The first three are without question different persons. Each seemingly separate reference to a different person is suggested to in fact be the same person.
The eastern view holds Mary to be a virgin not only at the time of the birth of Jesus, but remained so throughout her entire life.
It goes on to portray a story of Joseph having the four so called brothers with another woman prior to Mary and brining them to the marriage.
Relying on the Clophas/Alphaeus connection, one can draw that James the son of Alphaeus is James (Luke ), Matthew is Joseph (Luke ), Judas son of James is Judas (Luke ), and Simon the Zealot is Simon (Luke ).
One may question the Judas son of James aspect of the theory and it is accounted for by suggesting Clophas/Alphaeus’s name was James.
Therefore, each of the James’ mentioned in 4, 5, 6, & 8 above are presented as being one individual represented in four ways in sort of a cryptic manner for readers to understand.
Finally, the number seven James, father of Judas, would represent the fifth James.
These essay exam questions were written by my student, Jeff Poplin, UNC-Charlotte, class of 2001.
These were the result of an advanced seminar I offered in the Spring, 2000 on James the Brother of Jesus.. Poplin’s responses represent a nicely done overview of the general content of the course itself.
Discuss the basic issues involved in the various theories about James and the brothers of Jesus, with particular emphasis on James himself-who were they, who was their mother, who was their father, what relation might they have had to the Twelve, and what sense can one make of the multiple persons named “James” in the N. Many different theories exist pertaining to the brother of Jesus.
Two theories however dominate popular culture, one being the eastern view and the other being west.