[quote=Sean O L]G’day Margaret,
Our own Fr. Paul Stenhouse MSC, from Sydney covered this very subject in Annals Australasia in the Oct. 2004 issue:
Whatever Happened… to the Apostles?
5. ST. JAMES THE LESS 1
This is the fifth of a series of fourteen articles by Paul STENHOUSE, MSC discussing Catholic tradition concerning the twelve Apostles, their background, mission and manner of death. The thirteenth will be devoted to Judas Iscariot and the final article will treat of St Paul, the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’.
More than seventeen years ago an ossuary or ‘bone box’ surfaced in Jerusalem dating from the first century AD and bearing the inscription: Ya’kov son of Joseph, brother of Yeshua - ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’. Controversy erupted immediately over the genuiness of the inscription, and the dating of the limestone burial box.
Mystery still surrounds the box, its provenance, the identity of its owner, and the identity of the ‘James,’ ‘Joseph,’ and ‘Jesus’ mentioned in the inscription. None of the names was uncommon at that time, and there the matter rests.
There are references to at least eight persons named James in the New Testament. The five that principally interest us here are as follows:
James, son of Zebadee, brother of John. 2
James the son of Alphaeus. 3
James the ‘brother’ of the Lord. 4
James the brother of Joseph, whose mother was Mary. 5
James the brother of Jude. 6
James the first Bishop of Jerusalem. 7
We discussed the life and death of James, son of Zebadee in an earlier issue [Annals 5/2004]. This month we are concerned with the Apostle James. Following Catholic tradition, we suggest that all six of the Jameses mentioned above are one and the same person: and The Roman Breviary, in identifying James the son of Alphaeus [Matthew 10,3] with James the so-called ‘brother’ of the Lord [Matthew 13,55] who became the first bishop of Jerusalem, is following the judgement of Papias, bishop of Hierapolis [60-130 AD] who was a contemporary of the Apostles, and the opinion of St Jerome 8 [345-420] and St Augustine, 9 [354-430 AD] and the universal belief of the Catholic Church in the West.
Read the complete article HERE
Happy New Year to all!
Fr. Stenhouse’s article is a little out of date as a source of information because the Israeli authorities have made arrests, charging Golan with fraud over the ossuary of James and the other item that has caused a stir.
My interest in the subject remains the same, that of refuting those who claim that Jesus had blood brothers and sisters, including the refutation that Joseph was an elderly man who was a widower with older children.
As far as the men named James are concerned, I agree that we have two Apostles with the name James. The first James is the son of Zebedee, and he was execucted by Herod. The second James is the son of Alphaeus. He is also the man who is identified as “the brother of the Lord”, and he is the first Bishop of Jerusalem. This James is also the son of the “other Mary” who is identified with the Greek name Clopas. The names Alphaeus and Clopas are the same name but in two languages. Therefore we are not looking at 6 men named James, but at two men. The case for James as a cousin of Jesus is a lot stronger than as a blood brother, or even a half (step) brother.
Those who claim otherwise dispute the tradition that was written down by Papias who was the first to identify James in this way. The modern scholars neglect a lot of the traditional history in favour of their own ideas and they try to find the evidence that fits with their ideas, not necessarily what is stated in the Scripture.