Galations, James brother of Jesus


#1

I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find in search so...

Galations 1

9 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord's brother.

Does Paul mean James to be a blood brother or a spiritual brother?

-EM


#2

brother / *adelphos *can mean cousin


#3

[quote="endaman, post:1, topic:346697"]
I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find in search so...

Galations 1

9 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord's brother.

Does Paul mean James to be a blood brother or a spiritual brother?

-EM

[/quote]

James was not "brother" to Jesus in the same familial sense as we know today, but
James was family to Jesus. James is the son of Clopas, husband of Mary, sister of
Mary the Mother of Jesus. We're talking cousins here. Delete]. :D


#4

[quote="Judas_Thaddeus, post:3, topic:346697"]
Ancients Talked Funny. :D

[/quote]

Even today the word "brother" can have a broader meaning in a number of languages, including English.


#5

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:4, topic:346697"]
Even today the word "brother" can have a broader meaning in a number of languages, including English.

[/quote]

True :)


#6

[quote="endaman, post:1, topic:346697"]
I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find in search so...

Galations 1

9 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord's brother.

Does Paul mean James to be a blood brother or a spiritual brother?

-EM

[/quote]

The Greek word for brother, adelphos, can mean anything from cousin to step-brother to close friend, or even co-religionist. An example of this is seen in Acts 1:14-15, where the text says that Jesus's brothers were praying, and that they numbered, along with Mary and the Apostles, 120! Are we to believe that Jesus had 108 brothers? No!


#7

[quote="Judas_Thaddeus, post:3, topic:346697"]
James was not "brother" to Jesus in the same familial sense as we know today, but
James was family to Jesus. James is the son of Clopas, husband of Mary, sister of
Mary the Mother of Jesus
. We're talking cousins here. Delete]. :D

[/quote]

MARY COUSIN OF MARY I MEANT! :blushing:


#8

Brother could refer to as cousin as well


#9

[quote="endaman, post:1, topic:346697"]
I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find in search so...

Galations 1

9 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord's brother.

Does Paul mean James to be a blood brother or a spiritual brother?

-EM

[/quote]

He wasn't a blood brother through Mary if that's what you're asking. One of the ways we can know this (besides the fact that the Church infallibly teaches it.) is in the list of the apostles given in the Gospels, there are two James' named, and both of their father's are named as well. One is named Alphaeus, and the other is Zebedee. Neither is the son of Joseph, who was Mary's husband. So he can't be a blood brother in the immediate sense.

But, he seems to be more than merely a spiritual brother, because Paul singles out James from Peter as the Lord's brother. If all that was meant was a spiritual relationship, then wouldn't Paul have called both Peter and James, "the Lord's Brother?" That's why I tend to think he was some sort of blood relative to Jesus.

Like some other posters have pointed out, adelphos had a wide meaning. It could mean brother from the same parents, or it could be another relative, or no physical relation at all. I already pointed out why I think there is some sort of family relationship between James and Jesus. But what that is is not entirely clear. We know he's not a brother of The Lord through Mary or Joseph. It's possible he was some kind of cousin.

That seems most likely given the reference in John 19 to Mary the mother of Jesus' sister (also named Mary) being with her at the foot of the cross, which, when we cross reference that with Mt 27:56 we see this Mary was called the mother of James and Joseph. It's hard to tell if this is the same James that Paul met, but if it is, then that would make James at least a first cousin of Jesus.

All that was a long way of saying we don't know exactly James relationship to Jesus. :) But we do know he's not a brother through Mary and he also seems to have some sort of physical relationship to Christ that Paul felt was necessary to single out.


#10

There is an Eastern tradition that James, the Brother of the Lord, was a son of St. Joseph, from a previous marriage.


#11

[quote="endaman, post:1, topic:346697"]
I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find in search so...

Galations 1

9 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord's brother.

Does Paul mean James to be a blood brother or a spiritual brother?

-EM

[/quote]

There are only two James who were apostles of Jesus. James the son of Zebedee, the brother of John. This James is also called James the Greater to distinguish him from the other James, son of Alpheus and also called James the Lesser.

The James in Gal 1:9, could not be Jesus' natural brother since the two apostles by the name of James were not. Nevertheless it was common to call each other brothers then as it is now but especially in the context of Jesus, all those who listen and hear the words and do them are his 'brothers' (or sisters or mother as the case may be). It is common for the Gospels and Epistles writers to use this form too since to them such terms (brothers/sisters) were a given and understood.


#12

[quote="endaman, post:1, topic:346697"]
I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find in search so...

Galations 1

9 but did not set eyes on any of the rest of the apostles, only James, the Lord's brother.

Does Paul mean James to be a blood brother or a spiritual brother?

-EM

[/quote]

catholic.com/tracts/brethren-of-the-lord


#13

[quote="RyanBlack, post:10, topic:346697"]
There is an Eastern tradition that James, the Brother of the Lord, was a son of St. Joseph, from a previous marriage.

[/quote]

The only reason I think James is more likely a cousin is because there is a "James" named as the son of Mary the wife of Clopas.*There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salo'me. (Mark 15:40)

Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph [Joses] and Simon and Judas? (Matt. 13:55)

But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene. (John 19:25)*If James is the son of Mary the wife of Clopas, then Joseph would not have been widowed from a previous marriage because Mary the wife of Clopas was still alive!

Now, it is possible Joseph was widowed and did have children who were known as Jesus' brothers, but I don't think this particular James was one of them. :o


#14

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:13, topic:346697"]
The only reason I think James is more likely a cousin is because there is a "James" named as the son of Mary the wife of Clopas.*There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salo'me. (Mark 15:40)

Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph [Joses] and Simon and Judas? (Matt. 13:55)

But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag'dalene. (John 19:25)*If James is the son of Mary the wife of Clopas, then Joseph would not have been widowed from a previous marriage because Mary the wife of Clopas was still alive!

Now, it is possible Joseph was widowed and did have children who were known as Jesus' brothers, but I don't think this particular James was one of them. :o

[/quote]

The two James of the apostles are James the son of Zebedee and James son of Alpheous. Some commentaries state that *"Alphaeus and Clopas are the same person, since the Aramaic name for Alphaeus could be rendered in Greek either as Alphaeus or as Clopas. Another possibility is that Alphaeus took a Greek name similar to his Jewish name, the way that Saul took the name Paul." *

If that is so, then the James mentioned in Gal 1 could be James the Less, son of Alpheus/Clopas, an apostle.


#15

Thanks all, this really clears it up for me.

-EM


#16

Another indication that Jesus had no blood brothers (or half brothers) is that on the Cross He gave the care of Mary His Mother to John the Evangelist. If Mary had other sons (even step-sons) under Jewish Law they would be responsible for her care.


#17

Well, everyone else either fled Jerusalem or was hiding in the last supper apartment. And maybe his brothers or half-brothers never came to Jerusalem for the Passover.

Mary actually had a great amount of courage to some. The Jews were plotting against him in those last months.


#18

He did not have brothers. Mary was an ever-Virgin. But maybe this is for another thread.


#19

[quote="steve53, post:17, topic:346697"]
Well, everyone else either fled Jerusalem or was hiding in the last supper apartment. And maybe his brothers or half-brothers never came to Jerusalem for the Passover.

Mary actually had a great amount of courage to some. The Jews were plotting against him in those last months.

[/quote]

Some protestants believe the brothers were indeed half-brothers (the belief of Mary having other children with Joseph after having Jesus), James being one of them. Another likely explanation of Jesus connecting Mary and John can be found when we review scripture and see that some of Jesus' family actually thought He was wrong in claiming to be Messiah, even to the point of being crazy; therefore, Jesus would connect her to a believer, not a non-believer.

James being half-brother would also explain why he was the placed at the head of the church situated in Jerusalem after he converted, in the culture at that place and time it was customary for male relatives to assume leadership positions.


#20

This is also the explanation I like.


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