Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Jerome and Gennadius. Lives of Illustrious Men.: James, the brother of our Lord.
James, 2343 who is called the brother of the Lord, 2344 surnamed the Just, the son of Joseph by another wife, as some think, but, as appears to me, the son of Mary sister of the mother of our Lord of whom John makes mention in his book, 2345 after our Lords passion at once ordained by the apostles bishop of Jerusalem, wrote a single epistle, which is reckoned among the seven Catholic Epistles and even this is claimed by some to have been published by some one else under his name, and gradually, as time went on, to have gained authority. Hegesippus who lived near the apostolic age, in the fifth book of his Commentaries, writing of James, says “After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mothers womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels knees.” He says also many other things, too numerous to mention. Josephus also in the 20th book of his Antiquities, and Clement in the 7th of his Outlines mention that on the death of Festus who reigned over Judea, Albinus was sent by Nero as his successor. Before he had reached his province, Ananias the high priest, the youthful son of Ananus of the priestly class taking advantage of the state of anarchy, assembled a council and publicly tried to force James to deny that Christ is the son of God. When he refused Ananius ordered him to be stoned. Cast down from a pinnacle of the temple, his legs broken, but still half alive, p. 362 raising his hands to heaven he said, “Lord forgive them for they know not what they do.” Then struck on the head by the club of a fuller such a club as fullers are accustomed to wring out garments 2346 with—he died. This same Josephus records the tradition that this James was of so great sanctity and reputation among the people that the downfall of Jerusalem was believed to be on account of his death. He it is of whom the apostle Paul writes to the Galatians that “No one else of the apostles did I see except James the brother of the Lord,” and shortly after the event the Acts of the apostles bear witness to the matter. The Gospel also which is called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, 2347 and which I have recently translated into Greek and Latin and which also Origen 2348 often makes use of, after the account of the resurrection of the Saviour says, “but the Lord, after he had given his grave clothes to the servant of the priest, appeared to James (for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he drank the cup of the Lord until he should see him rising again from among those that sleep)” and again, a little later, it says “Bring a table and bread, said the Lord.” And immediately it is added, “He brought bread and blessed and brake and gave to James the Just and said to him, my brother eat thy bread, for the son of man is risen from among those that sleep.” And so he ruled the church of Jerusalem thirty years, that is until the seventh year of Nero, and was buried near the temple from which he had been cast down. His tombstone with its inscription was well known until the siege of Titus and the end of Hadrians reign. Some of our writers think he was buried in Mount Olivet, but they are mistaken.
Died 62 or 63 (according to Josephus and Jerome) or 69 (Hegesippus).361:2344
Brother of the Lord. Gal. i. 19361:2345
in his book John xix. 25362:2346
garments A H 25 30 e 21; wet garments T e 29.362:2347
Gospel according to the Hebrews. Compare Lipsius Gospels apocr, in Smith and Wace, Dict. v. 2 pp. 709–12.362:2348
Origen. H 31 a e 1021; Adamantius A T 25.
Next: Matthew, surnamed Levi.
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