The Life and Times of James
Jackson Snyder, November 9, 2002
Code Names and Aliases: Exactly Who Were Yahshua’ Disciples?
The martyrdom of James, who was called the brother of the Lord.
The martyrdom of James, who was called the brother of the Lord.
Psalm 22:1-18 (UMH 752) James 4 Matthew 24:4-22
In considering the Netzari (Nazarene) Teaching of the Standing Stone and the Standing Man, we’re to the point of speaking of James the Just, who is my favorite character because we know so much about him from so many different sources. Besides Paul, no other character is so highly attested.
James, er, Jacob the Just – Little Known ‘Facts’
I’m speaking of the brother of Yahshua Messiah, James “Yaaqov,” surnames Alphaeus, or the Just Man (that is, ha Tzadik).
Here are just a few things we can know about James. (If you want to know Where did you get that? – just ask.)
James was never named James – that is King James’ name! James’ name is Yaaqov or Jacob, like the Patriarch.
James and Paul had a serious altercation on the temple steps before Paul’s conversion.
James had his legs broken by a Temple guard, which resulted in a mass migration of believers out of Jerusalem.
James was known to have knees like camels – ostensibly from praying for the sinners of Israel.
James was known as the pillar of Israel; and that if the pillar were to break, the entire land would be destroyed.
James was the successor to Jesus in the Jesus Movement, not Peter.
The disciples asked Jesus, Who will lead us, since we know that you will leave us? Jesus replied, From wherever you happen to be, go to James the Just. It is for his sake that heaven and earth came into being. G. Thom.
Jesus told the disciples before his death that they should go to James.
James was executed by Caiaphas’ nephew at the Temple during Passover in 62 AD. Thrown down from the parapet.
James 5:6 You have condemned, you have killed, the Just One, and he does not resisted you not.
James’ death, according to a contemporary, resulted in the destruction of the Temple in 70AD.
James’ burial box (ossuary) has been in custody for almost 30 years. It has been judged authentic.
The Epistle to the Galatians by Paul includes a line-by-line refutation of the Epistle of James by James.
One top school of scholarship has proven that James wrote some of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
SHOULDN’T THIS GUY GET SOME MENTION IN SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS?
One scholar has it right when he says that,” Knowing James is as close as you can get to knowing the historical Jesus.”
So you don’t believe me! But what if these things are true? If we sort through and learn the circumstances of James’ life, think of how much closer we might get to Yahshua the Son of Adam!
Many people go to the Holy Land because they want to walk where ‘Jesus’ walked. That’s well and good. But before us we have a brother (or half brother), about whom we can learn much. And seeing as how, in very fact, James was his brother’s successor, CONSIDER HOW CLOSE WE CAN GET TO THE SAVIOR RIGHT HERE AT HOME. When I study the life of James, I feel very close to the Man of Galilee. Now consider – James and Jesus had other brothers, and nephews too. And we know something about them. Think of what we could learn.
Dr. Jackson H. Snyder II
Latest on the James Ossuary is at this link.
Supporters of James Ossuary Inscription’s Authenticity Vindicated
The “forgery trial of the century” has all but blown up. The trial judge who will decide the case—there are no juries in Israel—has told the prosecution to consider dropping the case. “Not every case ends in the way that you think it will when you start,” Judge Aharon Farkash told prosecutor Adi Damti in open court. “Maybe we can save ourselves the rest,” the judge told her.
The story was reported by Matthew Kalman in the San Francisco Chronicle, and from there around the world. He described Judge Aharon Farkash’s evaluation as a “humiliating collapse” of the government’s case and “a major embarrassment ... for the [Israel] Antiquities Authority.”
The government’s star witness, Yuval Goren, former chairman of Tel Aviv University’s institute of archaeology, was forced to admit on cross-examination that there is original ancient patina in the word “Jesus,” the last word in the inscription that reads “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”
Recent events have also proved humiliating for the IAA in connection with the committee it appointed that supposedly came to a unanimous decision that the inscription is a forgery. In fact, several members of the committee expressed no opinion—but the IAA counted them as “yes” votes. Several other members of the committee based their vote not on their own expertise, but on Yuval Goren’s supposed expertise, which they were in no position to evaluate. One member of the committee who would have found the inscription authentic said he was “forced” to change his mind based on Goren’s scientific arguments.
No paleographer expert in the script of this period has found any paleographical problem with the inscription. And several scientists at the trial have undermined Goren’s scientific arguments. No other scientist has supported Goren’s arguments.
BAR has consistently supported the authenticity of the inscription, as have leading paleographers André Lemaire of the Sorbonne and Ada Yardeni of Hebrew University. All appear now to be vindicated.
The latest - 2007 - is at this link.
The ossuary inscribed "James, son of Joseph, brother of Yahshua" has recently been studied by Professor Wolfgang E. Krumbein, a world-renowned authority. He has reached startling conclusions that will change the debate over this highly controversial artifact. Printed below is a summary of Professor Krumbein's report
As this is being written, Israeli antiquities collector Oded Golan is being tried in criminal court for forging the now-famous James ossuary inscription ("James, son of Joseph, brother of Yahshua"). A new report by a leading German scientist, however, may blow the case out of the water.
to Professor Wolfgang E. Krumbein, of
Krumbein also examined the patina on the ossuary far from the inscription. His conclusion:
"Patina sampled from the surface of the ossuary, far away from the inscription, was found to be identical to the microscopic traces of patina, which I found inside the ossuary inscription and sites sloping from the surface into the inscription grooves (and no indication of any kind was found of any adhesive on this patina). Therefore, we must conclude that the patina formed over the entire ossuary and the remains of patina in the inscription area were formed over the same period of time."
What about the examination and reports by Tel Aviv University Professor Yuval Goren and his colleague Avner Ayalon of the Geological Survey of Israel on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), concluding without doubt that the inscription is a modern forgery?
Professor Krumbein directly addresses their reports:
"The conclusions noted in the reports by Goren, Ayalon and their colleagues, originate from a series of errors, biases, mistaken premises, use of inappropriate methodology, mistaken geochemistry, defective error control, reliance on unconfirmed data, disregard of information (such as the cleaning and preservation actions performed [on the ossuary], and the use of a comparative isotope methodology despite the fact that the [James ossuary] inscription fail[s] to meet the cumulative prerequisite conditions for such tests and comparisons." Each charge is documented in detail in Krumbein's report.
Krumbein is considered one of the world's leading experts on stone chemistry
and biology. He has been a visiting professor at numerous universities,
including Harvard, and has conducted post-doctorate research at
Under the heading "Disregard of Relevant Information," Krumbein noted that Yuval Goren and Avner Ayalon ignored the fact that some members of the IAA team also observed original patina in the inscription, patina that Krumbein himself observed. As stated in his report, "I found traces of natural patina inside the ossuary inscription in at least three different sites of the inscription (in the first and last sections of the inscription)." He pointedly added (an apparent reference to observations of other members of the IAA team), "Traces of ancient patina were found inside the area of the inscription... not only by us."
Professor Krumbein had available to him the photographs taken of the ossuary at the time the inscription was initially published in BAR, the photographs taken at the Royal Ontario Museum after the ossuary had broken into five pieces during transit from Israel, photographs taken by the IAA after the ossuary was confiscated, and photographs he himself took when he examined the ossuary in 2005. From a comparison of these photographs, Professor Krumbein found that "the ossuary inscription recently was altered and contaminated by the IAA and/or police." Professor Krumbein notes that "Traces of such [original] patina are evident in photographs of several letters taken in 2002."
Krumbein compared pictures taken in 2002 (published in BAR) with photographs subsequently used in presentations by Goren. In the 2002 photographs there is hardly any filling inside the letters, filling that Goren called the "inscription coating" and more sarcastically (implying a forgery) as the James Bond. This, according to Goren was the paste or adhesive (the bond) used by the forgers to cover the evidence of a modern forged engraving. Krumbein reported that later photographs, taken in 2003 by the IAA, do "show the presence of a 'granular' coating [the inscription coating or James Bond]." On Krumbein's examination in 2005, however, he "saw no traces of such granular coating inside these letters, because these had been recently removed by the IAA/police." Krumbein then observes, "This could be taken as a documentation of deliberate manipulation of the inscription patina by the IAA and/or police during the custody period."
The Krumbein report goes on: While the ossuary was in the custody of he IAA "The inscription and surrounding areas was contaminated using silicon-like red material, preventing more comprehensive tests to confirm or disprove previous test results." The red material was apparently used to make a cast of the inscription. The remains of this material are visible in many of the photographs Krumbein took in 2005.
The Krumbein report also accuses the IAA of ignoring exculpatory evidence. In his report for the IAA, Professor Goren states: "The inscription has been engraved or cleaned over its entire length in the modern age." In their scientific publication Goren and his colleagues acknowledge that the inscription was "freshly cleaned." The Krumbein report charges that "The IAA completely ignored these statements and specifically ignored the ramifications of the cleaning," which would account for the presence of the inscription coating.
Goren and Ayalon conducted oxygen isotope tests on the inscription coating (or James Bond), which in their report is the basis for concluding that the inscription is a forgery. The Krumbein report states that "the isotopic tests conducted on the ossuary inscription patina are irrelevant and can provide no indication of the dating of the inscription production, because the item fails to meet the prerequisite conditions, which are necessary if such tests should bear any scientific meaning." The Krumbein report explains at great length why this is so.
Professor Goren also condemned the ossuary inscription because he found microfossils of nanoplankton (coccoliths) in the inscription coating that, in Professor Goren's words, "are abundant in marine-derived sedimentary rocks (such as chalk), but are nonexistent in terrain-derived sediments. This phenomenon is unique to the inscription coating and was never observed in the other patina samples."
Krumbein directly contradicts Professor Goren:
"Contrary to Professor Goren's opinion, marine microfossils, unobservable to the naked eye, are commonly found in the patina on stone artifacts from the Jerusalem region and were found by us on the ossuary also at places far away from the inscription. Not only do they not indicate a forgery, their presence in the patina reinforces the arguments supporting the authenticity of such items...Over 150 years of literature it was established that all kinds of microfossil remains are permanently blown by wind and storm into the atmosphere and deposited on exposed surfaces and even penetrate into caves."
Professor Krumbein concludes:
"The patina covering several of the inscription letters is no less authentic than the patina covering the other parts of the ossuary, which, according to the IAA team, is authentic."
Krumbein also analyzes the Yehoash (or Jehoash) inscription and the
ornamentation on a stone oil lamp, both of which have been charged to be
forgeries. In these cases, too, Professor Krumbein finds evidence supporting
the authenticity of the inscription and the ornamentation.
21st I just happened to be watching CNN in an
I was simply amazed to hear this on TV news. It was like a revelation, especially since, while I was watching, I was also reading the book, James the Brother of Yahshua by Robert Eisenman, a historian and expert in ancient Christian history. Additionally, October 23rd is James’ traditional day of remembrance. Seems like more than a coincidence to me!
There have been so many incredible
discoveries in the last fifty years in Bible archaeology; and now we have a
verified inscription from the martyrdom of James the Just, the brother of
and his successor in leading the Messianic movement in
As I mentioned, James the Just (as he was
known) was Yahshua’ successor in
The New Testament doesn’t say much about James but historians know far more about him than about Yahshua. James became a famous man, written up in early histories. We learn that James was known as “Yahcov ha Zaddik” because he was a priest of the Melchi-zedek order. Zaddik (zedek) is translated as “just” or “righteous,” so we know him as “James the Just.” (Remember that Hebrews 5:5-6 tells us that Yahshua too was a “priest after the order of Melchizedek.”) Like Samson, James was a Nazarite dedicated to Yahweh from the womb. He took vows of chastity and poverty. He took daily cold baths to help him maintain his composure and focus. He never cut his hair nor drank wine. He only wore the coarse white linen of the priests. James was born and raised a temple priest during a time when foreigners in the government appointed priests. So James the Just led a movement in competition with government-sponsored religion. While godless government authorities appointed equally godless priests, James was born into the priesthood of Melchizedek. His temple ministry was not supported by the government, but by the offerings of the people. Therefore, he was among those known as “the poor priests” or Essenes. Have you heard of the Essenes?
James the Just, an Essene priest of the
Melchizedek order was reported to have entered the Holy of Holies on at least
one occasion to speak the sacred name Yahweh and make atonement for all of
But James was revered and emulated by the
holy people of his day. He is described
as having knees as thick as a camel’s due to frequent prayer for the sins of
Here’s how James met his end. So many in Jewry had come to believe in the
return of the Son of Man in the thirty-odd years that James preached that, on
Passover of 62 AD, the
The grief of his death on Passover caused a
riot against all authority throughout the city.
Shortly thereafter the Romans came, besieged the city and leveled it. We have no reason not to believe the historian’s
incredible story. He wasn’t a Christian
and had every reason to tell the truth, especially since his patron was the
Roman Emperor Titus who had actually done the besieging of
The Bones of Peter
you’ve heard about James’ bones, I’m reminded of Peter’s. Let’s make a mental leap of 1500 miles now
The Shroud of Yahshua