16 Feb 2013 
#51 Following my analysis of "brothers of the Lord" in 1 Corinthians 9:5, let's examine the meaning of "brother of the Lord" in Galatians 1:19.

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According to my analysis of 1 Corinthians 9:5, I concluded these "brothers of the Lord" could not mean "(all) Christians" or "brothers" (as persons sharing the same faith). Instead the expression was referring to two or more male individuals, travelling with either "sister" or wife, not likely to be part of the apostles and to include Cephas/Peter. It is also implied, by the immediate context of the verses, these "brothers" did not have to work for a living. And the "Lord" in 9:5 is defined by "Jesus our Lord" in 9:1, only four verses earlier.
Of course, following my above observations, I then suggested these "brothers of the Lord" were blood brothers of Jesus.

Now, let's look at Galatians 1:19. Here one "brother of the Lord" is named, and it is James:
1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days.
1:19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother.
1:20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) (RSV)

1) Could a Jew inhabiting Jerusalem take the title of "brother of the Lord" (which would be understood as brother of God = Yahveh)?
That would be considered scandalous, a sort of self-deification, breaking the monotheism, and therefore subject to the most severe persecution.

2) Why would Paul honor James as either "brother of God" or "brother of the Lord (Jesus)"?
Paul did not consider the "pillars" of the Church of Jerusalem (that would include James) has having authority over him:
2:6a And from those who were reputed [James,Cephas & John (2:9)] to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) (RSV)

3) Then who would be the "Lord" in 1:19?
Considering that "Lord" is defined as "our Lord Jesus Christ" at 1:3, it is obvious "Lord" means Jesus.

4) Without considering my conclusion on 1 Corinthians 9:5, could "brother of the Lord" in 1:19 signifies only "brothers" (Christian fellows)?
Very unlikely: Paul never called a/the member(s) of the Church of Jerusalem plain "brother(s)". And for good reasons: those were not Christians, only traditional Jews. For justifications, see also here and here and here and here and finally here.

5) Why would Paul identify that "James"?
Because, at the time, there was another prominent "James" among the Church of Jerusalem, the brother of John the fisherman (according to 'Acts'). Paul did not want his audience to confuse that "James" with the one he met later again (Gal 2:9), then one of the main "pillars" of the Church of Jerusalem.

According to my study of 1 Corinthians 9:5 and this one on Galatians 1:19, it is very clear to me "brother(s) of the Lord" mean blood brother(s) of Jesus. And with a Jesus having been an earthly human (see here and here and here and here and here and here for  justifications among others), it is certainly very possible he had male siblings.

PS: I have more arguments here and here against Carrier's position on the subject.

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {brother(s)} {brothers of the Lord} {earthly & human Jesus} {Galatians} {Galatians 1:19} {James} {mythicism} {Paul}
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