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Notes on "James Brother of Jesus"

1) Often in royal history a Joshua figure is followed by a Jacob figure. Examples are Amenhotep II (a Jacob type) as successor to Thutmose III (a Joshua type). In the Hyksos period, Salitis (a Joshua type) was succeeded by Yakhub-Hor (a Jacob type). In the Middle Kigdom Senusret II (a Jacob type) was followed by Senusret III (a Joshua type).

The designation of James as successor to Jesus conforms to the same pattern. While Jesus still lived (and ruled as a king in Chalcis and then Armenia), James would have functioned something like a co-regent in the Messianic office. In the extra-biblical Gospel According to the Hebrews, James is the first to see the resurrected Christ. In other traditions it was Mary Magdelene or Peter. In the days of the pharaohs, it had been the honor and duty of the designated successor of a pharaoh to preside at the opening of the mouth ceremony three days after the death of that pharaoh. The importance of being the first to see Jesus is a vestige of that royal custom. Since Jesus had not actually died in 36 A.D., the question of succession was however probably not critical at the time. However, after the literal death of Jesus, it was apparently considered necessary to establish the basis of succession in the church by appealing to such a tradition.

Robert Eisenman makes much of the association of James with Rechabitism. The descendants/successors of Elisha/Joshua/Jehonadab were called Rechabites. This would have reinforced the status of James as succession of Jesus (as incarnation of Elisha), at least within the Rechabite tradition.

The Psuedo-Clementine letter "Recognitions" indicate that in the years immediately following the crucifixion, James was attacked and had one or both of his legs broken. Thereafter, he walked with a limp. This was perhaps the defining moment when James assumed or accepted the role of Jacob within the Herodian family. In the Book of Genesis, the Patriarch Jacob wrestled with God (literally his father Isaac). He prevailed but could no longer walk without a limp.

The name James/Jacob, in the case of Jesus' brother, was not a given name, but a title given to him as the "first disciple". His given name was Andrew. His more formal Herodian (Hellenistic) name was probably Andronicus. He is probably also the "pre-eminent Apostle" Andronicus mentioned by Paul in Romans 14:7. The name Andrew means "man/manly". It can be construed as an epithet of Adam. The combining of Adam and Jacob types is special, not only as a reflection of the Egyptian god Atum-Re, but also in the kings Sargon the Great and Sargon II.

Within the family of Herod the Great, the role of Jacob was paramount. This was the role of Herod himself and James the brother of Jesus would become the first prince since Herod to take it up. As noted by Robert Eisenman, there is also a strong connection with James with the typecasting of Noah. Herod the Great had also claimed the typecasting of Noah, and particularly the typecasting of Solomon (as a Noah type).

The role of Benjamin was also crucial for the Herodians. The name Benjamin symbolized the triumph of a junior line of kings over a senior one. The Romans represented the superior line of kings in those days, but certain Herodians hoped to supplant them, even as the line of Atum (through Anu, Ptah, Re, and the two Horuses) supplanted that of Shu. The role of Benjamin was on occasion also combined with Adam and Jacob, most notably in the person of Sargon the Great.

2) The name Alphaeus, "succession", applied to at least three different persons in the time of Jesus. First, it referred to the older brother of Herod the Great named Phasael. The succession of Phasael (as a type of Esau/Geb) was usurped by Herod (as a type of Jacob/Re). This Phasael also had a son by the same name. There no doubt remained the sentiment that kingly succession in Israel belonged with this line. Secondly, the name Alphaeus applied to Herod the Great's son Archelaus, as he was the actually successor to the kingdom upon Herod's death. Thirdly, the name Alphaeus applied to Herod Antipas, who succeeded in having Archelaus removed and himself installed as leading Herodian king. There were then at least two princes named James son of Alphaeus, and perhaps three.

As Robert Eisenman notes, James brother of Jesus, in one source, is also called James the Lebbaean. This links him to the disciple Thaddaeus, a.k.a., Judas and Lebbeaus. Together, James and Thaddaeus represent the "Libyan twins" of royal tradition. In the Egyptian New Kingdom, the two sons of Aye (Sheshonq) by Queen Tiye (Maatkare) were the Libyan twins and made pharaohs of the double Libyan throne. Thaddaeus/Judas became the twin of Jesus in the role of Osiris. He would logically have found inspiration in the Libyan pharaoh Osorkon (Libyan Issachar). If so, then James/Andrew was patterned after Libyan pharaoh Takelot (a Benjamin type). Herod Antipas occupied the place of Sheshonq, father of Osorkon and Takelot.

3) James' epithet of Oblias is connected by Robert Eisenman to the epithet of Re, that being, Belial. O-b-l by transposition becomes B-e-l. It can be further noted that both Oblias and Belial also transpose into Leb (Lebbaeus). Oblias then also connects to the Noah typology of oblation/flood and Noah's covenant of peace.

4) As in New Kingdom history, Herod Antipas would have had other wives and leading sons by those wives. The disciple/apostle Peter corresponds to one of these princes, most likely the assassin Ipy (Biblical Jehu), later known by the Libyan name of Pedubastet. The name Peter itself could relate to the Libyan Pedu-, as well as his father's name Antipas (a form of Anti-Pater). The number three is closely associated with Peter in the Gospels. This connects to his primary Herodian name of Gamellus (a play also on Gamaliel). As accuser of Paul in the Book of Acts, he is probably also called Tertullus (the root ter/tert signifies three/third). Note also the name of the later Pope Tertullian.

5) Robert Eisenman, after much deliberation, concludes that James brother of Jesus was one and the same as Banus. However, we have reason to believe that Banus was instead the Parthian equivalent of the name John. Banus is likely then an epithet of John son of Zebedee (the Evangelist) and/or John the Essene.

6) Robert Eisenman notes the similarities between Simon Magus and Apostle Paul, but refrains from concluding that they were one and the same. (Hyam Maccoby and others think they were the same.) From various sources, it is possible to chart the career of Simon Magus. According to the book of Acts, shortly after the crucifixion, he is brought into submission by Phillip, Peter and John. However, in the early 40's, he appears in Claudius' Rome and is recognized as the incarnation of a god, probably Hermes/Thoth. In the early 50's, Simon Magus urges the Herodian Queen Drusilla to divorce her circumcised husband and marry the Roman governor Felix.

In the late 50's, Simon Magus is rewarded for his loyalty to Rome with kingship in Armenia (under the name Tigranes II). During this time, he also openly travels with the renowed Helen as his consort and proclaims that he is the (successor to) Christ and the "Power of God", likely referring to his election to kingship in Armenia by Caesar and as heir apparent to the elderly Aristobulus III/Jesus. In 66 B.C., Tigranes made a famous visit to Rome (reported by several Roman authors). This visit was probably the inspiration for the highly fanciful account of Peter's confrontation with Simon Magus in Rome found in the apocryphal Acts of Peter.

Simon Magus would have been one of the brother of Jesus, and likely was originally included among his disciples. However, Simon Magus is replaced by Simon the Zealot. Simon Magus was the opposite of a Zealot. He was a liberal and a proponent of submission to Rome. Simon Peter, as Joe Atwill has now placed beyond all doubt, was a true Zealot. Simon the Zealot (of the Gospels) would then be only another alias of Simon Peter.

Another brother of Jesus is called Jose. As Robert Eisenman notes, this name is actually more closely related to the name Jesus than it is to Joseph. Eisenman concludes that Jose is an alterego of Jesus. However, it is more likely that Jose corresponds to John the son of Zebedee. This John was a "twin" of Jesus in the role of Joshua.

7) In apocryphal writings, the deaths of Andrew and Peter are both attributed to the proselytizing of high-ranking women. Both obviously had the access and ability to win over noble women throughout the Roman Empire, but that would not have been the primary factor leading to their deaths. Peter/Simon was either crucified upside down or beheaded in Rome. James/Andrew was stoned to death in Jerusalem.