James the just.

The brother of the Lord.


Attributed text(s).
Epistle of James 1-5.
Protevangelium of James.
Apocryphon of James.
Apocalypse of James (two different works).

Related text(s).
Catholic epistles.

Useful links.
James in the Online Encyclopedia.
James the less in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Brethren of the Lord (Lightfoot).

Few figures in primitive Christianity are as important and yet as mysterious as James the just, the brother of the Lord. He was apparently not a follower of Jesus during his lifetime, yet after his death and resurrection we suddenly find James as head of the church at Jerusalem, often called by his name alone, without accompanying identifier, despite the fact that men named James were abundant in that era.

Paul.

Middle of century I.

Galatians 1.19; 2.9-13; 1 Corinthians 9.5; 15.3-8.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Middle of or late century I.

Matthew 12.46-50 = Mark 3.31-35 = Luke 8.19-21 (John 7.1-9);
Matthew 13.54-58 = Mark 6.1-6 = Luke 4.16-30.

The Acts.

Middle of or late century I or early century II.

Acts 1.14; 12.17; 15.13-21; 21.17-26.

The epistles of James and Jude.

Century I.

James 1.1; Jude 1.1.

Thomas.

Late century I or early century II.

Thomas 12:

ΠΕϪΕ Μ̅ΜΑΘΗΤΗC Ν̅Ι̅C̅ ϪΕ ΤΝ̅CΟΟΥΝ ϪΕ ΚΝΑΒΩΚ Ν̅ΤΟΟΤ̅Ν̅ ΝΙΜ ΠΕ ΕΤΝΑΡ̅ΝΟϬ ΕϨΡΑΙ ΕϪΩΝ. ΠΕϪΕ Ι̅C̅ ΝΑΥ ϪΕ ΠΜΑ Ν̅ΤΑΤΕΤΝ̅ΕΙ Μ̅ΜΑΥ ΕΤΕΤΝΑΒΩΚ ϢΑΙΑΚΩΒΟC ΠΔΙΚΑΙΟC ΠΑΕΙ Ν̅ΤΑΤΠΕ ΜΝ̅ΠΚΑϨ ϢΩΠΕ ΕΤΒΗΤϤ̅.

The disciples said to Jesus: We know that you are going to depart from us. Who is to be our leader? Jesus said to them: Wherever you are, you are to go to James the just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.

Josephus.

Late century I.

From Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1 §200-203, on James the brother of the Lord (English translation based on that of Whiston):

Ατε δη ουν τοιουτος ων ο Ανανος, νομισας εχειν καιρον επιτηδειον δια το τεθναναι μεν Φηστον, Αλβινον δ ετι κατα την οδον υπαρχειν, καθιζει συνεδριον κριτων και παραγαγων εις αυτο τον αδελφον Ιησου του λεγομενου Χριστου, Ιακωβος ονομα αυτω, και τινας ετερους, ως παρανομησαντων κατηγοριαν ποιησαμενος, παρεδωκεν λευσθησομονους. οσοι δε εδοκουν επιεικεστατοι των κατα την πολιν ειναι και περι τους νομους ακριβεις βαρεως ηνεγκαν επι τουτω και πεμπουσιν προς τον βασιλεα κρυφα, παρακαλουντες αυτον επιστειλαι τω Ανανω μηκετι τοιαυτα πρασσειν· μηδε γαρ το πρωτον ορθως αυτον πεποιηκεναι. τινες δ αυτων και τον Αλβινον υπαντιαζουσιν απο της Αλεξανδρειας οδοιπορουντα και διδασκουσιν ως ουκ εξον ην Ανανω χωρις της εκεινου γνωμης καθισαι συνεδριον. Αλβινος δε πεισθεις τοις λεγομενοις γραφει μετ οργης τω Ανανω ληψεσθαι παρ αυτου δικας απειλων. και ο βασιλευς Αγριππας δια τουτο την αρχιερωσυνην αφελομενος αυτον αρξαντος μηνας τρεις Ιησουν τον του Δαμναιου κατεστησεν.

When, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others. And, when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. But as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a Sanhedrin without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

Refer also to how Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome handle this passage.

The gospel of the Hebrews.

Late century I or early or middle of century II. This gospel is known only from patristic citation.

From Jerome, On Famous Men 2:

Evangelium quoque quod appellatur secundum Hebraeos, et a me nuper in Graecum Latinumque sermonem translatum est, quo et Origenes saepe utitur, post resurrectionem salvatoris refert: Dominus autem cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit ad Iacobum et apparuit ei. iuraverat enim Iacobus se non comesturum panem ab illa hora quia biberat calicem domini donec videret eum resurgentem a dormientibus.

Also the gospel which is named according to the Hebrews, and which was recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which also Origen often used, refers after the resurrection of the savior: But the Lord, when he had given the shroud to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him. James indeed had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour when he had drunk the chalice of the Lord until he saw him risen from among those who sleep.

Rursusque post paululum: Afferte, ait dominus, mensam et panem. statimque additur: Tulit panem et benedixit, ac fregit, et dedit Iacobo iusto, et dixit ei: Frater mi, comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit filius hominis a dormientibus.

And again after a little bit: Bear forth, said the Lord, a table and bread. And immediately is added: He bore bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to James the just, and said to him: My brother, eat your bread, because the son of man has resurrected from among those who sleep.

The Protevangelium of James.

Early or middle of century II.

The original Greek of this work may be found online both at the very useful Wieland Willker site and at Skeptik.

Infancy gospel of James 25.1-2 (fin):

Εγω δε Ιακωβος ο γραψας την ιστοριαν ταυτην εν Ιεροσολυμοις, θορυβου γεναμενου οτε ετελευτησεν Ηρωδης, συνεστελλ[ο]ν εαυτον εν τη ερημω εως παυσηται ο θορυβος Ιερουσαλημ. δοξασω δε τον δεσποτην τον δοντα μοι την σοφιαν του γραψαι την ιστοριαν ταυτην. και εσται η χαρις μετα παντων των φοβουμενων τον κυριον. αμην.

And I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem, a tumult having come up when Herod came to his end, and despatched myself in the desert until the tumult in Jerusalem ceased. But I glorify the master who gave me the wisdom to write this history. And there will be grace with all who fear the Lord. Amen.

Γενεσις Μαριας. αποκαλυψις Ιακωβ. ειρηνη τω γραψαντι και τω αναγινωσκοντι.

Birth of Mary. Revelation of James. Peace to the writer and the reader.

There is extant an alternate chapter 25, as well:

Εγω δε Ιακωβος εγραψα την ιστοριαν ταυτην εν Ιερουσαλημ και εδοξασα τον δεσποτην θεον τον αποκαλυψαντα ημιν τα μυστηρια ταυτα. οτι αυτω πρεπει δοξα, κρατος εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων, αμην.

But I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem and glorified God the master who revealed these mysteries to us, because to him glory is proper, strength unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

The Apocryphon of James.

Century II.

The apocryphon, or secret book, of James survives in Coptic as section 2 of codex I in the Nag Hammadi library. Its online translation into English can be found at the Gnostic Society Library.

The two Apocalypses of James.

Century II or III.

There are two texts called by this name in the Nag Hammadi library. They are respectively called the first and second apocalypses of James, and they respectively occupy sections 3 and 4 of codex V. It is thought that the second was written earliest, in century II, and the first was written later, in century III. The first apocalypse also survives in codex Tchacos, the book that preserves the more famous gospel of Judas. Translations into English can be found online both for the first and for the second apocalypse at the Gnostic Society Library.

Hegesippus.

Middle of century II. Several fragments of the five books of Hegesippus are known to us through Eusebius of Caesarea.

Eusebius, History of the Church 2.23.3-18:

Τον δε της του Ιακωβου τελευτης τροπον ηδη μεν προτερον αι παρατεθεισαι του Κλημεντος φωναι δεδηλωκασιν, απο του πτερυγιου βεβλησθαι ξυλω τε την προς θανατον πεπληχθαι αυτον ιστορηκοτος· ακριβεστατα γε μην τα κατ αυτον ο Ηγησιππος, επι της πρωτης των αποστολων γενομενος διαδοχης, εν τω πεμπτω αυτου υπομνηματι τουτον λεγων ιστορει τον τροπον·

The manner of the death of James has been already indicated by the abovementioned words of Clement, who records that he was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and was beaten to death with a club. But Hegesippus, who lived immediately after the apostles, gives the most accurate account in the fifth book of his memoirs. He writes as follows:

Διαδεχεται δε την εκκλησιαν μετα των αποστολων, ο αδελφος του κυριου Ιακωβος, ο ονομασθεις υπο παντων δικαιος απο των του κυριου χρονων μεχρι και ημων. επει πολλοι Ιακωβοι εκαλουντο, ουτος δε εκ κοιλιας μητρος αυτου αγιος ην.

James, the brother of the Lord, succeeded to the government of the church in conjunction with the apostles. He has been called the just by all from the times of the Lord to the present day, for there were many that bore the name of James. He was holy from the womb of his mother.

Οινον και σικερα ουκ επιεν, ουδε εμψυχον εφαγε ξυρον επι την κεφαλην αυτου· ουκ ανεβη ελαιον ουκ ηλειψατο, και βαλανειω ουκ εχρησατο.

He drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh. No razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, and he did not use the bath.

Τουτω μονω εξην εις τα αγια εισιεναι. ουδε γαρ ερεουν εφορει, αλλα σινδονας. και μονος εισηρχετο εις τον ναον ηυρισκετο τε κειμενος επι τοις γονασι, και αιτουμενος υπερ του λαου αφεσιν ως απεσκληκεναι τα γονατα αυτου δικην καμηλου, δια το αει καμπτειν επι γονυ προσκυνουντα τω θεω, και αιτεισθαι αφεσιν τω λαω.

He alone was permitted to enter into the holy place; for he wore not woolen but linen garments. And he was in the habit of entering alone into the temple, and he was frequently found upon his knees begging forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like those of a camel in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God and asking forgiveness for the people.

Δια γε τοι την υπερβολην της δικαιοσυνης αυτου, εκαλειτο δικαιος και ωβλιας, ο εστιν Ελληνιστι περιοχη του λαου και δικαιοσυνη, ως οι προφηται δηλουσι περι αυτου.

Because of his exceeding great justice he was called the just, and oblias, which in Greek signifies a bulwark of the people, and justice, in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him.

Τινες ουν των επτα αιρεσεων των εν τω λαω, των προγεγραμμενων μοι εν τοις υπομνημασιν, επυνθανοντο αυτου τις η θυρα του Ιησου, και ελεγε τουτον ειναι τον σωτηρα.

Now some of the seven sects, which existed among the people and which have been mentioned by me in the memoirs, asked him: What is the gate of Jesus? And he replied that it was the savior.

Εξ ων τινες επιστευσαν, οτι Ιησους εστιν ο Χριστος. αι δε αιρεσεις αι προειρημεναι, ουκ επιστευον ουτε αναστασιν, ουτε ερχομενον αποδουναι εκαστω κατα τα εργα αυτου. οσοι δε και επιστευσαν, δια Ιακωβον.

On account of these words some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the sects mentioned above did not believe either in a resurrection or in the coming of one to give to every man according to his works. But as many as believed did so on account of James.

Πολλων ουν και των αρχοντων πιστευοντων, ην θορυβος των Ιουδαιων και γραμματεων και Φαρισαιων, λεγοντων οτι κινδυνευει πας ο λαος Ιησουν τον Χριστον προσδοκαν. ελεγον ουν συνελθοντες τω Ιακωβω· Παρακαλουμεν σε επισχες τον λαον, επει επλανηθη εις Ιησουν, ως αυτου οντος του Χριστου. παρακαλουμεν σε πεισαι παντας τους ελθοντας εις την ημεραν του πασχα περι Ιησου. σοι γαρ παντες πειθομεθα. ημεις γαρ μαρτυρουμεν σοι και πας ο λαος, οτι δικαιος ει, και οτι προσωπον ου λαμβανεις.

Therefore, when many even of the rulers believed, there was a commotion among the Jews and scribes and Pharisees, who said that there was danger that the whole people would be looking for Jesus as the Christ. Coming therefore in a body to James they said: We entreat you, restrain the people, for they have gone astray in regard to Jesus, as if he were the Christ. We entreat you to persuade all that have come to the feast of the Passover concerning Jesus; for we all have confidence in you. For we bear you witness, as do all the people, that you are just and that you do not respect persons.

Πεισον ουν συ τον οχλον περι Ιησου μη πλανασθαι. και γαρ πας ο λαος και παντες πειθομεθα σοι. στηθι ουν επι το πτερυγιον του ιερου, ινα ανωθεν ης επιφανης, και η ευακουστα σου τα ρηματα παντι τω λαω. δια γαρ το πασχα συνεληλυθασι πασαι αι φυλαι μετα και των εθνων.

Persuade, therefore, the multitude not to be led astray concerning Jesus. For the whole people, and all of us also, have confidence in you. Stand therefore upon the pinnacle of the temple, that from that high position you might be clearly seen, and that your words may be readily heard by all the people. For all the tribes, with the gentiles also, have come together on account of the Passover.

Εστησαν ουν οι προειρημενοι γραμματεις και φαρισαιοι τον Ιακωβον επι το πτερυγιον του ναου, και εκραξαν αυτω και ειπον· Δικαιε, ω παντες πειθεσθαι οφειλομεν, επει ο λαος πλαναται οπισω Ιησου του σταυρωθεντος, απαγγειλον ημιν τις η θυρα του Ιησου.

The aforesaid scribes and Pharisees therefore placed James upon the pinnacle of the temple and cried out to him and said: Just one, in whom we ought all to have confidence, forasmuch as the people are led astray after Jesus, the crucified one, declare to us what the gate of Jesus is.

Και απεκρινατο φωνη μεγαλη· Τι με επερωτατε περι Ιησου του υιου του ανθρωπου; και αυτος καθηται εν τω ουρανω εκ δεξιων της μεγαλης δυναμεως, και μελλει ερχεσθαι επι των νεφελων του ουρανου.

And he answered with a loud voice: Why do you ask me concerning Jesus, the son of man? He himself sits in heaven at the right hand of the great power, and is about to come upon the clouds of heaven!

Και πολλων πληροφορηθεντων, και δοξαζοντων επι τη μαρτυρια του Ιακωβου, και λεγοντων· Ωςαννα τω υιω Δαβιδ, τοτε παλιν οι αυτοι γραμματεις και Φαρισαιοι προς αλληλους ελεγον· Κακως εποιησαμεν τοιαυτην μαρτυριαν παρασχοντες τω Ιησου αλλα αναβαντες, καταβαλωμεν αυτον, ινα φοβηθεντες μη πιστευσωσιν αυτω.

And, when many were fully convinced and gloried in the testimony of James, and said: Hosanna to the son of David, these same scribes and Pharisees said again to one another: We have done badly in supplying such testimony to Jesus. But let us go up and throw him down, in order that they may be afraid to believe him.

Και εκραξαν λεγοντες· Ω, ω, και ο δικαιος επλανηθη. και επληρωσαν την γραφην την εν τω Ησαια γεγραμμενην· Αρωμεν τον δικαιον, οτι δυσχρηστος ημιν εστι τοινυν τα γεννηματα των εργων αυτων φαγονται.

And they cried out, saying: Oh, oh, the just man is also in error! And they fulfilled the scripture written in Isaiah: Let us take away the just man because he is troublesome to us; therefore they shall eat the fruit of their works.

Αναβαντες ουν κατεβαλον τον δικαιον, και ελεγον αλληλοις· Λιθασωμεν Ιακωβον τον δικαιον. και ηρξαντο λιθαζειν αυτον, επει καταβληθεις ουκ απεθανεν, αλλα στραφεις εθηκε τα γονατα λεγων· Παρακαλω, κυριε, Θεε, πατερ, αφες αυτοις, ου γαρ οιδασι τι ποιουσιν.

So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to each other: Let us stone James the just. And they began to stone him, for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned and knelt down and said: I entreat you, Lord God our father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Ουτως δε καταλιθοβολουντων αυτον, εις των ιερεων των υιων Ρηχαβ υιου Ραχαβειμ των μαρτυρουμενων υπο Ιερεμιου του προφητου, εκραζε λεγων· Παυσασθε. τι ποιειτε ευχεται; υπερ υμων ο δικαιος.

And while they were thus stoning him one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites, who are mentioned by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out, saying: Cease! What are you doing? The just one is praying for you!

Και λαβων τις απ αυτων, εις των γναφεων, το ξυλον εν ω απεπιεζε τα ιματια, ηνεγκε κατα της κεφαλης του δικαιου. και ουτως εμαρτυρησε και εθαψαν αυτον επι τω τοπω παρα τω ναω, και ετι αυτου η στηλη μενει παρα τω ναω. μαρτυς ουτος αληθης Ιουδαιοις τε και Ελλησι γεγενηται, οτι Ιησους ο Χριστος εστι. και ευθυς Ουεσπασιανος πολιορκει αυτους.

And one of them, one of the fullers, took the club with which he beat out clothes and struck the just man on the head. And thus he suffered martyrdom. And they buried him on the spot, by the temple, and his monument still remains by the temple. He became a true witness, both to Jews and Greeks, that Jesus is the Christ. And immediately Vespasian besieged them.

From Eusebius, History of the Church 3.11.1-2 (using the numeration available from the online Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers; in my Loeb edition all of chapter 11 is considered a single section):

Ιωμεν δ επι τα εξης. μετα την Ιακωβου μαρτυριαν και την αυτικα γενομενην αλωσιν της Ιερουσαλημ λογος κατεχει των αποστολων και των του κυριου μαθητων τους εις ετι τω βιω λειπομενους επι ταυτον πανταχοθεν συνελθειν αμα τοις προς γενους κατα σαρκα του κυριου· πλειους γαρ και τουτων περιησαν εις ετι τοτε τω βιω· βουλην τε ομου τους παντας περι του τινα χρη της Ιακωβου διαδοχης επικριναι αξιον ποιησασθαι.

But let us go on with the rest. After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed, it is said that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh, for the majority of them also were still alive, to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James.

Και δη απο μιας γνωμης τους παντας Συμεωνα τον του Κλωπα, ου και η του ευαγγελιου μνημονευει γραφη, του της αυτοθι παροικιας θρονου αξιον ειναι δοκιμασαι, ανεψιον, ως γε φασι, γεγονοτα του σωτηρος, τον γαρ ουν Κλωπαν αδελφον του Ιωσηφ υπαρχειν Ηγησιππος ιστορει.

They all with one consent pronounced Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the savior. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph.

Eusebius, History of the Church 4.22.4:

Και μετα το μαρτυρησαι Ιακωβον τον δικαιον ως και ο κυριος επι τω αυτω λογω, παλιν ο εκ θειου αυτου Συμεων ο του Κλωπα καθισταται επισκοπος, ον προεθεντο παντες οντα ανεψιον του κυριου δευτερον. δια τουτο εκαλουν την εκκλησιαν παρθενον ουπω γαρ εφθαρτο ακοαις ματαιαις.

[Hegesippus] also describes the beginnings of the heresies which arose in his time in the following words: And after James the just had suffered martyrdom, as the Lord had also on the same account, Symeon, the son of the uncle of the Lord, Clopas, was appointed the next bishop. All proposed him as second bishop because he was a cousin of the Lord. Therefore they called the church a virgin, for it was not yet corrupted by vain discourses.

Clement of Alexandria.

Late century II.

Eusebius, History of the Church 2.1.3-6:

Κλημης εν εκτω των υποτυπωσεων γραφων ωδε παριστησιν· Πετρον γαρ φησιν και Ιακωβον και Ιωαννην μετα την αναληψιν του σωτηρος, ως αν και υπο του σωτηρος προτετιμημενους, μη επιδικαζεσθαι δοξης, αλλα Ιακωβον τον δικαιον επισκοπον των Ιεροσολυμων ελεσθαι.

But Clement in the sixth book of his Hypotyposeis writes as follows: For they say that Peter and James and John after the ascension of the savior, as if also preferred by the Lord, did not strive for glory, but rather elected James the just to be bishop of Jerusalem.

Ο δε αυτος εν εβδομω της αυτης υποθεσεως ετι και ταυτα περι αυτου φησιν· Ιακωβω τω δικαιω και Ιωαννη και Πετρω μετα την αναστασιν παρεδωκεν την γνωσιν ο κυριος, ουτοι τοις λοιποις αποστολοις παρεδωκαν, οι δε λοιποι αποστολοι τοις εβδομηκοντα, ων εις ην και Βαρναβας.

And the same [Clement] in the seventh book of the same work says also these things concerning him: The Lord after the resurrection delivered knowledge to James the just and to John and to Peter, and they delivered it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the seventy, of whom Barnabas was one.

Δυο δε γεγονασιν Ιακωβοι, εις ο δικαιος, ο κατα του πτερυγιου βληθεις και υπο γναφεως ξυλω πληγεις εις θανατον, ετερος δε ο καρατομηθεις.

But there were two Jameses, one being the just one, who was cast down from the pinnacle and was beaten unto death with a club by a fuller, and another who was beheaded.

Αυτου δη του δικαιου και ο Παυλος μνημονευει γραφων· Ετερον δε των αποστολων ουκ ειδον, ει μη Ιακωβον τον αδελφον του κυριου.

Paul indeed makes mention of the same just one, writing: But I did not see any other of the apostles except James the brother of the Lord.

Eusebius, History of the Church 7.2.1.

Origen.

Early century III.

Origen, Against Celsus 1.47:

Εβουλομην δ αν Κελσω, προσωποποιησαντι τον Ιουδαιον παραδεξαμενον πως Ιωαννην ως βαπτιστην βαπτιζοντα τον Ιησουν, ειπειν οτι το Ιωαννην γεγονεναι βαπτιστην, εις αφεσιν αμαρτηματων βαπτιζοντα, ανεγραψε τις των μετ ου πολυ του Ιωαννου και του Ιησου γεγενημενων. εν γαρ τω οκτωκαιδεκατω της ιουδαικης αρχαιολογιας ο Ιωσηπος μαρτυρει τω Ιωαννη ως βαπτιστη γεγενημενω και καθαρσιον τοις βαπτισαμενοις επαγγελλομενω. ο δ αυτος, καιτοι γε απιστων τω Ιησου ως Χριστω, ζητων την αιτιαν της των Ιεροσολυμων πτωσεως και της του ναου καθαιρεσεως, δεον αυτον ειπειν οτι η κατα του Ιησου επιβουλη τουτων αιτια γεγονε τω λαω, επει απεκτειναν τον προφητευομενον Χριστον ο δε και ωσπερ ακων ου μακραν της αληθειας γενομενος φησι ταυτα συμβεβηκεναι τοις Ιουδαιοις κατ εκδικησιν Ιακωβου του δικαιου, ος ην αδελφος Ιησου του λεγομενου Χριστου, επειδηπερ δικαιοτατον αυτον οντα απεκτειναν. [τον δε Ιακωβον τουτον ο Ιησου γνησιος μαθητης Παυλος φησιν εωρακεναι ως αδελφον του κυριου, ου τοσουτον δια το προς αιματος συγγενες η την κοινην αυτων ανατροφην οσον δια το ηθος και τον λογον.] ειπερ ουν δια Ιακωβον λεγει συμβεβηκεναι τοις Ιουδαιοις τα κατα την ερημωσιν της Ιερουσαλημ, πως ουχι ευλογωτερον δια Ιησουν τον Χριστον τουτο φασκειν γεγονεναι; ου της θειοτητος μαρτυρες αι τοσαυται των μεταβαλοντων απο της χυσεως των κακων εκκλησιαι και ηρτημενων του δημιουργου και παντ αναφεροντων επι την προς εκεινον αρεσκειαν.

I would like to say to Celsus, who represents the Jew as accepting somehow John, who baptized Jesus, as a baptist, that the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great length of time after John and Jesus. For in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities of the Jews Josephus bears witness to John as having been a baptist and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now he himself, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put Christ to death, who was a prophet, nevertheless says, being albeit against his will not far from the truth, that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the just, who was a brother of Jesus called Christ, the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice. [Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine.] If, then, he says that it was on account of James that the desolation of Jerusalem was made to overtake the Jews, how should it not be more in accordance with reason to say that it happened on account of Jesus Christ? Of his divinity so many churches are witnesses, composed of those who have been convened from a flood of sins and have joined themselves to the creator, and who refer all their actions to his good pleasure.

From Origen, On Matthew 10.17, commentary on Matthew 13.55:

Και ολην γε την φαινομενην αυτου εγγυτατω συγγενειαν εξευτελιζοντες εφασκον το· Ουχ η μητηρ αυτου λεγεται Μαριαμ, και οι αδελφοι αυτου Ιακωβος και Ιωσηφ και Σιμων και Ιουδας; και αι αδελφαι αυτου ουχι πασαι προς ημας εισιν; ωιοντο ουν αυτον ειναι Ιωσηφ και Μαριας υιον. τους δε αδελφους Ιησου φασι τινες ειναι, εκ παραδοσεως ορμωμενοι του επιγεγραμμενου κατα Πετρον ευαγγελιου η της βιβλου Ιακωβου, υιους Ιωσηφ εκ προτερας γυναικος συνωκηκυιας αυτω προ της Μαριας....

And disparaging the whole of what appeared to be his nearest kindred, they said: Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? They supposed therefore that he was the son of Joseph and Mary. But some, depending on a tradition of the gospel inscribed according to Peter, or of the book of James, say that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph from a former wife, married to him before Mary....

Ιακωβος δε εστιν ουτος ον λεγει Παυλος ιδειν εν τη προς Γαλατας επιστολη ειπων· Ετερον δε των αποστολων ουκ ειδον ει μη Ιακωβον τον αδελφον του κυριου. επι τοσουτον δε διελεμψεν ουτος ο Ιακωβος εν τω λαω επι δικαιοσυνη ως Φλοβιον Ιωσηπον αναγραψαντα εν εικοσι βιβλιοις την Ιουδαικην αρχαιολογιαν, την αιτιαν παραστησαι βουλομενον του τα τοσαυτα πεπονθεναι τον λαον ως και τον ναον κατασκαφηναι, ειρηκεναι κατα μηνιν θεου ταυτα αυτοις απηντηκεναι δια τα εις Ιακωβον τον αδελφον Ιησου του λεγομενου Χριστου υπ αυτων τετολμημενα. και το θαυμαστον εστιν οτι, τον Ιησουν ημων ου καταδεξαμενος ειναι Χριστον, ουδεν ηττον Ιακωβω δικαιοσυνην εμαρτυρησε τοσαυτην. λεγει δε οτι και ο λαος ταυτα ενομιζε δια τον Ιακωβον πεπονθεναι. και Ιουδας εγραψεν επιστολην ολιγοστιχον μεν, πεπληρωμενην δε των της ουρανιου χαριτος ερρωμενων λογων, οστις εν τω προοιμιω ειρηκεν· Ιουδας Ιησου Χριστου δουλος, αδελφος δε Ιακωβου. περι δε Ιωσηφ και Σιμονος ημεις ουδεν ιστορησαμεν.

And this James is the one whom Paul says he saw in the epistle to the Galatians, saying: But I did not see any other of the apostles except James the brother of the Lord. And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wonderful thing is that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James. And Jude wrote an epistle short in lines but full of the healthy words of heaven; in the preface he has said: Jude, servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James. But concerning Joseph and Simon we have nothing to relate.

Refer also to Against Celsus 2.13:

Και ουδαμως τοτε ην στρατοπεδα περι την Ιερουσαλημ κυκλουντα αυτην και περιεχοντα και πολιορκουντα. τουτο γαρ ηρξατο μεν ετι Νερωνος βασιλευοντος παρετεινε δε εως της Ουεσπασιανου ηγεμονιας ου ο υιος Τιτος καθειλε την Ιερουσαλημ, ως μεν Ιωσηπος γραφει, δια Ιακωβον τον δικαιον, τον αδελφον Ιησου του λεγομενου Χριστου, ως δε η αληθεια παριστησι, δια Ιησουν τον Χριστον του θεου.

But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem on account, as Josephus says, of James the just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but, as the truth makes dear, really on account of Jesus the Christ of God.

Eusebius.

Early century IV.

Eusebius, History of the Church 2.23.19-25:

Ταυτα δια πλατους συνωδα γε τοι τω Κλημεντι και ο Ηγησιππος. ουτω δε αρα θαυμασιος τις ην και παρα τοις αλλοις απασιν επι δικαιοσυνη βεβοητο ο Ιακωβος ως και τους Ιουδαιων εμφρονας δοξαζειν ταυτην ειναι την αιτιαν της παραχρημα μετα το μαρτυριον αυτου πολιορκιας της Ιερουσαλημ, ην δι ουδεν ετερον αυτοις συμβηναι η δια το κατ αυτου τολμηθεν αγος.

These things Hegesippus at any rate also relates at length along with Clement. And James was so marvelous a one, and so acclaimed among all the rest for his justice, that the sensible ones of the Jews opined that this was the cause of the siege of Jerusalem, which happened immediately after his martyrdom for no other reason than their daring act against him.

Αμελει γε τοι ο Ιωσηπος ουκ απωκνησεν και τουτ εγγραφως επιμαρτυρασθαι δι ων φησιν λεξεων· Ταυτα δε συμβεβηκεν Ιουδαιοις κατ εκδικησιν Ιακωβου του δικαιου, ος ην αδελφος Ιησου του λεγομενου Χριστου, επειδηπερ δικαιοτατον αυτον οντα οι Ιουδαιοι απεκτειναν.

Josephus at any rate did not hesitate to testify this also through his writings, in which he says: But these things happened to the Jews as vengeance for James the just, who was the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. For the Jews killed him even though he was a most just man.

Ο δ αυτος και τον θανατον αυτου εν εικοστω της αρχαιολογιας δηλοι δια τουτων·

And the same writer records his death also in the twentieth book of the Antiquities through these [words]:

Πεμπει δε Καισαρ Αλβινον εις την Ιουδαιαν επαρχον, Φηστου την τελευτην πυθομενος. ο δε νεωτερος Ανανος, ον την αρχιερωσυνην ειπαμεν παρειληφεναι, θρασυς ην τον τροπον και τολμητης διαφεροντως, αιρεσιν δε μετηει την Σαδδουκαιων, οιπερ εισι περι τας κρισεις ωμοι παρα παντας τους Ιουδαιους, καθως ηδη δεδηλωκαμεν.

And when Caesar heard of the death of Festus he sent Albinus into Judea as procurator. But the younger Ananus, who we have said had received the high priesthood, was bold in his ways and quite daring, and he followed the sect of the Sadducees, who are cruel in their judgments beyond all the Jews, just as we have already explained.

Ατε δη ουν τοιουτος ων ο Ανανος, νομισας εχειν καιρον επιτηδειον δια το τεθναναι μεν Φηστον, Αλβινον δ ετι κατα την οδον υπαρχειν, καθιζει συνεδριον κριτων και παραγαγων εις αυτο τον αδελφον Ιησου του Χριστου λεγομενου, Ιακωβος ονομα αυτω, και τινας ετερους, ως παρανομησαντων κατηγοριαν ποιησαμενος, παρεδωκεν λευσθησομονους.

When, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others. And, when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.

Οσοι δε εδοκουν επιεικεστατοι των κατα την πολιν ειναι και τα περι τους νομους ακριβεις βαρεως ηνεγκαν επι τουτω και πεμπουσιν προς τον βασιλεα κρυφα, παρακαλουντες αυτον επιστειλαι τω Ανανω μηκετι τοιαυτα πρασσειν· μηδε γαρ το πρωτον ορθως αυτον πεποιηκεναι. τινες δ αυτων και τον Αλβινον υπαντιαζουσιν απο της Αλεξανδρειας οδοιπορουντα και διδασκουσιν ως ουκ εξον ην Ανανω χωρις αυτου γνωμης καθισαι συνεδριον.

But as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a Sanhedrin without his consent.

Αλβινος δε πεισθεις τοις λεγομενοις γραφει μετ οργης τω Ανανω ληψεσθαι παρ αυτου δικας απειλων. και ο βασιλευς Αγριππας δια τουτο την αρχιερωσυνην αφελομενος αυτον αρξαντος μηνας τρεις Ιησουν τον του Δαμναιου κατεστησεν.

Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

Τοιαυτα και τα κατα Ιακωβον, ου η πρωτη των ονομαζομενων καθολικων επιστολων ειναι λεγεται.

Such are the things about James, whose is said to be the first of what are called the catholic epistles.

Ιστεον δε ως νοθευεται μεν, ου πολλοι γουν των παλαιων αυτης εμνημονευσαν, ως ουδε της λεγομενης Ιουδα, μιας και αυτης ουσης των επτα λεγομενων καθολικων· ομως δ ισμεν και ταυτας μετα των λοιπων εν πλεισταις δεδημοσιευμενας εκκλησιαις.

It is to be observed that it is disputed, as not many at least of the ancients made mention of it, as also is that called of Jude, it itself also being one of the seven called catholic. But we know nevertheless that these also have been used publicly in most churches with the rest.

The Apostolic Constitutions.

Century IV.

Apostolic Constitutions 8.35.1-2; 8.36.1a:

Καγω, Ιακωβος, αδελφος μεν κατα σαρκα του Χριστου, δουλος δε ως θεου μονογενους υιου, επισκοπος δε υπ αυτου του Χριστου και των αποστολων Ιεροσολυμων χειροτονηθεις, ταδε φημι· Εσπερας γενομενης συναθροισεις την εκκλησιαν, ω επισκοπε. και μετα το ρηθηναι τον επιλυχνιον ψαλμον προσφωνησει ο διακονος υπερ των κατηχουμενων και χειμαζομενων και των φωτιζομενων και των εν μετανοια, ως προειπομεν.

And I, James, brother of Christ according to the flesh, and servant of the only begotten son as of God, and bishop handpicked by Christ himself and by the apostles of Jerusalem, say these things: When it has become evening, O bishop, assemble the church; and, after the speaking of the psalm at the lamplighting, the deacon shall sound out [for prayers] for the catechumens, the energumens, the illuminated, and those in repentance, as we said before.

Μετα δε το απολυθηναι αυτους ο διακονος ερει· Οσοι πιστοι, δεηθωμεν του κυριου.

But, after releasing them, the deacon shall say: As many as are faithful, let us make request of the Lord.

Jerome.

Early century V.

Jerome, On Famous Men 2:

Iacobus, qui appellatur frater domini, cognomento iustus, ut nonnulli existimant, Ioseph ex alia uxore, ut autem mihi videtur, Mariae sororis matris domini, cuius Ioannes in libro suo meminit, filius, post passionem domini statim ab apostolis Hierosolymorum episcopus ordinatus, unam tantum scripsit epistolam, quae de septem catholicis est, quae et ipsa ab alio quodam sub nomine eius edita asseritur, licet paulatim tempore procedente obtinuerit auctoritatem. Hegesippus vicinus apostolicorum temporum, in quinto commentariorum libro de Iacobo narrans, ait: Suscepit ecclesiam Hierosolymorum post apostolos frater domini Iacobus, cognomento Iustus. multi siquidem Iacobi vocabantur. hic de utero matris sanctus fuit, vinum et siceram non bibit, carnem nullam comedit, nunquam attonsus fuit, nec unctus fuit unguento, nec usus balneo. huic soli licitum erat ingredi sancta sanctorum: siquidem vestibus laneis non utebatur, sed lineis, solusque ingrediebatur templum, et fixis genibus pro populo deprecabatur, in tantum, ut camelorum duritiem traxisse eius genua crederentur. dicit et alia multa, quae enumerare longum esset. sed et Iosephus in vicesimo libro Antiquitatum refert, et Clemens in septimo υποτυπωσεως mortuo Festo, qui Iudaeam regebat, missum esse a Nerone successorem eius Albinum, qui cum necdum ad provinciam pervenisset, Ananus, inquit, pontifex adolescens Anani filius, de genere sacerdotali, accepta occasione αναρχιας, concilium congregavit, et compellens publice Iacobum, ut Christum dei filium denegaret, contradicentem lapidari iussit. qui cum praecipitatus de pinna templi, confractis cruribus, adhuc semianimis tendens ad coelum manus, diceret: Domine, ignosce eis, quod enim faciunt, nesciunt; fullonis fuste, quo uda vestimenta extorqueri solent, in cerebro percussus interiit. tradit item Iosephus tantae eum sanctitatis fuisse et celebritatis in populo ut propter eius necem creditum sit subversam esse Hierosolymam. hic est de quo Paulus apostolus scribit ad Galatas: Alium autem apostolorum vidi neminem, nisi Iacobum fratrem domini. et apostolorum super hoc crebrius Acta testantur. evangelium quoque quod appellatur secundum Hebraeos, et a me nuper in Graecum Latinumque sermonem translatum est, quo et Origenes saepe utitur, post resurrectionem Salvatoris refert: Dominus autem cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit ad Iacobum et apparuit ei. iuraverat enim Iacobus, se non comesturum panem ab illa hora qua biberat calicem domini, donec videret eum resurgentem a dormientibus. rursusque post paululum: Afferte, ait dominus, mensam et panem. statimque additur: Tulit panem et benedixit, ac fregit, et dedit Iacobo iusto, et dixit ei: Frater mi, comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit filius hominis a dormientibus. triginta itaque annos Hierosolymorum rexit ecclesiam, id est, usque ad septimum Neronis annum, et iuxta templum ubi et praecipitatus fuerat sepultus est. titulum usque ad obsidionem Titi, et ultimam Hadriani, notissimum habuit. quidam e nostris in monte Oliveti eum putaverunt conditum, sed falsa eorum opinio est.

James, who is called the brother of the Lord, surnamed the just, the son of Joseph by another wife, as some think, but, as appears to me, the son of Mary sister of the mother of our Lord of whom John makes mention in his book, after the passion of our Lord at once ordained by the apostles bishop of Jerusalem, wrote a single epistle, which is reckoned among the seven catholic epistles and even this is claimed by some to have been published by some one else under his name, and gradually, as time went on, to have gained authority. Hegesippus who lived near the apostolic age, in the fifth book of his commentaries, writing of James, says: After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the just was made head of the church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from the womb of his mother. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the holy of holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were believed to have acquired the hardness of the knees of camels. He says also many other things, too numerous to mention. Josephus also in the twentieth book of his Antiquities, and Clement in the seventh of his Outlines, mention that, on the death of Festus who reigned over Judea, Albinus was sent by Nero as his successor. Before he had reached his province, Ananias the high priest, the youthful son of Ananus of the priestly class taking advantage of the state of anarchy, assembled a council and publicly tried to force James to deny that Christ is the son of God. When he refused Ananius ordered him to be stoned. Cast down from a pinnacle of the temple, his legs broken, but still half alive, raising his hands to heaven he said: Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do. Then struck on the head by the club of a fuller, such a club as fullers are accustomed to wring out garments with, he died. This same Josephus records the tradition that this James was of such great sanctity and reputation among the people that the downfall of Jerusalem was believed to be on account of his death. He it is of whom the apostle Paul writes to the Galatians: No one else of the apostles did I see except James the brother of the Lord, and shortly after the event the Acts of the apostles bear witness to the matter. The gospel also which is called the gospel according to the Hebrews, and which I have recently translated into Greek and Latin and which also Origen often makes use of, after the account of the resurrection of the savior says: But the Lord, after he had given his graveshroud to the servant of the priest, appeared to James, for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he drank the cup of the Lord until he should see him rising again from among those that sleep, and again, a little later, it says: Bring a table and bread, said the Lord. And immediately it is added: He brought bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to James the just and said to him: My brother, eat your bread, for the son of man has risen from among those that sleep. And so he ruled the church of Jerusalem thirty years, that is until the seventh year of Nero, and was buried near the temple from which he had been cast down. His tombstone with its inscription was well known until the siege of Titus and the end of the reign of Hadrian. Some of our writers think he was buried on Mount Olivet, but their opinion is false.

Photius.

Century IX.

From Bibliotheca 238:

Οτι Ανανος ο Ανανου παις την αρχιερωσυνην παραλαβων, αφαιρεθεντος αυτην Ιωσηπου, θρασυς ην και τολμητης διαφεροντως· αιρεσιν γαρ την Σαδδουκαιων μετηει· ουτοι γαρ ωμοι τε περι τας κρισεις και προς πασαν αυθαδειαν ετοιμοι. ουτος ουν ο Ανανος, Φηστου μεν εν Ιουδαια τελευτησαντος, Αλβινου δε ουπω καταλαβοντος, αυθεντησας καθιζει συνεδριον, και Ιακωβον τον αδελφον του κυριου συν ετεροις, παρανομιαν αιτιασαμενος, λιθοις αναιρεθηναι παρασκευαζει. εφ ων των Ιουδαιων υπεραλγησαντες οι επιεικεστεροι, και αυτος Αγριππας ο βασιλευς, εκβαλλουσιν αρξαντα μηνι γʹ, Ιησουν δ αντ αυτου τον Δαμνεον εγκατεστησαν.

[Josephus writes] that Ananus the child of Ananus took over the high priesthood, after having taken it away from Joseph, and was bold and thoroughly daring. For he followed the sect of the Sadducees, for these were hard concerning their judgments and ready for every audacity. This Ananus, therefore, when Festus had come to his end in Judea, and Albinus had not yet taken up [his office], acted on his own authority and convened the Sanhedrin, and James the brother of the Lord along with others he accused of unlawfulness and arranged to be murdered by stones. On top of which the most moderate of the Jews, and even king Agrippa himself, were overgrieved and cast him out after having ruled three months, and set up Jesus the Damnean [that is, the son of Damneus] instead of him.