Saturday, 1 September 2012

James the brother of Jesus?

I have a fairly weird taste for detective fiction. This is mirrored by an even weirder taste in Biblical detection. This was started by my old friend Joe Rhymer and has stayed with me ever since.
Imagine my delight to find that the lectionary readings for this week included a letter from James..not the disciple James but the brother of Jesus James.
This naturally sent me off on a voyage of discovery aided and abetted by finding a thick book on my shelves by Robert Eisenman. It's title is James the brother of Jesus!
At last something a little different for the congregation!
The book falls open after the first couple of chapters....the rest is virgin territory. It's theses is that of course James was not a blood relation of Jesus but possibly a child fathered by Joseph from a previous marriage who had therefor been part of Jesus family.
This James had been the first bishop of Jerusalem. He had not been James the fisherman disciple and had only come to Christ after seeing him appear after the crucifiction...
Looking forward I see that much is written about Paul and about Luke and their attempts to write James out of the church nothing changes in the church world after all.
I shall enjoy reading the rest of the book and tomorrow will preach on the letter which exhorts Christians to look after the widows and orphans in distress....much to my liking here...especially knowing I've still got the rest of the book to come to grips with!

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