APOSTLE JAMES, SON OF ALPHAEUS (Fr. Varghese Paul, S.J.)

James son of Alphaeus is one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. New Testament speaks of 6 persons named James. This James is distinguished from other 5 James as the Son of Alphaeus. Among the six persons called James, two are apostles: James, son of Zebede and James, son of Alphaeus.

The third James is son of Clopas. He is also known as James the Younger. The fourth James is identified as father of one of the apostles, Judas who is also called Thaddaeus. The fifth James is identified, as the brother of Jesus and the sixth James is the author of the General Letter named after him. The letter has been called the Pastoral Encyclical of James of Jerusalem (see Ronald Brownrigg, Whos Who the New Testament. (pp.93-95).

We know pretty little about James, son of Alphaeus. But the most important fact is that he is specially chosen by Jesus to be with him as an intimate friend. Like the other apostles, he is to carry forward the mission of Jesus to the whole world.

The name James son of Alphaeus is listed by evangelists Mathew, Mark and Luke (Mt 10, 3; Mk 3, 18; Lk 6,15) Acts of Apostles has also listed James son of Alphaeus in its list of eleven apostles after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1, 13). In all the four lists his name is mentioned in the ninth place.

An ancient tradition identity James son of Alphaeus with James the Younger or according to some translations James the Less. The Greek word for Younger or Less literally means, the little one. The original word could refer either to size or to age of a person. But recent bible scholars say that there is not sufficient evidence to identity the two as one and the same Apostle.

Some bible scholars have identifies James son of Alphaeus with James the brother of Jesus. However, other more recent scholars say that the New Testament has maintained a distinction between the Apostle James son of Alphaeus and James the Brother of Jesus. For instance when the family of Jesus manifested their unbelief in him (Mk 3, 21), his apostles have already been chosen (Mk 3, 16-19). Then, according to Mark 6, 3 the brothers of Jesus including James were staying at Nazareth when the people of Nazareth, his hometown, rejected him.

Tradition maintains that he was martyred by throwing down from a high place in Jerusalem like the cliff of the city or the pinnacle of the temple. But the fall did not kill him. So he was clubbed to death. Hence in some pictorial art James son of Alphaeus is pictured with a club or a heavy staff.

In Byzantine rite the feast of James son of Alphaeus is celebrated on October 9. The Roman rite celebrates the feast of James son of Alphaeus together along with the apostle Philip on May 3 every year. (Contact: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

James son of Alphaeus is one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. New Testament speaks of 6 persons named James. This James is distinguished from other 5 James as the Son of Alphaeus. Among the six persons called James, two are apostles: James, son of Zebede and James, son of Alphaeus.

The third James is son of Clopas. He is also known as James the Younger. The fourth James is identified as father of one of the apostles, Judas who is also called Thaddaeus. The fifth James is identified, as the brother of Jesus and the sixth James is the author of the General Letter named after him. The letter has been called the Pastoral Encyclical of James of Jerusalem (see Ronald Brownrigg, Whos Who the New Testament. (pp.93-95).

We know pretty little about James, son of Alphaeus. But the most important fact is that he is specially chosen by Jesus to be with him as an intimate friend. Like the other apostles, he is to carry forward the mission of Jesus to the whole world.

The name James son of Alphaeus is listed by evangelists Mathew, Mark and Luke (Mt 10, 3; Mk 3, 18; Lk 6,15) Acts of Apostles has also listed James son of Alphaeus in its list of eleven apostles after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1, 13). In all the four lists his name is mentioned in the ninth place.

An ancient tradition identity James son of Alphaeus with James the Younger or according to some translations James the Less. The Greek word for Younger or Less literally means, the little one. The original word could refer either to size or to age of a person. But recent bible scholars say that there is not sufficient evidence to identity the two as one and the same Apostle.

Some bible scholars have identifies James son of Alphaeus with James the brother of Jesus. However, other more recent scholars say that the New Testament has maintained a distinction between the Apostle James son of Alphaeus and James the Brother of Jesus. For instance when the family of Jesus manifested their unbelief in him (Mk 3, 21), his apostles have already been chosen (Mk 3, 16-19). Then, according to Mark 6, 3 the brothers of Jesus including James were staying at Nazareth when the people of Nazareth, his hometown, rejected him.

Tradition maintains that he was martyred by throwing down from a high place in Jerusalem like the cliff of the city or the pinnacle of the temple. But the fall did not kill him. So he was clubbed to death. Hence in some pictorial art James son of Alphaeus is pictured with a club or a heavy staff.

In Byzantine rite the feast of James son of Alphaeus is celebrated on October 9. The Roman rite celebrates the feast of James son of Alphaeus together along with the apostle Philip on May 3 every year. (Contact: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

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