(The Brother of Jesus)
Jesus had at least four younger brothers, James, Joseph (aka Joses), Simon, and Judas (aka Jude), along with several sisters (Matthew 13:55-56 and Mark 6:3). James, like his other brothers, initially rejected Jesus as the Messiah (John 7:5). Jesus appeared specifically to His brother James after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7), and after this, James (along with his other brothers and their mother Mary), acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah (Acts 1:14). Eventually, James took Peter’s place as the leader of the church in Jerusalem. Paul made a point to meet with James on several occasions to discuss important matters regarding the early Christian church. James presided over the Jerusalem Council, the first official gathering church leaders, whose primary agenda item was a debate over whether Gentile Christians should be required to follow Jewish laws. According to the historian Josephus, in 62 ad Jewish leaders who opposed Christianity pushed James from a high point in the temple and then killed him with clubs and stones.
James, the brother of Jesus, is believed to have written the book of James around 50 ad, making it perhaps the first epistle written in the New Testament. This book emphasizes practical Christian living, asserting that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). At the heart of this is God’s grace: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures” (James 1:17-18).