World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
19but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother.

Select a resource above

19. But I saw no other of the apostles. This is added to make it evident that he had but one object in his journey, and attended to nothing else.

Except James. Who this James was, deserves inquiry. Almost all the ancients are agreed that he was one of the disciples, whose surname was “Oblias” and “The Just,” and that he presided over the church at Jerusalem. 3333     “Qui estoit pasteur en l’eglise de Jerusalem.” “Who was pastor in the church at Jerusalem.” Yet others think that he was the son of Joseph by another wife, and others (which is more probable) that he was the cousin of Christ by the mother’s side: 3434     “Qu’il estoit cousin-germain de Jesus Christ, fils de la soeur de sa mere.” “That he was cousin-german of Jesus Christ, his mother’s sister’s son.” but as he is here mentioned among the apostles, I do not hold that opinion. Nor is there any force in the defense offered by Jerome, that the word Apostle is sometimes applied to others besides the twelve; for the subject under consideration is the highest rank of apostleship, and we shall presently see that he was considered one of the chief pillars. (Galatians 2:9.) It appears to me, therefore, far more probable, that the person of whom he is speaking is the son of Alpheus. 3535     This is fully consistent with the opinion commonly held, that Alpheus or Cleopas was the husband of the sister of Mary, the mother of our Lord, and consequently that James, the son of Alpheus, was our Lord’s cousin-german. — Ed.

The rest of the apostles, there is reason to believe, were scattered through various countries; for they did not idly remain in one place. Luke relates that Paul was brought by Barnabas to the apostles. (Acts 9:27.) This must be understood to relate, not to the twelve, but to these two apostles, who alone were at that time residing in Jerusalem.