The Apple Of God's Eye

April 5, 2010

Who Was The Apostle James?

Mark and Matthew indicate that James was one of several children born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus’ birth. He, like the Lord’s other siblings, was not supportive of Jesus during his early ministry (John 7:5). Mark records an incident in Jesus’ ministry where his fellow townsmen derided Him as merely a local: “‘Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3; see also Matthew 13:55–56). At one point, they actually thought Him mad (Mark 3:21). However, that was to change.

By the opening of the book of Acts, however, James had become one of the disciples. He was converted after his Brother, Jesus Christ, had died and been resurrected. James was the leader of the Church headquarters congregation in Jerusalem. He was martyred around A.D. 62. This was roughly during the beginning of the revolt in the Jerusalem area that resulted in its siege and eventual destruction in A.D. 70.

The canonical writings of the New Testament, as well as other written sources from the Early Church, provide some insights into James’ life and his role in the Early Church. There is mention of him in the Gospel of John and the early portions of the Acts of the Apostles. The Synoptics mention his name, but no further information. However, the later chapters of the Acts of the Apostles provide evidence that James was an important figure in the Christian community of Jerusalem. (more…)

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