AKA *Gray Rocker*
- May 28, 2017
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- Down South
And interesting read...
http://isjesusalive.com/james-the-brother-of-jesus/Do you think that you could convince one of your siblings into believing that you’re the Son of God? Unless they were three years old, it would probably be a tough sell. After all, they’ve seen how you keep your room. So it’s a pretty amazing historical fact that Jesus’ brother James, who probably wore Jesus’ hand-me-downs, later as an adult converted to Christianity. And we know that he was sincere about his belief because he died for it. James’ martyrdom wasn’t just recorded in Christian sources (Hegesippus) but by the 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus.
In his book Antiquities of the Jews 20.200, Josephus wrote:
“But this younger Ananus, who, as we told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent…He assembled the Sanhedrin of judges and brought before them the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, and some others. When he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them over to be stoned.”
James’ conversion cries out for an explanation. How could someone come to believe so strongly that their big brother was the divine Messiah? Let’s take a look.
HERE ARE 9 REASONS WHY I THINK THE CONVERSION OF JAMES IS ONE OF THE BEST EVIDENCE FOR CHRISTIANITY THAT THERE IS:
1. JOSEPHUS GIVES US A NICE EXTERNAL CONFIRMATION OF WHAT WE READ IN THE GOSPELS, ACTS AND EPISTLES OF PAUL.Mark and Matthew both refer to Jesus’ brother James (Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55) Luke and Paul refer to him not just as a brother of Jesus, but also as a leader in the church of Jerusalem (Acts 15:13, Galatians 1:19, Galatians 2:9). The confirmation from Josephus is one reason that even most skeptical scholars believe that Jesus was a historical figure.
2. BOTH MARK AND JOHN TELL US THAT JAMES WASN’T ALWAYS A BELIEVER IN JESUS.Mark 3:21 tells us that his siblings thought he was out of his mind. John 7:3-5 tell us that Jesus’ brothers mocked him and didn’t believe in him. While these verses don’t explicitly name James, it’s very possible he was included in these stories. This is quite an embarrassing admission from two gospel writers. The early church wouldn’t want to put one of their chief leaders as a former mocking skeptic if it wasn’t likely true.
3. PAUL GIVES US A BIG CLUE TO WHY JAMES MAY HAVE CHANGED – HE WAS AN EYEWITNESS OF THE RESURRECTED JESUS.In defending the resurrection of the dead to the church of Corinth, Paul quotes an early Christian tradition he received from others. The creed mentions resurrection appearances includes James. (1 Corinthians 15:7) Well, that would probably explain a lot about James’ sudden change of tune!
4. JAMES ENDORSED PAUL’S GOSPEL.In Galatians 2:9 we read that Paul met with several pillars in the Jerusalem church and they gave his message his stamp of their approval. This included James. This is a big deal because Paul preached that Jesus was not just the Messiah, but also the God of Israel.
In Romans 10:9-13 Paul says: “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved…For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Here Paul quotes Joel 2:32 when he says “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Joel was referring to God, and yet Paul, a former Pharisee, applies this passage to Jesus. The deity of Christ was part and parcel of Paul’s gospel, and Jesus’ brother wholeheartedly endorsed it. Amazing.