With all the hullabaloo about the Jesus Tomb and the assertion by James Cameron, et. al. that the James Ossuary was once in the same tomb, I thought I’d try to sort out in my mind just who James was.  If anyone happens to stumble upon this blog, please feel free to help me out.  The James identification gets confusing when I start looking at all the verses that mention a ‘James’.  This is my list of Jameses – probability is that one or two on this list shouldn’t be counted as separate individuals:

1. James the son of Zebedee: (Matt 4:21; Matt 10:2; Matt 17:1; Mark 1:19; Mark 1:29; Mark 3:17; Mark 5:37; Mark 9:2; Mark 10:35; Mark 10:41; Mark 13:3; Mark 14:33; Luke 5:10; Luke 6:14; Luke 8:51; Luke 9:28; Luke 9:54; Acts 1:13; Acts 12:2)

2. James the son of Alphaeus {Disciple of Jesus Christ; Apostle}: (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13.)

3. James, the brother of Jesus {brother of Joses, Simon, & Judas?; Apostle of Jesus Christ}: (Matt 13:55; Mark 6:3; Gal 1:19)

4. James the Less, son of Mary {brother of Joses?}: (Matt 27:56; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10)

5. James the brother of Judas (this one may be a bit controversial, but I believe it to be as the good ‘ole KJV says, ‘brother of’): (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13; Jude 1:1)

6. James, leader of the Jerusalem church: (Acts 12:17; Acts 15:13; Acts 21:18; Gal. 2:9; Gal 2:12)

7. James, one of the Apostles: (1 Cor 15:7)

8. James, author of the Epistle of James.

Now, I know that this thread may not be the place for this, but I think there’s a reasonable case to be made that . . .

(1) None of the Jameses from #2 to #8 (except #7) can be logically identified with James#1, the brother of John.

(2) Due to the similarity of names given in the gospels (I know, I know, I’m committing the James Cameron fallacy), it could be reasonably thought that James#3 and James#4 are the same person. It could be objected that though the two share a brother in Joses, this doesn’t prove much.

(3) James#3 is called by Paul an “apostle” in the Galations 1:19 reference. Now, Paul couldn’t be talking about James, the brother of John (though he *was* still alive during Paul’s first trip to Jerusalem), so it must be another James. The term ‘apostle’ and the context of Paul’s argument for his own apostleship, lead me to believe that Paul is talking about one of the twelve. Perhaps I’m wrong, but if I’m right, that leaves only one other James – James#2.

So, in my theory, James#2, James#3, and James#4 are the same person. That gives us two Jameses so far: James#1 and James#2/3/4.

It probably won’t surprise anyone to know that I believe the remainder of the Jameses (except probably #7) can be mapped to this James, son of Mary (sister of Mary, the mother of Christ?; wife of Cleopas?), brother of Judas and Joses.