdt, Guericke, Schneckenburger, Meier. Steiger, Gieseler, Theile. Lange, Taylor (01. 5, 20 [London, 1849]),Wilson (Op. 6, 673 [Oxf. 1859]), and Cave (Life of St. James) maintain the second hypothesis with Vossius, Basnage, Valesius, etc. The third is held by Dr. Davidson (Introd. New Test. vol. 3) and by Dean Alford (Greek Test. 4:87). Our own position, it will be perceived, combines parts of each of these views, maintaining with (1) the identity of the two Jameses, with (2) the Levirate marriage of Joseph and the widow of Alphneus, and with (3) that these were all the children of Joseph and in part of Mary.

    (See Epistle Of James) (below).

    3. James, The Brother Of The Lord ( Ἀδελφὸς Τοῦ Κυρίον [ Galatians 1:19]). Whether this James is identical with the son of Alphaeus is a question which Dr. Neander pronounces to be the most difficult in the apostolic history; it may be well, therefore, to consider more particularly under this head the arguments that have been urged in support of the negative. We read in  Matthew 13:55, "Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" and in  Mark 6:3," Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses, and of Judah and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?" Those critics who suppose the terms of affinity in these and parallel passages to be used in the laxer sense of near relations have remarked that in  Mark 15:40 mention is made of "Mar, the mother of James the Less and of Joses;" and that in  John 19:25 it is said "there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene;" they therefore infer that the wife of Cleophas is the same as the sister of the mother of Jesus, and consequently that James (supposing Cleophas and Alphaus to be the same name, the former according to the Hebrew, the latter according to the Greek orthography) was a first cousin of our Lord, and on that account termed his brother, and that the other individuals called the brethren of Jesus stood in the same relation. It is also urged that in the Acts, after the death of James, the son of Zebedee, we read only of one James; and, moreover, that it is improbable that our Lord would have committed his mother to the care of the beloved disciple had there been sons of Joseph living, whether the offspring of Mary or of a former marriage. Against this view it has been alleged that in. several early Christian writers, James, the brother of the Lord, is distinguished from the son of Alphaeus, that the identity of the names Alphaeus and Cleophas is somewhat uncertain, and that it is doubtful whether the words "his mother's sister," in  John 19:25, are to be considered in apposition with those immediately following-" Mary, the wife of Cleophas," or intended to designate a different individual, since it is highly improbable that two sisters should have had the same name. Wieseler (Studien und Kritiken, 1840, 3:648) maintains that not three, but four persons are mentioned in this passage; and that, since in  Matthew 27:56, and  Mark 15:40, besides Mary of Magdala, and Mary, the mother of James and Joses, Salome also (or the mother of the sons of Zebedee) is named as present at the Crucifixion, it follows that she must have been the sister of our Lord's mother. But, even allowing that the sons of Alphaeus were related to our Lord, the narrative in the Evangelists and the Acts presents some reasons for suspecting that they were not the persons described as "the brethren of Jesus."

    (1.) The brethren of Jesus are associated with his mother in a manner that strongly indicates their standing in the filial relation to her ( Matthew 12:46;  Mark 3:31;  Luke 8:19;  Matthew 13:56, where "sisters" are also mentioned); they appear constantly together as forming one family (John 2, 12): "After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples" (Kuinoel, Comment. In  Matthew 12:46).

    (2.) It is explicitly stated that at a period posterior to the appointment of the twelve apostles, among whom we find "the son of Alphseus," "neither did his brethren believe in him" ( John 7:5; L Ü cke's Comment.). Attempts, indeed, have been made by Grotius and Lardner to dilute the force of this language, as if it meant merely that their faith was imperfect or wavering-" that they did not believe as they should;" but the language of Jesus is decisive: "My time is not yet come, but your time is always ready; the world cannot hate you, but me it hateth" (compare this with  John 15:18-19 : "If the world hate you," etc.). As to the supposition that what is affirmed in John's Gospel might apply to only some of his brethren, it is evident that, admitting the identity, only one brother of Jesus would be left out of the "company of the apostles."

    (3.) Luke's language in  Acts 1:13-14, is opposed to the identity in question; for, after enumerating the apostles, among whom, as usual, is "James, the son of Alphneus," he adds, " they all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and With His Brethren." From this passage, however, we learn that by this time his brethren had received him as the Messiah. That after the death of the son of Zebedee we find only one James mentioned, may easily be accounted for on the ground that probably only one, "the brother of the Lord," remained at Jerusalem; and, under such circumstances, the silence of the historian respecting the son of Alphieus is not more strange than respecting several of the other apostles, whose names never occur after the catalogue in  Acts 1:13. Paul's language in  Galatians 1:19 has been adduced to prove the identity of the Lord's brother with the son of Alphmeus by its ranking him among the apostles, but others contend that it is by no means decisive (Winer, Grammatik, 4th edit., p. 517; Neander, History Of The Planting, etc., 2, 5 [ Engl. translation]). Dr. Niemeyer (Charakteristik Der Bibel, 1, 399 [Halle, 1830]) enumerates not less than five persons of this name, by distinguishing the son of Alphaeus from James the Less, and assuming that the James last mentioned in  Acts 1:13 was not the brother, but the father of Judas. Amidst this great disagreement of views (see in Winer's Realwr. s.v. Jacobus; Davidson's Introd. to the N.T. 3, 302 sq.; Horne's Introduction, new ed. 4:591, n.; Princeton Review, Jan. 1865), the most probable solution of the main question is that given above (No. 2), identifying James, the son of Alphaeus or Cleophas with one of the apostles, the literal brother of our Lord, and the son of Mary, the sister-in-law of the Virgin by virtue of the marriage of both with Joseph (but see Alford, Proleg. to vol. 4:pt. 1 of his Comment. p. 88 sq.). This Levirate explanation is summarily dismissed by Andrews (Life of our Lord, p. 108) and Mombert (in the Am. edit. of Lange's Commentary, introd. to epist. of James, p. 19) as "needing no refutation;" but, although conjectural, it is the only one that makes it possible for James to have been at once Christ's brother and yet the son of Alphaeus. If he was likewise the same with the son of Mary, the wife of Cleophas, the theory may be said to be demonstrated. Other treatises on the subject are Dr. Mill's Accounts of our Lord's Brethren Vindicated (Cambridge, 1843); Schaff, Das Verhaltniss des Jacobus, Bruders des Herrn, und Jacobus Alphai (Berlin, 1842); Gabler, De Jacobo, epistole eidems atscriptce auctaori (Altorf, 1787). For other monographs, see Volbeding, Index Progratmatum, p. 31.

    If we examine the early Christian writers, we shall meet with a variety of opinions on this subject. Eusebius (Hist. Ecclesiastes 2, 1) says that James, the first bishop of Jerusalem, brother of the Lord, son of Joseph, the husband of Mary, was surnamed the Just by the ancients on account of his eminent virtue. He uses similar language in his Evangelical Demonstration (3, 5). In his commentary on Isaiah he reckons fourteen apostles, viz. the twelve, Paul, and James, the brother of our Lord. A similar enumeration is made in the "Apostolic Constitutions" (6, 14). Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and Theophylact speak of James, the Lord's brother, as being the same as the son of Cleophas. They suppose that Joseph and Cleophas were brothers, and that the latter dying without. issue, Joseph married his widow for his first wife, according to the Jewish custom, and that James and his brethren were the offspring of this marriage (Lardner's Credibility, 2, 118; Works, 4:548; 1, 163; 5, 160; Hist. of. Heretics, ch. 12 § 11; Works, 8:527; Supplement to the Credibility, ch. 17, Works, 6:188). A passage from Josephus is quoted by Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 2, 23), in which James, the brother of "him who is called Christ," is mentioned (Ant. 20:9, 1); but in the opinion of Dr. Lardner and other eminent critics, this clause is an interpolation (Lardner's Jewish Testimonies, ch. 4; Works, 6:496). That James was formally appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord himself, as reported by Epiphanius (Haeres. 78), Chrysostom (Hom. 11 in 1 Coa. 2), Proclus of Constantinople (De Trad. Div. Liturg.), and Photius (Ep. 157), is not likely. Eusebius follows this account in a passage of his history, but says elsewhere that he was appointed by the apostles (V. Eccl. 2, 23). Clement of Alexandria is the first author who speaks of his episcopate (Hypotyposeis, bk. 6, apud Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiastes 2, 1), and he alludes to it as a thing of which the chief apostles, Peter, James, and John, might well have been ambitious. The same Clement reports that the Lord, after his resurrection, delivered the gift of knowledge to James the Just, to John, and Peter, who delivered it to the rest of the apostles, and they to the seventy. These views of the leadership of James in the college of the apostles agree with the account in Acts ( Acts 9:27;  Acts 12:17;  Acts 15:13;  Acts 15:19). According to Hegesippus (a converted Jew of the 2nd century) James, the brother of the Lord, undertook the government of the Church along with the apostles ( Μετὰ Τῶν Ἀποστόλων ).

    He describes him as leading a life of ascetic strictness, and as held in the highest veneration by the Jews (ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. 2, 23). But in the account he gives of his martyrdom some circumstances are highly improbable (see Routh, Religuice Sacrae, 1, 228), although the event itself is quite credible (A.D. 62). In the apocryphal Gospel according to the Hebrews, he is said to have been precipitated from a pinnacle of the Temple, then assaulted with stones, and at last dispatched by a blow on the head with a fuller's pole (Lardner's Supplement, ch. 16, Works, 8, 174; Neander, Planting, etc., 2, 9, 22). Epiphanius gives the same account that Hegesippus does, in somewhat different words, having evidently copied it for the most part from him. He adds a few particulars which are probably mere assertions or conclusions of his own (Haeres. 29, 4; 78, 13). He calculates that James must have been ninety-six years old at the time of his death, and adds (on the authority, as he says, of Eusebius, Clement, and others) that he wore the Πέταλον on his forehead, in which he probably confounds him with St. John (Polyc. apud Eusebius, Histor. Eccles. 5, 24. But see Cotta, De lain. pontf. App. Joan. Jac. et Marci [T Ü b. 1755]). Gregory of Tours reports that he was buried, not where he fell, but on the Mount of Olives, in a tomb in which he had already buried Zacharias and Simon (De glor. mart. 1, 27). The monument-part excavation, part edifice which is now commonly known as the "Tomb of St. James," is on the east side of the so-called Valley of Jehoshaphat. The tradition about the monument in question is that St. James took refuge there after the capture of Christ, and remained, eating and drinking nothing, until our Lord appeared to him on the day of his resurrection (see Quaresmius, etc., quoted in Tobler, Siloah, etc., p. 299). The legend of his death there seems to be first mentioned by Maundeville (A.D. 1320-: see Early Trav. p. 176). By the old travelers it is often called the "Church of St. James." Eusebius tells us that his chair was preserved down to his time (on which see Heinichen's Excursus [Exc. Iliad Euseb. Hist.  Ecclesiastes 7:19, vol. 4:p. 957, ed. Burton]). We must and a strange Talmudic legend which appears to relate to James. It is found in the Midrash Koheleth, or Commentary on Ecclesiastes, and also in the Tract Abodah Zarah of the Jerusalem Talmud. It is as follows: "R. Eliezer, the son of Dama, was bitten by a serpent, and there came to him Jacob, a man of Caphar Secama, to heal him by the name of Jesu, the son of Pandera; but R. Ismael suffered him not, saying, That is not allowed thee, son of Dama.' He answered,' Suffer me, and I will produce an authority against thee that is lawful,' but he could not produce the authority before he expired. And what was the authority? This: Which if a man do, he shall live in them' ( Leviticus 18:5). But it is not said that he shall die in them." The son of Pandera is the name that the Jews have always given to our Lord when representing him as a magician. The same name is given in Epiphanius (Haeres. 78) to the grandfather of Joseph, and by John Damascene (De Fide Orth. 4:15) to the grandfather of Joachim, the supposed father of the Virgin Mary. For the identification of James of Secama (a place in Upper Galilee) with James the Just, see Mill (Historic. Criticism of the Gospel, p. 318, Camb. 1840). For the apocryphal works attributed to James, see James, Spitrious Writings Of

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

    jāmz ( Ἰάκωβος , Iácōbos ): English form of Jacob, and the name of 3 New Testament men of note:

    (1) The Son of Zebedee , one of the Twelve Apostles ( ὁ τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου , ho toú Zebedaı́ou ):

    A) the Son of Zebedee

    I. In the New Testament

    1. Family Relations, Etc

    To the Synoptists alone are we indebted for any account of this James. He was the son of Zebedee and the brother of John ( Matthew 4:21;  Mark 1:19;  Luke 5:10 ). As the Synoptists generally place the name of James before that of John, and allude to the latter as "the brother of James," it is inferred that James was the elder of the two brothers. His mother's name was probably Salome, the sister of the mother of Jesus (compare  Matthew 27:56;  Mark 15:40;  John 19:25 ), but this is disputed by some (compare Brethren Of The Lord ). James was a fisherman by trade, and worked along with his father and brother ( Matthew 4:21 ). According to Lk, these were partners with Simon ( Luke 5:10 ), and this is also implied in Mk ( Mark 1:19 ). As they owned several boats and employed hired servants ( Luke 5:11;  Mark 1:20 ), the establishment they possessed must have been considerable.

    2. First Call

    The call to James to follow Christ ( Matthew 4:18-22;  Mark 1:16-20;  Luke 5:1-11 ) was given by Jesus as He was walking by the sea of Galilee ( Matthew 4:18 ). There He saw "James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they straightway left the boat and their father, and followed him" ( Matthew 4:21 ,  Matthew 4:22 ). The account of Luke varies in part from those of Matthew and Mark, and contains the additional detail of the miraculous draught of fishes, at which James and John also were amazed. This version of Luke is regarded by some as an amalgamation of the earlier accounts with  John 21:1-8 .

    3. Probation and Ordination

    As the above incident took place after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, when Jesus had departed into Galilee ( Matthew 4:12;  Mark 1:14 ), and as there is no mention of James among those who received the preliminary call recorded by John (compare Jn 1:35-51;  John 3:24 , and compare Andrew ), it is probable that while Peter and Andrew made the pilgrimage to Bethany, James and the other partners remained in Galilee to carry on the business of their trade. Yet, on the return of Peter and Andrew, the inquiries of James must have been eager concerning what they had seen and heard. His mind and imagination became filled with their glowing accounts of the newly found "Lamb of God" ( John 1:36 ) and of the preaching of John the Baptist, until he inwardly dedicated his life to Jesus and only awaited an opportunity to declare his allegiance openly. By this is the apparently abrupt nature of the call, as recorded by the Synoptists, to be explained. After a period of companionship and probationership with his Master, when he is mentioned as being present at the healing of Simon's wife's mother at Capernaum ( Mark 1:29-31 ), he was ordained one of the Twelve Apostles ( Matthew 10:2;  Mark 3:17;  Luke 6:14;  Acts 1:13 ).

    4. Apostleship

    From this time onward he occupied a prominent place among the apostles, and, along with Peter and John, became the special confidant of Jesus. These three alone of the apostles were present at the raising of Jairus' daughter ( Mark 5:37;  Luke 8:51 ), at the Transfiguration (Mr  John 17:1-8;  Mark 9:2-8;  Luke 9:28-36 ), and at the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane ( Matthew 26:36-46;  Mark 14:32-42 ). Shortly after the Transfiguration, when Jesus, having "stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem" ( Luke 9:51 ), was passing through Samaria, the ire of James and John was kindled by the ill reception accorded to Him by the populace ( Luke 9:53 ). They therefore asked of Jesus, "Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?" ( Luke 9:54 ). "But he turned, and rebuked them" ( Luke 9:55 ). It was probably this hotheaded impetuosity and fanaticism that won for them the surname "Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder," bestowed on them when they were ordained to the Twelve ( Mark 3:17 ). Yet upon this last occasion, there was some excuse for their action. The impression left by the Transfiguration was still deep upon them, and they felt strongly that their Lord, whom they had lately beheld "in his glory" with "countenance altered" and "glistering raiment," should be subjected to such indignities by the Samaritans. Upon the occasion of Jesus' last journey to Jerusalem ( Mark 10:32 ), the two brothers gave expression to this presumptuous impetuosity in a more selfish manner ( Mark 10:35-45 ). Presuming on their intimacy with Jesus, they made the request of him, "Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy glory" ( Mark 10:37 ). In the account of Matthew ( Matthew 20:20-28 ), the words are put in the mouth of their mother. The request drew forth the rebuke of Jesus ( Mark 10:38 ), and moved the ten with indignation ( Mark 10:40 ); but by the words of their Lord peace was again restored ( Mark 10:42-45 ). After the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, when He "sat on the mount of Olives over against the temple," James was one of the four who put the question to Him concerning the last things ( Mark 13:3 ,  Mark 13:1 ). He was also present when the risen Jesus appeared for the 3rd time to the disciples and the miraculous draught of fishes was made at the sea of Tiberias ( John 21:1-14 ).

    5. Death

    James was the first martyr among the apostles, being slain by King Herod Agrippa I about 44 ad, shortly before Herod's own death. The vehemence and fanaticism which were characteristic of James had made him to be feared and hated among the Jewish enemies of the Christians, and therefore when "Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church ... he killed James the brother of John with the sword" ( Acts 12:1 ,  Acts 12:2 ). Thus did James fulfill the prophecy of our Lord that he too should drink of the cup of his Master ( Mark 10:39 ).

    II. In Apocryphal Literature

    According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles" (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles , II, 49), "Zebedee was of the house of Levi, and his wife of the house of Judah. Now, because the father of James loved him greatly he counted him among the family of his father Levi, and similarly because the mother of John loved him greatly, she counted him among the family of her father Judah. And they were surnamed 'Children of Thunder,' for they were of both the priestly house and of the royal house." The Acts of John, a heretical work of the 2nd century, referred to by Clement of Alexandria in his Hypotyposis and also by Eusebius ( Historia Ecclesiastica , III, 25), gives an account of the call of James and his presence at the Transfiguration, similar in part to that of the Gospels, but giving fantastic details concerning the supernatural nature of Christ's body, and how its appearances brought confusion to James and other disciples (compare Itennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen , 423-59). The Acts of James in India (compare Budge, II, 295-303) tells of the missionary journey of James and Peter to India, of the appearance of Christ to them in the form of a beautiful young man, of their healing a blind man, and of their imprisonment, miraculous release, and their conversion of the people. According to the Martyrdom of James (Budge, II, 304-8), James preached to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, and persuaded them to give their first-fruits to the church instead of to Herod. The accounts of his trial and death are similar to that in   Acts 12:1-2 .

    (1) James is the patron saint of Spain. The legend of his preaching there, of his death in Judea, of the transportation of his body under the guidance of angels to Iria and of the part that his miraculous appearances played in the history of Spain, is given in Mrs. Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art , I, 230-41.

    (2) James the son of Alpheus ( ὁ τοῦ Ἀλφαίου , ho toú Alphaı́ou  ; for etymology, etc., of James, see above): One of the Twelve Apostles (  Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 6:15;  Acts 1:13 ). By Matthew and Mark he is coupled with Thaddaeus, and by Luke and Acts with Simon Zelotes. As Matthew or Levi is also called the son of Alpheus (compare  Matthew 9:9;  Mark 2:14 ), it is possible that he and James were brothers. According to the Genealogies of the Apostles (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles , II, 50), James was of the house of Gad. The Martyrdom of James, the son of Alpheus (compare Budge, ib, 264-66) records that James was stoned by the Jews for preaching Christ, and was "buried by the Sanctuary In Jerusalem."

    This James is generally identified with James the Little or the Less, the brother of Joses and son of Mary ( Matthew 27:56;  Mark 15:40 ). In  John 19:25 this Mary is called the wife of Cleophas (the King James Version) or Clopas (Revised Version), who is thus in turn identified with Alpheus. There is evidence in apocryphal literature of a Simon, a son of Clopas, who was also one of the disciples (compare Nathanael ). If this be the same as Simon Zelotes, it would explain why he and James (i.e. as being brothers) were coupled together in the apostolic lists of Luke and Acts. Some have applied the phrase "his mother's sister" in  John 19:25 to Mary the wife of Clopas, instead of to a separate person, and have thus attempted to identify James the son of Alpheus with James the brother of our Lord. For a further discussion of the problem, see Brethren Of The Lord .

    (3) James , "the Lord's brother" ( ὁ ἀδελφὸς τοῦ Κυρίου , ho adelphós toú Kurı́ou ).

    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 ,  Galatians 1:19; 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 ,  Acts 15:19 ). 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 ,  Acts 15:2;  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 ). 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 ,  Acts 15:20 ,  Acts 15:28 ,  Acts 15:29 ), and his large-hearted tributes to the "beloved Barnabas and Paul" ( Acts 15:25 ,  Acts 15:26 ), 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 Acts 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 ).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

    Two, if not three persons of this name are mentioned in the New Testament.

    James , 1

    James, the son of Zebedee, and brother of the Evangelist John. Their occupation was that of fishermen, probably at Bethsaida, in partnership with Simon Peter . On comparing the account given in; , with that in John 1, it would appear that James and John had been acquainted with our Lord, and had received him as the Messiah some time before he called them to attend upon him statedly—a call with which they immediately complied. Their mother's name was Salome. We find James, John, and Peter associated on several interesting occasions in the Savior's life. They alone were present at the Transfiguration (;; ); at the restoration to life of Jairus' daughter ; and in the garden of Gethsemane during the agony (;; ). With Andrew they listened in private to our Lord's discourse on the fall of Jerusalem . James and his brother appear to have indulged in false notions of the kingdom of the Messiah, and were led by ambitious views to join in the request made to Jesus by their mother . From , we may infer that their temperament was warm and impetuous. On account, probably, of their boldness and energy in discharging their Apostleship, they received from their Lord the appellation of Boanerges, or Sons of Thunder. James was the first martyr among the Apostles. Clement of Alexandria, in a fragment preserved by Eusebius, reports that the officer who conducted James to the tribunal was so influenced by the bold declaration of his faith as to embrace the Gospel and avow himself also a Christian; in consequence of which he was beheaded at the same time.

    James , 2

    James, the son of Alphaeus, one of the twelve Apostles . His mother's name was Mary ; in the latter passage he is called James the Less, either as being younger than James the son of Alphaeus, or on account of his low stature .

    James , 3

    James, 'the brother of the Lord' . Whether this James is identical with the son of Alphaeus, is a question which Dr. Neander pronounces to be the most difficult in the Apostolic history, and which cannot yet be considered as decided. It is probable, however, that he was a different person.

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

    The name of three disciples of Christ; James, the elder son of Zebedee, by order of the high-priest was put to death by Herod Agrippa; James, the younger son of Alphæus; and James, the brother of the Lord, stoned to death.