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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Church History of Eusebius.: Chapter IX

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter IX.—The Martyrdom of James the Apostle.

1. “ 330 Now about that time” (it is clear that he means the time of Claudius) “Herod the King 331 stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the Church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.”

2. And concerning this James, Clement, in the seventh book of his Hypotyposes, 332 relates a story p. 111 which is worthy of mention; telling it as he received it from those who had lived before him. He says that the one who led James to the judgment-seat, when he saw him bearing his testimony, was moved, and confessed that he was himself also a Christian.

3. They were both therefore, he says, led away together; and on the way he begged James to forgive him. And he, after considering a little, said, “Peace be with thee,” and kissed him. And thus they were both beheaded at the same time.

4. And then, as the divine Scripture says, 333 Herod, upon the death of James, seeing that the deed pleased the Jews, attacked Peter also and committed him to prison, and would have slain him if he had not, by the divine appearance of an angel who came to him by night, been wonderfully released from his bonds, and thus liberated for the service of the Gospel. Such was the providence of God in respect to Peter.



Acts 12:1, 2.


Herod Agrippa I.; see above, chap. 4, note 3.


On Clement’s Hypotyposes, see below, Bk. VI. chap. 13, note 3. This fragment is preserved by Eusebius alone. The account was probably received by Clement from oral tradition. He had a great store of such traditions of the apostles and their immediate followers,—in how far true or false it is impossible to say; compare the story which he tells of John, quoted by Eusebius, Bk. III. chap. 23, below. This story of James is not intrinsically improbable. It may have been true, though external testimony for it is, of course, weak. The Latin legends concerning James’ later labors in Spain and his burial in Compostella are entirely worthless. Epiphanius reports that he was unmarried, and lived the life of a Nazarite; but he gives no authority for his statement and it is not improbable that the report originated through a confusion of this James with James the Just.


Acts xii. 3sqq.

Next: Chapter X

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