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Origin of the name JAMES.
Etymology of the name JAMES.
Meaning of the baby name JAMES.


JAMES.  [English, altered from Gr. Iakobos, being the Heb. Yaaqobh = "Jacob," with the Greek termination os], hence "holding the heel," "supplanter," or "lier in wait."  Usage: America, England, Scotland.

     (1) The elder son of Zebeedee, and the brother of the apostle John.  He commenced life as a fisherman, pursuing his vocation with his father and brother, by means of boats and nets on the Lake of Galilee.  While thus engaged he was called, with his brother John, to be an apostle of Jesus, and responding to the summons, forsook all and became a follower of the Nazarene (Matt. iv. 21, 22; Mark i. 19, 20; Luke v. 1-11). 
     (2) A second apostle, distinguished from the former one by being called James the son of Alphæus (Matt. x. 3; Mark. iii. 18; Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13).  The words "the son of" italicised in both the A.V. and the R.V. are not in the original.  Probably, however, they express the correct meaning (cf. Luke iii. 32-33 with vi. 15), though, in verse 16, brother, instead of son, has to be supplied.  Clopas of John xix. 25óR.V., Cleophas of the A.V. appears to be another spelling of Alphæus, or, rather, of the Hebrew Hhalphai, from which it comes.  If so, then the wife of Alphæus, Mary by name, was a sister of Alphæus the first cousin of our Lord.  James had a younger brother, Joses, and a sister, Salome (cf. Mark xv. 40 with John xix. 25).  James himself is also identified with James "the little," R.V. margin, an more literal rendering of the Grek than "the less," introduced into the texts of both the A.V. and the R.V.  It probably indicated that he was of less than average stature (Mark xv. 40).  Unless he was the same as No. (3), little more is known of his history.
     (3 ?) A Christian dignitary connected with the Church at Jerusalem, called by Paul "James, the Lord's brother," and designated by him an apostle (Gal. i. 19).  Though the word apostle may be used in a generic, as well as in a specific, sense, the argument in the chapter almost requires it to be taken with the stricter meaning, and if so, James the Lord's brother and James the son of Alphæus are one and the same person.  It lends support to this view that after the martyrdom of James the son of Zebedee, the survivor in many places is named simply "James" (Acts xii. 17; xv. 13; xxi. 18; 1 Cor. xv. 7; James i. 1; Jude i).  There would be no difficulty in calling our Lord's first cousin his "brother."  It is against such an identification that, after James the son of Alphæus had become one of the apostles, our Lord's "brethren" were still in a state of unbelief (John vii. 1-5).  After his resurrection they were ranked with his followers, but were apparently distinguished from the apostles (Acts i. 13-14). (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894)


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