Then Jesus Appeared to James

First Corinthians 15: 6-7

He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers (Greek: adelphos) [and sisters] at the same time. These were obviously not 500 physical brothers, but brothers and sisters in the Lord. This was the ninth appearance of Jesus after His resurrection. Scripture gives us no indication of who those people were, or where Yeshua appeared to them, but they were surely well known in the early messianic community, and, like the Twelve, would often have been questioned about seeing the risen Lord. Even at the time of Paul’s writing, more than two decades later, most of the witnesses were still alive. They remain until now, he adds, but some have fallen asleep, that is, died. Yet, at the same time and place five hundred witnesses saw Messiah alive after His resurrection.

Then He appeared to Ya’akov (James), then to all the apostles. We are not told which James Christ then . . . appeared. Two of the apostles, one the son of Zebedee and the other the son of Alphaeus, were named Ya’akov. However, I am inclined to believe that this James was the half-brother of the Lord. Some have debunked the resurrection appearance as simply the pious vision of believers seeing what they wanted to happen. But Rabbi Sha’ul could site the testimony of two whom that was not true, James and Paul himself. Like Sha’ul, Ya’akov probably came to faith because of the appearance of the resurrected Messiah. James’ conversion perhaps led to the personal conversion of other family members. Later, James became the first head of the messianic community in Yerushalayim (Acts 15:12-21), and wrote the book of James. So the convincing testimony of a former skeptic and family member was added to the apostles and the five hundred.1701


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