Re: [John_Lit] James and Clopas
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] James and Clopas
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Frank McCoy" <silvanus55109@...>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 8:09 AM
> Subject: Re: [John_Lit] James and Clopas
> > Yes, he equates Cleopas with both Clopas and
Alphaeus. Even though they are different names, I go
along with his equating the Cleopas in the NT with the
Clopas in the NT. However, I think he perhaps
over-reaches in equating the Cleopas in the NT with
the Alphaeus in the NT.
> No, it is not over-reaching. The Semitic name is
from xlp, Arabic is Halif, Aramaic khalefa for "sharp"
or "knife" xylpa "kheelefa." Alphaeus is a Greek
transliteration of the Aramaic and Clopas/Cleophas are
Greek renderings, the het being either a rough
breathing in Greek or a kop. The f/p shift requires
Note that my argument is that the Cleopas *in the NT*
is not the Alphaeus *in the NT*. In my post to which
you are responding, only one of the three reasons I
give to support this argument involves the question of
whether or not Cleopas and Alphaeus are two variants
of the same word. This is where I question Eisenman's
contention that the difference of a kappa and an alpha
is a small matter. So, even if Clopas and Cleopas and
Alphaeus are all variations of one basic name, this
does not weaken in a funadamental way, the thesis that
the Cleopas in the NT is not the Alphaeus in the NT.
Further, in the NT, we have:
1. Alphaeus the father of Levi (Mark 2:14)
2. Alphaeus the father of James (Mark 3:18 and
3. Cleopas (Luke 24:18)
4. Clopas (John 19:25)
Both Cleopas and Clopas appear to have been in the
Jerusalem area at about the same time (assuming that
Clopas is the husband/betrothed of Mary), so I think
it reasonable to premise that they are one and the
I see no reason to connect this Cleopas/Clopas to any
NT figure named Alphaeus. For example, neither
Cleopas nor Clopas is said to be the father of a Levi
or the father of a James.
> Clopas and Alphaeus is the same person, who would
have been Kheelefa, the brother of Joseph, father of
Jesus. Jesus' uncle Clopas married also to a woman
named Mary. Clopas and Mary were the parents of Yaqub
(James, the "lesser") and Matthew and a younger
Shymeon who would become head of the Jerusalem group
in 64 CE when James the Just was murdered.
> It is not rocket science, it is simply using all the
If Simeon bar Clopas is the son of a brother of
Joseph, then he was a contemporary of Jesus and James
and, so, most likely born shortly before or after the
transition from BCE to CE. This makes him implausibly
old at the time of his martyrdom in 106 or 107 CE.
The hypothesis of Thiering, which is that the
Clopas/Cleopas of the NT is James the brother of
Jesus, is more plausible on this count--for, in this
case, Simeon would not have been at an implausibly old
age at the time of his martyrdom. This hypothesis
also elegantly explains why Simeon succeeded James as
the head of the Jerusalem group--for, as the son of
this James/Clopas, he would have been his logical
How do you arrive at Matthew being a son of
Clopas/Alphaeus? Mark does not link Levi and Matthew.
Further, in Mark 3:18, Mark lists Matthew as a
disciple, but does not call him a brother of James the
son of Alphaeus. This is an argument from silence,
but I think it of great weight nevertheless because,
after all, Mark does stress that a disciple named John
was the brother of another disciple, James the son of
Zebedee, in the immediately preceding 3:17.
How do you arrive at James the Lesser being James the
son of Alphaeus? As I pointed out in an earlier post,
relating Mark 15:40 to John 19:25 apparently suggests
that James the Lesser is James the brother of Jesus.
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