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James the Just, who Paul referred to as the brother of the Lord (Gal. 1:19), was Jesus’ half-brother. James was not a Believer during the time of Jesus’ministry (Mark 3:21, 31-35; John 7:1-10). Mark 3 reports that during Jesus’ ministry, Jesus’ family thought he was “out of his mind.” However, after the resurrected Jesus appeared to his half-brother, James (see 1 Cor. 15:7), he not only became a Believer but a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15; 21:18; Gal. 2:9). Acts 12:17 says after Peter was released prison, Peter sent word of his release to James. In Galatians 2:9, Paul refers to James as one of three pillars of the church (Gal. 2:9). Finally, in Acts 21:18, Paul reports he went to see James and all the elders of the church were present. James’ death as a martyr was documented by the first century historian, Flavious Josephus.

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