James ‘The Great’

James ‘The Great’
(first century)
   James was the son of Zebedee and the brother of the apostle john. According to the Gospels, Jesus called him away from his occupation as a fisherman to be his disciple. Together with his brother, he was given the nickname Boanerges (‘son of thunder’). With peter, the two sons of Zebedee seemed to have formed an inner circle of the Twelve. They were present at the raising of Jairus’s daughter from the dead, at Jesus’s transfiguration and in the garden of Gethsemane just before Jesus was arrested. In addition they asked on one occasion whether they should call down fire on a Samaritan village and they demanded the place of honour when Jesus came into his Kingdom. James was among the Twelve when they received the Holy Spirit on the first Whitsunday and, according to Acts, he was put to death by King Herod Agrippa in ad 44. There is a tradition dating from the seventh century that James preached the gospel in Spain before his martyrdom and that his body rests in Compostela. The shrine of St James in Spain remains an important place of pilgrimage, but the legend behind it is generally regarded as unhistorical.
   The Four Gospels;
   The Acts of the Apostles;
   J.S. Stone, The Cult of Santiago (1927).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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