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Author Topic: James, the first Bishop of the Christian Church in Jerusalem  (Read 1413 times)

Offline Quasar

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James, the first Bishop of the Christian Church in Jerusalem
« on: March 28, 2012, 12:03:05 AM »
James the Just of Jerusalem

By James M.Kushiner
Executive Editor

James in the Early Church

The testimony of the early Church confirms James the Just’s position and importance. Hegesippus, a second century Palestinian Christian, who traveled widely and carefully investigated the history of the preceding century, says:
Control of the church passed [from Christ] to the apostles, together with James, whom everyone from the Lord’s time till our own has called the Righteous.

James is appropriately considered the first bishop of Jerusalem, the mother church. Clement of Alexandria (d. 210) states:
After the ascension of the savior, Peter and James [the brother of the apostle John] and John did not struggle for glory, because they had previously been given honor by the Savior, but chose James the Just as bishop of Jerusalem.

It is noteworthy that Eusebius in his Canon [Jerome-Eusebius] reckons all episcopal succession as ultimately going back to James the Just. In the problematic Pseudo-Clementine literature (second century?), James is called a “bishop of bishops.”
Clearly, James’ reputation was unsurpassed in the early Church, and there are three factors that are helpful for us to consider in understanding his prominence. First, there is the respect accorded the “brethren of the Lord”; second, the position of Jerusalem itself as the mother church and center of unity; and third, James’ own reputation for sanctity.
The “Brethren of the Lord”

The “brethren of the Lord” came to be known in the early church, according to Eusebius, fourth century historian, as the desposynoi, “the Master’s [kinsfolk].” That such a category existed is evident in Paul’s time: they are mentioned in Acts 1:14, but even more significantly in 1 Cor. 9:5, where they are accorded roughly equivalent prominence with the apostles. Moreover, Hegesippus writes:

After James the Just had suffered martyrdom for the same reason as the Lord, Symeon, his cousin, the son of Clopas, was appointed bishop, whom they all proposed because he was another cousin of the Lord.

Certain of these family members enjoyed leadership and are spoken of as exercising leadership over the churches of Palestine on into the second century. But James’ influence extended beyond Palestine in his lifetime, which brings us to our second point.

See the following for the complete article:

http://www.touchstonemag.com [Click on "Archives" then on "Browse by Author" then click on "James M. Kushiner" under "Executive Editor" then find his article, "James the Just of Jerusalem."]

The apostle Peter was the acknowledged spokesman in the Jerusalem Church, but before many years, presumably as the missionary travels of Peter carried him ever more frequently away from Jerusalem, James, the brother of Jesus became what was later to be regarded as the first bishop. There were many congregations in Jerusalem, most of them small and would meet together for special meals and services in various homes, private rooms or small chapels, and organized themselves on the model of the synagogue. Each congregation was called an ekklesia - the Greek term for the popular assembly in municipal governments. Slaves were always welcome and no attempts were made to free them, but they were comforted by the promise of a future kingdom in which all could be free. Early converts were primarily working class with some middle-class, and a few among the rich.

The house of Mary, the mother of Mark would serve as the headquarters of the Jerusalem congregation. This was the same place that Jesus conducted the last supper in its upper room. It must have been quite large and probably held at least 500.

See the following for the complete article:


The historic facts pertaining to the Bar Kokhba revolt can be found in the following:



« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 12:04:40 AM by Quasar »
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: James, the first Bishop of the Christian Church in Jerusalem
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 03:37:59 PM »
excellent reads.  ty for sharing.





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