The Apostle James 'the less'

Brian Kuehmichel
December 19, 2014


Series: The Apostles Of Jesus Christ



New Testament (Greek) for "James"
   Strongs #: G2385   Hb/Gk Word: Iako-bos    Pronunciation: e--a'-ko--bos   English Equivalent: James   Meaning: supplanter



James 'the less' (half-brother of Jesus)

Galatians 1:18-19 Then after three years I [Paul] went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

Parent(s):  Joseph & Mary; (Siblings: Joses, Simon, and Judas; sisters: Salome, more than one)

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome.

Hometown:  Nazareth

Matthew 2:23 And (Joseph) came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
Mark 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

Nickname:  James the less

Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
Matthew 27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.

Ministry Partner:  Judas-Lebbaeus-Thaddaeus   Death:  - not given -

New Testament verses:

Matthew 10:2-4 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Matthew 27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. [Note: Mark 15:40]

Mark 3:17-19 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; [Note: Matthew 27:56]

Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

Luke 6:14-16 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
16 And Judas the brother of James [James the son of Alphaeus, Acts 1:13], and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

Acts 12:17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. [Note: Acts 12:1-2 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.]

Acts 15:13-21 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

Acts 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

1 Corinthians 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

Galatians 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Galatians 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.


Notes:

The expression "James the son of Alphaeus" is always used to delineate this Apostle from James 'the elder' brother of John. Judas is called "the brother" (Luke 6:16) of James (of Alphaeus, not the James and John of Zebedee, Matthew 10:3). Apparently Joseph, husband to Mary, was surnamed Alphaeus and thus his children were called 'James the son of Alphaeus' (Matthew 10:3; Luke 6:12-16) and 'Judas brother of James' (Luke 6:12-16; Acts 1:13). The same naming convention is used with James of Zebedee and John is called 'the brother of James' (Mark 3:17).

This could partially account for the expression: Judas of James (Ioudas Iakobou) in the Greek. Another piece could be from where Jesus sends them forth by "two and two" (Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1) where James and Judas were partners. If James as the older brother exercised maturity and leadership during their ministry partnership (Galatians 1:19; 2:9; Acts 15:13, 19) then James would be connected to Judas: (Ioudas Iakobou) in an 'old brother to young brother' or in a 'fatherly' manner much like Apostle Paul to Timothy (1 Corinthians 4:17; Philippians 2:19-22) and Titus (Titus 1:4) and like Barnabas to John Mark (Acts 15:36-39). (See: Judas-Lebbaeus-Thaddaeus) We note here that:

"The King James Version has the reading "brother of James," and the Revised Version (British and American) reads "son of James." The latter is to be preferred."
Kerr, CM. "Judas of James", International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. Blue Letter Bible. 1913. 5 May, 2003. 5 Dec 2014.




James, the General Epistle Of:

The author of this epistle was in all probability James the son of Alphaeus, and our Lord's brother. It was written from Jerusalem, which St. James does not seem to have ever left. It was probably written about A.D. 62, during the interval between Paul's two imprisonments. Its main object is not to teach doctrine, but to improve morality. St. James is the moral teacher of the New Testament. He wrote for the Jewish Christians, whether in Jerusalem or abroad, to warn them against the sins to which as Jews they were most liable, and to console and exhort them under the sufferings to which as Christians they were most exposed.
Smith, William. "James, the General Epistle Of", Smith's Bible Dictionary. Blue Letter Bible. 1884. 14 Dec, 2010. 5 Dec 2014.

The Epistle Of James

James the Less, one of the disciples and kinsmen of our Lord, has been most generally supposed to have been the author of this epistle; and that it is the oldest of all the apostolical epistles, and perhaps prior to any of the gospels. It seems to have been written to comfort and edify the believing Jews, who were scattered through the different nations of the earth. It is written much in the style of a Jewish prophet; and seems to be a connecting link between the law and the gospel, as John the Baptist was between Judaism and Christianity. The style of it is elevated, and the diction compressed and clear; and the lessons of morality and submission to the divine will which it conveys are not surpassed by any thing found in the writings of the other apostles.
Clarke, Adam, "Clavis Biblica"

James 1

"James, a servant of God" - For an account of this person, or rather for the conjectures concerning him, see the preface. He neither calls himself an apostle, nor does he say that he was the brother of Christ, or bishop of Jerusalem; whether he was James the elder, son of Zebedee, or James the less, called our Lord's brother, or some other person of the same name, we know not. The assertions of writers concerning these points are worthy of no regard. The Church has always received him as an apostle of Christ.
Clarke, Adam, "Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary"

James and Jude: Half- or Step Brother?

"James and Jude: Half- or Step Brother?" - Protestants accept that after Mary gave birth to Jesus, she and Joseph produced other children, the four brothers and unknown number of sisters mentioned. Thus these siblings were half-brothers and half-sisters to Jesus since they shared the same mother (Mary) but different fathers (God for Jesus and Joseph for the other brothers and sisters).
Nickens, Mark, PHD, "Christiantimelines.com" (http://www.christiantimelines.com/James%20brotherof%20Jesus.htm, Accessed 12/12/2014)






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