--- RSBrenchley wrote:
> 1) How much reliance can we place on Heseggipus as redacted by
In the first place, we have no evidence that Eusebius was engaged
in redacting Hegesippus in this case. What would have been the
motivation? If, as you suggest, Jacob was "edited out of the Gospel
tradition" (as opposed to coming into prominence after the death of
Jesus), why would Hegesippus and/or Eusebius have resurrected him?
Secondly, we have a number of indicators placing Jacob in some
relationship to the Temple, whether in regular attendance or on
some occasions wearing priestly garb, etc. It's not easy to explain
these away as inventions of folks who no longer had any interest
in the Temple!
> 2) If James' conversion really came about after the crucifixion,
> how come he emerges as top dog, over and above Jesus' existing
That's easy - he was family. Not only would the idea of monarchical
succession have entered the picture, but I think that the Galilean
disciples would have welcomed a leader with a some respectability.
I also have in mind the disputes between family and followers that
ensued after the death of Muhammad. In the Jesus case, I think it
likely that what happened was that those who reported having "seen"
the risen Jesus (including Jacob), together with those who believed
them, formed a new coalition composed of many (but not all) family
members and former followers that became the resurrection-Yeshuines.
Jacob was top-dog of this new group, though not of the original
disciples. These would have been fairly rapid developments, but the
fact that Jacob was lauded with the phrase "heaven and earth came
into being because of him" indicates to me that there was some
resistance to his leadership even in the new coalition, based on
his not having been among the original leaders of the disciples.
> He would not, for instance, have fitted the requirements given
> for apostolic status in Acts 1:21-2 ...
But he wasn't an apostle! On the Essene model, he was the ersatz
"king", with John, representing the politico-religious arm, at
his right hand and Simon Petros, representing the religio-political
(in this case, apostolic missionary) arm, at his left. (In the
Transfig scene, which I agree was invented to justify the "pillars",
and to reflect their personal "revelations", Peter is given the
favored middle position, with the Zebedee brothers, acting as
stand-ins for other characters, at his left and right.)
> I can't get away from a suspicion that James was a leader from
> the beginning, and was edited out of the Gospel tradition.
Funny, my intuition is that Jacob bar Zebedee was a leader from the
beginning and that his role was minimized in Acts! Why else give
him and John the special title "Sons of Thunder"? And why else would
he have been the first one executed post-Easter?
Anyway, as can be seen, I take the reports of personal visions of
the risen Jesus to have had a political impact as well as a
religious one. Poor Mary Magdalene, who was probably the first to
report such visions, got left by the wayside, but she probably
inspired Peter and Jacob in their similar experiences. Once having
reported such visions, the one having them would have seemed to
have been specially selected by God and/or Jesus, and so was a
natural candidate for leadership in the rapidly-emerging
resurrection-Yeshuine movement, all else being equal. MM's being a
woman counted against her, of course, whereas Jacob's being of J's
family would have been an additional, even overwhelming, factor in
his favor. Luke couldn't excise Jacob's leadership from Acts, but
he did fail to mention the various visions reported elsewhere, and
which must have played no small role in the development of the
eventual Essene-like structure headed by "the pillars".