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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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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.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'James'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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