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Portrait: St. James the apostleMy brother-in-law suggested an idea to me a few weeks ago: what if I did a piece on the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ? I think it’s a great idea.

  • We can learn a lot about ourselves by studying these men.
  • These guys were some of the first to share the gospel: they’re like our ultra-great-grandfathers in the Faith.
  • Seriously, you have to be curious about these guys, right?

And so I started studying the twelve apostles of Jesus. My brilliant wife is doing portraits of them in her signature style, too. This one to the right is of James.

Here’s a quick look at James, son of Zebedee

Infographic: St. James the apostle

James and his brother John are fishermen when Jesus calls them to follow Him (Mt 4:21).

James is part of the “inner three”—a small group of disciples that Jesus keeps closest (Mk 5:37; Mt 17:1–2, 26:37). After Jesus’ resurrection, these three become notable leaders in the church.

Jesus gives James and John the nickname “Boanerges,” or “Sons of Thunder.” We’re not sure entirely what this means, but it could be a reference to their speech or their tempers. For example: James and his brother suggest calling fire down on a town that denies Jesus lodging (Lk 9:54).

James makes a power play during Jesus’s ministry: he and John ask Jesus to give them seats on either side of Him in the kingdom to come (James’ mother nudges Jesus on this, too). However, James and John really didn’t understand what they were asking for (Mt 20:20–28).

Some scholars believe James’ mother was sister to Mary, the mother of Jesus (Mt 27:52; Mk 15:40–41; Jn 19:25). If this is the case, James and Jesus are first cousins.

James is the first apostle to be martyred: Herod puts him to death with the sword in an attempt to please the Jewish community (Ac 12:1–2).

Bonus: see how this portrait was made

Laura put together a video showing how she made this piece. Check it out:

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 <a href="https://overviewbible.com/apostle-james-infographic/"><img src="https://overviewbible.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/apostle-james.infographic2.png" alt="Infographic: St. James the apostle" border="0"/></a>

Meet the rest of the apostles

Laura and I are making portraits and infographics of all 12 apostles. It would be a shame if you missed any of them. But there’s an easy way to make sure that never happens: sign up for our email newsletter now.