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Frequently Asked Questions
regarding the
in the Holy Bible

Q. 1. The Catholic Church makes reference to the two James, both being apostles, one being the Greater, the other the Lesser, and one of these two having written the Epistle. How can I tell the two James apart?

A. 1. James the Greater, he being older, was the brother of the Apostle John. Their family name was Bar-Zebedee. He was beheaded by Herod Agrippa. "About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword." [Acts 12:1-2] Although he is often referred to as the Apostle of Spain, most likely because of the famous pilgrimage Shrine located at Compostela, there is no evidence that this James was ever in Spain.

James the Lesser was the son of Alpheus and a brother of Jude Thaddeus. He was also a cousin of Jesus. Saint Paul called him one of the pillars of the young Church at Jerusalem. "And when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should to to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised." [Gal. 2:9] James the Lesser died a martyr's death, being thrown from a high point on the temple wall.

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