"James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
StephenGoranson
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Re: "James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Post by StephenGoranson »

By the way, since the Qumran-view Teacher of Righteousness has been mentioned, I think his name was Judah:
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
PS. I think any NT character is too late to be the Teacher or the Wicked Priest.
gryan
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Re: "James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Post by gryan »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 5:17 am Those example are not all strictly "virtues."
There's--in later reports--the earlier high priest Simeon/Shimon/Simon the Just/ZDK.
Interestingly, in The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary/Against Helvidius, c. 383: Jerome uses the phrase "just Simeon". (In the Latin, is the equivalent of "Simeon the Just"?)

"...and when he [Joseph] had seen just Simeon embrace the infant and exclaim, Now let your servant depart, O Lord, according to your word in peace: for my eyes have seen your salvation..."

--------------

However, the phrase "James, the Just" does not appear, even though it might well have been appropriate to mention it somewhere in the vicinity of this discussion of the NT Jameses:

"Observe, Mary is the mother of James the Less and of Joses. And James is called the less to distinguish him from James the greater, who was the son of Zebedee...

No one doubts that there were two apostles called by the name James, James the son of Zebedee, and James the son of Alphæus. Do you intend the comparatively unknown James the Less, who is called in Scripture the son of Mary, not however of Mary the mother of our Lord, to be an apostle, or not? If he is an apostle, he must be the son of Alphæus and a believer in Jesus, For neither did his brethren believe in him. If he is not an apostle, but a third James (who he can be I cannot tell), how can he be regarded as the Lord's brother, and how, being a third, can he be called less to distinguish him from greater, when greater and less are used to denote the relations existing, not between three, but between two? Notice, moreover, that the Lord's brother is an apostle, since Paul says, Galatians 1:18-19 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. And in the same Epistle, Galatians 2:9 And when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, etc. And that you may not suppose this James to be the son of Zebedee, you have only to read the Acts of the Apostles, and you will find that the latter had already been slain by Herod. The only conclusion is that the Mary who is described as the mother of James the Less was the wife of Alphæus and sister of Mary the Lord's mother, the one who is called by John the Evangelist Mary of Clopas, whether after her father, or kindred, or for some other reason. But if you think they are two persons because elsewhere we read, Mary the mother of James the Less, and here, Mary of Clopas, you have still to learn that it is customary in Scripture for the same individual to bear different names."

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3007.htm

------------------

All this talk of the NT Jameses by Jerome, and with a mention of "just Simeon" (the first mention?), but with no usage of the phrase "James the Just".

What is going on? I have my own hypothesis, but I doubt it will win support. Neverthess, here goes: I think Jerome found it embarrassing since "James the Just" was coined around the time of Gospel of Hebrews and gThomas to differentiate the ambiguous James of Mark 16:1 ("Mary of the James", aka James, son of Alphaeus, the original "greater James", the original "James the Just") from the embarrassing James of Mark 15:40 ("Mary, mother of the lesser James and Joses", i.e. the very same ones reputed to be the mother and same womb brothers of Jesus in his hometown Mark 6:3). At this stage in Jeromes career, if he knew the phrase, "James the Just", as way of distinguishing between the son of Alpheus--the greater James-- and "the lesser James", the blood brother of Jesus, then he had reason to eliminate the phrase from his telling the story (In his version, the son of Alphaeus and James the Less are one and the same).
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Iose the mother? Iosetes?

Post by mlinssen »


Mark 15:40 Ἦσαν (There were) δὲ (then) καὶ (also) γυναῖκες (women) ἀπὸ (from) μακρόθεν (afar off) θεωροῦσαι (looking on), ἐν (among) αἷς (whom) καὶ (also) Μαρία (Mary) ἡ (-) Μαγδαληνὴ (Magdalene), καὶ (and) Μαρία (Mary) ἡ (the) Ἰακώβου (of James) τοῦ (the) μικροῦ (least) καὶ (and) Ἰωσῆτος (of Joseph) μήτηρ (mother), καὶ (and) Σαλώμη (Salome),
41 αἳ (who), ὅτε (when) ἦν (He was) ἐν (in) τῇ (-) Γαλιλαίᾳ (Galilee), ἠκολούθουν (had been following) αὐτῷ (Him) καὶ (and) διηκόνουν (had been ministering) αὐτῷ (to Him), καὶ (and) ἄλλαι (other) πολλαὶ (many), αἱ (those) συναναβᾶσαι (having come up with) αὐτῷ (Him) εἰς (to) Ἱεροσόλυμα (Jerusalem).

Mark 16:1 Καὶ (And) διαγενομένου (having passed) τοῦ (the) σαββάτου (Sabbath), Μαρία (Mary) ἡ (-) Μαγδαληνὴ (Magdalene), καὶ (and) Μαρία (Mary) ἡ (the mother) τοῦ (-) Ἰακώβου (of James), καὶ (and) Σαλώμη (Salome), ἠγόρασαν (bought) ἀρώματα (spices), ἵνα (that) ἐλθοῦσαι (having come), ἀλείψωσιν (they might anoint) αὐτόν (Him).

As usual, we have a dogmatic Bible translation.
μικροῦ is just the genitive of μικρός, small: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... Dmikro%2Fs

Note the juxtaposition with the adverb μακρόθεν, consisting of the root μακρός, the opposite of μικρός: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... Dmakro%2Fs

What we have here is nothing more or less than a literary device where there are women, not men, "μακρόθεν; from afar, Strab.; of Time, from long since, Polyb". That is the other possible application, a temporal one instead of a spatial one: and makros is the opposite of mikros, of course

https://biblehub.com/greek/2334.htm has θεωρέω and is good enough of a translation, although the resemblance to the word θεός is striking, I'd say. James? Not only is he mothered, he's also "late", mikros, as opposed to the women: I have long thought that Mark originally ended at 15:39, and all that comes after seems to be an addition, with the women suddenly being all over the place

The women were there first! is what this seems to be implying, and I'm truly puzzled by the Ἰωσῆτος, which clearly doesn't say Joseph-os. Codex Sinaiticus (https://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscri ... omSlider=0) has και ϊωϲη μητηρ, although "tos" is scribbled above the line: still, that is very far from "the mother of Joseph"

But James the lesser? That's a blatant lie.

And Maria Magdalene.
And Maria, the-one of Jacob the little.
And Ios the mother.
And Salome


Mark 15:41 αἳ (who), ὅτε (when) ἦν (He was) ἐν (in) τῇ (-) Γαλιλαίᾳ (Galilee), ἠκολούθουν (had been following) αὐτῷ (Him) καὶ (and) διηκόνουν (had been ministering) αὐτῷ (to Him), καὶ (and) ἄλλαι (other) πολλαὶ (many), αἱ (those) συναναβᾶσαι (having come up with) αὐτῷ (Him) εἰς (to) Ἱεροσόλυμα (Jerusalem).

And it continues, and it continues with the women only, explicitly leaving out any and all men: αἳ.
In this male dominant world, in all the languages that I know, plural gender is determined by men: a thousand women and one man? Then the plural gender is masculine. Here, it is explicitly feminine

This is about the women, and only about the women - there's no discussion possible. I don't know what to do with the designation of Jacob and "Ios", but Jacob is here only to be moved into the background
Last edited by mlinssen on Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Iose the mother? Iosetes?

Post by gryan »

mlinssen wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:04 am
But James the lesser? That's a blatant lie.

And Maria Magdalene.
And Maria, the-one of Jacob the little.
And Ios the mother.
And Salome

RE: James the lesser vs Jacob the little

I'm not convinced these two translations are so different. "Little" is not an absolute concept, it is relative to "large". A "little" yeast is a relative term, implying comparison to the whole loaf, which is comprised of a relatively large amount of flour and water.

μικροῦ implies a relationship between lesser and greater, as can be clearly seen in the usage of the very same form of the word in Acts and Hebrews: https://biblehub.com/greek/mikrou_3398.htm

In the context of gMark (I'm reading the NT form of the book as a literary unit), there is a relevant discourse on the measure of "greatness":

Mark 9:34-35
...on the way they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest (μείζων). Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all.”

Mark 10:43
Whoever desires to become great (μέγας) among you must be your servant.

If the description of James as "little" implies falling short of Jesus' measure of true greatness, then it means he had little impact in terms of being a "servant of all".

That description of James the blood brother of Jesus as falling "short" by the measure of being "servant of all" is a match to "some from James [the Lord's brother]" who influenced Cephas/Peter to stop eating with Gentiles. By contrast, James [son of Alphaeus] the pillar of Gal 2:9 was "greater" by the standard of being "servant of all" when he gave Paul and Barnabus the right hand of fellowship and did so with Titus, and uncircumcised Greek in their midst. He was "great" by the standard of Jesus in gThomas 53 and of Paul in Gal 6:15:

Thom 53
His disciples said to him, "Does circumcision help or does it not?" He said to them, "If it helped, people's fathers would beget them from their mothers already circumcized. But true circumcision in spirit has become very profitable."

Gal 6:15
For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

I think Jerome was correct when he interpreted "James the less" as a comparison between two Jameses, but, in the context of the descriptions in Mark, the comparison is best understood as between James the blood brother of Jesus ("James the less" of Mark 15:40), and James, son of Alphaeus of the original 12 apostles ("the James" of Mark 16:1).

Mark 16:1
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.

gThomas (arguably) offers elaborations of the three underlined characters in this list, and the elaboration on "James" in gThom 13 is of particular interest for my rereading the Jameses project, if indeed this "James the Just" is a character match with the "James [son of Alphaeus]"--the "James"who received Paul when he traveled to Jerusalem, and who recognized Paul's "gift", and who spoke in support of Paul's mission to Gentiles without requirement of circumcision according Acts 15, and who was, as such, "great" by the standard of Jesus in gThomas and of Paul in Galatians.

In this reading of "James the Just", it is no mere coincidence that when Paul confronts Cephas he speaks about who one becomes "just": "all flesh will not be made just (δικαιωθήσεται) by works of the law (Gal 2:16)." Cephas was confronted with choice between two Jameses and two ideas of what it meant to be "just"--James the pillar who was servant of all, without discrimination on the basis of physical circumcision, vs. James the Lords blood brother who inspired confidence in such "works of the law" as circumcision for Gentile converts.
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Re: Iose the mother? Iosetes?

Post by mlinssen »

gryan wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:12 am
mlinssen wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:04 am
But James the lesser? That's a blatant lie.

And Maria Magdalene.
And Maria, the-one of Jacob the little.
And Ios the mother.
And Salome

RE: James the lesser vs Jacob the little

I'm not convinced these two translations are so different. "Little" is not an absolute concept, it is relative to "large". A "little" yeast is a relative term, implying comparison to the whole loaf, which is comprised of a relatively large amount of flour and water.

μικροῦ implies a relationship between lesser and greater, as can be clearly seen in the usage of the very same form of the word in Acts and Hebrews: https://biblehub.com/greek/mikrou_3398.htm

In the context of gMark (I'm reading the NT form of the book as a literary unit), there is a relevant discourse on the measure of "greatness":

Mark 9:34-35
...on the way they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest (μείζων). Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all.”
μείζων, again, is translated incorrectly. This is the comparative, meaning greater. For the superlative greatest, see:

3 John 1:4 μειζοτέραν (Greater) τούτων (than these things) οὐκ (not) ἔχω (I have) χαράν (joy), ἵνα (that) ἀκούω (I should hear of) τὰ (-) ἐμὰ (my) τέκνα (children) ἐν (in) τῇ (the) ἀληθείᾳ (truth) περιπατοῦντα (walking).

And again, the translation is wrong here. I don't find people arguing over an English text saying greater that is supposed to say greatest, or vice versa - that only happens with the bible.
It says what it says, period. If you like to interpret, fine, go ahead
Mark 10:43
Whoever desires to become great (μέγας) among you must be your servant.

If the description of James as "little" implies falling short of Jesus' measure of true greatness, then it means he had little impact in terms of being a "servant of all".

That description of James the blood brother of Jesus as falling "short" my the measure of being "servant of all" is a match to "some from James [the Lord's brother]" who influenced Cephas/Peter to stop eating with Gentiles. By contrast, James [son of Alphaeus] the pillar of Gal 2:9 was "greater" by the standard of being "servant of all" when he gave Paul and Barnabus the right hand of fellowship and did so with Titus, and uncircumcised Greek in their midst. He was "great" by the standard of Jesus in gThomas 53 and of Paul in Gal 6:15:

Thom 53
His disciples said to him, "Does circumcision help or does it not?" He said to them, "If it helped, people's fathers would beget them from their mothers already circumcized. But true circumcision in spirit has become very profitable."

53. said they to he viz. his(PL) Disciple : the circumcision make-be Benefit Or no
said he to they : was/were he make-be Benefit was/were their father will beget they from their(F) mother they been-circumcised
Rather the circumcision [al] true in Spirit did he find profit all [he]

Thomas rejects circumcision, such is beyond any and all doubt. He also rejects prayer, fasting and giving alms, and a load of other religious habits. You can't just selectively quote this and ignore the others, if you want to use Thomas as a source testifying to the canonicals
Gal 6:15
For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

I think Jerome was correct when he interpreted "James the less" as a comparison between two Jameses, but, in the context of the descriptions in Mark, the comparison is best understood as between James the blood brother of Jesus ("James the less" of Mark 15:40), and James, son of Alphaeus of the original 12 apostles ("the James" of Mark 16:1).

Mark 16:1
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.

gThomas (arguably) offers elaborations of the three underlined characters in this list, and the elaboration on "James" in gThom 13 is of particular interest for my rereading the Jameses project, if indeed this "James the Just" is a character match with the "James [son of Alphaeus]"--the "James"who received Paul when he traveled to Jerusalem, and who recognized Paul's "gift", and who spoke in support of Paul's mission to Gentiles without requirement of circumcision according Acts 15, and who was, as such, "great" by the standard of Jesus in gThomas and of Paul in Galatians.
There is one Jacob mentioned in Thomas, with explicit reference to heaven and earth. You could link him to either one of your Jameses, if you like, but then you'd have to explain the heaven and earth, I think
In this reading of "James the Just", it is no mere coincidence that when Paul confronts Cephas he speaks about justice: "all flesh will not be made just by works of the law." Cephas must decided between two Jameses and two ideas of what it means to be "just"--James the pillar who is servant of all, irrespective of physical circumcision, and James the Lords blood brother who inspires confidence in such "works of the law" as circumcision for Gentile converts.
It doesn't help to confuse the text of the NT, especially in the bad translation it is in, with what the CF's say - there is no blood brother in the NT, in fact there is no Jacob the Righteous / James the Just in all of the NT. There is a James who is brother, but whether that is in the sense of brethren or not doesn't become unambiguous.
And that is exactly the reason why he gets made up on the side, I think: it likely was one of many refutations made towards Christianity: "you don't even mention Jacob the Righteous!" or something, for what it was worth

I don't mind all of this really, it's just not convincing at all. No wonder that there still is an OP and an argument about the alleged James the Just, but I wonder why there is one.
No one argues for baptism being of this form or that form, or having this ritual and these words or those, because there is nothing in it in all of the NT: baptism in the NT is a blank slate.
Exactly similar, there is nothing on Jacob the Righteous / James the Just in all of the NT. Case closed, I'd think

Only Barsabbas is called Just, and a Jesus
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Eusebius allegedly quoting Hegesippus

Post by mlinssen »

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250104.htm

Eusebius, Church History, book 4

Chapter 22. Hegesippus and the Events which he mentions.
1. Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs which have come down to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.

2. His words are as follows: And the church of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine.

3. And when I had come to Rome I remained there until Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.

4. The same author also describes the beginnings of the heresies which arose in his time, in the following words: And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as the Lord had also on the same account, Symeon, the son of the Lord's uncle, Clopas, was appointed the next bishop. All proposed him as second bishop because he was a cousin of the Lord.

https://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/ ... R.pdf.html

I have inserted the numbers as per above - that, on a side note

1. Ὁ μὲν οὖν Ἡγήσιππος ἐν πέντε τοῖς εἰς ἡμᾶς ἐλθοῦσιν ὑπομνήμασιν τῆς ἰδίας γνώμης πληρεστάτην μνήμην καταλέλοιπεν· ἐν οἷς δηλοῖ ὡς πλείστοις ἐπισκόποις συμμίξειεν ἀποδημίαν στειλάμενος μέχρι Ῥώμης, καὶ ὡς ὅτι τὴν αὐτὴν παρὰ πάντων παρείληφεν διδασκαλίαν. ἀκοῦσαί γέ τοι πάρεστιν μετά τινα περὶ τῆς Κλήμεντος πρὸς Κορινθίους ἐπιστολῆς αὐτῷ εἰρημένα

2. ἐπιλέγοντος ταῦτα·

«καὶ ἐπέμενεν ἡ ἐκκλησία ἡ Κορινθίων ἐν τῷ ὀρθῷ λόγῳ μέχρι Πρίμου ἐπισκοπεύοντος ἐν Κορίνθῳ· οἷς συνέμιξα πλέων εἰς Ῥώμην καὶ συνδιέτριψα τοῖς Κορινθίοις ἡμέρας ἱκανάς, ἐν αἷς συνανεπάημεν τῷ ὀρθῷ λόγῳ·

3. γενόμενος δὲ ἐν Ῥώμῃ, διαδοχὴν ἐποιησάμην μέχρις Ἀνικήτου· οὗ διάκονος ἦν Ἐλεύθερος, καὶ παρὰ Ἀνικήτου διαδέχεται Σωτήρ, μεθ᾿ ὃν Ἐλεύθερος. ἐν ἑκάστῃ δὲ διαδοχῇ καὶ ἐν ἑκάστῃ πόλει οὕτως έχει ὡς ὁ νόμος κηρύσσει καὶ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ κύριος».

4. ὁ δ᾿ αὐτὸς καὶ τῶν κατ᾿ αὐτὸν αἱρέσεων τὰς ἀρχὰς ὑποτίθεται διὰ τούτων·

«καὶ μετὰ τὸ μαρτυρῆσαι Ἰάκωβον τὸν δίκαιον, ὡς καὶ ὁ κύριος, ἐπὶ τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ, πάλιν ὁ ἐκ θείου αὐτοῦ Συμεὼν ὁ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ καθίσταται ἐπίσκοπος, ὃν προέθεντο πάντες, ὄντα ἀνεψιὸν τοῦ κυρίου δεύτερον.

We have a match here. So we're looking for references to a Jacob the Righteous. It's Thomas the earliest one to use it, if we take the 140 CE date for the Greek Oxy fragments?
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Re: "James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Post by John2 »

gryan wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:30 am
No one doubts that there were two apostles called by the name James, James the son of Zebedee, and James the son of Alphæus. Do you intend the comparatively unknown James the Less, who is called in Scripture the son of Mary, not however of Mary the mother of our Lord, to be an apostle, or not? If he is an apostle, he must be the son of Alphæus and a believer in Jesus, For neither did his brethren believe in him. If he is not an apostle, but a third James (who he can be I cannot tell), how can he be regarded as the Lord's brother, and how, being a third, can he be called less to distinguish him from greater, when greater and less are used to denote the relations existing, not between three, but between two?

I think James the Less in Mk. 15:40 is the son of Mary and brother of Jesus mentioned in Mk. 15:47, 16:1 and 6:3 (and that perhaps Salome was one of Jesus' sisters mentioned in 6:3).

And there were also women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.
Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”

As for why Mark would call Jesus' brother "the Less" (or "the Little" or "the Younger"), maybe it's because James was not a believer at that point and was "lesser" in status than Jesus' followers (cf. 3:21: "When his family heard about this, they went out to take custody of him, saying, “He is out of his mind”). Or maybe Mark (or an interpolator) wished to take Jesus' brother James down a peg, as per Mk. 3:31-35 and Gal. 2:6.

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came and stood outside. They sent someone in to summon him, and a crowd was sitting around him. “Look,” he was told, “Your mother and brothers are outside, asking for you.”

But Jesus replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Looking at those seated in a circle around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
But as for the highly esteemed, whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism ...

Or maybe James was simply younger than Jesus or smaller-sized than other Jameses.

Any of those options seem more likely to me than there being 1) a fourth and otherwise unknown James with an otherwise unknown mother named Mary and an otherwise unknown brother named Joseph, or 2) that he is James the son of Alphaeus (with an otherwise unknown mother named Mary and an otherwise unknown brother named Joseph). If it refers to the latter, why does it mention his mother and brother and not his father Alphaeus? And it would be curious if the former or the latter had a mother named Mary and a brother named Joseph like Jesus' brother James.

Notice, moreover, that the Lord's brother is an apostle, since Paul says, Galatians 1:18-19 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

I think this is because by that time Jesus' brother James had become a believer and risen in status (perhaps due in part to his relation to Jesus).
Last edited by John2 on Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Post by gryan »

John2 wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 2:17 pm Any of those options seem more likely to me than there being 1) a fourth and otherwise unknown James with an otherwise unknown mother named Mary and an otherwise unknown brother named Joseph, or 2) that he is James the son of Alphaeus (with an otherwise unknown mother named Mary and an otherwise unknown brother named Joseph). If it refers to the latter, why does it mention his mother and brother and not his father Alphaeus? And it would be curious if the former or the latter had a mother named Mary and a brother named Joseph like Jesus' brother James.
What are the odds of there being two woman other than Mary Magdalene who were also named Mary? And furthermore, what are the odds that both these other Marys had sons named James? It all seems like a stretch doesn't it! On the other hand, what if that is exactly the tradition that gMark (as well as gJohn, gMatt and gLuke) are drawing on?

Supposing there were three Marys, two of whom had sons named James: How might the two women be distinguished? Well, one way is to emphasize a different son. Thus, Mary of Joses is different than Mary of the James. That's a clear difference. It is easy to decide that these must be two different women named Mary. If they were the same, that would be a nonsensical way of describing the one person named Mary--"Mary of Joses... Mary of the James." No, I do not buy that as two descriptions of one person.

Mary of Joses is clearly the same "Mary" who is named the mother of "Joses" twice before. "Joses" is an unusual enough name to make that clear.

If the "Mary" of 16:1 had been the same Mary, it would have made sense to call her "Mary of Joses" again. The switch to "Mary of the James" is jarring--No mention of Joses--And no mention of "the lesser." This starts sounding like a different Mary and a different James.

The first hurtle now is to admit that maybe there were three Marys (The mention of three Marys at the cross in gJohn supports the hypothesis of three Marys in gMark, even if other details are different). The second hurtle is to admit that the two Marys both could have had sons named James (The mention of three Jameses in gMark supports this hypothesis). As a description of another Mary--the phrase "Mary of the James" in 16:1 apparently refers to a son whose name needed no epithet. This is entirely possible if her son was one of the original 12--the only one who is not always introduced together with his brother, John. Thus, it is logical to assume that her son was "the James" listed among the 12 as son of Alphaeus. And thus also, this Mary, was the wife of Alphaeus. But in gMark the more significant link was to her well known son--the James-- not to be confused with "the lesser James," the "brother" of Jesus in the hometown synagogue sense of the word "brother."

All this is significant for rereading Galatians since, in Gal 2:12, the mention of "some from James" raises the question: "Which James?" Was it "the brother of the Lord" aka "the lesser James"? Or was it "the recognized pillar" whose name needs no epithet in Gal 2:9 (and Mark 16:1 and 1 Cor 15:7 and Acts 15). Taking into account a number of contextual factors, my answer is that "some from James" (Gal 2:12) came from the James who can accurately be described as "the lesser" of these two different Jameses.

This offers an innovative solution to the traditional puzzle of the identities of The Women at the crucifixion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_at_the_crucifixion.

Is this not logical? Does this not address all the significant details in Gal and gMark?

Of course the topic of this thread is the origin of the phrase "James the Just" which appears nowhere in the NT but does appear in fragment 7 of the Gospel of Hebrews. I think this rereading of the Jameses of Gal/gMark supports seeing the "James the Just" of gHebrews as one of the 12 (of Mark 14 "Jesus arrived with the Twelve. And while they were reclining and eating..."). Against the consensus, I am arguing (with some measure of support from Luke Timothy Johnson's Anchor series commentary on the book of James) that James the Just of gHebrews was the son of Alphaeus, not to be confused with "James the less". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Hebrews
John2
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Re: "James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Post by John2 »

For me there are only two Marys in Mark, Jesus' mother and Mary Magdalene, and I think the reason the former is called the mother of James and Joses instead of the mother of Jesus in 15:40, 47 and 16:1 is because by that point Jesus was dead (and/or it could be another example of distancing Jesus from his family).

As for the identity of James the Just in the gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus calls him "my brother," and given that Jesus is said to have had a brother named James in what I regard as being the earliest NT gospels (Mark and Matthew), and given Hegesippus' use (and apparent understanding) of the gospel of the Hebrews, I take this to mean that James the Just is Jesus' brother.

He took bread and blessed and brake and gave it unto James the Just and said unto him: "My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that sleep."
gryan
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Re: "James the Just": What is the origin of the phrase?

Post by gryan »

John2 wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 3:01 pm For me there are only two Marys in Mark, Jesus' mother and Mary Magdalene, and I think the reason the former is called the mother of James and Joses instead of the mother of Jesus in 15:40, 47 and 16:1 is because by that point Jesus was dead (and/or it could be another example of distancing Jesus from his family).

As for the identity of James the Just in the gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus calls him "my brother," and given that Jesus is said to have had a brother named James in what I regard as being the earliest NT gospels (Mark and Matthew), and given Hegesippus' use (and apparent understanding) of the gospel of the Hebrews, I take this to mean that James the Just is Jesus' brother.

He took bread and blessed and brake and gave it unto James the Just and said unto him: "My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that sleep."
Re: "Jesus replied 'Who are my mother and brothers?'"

Mark 3:31-35
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
(Cf. Matthew 12:46–50; Luke 8:19–21)

31Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came and stood outside. They sent someone in to summon Him, 32and a crowd was sitting around Him. “Look,” He was told, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside, asking for You.”

33But Jesus replied, “Who are My mother and brothers?” 34Looking at those seated in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35For whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.”

--------------------

The interpretation of "my brother" in gHebrews hinges on the meaning of the term "brother". I admit there is ambiguity. Nevertheless, in gHebrews, I hear "my brother" as a reference to one of the 12 who shared "the last supper" with Jesus and fasted until he met Jesus as a spiritual "brother" in the resurrection.

And in gMark, I hear the voice of gMark's narrator honoring Jesus words in gMark 3 (quoted in full above) by withholding the explicit designation of "Mary the mother of James the less and Joses" as Jesus' mother and brothers even though, in the normal hometown synagogue sense of the words "mother" and "brothers", they are the immediate family of Jesus, not his in-laws or cousins.

At the scene of the cross in gJohn, Jesus "mother", (although, not named except as "woman", and thus ambiguously identified), is given a relationship of spiritual mother-son, son-mother with the mysterious, anonymous beloved disciple. This provides Jesus' "mother" consolation at the death of Jesus. By contrast, at the scene of the cross in gMark, there is no such change is status for "Mary, the mother of James the less and Joses". This is clear later, when the body of Jesus is being put in the tomb and she is called, "Mary of Joses." Her primary mother-son relationship, and thus also her consolation at the death of Jesus is in the sphere of her natural, immediate family.

I suppose "Mary of the James" in gMark could be interpreted as being the same "Mary" as "Mary of Joses", but with a shift of focus to a different son who is no longer designated as "James the less" because he is in the process of transformation which will culminate in the sort of meeting with the risen Lord portrayed in gHebrews where he is called "my brother." That would be poignant. But I doubt that is what gMark means. A clue comes from gMatthew''s redaction of the tomb scenes where, both before and after the resurrection, there is mention of Mary Magdalene together with "the other Mary." I take "the other Mary" as two references to gMark's "Mary of the James" (who is only mentioned once gMark). As I read the implication of this redaction, "Mary of the James" in gMark is properly understood by gMatt as "the other Mary" (ἡ ἄλλη Μαρία)--a "Mary" other than Jesus' natural mother named Mary. I think this is based on a tradition of three Marys common to all the NT gospels. In gJohn, "the other Mary" is "Mary of the Clopas" (Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ). In gMark, "the other Mary" is the mother of "the James", referring to James son of Alphaeus. Luke's redaction of "Mary of the James" at the empty tomb, makes a slight change by taking away the article resulting in "Mary of James"; nevertheless, I think this is properly understood as referring "the other Mary" of gMatt, not to the natural mother of Jesus, but to the mother of James son of Alphaeus, just as in gMark.

All this rereading of the NT gospels supports my reading of "my brother" in gHebrews as a reference to one of the 12 present at the last supper-- James son of Alphaeus, aka, James the Just.
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