This is a post I’d really like to get your comment on …
Most people know that Jesus and John the Baptist were second cousins, but few know that the Apostles James and John were Jesus’ first cousins.
I’ve always found John the Baptist interesting because I was born on the feast day of St. John the Baptist (June 24th) and was actually named “John” for this reason. Jay is a nickname. I later became the editor of The Forerunner which is another name for John the Baptist. John was a bold prophet who spoke the word of God without fear for his own life. James and John were similar. They were called the “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus. The Apostle John is also known as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” So my other namesake, the Apostle John, is interesting to me as well.
This is something I discovered this year while reading a book on the canonicity of the Bible. Jesus’ first cousins were James and John. I doubted this when I first read it, but the more I looked at the scriptures concerning the relationships, the more convinced I became that this is right. It has significance because it helps to explain how the New Testament canon came about. It also helps to explain several other obscure passages in the New Testament scriptures.
I’ll write more on that later, but first the data. Read the following and decide for yourself if Salome is the wife of Zebedee, the mother of James and John, and Mary’s sister. If you disagree or agree, I’d like to get your comments.
1. In the Gospel of Matthew, James and John are identified as the sons of Zebedee.
“And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father” (Matthew 4:21).
2. Standing among the women near the cross with Jesus’ mother Mary was the mother of Zebedee’s children as identified by the Gospel of Matthew.
“Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children (Matthew 27:56).
3. Standing among the women near the cross with Jesus’ mother Mary was Salome as identified by the Gospel of Mark.
“There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome“ (Mark 15:40).
4. Salome was Jesus’ mother’s sister as the apostle John himself states, about his own mother. Mark’s Gospel account refers to her by name. John’s Gospel account refers to her by her relationship to Mary.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25).
From Matthew’s account we know that James and John were the sons of Zebedee. By comparing Matthew and Mark we discover that Salome was the name of wife of the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John. From John we see that Salome was Mary’s sister.
I first thought that there could be other women in the account as well, but the order of the names and the similarity of the language in the accounts leads me to be almost certain that Jesus’ mother’s sister is Salome, the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John. Therefore, James and John were Jesus’ first cousins.
The implications of this are enormous when we consider how the various books of the New Testament were compiled and the roles that James and John, and also the “brothers of the Lord” James and Jude, had in writing and compiling the New Testament canon.
I’ll write more on that idea next.
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Your comments are welcome!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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