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Which Jacob (James)?


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As promised in Re: Jacob Sheep & Jacob Apple & Jacob Butterfly on miscellaneous-topics/topic3763.html?hilit=Flinterman#p20935 regarding "A next post on all different Jacobuses by my good pilgrim friend Henk Flinterman" and in The Santiago Enigma on miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic3794.html (in § 6. Already 14 reviews), here follows Henk's first contribution on this forum in the series reviews of The Way of Saint James, by prof. Georgiana Goddard King, 1920/1980/2008. A few more will follow asap.


Which Jacob (James)?

The New Testament records no less than seven people named Jacob (Jacobus, James):
1. the son of Zebede and the brother of John, also known as James the Great, the Superior or the Elder
2. the son of Alpheus, a disciple of Jesus
3. the Small (homikros), also known as the Minor, the Lesser or the Younger
4. the father of Judas
5. the brother of the Lord
6. the author of his Letter in the New Testament
7. the brother of Judas

Of these, 5 and 7 are identical. There is nothing further know about numbers 2, 3 and 4. The brother of John (1) died in Jerusalem, 44 years after Christ. He was the first martyr from the apostles, also know as James the Great, the Major, the Superior or the Senior. He was later Patron Saint of Spain and even later of our royal residence The Hague (Holland) and various other European capitals. According to legend, shortly after his death and a miraculous translation to Galicia, he was buried in his Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

As the writer (6) of the Letter mentioned earlier, only the brothers of the Lord (5) and Judas (6) can really be considered. In Mark 6.3 this James (6) is mentioned as a brother (adelphos) of Jesus and later takes an important role as a ‘pillar’ of the early Christian congregation in Jerusalem. He died as a martyr 67 years after Christ, but it is James the Great (2) who later plays such a remarkable role as the spiritual catalyst in the Reconquista or Spain.

The spelling of the name Jacob (Jacobus) with a c or k points to the Roman, Latin or Greek spellings of proper names. In our official spelling the Dutch have chosen for jakobsschelp (shell) and jakobsladder. The shell ** is well known to pilgrims, but the ladder relates to the dream which Patriarch Jacob had a few centuries earlier, which angels who moved between heaven and earth.

I hope I have helped Geert Bakker in his quest for the true Jacob, and I send greetings to you all.

Per pedes Apostolorum,
Henk Flinterman

* See Paul, the poet of God on pilgrim-books/topic5746.html?hilit=Flinterman#p33591 : Barnabas introduces him (Paul) to various disciples of the Messiah, John, Peter and Jacob; the Pillars of the Mother Church in Jerusalem. Of the three only Jacob lives exclusively as a Pillar and in pure Jewish style. The Greek and Egyptian Pillars spread out like a stylised flower, the Jewish ending in a dried up, warped root, warped by seeking for a drop of water - to a heaven in the hell.

** Also see Not just one of a dozen > miscellaneous-topics/topic4986-50.html#p36376 and miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic3794.html#p20932 > § 7. Ja’akov en Jacobus – Is the name a Sign here? by Ria van der Pot & Marianne Lodder > Nomen est Omen

PS: Ms Georgiana Goddard King is mentioned in 60 posts on this forum.
PPS: More in .


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Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.
Some comments on The Santiago Enigma

This post was written in April last year on by pilgrim Alan Joyce, who sadly died on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, as his widow Margie announced on . Alan's reaction is still very precious to me for obvious reasons that will show below (it holds strong arguments in the Enigma discussion), so with due respect I asked and got Margie's consent to publish it now on this forum following The Santiago Enigma on miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic3794.html with its various reactions and recently Which Jacob (James)? on miscellaneous-about-santiago/topic6286.html .



I'll offer two small responses to your first posting on this subject.

First, I took a look at the on-line view of the King book before leaving on this Camino. I'm quite willing to read and accept anything she has to say about the artistic influences that preceded and perhaps sparked aspects of the structure and decoration of the Santiago Cathedral, but am less willing to put up with her when she veers off into discussion of the cultural anthropology of religion. Our James, the son of Zebedee, is not the twin of Christ.

Second, you confused the issue by citing the Gospel of Thomas. In the logion you mentioned, where the disciples ask Jesus to whom they shall go when he's not around, he tells them to seek out James the Just. But this is NOT our James, the son of Zebedee. James the Just was the brother or half brother or some other close relative of Jesus (usage of the Greek word for brother can be maddeningly imprecise, as are kinship terms in some other languages).

James the Just would probably have been a son of Joseph by his first marriage, since we know from the Bible that Joseph was a widower. This James and three other men are mentioned in the Gospels as being brothers of Jesus (there were sisters too) in connection with the time Jesus made a return visit to Nazareth.

James the Just was not an Apostle of Jesus, but was an extremely devout man, and he became, in effect, the first Bishop of the Christian community in Jerusalem. He is believed to have written the Epistle of James in the New Testament. The Sanhedrin finally murdered him, throwing him off the roof of the Temple, and then when that didn't do the trick, beat him to death with clubs. Not our James at all.

I do wish I had brought along with me the section of the King work that describes and comments on the Pórtico of Gloria. She's far more learned about these things than I will ever be, and her commentary would be an excellent reference for someone standing down below that magnificent statuary and trying to make sense of it.



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