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§ 27. James the Brother of the Lord.
Ἡ πίστις χωρὶς ἔργων νεκρά ἐστιν.—James 2:26
The Epistle of James.
II. Post-apostolic: Josephus: Ant. XX. 9, 1.—Hegesippus in Euseb. Hist. Ecc. II. ch. 23.—Jerome: Catal. vir. ill. c. 2, under "Jacobus." Epiphanius, Haer. XXIX. 4; XXX. 16; LXXVIII. 13 sq.
III. Apocryphal: Protevangelium Jacobi, ed. in Greek by Tischendorf, in "Evangelia Apocrypha," pp. 1–49, comp. the Prolegg. pp. xii-xxv. James is honorably mentioned in several other apocryphal Gospels.—Epiphanius, Haer. XXX. 16, alludes to an Ebionite and strongly anti-Pauline book, the Ascents of James (Ἀναβαθμοὶ Ἰακώβου), descriptions of his ascension to heaven, which are lost.—The Liturgy of James, ed. by W. Trollope, Edinb. 1848. Composed in the third century, after the Council of Nicaea (as it contains the terms ὁμοούσιος ανδ θεοτόκος), but resting on some older traditions. It was intended for the church of Jerusalem, which is styled "the mother of all churches." It is still used once a year on the festival of St. James, Oct. 23, in the Greek Church at Jerusalem. (See vol. II. 527 sqq.)
Exegetical and Doctrinal.
Commentaries on the Epistle of James by Herder (1775), Storr (1784), Gebser (1828), Schneckenburger (1832), Theile (1833), Kern (1838), De Wette (1849, 3d ed. by Brückner, 1865), Cellerier (1850), Wiesinger (in Olshausen’s Com., 1854), Stier (1845), Huther and Beyschlag (in Meyer’s Com., 1858, 4th ed. 1882), Lange and Van Oosterzee (in Lange’s Bibelwerk, 1862, Engl. transl. enlarged by Mombert, 1867), Alford, Wordsworth, Bassett (1876, ascribes the Ep. to James of Zebedee), Plumptre (in the Cambridge series, 1878), Punchard (in Ellicott’s Com. 1878), Erdmann (1882), GLOAG (1883).
Woldemar G. Schmidt: Der Lehrgehalt des Jakobusbriefes. Leipzig, 1869.
W. Beyschlag: Der Jacobusbrief als urchristliches Geschichtsdenkmal. In the "Stud. u. Kritiken," 1874, No. 1, pp. 105–166. See his Com.
Comp. also the expositions of the doctrinal type of James in Neander, Schmid, Schaff, Weiss (pp. 176–194, third ed.).
Historical and Critical.
Blom: De τοῖς ἀδελθοῖς et ταῖς ἀδελφαῖς Κυρίου. Leyden, 1839. (I have not seen this tract, which advocates the brother-theory. Lightfoot says of it: "Blom gives the most satisfactory statement of the patristic authorities, and Schaff discusses the scriptural arguments most carefully.")
Schaff: Jakobus Alphäi, und Jakobus der Bruder des Herrn. Berlin, 1842 (101 pages).
Mill: The Accounts of our Lord’s Brethren in the New Test. vindicated. Cambridge, 1843. (Advocates the cousin-theory of the Latin church.)
Lightfoot: The Brethren of the Lord. Excursus in his Com. on Galatians. Lond. 2d ed. 1866, pp. 247–282. (The ablest defence of the step-brother-theory of the Greek Church.)
H. Holtzmann: Jakobus der Gerechte und seine Namensbrüder, in Hilgenfeld’s "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftl. Theol." Leipz. 1880, No. 2.
Next to Peter, who was the oecumenical leader of Jewish Christianity, stands James, the brother, of the Lord (also called by post-apostolic writers "James the Just," and "Bishop of Jerusalem"), as the local head of the oldest church and the leader of the most conservative portion of Jewish Christianity. He seems to have taken the place of James the son of Zebedee, after his martyrdom, a.d. 44. He became, with Peter and John, one of the three "pillars" of the church of the circumcision. And after the departure of Peter from Jerusalem James presided over the mother church of Christendom until his death. Though not one of the Twelve, he enjoyed, owing to his relationship to our Lord and his commanding piety, almost apostolic authority, especially in Judaea and among the Jewish converts.317317 On his relation to the Twelve and to Jesus, see the first note at the end of this section. On one occasion even Peter yielded to his influence or that of his representatives, and was misled into his uncharitable conduct towards the Gentile brethren.318318 Gal. 2:12.
James was not a believer before the resurrection of our Lord. He was the oldest of the four "brethren" (James, Joseph, Judas, Simon), of whom John reports with touching sadness: "Even his brethren did not believe in him."319319 Mark 6:3; Matt. 13:55; John 7:5. It was one of the early and constant trials of our Lord in the days of his nomination that he was without honor among his fellow-townsmen, yea, "among his own kin, and in his own house."320320 Mark 6:4; Matt. 13:57; Luke 4:24; John 4:44. James was no doubt imbued with the temporal and carnal Messianic misconceptions of the Jews, and impatient at the delay and unworldliness of his divine brother. Hence the taunting and almost disrespectful language: "Depart hence and go into Judaea .... If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world." The crucifixion could only deepen his doubt and sadness.
But a special personal appearance of the risen Lord brought about his conversion, as also that of his brothers, who after the resurrection appear in the company of the apostles.321321 Acts 1:13; comp. 1 Cor. 9:5. This turning-point in his life is briefly but significantly alluded to by Paul, who himself was converted by a personal appearance of Christ.322322 1 Cor. 15:7: ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακωβῳ. It is more fully reported in an interesting fragment of the, "Gospel according to the Hebrews" (one of the oldest and least fabulous of the apocryphal Gospels), which shows the sincerity and earnestness of James even before his conversion.323323 The fragment is preserved by Jerome, De vir. ill. cap. 2. Comp. Hilgenfeld, Nov. Test. extra can. rec. IV. 17 and 29; and Nicholson, The Gospel according to the Hebrews (1879), pp. 63 sqq. He had sworn, we are here told, "that he would not eat bread from that hour wherein the Lord had drunk the cup [of his passion]324324 I follow here with Credner and Lightfoot the reading Dominus forDomini, corresponding to the Greek translation, which reads ὁ κύριος,and with the context, which points to the Lord’s death rather than the Lord’s Supper as the starting-point of the vow. See Lightfoot, Ep. to the Gal., p. 266. If we read "hora qu biberat calicem Domini,"the author of the Gospel of the Hebrews must have assumed either that James was one with James of Alphaeus, or that the Lord’s Supper was not confined to the twelve apostles. Neither of these is probable. James is immediately afterwards called " the Just."Gregory of Tours (Histor. Francorum, I. 21), relating this story, adds, in accordance with the Greek tradition: "Hic est Jacobus Justus, quem fratrem Domini nuncupant, pro eo quod Josephi fuerit filius ex alia uxore progenitus."See Nicholson, p. until he should see him rising from the dead." The Lord appeared to him and communed with him, giving bread to James the Just and saying: "My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man is risen from them that sleep."
In the Acts and in the Epistle to the Galatians, James appears as the most conservative of the Jewish converts, at the head of the extreme right wing; yet recognizing Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles, giving him the right hand of fellowship, as Paul himself reports, and unwilling to impose upon the Gentile Christians the yoke of circumcision. He must therefore not be identified with the heretical Judaizers (the forerunners of the Ebionites), who hated and opposed Paul, and made circumcision a condition of justification and church membership. He presided at the Council of Jerusalem and proposed the compromise which saved a split in the church. He probably prepared the synodical letter which agrees with his style and has the same greeting formula peculiar to him.325325 "Greeting,"χαίρειν, Acts 15:23, and James 1:1, instead of the specific Christian χάρις καὶ εἰρήνη.
He was an honest, conscientious, eminently practical, conciliatory Jewish Christian saint, the right man in the right place and at the right time, although contracted in his mental vision as in his local sphere of labor.
The mission of James was evidently to stand in the breach between the synagogue and the church, and to lead the disciples of Moses gently to Christ. He was the only man that could do it in that critical time of the approaching judgment of the holy city. As long as there was any hope of a conversion of the Jews as a nation, he prayed for it and made the transition as easy as possible. When that hope vanished his mission was fulfilled.
According to Josephus he was, at the instigation of the younger Ananus, the high priest, of the sect of the Sadducees, whom he calls "the most unmerciful of all the Jews in the execution of judgment," stoned to death with some others, as "breakers of the law," i.e. Christians, in the interval between the procuratorship of Festus and that of Albinus, that is, in the year 63. The Jewish historian adds that this act of injustice created great indignation among those most devoted to the law (the Pharisees), and that they induced Albinus and King Agrippa to depose Ananus (a son of the Annas mentioned in Luke 3:2; John 18:13). He thus furnishes an impartial testimony to the high standing of James even among the Jews.327327 Josephus calls James "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ"(τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, Ἰακωβος ὄνομα αὐτῷ ), but these words an regarded by some critics (Lardner, Credner, and others) as a Christian interpolation.
Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian historian about a.d. 170, puts the martyrdom a few years later, shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem (69).328328 Neander, Ewald, and Renan give the preference to the date of Josephus. But according to the pseudo-Clementine literature James survived Peter. He relates that James was first thrown down from the pinnacle of the temple by the Jews and then stoned to death. His last prayer was an echo of that of his brother and Lord on the cross: "God, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
The dramatic account of James by Hegesippus329329 See below, Note II. is an overdrawn picture from the middle of the second century, colored by Judaizing traits which may have been derived from the "Ascents of James" and other apocryphal sources. He turns James into a Jewish priest and Nazirite saint (comp. his advice to Paul, Acts 21:23, 24), who drank no wine, ate no flesh, never shaved, nor took a bath, and wore only linen. But the biblical James is Pharisaic and legalistic rather than Essenic and ascetic. In the pseudo-Clementine writings, he is raised even above Peter as the head of the holy church of the Hebrews, as "the lord and bishop of bishops," as "the prince of priests." According to tradition, mentioned by Epiphanius. James, like St. John at Ephesus, wore the high-priestly petalon, or golden plate on the forehead, with the inscription: "Holiness to the Lord" (Ex. 28:36). And in the Liturgy of St. James, the brother of Jesus is raised to the dignity of "the brother of the very God" (ἀδελφόθεος). Legends gather around the memory of great men, and reveal the deep impression they made upon their friends and followers. The character which shines through these James-legends is that of a loyal, zealous, devout, consistent Hebrew Christian, who by his personal purity and holiness secured the reverence and affection of all around him.
But we must carefully distinguish between the Jewish-Christian, yet orthodox, overestimate of James in the Eastern church, as we find it in the fragments of Hegesippus and in the Liturgy of St. James, and the heretical perversion of James into an enemy of Paul and the gospel of freedom, as he appears in apocryphal fictions. We have here the same phenomenon as in the case of Peter and Paul. Every leading apostle has his apocryphal shadow and caricature both in the primitive church and in the modern critical reconstruction of its history. The name and authority of James was abused by the Judaizing party in undermining the work of Paul, notwithstanding the fraternal agreement of the two at Jerusalem.330330 Gal. 2:12. How far the unnamed messengers of James from Jerusalem, who intimidated Peter and Barnabas at Antioch, acted under authority from James, does not appear; but it is certain from 2:9, as well as from the Acts, that James recognized the peculiar divine grace and success of Paul and Barnabas in the conversion of the Gentiles; he could therefore not without gross inconsistency make common cause with his adversaries. The Ebionites in the second century continued this malignant assault upon the memory of Paul under cover of the honored names of James and Peter; while a certain class of modern critics (though usually from the opposite ultra- or pseudo-Pauline point of view) endeavor to prove the same antagonism from the Epistle of James (as far as they admit it to be genuine at all).331331 Even Luther, in an unguarded moment (1524), called the epistle of James an "epistle of straw," because he could not harmonize it with Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith.
The Epistle in our canon, which purports to be written by "James, a bond-servant of God and of Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes of the dispersion," though not generally acknowledged at the time of Eusebius and Jerome, has strong internal evidence of genuineness. It precisely suits the character and position of the historical James as we know him from Paul and the Acts, and differs widely from the apocryphal James of the Ebionite fictions.332332 Ewald (vi. 608) remarks that it is just such a letter as we may expect from the centre of Christianity in that period, when most Christians were poor and oppressed by rich Jews. It hails undoubtedly from Jerusalem, the theocratic metropolis, amid the scenery of Palestine. The Christian communities appear not as churches, but as synagogues, consisting mostly of poor people, oppressed and persecuted by the rich and powerful Jews. There is no trace of Gentile Christians or of any controversy between them and the Jewish Christians. The Epistle was perhaps a companion to the original Gospel of Matthew for the Hebrews, as the first Epistle of John was such a companion to his Gospel. It is probably the oldest of the epistles of the New Testament.333333 The date of composition is as yet an unsolved problem, and critics vary between a.d. 45 and 62. Schneckenburger, Neander, Thiersch, Huther, Hofmann, Weiss, and Beyschlag, and among English divines, Alford, Bassett (who, however, wrongly vindicates the Epistle to James the son of Zebedee), and Plumptre assign it a very early date before the Council of Jerusalem (50) and the circumcision controversy, to which there is no allusion. On the other hand Lardner, De Wette, Wiesinger, Lange, Ewald, and also those commentators who see in the Epistle a polemical reference to Paul and his teaching, bring it down to 62. At all events, it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, which would have been noticed by a later writer. The Tübingen school (Baur, Schwegler, Hilgenfeld) deny its genuineness and assign it to a.d. 80 or 90. Renan admits the genuineness of the Epistles of James and Jude, as counter-manifestoes of Jewish Christianity against Paulinism, and accounts for the good Greek style by the aid of a Greek secretary. It represents, at all events, the earliest and meagerest, yet an eminently practical and necessary type of Christianity, with prophetic earnestness, proverbial sententiousness, great freshness, and in fine Greek. It is not dogmatic but ethical. It has a strong resemblance to the addresses of John the Baptist and the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, and also to the book of Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon.334334 See the lists of parallel passages in Plumptre, pp. 7-9 and 33. It never attacks the Jews directly, but still less St. Paul, at least not his genuine doctrine. It characteristically calls the gospel the "perfect law of liberty,"335335 James 1:25. ὁ παρακύψας εἰς νόμον τέλειον τὸν τῆς ἐλευθερίας. thus connecting it very closely with the Mosaic dispensation, yet raising it by implication far above the imperfect law of bondage. The author has very little to say about Christ and the deeper mysteries of redemption, but evidently presupposes a knowledge of the gospel history, and reverently calls Christ "the Lord of glory," and himself humbly his "bond-servant."336336 James 2:1 ἔχετε τὴν πίστιν τοῦ κυπίου ἡμῶν Ἱησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς δόξης inscription, 1:1, the Lord Jesus Christ is associated with God. He represents religion throughout in its practical aspect as an exhibition of faith by good works. He undoubtedly differs widely from Paul, yet does not contradict, but supplements him, and fills an important place in the Christian system of truth which comprehends all types of genuine piety. There are multitudes of sincere, earnest, and faithful Christian workers who never rise above the level of James to the sublime heights of Paul or John. The Christian church would never have given to the Epistle of James a place in the canon if she had felt that it was irreconcilable with the doctrine of Paul. Even the Lutheran church did not follow her great leader in his unfavorable judgment, but still retains James among the canonical books.
After the martyrdom of James he was succeeded by Symeon, a son of Clopas and a cousin of Jesus (and of James). He continued to guide the church at Jerusalem till the reign of Trajan, when he died a martyr at the great age of a hundred and twenty years.337337 Hegesippus apud Euseb. H. E. III., 11, 22, 32; IV., 5, 22. Const. Apost. VII. 46. Hegesippus assumes that Clopas, the father of Symeon, was, I brother of Joseph and an uncle of Jesus. He never calls Symeon "brother of the Lord," but only James and Jude (II. 23; III. 20). The next thirteen bishops of Jerusalem, who came, however, in rapid succession, were likewise of Jewish descent.
Throughout this period the church of Jerusalem preserved its strongly Israelitish type, but joined with it "the genuine knowledge of Christ," and stood in communion with the Catholic church, from which the Ebionites, as heretical Jewish Christians, were excluded. After the line of the fifteen circumcised bishops had run out, and Jerusalem was a second time laid waste under Hadrian, the mass of the Jewish Christians gradually merged in the orthodox Greek Church.
I. James and the Brothers of the Lord. – There are three, perhaps four, eminent persons in the New Testament bearing the name of James (abridged from Jacob, which from patriarchal memories was a more common name among the Jews than any other except Symeon or Simon, and Joseph or Joses):
1. James (the son) of Zebedee, the brother of John and one of the three favorite apostles, the proto-martyr among the Twelve (beheaded a.d. 44, see Acts 12:2), as his brother John was the survivor of all the apostles. They were called the "sons of thunder."
3. James the Little, Mark 15:40 (ὁ μικρός, not, "the Less," as in the E. V.), probably so called from his small stature (as Zacchaeus, Luke 19:3), the son of a certain Mary and brother of Joseph, Matt. 27:56 (Μαρια ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσὴφ μήτηρ ); Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1; Luke 24:10. He is usually identified with James the son of Alphaeus, on the assumption that his mother Mary was the wife of Clopas, mentioned John 19:25, and that Clopas was the same person as Alphaeus. But this identification is at least very problematical.
4. James, simply so called, as the most distinguished after the early death of James the Elder, or with the honorable epithet Brother of the Lord (ὁ ἀδελφὸς τοῦ Κυρίου), and among post-apostolic writers, the Just, also Bishop of Jerusalem. The title connects him at once with the four brothers and the unnamed sisters of our Lord, who are repeatedly mentioned in the Gospels, and he as the first among them. Hence the complicated question of the nature of this relationship. Although I have fully discussed this intricate subject nearly forty years ago (1842) in the German essay above mentioned, and then again in my annotations to Lange on Matthew (Am. ed. 1864, pp. 256–260), I will briefly sum up once more the chief points with reference to the most recent discussions (of Lightfoot and Renan).
There are three theories on James and the brothers of Jesus. I would call them the brother-theory, the half-brother-theory, and the cousin-theory. Bishop Lightfoot (and Canon Farrar) calls them after their chief advocates, the Helvidian (an invidious designation), the Epiphanian, and the Hieronymian theories. The first is now confined to Protestants, the second is the Greek, the third the Roman view.
(1) The brother-theory takes the term ἀδελφοίthe usual sense, and regards the brothers as younger children of Joseph and Mary, consequently as full brothers of Jesus in the eyes of the law and the opinion of the people, though really only half-brothers, in view of his supernatural conception. This is exegetically the most natural view and favored by the meaning of ἀδελφός(especially when used as a standing designation), the constant companionship of these brethren with Mary (John 2:12; Matt. 12:46; 13:55), and by the obvious meaning of Matt. 1:25 (οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἑως οὓ,comp. 1:18 πρίν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτούς) and Luke 2:7 (πρωτότοκος), as explained from the standpoint of the evangelists, who used these terms in full view of the subsequent history of Mary and Jesus. The only serious objection to it is of a doctrinal and ethical nature, viz., the assumed perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord and Saviour, and the committal of her at the cross to John rather than her own sons and daughters (John 19:25). If it were not for these two obstacles the brother-theory would probably be adopted by every fair and honest exegete. The first of these objections dates from the post-apostolic ascetic overestimate of virginity, and cannot have been felt by Matthew and Luke, else they would have avoided those ambiguous terms just noticed. The second difficulty presses also on the other two theories, only in a less degree. It must therefore be solved on other grounds, namely, the profound spiritual sympathy and congeniality of John with Jesus and Mary, which rose above carnal relationships, the probable cousinship of John (based upon the proper interpretation of the same passage, John 19:25), and the unbelief of the real brethren at the time of the committal.
This theory was held by Tertullian (whom Jerome summarily disposes of as not being a, "homo ecclesiae," i.e. a schismatic), defended by Helvidius at Rome about 380 (violently attacked as a heretic by Jerome), and by several individuals and sects opposed to the incipient worship of the Virgin Mary; and recently by the majority of German Protestant exegetes since Herder, such as Stier, De Wette, Meyer, Weiss, Ewald, Wieseler, Keim, also by Dean Alford, and Canon Farrar (Life of Christ, I. 97 sq.). I advocated the same theory in my German tract, but admitted afterwards in my Hist. of Ap. Ch., p. 378, that I did not give sufficient weight to the second theory.
(2) The half-brother-theory regards the brethren and sisters of Jesus as children of Joseph by a former wife, consequently as no blood-relations at all, but so designated simply as Joseph was called the father of Jesus, by an exceptional use of the term adapted to the exceptional fact of the miraculous incarnation. This has the dogmatic advantage of saving the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord and Saviour; it lessens the moral difficulty implied in John 19:25; and it has a strong traditional support in the apocryphal Gospels and in the Eastern church. It also would seem to explain more easily the patronizing tone in which the brethren speak to our Lord in John 7:3, 4. But it does not so naturally account for the constant companionship of these brethren with Mary; it assumes a former marriage of Joseph nowhere alluded to in the Gospels, and makes Joseph an old man and protector rather than husband of Mary; and finally it is not free from suspicion of an ascetic bias, as being the first step towards the dogma of the perpetual virginity. To these objections may be added, with Farrar, that if the brethren had been elder sons of Joseph, Jesus would not have been regarded as legal heir of the throne of David (Matt. 1:16; Luke 1:27; Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8; Rev. 22:16).
This theory is found first in the apocryphal writings of James (the Protevangelium Jacobi, the Ascents of James, etc.), and then among the leading Greek fathers (Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Cyril of Alexandria); it is embodied in the Greek, Syrian, and Coptic services, which assign different dates to the commemoration of James the son of Alphaeus (Oct. 9), and of James the Lord’s brother (Oct. 23). It may therefore be called the theory of the Eastern church. It was also held by some Latin fathers before Jerome (Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose), and has recently been ably advocated by Bishop Lightfoot (l.c.), followed by Dr. Plumptre (in the introduction to his Com. on the Ep. of James).
(3) The cousin-theory regards the brethren as more distant relatives, namely, as children of Mary, the wife of Alphaeus and sister of the Virgin Mary, and identifies James, the brother of the Lord, with James the son of Alphaeus and James the Little, thus making him (as well as also Simon and Jude) an apostle. The exceptive εἰ μή, Gal. 1:19 (but I saw only James), does not prove this, but rather excludes James from the apostles proper (comp. εἰ μήin Gal. 2:16; Luke 4:26, 27).
This theory was first advanced by Jerome in 383, in a youthful polemic tract against Helvidius, without any traditional support,338338 The passage quoted from Papias Maria Cleophae sive Alphaei uxor, quae fuit mater Jacobi episcopi et apostoli,"is taken from Jerome and belongs not to the sub-apostolic Papias of Hierapolis (as has been supposed even by Mill and Wordsworth), but to a mediaeval Papias, the writer of an Elementarium or Dictionary in the 11th century. See Lightfoot, p. 265 sq. but with the professed dogmatic and ascetic aim to save the virginity of both Mary and Joseph, and to reduce their marriage relation to a merely nominal and barren connection. In his later writings, however, after his residence in Palestine, he treats the question with less confidence (see Lightfoot, p. 253). By his authority and the still greater weight of St. Augustin, who at first (394) wavered between the second and third theories, but afterwards adopted that of Jerome, it became the established theory of the Latin church and was embodied in the Western services, which acknowledge only two saints by the name of James. But it is the least tenable of all and must be abandoned, chiefly for the following reasons:
(a) It contradicts the natural meaning of the word "brother," when the New Testament has the proper term for cousin Col. 4:10, comp. also συγγενήςLuke 2:44; 21:16; Mark 6:4, etc.), and the obvious sense of the passages where the brothers and sisters of Jesus appear as members of the holy family.
(b) It assumes that two sisters had the same name, Mary, which is extremely improbable.
(c) It assumes the identity of Clopas and Alphaeus, which is equally doubtful; for Ἀλφαῖοςis a Hebrew name (חלפי), while Κλωπᾶς, like Κλεόπας, Luke 24:18, is an abbreviation of the Greek Κλεόπατρος, as Antipas is contracted from Antipatros.(d) It is absolutely irreconcilable with the fact that the brethren of Jesus, James among them, were before the resurrection unbelievers, John 7:5, and consequently none of them could have been an apostle, as this theory assumes of two or three.
Renan’s theory.—I notice, in conclusion, an original combination of the second and third theories by Renan, who discusses the question of the brothers and cousins of Jesus in an appendix to his Les évangiles, 537–540. He assumes four Jameses, and distinguishes the son of Alphaeus from the son of Clopas. He holds that Joseph was twice married, and that Jesus had several older brothers and cousins as follows:
1. Children of Joseph from the first marriage, and older brothers of Jesus:
a. James, the brother of the Lord, or Just, or Obliam. his is the one mentioned Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal. 1:19; 2:9, 12; 1 Cor. 15:7; Acts 12:17, etc.; James 1:1 Jude 1:1, and in Josephus and Hegesippus.
b. Jude, mentioned Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Jude 1:1; Hegesippus in Eusebius’ Hist. Eccl. III. 19, 20, 32. From him were descended those two grandsons, bishops of different churches, who were presented to the emperor Domitian as descendants of David and relations of Jesus. Hegesippus in Euseb. III. 19, 20, 32
2. Children of Joseph (?) from the marriage with
3. Children of Clopas, and cousins of Jesus, probably from the father’s side, since Clopas, according to Hegesippus, was a brother of Joseph, and may have married also a woman by the name of Mary (John 19:25).
d. Perhaps other sons and daughters unknown.
II. The description of James by Hegesippus (from Eusebius, H. E. II. 23)." Hegesippus also, who flourished nearest the days of the apostles, gives (in the fifth book of his Memorials) this most accurate account of him:
" ’Now James, the brother of the Lord, who (as there are many of this name) was surnamed the Just by all (ὁ ἀδελφός τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰάκωβος ὁ ὀνομασθεὶς ὑπὸ πάντων δίκαιος), from the Lord’s time even to our own, received the government of the church with (or from) the apostles [μετά, in conjunction with, or according to another reading, παρὰ τῶν ἀποστόλων, which would more clearly distinguish him from the apostles]. This man [οὗτοςnot this apostle] was consecrated from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, and abstained from animal food. No razor came upon his head, he never anointed himself with oil, and never used a bath [probably the luxury of the Roman bath, with its sudatorium, frigidarium, etc., but not excluding the usual ablutions practised by all devout Jews]. He alone was allowed to enter the sanctuary [not the holy of holies, but the court of priests]. He wore no woolen, but linen garments only. He was in the habit of entering the temple alone, and was often found upon his bended knees, and interceding for the forgiveness of the people; so that his knees became as hard as a camel’s, on account of his constant supplication and kneeling before God. And indeed, on account of his exceeding great piety, he was called the Just [Zaddik] and Oblias [δίκαιος καὶ ὠβλίας, probably a corruption of the Hebrew Ophel am, Tower of the People], which signifies justice and the bulwark of the people (περιοχὴ τοῦ λαοῦ); as the prophets declare concerning him. Some of the seven sects of the people, mentioned by me above in my Memoirs, used to ask him what was the door, [probably the estimate or doctrine] of Jesus? and he answered that he was the Saviour. And of these some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the aforesaid sects did not believe either a resurrection, or that he was coming to give to every one according to his works; as many, however, as did believe, did so on account of James. And when many of the rulers also believed, there arose a tumult among the Jews, Scribes, and Pharisees, saying that the whole people were in danger of looking for Jesus as the Messiah. They came therefore together, and said to James: We entreat thee, restrain the people, who are led astray after Jesus, as though he were the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade all that are coming to the feast of the Passover rightly concerning Jesus; for we all have confidence in thee. For we and all the people bear thee testimony that thou art just, and art no respecter of persons. Persuade therefore the people not to be led astray by Jesus, for we and all the people have great confidence in thee. Stand therefore upon the pinnacle of the temple, that thou mayest be conspicuous on high, and thy words may be easily heard by all the people; for all the tribes have come together on account of the Passover, with some of the Gentiles also. The aforesaid Scribes and Pharisees, therefore, placed James upon the pinnacle of the temple, and cried out to him: "O thou just man, whom we ought all to believe, since the people are led astray after Jesus that was crucified, declare to us what is the door of Jesus that was crucified." And he answered with a loud voice: "Why do ye ask me respecting Jesus the Son of Man? He is now sitting in the heavens, on the right hand of the great Power, and is about to come on the clouds of heaven." And as many were confirmed, and gloried in this testimony of James, and said:, "Hosanna to the Son of David," these same priests and Pharisees said to one another: "We have done badly in affording such testimony to Jesus, but let us go up and cast him down, that they may dread to believe in him." And they cried out: "Ho, ho, the Just himself is deceived." And they fulfilled that which is written in Isaiah, "Let us take away the Just, because he is offensive to us; wherefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings." [Comp. Is. 3:10.]
And going up, they cast down the just man, saying to one another: "Let us stone James the Just." And they began to stone him, as he did not die immediately when cast down; but turning round, he knelt down, saying:, I entreat thee, O Lord God and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Thus they were stoning him, when one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, a son of the Rechabites, spoken of by Jeremiah the prophet (Jer. 35:2), cried out, saying: "Cease, what are you doing? The Just is praying for you." And one of them, a fuller, beat out the brains of the Just with the club that he used to beat out clothes. Thus he suffered martyrdom, and they buried him on the spot where his tombstone is still remaining, by the temple. He became a faithful witness, both to the Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ. Immediately after this, Vespasian invaded and took Judaea.’ "
"Such," adds Eusebius, "is the more ample testimony of Hegesippus, in which he fully coincides with Clement. So admirable a man indeed was James, and so celebrated among all for his justice, that even the wiser part of the Jews were of opinion that this was the cause of the immediate siege of Jerusalem, which happened to them for no other reason than the crime against him. Josephus also has not hesitated to superadd this testimony in his works: ’These things,’ says he, ’happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was the brother of him that is called Christ and whom the Jews had slain, notwithstanding his preeminent justice.’ The same writer also relates his death, in the twentieth book of his Antiquities, in the following words,’ " etc.
Then Eusebius gives the account of Josephus.
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