Jacques the Juste
Jacques the Juste , also called brother of the Lord , often identified with Jacques the Minor or Jacques d' Alphée, martyrized in 62, was according to the tradition, the first bishop or patriarch of Jerusalem, and the author of the Épître of Jacques of the New Testament.
There are three named biblical characters Jacques:
- Jacques, wire of Zébédée, brother of Jean, known as the Major one, one of the Apostles.
- Jacques the Juste , brother of the Lord,
- Jacques the son of Alphée, one of the Apostles.
BiographyJacques was an important character of the primitive Église which directed the first Christian community of Jerusalem.
There was strongly anchored in the Judaïsme of its time and remained faithful to the law of Moïse, being opposed to the point of view of Paul.
The Council of Jerusalem which was held towards the end of the the Fifties under its authority and that of Pierre and Jean (ac 2,10) admitted the principle of the nonCirconcision of the pagan converts.
Flavius Josèphe brings back the death of a Jacques brother of a Jesus (judaïques Antiquités, XX, 197-203) in 62, decided by the religious leaders of the Temple of Jerusalem, which cannot be Jesus Christ for the simple reason which the priests are tribe of Lévi and which JC is supposed being of that of Juda. Moreover Josèphe speaks some lines higher about this Jesus as being priest of the Temple.
IdentityPaul, in, described Jacques as follows: “… Jacques, Cephas, and Jean, which seemed pillars… ”. He is described in New Testament like a “brother of Jesus” and “in the liturgy of Jacques saint, the brother of Jesus is high with the dignity of the brother of God himself (Adelphotheos)” (Philip Schaff: History off the Christian Church, chapter 4, section 29). Jacques is quoted by Matthieu | , by Marc | and, by the Epistle with Gallates | , by the Epistle of Jude (1), by Flavius Josèphe.
Here what says in this connection the sanctoral of the Conférence of the bishops of France: “The exégètes distinguish several Jacques around the Lord. Jacques Major the, wire of Zébédée and brother of Jean. Jacques wire of Alphée which one knows only that he was apostle, and this one, Jacques, brother of the Lord, his relationship and originating in Nazareth. ” The concept of brother must be included/understood in the broad sense used at the time. This one could mean more distant relationship, like that of first cousin, or indicate a double relationship (of the two stocks).
Discusses on the “Brothers and sisters” of JesusThe New Testament, in Mc 6,3 brings back to us the reaction astonished by Nazaréens having intended Jesus to teach to them in the synagog: " isn't this the carpenter, the son of Marie, and the brother of Jacques, Joset, Jude and Simon? and aren't his/her sisters here on our premises? ". There is dissension on what it is necessary to understand by these words according to whether one takes them with the narrow direction of the same children father and mother or with the broader direction close relatives, like that is done in many Eastern countries where cousins and cousins living together are called “brothers” and “sisters”. The verses Jean 19,26-27 provide an example of versatility of the parental titles in the texts evangelic. One sees Jesus there saying to Marie, by entrusting the Jean Apostle to him: “Woman, here your sons”, then, addressing itself to Jean: “Here your mother”. For the Protestant , Marie was virgin before the birth of Jesus but had then other children. According to the orthodoxe tradition which follows the Protévangile of Jacques, they would be in fact of the half-brothers, wire of Joseph. According to the catholic tradition , they would be cousins (it is the same word which designates the brother and the cousin in the languages Hebraic and araméenne): two of them, indeed, are announced like wire of a “Marie, mother of Jacques and of Joset” in Mc 15, 40, qu ' it is necessary to identify with Marie, woman of Clopas according to Jn 19,25, the third Jude is the brother of Jacques (Ju 1) and the fourth Simon is clearly designated as a first cousin, wire of Clopas the brother of Joseph, in the ecclesiastical Histoire of Eusèbe de Césarée which affirms also that “brother of the Lord” is for Jacques only one name.
For a study more appronfondie of this question, to see the article Close to Jesus
The business of the ossuaryOctober 2002, a French epigraphist, Andre Lemaire, discovers on the side of a limestone ossuary of the first century of our era, an inscription in Araméen, the current language of Palestine at the time of Jesus. The ossuary is a small stone ballot box, usually used by the Jews of the time to preserve the bones of late, one year after its death, when the flesh disappeared, and that the bones were purified by the ground of Israel. Such ossuaries were used first century BC at the 2nd century. The ossuary in question was discovered in the Arab village of Silwan, close to Jerusalem, and comprised the following inscription: “Ya' akiv bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua” what means “Jacques, wire of Joseph, brother of Jesus”. Even if the names of Jacques, Joseph and Jesus were very current at the time, a simple calculation makes it possible to evaluate with a score the number of inhabitants of Palestine, who at the first century could be called Jacques, to have a father named Joseph and a Jesus for brother. On the other hand, it was very unusual to mention the name of a brother on an ossuary after that of the father (there exists one other case of this practice). In June 2003, the department of Israeli antiquities, following an analysis under the electron microscope, declares the ballot box authentic, but the inscriptions recent. The owner of the object, the antique dealer Oded Golan, is accused of swindle, and is stopped by the Israeli police force. Curiously, the antique dealer was slackened, without publicity, as of on July 24th and without no load being retained, nor no legal action. One had also found in his workshop, at the time of the searching, a second ossuary in the course of engraving.
- Epistle of Jacques : although published in the the Eighties and 90, this one had been written according to its indications and with its approval.
- Protévangile of Jacques : this text apocryphal book, which is said writes by Jacques, reports facts former to the accounts of the canonical Évangiles (from where the name of “protévangile”). It was published in the 16th century, and exerted a deep influence on the Roman liturgy, this including/understanding the establishment of the festival of the Presentation of Marie to the Temple, the November 22nd.
WorshipDuring centuries, the Catholic church honoured Jacques at the same time as the apostle Philippe, on May 1st, birthday day of the transfer of the relics of these two saints to the Roman basilica of the Twelve-Apostles. In 1956, Pie XII moved this festival common to the May 11th; in the new Roman calendar, it is now fixed at the May 3rd.
Jacques is celebrated the October 23rd by the orthodoxe Église.
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