Paul visits James and the elders in Jerusalem (Acts 21:18)

“The next day,

Paul went

With us

To visit James.

All the elders

Were present.”

τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ εἰσῄει ὁ Παῦλος σὺν ἡμῖν πρὸς Ἰάκωβον, πάντες τε παρεγένοντο οἱ πρεσβύτεροι.

The author of Acts indicated that the next day (τῇ δὲ ἐπιούσῃ) Paul (ὁ Παῦλος) went with his companions (σὺν ἡμῖν) to visit (εἰσῄει) James (πρὸς Ἰάκωβον).  All (πάντες τε) the elders or presbyters (οἱ πρεσβύτεροι) were present (παρεγένοντο).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐπιούσῃ, that means the following or the next day.  James was apparently the leader of the Jerusalem church with the departure of Peter in chapter 12:17.  Most of the other apostles had left Jerusalem, so that the ruling group were the elders or presbyters of Jerusalem.  Who is this James, the leader of the Jerusalem Church?  He is sometimes called James the Just, or the brother or cousin of the Lord.  He died as a martyr around 69 CE.  He was not a biological child of Mary, but possibly a cousin of Jesus, or half-brother from a previous marriage of Joseph.  Roman tradition holds that this James was the apostle James, son of Alphaeus, and James the Less, but definitely not James, the son of Zebedee.  Thus, he was the first bishop of Jerusalem.  The Jerusalem Church was an early Christian community located in Jerusalem, of which James and Peter were leaders.  James was the principal authority who presided at the Council of Jerusalem around 50 CE.  He may have taken over after the death of James, the son of Zebedee, who died around 44 CE.  Besides, the New Testament mentions several people named James.  The Epistle of James has been traditionally attributed to this James the Just.  James was the principal author of the Apostolic Decree about gentiles in chapter 15:22-29.  As here, he seems to be the leader of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem.  Do you know a religious leader?

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