- Thanks for your reminders, Kim, about how Paul learned about Jesus'
appearance to brother James.
This only adds to my feeling that James is deliberately ignored by all
All the gospels were written/compiled after the events recorded in Acts
12:17; Acts 15 and Galatians 2:12. Yet none of them links James with
Jesus. This is remarkable given that, when the gospels were
written/compiled, James was head of the Jerusalem congregations.
Bias against a person can occur by ignoring that person. Even the author
of Luke fails to record any link between Jesus and his brother James,
while later recording that James becomes the head of the Jerusalem
congregations by displacing Peter.
Why did Peter ask the disciples gathered in Mary's house to make sure
that James knew about how Peter was released from prison in such a
miraculous fashion? Why was not James there anyway? When James addresses
the council of 'apostles and elders' he calls Peter 'Simeon' rather than
the name Jesus had given him, 'Peter'. Why? James concludes by saying
'Therefore my judgment is...' The author of Acts does not describe how
the final decision was made. And the author does not say that the
assembly actually agreed with James. The picture is that James made the
decision. Only in the letter do they say, 'it has seemed good to us,
having come to one accord...'
I wonder which part of the assembly James belonged to: 'apostles' or
Paul made it clear that the trouble-makers who went to Antioch 'came
from James'. (Gal.2:12)
In the introduction to the first volume of his monumental work on 'James
the Brother of Jesus', Robert Eisenman states correctly that when James
'suddenly emerges as a principal personality and leader of "the
Jerusalem Church" or 'Community" in Acts 12:17, there is no introduction
as to who he is or how he has arrived at the position he is occupying.'
(p.xvii) Robert goes on to explain how he will rescue James from this
deliberate obscurity. In doing so, he will give more credence to all
other evidence and tradition than to the New Testament. (I personally
cannot agree with that as a scholarly way to do history.)
I think that James' absence from the FG needs careful attention.
Ross Saunders from DownUnder.