On this day: Sts. Philip and James, Apostles

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Philip and St. James.

James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Origins of Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Robert Eisenman, Penguin, 1998, is not easy reading, and it is not short. But it answers questions about the early Church, about the life of Jesus, and about why James, so important in the early days, was practically written out of Church history. The book makes clear why the deliberate confusion that has been sown for centuries is still being sown by those who know better.

For one thing, the insistence that Jesus' siblings were actually his cousins does not stand up to even superficial analysis, and Eisenman is not superficial. Who was Alphaeus? Who was Cleophas? Why did Mary have a sister named Mary? Was James really beaten to death with a fuller's club?

Eisenman's book has a good deal of information about Philip, too. The Amazon page has a Search Inside feature, and more of the enormous tome may be sampled here at Google Books.

Click here for Pope Benedict XVI's Catechesis on "James, the Lesser".

Click here for Pope Benedict XVI's Catechesis on "Philip the Apostle".

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