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Revealed to James


(1a) 1Cor 15:7a
(1b) Gal 1:19; 2:9; 2:12
(2) Thom 12
(3) GHeb 9
(4a) Acts 1:14*
(4b) Acts15:13-21*
(5) SecJas 2:1-3*

* These passages are not included in Crossan's inventory.



(1) Paul

(1a) 1Cor 15:7a

/4/ and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, /5/ and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. /6/ Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. /7/ Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. /8/ Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

(1b) Gal 1:19; 2:9; 2:12

/1:18/ Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; /19/ but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother. ... /2:1/ Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem ... /9/ and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship ... /11/ But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned; /12/ for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction.


(2) Thomas 12

/1/ The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" / 2/ Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being." [Complete Gospels]


(3) Gospel of the Hebrews 9

I recently translated into Greek and Latin the gospel called "Gospel of the Hebrews," the one that Origen also frequently uses. After the resurrection of the Savior, it says,

/9:1/ The Lord, after he had given the linen cloth to the priest's slave, went to James and appeared to him. /2/ (Now James had sworn not to eat bread from the time that he drank the Lord's cup until he would see him raised from among those who sleep.)

/3/ Shortly after this the Lord said,

"Bring a table and some bread."

/4/ And immediately it is added:

He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Adam has been raised from among those who sleep." [Complete Gospels]


(4) Luke/Acts

( 4a) Acts 1:14

/14/ All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

(4b) Acts 15:13-21

/15:13/ After [Barnabas and Paul] has finished speaking, James replied, "My brothers, listen to me. /14/ Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. /15/ This agrees with the words of the prophet, ... /19/ Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble these Gentiles who are turning to God, /20/ but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood. /21/ For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.


(5) Secret James

/2:1/ Now the twelve disciples used to sit all together at the same time, remembering what the Savior had said to each one of them, whether secretly or openly, and setting it down in books. /2/ I was writing what went into my book -- suddenly, the Savior appeared, after he had departed from us, and while we were watching for him. /3/ And so, five hundred fifty days after he rose from the dead, we said to him, "You went away and left us!"



Reported Discovery of James' ossuary

The Biblical Archaeology Review for 2002 has a report on the discovery of an ossuary with the inscription: “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” This container was said to provide the only New Testament-era mention of the central figure of Christianity and is the first-ever archaeological discovery to corroborate Biblical references to Jesus.

The Early Christian Writings site has a comprehensive collection of comment and discussion on this discovery.


John Dominic Crossan

Item: 30
Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Attestation: Triple
Historicity: ±

Crossan's interest in this cluster is primarily for its value as an indicator of "questions, debates and even controversies over direction, leadership and authority within the earliest communities." [Historical Jesus, 410]


Jesus Seminar






W Avg

James (the apostle) had at least one visionary religious experience, which he came to regard as an appearance of the risen Jesus.






James (the brother of Jesus) had at least one visionary religious experience, which he came to regard as an appearance of the risen Jesus.






GHeb 9: Appearance to James, Jesus' brother







While the Jesus Seminar did not accept any of the extant texts as historical, The Acts of Jesus (page 492) acknowledges that James was "highly regarded as a 'pillar' among leaders" in the early Christian communities.


Gerd Luedemann

Luedemann does not deal with the tradition of an appearance to James. For his views on the resurrection tradition as a whole, see his other publications on the subject, The Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994); "The Resurrection of Jesus: The greatest hoax in history?" Forum 10.3-4 (Sep/Dec 1994) 161-75; and What Really Happened to Jesus: A Historical Approach to the Resurrection. (Louisville, Westminster John Knox Press, 1995).

See Luedemann's web site for further information on his views as well as his dispute with the University of Gottingen.


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