Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Saturday, 1/24/2004

Was James actually Jesus brother?


Who was “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus?”

The Bible makes several references to Jesus brothers and sisters, including Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3, but scholars and theologians differ on the exact nature of their kinship.

Protestants traditionally believe Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born but not afterward, based on Matthew 1:25: “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.”

Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches believe Mary was a virgin all her life. Catholics say James was a close relative, perhaps a cousin, but not a full-blooded brother. Orthodox tradition teaches that Joseph had James by his first wife, and when she died he married Mary, making James a half-brother, said the Rev. Aristotle Damaskos of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Toledo.

According to biblical and historical accounts, James was a leader of the emerging Christian community after the crucifixion of Christ.

Jesus appeared to James after the Resurrection (I Corinthians 15:7) and Paul said he saw “James, the Lord s brother,” when he traveled to Jerusalem after his conversion on the road to Damascus (Galations 1:19).

James was known as “James the Just” and “James the Righteous” and is the author of the New Testament letter that bears his name, written about 48 A.D. He led a Jerusalem Church Council in 49 A.D. that produced a historic compromise on Jewish-Gentile issues.

Historians differ on whether James was stoned to death in 62 A.D. or martyred when he was thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple.

Recommended for You

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.