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St. James, Brother of the Lord, Bishop of Jerusalem and Apostle of the Seventy

I Century
One of the Apostles of the Seventy, St. James is called the brother of the Lord, although no one is quite sure what that means. Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian say James was a brother as the term is commonly understood. Origen calls James Jesus' stepbrother, and Jerome infers that James was a cousin. James was not a follower of his relative until after the resurrection; he became, with Peter, a leader in the Christian community at Jerusalem. Clement says that James was elected bishop of the city. Although James observed the Jewish law himself and is thought to have been James the Just because of that, he did not wish to impose the Jewish law on Gentile converts and was the advocate for this policy and for Paul's mission to the Gentiles at the Council of Jerusalem (49). Highly regarded among the Jewish Christians, James was put to death by the Sanhedrin in 62. He is the author of the Epistle of James in the New Testament and the Liturgy of St. James, one of the oldest known liturgies.

Karen Rae Keck


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