1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Saint James (the Great) the Apostle

Who Was St. James the Great and What Was so Great About Him?

By

Saint James (the Great) the Apostle: Who Was St. James the Great and What Was so Great About Him?

Saint James (the Great) the Apostle: Who Was St. James the Great and What Was so Great About Him?

Image Source: Jupiter Images

James, the son of Zebedee, was called along with this brother John to be one of Jesus' twelve apostles who would accompany him on his ministry. James appears in the lists of apostles in the synoptic gospels as well as Acts. James and his brother John were given the nickname "Boanerges" (sons of thunder) by Jesus; some believe this was a reference to their tempers.

James, along with his brother John, is portrayed in the gospels as perhaps being more important than most of the other apostles. He was present at the resurrection of Jarius' daughter, at Jesus' transfiguration, and at the Garden of Gethsemane before Jesus was arrested.

Other than a few references to him in the New Testament, however, we have no information about who James was or what he did. One Christian legend says that King Herod had him executed by a sword, but there is no evidence of his occurring. Other Christian legends say that James travelled to and evangelized in Hispania.

James was one of the apostles who sought power and authority above the others, something that Jesus reproached him for: And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. (Mark 10: 35-40)

This James does not appear to be called "the Great" because he learned well this lesson from Jesus. Instead, he's called "the Great" to distinguish him from the other James (the Lesser, the Just) and because he was one of the first disciples called by Jesus to follow him.

Read More: Saint James (the Great) the Apostle

  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Agnosticism / Atheism

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.