Whenever the four brothers are listed, James always comes first.This would imply that he is the oldest, followed by Joseph.
The western view is stricter in that it holds not only Mary, but Joseph also to be virgins throughout their entire lives.
These “brothers” are merely cousins that seem to come onto the scene.
Relying on the Clophas/Alphaeus connection, one can draw that James the son of Alphaeus is James (Luke ), Matthew is Joseph (Luke ), Judas son of James is Judas (Luke ), and Simon the Zealot is Simon (Luke ).
One may question the Judas son of James aspect of the theory and it is accounted for by suggesting Clophas/Alphaeus’s name was James.
You must carefully consider each Gospel individually, giving attention to its special way of handling the topic.
The Gospel of Mark has been seen as condemning the Twelve and the brothers for their misunderstanding/unbelief of Jesus.
It makes logical sense to say Mary married Joseph’s brother James and that he named his first child after himself.
The second child born of this union would be named for/in honor of Joseph, Mary’s first husband.
Although Painter puts forth the 60 recordings of the name James as referring to eight different individuals, it is easier to condense these into five persons using clear links, rather than eight people using cryptic language.
Discuss how the Gospels treat the entire issue of the “brothers of Jesus” with regard to their attitude and relation to him and his movement.