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Catholic Word of the Day: JAMES THE LESS, 04-01-10 ^ | 04-01-10 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary

Posted on 04/01/2010 9:56:58 AM PDT by Salvation

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The son of Alphaeus and Mary (the woman who was present at Calvary). The "Less" means "younger." He was one of the Twelve Apostles (Acts 1:13). He was a brother of Joset and possibly Matthew (Mark 15:40).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: apostles; catholic; catholiclist
This identifies the other "Mary" at the foot of the Cross. Note that it is not the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ, our Lord and our God, who is the mother of James the Less.
1 posted on 04/01/2010 9:56:59 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: JRandomFreeper; Allegra; SuziQ; BlackVeil; Straight Vermonter; Cronos; SumProVita; ...

Catholic Word of the Day – links will be provided later by another FReeper.





Quam Singulari



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James the Less





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2 posted on 04/01/2010 9:58:55 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The identity of James
The name "James" in the New Testament is borne by several:

1.James, the son of Zebedee — Apostle, brother of John, Apostle; also called "James the Greater".

2.James, the son of Alpheus, Apostle — Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13.

3.James, the brother of the Lord — Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Galatians 1:19. Without a shadow of doubt, he must be identified with the James of Galatians 2:2 and 2:9; Acts 12:17, 15:13 sqq. and 21:18; and 1 Corinthians 15:7.

4.James, the son of Mary, brother of Joseph (or Joses) — Mark 15:40 (where he is called ò mikros "the little", not the "less", as in the D.V., nor the "lesser"); Matthew 27:56. Probably the son of Cleophas or Clopas (John 19:25) where "Maria Cleophæ" is generally translated "Mary the wife of Cleophas", as married women are commonly distinguished by the addition of their husband's name.

5.James, the brother of Jude — Jude 1:1. Most Catholic commentators identify Jude with the "Judas Jacobi", the "brother of James" (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13), called thus because his brother James was better known than himself in the primitive Church.

The identity of the Apostle James (2), the son of Alpheus and James (3), the brother of the Lord and Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 15, 21), although contested by many critics and, perhaps, not quite beyond doubt, is at least most highly probable, and by far the greater number of Catholic interpreters is considered as certain (see BRETHREN OF THE LORD, where the chief argument, taken from Galatians 1:19, in favour of the Apostleship of St. James the brother of the Lord, is to be found). The objection moved by Mader (Biblische Zeitschrift, 1908, p. 393 sqq.) against the common statement that "Apostles" in Galatians 1:19 is to be taken strictly in the sense of the "Twelve" has been strongly impugned by Steinmann (Der Katholik, 1909, p. 207 sqq.). The James (5) of Jude 1:1 must certainly be identified with James (3), the brother of the Lord and the Bishop of Jerusalem. The identification of James (3), the brother of the Lord and James (4), the son of Mary, and probably of Cleophas or Clopas offers some difficulty. This identification requires the identity of Mary, the mother of James (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40), with Mary the wife of Cleophas (John 19:25), and, consequently, the identity of Alpheus (2) and Clopas (4). As Clopas and Alpheus are probably not two different transcriptions of the same Aramaic name Halpai (see CLEOPHAS), it must be admitted that two different names have been borne by one man. Indeed, there are several examples of the use of two names (a Hebrew and a Greek or Latin name) to designate the same person (Simon-Petrus; Saulus-Paulus), so that the identity of Alpheus and Cleophas is by no means improbable.

On the whole, although there is no full evidence for the identity of James (2), the son of Alpheus, and James (3), the brother of the Lord, and James (4), the son of Mary of Clopas, the view that one and the same person is described in the New Testament in these three different ways, is by far the most probable. There is, at any rate, very good ground (Galatians 1:19, 2:9, 2:12) for believing that the Apostle James, the son of Alpheus is the same person as James, the brother of the Lord, the well-known Bishop of Jerusalem of the Acts. As to the nature of the relationship which the name "brother of the Lord" is intended to express, see BRETHREN OF THE LORD.


James outside of the Scriptures Traditions respecting James the Less are to be found in many extra-canonical documents, especially Josephus (Antiq., XX, ix, 1), the "Gospel according to the Hebrews" (St. Jerome, Illustrious Men 2), Hegesippus (Eusebius, Church History II.23), the pseudo-Clementine Homilies (Ep. of Peter) and Recognitions (I, 72, 73), Clement of Alexandria (Hypot., vi, quoted by Eusebius, Church History II.1). The universal testimony of Christian antiquity is entirely in accordance with the information derived from the canonical books as to the fact that James was Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem. Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian, who lived about the middle of the second century, relates (and his narrative is highly probable) that James was called the "Just", that he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor ate animal food, that no razor touched his head, that he did not anoint himself or make use of the bath, and lastly that he was put to death by the Jews. The account of his death given by Josephus is somewhat different. Later traditions deserve less attention.

For full article and links see the St. James the Less

Apostle St. James the Less, son of Alphaeus

Detail of dome mosaic in the Battistero Neoniano (Orthodox Baptistery)
A.D. 451-75

3 posted on 04/02/2010 10:58:31 AM PDT by annalex (
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