The Bible Answers Your Questions
Good News Magazine
December 1965
Volume: Vol XIV, No. 12
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The Bible Answers Your Questions
Good News Staff  

In your booklet, "The True History of the True Church" (p. 7) you state that the physical brother of Jesus Christ wrote the Epistle of James. What proof do you have for this?

   There are three men named James in the New Testament. James the son of Zebedee and James the son of Alpheus were two of the original twelve disciples (Mat. 10:2, 3). Another James, called "the Lord's brother," (Gal. 1:18, 19) was the son of Joseph and Mary.
   According to the Angus-Greene Bible Handbook, the fact "That James, 'the brother of the Lord' was the author [of the Epistle of James] is held with practical unanimity by Biblical scholars" (p. 738). Why? Notice the Biblical proof.
   Christ had a brother named James (Mat. 13:55). Christ had another brother named Judas or Jude. These two brothers are again mentioned in Jude's Epistle (Jude 1:1), showing the brothers of Christ were still active in the Work of God thirty years after Christ's death.
   James the son of Zebedee was beheaded by King Herod in 44 A.D. (Acts 12:2.) Since the book of James was written around 61 A.D. (see any commentary for these dates), this leaves only two Jameses.
   Which of them wrote the book of James?
   James the son of Alpheus is nowhere mentioned in the Bible after Acts 1:13. He mysteriously disappears from the Biblical scene! Where did he go? Jesus Christ, remember, sent the twelve apostles to the twelve tribes of ISRAEL (Mat. 10:5-6). A valuable source of information regarding the travels of the twelve apostles is William Cave's Antiquitates Apostolicae. According to this source, James the son of Alpheus, one of the twelve, planted Christianity in Spain and "these Western parts," some authorities adding Ireland and Britain! Fulfilling Jesus' command, he carried the gospel into western and northwestern Europe, to the lost sheep of the HOUSE OF ISRAEL!
   But one James remained behind in Palestine. James, the Lord's brother, was at the Headquarters Church in Jerusalem (compare Gal. 1:18-19 with Acts 15:13-21). He was the brother of Jude, another brother of Christ, who wrote the epistle of Jude.
   The story should be clear. The epistle of James was written by James, the brother of Christ, son of Joseph and Mary! He was not sent to one of the lost tribes of Israel, as was James the son of Alpheus. He was the one who wrote from God's Headquarters " the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad" (Jas. 1:1).
   The unmistakable conclusion is that James, the Lord's brother, was the chief apostle at Jerusalem, the Headquarters of God's Work during that age, and that he is the one who was inspired to write the epistle which bears his name!

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Good News MagazineDecember 1965Vol XIV, No. 12