James the Just

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James the Just seems to have been a leader in the early Christian church in Jerusalem. There is hardly any detail recorded about his life and doings.

"I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord's brother."

He may or may not be the same person as James, son of Alphaeus.


One point that is ignored by Christians today is that as late as the early part of the 20th century that a c. 170 CE work by Hegesippus was often used as reference for the death of James the Just until it was realized that it put his death c. 70 while Josephus account put it at c. 64.


There is a dirty little secret that Christians doesn't bother to tell you is that there are various theories about James and Jesus, who they were, who their mother was, who their father was, and what relation might they have had to the twelve apostles. In other words, some Christians have hinged their historical "proof" using Testimonium Flavian on a person whose identity and parentage are much disputed!

  • The eastern view maintains that Mary was a virgin not only at the time of the birth of Jesus, but remained so throughout her entire life. The bottom-line is that Joseph had the 4 alleged brothers with another woman prior to Mary and brought them to the marriage.
  • The western view is stricter because it claims that both Mary and Joseph remained virgins throughout their entire lives. "These brothers are merely cousins that seem to come onto the scene."
  • Of course Jesus may also have had half-brothers and half-sisters via Mary and Joseph, the most common assumption among Protestants. The point is that the Bible is not clear about the parentage of any siblings.

See also

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