1825Hegesippus's report on James the Just
- Dec 6, 2007I find that Hegesippus's report on James the Just, preserved by
Eusebius, makes it likely that James was a Christian who was
legalistic, and therefore far closer to the Judaizing doctrine whose
emmissaries from James's church Paul cursed (Galatians 1:6-9)
From Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, Book 2, chapter 23:
"James, the brother of the Lord, succeeded to the government of the
Church in conjunction with the apostles. He has been called the Just
by all from the time of our Saviour to the present day; for there
were many that bore the name of James.
He was holy from his mother's womb; and
he drank no wine nor strong drink,
nor did he eat flesh.
No razor came upon his head;
he did not anoint himself with oil, and
he did not use the bath.
He alone was permitted to enter into the holy place; for
he wore not woolen but linen garments. And
he was in the habit of entering alone into the temple, and
was frequently found upon his knees begging forgiveness for the
people, so that his knees became hard like those of a camel, in
consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God,
and asking forgiveness for the people.
Because of his exceeding great justice he was called the Just, and
Oblias,which signifies in Greek, `Bulwark of the people' and
`Justice', in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning
him..." -end qote-
While I don't trust ancient Christian historians as fully as today's
Christian apologists do, I don't find any reason to be suspicious of
Eusebius's historical accuracy regarding specifically his account of
James the Just.
Do you believe this report which Eusebius relays from Hegesippus is
most likely telling the truth about James?
If not, why not?
If yes, does this not describe somebody who was once a High Priest?
If not, why not?
If yes, wouldn't James's choice to be High Priest and a Christian at
the same time, increase the chances that James's gospels taught that
the Law of Moses continued to remain in force after Jesus died?
What else could explain James being a Christian and yet doing animal
sacrifices in the Holy of Holies?
Does the kind of man Eusebius described, honestly sound to you like
somebody who'd espouse apostle PAUL'S view of the Law?
Can we really imagine this James telling his church the same gospel
as Paul, namely "the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that
we might be justified by faith, but after faith has come, we are no
longer under a tutor..." (Galatians 3:24-25)?
I sincerely believe that the schism theory has a lot going for it,
and the only people that seem particularly bothered by it, are
inerrantists, who realize the great loss they would endure if they
admitted that James and Paul disagreed about the nature of the
The possibility of such loss however, doesn't diminish the evidence
in favor of the schism theory.
And Eusebius is merely the tip of the iceberg regarding evidence of
James and Paul being in disagreement on the nature of the gospel.
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