THE TWELVE APOSTLES-JAMES
He is possibly the older brother of John since in three of the lists he is mentioned first. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His Hebrew name is Jacob. He was by trade a fisherman from Galilee, and from an apparently prosperous family since they had servants (Mk. 1:19,20). There is a compelling tradition that Zebedee had a branch office in Jerusalem as he supplied, among others, the high priest and his family with fish. As one of The Twelve, James was one of the "inner circle" along with his brother John and Peter. Jesus gave he and his brother the nickname Boanerges (Mk. 3:17) which means in Aramaic Sons of Thunder. This may have to do with them being high-spirited Galileans. One occasion they requested to be able call fire down on the Samaritans who refused hospitality to Jesus and his disciples (Lk. 9:51-56). According to Luke, James and John were business partners with Peter (Lk. 5:10). It is also a possibility that Jesus was related (first cousins) to James and John through his mother Mary. At the cross John mentions that Mary's sister was with her. The other gospels identify her as Salome. Salome may have been the first "Yuppie" as she appeals to Jesus that her sons have a prominent place when he inaugurates His kingdom (Matt.20:20ff.)! She may have made this appeal based on their blood-relationship and the fact that she provided financial support (Mk.15:41).
Ministry: James is the first of The Twelve to be martyred (about A.D.44). Luke says he was killed by Herod's sword (Acts 12:2). Jesus apparently alluded to his future martyrdom (Mk.10:38).