Talk:James the Less

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Relationship to Matthew[edit]

The article states that James was the brother of Matthew without attributing any source. This relationship is not mentioned in the Bible. The source for the statement should be cited.

This supposition is based on Mark 2:14, which says Levi (Matthew) was the son of Alphaeus, and assuming it's the same Alphaeus that is James' father. --Spiffy sperry 17:29, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

James' True Name[edit]

Why does it say in there that James comes from the Hebrew Ya'akov? They don't seem to be related at all. I distinctly remember someone telling me that the name James in Hebrew is something closer to the Greek.

James the Lesser incorrectly identified with James the Just, the Brother of the Lord[edit]

This topic is referring to the following change: 19:30, 22 August 2006 (Talk) (James the Lesser incorrectly identified with James the Just, the Brother of the Lord)

"Encyclopedic content must be verifiable."

James the Less’ symbol is the cudgel or club because he was beaten to death by some Jews. His brothers’ name is Jude, and before they met Jesus and became apostles they were fishermen. He was called James the Less because he was smaller and younger than James the Greater. The one book named after James in the bible is James. His feast day is May 3rd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 20 February 2009 (UTC) There is clearly a problem with the number of James's in the NT. Confusion is rife, and I don't think the change made by helped very much. Replacing "also known as" by "commonly confused with", later changed to "sometimes confused with" does not clarify the situation any further. To state that this identification is incorrect, you would need to be confident that you are a greater authority on saints than the catholic church, and then provide verification.

The identification of James the Just with James the Less, right or wrong, goes back to Jerome at least. It is hardly a minority view. Trishm 04:23, 16 December 2006 (UTC)


This article creates confusion by being titled "James the Less" instead of "James, son of Alphaeus". Each possible James should have a separate article (with the JsoA being clearly the Apostle). Possible identifications can than be covered. I will implemented this in a short while. Str1977 (smile back) 18:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

"James the Less" is a familiar designation among the welter of doublets and disguises. --Wetman 19:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Str1977. Four "James" articles would help the encyclopedia to be as clear as possible: (1) James the Great (whichever title), (2) James of Alpheus, (3) James the Just, and (4) James the Less. The fact is, (4) is variously identified as both the Just and Alpheus. I think Str1977 has come up with a good solution. -- Pastordavid 16:46, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Another Confusion - First Bishop of Jerusalem[edit]

Both this article and James the Just article mention that their respective James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Redirecting to James, son of Alphaeus[edit]

Once I removed the stuff about James the Just, all that remained of this article was a pale shadow of the James, son of Alphaeus article. So I'm turning this into a redirect to James, son of Alphaeus, because that article actually has more information on James the Less.

This does not mean that these two are necessarily the same person. But there is so little material on them (in fact the main material is the question of identity) that it makes sense to have James, son of Alphaeus and James the Less be the same article. Peter Ballard (talk) 02:31, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

p.s. See also discussion at Talk:James, son of Alphaeus Peter Ballard (talk) 02:34, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Restore this article. James the Less is sometimes identified with this James or that James, hence he deserves his own article as he is not clearly "the brother of the Lord" or the "son of Alphaeus". Str1977 (talk) 21:27, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

If anyone can find a reference that thinks James the Less was not James, son of Alphaeus, then that would be worth seeing. If not, then it should be a redirect. --Rumping (talk) 19:12, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

It should be a redirect. The latest issue of National Geographic (March 2012) has a feature article on The Journey of the Apostles (pp.38-65) in which it states about James the Lesser: "The Bible reveals little about this James - only that he is a 'son of Alphaeus'. Most scholars think a different James wrote the biblical epistle of that name." (p.50) The position that they are two different people is a minority view today which can be covered in the James, son of Alphaeus article. So far, the only dissenting view I can find is John Paul Meier. Ignocrates (talk) 15:58, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

After digging into the sources a bit more, I am backing off my support for a redirect. I am now in the same camp as Str1977. Scholar's have made many speculations, based on meager evidence, that only add more confusion to understanding these relationships. Ignocrates (talk) 01:16, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

It is unlikely to be Mary the mother of Jesus since she is not identified as Jesus' mother but only called the mother of James the Less and Joses.[edit]

I disagree, Matthew 12 and Mark 6 present a good reason why the blood relatives of Jesus would cease be referred to as such by the Narrative voice.

Yeah, this statement reveals strong Roman Catholic bias. They can't accept the most natural meaning of the text because of their dogma that Mary was perpetually a virgin. Matthew 13:55-56 clearly shows that Mary mother of James and Joseph (Joses) would have been Jesus's mom. The only way around it is to make up stories about Joseph having a second wife, also named Mary, or some other strangeness.