Galatians 1:19
But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
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(19) Other of the apostles.—From the form of this phrase it would appear that James, the Lord’s brother, was considered to be an Apostle. In what sense he was an Apostle will depend very much upon who he was (see the next Note). If he was a cousin of our Lord, and identical with James the son of Alphæus, then he was one of the original Twelve. If he was not the son of Alphæus, but either the son of Joseph alone or of Joseph and Mary, then the title must be given to him in the wider sense in which it is applied to Paul and Barnabas.

The Lord’s brother.—What relationship is indicated by this? The question has been already dealt with in the Notes on the Gospels. (See Notes on Matthew 12:46; Matthew 13:55; John 7:3; John 7:5.) The present writer has nothing to add, except to express his entire agreement with what has been there said, and his firm conviction that the theory which identifies the “brethren of the Lord” with His cousins, the sons of Clopas, is untenable. A full account of the James who is here mentioned will be found in the Introduction to the Epistle which goes by his name.

1:15-24 St. Paul was wonderfully brought to the knowledge and faith of Christ. All who are savingly converted, are called by the grace of God; their conversion is wrought by his power and grace working in them. It will but little avail us to have Christ revealed to us, if he is not also revealed in us. He instantly prepared to obey, without hesitating as to his worldly interest, credit, ease, or life itself. And what matter of thanksgiving and joy is it to the churches of Christ, when they hear of such instances to the praise of the glory of his grace, whether they have ever seen them or not! They glorify God for his power and mercy in saving such persons, and for all the service to his people and cause that is done, and may be further expected from them.Save James the Lord's brother - That the James here referred to was an apostle is clear. The whole construction of the sentence demands this supposition. In the list of the apostles in Matthew 10:2-3, two of this name are mentioned, James the son of Zebedee and brother of John, and James the son of Alpheus. From the Acts of the Apostles, it is clear that there were two of this name in Jerusalem. Of these, James the brother of John was slain by Herod Acts 12:2, and the other continued to reside in Jerusalem, Acts 15:13; Acts 21:13. This latter James was called James the Less Mark 15:40, to distinguish him from the other James, probably because he was the younger. It is probable that this was the James referred to here, as it is evident from the Acts of the Apostles that he was a prominent man among the apostles in Jerusalem. Commentators have not been agreed as to what is meant by his being the brother of the Lord Jesus. Doddridge understands it as meaning that he was "the near kinsman" or cousin-german to Jesus, for he was, says he, the son of Alpheus and Mary, the sister of the virgin; and if there were only two of this name, this opinion is undoubtedly correct.

In the Apostolical Constitutions (see Rosenmuller) three of this name are mentioned as apostles or eminent men in Jerusalem; and hence, many have supposed that one of them was the son of Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus. It is said Matthew 13:55 that the brothers of Jesus were James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas; and it is remarkable that three of the apostles bear the same names; James the son of Alpheus, Simon Zelotes, and Judas, John 14:22. It is indeed possible, as Bloomfield remarks, that three brothers of our Lord and three of his apostles might bear the same names, and yet be different persons; but such a coincidence would be very remarkable, and not easily explained. But if it were not so, then the James here was the son of Alpheus, and consequently a cousin of the Lord Jesus. The word "brother" may, according to Scriptural usage, be understood as denoting a near kinsman. See Schleusher (Lexicon 2) on the word ἀδελφός adelphos. After all, however, it is not quite certain who is intended. Some have supposed that neither of the apostles of the name of James is intended, but another James who was the son of Mary the mother of Jesus. See Koppe in loc. But it is clear, I think, that one of the apostles is intended. Why James is particularly mentioned here is unknown. Since, however, he was a prominent man in Jerusalem, Paul would naturally seek his acquaintance. It is possible that the other apostles were absent from Jerusalem during the fifteen days when he was there.

19. Compare Ac 9:27, 28, wherein Luke, as an historian, describes more generally what Paul, the subject of the history, himself details more particularly. The history speaks of "apostles"; and Paul's mention of a second apostle, besides Peter, reconciles the Epistle and the history. At Stephen's martyrdom, and the consequent persecution, the other ten apostles, agreeably to Christ's directions, seem to have soon (though not immediately, Ac 8:14) left Jerusalem to preach elsewhere. James remained in charge of the mother church, as its bishop. Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, was present during Paul's fifteen days' stay; but he, too, presently after (Ac 9:32), went on a circuit through Judea.

James, the Lord's brother—This designation, to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee, was appropriate while that apostle was alive. But before Paul's second visit to Jerusalem (Ga 2:1; Ac 15:1-4), he had been beheaded by Herod (Ac 12:2). Accordingly, in the subsequent mention of James here (Ga 2:9, 12), he is not designated by this distinctive epithet: a minute, undesigned coincidence, and proof of genuineness. James was the Lord's brother, not in our strict sense, but in the sense, "cousin," or "kinsman" (Mt 28:10; Joh 20:17). His brethren are never called "sons of Joseph," which they would have been had they been the Lord's brothers strictly. However, compare Ps 69:8, "I am an alien to my mother's children." In Joh 7:3, 5, the "brethren" who believed not in Him may mean His near relations, not including the two of His brethren, that is, relatives (James and Jude) who were among the Twelve apostles. Ac 1:14, "His brethren," refer to Simon and Joses, and others (Mt 13:55) of His kinsmen, who were not apostles. It is not likely there would be two pairs of brothers named alike, of such eminence as James and Jude; the likelihood is that the apostles James and Jude are also the writers of the Epistles, and the brethren of Jesus. James and Joses were sons of Alpheus and Mary, sister of the Virgin Mary.

The apostles were at this time scattered, either through the persecution, or for the fulfilling of the work of their apostleship; so as probably there were at this time no more of the apostles at Jerusalem, except Peter, and James the less, the son of Alpheus, who is here called the brother of our Lord, as is generally thought, according to the Hebrew idiom, who were wont to call near kinsmen, brethren. Upon another journey which Paul made to Jerusalem, he saw others (as we shall hear in the next chapter); but that was several years after this his first journey thither.

But other of the apostles saw I none,.... This is observed to show, that as he did not receive the Gospel from Peter, so neither from any of the other apostles, whom he did not so much as see, much less converse with;

save James the Lord's brother; not James the son of Zebedee, the brother of John, whom Herod slew with the sword; but James the son of Alphaeus, he who made the speech in the synod at Jerusalem, Acts 15:13 was the writer of the epistle which bears his name, and was the brother of Joses, Simon, and Judas, who are called the brethren of Christ, Matthew 13:55 and that because they were the kinsmen and relations of Christ according to the flesh, it being usual with the Jews to call such brethren. The relation came in and stood thus; this James was James the less, the son of Mary the wife of Cleophas, Mark 15:40 which Cleophas was the brother of Joseph, the husband of Mary the mother of our Lord, as Eusebius, from Hegesippus, relates; and so our Lord and this James were brothers' children, as was supposed: or else the wife of Cleophas the mother of James, was sister to Mary the mother of Christ, as she is called, John 19:25 and so they were sisters' children, or own cousins; and thus Jerom (t), after much discourse on this subject, concludes that Mary the mother of James the less was the wife of Alphaeus, (or Cleophas, which is the same,) and the sister of Mary the mother of the Lord, whom the Evangelist John surnames Mary of Cleophas; and persons in such a relation, and even uncles and nephews, were called brethren by the Jews; see Genesis 12:5 nor is James one of our Lord's disciples being called his brother, any contradiction to John 7:5 as the Jew (u) affirms, where it is said, "neither did his brethren believe in him"; since they might not believe in him then, and yet believe in him afterwards: besides, Christ had brethren or relations according to the flesh, distinct from his disciples and apostles, and his brethren among them; see Matthew 10:1 such as were James, Judas, and Simon; nor does the Evangelist John say, that none of Christ's brethren believed in him, only that they that came to him and bid him go into Judea did not. Some have been of opinion that a third James, distinct from James the son of Zebedee and James the son of Alphaeus, is here meant; who was not of the twelve apostles, and was surnamed James the just, and called the brother of Christ because of his faith, wisdom, and becoming conversation; but certain it is, that this James was of the number of the apostles, as appears from the exceptive clause, "other of the apostles saw I none, save James", &c. and from his being put with Cephas and John, who were pillars and the chief among the apostles; and besides it was James the son of Alphaeus, who was surnamed the "just", and Oblias (w), and presided over the church at Jerusalem, and was a man of great esteem among the Jews; and is by (x) Josephus, as here, called the brother of Jesus.

(t) Advers. Helvidium, Tom. II. fol. 4. M. (u) R. Isaac, Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 8. p. 469. (w) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 23. Hieron. Catalog. Script. Eccl. sect. 3. fol. 89. (x) Antiqu. l. 20. c. 8. sect. 1.

But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
Galatians 1:19. But another of the apostles saw I not, save James the brother of the Lord. Thus this James is distinguished indeed from the circle of the twelve (1 Corinthians 15:5) to which Peter belonged, but yet is included in the number of the apostles, namely in the wider sense (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:7; 1 Corinthians 9:5); which explains the merely supplementary mention of this apostle. After εἰ μή we must supply not εἶδον merely (as Grotius, Fritzsche ad Matth. p. 482, Winer, Bleek in Stud. u. Krit. 1836, p. 1059, Wieseler), but, as the context requires, εἶδον τὸν ἀπόστολον.

ἕτερον is not qualitative here, as in Galatians 1:6, but stands in contrast to the one who is named, Peter. In addition to the latter he saw not one more of the apostles, except only that he saw the apostle in the wider sense of the term

James the brother of the Lord (who indeed belonged to the church at Jerusalem as its president),—a fact which conscientiously he will not leave unmentioned.

On the point that James the brother of the Lord was not James the son of Alphaeus,—as, following Clemens Alex., Jerome, Augustine, Pelagius, Chrysostom, and Theodoret, most modern scholars, and among the expositors of the epistle Matthies, Usteri, Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius, Jatho, Hofmann, Reithmayr, maintain,—but a real brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:35; Mark 6:3), the son of Mary, called James the Just (Heges. in Eus. ii. 23), who, having been a Nazarite from his birth, and having become a believer after the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:7; Acts 1:14), attained to very high apostolic reputation among the Jewish Christians (Galatians 2:9), and was the most influential presbyter of the church at Jerusalem,[37] see on Acts 12:17; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Huther on Ep. of James, Introd. § 1; Laurent, neutest. Stud. p. 175 ff. By the more precise designation, τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου, he is distinguished not only from the elder James, the brother of John (Hofmann and others), but also from James the son of Alphaeus, who was one of the twelve. Comp. Victorinus, “cum autem fratrem dixit, apostolum negavit.” The whole figment of the identity of this James with the son of Alphaeus is a result of the unscriptural (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7) although ecclesiastically orthodox (Form. Conc. p. 767) belief (extending beyond the birth of Christ) in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Comp. on Matthew 12:46; 1 Corinthians 9:5. We may add that the statement, that Paul at this time saw only Peter and James at Jerusalem, is not at variance with the inexact expression τοὺς ἀποστόλους, Acts 9:27, but is an authentic historical definition of it, of a more precise character.

[37] Wieseler also justly recognises here the actual brother of Jesus, but holds the James, who is named in Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:12 (and Acts 12:17; Acts 15:13; Acts 15:21; 1 Corinthians 15:7) as the head of the Jewish Christians, not to be identical with this brother of the Lord, but to be the apostle James the son of Alphaeus; affirming that it was the latter also who was called ὁ δίκαιος. See, however, on Galatians 2:9. The Gospel of the Hebrews, in Jerome, Vir. ill. 2, puts James the Just among the apostles who partook of the last Supper with Jesus, but nevertheless represents him as a brother of the Lord, for it makes him to be addressed by the Risen One as “frater mi.” Wieseler, indeed, understands frater mi in a spiritual sense, as in John 20:17, Matthew 28:10. But, just because the designation of a James as ἀδελφὸς τοῦ κυρίον is so solemn, this interpretation appears arbitrary; nor do we find that anywhere in the Gospels Jesus addressed the disciples as brethren.

Galatians 1:19. εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον. εἰ μή may either state an exception to the preceding negative clause (= except, save), or merely qualify it (= but only), as it does in Luke 4:26, to none of them, sc., the widows in Israel, but only to Sarepta in Sidon; and in Galatians 1:7, no other Gospel, only (εἰ μή) there are some that pervert the Gospel. The latter appears to be its meaning here. If James had been entitled an Apostle, the author would probably have written that he saw no other Apostles but Peter and James. But here he states emphatically that he saw no second (ἕτερον) Apostle, only James. The Epistle, like the Acts (see Acts 12:17, Acts 15:13, Acts 21:18), fully recognises the leading position of James in the local Church (cf. Galatians 2:9; Galatians 2:12); and the ecclesiastical tradition which entitles him Bishop of Jerusalem corresponds to this. All the evidence left of his life suggests that he clung throughout his Christian life to Jerusalem and did not undertake such missionary labours as would entitle him to the designation of Apostle.—τὸν ἀδελφὸν … James is here described as the brother of the Lord in order to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee, who was living at the time of Paul’s first visit; but elsewhere as James: after the death of the other James there could be no question who was meant.

19. “Other of the apostles I saw not, but James, the brother of the Lord.” The A. V. would lead to the conclusion that James was one of the Apostles, in the same sense as Peter was an Apostle, i.e. one of the Twelve. But it is almost certain that ‘save’ is an incorrect rendering, as in Luke 4:26-27 (where indeed it makes nonsense of the passage). See note on ch. Galatians 2:16. St James may still have been spoken of as an Apostle in the wider sense, in which it is now generally admitted the term is used in N. T.

James, the Lord’s brother] How are we to identify this James? And what are we to understand by the designation ‘the Lord’s brother’?

(1) Two of the Twelve bore the name of James; one, the son of Zebedee and brother of John, the other the son of Alphæus (or Cleopas). It is agreed on all hands that the former is not the James here spoken of. It is also highly improbable that he is identical with the son of Alphæus, called ‘James the less’ (literally ‘the Little’) in Mark 15:40. If St Paul had conferred with two of the number of the Twelve, his characteristic candour would have led him to state the fact distinctly. He admits that James was one of the Apostolic body, but he was not, like Cephas, one of the original Twelve. We therefore conclude that this James was the president of the Church at Jerusalem (see Acts 15:13; Acts 21:18) and distinct both from the son of Zebedee, who fell by the sword of Herod (Acts 12:2), and from the son of Alphæus[25]. In the Book of Common Prayer ‘St James the Apostle’ is identified with the ‘brother of John’, and the other St James (coupled with St Philip) with the author of the Epistle, and brother of Jude.

[25] “I count it the more probable opinion that this James was not one of the Twelve”. Dr Salmon, Introduction to the New Testament, p. 478.

(2) It would seem that whatever we understand by the ‘Lord’s brethren’, they were not of the number of the Twelve. For we are expressly told that towards the close of our Lord’s earthly ministry, His brethren did not believe on Him (John 7:5).

Three views of the relationship here expressed have been held by expositors of Scripture. (a) Some contend that the expression ‘brethren’ is to be understood literally of sons of the Virgin Mary and Joseph, born after the birth of our Lord. This opinion is maintained by Archdeacon Farrar in Dict. of the Bible, Art. ‘Brother’; but it is rejected by all who with the chief Patristic writers insist on the perpetual virginity of Mary. (b) Others regard these ‘brethren’ as cousins of our Lord, the sons of Mary (sister of the Virgin) and Cleopas. This may be dismissed for the reason stated already—that one of them was of the number of the Twelve, and therefore could not be described as not believing on Him. (c) A third hypothesis is that they were sons of Joseph by a former marriage, and therefore half-brothers of our Lord. (That they were the offspring of a Levirate marriage of Joseph with Mary wife of Cleopas, after the death of the latter, may be mentioned as an instance of groundless assumption, only to be discarded.)

The choice then lies between the first and the third view. In a case where the arguments are almost evenly balanced, it is not easy to decide, but on the whole they seem to favour the conclusion that the ‘brethren’ were sons of Joseph by a former marriage, and therefore ‘half-brothers’ or step-brothers of our Lord. In support of this conclusion we note that if Joseph is called the father of our Lord (Luke 2:48), Joseph’s sons may without great violence be called His brethren. For a full discussion of the subject, see Dict. of the Bible, ut supra, Bp Lightfoot, Dissertation II, Alford on Matthew 13:56.

The other Apostles were probably absent from Jerusalem at this time, on a missionary tour, visiting and confirming the Churches of Judæa and Galilee and Samaria.

Galatians 1:19. Τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ Κυρίου, the Lord’s brother) cousin of Jesus. There was no other James, the Lord’s brother, and an apostle.

Verse 19. - But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother (ἔτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εϊδον εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ Κυρίου); but no one besides of the apostles saw I, unless it were James the Lord's brother. The words," unless it were," are here proposed as a rendering of εἰ μή, as betokening a certain degree of hesitancy on the apostle's part as to the perfect justness of the exception which he makes. The reason of this will appear if we consider that "James the Lord's brother" was not really one of the apostles; but nevertheless, through the position which he held in the Church of Jerusalem, and through various circumstances attaching to him, stood in general estimation so near to the revered twelve, that St. Paul felt he was required, in connection with his present statement, to make this reference to him, when affirming so solemnly that Cephas was the only apostle that he then saw. For a fuller discussion of the personality of "James the Lord's brother," the reader is referred to the additional note at the end of this chapter. How it came about that St. Peter was the only one of the twelve that St. Paul then saw, there are no certain grounds for determining. The intimation in Acts 8:1 that, in the persecution which ensued upon the martyrdom of Stephen, the apostles still remained at Jerusalem when they of the Church there were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, relates to a period two or three years previous. The state of things was no doubt now quite different; the Church had come together again; but the apostles may for the most part have been absent in the country, engaged in their apostolic labours, as St. Peter himself is soon after described as being (cf. Acts 9:31, 32). The surmise that this was the cause appears more probable than the view which supposes them to have continued distrustful, now that the two great leaders, Cephas and James, had been won over to frankly and publicly recognize the new convert. A difficulty has been thought to result from a comparison of these words of St. Paul with St. Luke's statement in Acts 9:15, 16, that Barnabas took and brought him to "the apostles," and that he "was with them" going in and out at Jerusalem. That he was not with them for long was a fact not unknown to St. Luke, as we may, gather from what we read in Acts 22:18. There is, therefore, no discrepancy in that respect between the two representations. But is there no discrepancy between St. Luke's mention of "the apostles" as then admitting Paul into partnership with them in public work, and St. Paul's so emphatically affirming that it was Cephas alone of the apostles that he saw? We must acknowledge that there is - the same kind and the same amount of discrepancy as e.g. obtains between St. Matthew saying that those who were crucified with Jesus reviled him, and St. Luke specifying that one did so, but that the other rebuked him. In all such cases, the more vague and general statement must in all fairness be accepted, but with the modification supplied by the one which is the more particular and definite. It seems to the present writer that there is a way of quite naturally accounting for the form in which St. Luke states the circumstances. It is as fellows. St. Paul had been two years in imprisonment at Rome when St. Luke compiled the Acts; that is, St. Luke wrote the book about A.D. or 64, twenty-two or twenty-three years after St. Paul made this first visit of his to Jerusalem. Barnabas appears in the story as a disciple (Acts 4, fin.) some years apparently before even the conversion of Saul. Considering, therefore, the lapse of time, it would seem a not at all improbable supposition that, when the Acts was written, he was no longer alive. And the tone in which he is spoken of in the book, whose author, as we know, was in close association with St. Paul, and no doubt both drew from the apostle's inspiration many of the particulars he relates and reflected his feelings, is generally so kindly and respectful as to accord well with the supposition of Barnabas's decease, and even of his then recent decease. The pensive, touching reference to his character in Acts 11:24, introduced in the narrative in so unwonted a manner as it is, betokens this. Carefully does the historian indicate that Barnabas was the new convert's sponsor with the at first distrustful brethren at Jerusalem; also that it was he that went and fetched Saul from his distant retirement at Tarsus to co-operate with him at Antioch; also that he linked him to himself in the eleemosynary journey to Jerusalem, and again under Divine direction in their great evangelistic tour in Asia Minor, - in both of which expeditions Barnabas at the first appears as the leading figure of the two; after which comes the mournful disruption recorded at the close of the fifteenth chapter, the last reference to Barnabas in the Acts. That, however, this interruption of their brotherly attachment did not last long is shown by the respectful and sympathetic manner in which St. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians (9.), six or seven years after, speaks of the oneness in sentiment subsisting between Barnabas and himself in labouring for the gospel at their own charges. Since the time that St. Paul sent that letter to the Corinthians as well as this to the Galatians, some five years had elapsed when St. Luke wrote the Book of the Acts. All these considerations taken together agree perfectly well with the conception that Luke had heard his master, perhaps repeatedly, make pensive reference to his old relations with Barnabas now gone to his rest. "When the apostles at Jerusalem," he might say, "looked upon me coldly and distrustingly, he it was that took me by the hand [the reader will note the pathos in the expression, ἐπιλαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἤγαγε] and led me into their presence, and told them what the Lord had done with me!" What more natural than that Luke had heard Paul speaking thus, Barnabas's dear venerated form looming in the far past before the apostle's view as the principal object just then of reminiscence, the surrounding figures in the scene more indefinitely realized! But when, years before this, the apostle, Barnabas being still alive, had been writing to the Galatians, and with solemn carefulness as speaking in the sight of God, had set himself agonistically to state the facts in their very exactness, of course there would result a precision which in those tender reminiscences uttered to his bosom associate was not to be looked for. Galatians 1:19Save James (εἰ μὴ)

With the usual exceptive sense. I saw none save James. Not, I saw none other of the apostles, but I saw James. James is counted as an apostle, though not reckoned among the twelve. For Paul's use of "apostle," see on 1 Thessalonians 1:1, and comp. 1 Corinthians 15:4-7.

The Lord's brother

Added in order to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21; Matthew 10:2; Mark 10:35), who was still living, and from James the son of Alphaeus (Matthew 10:3). The Lord's brother means that James was a son of Joseph and Mary. This view is known as the Helvidian theory, from Helvidius, a layman of Rome, who wrote, about 380, a book against mariolatry and ascetic celibacy. The explanations which differ from that of Helvidius have grown, largely, out of the desire to maintain the perpetual virginity of Mary. Jerome has given his name to a theory known as the Hieronymian put forth in reply to Helvidius, about 383, according to which the brethren of the Lord were the sons of his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Alphaeus or Clopas, and therefore Jesus' cousins. A third view bears the name of Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus (ob. 404), and is that the Lord's brothers were sons of Joseph by a former wife.

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