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An English form of the Hebrew name Jacob. There are several persons of this name mentioned in the New Testament. (1) Son of Zebedee, one of the Twelve, brother of John. His call is given in Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19–20; and Luke 5:10. He was given the name Boanerges (Mark 3:17) and was one of the inner circle of three chosen to be with our Lord on certain special occasions: at the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37), at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1; Mark 9:2; Luke 9:28), and at Gethsemane (Matt. 26:37; Mark 14:33; see also Mark 10:30, 41; 13:3; Luke 8:51; 9:54). He was killed by Herod (Acts 12:2).

(2) Son of Alphaeus, also one of the Twelve (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13).

(3) Brother of the Lord (Gal. 1:19) and of Joses, Simon, Jude, and some sisters (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Jude 1:1); known as James the Just. He occupied an important position in the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 2:9–12) and was probably the writer of the Epistle of James.

(4) James, called “the Less,” son of Mary and brother of Joses (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40; Luke 24:10). Nothing further is known of him, unless he is, as some think, the same as number 3 (above).