James, Jesus' brother
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15-05-2015, 04:40 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2015 04:55 PM by Mark Fulton.)
James, Jesus' brother
Friends, I've been encouraged by the warm reception to my post on the Nazarenes. ( http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...s-of-Jesus ). Here is my spiel on James, Jesus' brother. He was the leader of the Nazarenes until 62 CE. The fact of James' existence is one of the reasons I suspect that there probably was an historical Jesus...

James, Jesus’ Brother

Josephus and other historians mention at least a dozen Jewish leaders from the first century CE who were hailed as Messiahs but killed by the Romans or in sectarian fights with their countrymen. ( http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/messiah00.html ). Each time, the movements they inspired faded into nothing after the demise of their leader. The movement Yeshua belonged to (the Nazarenes) was different, because it definitely did not fade away until centuries later.

To take over the Nazarene leadership after Yeshua’s death was a risky proposition. Both previous leaders, John the Baptist and Yeshua, had been executed. They needed a new charismatic commander. James, Yeshua’s brother, was just the man.

Yeshua had been a potential legitimate king and Messiah because he was of the royal bloodline of David. James too was of this bloodline, and of the same flesh and blood as Yeshua through at least one common parent, their mother. It is possible that James was the

“disciple Jesus loved,” (John 13:23 and 19:23–25 NJB) not named because Gentile authors wanted to minimize his importance.

Paul, who wrote in the 50’s CE, stated that he went to Jerusalem to

“...meet Peter and James, the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19, NJB.)

This hinted at the important status of James and is a strong clue that there once was a living Jesus, although the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation.

Later in Galatians, Paul wrote:

“So James, Peter, and John, these leaders, these pillars...” (Gal. 2:9, NJB.)

That James was in charge is convincingly confirmed by the following quote from Paul:

“When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision” (Gal. 2:11–12, NJB.)

Paul makes clear that Peter (Cephas) was careful to be seen doing what James wanted.

The book of Acts also portrays James as the leader of the disciples.

Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE,) the most important early Christian historian of all, wrote that:

“James, whom men of old had surnamed ‘Just’ for his excellence of virtue, is recorded to have been the first elected to the throne of the Oversight of the Church in Jerusalem” (Church History 2.1.2.)

Saint Jerome, a prolific commentator and translator of early Christian material, quoted Hegesippus’ (a first century writer) account of James from the fifth book of his lost “Commentaries:”

“After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord named the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed on behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.” (De Viris Illustribi.)

The “Holy of Holies” was a term referring to the inner sanctuary of the temple in Jerusalem. Since it was unlawful for anyone but the high priest of the temple to enter it, and then only once a year. This suggests that James was considered a more legitimate, and perhaps a de facto high priest in opposition to the one appointed by Rome.

Josephus also described James as a pious Jew who was well respected, and observed all the obligations of Judaism. ( http://historical-jesus.info/appc.html ).

James obviously managed to achieve a high status among his own people. He was described in terms that emphasized his association with the temple and Judaism. His vegetarianism, unshaven state and wearing of linen were all Essene traits.

James was clearly a leading Jewish figure in Jerusalem until his death in 62 CE, yet he is barely mentioned in the Bible or in the annals of Church history. The Gospel writers and Church historians have deliberately diminished James’ importance for obvious reasons; James was too Jewish, and his beliefs were diametrically opposed to Paul’s proto-Christian theology. James was not a Christian.

James’ existence as Jesus’ successor discredits the untrue Catholic idea that the leadership of the movement was transferred to Peter.

Consider the Jewish community led by James in the two decades after Jesus’ death. The traditional story about this group is in the book of Acts, in which they are portrayed as Christians. This may well be a deliberate misrepresentation.

The loss of two leaders in close succession, John the Baptist and then Yeshua, must have devastated them. Matthew and John have the disciples going back to Galilee, yet Acts and Luke have the risen Jesus telling them not to leave Jerusalem. What is clear is that over the next few decades the Nazarenes settled in Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that for the Nazarenes, Jerusalem was a dangerous place. Yeshua had been crucified there. The Sadducees and a garrison of Roman troops were an ever-present threat. Yet James and the Nazarenes were willing to take the risk of living in Jerusalem, and they obviously established quite a presence there in the thirty odd years after Yeshua’s death.

It can be surmised that they (the Nazarenes) settled in Jerusalem because they were still dreaming about the kingdom of God, centered in the capital of the Jewish world. They were willing to live in Jerusalem, right under the noses of the Romans and the Sadducees, because they still had big plans to change the political status quo.

The author of Acts explains that this kingdom was still a general expectation when, in the first chapter, the resurrected Jesus appears:

“Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:9–12, NJB.)

The author was writing seventy-plus years after Yeshua’s death. At this late time the second coming of Jesus still had not happened, so the author was advising his readers they had better not hold their breath waiting. This was in marked contrast to what Paul wrote in the early 50’s CE:

“Brothers this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:29–31, NJB.)

The Nazarenes called themselves “saints” or “followers of the way” or “the faithful” or “disciples” or “the poor” or the “children of light.” They saw themselves as preparing “the way” for the return of Yahweh as described in Isaiah:

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3, KJV.)

The Nazarenes in Jerusalem saw themselves as God’s chosen people, and they were true believers in the power and glory of Israel. They had a broad base of support among Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. All other Essenes and zealots throughout Judea would have regarded them favorably, as would many Pharisees and common Jews.

The Roman world, however, considered any member of the Nazarenes
“a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over,” (see Acts 24:5) with good reason, as they were xenophobic and occasionally militant.

The Nazarenes were fundamentally opposed to Paul’s doctrine, (the basis of Christianity) did not accept Paul as an apostle, and quite rightly considered Paul an annoying heretic allied to the Gentile world.

So Yeshua’s family and friends were, therefore, strongly opposed to what became Christianity. It is very likely that the Nazarenes promoted Judaism, slowly building up numbers in preparation for the coming of the kingdom of God.

Some early church fathers claimed that the Nazarenes wrote an early Hebrew version of Yeshua’s exploits, one from which Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew is derived. That would definitely have made an interesting read, but not surprisingly, no copy has survived.

Some Nazarenes were sent out as missionaries to other cities. The author Douglas Lockhart believes that by the time James died in 62 CE, the Nazarenes had boosted their numbers to about eight thousand by recruiting Jews. Peter went to Antioch (as described in Galatians 2.) These missionaries may have even got as far as Rome.

Flavius Josephus documented James’ demise:

“The younger Ananus, who had been appointed to the high priesthood, was rash in his temper and unusually daring. He followed the school of the Sadducees, who are indeed more heartless than any of the other Jews, as I have already explained, when they sit in judgment. Possessed of such a character, Ananus thought that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinas was still on the way. And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, the one called Christ, whose name was James, and certain others, and accusing them of having transgressed the law delivered them up to be stoned. Those of the inhabitants of the city who were considered the most fair-minded and who were strict in observance of the law were offended at this. They therefore secretly sent to King Agrippa urg- ing him, for Ananus had not even been correct in his first step, to order him to desist from any further such actions. Certain of them even went to meet Albinus, who was on his way from Alexandria, and informed him that Ananus had no authority to convene the Sanhedrin without his consent. Convinced by these words, Albinus angrily wrote to Ananus threatening to take vengeance upon him. King Agrippa, because of Ananus’ action, deposed him from the high priesthood which he had held for three months and replaced him with Jesus the son of Damnaeus.” (Antiquities of the Jews, chapter 29.)

An out-of-line Ananus, the high priest who had been given the job by Rome only three months earlier, had James executed. James had been a threat to the Sadducees, just as Jesus had been, and it sounds like the impulsive, inexperienced Ananus took advantage of a temporary absence of Roman supervision to get rid of James.

James became the third Nazarene leader to be murdered. His death perturbed people, for nearly 30 years he had been capable, popular and well respected. When the new Roman governor came to Jerusalem, the Pharisees complained about James’ death. The governor’s number one priority was to keep the peace, so he removed Ananus from his post.

The Nazarene elders chose Shimon ben Clopha, probably Yeshua’s cousin, as a replacement for James.

The author of Acts concludes his book with Paul in prison in Rome in 60 CE, thereby avoiding discussions of James’ death in 62 CE, or any of the momentous events in the following decade. The author probably hoped to delete the Nazarenes from the pages of history because the Nazarenes were not part of the new movement (Christianity) the author was promoting.

Many historians, particularly those favorably biased towards the “traditional” story put forward in Acts, do not accept that James and Yeshua’s original disciples were not Christians. The writers of the Catholic Encyclopedia, for example, have made a deliberate choice not to discuss the Nazarenes, not even once, despite the fact that they are mentioned in the Bible and by many Church Fathers. The encyclopedia’s authors would have some difficult explaining to do if Catholics around the world started learning about James and the Nazarenes.

References:
Tabor, J. 2006 “The Jesus Dynasty.” Harper Collins. London.
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
This Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon “Operation Messiah”
http://www.thenazareneway.com/james_the_..._jesus.htm
http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/siljampe.htm
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/james.html
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2009/0...odcast-37– jewish-followers-of-jesus-part-1–ebionites/
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15-05-2015, 04:45 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(15-05-2015 04:40 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Friends, I've been encouraged by the warm reception to my post on the Nazarenes. ( http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...s-of-Jesus ). Here is my spiel on James, Jesus' brother. He was the leader of the Nazarenes until 62 CE. The fact of James' existence is one of the reasons I suspect that there probably was an historical Jesus...

James, Jesus’ Brother

Josephus and other historians mention at least a dozen Jewish leaders from the first century CE who were hailed as Messiahs but killed by the Romans or in sectarian fights with their countrymen. ( http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/messiah00.html ). Each time, the movements they inspired faded into nothing after the demise of their leader. The movement Yeshua belonged to (the Nazarenes) was different, because it definitely did not fade away until centuries later.

To take over the Nazarene leadership after Yeshua’s death was a risky proposition. Both previous leaders, John the Baptist and Yeshua, had been executed. They needed a new charismatic commander. James, Yeshua’s brother, was just the man.

Yeshua had been a potential legitimate king and Messiah because he was of the royal bloodline of David. James too was of this bloodline, and of the same flesh and blood as Yeshua through at least one common parent, their mother. It is possible that James was the

“disciple Jesus loved,” (John 13:23 and 19:23–25 NJB) not named because Gentile authors wanted to minimize his importance.

Paul, who wrote in the 50’s CE, stated that he went to Jerusalem to “...meet Peter and James, the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19, NJB.)

This hinted at the important status of James and is a strong clue that there once was a living Jesus, although the modern reader should bear in mind the possibility that this could be an interpolation.

Later in Galatians, Paul wrote:

“So James, Peter, and John, these leaders, these pillars...” (Gal. 2:9, NJB.)

That James was in charge is convincingly confirmed by the following quote from Paul:

“When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was manifestly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision” (Gal. 2:11–12, NJB.)

Paul makes clear that Peter (Cephas) was careful to be seen doing what James wanted.

The book of Acts also portrays James as the leader of the disciples.

Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE,) the most important early Christian historian of all, wrote that:

“James, whom men of old had surnamed ‘Just’ for his excellence of virtue, is recorded to have been the first elected to the throne of the Oversight of the Church in Jerusalem” (Church History 2.1.2.)

Saint Jerome, a prolific commentator and translator of early Christian material, quoted Hegesippus’ (a first century writer) account of James from the fifth book of his lost “Commentaries:”

“After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord named the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed on behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.” (De Viris Illustribi.)

The “Holy of Holies” was a term referring to the inner sanctuary of the temple in Jerusalem. Since it was unlawful for anyone but the high priest of the temple to enter it, and then only once a year. This suggests that James was considered a more legitimate, and perhaps a de facto high priest in opposition to the one appointed by Rome.

Josephus also described James as a pious Jew who was well respected, and observed all the obligations of Judaism. ( http://historical-jesus.info/appc.html ).

James obviously managed to achieve a high status among his own people. He was described in terms that emphasized his association with the temple and Judaism. His vegetarianism, unshaven state and wearing of linen were all Essene traits.

James was clearly a leading Jewish figure in Jerusalem until his death in 62 CE, yet he is barely mentioned in the Bible or in the annals of Church history. The Gospel writers and Church historians have deliberately diminished James’ importance for obvious reasons; James was too Jewish, and his beliefs were diametrically opposed to Paul’s proto-Christian theology. James was not a Christian.

James’ existence as Jesus’ successor discredits the untrue Catholic idea that the leadership of the movement was transferred to Peter.

Consider the Jewish community led by James in the two decades after Jesus’ death. The traditional story about this group is in the book of Acts, in which they are portrayed as Christians. This may well be a deliberate misrepresentation.

The loss of two leaders in close succession, John the Baptist and then Yeshua, must have devastated them. Matthew and John have the disciples going back to Galilee, yet Acts and Luke have the risen Jesus telling them not to leave Jerusalem. What is clear is that over the next few decades the Nazarenes settled in Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that for the Nazarenes, Jerusalem was a dangerous place. Yeshua had been crucified there. The Sadducees and a garrison of Roman troops were an ever-present threat. Yet James and the Nazarenes were willing to take the risk of living in Jerusalem, and they obviously established quite a presence there in the thirty odd years after Yeshua’s death.

It can be surmised that they (the Nazarenes) settled in Jerusalem because they were still dreaming about the kingdom of God, centered in the capital of the Jewish world. They were willing to live in Jerusalem, right under the noses of the Romans and the Sadducees, because they still had big plans to change the political status quo.

The author of Acts explains that this kingdom was still a general expectation when, in the first chapter, the resurrected Jesus appears:

“Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:9–12, NJB.)

The author was writing seventy-plus years after Yeshua’s death. At this late time the second coming of Jesus still had not happened, so the author was advising his readers they had better not hold their breath waiting. This was in marked contrast to what Paul wrote in the early 50’s CE:

“Brothers this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:29–31, NJB.)

The Nazarenes called themselves “saints” or “followers of the way” or “the faithful” or “disciples” or “the poor” or the “children of light.” They saw themselves as preparing “the way” for the return of Yahweh as described in Isaiah:

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3, KJV.)

The Nazarenes in Jerusalem saw themselves as God’s chosen peo- ple, and they were true believers in the power and glory of Israel. They had a broad base of support among Jews throughout Judea and much of the Roman Empire. All other Essenes and zealots throughout Judea would have regarded them favorably, as would many Pharisees and common Jews.

The Roman world, however, considered any member of the Nazarenes
“a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over,” (see Acts 24:5) with good reason, as they were xenophobic and occasionally militant.

The Nazarenes were fundamentally opposed to Paul’s doctrine, (the basis of Christianity, discussed next) did not accept Paul as an apostle, and quite rightly considered Paul an annoying heretic allied to the Gentile world.

So Yeshua’s family and friends were, therefore, strongly opposed to what became Christianity. It is very likely that the Nazarenes promoted Judaism, slowly building up numbers in preparation for the coming of the kingdom of God.

Some early church fathers claimed that the Nazarenes wrote an early Hebrew version of Yeshua’s exploits, one from which Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew is derived.90 That would definitely have made an interesting read, but not surprisingly, no copy has survived.

Some Nazarenes were sent out as missionaries to other cities. The author Douglas Lockhart believes that by the time James died in 62 CE, the Nazarenes had boosted their numbers to about eight thousand by recruiting Jews. Peter went to Antioch (as described in Galatians 2.) These missionaries may have even got as far as Rome.

Flavius Josephus documented James’ demise:

“The younger Ananus, who had been appointed to the high priesthood, was rash in his temper and unusually daring. He followed the school of the Sadducees, who are indeed more heartless than any of the other Jews, as I have already explained, when they sit in judgment. Possessed of such a character, Ananus thought that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinas was still on the way. And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, the one called Christ, whose name was James, and certain others, and accusing them of having transgressed the law delivered them up to be stoned. Those of the inhabitants of the city who were considered the most fair-minded and who were strict in observance of the law were offended at this. They therefore secretly sent to King Agrippa urg- ing him, for Ananus had not even been correct in his first step, to order him to desist from any further such actions. Certain of them even went to meet Albinus, who was on his way from Alexandria, and informed him that Ananus had no authority to convene the Sanhedrin without his consent. Convinced by these words, Albinus angrily wrote to Ananus threatening to take vengeance upon him. King Agrippa, because of Ananus’ action, deposed him from the high priesthood which he had held for three months and replaced him with Jesus the son of Damnaeus.” (Antiquities of the Jews, chapter 29.)

An out-of-line Ananus, the high priest who had been given the job by Rome only three months earlier, had James executed. James had been a threat to the Sadducees, just as Jesus had been, and it sounds like the impulsive, inexperienced Ananus took advantage of a temporary absence of Roman supervision to get rid of James.

James became the third Nazarene leader to be murdered. His death perturbed people, for nearly 30 years he had been capable, popular and well respected. When the new Roman governor came to Jerusalem, the Pharisees complained about James’ death. The governor’s number one priority was to keep the peace, so he removed Ananus from his post.

The Nazarene elders chose Shimon ben Clopha, probably Yeshua’s cousin, as a replacement for James.

The author of Acts concludes his book (discussed in chapter 18) with Paul in prison in Rome in 60 CE, thereby avoiding discus- sions of James’ death in 62 CE, or any of the momentous events in the following decade. The author probably hoped to delete the Nazarenes from the pages of history because the Nazarenes were not part of the new movement (Christianity) the author was promoting.

Many historians, particularly those favorably biased towards the “traditional” story put forward in Acts, do not accept that James and Yeshua’s original disciples were not Christians. The writers of the Catholic Encyclopedia, for example, have made a deliberate choice not to discuss the Nazarenes, not even once, despite the fact that they are mentioned in the Bible and by many Church Fathers. The encyclopedia’s authors would have some difficult explaining to do if Catholics around the world started learning about James and the Nazarenes.

References:
Tabor, J. 2006 “The Jesus Dynasty.” Harper Collins. London.
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
This Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon “Operation Messiah”
http://www.thenazareneway.com/james_the_..._jesus.htm
http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/siljampe.htm
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/james.html
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2009/0...odcast-37– jewish-followers-of-jesus-part-1–ebionites/

Nice work as usual. Thumbsup

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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15-05-2015, 05:04 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
Excellent!

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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15-05-2015, 06:06 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
Yep, ask a Catholic about James.

Nice job, Mark.

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15-05-2015, 07:22 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
Don't forget about Uncles Jesse and Joey.


Oh wait, that was Full House.
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15-05-2015, 08:01 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
Thanks for posting! As usual--very interesting schtuff! Thumbsup

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15-05-2015, 08:35 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(15-05-2015 07:22 PM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  Don't forget about Uncles Jesse and Joey.


Oh wait, that was Full House.

Sounds like I may have had to have seen "Full House" to get the joke. Can someone explain it to me?
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15-05-2015, 09:23 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(15-05-2015 04:40 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  “After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord named the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed on behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.” (De Viris Illustribi.)

I think I've heard of this man. I believe he was known as James the Stinky. Yes

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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15-05-2015, 10:04 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
I was just making light of Jebus and his family Mark.

You keep doing your thing. Good stuff as always. And I would recommend Home Improvement over Full House.
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15-05-2015, 11:57 PM
RE: James, Jesus' brother
(15-05-2015 10:04 PM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  I was just making light of Jebus and his family Mark.

You keep doing your thing. Good stuff as always. And I would recommend Home Improvement over Full House.

No worries. I don't think "Full House" ever made it to Australia, or it could be that I'm just so out of touch I never saw it.
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