JAMES, the son of Zebedee

                                              also called Boanerges








James was the son of Zebedee who was a fisherman.  He was the older brother of John. His mother was the sister of the mother of Jesus – thus making him a relative to Jesus.


He had a fiery temperament and a strong personality.

Also called Bolanerges – the name means son of thunder and was probably one who possessed a hot head.  All of the 12 had faults.


Of the three that comprised the “inner-ring” or “circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John) we know the least about James.


Scripture background:


Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13



Questions asked:


Mark 13:3,4  “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, where will these things happen?  And when will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”


Luke 9:54 “When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’”


Scriptural stories:


Raising of Jaruis’ daughter, Mark 5:37

At the transformatin, Matthew 17:1

Peter’s wife’s mother lay ill, Mark 1:29

At Gethsemane, Mark 14:33

The place of honor – Mark 10:35

The upper room experience, Acts 1:13, 1 Cor. 15:7, Gal. 1:19, 2:9,12,  James 1:1, Jude l






Place of service:



Missionary work in Spain  (He is the Patron saint of Spain.)


Place and manner of death:







The place of death is Jerusalem………probably 44-45 A.D.

“Put to death by the sword.”  Putting to death by the sword was particularly disgraceful.

He was beheaded by Herod Agripa, some 10 years after the death of Stephen.  It is said that his body was taken to Spain.


Of all the disciples, he is just one of two disciples that we have scriptural account of death. (Acts12:1,2)The other one is Judas.




Interesting facts:


.He was a model believer.  When he was called, he and his brother responded quickly!



Traditional comments:


The man who betrayed James was so impressed his faith that he became a Christian and later he was put to death for his Christian beliefs.  He also was beheaded.

There is an Acts of James.


Shields and emblems:



His shield shows a scallop (or cockle) shell, a symbol of pilgrimage by sea, and the sword of martyrdom. Sometimes three shells are shown without a sword.