Galatians 1:19

19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother.

Galatians 1:19 Meaning and Commentary

Galatians 1:19

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 Mark 15:47 ) 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 F20, 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 ) ( Genesis 13:8 ) ( Genesis 29:12 Genesis 29:15 ) ( Leviticus 10:4 ) nor is James one of our Lord's disciples being called his brother, any contradiction to ( John 7:5 ) as the Jew


F21 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 ) ( Matthew 12:46 Matthew 12:49 ) 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" 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 F23, and presided over the church at Jerusalem, and was a man of great esteem among the Jews; and is by F24 Josephus, as here, called the brother of Jesus.

F20 Advers. Helvidium, Tom. II. fol. 4. M.
F21 R. Isaac, Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 8. p. 469.
F23 Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 23. Hieron. Catalog. Script. Eccl. sect. 3. fol. 89.
F24 Antiqu. l. 20. c. 8. sect. 1.

Galatians 1:19 In-Context

17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days;
19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother.
20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!
21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia,
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