James and Jude,
Brothers Of Jesus

© 2007 Dr. Barbara Thiering

"There will be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three" (Luke 12:52).

Those words came from Jesus' personal experience. Of the five sons of Joseph and Mary, three - Jesus, Joses-Barnabas, and Simon-Silas - turned to Roman culture, and two - James and Jude - remained attached to Jerusalem and its traditions. The family was politically divided, sometimes bitterly.

In order of birth they were Jesus, James, Joses-Barnabas, Jude, Simon-Silas (Mark 6:3). After Jesus as a zero, their Latin titles used the ordinal numbers - Primus, Secundus, Tertius, Quartus. When James and Jude dissented, two pro-Roman substitutes took their places as Primus and Tertius. These titles all appear in Acts.

Jesus, the eldest, was intellectually brilliant, creative and innovative, and in his youth accused of arrogance. Joses-Barnabas was in sympathy with him, especially on his valuing celibacy. The youngest, Simon-Silas, became a close associate of Paul in his renunciation of Judaism. All were affected by the intense political climate of their day, when Judaism was in the process of becoming so hellenised that it was on the verge of losing its Jewish identity.

Jude, who believed that "the faith was once for all delivered to the saints", became virulently abusive of the pro-Rome party, pouring out biblical denunciations and insulting images in his New Testament Epistle. " These men revile whatever they do not understand. ...They walk in the way of Cain and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error....These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they boldly carouse together, looking after themselves; waterless clouds,....fruitless trees....twice dead, uprooted; .wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for ever." (Jude 11-13).

James, who was treated as the legitimate heir of the Davids when the pre-nuptial conception of Jesus became a factor, was forced by political circumstances to side now with Pharisees - who said he was the true David - now with Sadducees, who said he was only the crown prince to Jesus until Jesus had a son of his own. When James accepted the Pharisee view and asserted that he was the true heir, he was betraying his brother, earning the pseudonym Absalom in one of the Scrolls (1QpHab 5:10). Absalom was the treacherous son of the original King David who tried to usurp him (2 Samuel 13-19). James in this role was also called Malchus, from the Hebrew melek, "king".

While the royal status of the Davids was preserved within the community of exiled Essenes, all five sons had positions by right of birth. Their grandfather Jacob-Heli had been appointed under Herod the Great patriarch of the west, including authority over all Gentiles, and his grandsons were made superiors of different kinds of Gentiles. The main divisions of Gentiles were into proselytes, who adopted all aspects of Jewish identity including circumcision, and the uncircumcised, who retained their own ethnic identity. Within the order of Asher to which James and Jude were appointed, both kinds were found, and these two brothers promoted the proselyte kind. In the period of the gospels and Acts, when the mission was in crisis over this question, James figured as head of the circumcision party.

According to the Clementine record, James was appointed bishop of Jerusalem seven years after the crucifixion, in AD 40 (Recognitions of Clement 1, 43). That is, he was bishop over the Jewish Christians who met at the Essene Gate. They were the proselyte class, maintaining most Jewish traditions, although in terms of the Essene solar calendar. They were the ones who particularly emphasised the coming fulfilment of the prophecies of Enoch, predicting the Restoration of their exiled priests and kings to political power. Jude appeared in Jerusalem in Acts 23:13, as the Forty, that is head of the class of Nazirites who held retreats for 40 days.

At times when they found themselves forced into resistance to Rome, all the Davids took refuge in Damascus, outside the territory of direct Roman rule. An additional threat appeared when Agrippa I was given the monarchy by Caligula in 37 AD. It was seen at once that he would cast covetous eyes on the mission property stored at Qumran, for he was desperately in need of money to discharge his bankruptcy, brought about by his extravagance in Rome. At this point James was the Rich Man, the treasurer in charge of fees paid by proselytes. The money was technically his, for the money of proselytes was still defined as "unclean", coming from Gentiles. The Rich Man's duty was to use it for further mission, as James conscientiously did. Knowing that Agrippa would disregard such niceties, James the Rich Man, whose "land brought forth plentifully" - because of the pressure of Gentiles to join - decided "I will pull down my barns and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods." (Luke 12:16-18). There was an existing monastery in Damascus, the original base for Hillel, specialising in proselyte mission to the east. James arranged for the transfer of the large amount of proselyte money to vaults in the Damascus monastery, corresponding to the ones at Qumran where money had been stored and recorded in the Copper Scroll.

He moved there towards the end of 37 AD, at the time the Roman troops under Vitellius were crossing the Jordan for their campaign against Arabia. They also were a threat, as they might raid the Qumran vaults. Their terrifying appearance is described in the Qumran pesher on Habakkuk (1QpHab 1-6). A new base for the exiled Zadoks and Davids was established in Damascus, its records collected in the Damascus Document. James, hailed as the legitimate David under Pharisee nationalist pressures, was there called the Star of David in CD 7: 16-20.The Messiah of Israel, the David, would now take up power in Damascus, not in Qumran or Jerusalem, at the time of the Restoration. Missionaries from Damascus continued to use pseudonyms appropriate to their work. James called himself Aeneas, a Greek name that helped initial communication with Gentiles. He appears under this name in Acts 9:33-34. He is said to have become "paralysed" in Year 8 (the pesher reading of 8 years). The meaning is that on January 1, 38 AD, following the Herodian dating from 30 AD, when the new base in Damascus was formally inaugurated, James was declared the coming king and Messiah, and was consequently carried around on a palanquin to reflect his high status. King Solomon was carried on a palanquin in Canticles 3:9. The "paralytic" of the gospels was the Annas priest, also carried on a palanquin (krabattos), derisively said by his critics to be unable to walk (Mark 2:3-12).

It was James who was the subject of the Johannine story of the man at the pool (John 5:1-18). The pool is called Bethsaida in early texts, including in one Vaticanus text. Four classes of sick persons were said to lie around it, waiting to be let down into the pool to be healed. A man who had been waiting for 38 years (year 38 in the pesher reading) was told by Jesus to rise, take up his stretcher (krabattos) and walk. He did so, and was healed, without going down into the water.

The pool was at Qumran, as shown by the plural form of Jerusalem in v. 2. It was the immersion cistern, loc 58, that had been given a dividing wall that is still to be seen there. James in September 31 AD was following monastic practice, that of taking a full immersion bath for purification prior to promotion. Jesus at this season, under a Sadducee Pope, was able to exercise authority over his brother, telling him to return to the status of his crown prince, at the village level, that of men who did not take immersion baths. James had just been claiming to be the true David, using the royal palanquin, but now had to revert to Sadducee doctrine. September 31 AD was year 38 because September 8 BC had been the earlier, Jewish, beginning for March 7 BC, when Jesus was born, and when the south solar year marked another version of a New Exodus.

The Davids all had personal names that were used in the world, while their titles were those of the Abraham family in the New Israel. The personal name of James was Cleopas, which was also that of a previous member of the family (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,3, 32). At the cross, the young woman called Mary of Cleopas was his betrothed, and he appeared under the name Cleopas near the Nazirite building Mar Saba in Luke 24:18. Because of the problem of Jesus' legitimacy, there was conflict over which of them should have the title of the Jacob patriarch of the west (its English form James). Jesus acted in that role as superior of Gentiles, but he himself solved the problem by claiming to be more than a patriarch under the Pope. Accepted in a priestly role by Gentiles, Jesus had a new and higher status. He was another Zadokite, of the line of Melchizedek, as argued in Hebrews 7. He left the Jacob title to James. But at the same time James, being the crown prince to Jesus until he had a son of his own, should have the title Joseph. It was James who was Joseph of Arimathea of John 19:38 and Joseph Barsabbas Justus of Acts 1:23.

James met his death in 62 AD, stoned to death by Ananus the Younger, the fifth Annas brother, during Ananus' brief period as high priest of the Jerusalem temple. (Josephus, Antiquities 20, 200, Hegesippus in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2, 23). Ananus the Younger was the Merari of the levitical system, and appeared in the Acts history under other pseudonyms, including Demas, from the "people" (dēmos) who had hailed Agrippa I as a god just before his death (Acts 12:22). While in Rome he was an associate of Paul in the household of Agrippa II, but in his final letter in 63 AD Paul wrote "Demas has abandoned me, having loved the present aion (2 Timothy 4:10)." Paul was clearing himself of any connection with the death of James, his long time foe. The tensions between Roman Christians and Jewish Christians continued, with a line of Jerusalem bishops holding the succession after James. They had their own quarters on the Mount of Olives after the city was destroyed in 70 AD. The later history of monasticism including them is now being more closely studied. The Jerusalem monastic tradition went back to the very foundations, rather than appearing as a third century phenomenon as was previously thought.

JAMES. Names and pseudonyms. Jacob (James). Joseph. Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph Barsabbas Justus. Man at the pool of Bethsaida. Malchus. Solomon. Absalom. Laity (laos). Presbyters. Cleopas. Aeneas. Nemo. Epileptic. Rich Man. Lame man.

JUDE. Jude (Judas).Man with the withered hand. The 40 as the Nazirite observing 40 days.




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